Some 25 years ago, still as a deacon — I think this was in the special Marian Year declared by Pope John Paul II — I had the privilege of preaching on this Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. I waxed poetic on there being:
- One God
- Two “processions”: the Son from the Father & the Son and the Holy Spirit from the Father
- Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- Four Relations: The Father to the Son, the Son to the Father, the Father and the Son to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son
- Five Notions:
- (1) Not generated (only the Father)
- (2) Generating (only the Father)
- (3) Generated (only the Son)
- (4) Active procession (only the Father and the Son)
- (5) Passive procession (only the Holy Spirit)
Meanwhile, while all this was going on, I had asked people to be thinking about the Most Holy Trinity in a very personal manner, first of all, by considering the Holy Trinity and Mary. After all, I said:
- Mary is the Daughter of the Father
- Mary is the Mother of the Son
- Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit
This is depicted in the painting of the Annunciation above by Peter Paul Rubens. In saying all this, it seemed to me that the Parish Priest was becoming most agitated. Anyway, I continued.
After getting through the Augustinian/Scholastic and artistic representations of the Most Holy Trinity, I moved on to the Liturgy, showing how almost all prayers are directed to the Father, are made through, with and in the Son, and are accomplished by the unity of the Holy Spirit.
This comes from the very life of the Church, the life of God among us, the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity, so wonderfully reflected in Sacred Scripture, for instance, in Galatians 4,4-6:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (nab)
In other words, said I, the Holy Spirit so forms us into the Body of Christ, even as Mary’s Son, Jesus, is laying our lives down with His own in the agony of the garden, having us do the will of the Father through, with and in Himself, that we are brought by that Holy Spirit to look to the Father through, with and in Jesus, crying out to the Father in unison, with one and the same voice of Jesus, “Abba! Father!”
In the best way I could, so long ago as a deacon, I tried to say that we move through life looking to the Father always and only through, with and in Jesus, for, indeed, the Father speaks to us only by way of the Son, that eternal Logos, that eternal Word of His, expressive of Himself, Jesus, now the Word Incarnate of the Holy Spirit by way of the Mother of God. The Father speaks, as it were, Jesus into us by way of the sanctification brought to us by the Holy Spirit, who is forming us in this way into the Son, Mary’s Son.
If I remember rightly, I tried to offer some examples of suffering, in which it becomes all the more clear to us that we are crying out in the Holy Spirit, “Abba! Father!” through, with and in Jesus. We need but ask for this “pray always” way of living in this world in constant view of eternity, never a life which would have us ignore the sufferings of this life, but being brought up into the life of the Most Holy Trinity precisely in the circumstances of the Gethsemane that the Most Holy Trinity will permit in our lives so as to provide us with the occasion by which to cooperate in manifesting His Charity in all Truth, rejoicing as the tiniest children of God from moment to moment, all in humble thanksgiving for the goodness and kindness of God’s love for us, of course.
After the creed and the intercessions, after I took my place next to Parish Priest, he stage whispered to me that this would be the last time I would ever mention Mary for the rest of the Marian Year! I was able to disregard that when the Parochial Vicar later most awesomely stood up for my preaching, leaving the Parish Priest speechless, ironically. Yikes!
Anyway, dear readers, on this Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, lets look in thankfulness upon the glorious, joyful manifestation of the charity of the Most Holy Trinity in the life of our Blessed Mother, who intercedes that we might be the Sons of God, the Brothers of the Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
UPDATE: There are exceptions, of course, to the rule of the Father speaking to us only through the Son, but the exceptions prove the rule and enunciate the rule, with the Father commanding us to listen to… the… Son… His Beloved… in whom He is well pleased…
Remember the Baptism? the Trasfiguration? Peter’s recollection? (see, for instance, Matthew 3,17; 17,5; 2 Peter 1,17)