June 3, 2010

Devotion to the Trinity

Perhaps because of the way the mystery is preached, many of those who begin to pray struggle with devotion to the Trinity. Instead of openness to an unsurpassable mystery of love, there can be a kind of frustration with mental gymnastics that make God into an inaccessible abstraction. Yet the Church proclaims the Trinity as the central dogma of our faith. In doing so, it struggles to authentically pass on the mystery revealed in Christ Jesus. Complete grasp of this mystery is beyond our natural power to attain and here the very limits of dogmatic formulae are tested. Ultimately, however, what is required is the simple acceptance that faith alone makes possible, the surrender of our will to the unfathomable love of God the mystery of the Trinity discloses.

Faith is the only way we gain access to a real contemplation of the Trinity. Anything else is simply the work of our own imagination aping what we fantasize the experience to be like. For those inclined to various methods, bear in mind that imagining that one is not imagining is not the same as the movement of faith. Faith is not even spending time choosing not to think or not to imagine or not to remember anything. Faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit, animating everything with love for Father and resting in nothing but the Lord Himself.

What makes faith in the love of the Father authentic is that it is rooted in the mind of Christ which is ours through the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Faith is looking on the world with the resurrected eyes of Christ – ever hopeful eyes that see ever new ways to love. Those who see the world this way are not afraid of being pierced by the plight of others, because they follow Someone pierced for their own sins who has overcome sin by rising from the dead. The humanity of Jesus became our access to the Father when Jesus offered himself on the cross. The Holy Spirit is the One who moves us to the Cross, makes it become alive for us by convicting us of sin while at the same time communicating the inexhaustible depths of the Father's merciful love.

How much this love costs! We want to reject such love because it seems too much and we are afraid of losing ourselves. But the Lord is not easily thwarted by our attempts to hide from Him. He has been searching for us since Adam and Eve first despised Him - and his own love prevents Him from abandoning us. How God aches whenever this love is rejected – and through the Cross He helps us to ache with Him in our weakness. Faith alone opens our hearts to the Divine Beauty of God’s Triune life.