The Demanding Life of a Little Trinity

Mt Whitney CA
Mount Whitney, CA

In our first reading at Holy Mass for the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity, we hear the Wisdom of God, the Word of God—we hear Him testify that He brought about the making of all things, with the Almighty Father. [Spanish]

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 eternal Son of God speaking, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. All three Persons of the Trinity brought about the creation of the universe. And 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 human beings “with glory and honor, putting all things under our feet” (Psalm 8).

The woods around St. Joseph’s church in Martinsville, Va., harbor a large family of wild turkeys, not to mention many deer. These animals know that tall, two-legged creatures enter and emerge from the building at regular intervals.

But do the animals know that it’s a church? Do they know that the Lord Jesus dwells in the tabernacle? Do the turkeys and deer cross themselves with their wings or their hooves every time they pass in front of the door?

No. The turkeys and the deer don’t know 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.

cotton candyThe Creator has made us little less than a god. We are like Him. I have recently grown obsessed with a plan to climb Mount Whitney, in California, the tallest peak in the continental US. Someday I will do it. But that’s actually nothing compared to the spiritual nature that every human being has. By seeking the truth and loving what is good, we human beings—wherever we find ourselves—we stand on the mountaintop of the world, knowing God and loving Him above all things, and loving our neighbors for His sake. And yet… We carry on like ignorant sinners.

God made us 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, especially these little chunks of cheap metal and plastic called cell phones. The Lord 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.

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

Moot questions, my friends! We human beings have done what we have done, and God has done what He has done. We fell away from Him. We fill the airwaves with salacious nonsense. We choke the atmosphere with exhaust fumes. We stand idly by, while evil people do evil things all over the place. God rightly imposed the punishment of death upon us, and the only remedy is…

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

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? Being the most dignified and splendid creatures on the earth comes at a price.

vitruvian-manDoesn’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 mediocre spiritual lives. We are little trinities—made for the big Trinity, and nothing less.

Cats can have their bowls of tuna fish; dogs can have their bones to gnaw on.  We human beings need to seek and find the unseen God.

The Mass: Our Trinity-ness

Pope Francis Mass consecration

For God so loved the world that He gave us John 3, verse 16, the most famous of all Bible verses, which sums up the meaning of life and of the world, in one sentence.

And God so loved the world that He not only gave John 3:16 as a written sentence, but also as a living reality. God loves the world so much that he gives His Son now. We share in His Trinity-ness even now, by the exercise of our religion.

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Necessary or Free?

Sentences of Peter Lombard, Book One, distinction 6

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Prima Pars, Question 41, Article 2

You must fix in your heart that the Lord is God in the heavens above and the earth below, and that there is no other. (First Reading, Trinity Sunday)

Ready for a question that cannot be answered? It has to do with the foremost object of our affections. First a little background.

One single, almighty, infinite God. Three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Perfectly one. But the Son is not the Father. How? How is the Son not the Father? Well, the Son proceeds from the Father. How is the Holy Spirit not the Father, nor the Son? The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

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Familiar Trinity

I am not trying to criticize anyone. But, back when I was a layman, I heard a lot of lame homilies on Trinity Sunday. Who knows? Perhaps by the time we are done here, you will be saying the same thing.

trinity coverThe thing that annoyed me was when the preacher would begin his Trinity Sunday homily by saying something like: “The Trinity is such a mind-boggling, impossible mystery, I simply cannot begin to explain it.” Then he tells you the story about St. Augustine trying to write a book about the Trinity, and the little boy by the sea, and putting all the ocean into one little hole, etc. Okay, okay—we get it. The Trinity is a mystery which surpasses our understanding.

The reason this annoyed me is: The best possible explanation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity is right in front of our noses. The Mass explains the Holy Trinity perfectly. The Holy Trinity is not abstruse, not remote, not unfamiliar. There is, in fact, nothing more familiar than the Trinity for people who go to Mass. Let me explain.

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