Sunday, May 22, 2016

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there was a God, the only One actually, who had created a world and peopled it with beings just like Himself, only in miniature. His original idea was that the world that He had created should, through these miniatures, experience and even participate in the Being that He was. Although there was only One of Him, and always had been only One, His Being could not but be shared out equally and eternally among at least Three.

Why was this? Because Being itself is none other than Love, which is both a force, that is, a Spirit, and a source, that is, a Father, but there is more. Love cannot exist, either inside of time where we live, or outside of it (whatever that means) without an object, that is, a Son, a Someone who is both an exact reflexion of the Father, who reflects back that equal and eternal Love with which the Father loved Him, and also Himself a source, as true image of the Father.

Among at least Three, that much we know, and yet innumerably One, what theologians articulated as ‘One in essence, but Three in persons’ or something like that, this is what had been handed down after many generations, people who were so sure of the formula that they forgot its meaning. Beings just like Himself, only in miniature, this God created the same way He created everything, from His angle in the blink of an eye, from ours, evolving over countless æons.

Now, this God became one of His creatures, not just any kind, but the kind that were made as exact miniatures of Himself, the kind that He designed for this purpose: that when the world looked upon him, ‘in the image of God He created him,’ seeing them, ‘male and female he created them,’ the world would see and know them as God, and willingly obey and serve them. This kind of creature, designed and intended for this purpose, also had perfect freedom, as God has.

Most of us already know the rest of the story. Many of us think it is just a fairy tale, which is why I began telling it as a ‘once upon a time’ story. Some ask themselves, ‘If God was so smart, so perfect and all-knowing, why would he have created things like us, which were bound to fail? Perfect images of his nature? Right! Give us free will like he has, but no power to really use it. Any time we try, we dig ourselves an even deeper hole. If there is a God, we don’t want him!’

Back to our story, this is what happened. The equal and eternal Son only begotten of the equal and eternal Father, His exact reflexion and true image, did from eternity what He saw His Father doing. The result was the world we now see, ranging in likeness to its Creator from little to great, those of great likeness the beings just like Himself, only in miniature, what we call the race of Adam. Their likeness extended even to reason, will, love, and eternity, all of them free.

The freedom of the One God in Three divine Persons operates as it should within uncreated, eternal Being. However, in created being, even though eternal, a change took place. Those miniatures of God, created for the universe to worship, to love, and to obey, doubted the Love who had brought them into being. Having been given everything into their hands, they still doubted, and the freedom for which they were made was corrupted and changed into its opposite, slavery.

At this point, yes, and once upon a time, and very quickly too, the Son who had created the world and the miniatures of Themselves, Father, Son, and Spirit, entered the world. The Spirit somehow completed the semination of a virgin womb, and He that was eternally Son without a mother, was born one of His own creatures, the Uncreated and the created uniting in one man, whose nature it was both not to sin and not to die, whose freedom was incorruptible as was His body.

This is where ‘once upon a time’ no longer functions to describe what happened next, because eternity had now invaded time and subdued it, just as incorruption had vanquished corruption and soon, Life would be seen to trample death. The Son, both source and original of the Godlike miniatures, had arrived, like the original, to make invisible God visible, to reign over His creation, to receive the worship due only to the Unearthly, Divine Triad, Themselves the One God.

There could have been no other outcome. It was foreseen by Father, Son, and Spirit from before the beginning. In order for Love to become truly incarnate, embodied, in Their image and likeness, He must suffer every humiliation from conception, to birth, to death, to entombment. He must recapitulate every step He had taken in eternity, in time, on earth. Then, maybe, the beings just like Himself, only in miniature, now indissolubly wed to Him, might take their place.

Wed to Him? What can that mean? but that the Bridegroom of the universe, having been laid to rest, incorruptibly finished His work of creation. Majestic and triumphant the wounds from which gushed anew the Blood that had made so fertile the earth, that once it bore such fruit as bedazzled the angels—the first Adam, the first Eve—the second Adam came forth from the tomb as a Bridegroom exits the bridal chamber, His Bride no longer hidden, not in, but at His side.

Now it begins. No more a tale of ‘once upon a time’ that can be dismissed as a pious fantasy. No more a story told in the past tense, ‘for the world of the past is gone.’ There He stands among us whom He has remade. There the One in Three He stands, the open Door which none can close, now Paradise in male and female form, rekindling the Fire once brought down to earth, His story no longer captured in the telling, but taking captives now, presenting us as tribute to the Father.

The story was finished two thousand years ago, but we hadn’t noticed, finished, but not completed.

Not long to wait, O universe, not long, for they that sleep are about to awake, and the glory of the Lord is soon to shine upon you.

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