The Feast Of The Most Holy Trinity
June 6-7, 2020
As people, we always try to understand difficult things by putting them in terms familiar to us. So it is with The Holy Trinity. Trinity is a word derived from the Latin word trinitas, which means threefold. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock, explaining how the three leaf plant is symbolic of the ‘three in one’ God. Though the clover has three lobes that are unique from each other but all are part of the one shamrock.
My sister Betty for years explained the Holy Trinity to children by comparing it to a flashlight. The outside casing is God the father, the light bulb is God the son and the battery is the Holy Spirit. Another analogy I have heard was an automobile; with the cars frame being God the Father, the engine being God the Son and the gasoline the Holy Spirit.
However, maybe the best description of the Holy Trinity can be found in the Nicene ‘creed we recite each Sunday at mass.
“I believe in one God, the father almighty …
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ …
Consubstantial (of the same essence) with the Father …
I believe in the Holy Spirit … who proceeds from the Father and the Son.”
A Triune God consists of the father, the son who is Jesus and the Holy Spirit, which is the spirit of God’s grace.
Each of us have our own unique relationship with the Holy Trinity. I have found myself praying to God the Father, as a child does with their parent, either in need or gratitude. They are those ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ prayers. I pray to Jesus for guidance in faith and life decisions. I pray to the Holy Spirit to energize and empower me to do God’s will. Then there are times I just pray to God.
If you are unsuccessfully trying to understand the Holy Trinity it is alright. Theologians over the centuries have struggled explaining it. The Catholic Church speaks of the Holy Trinity as the central mystery of our faith. It is one that is hidden in God which can never be known unless revealed to us by God. What is important is that even though it seems an impenetrable paradox, we recognize that the Triune God is exactly what we need.
Patrick J. Perkins