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Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion
is to look out to the earth,
yours are the feet by which Christ is to go about doing good
and yours are the hands by which Christ is to bless us now.

~St Teresa of Avila

...our Lenten Pilgrimage of Prepositions continues.

"God has no hands but ours" is a common belief among many religious people.  Even though the quote above expresses the sentiment from a Christian perspective, similar beliefs can be found in most of the world's religions as people are called to do good works, to treat one another with compassion and equality, to recognize and respect human dignity for all, and in general to live what we believe and practice what we preach.  By whatever tradition or name we know the Divine Presence, most spiritual people sense the Presence working "through" us.

We Christians, even though many accept the above concept intellectually, are reluctant to fully embrace the full impact of such a theology.  For example, in our trinitarian theology, even though we say God is three in one, we like to keep the the three persons of the Trinity separated when it comes to our own incarnate nature.  So, many Christians have no trouble saying and believing that the Holy Spirit embodies us, or that we are "filled with the Spirit."  Most of us don't hesitate to say we are created in God's image, or the resurrected Christ is alive in us, or that we encounter Christ in "the least" of humanity.  However, many have great anxiety with God living through us.

The framers of the Doctrine of the Trinity went to great length to use language (mostly Greek philosophical and metaphysical language) as they wrestled with the multiplicity yet singularity of God.  The language they eventually decided on presented God as one substance, essence, and nature that we experience through three persons or persona who share the one nature. Unfortunately they stopped with only three when in the biblical tradition there are numerous, perhaps endless, personifications and representations of the multiplicity of God.  But that's another blog or perhaps what all of these blogs are about.  

Christians without knowledge of these original intricacies have lost the nuances of the Trinity and have basically divided one God into three Gods.  And so when talking of the Trinity we say "God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" as if God were a fourth entity.  A more accurate phrasing would be, "God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit."  Each and all are God.   

And so, back to the original question of this blog - How do we so easily accept the Spirt and Son in our lives and have so much trouble admitting that God the Eternal Presence, lives through each and every one of us?  Aren't they one (or three) in the same?

God lives "through" us! 

These little prepositions are powerful, and often times unsettling, things!   The Pilgrimage goes on...


  1. really enjoying the series. loved the trinity breakdown.through

  2. This blog is also powerful and unsettling. Well done.