“While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light” (Jn 12:26).
“[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col 1:15-17).
The mystery of creation ex nihilo is bound up with the mystery of the Trinity. Saint Bonaventure said it is the very nature of God to be self-diffusive, to expand into new life and new creations. Love cannot be understood by solitude; it shines forth into an Image who is the Son. The Son expresses the fullness of Truth, who is One God. He is the language of God. The Spirit of Love is the rising worship of Truth, the Word returning to the Father (Is 55:10-11). So Christianity declares God’s Revelation of Himself: Three Persons in One God. One Being, eternal and unchanging. Three Persons, humbled before each other, in community and in relationship. The doctrine of the Trinity is the most complete picture of absolute metaphysical perfection that can be grasped by the human mind. Precisely in its ability to bear paradox, the Trinity brings spiritual peace to all material dichotomies. God is more complex in activity than all the moving electrons in the universe, yet more simple in substance than the zero-point field. He stands utterly outside of chronological time, yet listens as a lover to man’s every breath.
“God, so His Church teaches us, lives an infinite life of knowledge and of love.”[i] God’s infinite knowledge generates by divine necessity an infinite idea, an Eternal Word, and God’s infinite lovingness spirates by divine necessity an Eternal Love, an infinite intercourse. The Father begets a Son and with and in the Spirit of Love. In this living teaching, man finds the fulfillment of his dual desires for the freedom to choose and the dignity of the choice. It is said that God is both inseparably One in being and thrice infinitely diverse in Hypostases. Eternity moves not in two, but three infinities. In his famous testimony, G.K. Chesterton said, “I wish to set forth my faith as particularly answering this double spiritual need, the need for that mixture of the familiar [dignity/equality/femininity] and the unfamiliar [freedom/hierarchy/masculinity] which Christendom has rightly named romance.”[ii] In the Trinity three spectrums of value co-exist in unified intellect-will in such manner that grace-filled human perception sees a Divine Dance. That Being can be simultaneously free and unified is ‘a great mystery’ of the Christian Faith (cf. Eph 5:32). To reconcile the philosophical paradox of the ‘One with the Many,’ man must bow humbly before his own finitude and trust in the Merciful Dance of Love.
Time and space, made in, for, and through the Son (Col 1:15-17), are experienced by the human intellect as a “break” in the Oneness of God, a freely accepted “limitation” or “change” (quotations indicating the analogical sense of these words). The freely-chosen “break” provides a vantage point from which God can see Himself “differently” and embark on a mission of rediscovering Oneness and Perfection as the source of the joy of familial reunion. This is a feeble, but relatable, metaphor for the adventures of the Son and Spirit of God back to their Father. The Spirit of Love offers the living gift of raising up Son to the Father, eternally and fruitfully proclaiming the Word’s princeship of procession, while also being His Companion and the Wings that bring Him Home.
Because Jesus Christ represents God in His full Trinitarian essence, He does therefore branch-out or spirate Himself as well, with all His members held together by the Spirit’s secret futures, as artists are always unique but art ever familiar. Analogously, Christ’s Mystical Body might be thought of as Spirals within One Spiral, Trinities within the Trinity, Dances within the Dance, Songs within the Song, Light from Light. He is always multiplying His movements without falling out sync with the whole orchestra, so refined that an infinite number of instruments can be added without perverting the harmony. The first “branching” of Christ was the angels, beings who in unique measures formed the symphony of Christ’s praises. Then the universe’s matter was created. Creation continues the Trinitarian spiration. God spirates because He is seasonal, but not as in a mere repeating loop; every time the Trinity completes a revolution through Its Persons, a “new” expression has been “created.” God’s Life is a three-dimensional line, a spiral that splits and grows and folds like branches on a tree rising around each other to the Sun, like duplicating strands of DNA becoming autonomous organisms, like particles of matter swirling off into galaxies. Phi, the Fibonacci sequence, or the “golden ratio,” suggests that the spiral pattern is truly a “divine proportion.” Daniel Pinchbeck writes:
“Phi-based relationships are found not only in biological forms, but in the relations between planets orbiting around our Sun. As John Martineau writes in A Little Book of Coincidence: ‘Venus rotates extremely slowly on her own axis in the opposite direction to most rotations in the solar system. Her day is precisely two-thirds of an Earth year, a musical fifth. This exactly harmonizes…so that every time Venus and Earth kiss, Venus does so with the same face looking at the Earth.’ Eight Earth years equals, exactly, thirteen Venus years, the five kisses between them crafting a perfect pentagon [or star], carved out of space…
“Every 243 years, Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun twice in eight years–a pair of ‘Venus transits,’ visible to the naked eye… The Venus transits also reflect the harmonic relation between the two orbits–in those 243 Earth years, exactly 365 Venus days will have passed. Venus was the planet of beauty for the ancients, because of these exquisite relationships; the transits symbolized the ‘hierosgamos,’ the sacred marriage, of masculine and feminine energies.”[iii]
Venus traces a celestial rose across Earth’s sky: a manifestation of the spiraling melody that can be found all over the universe, in music, in math, and in all life forms. What marks the inner points of the star in the rose are Venus “kissing” Earth as it is totally clothed in the light of the Sun locked face to face with her.[iv] The double-helix spiraling of DNA is also constructed in a Fibonacci sequence. Branches, leaf-veins, and seedlings grow up and out according to this ratio as well. Leonardo Da Vinci marveled at this proportion in man himself, who, with limbs extended, fits nicely into the pentagram star.[v] In the “sacred geometry” of physics, there is a glimpse of the Trinitarian Life. As Venus and Earth dance in sequence with each other yet maintain their unique orbital expressions, so the Persons of the Trinity are perfectly united yet infinitely distinct. As God humbles Himself to become the “Other,” a Lover, and Their Embrace is itself a Third Person, who unites Them, as the rose in the sky is the child of the relationship between Earth and Venus, but perhaps in eternity Its chosen Mother. Though Christ is one vine, He has many branches, and the cosmos is made in this Image. But the even more perfect Image of God comes in the creation of human sexuality. This is why the ancients saw in the relationship between Earth and Venus an imitation of their own courtship rituals. The sky aspires to love.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness” (Gen 1:1-3).
Time and space explodes out of nothing. A “big bang” blasts light-clouds of helium, hydrogen, and lithium out in every direction from an infinitely dense point known as “the singularity.”[vi] From this event every atom and every galaxy are gradually solidified in the fullness of time. This picture of the universe comes from the deductions of reason and science. Genesis, however, is providing a phenomenological and analogical account of creation, one that is not so preoccupied with physics, but very concerned about metaphysics and theology, about a priori knowledge and Divine Revelation. As Stephen Jay Gould points out, “The Big Bang does not set the ultimate beginning of all material things–a subject outside the magisterium of science. The Big Bang is a proposition about the origin of our known universe. This scientific theory cannot, in principle, specify what, if anything, happened before–because any previous history gets erased when and if the stuff of the universe collapses to such an effective point of origin.”[vii]
According to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the book of Genesis is true history in these respects: 1) the creation of all things by God at the beginning of time; 2) the special creation of man; 3) the formation of the first woman from man; 4) the unity of the human race; 5) the original happiness of Adam and Eve in a state of justice, integrity, and immortality; 6) the Divine command given man to prove his obedience; 7) man’s transgression of God’s command by the instigation of the Devil; 8) the fall of Adam and Eve from the state of innocence; and 9) the promise of a future redeemer.[viii] Nevertheless, these truths of reality are, often but not always, presented in figurative and sometimes mythical language.
In Genesis Chapter 1, “God created the heavens and the earth” refers to the spiritual and material creations of God. “Formless” coincides with the God’s creations on the first three days, and “void” corresponds with days four through six. This is the “framework hypothesis” literary interpretation of the creation story. The first day gives the form of time as Day and Night, and the fourth day fills the void of time with the Sun, Moon, and Stars. The second day gives the form of space with the Sea and Sky, and the fifth day fills the void of space with the Birds and Fish. The third day gives the form of life as land and vegetation, and the sixth day fills the void of life with man and the animals. The first three days give form and second three days fill the void.[ix] Again, a shadowy reflection of the Trinity is being drawn. The Father is the origin of creation and its end. Christ is “the Light of the world” (Jn 8:12; 9:5) who illumines the forms of creation with matter, and the Spirit is the “Giver of Life” who fills the void of matter with organisms. The ultimate meaning of creation will be further revealed on the seventh day.