Taste and see: less is more


‘Less is more’ is a saying adopted by and associated with the German-American minimalist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

It is maybe odd to invoke the phrase in consideration of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity. Many monotheists and Unitarians think that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, ‘the three in one’, diminishes God, betrays the One in proposing the Three. For them more is less.

They, mostly, cannot take seriously the (necessary and orthodox) Christian insistence that in speaking of Trinity, the insistence on the One God is as unnegotiable, and irreducible ‘fact’ about God as is is the Three-ness.

Though the analogy should not be pushed too far (!), in the exquisite work of Mies van dear Rohe, the detail is seen all the more potently because of the simplicity and clarity of design, so too in the uniqueness of the One God does the beauty of threeness, diverse in unity, united in diversity, manifest itself. The doctrine is response to God’s self-revelation, not wretched human invention. The doctrine inevitably resists logic and defies our understanding for it seeks to respond to that which God is, and the who, what, and why of God always will cause human thought to stumble and falter, and finally for human tongues to fall silent.

Which is why the simplicity of the Entrance Antiphon so commends itself for our attention as we seek to live from yesterday’s celebration of Mass.

So simply, so respectfully and carefully, does it name the threeness of the one God, and thank him for his greatest gift to us, his merciful love.

Blest be God the Father,
and the Only Begotten Son of God,
and also the Holy Spirit,
for he has shown us his merciful love.

Image found here.