Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Most Holy Trinity---a Mystery of Light

Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy (1321) gives us a glimpse
of God's light-filled relationship to His good creation.
Chapter XXXIII of the Paradiso paints the picture:

Within the depthless deep and clear existence
of that abyss of light three circles shown -
three in color, one in circumference;

the second from the first, rainbow from rainbow;
the third, an exhalation of pure fire
equally breathed forth by the other two.

But oh how much my words miss my conception,
which is itself so far from what I saw
than to call it feeble would be rank deception!

O Light Eternal fixed in Itself alone,
by Itself alone understood, which from Itself
loves and glows, self-knowing and self-known;

that second aureole which shone forth in Thee,
conceived as a reflection of the first -
or which appeared so to my scrutiny -

seemed in Itself of Its own coloration
to be painted with man's image. I fixed my eyes
on that alone in rapturous contemplation.

Like a geometer wholly dedicated
to squaring the circle, but who cannot find,
think as he may, the principle indicated -
so did I study the supernal face.

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An analogy, yes, but Dante seems able to inch toward
the pure approachable light
and this may be as close as we get in literature.

This description of Paradiso seems light years ahead of its time.

+ + +

A search of Holy Scripture for the words sun, light and lightning
provides similar opportunities for contemplation.

+ + +

Imitate Mary, Become like Jesus, Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Christ! See you on the High Ground!

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