THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Her Doctrine and Morals

Trinity Sunday

7 June 2020

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Dear Friend,

Today we honor the Blessed Trinity. The mystery of the Trinity leaves us with little that we can say, other than repeat the dogmas that God has given us through the Catholic Church. We believe that there are three Persons but only One God. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are distinct Persons. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Ghost. The Son is not the Father or the Holy Ghost. And the Holy Ghost is not the Father or the Son. The Father is God. The Son is God. And the Holy Ghost is God. There is, however, only One God. This is a mystery that is beyond our natural capacity to grasp or understand. We simply must believe because this is what God has taught us.

If we study and examine the Blessed Trinity and then reach a point in which we think we know something, then we have certainly gone astray. We have been given examples by the Saints to help us. St. Patrick shows us the three-leaved clover and shows us that each leaf is separate from the others but make up one whole. St. Augustine would have us look at ourselves because we are made in the image and likeness of God. He sees three faculties within our souls: memory, intellect, and will, yet only one soul. These are all imperfect examples and are useful to a point. As with all examples, they fall miserably short of the goal of seeing and understanding reality. With the Holy Trinity, we must always return to faith and be satisfied with the answer that this is a Mystery beyond our comprehension.

Jesus has given us many insights to help us. Through St. Philip, Jesus taught us that the Son of God is One with the Father (St. John 14:9). When we see Jesus, we see the Father. We see that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit or Love of the Father and the Son. Ultimately, however, we will not truly understand until we leave the realm of this physical life and enter the eternal realm of the soul. Then, perhaps, we will know as we have been known (1 Cor. 13:12); we will see as we have been seen. Until that time, we understand that there are no human words capable of completely expressing the truth of this Mystery.

This is exactly as it should be. It is the Divine Will. If we could see and understand, then there would be no faith. Without faith, there would be no merit or salvation. Truly we are blessed as Jesus instructed St. Thomas. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (St. John 20:29). The devils see and therefore cannot have faith. They are eternally damned because they cannot undo their rebellion or redeem themselves through faith.

Faith is the cornerstone of all the miracles that Jesus performed. In the Gospels, we see that He frequently teaches that it is through faith that people are saved or are healed. There is a story of St. Augustine when he was struggling in his mind, trying to understand the Trinity, he saw a boy taking a pail of water from the ocean and dumping it in a hole he had dug in the sand. St. Augustine inquired of the boy what he was doing, and the boy replied that he was going to empty the ocean and put it in the hole in the sand. When St. Augustine instructed the boy that this was impossible the boy, who was really an angel, instructed St. Augustine that it is easier to put the ocean in this hole than it is for him to understand the Trinity.

We should be truly grateful for this Mystery that requires faith on our part because it is in believing that we are to be saved. This necessary faith is also a gift that is freely given to us. This gift, or grace, is our key to eternal happiness. It is not necessary that we understand the key or how it works, or even all the details of the treasure that it will open to us. All that is necessary is that we hold onto the key and never lose it or set it aside. If we lose the true faith, we will have lost everything. Those who do not believe the True Church, have rejected Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. They have rejected God because they have denied the Faith. The key to their salvation has been rejected by them and, in this state, they cannot be forgiven for their sins or redeemed. The rationalists and the materialists cannot be saved because they will not believe. In rejecting the grace of the True Faith, they have rejected the Holy Ghost and the very source of all graces.

Let us pray for perseverance in the True Faith and that the True Faith may be increased or perfected wherever it is lacking — in ourselves as well as in the world. Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief (St. Mark 9:24)!

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