in the one God are three pulsations that move the world

In the breviary I follow, I’ve gotten behind in praying the Proper of Saints, so last night for Vigils I stepped back in (liturgical) time a week and prayed the memorial to Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen (Jan 2). I’m glad I did. I found a gem I’ve been re-reading and re-praying today:

In the one God are three pulsations that move the world. Through them I became a new and different person when I came out of the font, where my death was buried, into the light — a person restored to life from the dead. If God cleansed me so completely, then I must worship God with my whole being.

— St. Gregory Nazianzen (p 1716 Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary (2005))

It’s another example of how words, fresh words, can make spiritual realities more tangible, how I crave them sometimes, it seems, as much (or, even, more?) than the realities themselves? I do love words.

Anyway, it’s not as if he said anything new theologically (he didn’t). It’s not even as if he said much that was terribly fresh (though the Trinity as “three pulsations” is kind of cool). But it’s all fresh enough, and a little freshness in words goes a long way toward doing something in me — something real but very abstract, something that enlarges me somehow.


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