I was reading a text book by Paulo Freire called: Pedagogy of the Oppressed which was once core reading back in the day when I was studying Community Development and Education. This time around, I suddenly found myself reading it in the light of Scripture and then the text blew me away. I will do my best to explain what I mean although it is a bit ‘wordy’!
In the chapter I was randomly reading, Paulo Freire was discussing “dialogue” and ‘the word’ – some statements he made seemed at face value, fairly obvious such as: “The essence of “dialogue” itself is: the word.” He continues to say that the ‘word’ is made up of two constituent elements, namely: “reflection and action” pointing out that “there is no transformation without action”. He closed this particular paragraph with the following line: “Thus to speak a true word is to transform the world”.
As I was reading, all I could think of was the opening of John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word: The Word was with God and the Word was God”. (John 1:1) So if the “Word was God” using Freire’s interpretation of ‘Word’ being “the essence of dialogue”, then to whom did God dialogue if not with Christ and the Holy Spirit – a Trinitarian dialogue, in full communion?
Reflecting on the Trinity and its movement of communion, flowing between the three Divine Persons of the one God, made me think that to be in dialogue means to be of equal voice, it has to be or else it’s not dialogue. There it was – the divine personalities of the Trinity, being equal to each other. If this wasn’t the case, there would have been no flow between them.
This was followed by reading a recent article by Richard Rohr, where he says:
The Trinity reveals a pattern of perfect freedom whereby each of the Three Persons
allows the other Two to be fully themselves, and remains in full given-ness toward
each of them, while still allowing, protecting, and honouring itself as itself, and forever emptying itself of itself to make room for the other.
(Richard Rohr – Centre Action & Contemplation)
The Trinity is the Godhead of which I am part. I could see that to enter the flow of this relationship was through the prayer of the heart or contemplation – the prayer of silence, of emptying the self to be fully part of the Self. “True love through silence only one can hear” – as beautifully put by Rumi.
Suddenly in my reflection I heard those familiar words “And the Word became flesh” – Jesus became the embodiment of that Word which was spoken “in the beginning…” as we too became the same embodiment of that same eternal Word. A Word spoken in dialogue with the three divine persons of the Trinity, “in the beginning”. Wow – We have been thought of from before the Big Bang! Is it any wonder Paulo Freire said: “Thus to speak a true Word is to transform the world?”
I realise as I come to the end of my blog, I never fully appreciated the power of this eternal “Word” to the extent that I do now. I have also deepened my awareness that to live fully my Christian spirituality, means to live in the Trinity as it is from here I “move and have my being”.
To close I’d like to leave you with this lovely quote by Lady Julian of Norwich, cited in Richard Rohr’s book Immortal Diamond:
The place that God takes in our soul, he will never vacate
For in us, is His home of homes and it is the greatest delight
For Him to dwell there…the soul that contemplates this, is
Made like the One who is contemplated.
Amen – “Be it done unto me according to your Word!”