Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Trinity Sunday—7 June AD 2020
Ave Maria!


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 Albrecht Durer—Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Albrecht Durer—Adoration of the Trinity (1511)

[Ordinary of the Mass]
[Latin Text]
[English Text]
[Athanasian Creed]


 “In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.”

    Virtually every Catholic prayer begins with the Sign of the Cross—at least with the gesture, even if the words may vary.  And, when we make that Sign of the Cross, we are doing several things at once.

    First of all, we are announcing our intention; that everything we are about to do will be for the praise and glory of God.  Secondly, we are announcing our authority for doing it—just as a policeman might arrest a criminal, “in the name of the Law” —we are praying, or offering Mass, or conferring the Sacraments in the name of God, and by His authority.  Thirdly, when we make that Sign of the Cross, we are making a brief profession of our Catholic Faith; that we believe in the One and only God, who has revealed Himself to us in Trinity.

    And, this revelation is an all-important part of our Faith.  Anyone can know that there is a God.  All it takes is for a person to be interested in the world around him.  Through his observations, and with the use of his human intelligence, he can come to realize that there is motion, and causality, and order in the universe—things don't happen without cause; randomness does not bring about order and organization.  There has to be some original principle of creation and order in the universe.  So, a man who observes, and who thinks will come to a basic understanding of God.  He will, so to speak, see the "finger prints" or the "foot prints" of God, as God interacts with the world around him.

    But no amount of human reason would bring us to a knowledge of the Trinity.  We could never hope to guess that this God, whom we know from His effects on the universe, is a God in three Persons; that He is Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost.  That is because, while the One God acts on the universe, the activity of the Trinity is, we might say, proper to the inner life of God:

        *  Before all creation; before the beginning of time itself, the Father knew Himself in His all-powerful mind.  And His knowledge is so powerful, that His thought of Himself has its own reality.  His thought, His idea of Himself, His Word, begets the Second Person, His Son.  (In fact, we sometimes refer to the Second Person as “the Word.”[1]

        *  And, likewise, before all creation, the Father and the Son knew one another.  And they saw in each other the infinite goodness and perfection that each One possesses.  And this mutual adoration of Father and Son—this mutual love—is so powerful that it has its own reality, just like the knowledge of the Father had its reality.  And from this “sigh” of mutual love proceeds the Holy Ghost, the third person.

    But, again, these things were in the mind of God—internal to Him, so to speak—and could not be detected by merely human observers and thinkers.  But thankfully God's love for Himself, and for the creatures of His creation, caused Him to want to reveal Himself to them.

    This He did gradually.  To the Jews He revealed primarily His unity; the fact that there is only one God.  But even the Jews were occasionally given a glimpse of the Trinity that would one day be revealed.

        *  In Genesis they heard of the “Spirit of God moving over the waters.”[2

   *  In Isaias they learned that this “Spirit of the Lord” brought “wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord.”[3]

    *  They also were allowed a glimpse of the angels in heaven worshiping God in His Trinity; “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  “1 - 2- 3.”[4]

    Of course, in the New Testament the revelation is much more clear:

            *  Through Gabriel, God tells Mary that by the Holy Ghost (and without the help of man) she will conceive the Son of God.[5]

        *  When Jesus was baptized God appeared in Trinity; Jesus in the Jordan, the voice of the Father, and the Holy Ghost as a dove.[6]

        *  And likewise at His transfiguration, the voice of God acknowledged Jesus as “My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”[7]

*  Or in this passage we heard today, telling us to "baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”[8]


    Sometimes we speak of the Trinity as a “mystery.”  Perhaps that is a bad word.  Mystery doesn't mean something impossible.  It doesn't mean something illogical, or even unknowable.  It simply means that we would not have known that there is a Trinity if God had chosen not to tell us.

    And that points us to a fourth and final understanding of what we do when we make the Sign of the Cross:  As we said before, we are announcing our intention and the authority for our prayers;  and we are professing our Faith.  But, perhaps, most important of all, when we make the Sign of the Cross, we are acknowledging God's love for us    that He loves His creatures enough to tell us about His Trinity, which we could never know on our own—that He loves us so much that He takes us into His own private life, introducing us to the members of God's own family—and even allows us to participate in Their life through prayer, the Mass, and the Sacraments.

And hopefully—whenever we make the Sign of the Cross, we are telling God that we love Him in return—that we love Him in Unity; and that we love Him in Trinity; The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.



Dei via est íntegra


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