Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Joy of Catholic Unity

The Trinity.

One of the most mysterious and frankly challenging beliefs in all Christianity. Three in one. Impossible, absurd. But it forms the basis of all of Catholic thinking. I am probably not going where you think I am going with this, so please stick with me for a moment.

Three in One. Multiples within the single. It is not the heresy of collectivism where the soul loses itself and melds into oblivion. Neither is it a worse heresy of radical individualism where the soul is isolated and in need of no one. No, the mystery of God is the Triune--not a single, not a unit, but a completeness, a unity. God's essence, His very nature is communal.

Every breath of Catholicism calls us to this same unity. The very definition of sin is that which breaks our oneness with God.

Sin is not a set of acts or deeds that the Lord sifted through, like examining objects at a garage sale, then  labelled one "evil" and another "good" depending on His mood. The things that cause our souls, our minds to fracture, those things which tear us from the wholeness of being Christ's beloved--that is what sin is. What was the punishment for sin? Again, I do not believe it was a random, unrelated punishment. It was more of a prophecy of disintegration. When we pull against our original unity with God, our souls and flesh are torn apart, they decay into separateness. That is the definition of death, the separation of the soul from the body; the very fibers, sinews, bones, skin, organs separate from themselves and deteriorate.

When you examine the core of Catholic teaching, it is all meant to bring us back into unity--with ourselves, our fellow humans and God. God is our example--Trinity--the unity of three in one.

The unity of marriage was to serve as an example of what God's relationship to His bride looks like: "The Two shall be one flesh." The man and wife--but also the child and parent are actually part of each other's flesh.

The highest and holiest form of worship for a Catholic is the Sunday mass where the bride is called by her Beloved to come and share eternity with Him. Share His life, His sufferings, His resurrection, His very body with her. She is called to the the Marriage Supper and every shared song, amen, liturgical reading, even the shared cup reminds us that each one, each individual is vitally important to the completeness and wholeness of the Body. It is a mystery we partake in--God came down and partook of humanity, that we may, through His body and Blood, partake in Divinity.

We are called to lay aside our monomania, our rights, our very life to become part of that great incomprehensible wonder of Unity.