Showing posts with label Trinity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trinity. Show all posts

10 Jun 2017

'God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.' Sunday Reflections, Trinity Sunday, Year A

The Trinity. El Greco [Web Gallery of Art]

For Readings and Reflections for Trinity Sunday click on the following:

Benedictus sit Deus, Mozart

Antiphona ad introitum 

Entrance Antiphon

Benedictus sit Deus Pater,
Blest be God the Father,
Unigenitusque Dei Filius,
and the Only Begotten Son of God,
Sanctus quoque Spiritus,
and also the Holy Spirit,
quia fecit nobiscum misericordian suam.
for he has shown us is merciful love.

12 Mar 2017


I say "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" a lot: mostly when I start praying. I generally make the sign of the Cross at the same time.

The sign of the Cross is a very "Catholic" gesture. It "reminds us in a physical way of the Paschal Mystery we celebrate: the death and Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ."1

It's a prayer, a blessing, and a sacramental; and that's another topic. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1668-1670)

Dali's "Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus)" is very "Catholic," too; although not it's not like the mass-produced 19th-century stuff many associate with our faith.

I wouldn't be surprised if a half-millennium from now, some tight-collar Catholics will be upset by new art that doesn't present the Cross as an unfolded tesseract, and that's yet another topic. Topics.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

31 May 2015

The Trinity: Accepting When I Cannot Comprehend

I grew up in a mainstream Protestant household, so I think of today's Gospel reading, Matthew 28:16-20, as describing the "great commission."

The phrase started rattling around in various European languages a few centuries back. Hudson Taylor, a Protestant missionary, popularized the English translation.

Folks at the Vatican describe evangelization as the "great commission" occasionally, generally when communicating with those who are more familiar with Protestant culture....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

6 Apr 2015

The Art of War. (Part I)

Virgin with Jesus giving Holy Rosary to St. Dominic
The most treacherous path you will ever take is the Warrior's Path

You do not choose to be a Warrior, God chooses you, and His choice is quite terrifying.  

When God chooses the Warrior, there is no false humility.  When God says to you, "You ARE a Warrior," you don't say, "Oh no God...not me."  On the contrary, you say, "Yes sir!" and then youtremble at what being a Warrior for God could truly mean.   The fear at being called as a Warrior, is to shake so violently before the Lord that you think every bone in your body will break.  The fear comes on the realization that a warrior will be given souls to fight for, and will be asked to account for them.

When you are called to the path of the Warrior, it is a responsibility to be pure, obey, and seek only the good of the othernever thinking that you are doing anything for God.

8 Mar 2015

The Trinity: a Divine Unity, and a Mystery

I'm a Catholic, so I say "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" a lot: mostly when I start praying.

Coming from a recovering English teacher, that may seem shocking.

Since it's the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: shouldn't it be "in the names of the et cetera?"

No, because I am referring to God's name: the one God; the almighty Father, his only Son, and the Holy Spirit — the Most Holy Trinity.1 (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 233)

I worship the God of Abram: God Most High, the creator of heaven and earth. (Genesis 14:18-19)

Abram's name got changed to Abraham, Abraham and his wive Sara got impatient, waiting for God's promise; three dozen centuries later, we're still dealing with that domestic disturbance; and that's another topic. Topics. (Genesis 16:1-12, Genesis 21:2-14)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

14 Jun 2014

'For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son . . .' Sunday Reflections, Trinity Sunday, Year A

The Trinity with the Dead Christ 
Lodovico Carracci, c.1590. Pinacoteca, Vatican [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)  

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

The Two Trinities 
Murillo 1675-82. National Gallery, London [Web Gallery of Art]

A few years ago we in Worldwide Marriage Encounter here in Bacolod City held a family day. One of the last activities was for the pre-teens where the children were asked to share with everyone what they most loved about their parents. One boy of about ten said, 'What I most love about my parents is that they are always together'.

Read full post here.

31 May 2014

Guide, Friend, Counselor, Comforter: the Holy Spirit

Readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter 2014:

Sixth Sunday of Easter 2014

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
May 25, 2014

In an anonymous e-mail, we are told a story we need to hear on this Memorial Day weekend. It's about an old man and his wife sitting in the parking lot of a supermarket. The hood is up on their car. Evidently they were having engine problems.

A young man in his early 20s with a grocery bag in his arms walks in the direction of the older couple. The older gentleman emerges from his car and takes a few steps in the young man's direction. He points to the open hood and asks the young man for assistance. The young man puts his grocery bag into his expensive SUV, turns back to the old man and yelled at him: "you shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age." And then with a wave of his hand, he gets into his car and speeds out of the parking lot. The old gentleman pulls out his handkerchief, mops his brow and goes back to his car. Again he looks at the engine. He then goes to his wife and appears to reassure her that everything will be okay....

More, at A Catholic Citizen in America.

17 Jul 2013

Infinity over Infinity or why Jesus Has to be God.

To understand why Jesus has to be God, we have to understand the Father also.  The Father is infinite, with no beginning and no end.  Therefore, his attributes are also infinite.  His knowledge is infinite and, most important to us, his memory is infinite.  We were created, and we have a beginning, but with a soul that shall exist forever.  God is the creator of life, and if the angels shall not taste death or annihilation, then neither shall we, to say that our souls face an annihilation is not consistent with the nature of God as creator of life.  We shall be "somewhere" for all time.  A short time, (very short when you think about it) in the flesh, and then eternity either with God or banished from His presence.  

So let's go back to the Father's memory.  The Father's memory is infinite, which means He will remember all things for all time.  (He is actually not bound by time, but that is another blog post) So think about that, what you do in the flesh God will remember for all time.  Every thought, word, or deed is remembered perfectly by God.  Your unforgiven sins are remembered by God forever, and as such unforgiven sins will face another aspect of God, His justice.  The justice of God is perfect and also infinite.  If something is perfect, then it is implemented with perfection, and carried out to it's perfect end. There is no skirting the justice of God.  At the judgment, there shall be no excuse for your sin, for if it is unforgiven and if God's justice is perfect, then you MUST face the consequences of your sin at the judgement.  God, although loving you and not wishing your banishment to Hell or suffering in Purgatory, because of His nature of being perfectly just, He will carry out that perfect justice.  He can be nothing less.  Can the perfect justice of God turn a blind eye to an offense? No.  We will pay every farthing for our sins, either in purgatory or for all time in hell.  

But wait, we have the Blood of Jesus, right?  Yes, but that was 2000 years ago, how does an event 2000 years ago apply to the sins of those today?  There is only one answer, the Cross of Christ is a oblation by an infinite God which can reach through all time.  God is infinite, He took flesh in the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus.  Jesus, true God and true Man.  The Infinite God, who came to earth and gave the perfect oblation for all time.  For if God remembers forever and our sin has an infinite consequence, then what can cover a judgement that will be on us for all time?

What can cover infinity? Only infinity. The number 2 cannot cover infinity, nor can the largest known useful number in the universe (Grahams Number) encompass that which is forever and ever. 

The infinite oblation of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man is the only thing that can cover a sin that has an infinite consequence in eternity.  

Infinity over Infinity, the only way to open Heaven so that God can give us His greatest gift...Himself.  For their is nothing else worth trying to attain in this eternity that we face than to see our God in the face.  

For those that say that Jesus was not God, they are either mislead or liars.  If Jesus is not God then the sacrifice He offered was finite and not infinite and only covered the sins of those that were present at the Crucifixion, and not for us. (As humans, we can offer penance and sacrifice to God for the salvation of souls, but only while we are in the flesh, when we are in eternity and have no flesh we can no longer offer sacrifice, so if Jesus was not God, His sacrifice was only while He was on the Earth, and no farther.)  And if this is so then we are still in our sins and facing an eternity without God.  

So, Jesus was God, His sacrifice was a perpetual sacrifice for all humanity from the time of the Crucifixion until the end of time. We can alleviate the eternal punishment (judgement) for our sins by the Confessional and Penance. (Confession sounds pretty good right now, doesn't it?)  Go to confession, go frequently, and do MUCH penance for your sins and the sins of those you love.  Time is shorter than you know.

Here is a very good video about Grahams Number: Click Here! 

1 May 2013

'We will come to him and make our home with him.' Sunday Reflections, Sixth Sunday of Easter Year C

The Holy Trinity, Unknown Russian Icon Painter, 1690-17-10 [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

Gospel John 14:23-29 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

Jesus said to his disciples, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.

"These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe. 

The late Bishop Bienvenido S. Tudtod of Marawi, Philippines, (above) visited my Dad (below) in Dublin some time in the early 1980s. As it happened, Dad was about to leave for the wedding of a cousin of mine but he was able to entertain his unexpected guest for a while. Later on he told my brother, 'The bishop made me feel at home'. My brother laughed and said to him, 'You were the one supposed to make him feel at home!' But my Dad was always himself no matter whose company he was in and so was Bishop Tudtud, whose Christian name is the Spanish for 'Welcome'. They were both to die suddenly in 1987, Bishop Tudtod in a plane crash in the Philippines on 26 June and Dad at home on 11 August, from a heart attack. He had been at Mass that morning, as he had been every day of his adult life. The photo below was taken the week before his death.

My father hadn't expected Bishop Tudtud. But he made him feel welcome. The bishop felt free to just turn up because I had worked with him and had asked him to drop by my Dad if he had time. I have found over the years that there are friends' homes to which I need no invitation. These are friends with whom I truly feel at home and who feel at home with me.

Sometimes we feel fully at home with someone whom we have just met. Sometimes that being at ease with each other comes after being together many times, maybe through working together.

In the gospel of this Sunday's Mass Jesus makes the extraordinary statement, If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

The Father and Jesus are not only coming for a visit but to make their home with us. And the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Counselor/Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will come and will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 

Fr Anselm Moynihan OP, an Irish Dominican friar who died in 1998, wrote a short book in 1948 about the Blessed Trinity living in our hearts, The Presence of God. Here is an extractAwareness of God, whether it come to us thus by a dazzling rending of the heavens or through the gentle whisper of his voice in our conscience, is at the beginning and end of our spiritual life, at the beginning and end of all religion.  It is the root of what is truly the most radical division of mankind, one to which Holy Scripture constantly reverts, that between the 'wise' who keep God before their eyes and the 'fools' who ignore him.  The first awakening of the soul to God's reality brings with it that fear of the Lord which is the 'beginning of wisdom'; the end of life should bring with it the 'wisdom of the perfect,' the fruit of charity, whereby a man will experience God's living presence within himself and be filled with longing for that full awareness of God which is the vision of his face in heaven.

Supper at Emmaus, Hendrick Terbrugghen, c.1621 [Web Gallery of Art]

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus invited Jesus to join them and they pressed him to have supper with them at the inn, as it was getting dark. It was through their welcoming him that they discovered who their unknown companion was, the Risen Lord. And in the intimacy of the breaking of the bread when they recognised him and he disappeared from their sight, they felt his presence even more strongly, even more intimately. He was now dwelling in their hearts, just as he dwells in ours, with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

1 Jun 2012

'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . .' Trinity Sunday

HolyTrinity, Jusepe de Ribera, painted 1635-36 

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) 

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

Gospel Matthew 28:16-20 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." 


From the evening of 23 May until the morning of 1 June I was giving a retreat to a group of Canossian Sisters, also known as Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor. They included four novices and seven professed Sisters, including one from Malaysia.Their foundress, St Magdalene of Canossa bequeathed to the Sisters the mission of 'making Jesus known and loved above all'. This comes from a stance of standing at the foot of the Cross with Mary.
Full post here.

17 Jun 2011

'God loved the world so much.' Sunday Reflections, Trinity Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Trinity, El Greco, painted 1577, Museo del Prado, Madrid

Readings (New American Bible, used in the Philippines and USA).

Gospel John 3:16-18 (Jerusalem Bible, used in Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, Scotland) 

Jesus said to Nicodemus, 

God loved the world so much
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
may not be lost but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe
in the name of God's only Son.

An Soiscéal Eoin 3:16-18 (Gaeilge, Irish)

San am sin dúirt Íosa lena dheisceabail:
Óir ghráigh Dia an domhan chomh mór sin
gur thug sé a Aonghin Mic uaidh
i dtreo, gach duine a chreideann ann,
nach gcaillfí é ach go mbeadh an bheatha shioraí aige.
Óir ní chun daorbhreith a thabhairt ar an saol
a chuir Dia a Mhac uaidh ar an saol
ach chun go slánófaí an saol tríd.
An té a chreideann ann ní thabharfar daorbhreith air,
ach an té nach gcreideann ann,
tá daorbhreith tugtha air cheana féin,
mar nár chreid sé in ainm Mhac Dé, a Aonghin.

In 1976, during my first visit home to Ireland from the Philippines, I was celebrating Sunday Mass in my home parish church in Dublin. I mentioned in my homily that 'a temple of the Holy Spirit' hade been murdered that week in Northern Ireland. A member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary had been shot dead. A middle-aged man in the congregation didn't like what I said and stood up and asked 'Are we here to listen to the Gospel or to a political speech?' He then sat down. I was initially stunned but continued and mentioned the policeman specifically during the prayers of the faithful.
I don't know whether the murdered man was a Catholic or Protestant but was certain that he was baptised and therefore a Temple of the Holy Spirit. Part of the tragedy is that the person who killed him was also such. But it isn't only the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. The Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, do so.
The Venerable Edel Quinn (14 September 1907 - 12 May 1944)
The Handbook of the Legion of Mary, Chapter 7, The Legionary and the Holy Trinity, has these words: The saints are insistent on the necessity for thus distinguishing between the Three Divine Persons and for rendering to each one of them an appropriate attention. The Athanasian Creed is mandatory and strangely menacing in regard to this requirement, which proceeds from the fact that the final purpose of Creation and of the Incarnation is the glorification of the Trinity. The late Fr Anselm Moynihan quotes these words in an article on the Venerable Edel Quinn, Edel Quinn: A Life in the Trinity.
The concluding part of the article, Adoring the Trinity, is especially appropriate for today's feast. The references to 'S' are to the life of Edel by Cardinal Suenens. Those to 'N' are to Edel's notes.
Adoring the Trinity

We are sharers in the very life of the Blessed Trinity, with the Incarnate Word as our Brother, His Father as our Father, His Spirit as the Soul of our souls. Yet we can never forget the transcendent holiness of God. And as a consequence, underlying, though not weakening the sublime intimacy we enjoy with the Divine Persons, will be an attitude of profound reverence and adoration. Edel certainly had that. It was manifest in her whole bearing at prayer, her behaviour towards all who represented God in any way and also in the expressions she uses in her private notes. She knew her soul to be the living sanctuary of the Triune God. She snatched at every opportunity of quiet and silence to recollect herself and be alone with God and offer Him the incense of her adoration.

Let us ask the grace to live in realization of our life in Christ, through Mary, adoring the Trinity (S, p. 246).

In Christ Jesus we have all. Realise this.

Often offer Him to the Trinity, present in our soul, giving all honour, reparation and glory throughout the day (S, p. 246).

Realise that I am the temple of God, the dwelling-place of the Trinity (S, p. 246).

In Christ we adore the Trinity, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus. Try and adore the Trinity in our souls, even in the midst of trouble or external duties (S, p. 248).

Our Lady, dwelling place of the Trinity. With Christ and helped by Mary, let us adore the Trinity. Cut out useless worrying thoughts ... to adore with and in union with Jesus ... Trinity in soul ... per Mariam (N).

At Mass I united myself to the victim Christ, through Mary's hands, for the glory of the Trinity, in thanksgiving for everything, and on behalf of souls (S, p. 250).

For Edel Quinn, then, the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity was not just an abstraction, to be accepted indeed on faith but with little bearing on the practical working out of our lives. For her it was supremely practical, vital and energizing. Her manner of applying it to her life, her prayer, her work, her relations with others offers an example we can all imitate - to the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

'The Blessed Trinity - there is our dwelling-place, our home, the Father's house which we must never leave' (Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity [photo below]).

Trinity was not just an abstraction, to be accepted indeed on faith but with little bearing on the practical working out of our lives. For her it was supremely practical, vital and energising. Her manner of applying it to her life, her prayer, her work, her relations with others offers an example we can all imitate - to the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

'The Blessed Trinity - there is our dwelling-place, our home, the Father's house which we must never leave' (Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity).

This article first appeared in Doctrine and Life, July 1963.( Ed.)

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity (18 July 1880 – 9 November 1906)

Introit (Entrance Antiphon) from Missal of Blessed John XXIII (1962):

Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas atque indivisa unitas: confitebimur ei, quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam. Ps. Domine Dominus noster, quam admirabile est nomen tuum in universa terra! V. Gloria Patri.

English translation

Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to Him, because He hath shown His mercy to us. Vs. (Ps. 8: 2) O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy name in all the earth! Glory be to the Father.

El Greco often did a number of paintings of the same scene. Here is one very similar to that at the top, painted the same year but over the high altar in the Church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo, Toledo, Spain.

Trinity Sunday

Lord, who has form'd me out of mud,
And hast redeem'd me through thy blood,
And sanctifi'd me to do good;

Purge all my sins done heretofore:
For I confess my heavy score,
And I will strive to sin no more.

Enrich my heart, mouth, hands in me,
With faith, with hope, with charity;
That I may run, rise, rest with thee.

George Herbert (3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633)

George Herbert, born in Wales, was an Anglican priest noted for his great love for the poor in his parish in Wiltshire, England. This poem is found in the edition of The Divine Office approved by the hierarchies of Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, Scotland and published in 1974.

Preamble to the Constitution of Ireland

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,

We, the people of Éire,

Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,

Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation,

And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,

Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.

 Brollach do Bhunreacht na hÉireann

In Ainm na Tríonóide Ró-Naofa is tobar don uile údarás agus gur chuici, ós í is críoch dheireanach dúinn, is dírithe ní amháin gníomhartha daoine ach gníomhartha Stát,

Ar mbeith dúinne, muintir na hÉireann, ag admháil go huiríseal a mhéid atáimid faoi chomaoin ag Íosa Críost, ár dTiarna Dia, a thug comhfhurtacht dár sinsir i ngach cruatan ina rabhadar ar feadh na gcéadta bliain,

Agus ar mbeith dúinn ag cuimhneamh go buíoch ar a chalmacht a rinneadarsan troid gan staonadh chun an neamhspleáchas is dual dár Náisiún a bhaint amach,

Agus ar mbeith dúinn á chur romhainn an mhaitheas phoiblí a chur ar aghaidh maille le Críonnacht agus le hIonracas agus le Carthanacht de réir mar is cuí, ionas go dtiocfaidh linn a uaisleacht agus a shaoirse a chur in áirithe do gach aon duine, saol ceart comhdhaonnach a bhunú, aiseag a haontachta a thabhairt dár dtír, agus comhcharadra a dhéanamh le náisiúin eile,

Atáimid leis seo ag gabháil an Bhunreachta seo chugainn, agus á achtú agus á thíolacadh dúinn féin.

Oxygen, Alien Life

We haven't found extraterrestrial life. But we're still finding planets circling other stars. Thousands of them. Some of those pla...