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Today we celebrate a solemnity: The Holy Trinity. It is today that we celebrate that God is three persons in one God. We cannot comprehend this doctrine fully, however, when we bring it into the practical, we can see that this solemnity is powerful for our times.
What does it teach? It teaches simply that we worship one God who is made up of three persons, each is God but each is one a separate person in the Trinity. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God and they form the Holy Trinity which is God. We do not worship three gods, but one god in three persons. It is an understanding that is beyond our comprehension and that is important. It is a humbling realization that shows us many things about whom we are, not the least of which is that we are not gods.
We are humans and are graced with special qualities that others in the animal kingdom are not, but we are not gods. So when we are confronted with this reality of the Holy Trinity that we can define but cannot understand we are also confronted with the reality of our own humble humanity. God is greater than our ability to understand Him. He is three persons but one God.
This doctrine is so important because it does show us that the universe in which we exist is greater than our ability to understand it. When we lose that understanding, we lose an understanding of whom we are and we create great errors due to our ignorance.
Let me show you:
Friedrich Nietzsche the German philosopher and inventor of the nihilistic doctrine that life has no ultimate meaning preached that God is dead, there is no God. but if God is dead, then who is god? You and I! This means that because we are gods we can act like gods and redefine morality. This is why everything from morality to gender is being redefined. We act on the teaching of Nietzsche and his current disciples, that teaches that we are the real god and now we make the rules, a dangerous path for a society to tread.
Our cultural leaders, now, recreate the image of whom the human being is into that of a god that acts in the most ignorant of ways.
It is the terrible danger to live in a society that rejects the true God or remakes Him.
Several years ago, when a secularized Catholic who is one of the leaders in US congress was asked about organizations in this country that were selling cannibalized aborted baby parts for scientific research, she described it as nothing more than a distraction despite the fact that it is truly radically evil. Where does this evil come from despite her alleged Catholicism? Simple, a redefining of the human being in a universe where humans believe there is nothing beyond us and we are the gods of it. This is what happens when we reject the existence of God. The first step of doing that is to reject the pagan understanding of god unaware that this understanding is not what we believe. We do not believe in a humanoid god, but we believe in God who is beyond our ability to comprehend Him fully, who is present to us in three persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit
We learn with the Holy Trinity that God is so much greater than our imagination tells us of what He is. We learn we can do nothing more than be humble before Him, learn the wisdom that God is and act on it. For the triune God is not only wisdom, He is love, truth, goodness, happiness. All that is good in the world is not only from God, God is eternal good in its purest form. This changes our own self understanding and our understanding of God.
It also deepens our understanding of Heaven and Hell.
How many times do I use the expression that the idea that good people go to Heaven and bad people go to Hell is false. That is because that is not what the Church teaches. Those who seek God and seek to do His will do much more than go to some place as their eternal reward. It is right in the Catechism of the Catholic that when we seek to do God’s will we grow to become sharer’s of God’s nature. (CCC #51)
In paragraph 52 we learn that God leads us to love him in a way far greater than our own natural ability allows us to love, which means that we not only love God but others to a super human way of existence.
This is a far greater reality than just going to an eternal reward which was the teaching of the pagans.
However when we ditch all that for the philosophies of today, we learn to become like the pagan concept of god and lose out on the divine promise. We become instead lost in a destructive form of the false sense of the divine, a hint of which is seen in NAZI Germany, the Russian GULAGS and the North Korean prison camps.
So the Holy Trinity is really more about understanding that we live in a universe that is more complex than our ability to understand it. That fact can humble us and open us to discover more and more deeply the reality of the divine. When that happens, we grow in Christ.