It’s the school holidays this week, and I’m spending the whole week burrowed away in a library… catching up on some study…
The topic? The Blessed Trinity! What could be better than spending a whole week studying and contemplating the doctrine of God himself!
It’s important to be focussed though on why we catechise people about the Holy Trinity. We can understand the processions and the missions, the nature and hypostases and the homo-ousion as these give us a more precise understanding of Who God is.
BUT, for those of us who are not professional theologians, there’s an important reason behind catechising on the Trinity… This is the Life we are being drawn in to share!
Augustine and Aquinas use an analogy of the human mind to try to understand a bit better the inner life of God: when I think of an idea, the idea is in a sense “sent forth” from my mind, but without leaving my mind. The better I understand the idea, the more the idea is one with my mind, although it remains distinct from my mind. So, in a similar way, God the Father conceives one Thought – this is His Word, His Son, a perfect expression of all that He is. He loves this Word – and His impulse of Love towards Him is the Holy Spirit.
The crucial thing is to remember that the Holy Trinity is not something “out there” to be understood or towards Whom we strive. No – this Communion of Persons is the foundation of all that is, the very root of all existence, the core of all being. This Life of God is the Meaning of Life! Whenever as human beings we experience loneliness or disharmony in relationships, how important is it for us to know that this is not the last word – this is not the fullness of reality… The fullness of reality involves communion and harmony between Persons to a blissful, unimaginable degree.
And when God the Father “utters” His one Word – everything that is, is contained in that Word. When He loves His Word – He loves everything that is created and contained in the Word. So what does this mean?
We were known and loved in God’s plan from the beginning!
This is the reality we have to make known in catechesis. This is not about dry, dusty old formulas “Three Persons in One God” – in catechesis we are communicating a life of communion into which Father, Son and Spirit continually draw us, and a Life that makes sense and is at the very basis of all of our lives.
How important is it that our catechesis be Trinitarian, so that people may begin to glimpse the life God has planned for them from the beginning.