WITH ST. MARY'S
SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
The Holy Trinity protects us and the Deposit of Faith.
The Trinity is the single greatest Mystery of the Church. Every attempt to understand the Trinity through human reason and intellect will inevitably fall flat, simply because there are elements to this doctrine that should and always will remain unknown to us. That being said, the Trinity was also the fundamental doctrine of the early Christian Church that guided our evolution, rooted out heresies and those who espoused them, and proved the Roman Catholic Church as the guardian of sacred Tradition. Through our difficulties, our persecution, our flourishing, and our growth, the Trinity, both in the three persons and our doctrinal understanding, protected and guided the Church in its formation.
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Our inability to fully comprehend the Trinity is appropriate to who we are in the ontological hierarchy. God has given us human reason, but that can only take us so far in our understanding of all things, especially when it relates to the one doctrine that encompasses the very nature of the Divine. We can compare our understanding (or lack thereof) of the Trinity to the way a child might understand their parents. In their infancy, the child will understand very little about who their parents are, but they will trust, obey, and follow them regardless. As the child grows and their reason begins to develop, they understand their parents a little more. They can begin to understand that their parents have emotions and thoughts in ways that they do, too. When the child is older and believes that their reason is fully formed, they will understand that their parents are not perfectly rational. This might give rise to disobedience, or it could give the child an understanding that all humans, even their parents, are constantly on a path towards refining their intellect. But it is only when a child becomes a parent when they fully understand who their parents were for them. In that moment, all the issues we might have once had with our own parents are contextualized and understood out of parental love. We are not meant to understand the Trinity yet because we have not perfected ourselves in the way that the Trinity desires for us. But we must remember that, like a child trusts their parents, we can trust that the Trinity has been guiding us in our formation, with each Divine Person having an intimate and special place in our lives.
Despite our inability to fully comprehend the Trinity, we can understand the relationship of the three Persons and how they manifested themselves to their creation. We can consider the concept of God as one who speaks. God the Father is the one who proclaims the Word, just as he did at the beginning of creation. God the Son is the Word itself, which is used to create the heavens and the earth, and who is attested to at the beginning of the Gospel of John. God the Holy Spirit, is the breath on which the Word of God comes out into the world. This Ruach (Hebrew for “breath, wind, and spirit”) is what comes down upon creation and inspires us to work according to the will of God. On this holy Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, say a prayer for each individual person of the Trinity. Express your gratitude for the perfection of God and the intricate way He interacts with His creation through all three Persons.
Family activity to do at home:
The Trinity is at the heart of literally everything we do as Christians. From being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to the sign of the cross, to the Mass, we are surrounded by the power of the Trinity from our entrance into the Christian life to our hope in eternal life. While the Trinity might be the most difficult mystery to try to explain, the simplicity and innocence of children might lend itself best to understanding the Trinity as best a human can. Not tied down by the need to have every intricate detail explained, children might be the group most ready to learn about the Trinity. In the activity below, you can find out more about the doctrine of the Trinity, its history, and how to best teach the mystery to your children.