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Brother Robert Lentz, Holy Trinity
Here is a Robert Lentz icon-styled painting that blends an historic approach to portraying the Holy Trinity with an inclusion of modern astronomical imagery. The facial depiction of the first two members of the Holy Trinity are presented in a very traditional way, while the images of the galaxies very obviously depend upon telescopic photography.
The most significant truth expressed within this composition by Lentz is that all three members of the Holy Trinity were and are involved in Creation, both in terms of the primal event, as well as in an ongoing divine presence within the whole of the cosmos, a theme found in John’s Gospel as well as in Paul’s letter to the Colossians among other biblical texts.
If there is any drawback to Lentz’s composition it is one shared with just about every Trinity-themed painting of which I am aware. To put it plainly, Lentz depicts the members of the Holy Trinity as ‘them,’ as objects of our subjectivity, as divine persons we contemplate, hold in regard, and with whom we contemplate or entertain relational involvement.
What this approach lacks, perhaps of necessity in a two dimensional medium, is an expression of the equally important and sometimes non-experiential truth that we are also the objects of the divine subjectivity, and how – after Baptism – we are inseparable from involvement with and in the Trinitarian life of God.
The simplest way to help make this evident can be found in all six of the Eucharistic Prayers in The Book of Common Prayer, as well as in many of the Collects. We pray to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. And so, whether we are conscious of it or not, we are to live as we pray, to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit.
We should no longer try to depict the Holy Trinity through two dimensional imagery, much less with diagrams, or with objects like a three-leaf clover. For in each of these cases, we render the grace-filled context of our new and relational, post-Baptismal, life as if the grounding source for our being, and our life in Christ, was somehow external to us, and something which we might still have a need to approach.
Yet, through Christ and in the Holy Spirit, the Father is now in us, and we are in him. He is closer to us than we are to ourselves. This is the great mystery, the paradox, and the beauty of Trinitarian life in Christ after Baptism.
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