Deacon Blog June 7, 2020
All for one and One for All
I think most of us remember Alexander Dumas’ classic novel, The Three Musketeers. What I remember was the intimacy and devotion of the three musketeers to each other and their purpose. Their motto says it all, “All for one and one for all”. What a beautiful slogan to have. While staying home these past months, I found myself contemplating the Most Holy Trinity and what a spectacular mystery this is and this motto kept coming back to me. I wanted to share some thoughts I had during some prayerful reflection. This was originally my blog for this week but I converted it to a homily and now it returns as a blog. While understanding the Most Holy Trinity is a challenge, we should never, even in our most casual moments, think this mystery of GOD is something to just accept or assume because it is beyond our comprehension. The Most Holy Trinity is not merely a theological concept the Church honors today. The Most Holy Trinity of GOD is the deepest essence of intimacy, community, and Love. It isn’t just a title for GOD or three aspects of HIS nature. It is the very definition of life itself. Creation shares this Trinitarian identity, and is in fact the divine image we possess. Dumas’ slogan was his taken from the 16th century motto, ‘Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno’, the Latin phrase ‘One for all, all for one’, reflecting the divine Trinitarian theology of a universally Catholic world. We can see these statements expressed clearly in this age of Covid19. St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, asks us to use imagination when contemplating such things… I ask this as well.
GOD the Father was, is, and always shall be. We can’t explain this or understand His being, but we know this because of the rationale that “nothing comes from nothing” as St Thomas Aquinas says. Nothing cannot become anything, on its own. HE is the first effort, the first movement, and the first to be. For us, HE expresses himself (John the evangelist tells us) as Love. Without GOD we have no tangible way to recognize what love is. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the definition of a love that wills the best for the “other” above ourselves. Ancient people expressed affection, attraction, and devotion but before Jesus, GOD’s meaning of Love was unknown to humanity. “For GOD so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten son so that all who believe might have eternal life”. If you have children or nieces and nephews, use this experience to imagine what that was like. While this doesn’t offer much in explaining our Creator, it does give us a glimpse into HIS character we can only imagine. Like I said above, we cannot know GOD directly. We cannot gaze on HIS face or touch HIS hands. We cannot even be in HIS presence while we live here. HIS glory and majesty would consume us, but we can see HIM in everyone we meet. He longs to be with HIS creation, HIS character demands this. So, what does HE do? He humbles himself to be one of us so we can be with Him eternally. Imagine that for a second. He desires that we be happy, joyful, and at peace, in this life. To do this HE presented himself to us as Jesus the Christ. No one knows us better than our creator. We were made for Him, by Him, and only in Him is our soul at rest. Jesus, the very word of GOD spoken, came so we could begin to know the Father. The WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE is about the Father’s longing for us, not to condemn, but to save. Think of it this way, GOD’s love for His creation was so strong, His divine preference for us so consuming, it manifested itself as “one of us”. Imagine that level of desire.
GOD’s own “breath”, His spoken thought, became flesh and this energy of LOVE and desire became a Holy Spirit. This Spirit moves with the FATHER’s glance, sensing HIS will, reacting to HIS deepest desire. This Spirit is the expressed energy of GOD’s heart. It’s the “Law of Attraction” on “heavenly steroids”. We attract what we most desire or focus on. We worship not because GOD needs the acclamation but it is what is best for us. Our souls only find fulfillment, in happiness and purpose, when we understand the one who created us. Imagine the Sacred Liturgy as where this is accomplished. We gather in the community of saints, we are fed by the word of GOD, and we experience what real sacrifice and obedience look like, and we’re filled with the physical presence of GOD in the Eucharist. Our priests give their lives for this desire of GOD. Our life in the Church, through the Sacraments, is for this purpose. HIS faith in us was that we could overcome, with the help of HIS Spirit, our natural concupiscence, or selfserving-ness, by following Jesus. The further we drift from God, the more complicated and mysterious the Most Holy Trinity seems, intellectually. The closer we get to GOD the more clarity we have about HIS Spirit present in our life, emotionally. We may feel a distance between us, but HE is closer to us than we are to ourselves. HE is more like the air we breathe than the ground we walk on. HE accomplishes this with HIS Holy Spirit.
So, the Trifecta of Heaven focuses all its attention on us. The disciples (and many other believers) knew what they experienced and what needed to be done. Imagine this for a moment. They encountered something so convincing, so life-changing, that they dedicated and sacrificed their lives to tell the story. What they encountered in the risen Christ, and learned through the immersion of the Holy Spirit led them to glance at GOD’s glory and propel their message across the world…till the end of time. It is impossible to separate the history of the world and the message energized by the Spirit. The world’s story has been shaped and defined by the life of GOD’s own Son to the extent that it is impossible to separate them. Now the world has learned of our awesome GOD, whose HOLY SPIRIT inhabits the earth to LOVE us home again.
Imagine being able to desire something so strongly that it’s created. We’re asked to do this in our world with Love and Peace. On a certain level, the Most Holy Trinity should make us uncomfortable. Not intellectually, but because it radically challenges us to an intimacy we struggle to respond to. That is our selfishness. We can reject the closeness and intimacy of GOD or we can proclaim, with our lives, that GOD is everywhere, in everything. This Triune GOD seeks only to transform our lives into Joy. The next time you pray alone, lean in, use your imagination, and listen with your heart.
See, the Most Holy Trinity is not that hard to understand.
See You Soon!!!
PAX CHRISTI, Deacon Mike