I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation. (St Patrick’s Breastplate)
“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity,” proclaims the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the hierarchy of the truths of faith. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals Himself to men and reconciles and unites with Himself those who turn away from sin” (CCC 234).
In other words, this mystery is one which, in various ways, we expound over the course of the entire liturgical year. The Trinity expresses the entire mystery of God, but it also expresses the entire mystery of creation. For how could creation be anything but the mirror of the Triune God who fashioned it out of love? We therefore find in the Trinity the source of all goodness and the inspiration of all prayer. We find in the Trinity gratitude for all that exists and light for the path we need to follow. If only all peoples would turn to the Trinity, they would find therein not only salvation in eternity, but also peace and prosperity in this world.
In the world, various factions vie for power, influence and riches; if they but came to know the Trinity and the sweet harmony of unity in the truth, all struggles between countries and classes would cease. Indeed, as we saw last week, the Gift of the Spirit unites in one tongue just as the Tower of Babel divided through human pride.
We can thus understand why it is that the great popes of the last two centuries never missed an opportunity to challenge the world to convert to the true faith. Without the true faith, there is no salvation in eternity. But nor is there any hope of peace in this life. Any effort to create human fraternity that is not based on the fullness of God’s revelation is doomed to failure, regardless of the intentions of those who promote it. The only hope for humanity is to turn to the one true God-Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to accept the gift of grace that is offered to us and thus to become in truth sons and daughters of God. The task may seem impossible. It is for us, but that is precisely why God dwells in our hearts, to give us the certitude that He is with us, and that He has the answers, even to convert the most hardened sinners, even to turn the tide of the worst evils.
What are those answers? Fraternal charity, mutual respect, concern for those in need. For the soul who is anchored in the truth and love of the Trinity, there is no reason to fear suffering or death, no reason to covet other people’s possessions or other nations resources; there is no reason to be reject the burden of the unborn child or the mentally handicapped or the elderly or the underdeveloped nation, because in the Trinity we learn that every person is a gift, and every person in need gives much more to the person who lends them a helping hand than that person gives them.
When the future looks bleak, as it does now, let us be reminded that the real force in the world is the force of love, and the Trinity is the source of love. The real movers of the world are those who love, and those who love are those who pray, who recollect themselves in the sanctity of their baptised soul and let themselves be taken by God into another world, the world of the Trinity in which each person is emptied out in the other. The equality of the Three Divine Persons teaches us so much about family, church and world relations. It is only by going out, reaching out, emptying oneself that one finds true fulfilment.
As we celebrate this day with joy and thanksgiving, let us renew our resolve to spend time each day in the silence of our heart, in adoration of the Holy Trinity in our souls. Listen to the voice of God in our hearts, inviting us to leave our petty interests behind, and step out into the unknown.
Let us also take our cue from the liturgy of this day, whose central theme is gratitude. Gratitude to our God for simply being God, Three in One and One in Three. Gratitude for creating us out of nothing, preserving us in existence. Gratitude for stepping in to save us from our sins and from damnation. Gratitude for giving us the Son to be our companion, guide and Saviour. Gratitude for the gift of the Church and the sacraments by which we become partakers of the grace of the adoption of sons through the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Gratitude for all those brothers and sisters whom the Lord gives us in our families, communities, Church and the whole wide world. The heart of every sincere Christian should, on this day, overflow with loving thanks and optimism for the future, God’s future and God’s plan.
With St Elizabeth of the Trinity, let us pray:
O my God, Trinity Whom I adore! help me to become utterly forgetful of self, that I may establish myself in Thee, as changeless and as calm as though my soul were already in eternity. May nothing disturb my peace nor draw me forth from Thee, O my immutable Lord! but may I penetrate more deeply every moment into the depths of Thy Mystery.
Give peace to my soul; make it Thy Heaven, Thy cherished dwelling, Thy home of rest. May I never leave Thee there alone, but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring and wholly surrendered to Thy creative action.
O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, how I long to be the bride of Thy heart; how I long to cover Thee with glory, and to love Thee… until I die of very love! Yet I feel my weakness, and ask Thee to clothe me with Thyself, to identify my soul with all the movements of Thy Soul, to immerse me in Thyself, to possess me, to substitute Thyself for me, that my life may be but a radiance of Thine own. Come into me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Saviour!
O Eternal Word, Utterance of my God! I yearn to spend my life in listening to Thee, to become wholly docile, that I may learn all from Thee. Then, through all nights, all emptiness, all helplessness, I long to gaze on Thee always and to dwell beneath Thy lustrous beams. O my beloved Star! So fascinate me that I may never again withdraw from Thy radiance!
O consuming Fire! Spirit of Love! come upon me and reproduce in me, as it were, an incarnation3 of the Word, that I may be to Him another humanity wherein He renews His whole mystery.
And Thou, O Father, bend towards Thy poor little creature and overshadow her, beholding in her none other than The Beloved, in Whom Thou hast set all Thy pleasure.
O my “Three,” my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity wherein I lose myself! I surrender myself to Thee as Thy prey. Immerse Thyself in me, that I may be immersed in Thee, until I depart to contemplate in Thy light the abyss of Thy greatness!