Holy Holy Holy - by Sr. Margaret Dorgan, DCM
This reflection appeared first in The Church World, the diocesan weekly of Maine.
<<Hub© copyright 2003 by S. Margaret Dorgan, DCM
HOLY HOLY HOLY
How do we respond to the mystery of the Trinity revealed to us through our faith in Jesus? Do we withdraw from it as too much for our minds to deal with? The basic truth encompassing all reality is Christ’s teaching that God is Three-in-One. The unity of God’s being is affirmed in Judaism and Islam. But God’s threeness is the special revelation unveiled to Christ’s followers. “To you has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God” (Mt 13:11).
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. This is more than a formula of doctrine, more than the movement of our hands in a quick gesture. Basic to our understanding of the divine nature is Three Persons in essential unity.
Added to the secret of God’s trinitarian being is the wonder that this God is wholly given to us in love. Blessed John Ruusbroec, the Flemish mystic of the fourteenth century, tells us “The Father and Son with the Holy Spirit have loved us from all eternity and have taken possession of us through Their love, so it is altogether fitting that we love Them in return. The Three Persons are one God, one substance, and one nature. Whoever serves One of them serves the other Two as well,” ( John Ruusbroec: The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works , Paulist Press p.198)
A Divine Person became man. The Eternal Logos took a created nature through the action of the Spirit and the assent of a fully human mother, the Virgin Mary. While only the Second Person became human, the Incarnation is the undertaking of the whole Trinity. And in an amazement that doesn’t go away, we realize this divine work was accomplished on our behalf. God could have assumed a flawless angelic nature that is without weakness. Then revelation would have come to us shining with seraphic splendor bending over our fallen race. Instead, God came as our Brother subject to suffering as we are, making us heirs of an eternal legacy through Him. “In Him you were chosen; when you heard the glad tidings of salvation, the word of truth and believed in it, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit Who had been promised...the pledge of our inheritance” (Eph 1: 13,14).
We pass through this world as those who have been wondrously singled out to be actually aware of God’s inner nature. Blessed John explains, “Our heavenly Father wishes us to see for He is the Father of light. Accordingly in the hidden depths of our spirit, He eternally, ceaselessly, and without intermediary utters a single fathomless word....In this word He gives utterance to Himself and all things” (ibid p.146). Through the gift of faith, we have been enlightened in a measure proportionate to our earthly state. Our vision is not in the full clarity that will be ours in heaven. “Now we see in a dark manner, but then face to face” (1 Cor 13:12).
What is the reality in which our finite being is enclosed? We are body and spirit, our flesh linked to the dust of the earth. The Incarnate Word has become part of our human family to raise us in a love that unites us to the Trinity. Blessed John declares, “If the Son has offered you to the Father together with Himself and His death, then you are embraced in love. This love has been given you as a pledge....God cannot go back on His pledge, for it is all that God Himself is. See, this pledge is the Holy Spirit, Who is the dowry or treasure with which Jesus your Bridegroom has made you an heir in His Father’s kingdom” ( ibid p.189).
We are enveloped in mystery. Our earthly passage is through wonder. From the moment of our baptism until the Beatific Vision is granted to us, the likeness of the Blessed Trinity is imprinted upon us. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit dwell within, always inviting us to turn to them in prayer. It need not be a long prayer. Just the swift glance of love that sinks inside ourselves to praise God for living within for our sanctification. Whatever happens in this life, we can turn to the indwelling Three. This is companionship that never grows boring, for always the mystery is pulling us deeper. The Trinity leads us into a silence which is not empty but filled with awe. Then we are energized to handle the tasks of ordinary life with a clearer vision about what we should do and a greater strength to accomplish it.
Giving time to be with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit helps us to use the passing instants for maximum profit. Our earthly life takes on the complexion of the eternal. “In each new moment God is born in us and from this sublime birth, the Holy Spirit flows forth with all gifts” (ibid p.121). O Blessed Trinity, You impart to me already a foreshadowing of eternal glory.
Sister Margaret Dorgan, DCM
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