Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trinity Sunday

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost!

"Blessed be the Holy Trinity, that is Unity undivided; we will ever give thanks to him who has shown us his mercy". (Introit)

The opening words of today's Introit are echoed again and again in the liturgy. Their meaning is profound - the Blessed Trinity is the origin of all grace. Men, and above all, the God-Man, Saviour of his fallen brethren, owe their existence to the decree of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

"Blessed be God the Father, and His only-begotten Son and His Holy Ghost; such mercy he has shown us."
Christ, the ambassador of God's true love, revealed to man, in confidence, the mystery of the Trinity. By His revelation of the trinity of Persons in the unity of the Godhead, He gave us to know something of its Being and its limitless life. Such a revelation is, of necessity, a sign of love. God reveals himself in confidence, because He reveals Himself in love. When He made a new alliance with man in Christ Jesus, His first act was to make Himself better known.
Man, by refusing to honour and to serve the God whom he now knows in three Persons, puts to shame the confidence which Christ reposed in Him. In the New Testament, the Blessed Trinity is, and must ever be, the very heart of our faith, our Christian life. It is a truth on which Holy Church repeatedly insists.
When a soul is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and becomes a member of the Church, it is the Trinity that gives her access to those sources of grace, the Sacraments. Every word of the liturgy, by which the Christian prays with the Church, is a homage rendered to the Three in One. By every sign of the Cross, by every Gloria, he confesses the greatest of all mysteries: the mystery of the Triune God, whom he thanks for his creation, his redemption, his elevation to the supernatural order.
When a soul is baptized in the name of the Father and confesses his faith in the Creed, he declares his belief in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, who became man; and in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and life-giver, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
When, at Mass, he sings or recites the "Gloria in excelsis Deo", he says in other words, "Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost." He praises and blesses, adores and glorifies the King of heaven, the Father Almighty, his Lord and God, and the Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who with the Holy Ghost shares in the glory of the Father. Whether he chooses the words of the Te Deum to express his thanks, or employs the three-fold "Kyrie eleison" by which to obtain mercy, he addresses himself to the God in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Whoever follows the text of the liturgy attentively, honours the Blessed Trinity. The doxologies are so frequent that he has no need to ask himself if he indeed honours as he should the Triune God.

To you be praise, glory, and thanksgiving, all-Holy Father, unending Majesty, who by your infinite power created me from nothing. I praise and glorify and thank you, all-Holy Son, reflection of the father, who by your infinite wisdom saved me from death.
I bless and adore you, Spirit of the Father and the Son, who by your love and goodness have called me to a life of grace.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen

Credits: text from "With the Church" - meditations on the Missal and the Breviary, by Fr M. Goossens OFM. Picture is by Flemish artist, Hendrick van Balen "Trinity" 17 century.