October 22, 2015:
And now more from James Schall on The Order of Things:
“The order of stable relationships within the Godhead is at the origin of what the world and our lives are about…[and] lies behind all other order.”
“The trinitarian life of God is reflected in what is not God on the vastest of scales, the scales both of cosmos and of history. But the paradigm of order that we encounter is already found in the Trinity of Persons and their inner relations to one another. We are to imitate the divine order in all ways it can be imitated – in making, in living, in thinking, in loving.”
The confluence of my readings yesterday on the order of the Godhead and on parenting yielded an insight: if the TRINITY shows us the essential ‘order of things’ – namely multiple persons freely and lovingly relating to each other – then then FAMILY emerges as a very obvious sub-creation or instantiation of this trinitarian logic. For just as marriage joins two divided persons into one new relational unit, a FAMILY joins three or more divided persons into a new relational unit, a QUATERNITY [four-in-one] in our case.
What God is doing amidst the four of us is not ‘shaping good children’ or ‘refining the parents’ but creating a family, a new quaternarian relational unit. It’s not about us parents – statically perfect or adequate – trying to whip some youngsters into shape, nor is it about some kids revealing the many weaknesses and flaws of the parents. No, it is about God shaping every member of our family – at varying rates, varying degrees of intensity, and at various times – to create a family that will reflect the order of things, the order of the Godhead: several persons giving and receiving love!
Something we occasionally do as a family offers a lovely picture of what I’m talking about: we all hug each other in a group hug and then we kiss each other on the cheek at the same time, quadruply – we all kiss the cheek to the left of us and then the cheek to the right of us – a quaternity of kisses!