A reflection from the readings of the Catholic Church on 2/2/2018
Originally published on ACatholic.org
Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the Holy Trinity, after all, how to you describe something that is a mystery? Today’s readings reveal to us a bit of the power found in the Second Person of the Holy Trinity – Jesus Christ. Today’s Old Testament reading told the people that their Lord will come and offer continual refining, purifying, and healing. Our Psalm praises our incoming King of Glory proclaiming his Lordship and greatness. Our second reading reveals that our merciful Lord Jesus Christ shared in human blood and flesh so that he could also share (and carry) our burdens. Then of course our Gospel reading speaks to the fact that Jesus is indeed a “light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” In a nut shell, it is through Jesus Christ, and only through him, that we enter into the fullness of love God promises us.
Buried in Books
I have taken this semester off to prepare for my Concluding Project at Saint Meinrad – a thirty page research paper that is tentatively titled “Entering Into God’s Divine Love – A Mystical Pathway Into Perfect Healing”. I have been spending much of my time this semester consumed in some of the great thought of our Church mystics – historical and modern alike. My goal is to develop a deeper understanding of God’s love and mercy so that I can offer insight to those who seek healing from their brokenness. Much of my recent study has been around the Holy Trinity and given today’s readings I thought I would share with you what I have taken in. In this reflection I have used thought and excerpts from Fr. Richard Rohr’s book: The Divine Dance | The Trinity and Your Transformation. You might want to pick up a copy for yourself.
God – Three Persons
Fr. Rohr said something that really struck me in this recent book of his. “Don’t start with the One and make it into Three, but start with the Three and see that this is the deepest nature of the One.” (43). I had always looked at God as One who somehow, mysteriously, became Three. This certainly kept within monotheism (one God). I saw each person of the Trinity as three separate beings who had different roles in our salvation, yet somehow they were still One. The Father offered his perpetual love, the Son was (is) my friend, and the Holy Spirit, well, ehhhh, my human heart and mind didn’t really grasp who the Third person of the Trinity was. However, I trusted what the Church has told us is true – the Holy Spirit is the Third person of the Holy Trinity.
So I pondered, what does it look like to start with Three and then see the deepest nature of the One? The deepest nature of God is love, relational love. What the Three Persons share is perpetual and perfect love. Power is found within this love – all the power we could ever need.
God the Father
We hear that God is love, and this is all well and good. However, do we really get what this means? So often our image of God is clouded with images of his “wrath” and “anger”. We even sometimes believe we are unforgivable. So how can we really understand God’s love if our view is tainted with these images and beliefs? No wonder people look for respite outside of Christianity.
However, through my study of our mystics my heart has been reassured of God’s love. Our Church mystics, including the fourth century Cappadocian mystics, see it as theologically impossible for there to be wrath, anger, and unforgiveness in God – God is love and he cannot hold himself back from us – not even our worst sin can cause God to not love us. How reassuring! God the Father is the One who continually loves, creates, and brings all goodness into being.
God the Son
The Son, the One who is both fully divine and fully human is the one I found so easy to relate to, after all, he really gets me! How about you? However, looking at him through his relationship in the Holy Trinity we see that Christ, the Second Person, is the one who all things came into being – including you and I. All of creation; every person, animal, plant, river, star, and planet comes into being through Christ. He is in all that we are and God, the creator, creates through him in his great love. God, who is love, creates through Christ and together they share in this love of creation.
God the Holy Spirit
Let me use a little story to describe the Holy Spirit. When I was a young mother I remember adoring my children as they slept – their sleeping faces captivated me and I was consumed with maternal love for them. I loved everything about those moments. Needing to share this joy with another I would go to my husband so we could adore them together. I remember the two of us standing at their bedroom door, our hearts filling with bliss. The space between us became filled with this bliss as well. The best I can describe the Holy Spirit is this type of bliss. It is the love that God the Father and God the Son share when they look at their creation. The Holy Spirit is the loving bliss in and all around them.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,” – John 14:16
Like a loving mother, Christ went to the Father and asked him to bring forth love and bliss for their creation. Something we need for our survival. This love and bliss, the Holy Spirit, will eternally be found between the Father and the Son – and in all of creation.
The Holy Trinity
I hope this helps you a little in your understanding of the Holy Trinity. I would love to elaborate more; however, I better call it quits here! Sometimes I can be long winded…
“For God to be good, God can be one. For God to be loving, God has to be two… But for God to “share excellent joy” and “delight”… God has to be three, because supreme happiness is when two persons share their common delight in a third something – together.” (98)
I invite you to fall into a deeper relationship with The Holy Trinity by meditating on the 1 Corinthians 8:6 and John 14:16-17. You may want to do this through Lectio Divina. Here is a page on my website where I share how I use this meditation: Lectio Divina
yet for us there is
one God, the Father,
from whom all things are and for whom we exist,
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things are and through whom we exist. – 1 Corinthians 8:6 (NABRE)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. – John 14:16-17 (NABRE)
Our Prayer Community
A few weeks ago our little prayer community was born. In this space we share our pain and we offer prayers for another. Perhaps you would like to practice Lectio Divina on the above mentioned scripture, or a favorite scripture of yours, for our little prayer community. This is what I am going to do for us this week.
If you would like to add your prayer request so that we can all pray for you please do so below. If you would like to privately email me your prayer request I invite you to do so.
God bless all of you. See you next week Friday – Carolyn
God the Father – continue to create goodness in us.
God the Son – hold us in your heart and remain in ours.
God the Holy Spirit – shower us with divine love.
Rohr, Richard. 2016. The Divine Dance The Trinity and Your Transformation. New Kensington: Whitaker House.