On the Trinity

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IV. On the Trinity

1. O divine and most lofty Trinity!
Just as all plurality exists for Your sake,
so too does all created unity exist for the sake of divine unity.
2. Were God not to exist distinctly as a Trinity,
concordance, concording and equality would not reside in Him,
and He would be in proximity to contradicting, unequalling and contrariety.
3. In God there are divine properties
so that in Him one may understand and love
the distinct acts of unseparated deity.
4. The divine Trinity consists in paternity,
filiation and spirability,
and all three constitute a single essence in a single deity.[1]
5. In God there cannot exist quaternity,
because <the> deifier, <the> deifiable and deifying
suffice for the deity.
6. Without the Trinity, deity could not
retain its own nature as <the> lover, <the> loveable and <the> beloved,
in the absence of which it would remain empty.
7. Were no distinction to exist between understanding, <the> understander and <the> understood,
God would no longer be able to know which of the three He was,
nor could infinitising or eternalising amount to anything.
8. I am sad and concerned
because the Trinity of the almighty God
is not loved and known by all people.
9. He who knows the Trinity yet refuses to demonstrate it
to those who might know and love it,
cannot be absolved of his guilt.
10. Kneeling, hands clasped, penitent and in tears,
I give and entrust myself to You, O divine Trinity:
Please let me fulfil Your commands.

[1] “Spiration” is a technical term of Trinitarian theology relating to Western Christian doctrine concerning the combined action of the Father and the Son (the Son being “generated” by the Father) in the ‘procession’ of the Holy Spirit. This pneumatological aspect of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit being conceived as Gk. pneuma, lit. ‘breath’, though also “soul/spirit”) is described as spiration or, more colloquially, “breathing forth”, an expression used at points in this text. The filioque clause, as added to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, stated that the Holy Spirit proceeded from both the Father and the Son. It became a liturgical addition to the Latin Rite in 1014, but was strongly opposed by the Eastern Churches, and paved the way for the Great Schism of 1054. The Second Council of Lyon in 1274 briefly succeeded in uniting Eastern and Western Churches, even regarding the matter of the filioque itself, though the council’s decisions were officially repudiated in 1285, under the rule of Andronikos II Palaiologos.