By Lisa Hendey
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth;” ~John 16:12-13a
This weekend, as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, I find myself again asking all of the big questions that relate to a central tenet of our faith: that God has revealed himself as Trinity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church underscores the depths of this revelation, calling it a “mystery”:
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity 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.” (Catechism, p. 234)
Teach about the Trinity?
I recall once a dear friend asked me to teach her RCIA students a lesson on the Trinity. I balked, asking her how I could possibly explain something so profound. Unflinching, she asked me to simply speak from the heart about my relationship with the triune God. Fearing I would fail her students, I spent hours seeking quotes from saints and doctors of the Church that I could share. Indeed, these would answer the students’ questions!
In the end, I found myself even more confused by the heady philosophical and theological precepts. The more I read, the more confused I found myself. So I returned to what my friend had initially asked me to do and spoke with the simplicity of a child about my personal relationships with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I admitted to my lack of expertise. But I also shared how each of the three persons of God entered tangibly into my life. In the end, I invited the students to do their own research, but ultimately to also recognize that faith is in itself often an invitation to walk by trust and not by sight.
Simple Faith Serves Well
I am not someone who has been gifted with the ability to pray through the Holy Spirit in tongues. I have never knowingly audibly heard the voice of God the Father or been treated to a vision of Jesus Christ. I walk my faith journey daily in my simple way, embracing scripture and the lessons of the saints, both canonized and those known to me personally.
Endeavoring to give glory to God the Father, my creator, I strive to live the teachings of God the Son, Jesus Christ. Animated by what I perceive to be workings of God the Holy Spirit, those often mysterious workings in my life that point me to the divine, I trust that I am guided to a truth I will perhaps never fully discover in this lifetime.
Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, guide me to the truth of your love for me. Help me to live the mission to which you have called me with charity, mercy, devotion, and courage. Until I rest in the certainty of eternity, may my faith in the things I cannot understand draw me ever closer to the glory of the salvation you have promised. Amen
Call to Action
Ponder how you might explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity to someone else by considering your relationship to each of the three persons of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
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Thank you for this inspiring article on the Trinity. Love the phrase, endeavor to glorify God the Father by striving to live out the teachings of God the Son, animated by the Spirit. Amen!
Thank you for praying with us and for your kind comment, Rosalie!
Lisa, this is one of the most impactful messages of how we can try to understand and yet how to simply allow the Holy Spirit to act in our lives. By recognizing these moments, we become closer to God and his blessings poured upon us.
Mary, thank you so much for sharing your kind feedback and insights!
Lisa, one of your best writings, blogs and books included. You are inspired by the Spirit, blessed by the Father, and embraced in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Carol, how kind of you! This feedback means so much, coming from you. Thank you for your support and friendship!