We Bow Before This Mystery

2023년 6월 4일

We Bow Before This Mystery

< The Most Holy Trinity >

 I’ll never forget the Confirmation Mass we had in our church about five years ago. It occurred on Trinity Sunday. I held my breath when the bishop asked the Confirmandi how many gods we believe in. And more than a few students confidently answered “Three!” If the bishop was shocked, he didn’t show it. (Unlike me whose eyes widened as I uttered an audible gasp.) Perhaps I was expecting too much. After all, Catholics (and most Christians) have been struggling to understand, much less articulate, the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity for centuries. For those of you who may have forgotten or perhaps skipped Sunday School that day, we believe in one God in three divine Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This mystery is so profound and sublime, it is Catholic custom to bow when we pray the “Glory be”. The shortest prayer has the deepest meaning!

St. Patrick used a three leaf clover (shamrock) to teach about the Blessed Trinity. Eastern mystics used H2O to show this element, though one, has three forms: liquid (water), solid (ice) and gas (steam). Yet in the end, Trinity remains a mystery. Some Christians reject Trinitarian theology because it’s impossible to fully comprehend it. But that’s exactly why we honor it. Surely a god who can be completely understood by our limited minds can’t possibly be the One, True, God. Our Eastern Orthodox brethren gently criticize us Roman Catholics for trying to define the indefineable. Instead they encourage us to experience the mystery of God as Creator, Savior, and Sanctifier, realizing they are all distinct, and yet all are one.