little trinities

The other day, beads of sweat dripped from my elbow when I finished my morning run. The sheer joy of it moved me to compose this little rhapsody:

Come, long hot Washington summer!
Come and enfold your people in your torrid embrace.
We will take every sweaty minute of your grimy kiss.
We hardly know ourselves without your bleary fog surrounding us.
Come and wrap us in your dank blanket!

…Here is a Trinity Sunday homily for you:

Lord, what is man that you care for him? Mortal man, that you keep him in mind? Yet You have made him little less than a god. (Psalm Eight)

In Sacred Scripture, the Wisdom of God testifies that He brought about the making of all things with the Almighty Father:

When the Lord established the heavens I was there, when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep; when he made firm the skies above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth; when he set for the sea its limit, so that the waters should not transgress his command; then was I beside him as his craftsman. (Proverbs 8:27-30)

This is the Word of God speaking, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. All three Persons of the Trinity brought about creation. Of all the works of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the greatest is man. Divine Wisdom says, “I found delight in the human race.” The Lord crowned the world by making us “with glory and honor, putting all things under our feet” (Psalm Eight).


In other words, the world exists for us human beings. After all, who else on this earth knows anything, except us?

Lately, we have a black cat lurking around the rectory. The cat knows that some of the tall, two-legged creatures sometimes put food in front of his face. That’s just about the full extent of the little creature’s knowledge.

Does the cat know that this building is a church? Does the cat know that the Lord Jesus dwells in the tabernacle? Does the cat cross himself with his paw every time he passes the front door?

No. The cat knows nothing about God, His Son, heaven, good and evil, truth and falsehood, friendship, love, or faithfulness.

Rocks are rocks. Cement is cement. Tree are trees. Cows are cows. But we human beings are like “little trinities.” God is spirit. He knows Himself. He loves Himself.

Our spiritual dimension shows forth the mystery of the triune God:

1. We have immortal spiritual souls.

2. We know the truth.

3. We love what is good.

The Creator has made us little less than gods. We are like Him. We stand on the mountaintop of the world, knowing God and loving Him above all things.

And yet we carry on like ignorant sinners. We were made to be the kings and queens of the universe, to rule over all creatures with serene good judgment. But instead we sell ourselves short and enslave ourselves to lesser creatures.

The Lord has prepared the kingdom of truth and enduring beauty for us.

But instead we take the express train to the land of cheap thrills, easy money, empty calories, and passive entertainment.

We are little trinities. But instead of knowing the truth and loving what is truly good, we watch t.v. and love cotton candy.

Here are a couple questions: If we had never sinned, would we have to walk by faith to get home to God, or would we be able to see Him? Or: If we had never sinned, would it be easy to resist temptation? Would it be easy to live for God above all things?

At this point, these are moot questions. We human beings have done what we have done, and God has done what He has done. We have filled the airwaves with salacious nonsense. We have spilled millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. We have stood by idly while millions and millions of unborn babies have been slaughtered by the abortionists’ knife.

God, on the other hand, has kept the earth spinning evenly on its axis. He has showered the land with soothing rain. He has done the work of salvation and kept the light of truth shining in the world.

To be the little trinities we were made to be, we know the truth of God by faith. We seek what is truly good by long, hard struggle.

Not easy—but it’s the way it is. And doesn’t it make sense? Doesn’t it really make sense that we quasi-gods would attain salvation by heroic faith and Herculean effort? Being the most dignified and splendid creatures on the earth comes at a price.

Doesn’t it make sense that the kings and queens of this little realm would know the great Master of the higher kingdom not by seeing him with the same eyes we use to see cantaloupes and beach umbrellas, but by finding Him in the dark, secret core of our souls?

Doesn’t it make sense that we who are destined to wear the gold medal in heaven would win the victory not by goofing along at an easy pace, but by pushing ourselves to the limits of endurance and discovering that there is more in us than we thought?

The truest things are the invisible things, and the best things are the hardest ones to get. We are not our true selves by being satisfied with easy answers or by thinking mediocre is good enough. We are little trinities—made for the big Trinity, and nothing less. The little cat can have his bowl of tuna fish. Our cars can have their gas. We human beings need to seek and find the unseen God.

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