Trinity Sunday

“We offer unto Thee, ourselves, our souls and bodies.” Soul-what do we mean by soul? Define soul. Then maybe I will believe she exists. We often hear this demand to define soul by those who feel threatened by her irrationality and even by those who sense that there may be something to soul after all, yet they cannot comprehend what soul might be until they first catch her in their net of words.

There is no catching of the soul for as she is “the ever elusive butterfly of love,” she eludes our every attempt to grasp conceptually. Soul is subjective. She experiences, she suffers and rejoices. The soul reflects and gives birth to fantasy, image, imagination, and a religious concern for values, morals, and meaning. Soul longs to be loved and longs to love. Soul brings the food of life to us, but soul also hungers. Soul hungers for God. The soul knows God is there, even when she cannot find Him. The soul knows God is her home. And it is by her faith we are led to God.

I call soul she and she resists being thought of in masculine terms or, worse yet, neuter designations, for soul is she. Soul is Yin. Spirit may be masculine or neuter, but soul, like Mother Nature, to which she is closely related, is definitely feminine.

Soul has love as her primary quality, and love is what binds together, unites, synthesizes, and heals our relationships.

Soul gives us the capacity to love and is the foundation of faith. Out of love comes faith and hope. Faith is fundamentally important when seeking, yet faith is often misunderstood. When Jesus speaks of faith, He is not speaking of any doctrine or creed but of a capacity to affirm life in spite of what life may bring. Faith is not a matter of intellect but a function of soul, whose essence is love. We mistake faith for a belief in creeds or doctrines and as a result believe they are separated from the love of their souls and the love of God and so from themselves.

Our Lord Christ reflects a living relationship to the soul in both His person and His sayings, in his person through His compassion and in His sayings such as from John 14, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you,” among many others.

A connection to soul is a connection to love. Love is a natural part of our human design. Love come naturally. It is close to the earth and the human body, and so it is close to our passions and instincts. We are not taught how to fall in love or how to love our children. We do these by instinct. The traditional teachings of the church are somewhat negative toward our passions and instincts, due in part to the relationship between Christianity and Paganism. There are many Pagan myths whose similarity to Christ’s life are no accident. All myths are evolution’s attempt to express itself in human images. Pagan mythology shows us life united with the nature cycles.

Christianity gives us the process of living day by day in our deepest essence. We are given not only the connection to Mother Earth but beyond to our heavenly Mother Mary and through Christ to the love of God. The death of Christ on the cross was consciously decided upon. His resurrection is a once and for all event “for God so loved the world that He gave his only-begotten Son.”

Now we are given the task of uniting our passions and our instincts, our thoughts and our deeds, our nature and spirit, to become one through the love of God. In Christ there is no devaluation of the body, no separation from nature. There is no phrase of condemnation from the lips of Jesus of the instinctual side. He loved the things of the earth and used earthly images to express divine essence.

We are a totality of body, mind, and spirit. We are not any one of these but all three in a mystical unity. If any one side is denied, all three are impaired. We can talk about love, we can make love. If we cannot consciously acknowledge our sensual feelings, can we find fulfillment in love? If love is stifled, is spirituality stifled to become rigid, judgemental, and uncreative? The human totality is organic. If the body suffers, the mind and spirit suffer. If I harm Jon, that harms ReAnn, that harms those she works with and their families, and so on. Our relationship to one another is organic. If the total person is to be liberated, all these aspects must come into expression, all must be harmoniously recognized and joyfully received as given by God.

Rev. Lee Dunn

June 7, 2009

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