As I am reflecting and preparing for Trinity Sunday, my thoughts turned to this poem by John Donne:
Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
The Trinity has always been a difficult dogma for me; I usually end up just shrugging my shoulders and falling back on either the “it’s a mystery” excuse or an Arian understanding like the vast majority of modern Christians do.
But then there is Donne, so ultimately Anglican in his theological poetry, to remind me why I cared about the issue and our own churches trinty of tradition, reason and scripture. Batter my heart, indeed, of viceroy of my faith.