b. This high-priestly prayer does not lead one to regard the unity of Father and Son to be identical to that of Christians, but a similitude is revealed, as well as the opposition between the unity of the Church and the inner dividedness of the world.
c. We will now attempt to fathom manifestations of the Church’s life which contain a similarity to the mystery of the Trinity, thereby completing the appraisal of the moral idea of the Trinity, from the point of view of contemporary ethics. This will be shown to be in agreement with the Scriptures and Fathers.
d. The main obstacle to penetration by the dogma of the Trinity is the direct consciousness of self in the natural man, which divides personality from personality into evident, complete opposition. For a Christian to receive an awareness of his inner unity with Christ, the Father, and the body of the faithful he must free himself from the direct opposition of “I” and “not I.” Otherwise the teaching of the Trinity will not be assimilated.
e. This does not represent a renunciation of reason; the mystical unity of Christians will be seen not as abstract, but as real.
f. An inability to see the grace-filled unity of Christ and the Father and of the faithful results from our darkened, natural mind, upon our natural self-love. These properties are found in the laws of our self-consciousness, but this is not an absolute law, but one of fallen consciousness, and can be abolished by regeneration in Christian love.
- How does Metropolitan Anthony use John 17 to make his argument? Is it successful?
- What is the difference between the love shared between the Father and the Son and the love shared among the faithful?
- What is the main obstacle to the understanding of the Trinity? Why is it so?
- How is it that self-love makes understanding of the Trinity impossible?