To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances;
to seek Him, the greatest adventure;
to find Him, the greatest human achievement.

Saint Augustine

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Three in One and One in Three

Sunday was the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, belief in Whom is the foundation of our Faith. It was also Father's Day in America, which I think is truly fitting, considering the father of a family should model the love of our Heavenly Father, and together with the mother should model the love that is the Trinity to their children. Indeed, marriage and the family itself is an icon of the Trinity, imaging to the world the Trinitarian communion of love, through the love of husband and wife that is incarnated, embodied, in their children. I posted some excellent links on the day on Facebook, I highly recommend them. One is Fr. Robert Barron offering a stirring homily;
God is Trinity. He is fundamentally a relationship: a lover, a beloved and the love between them. In other words, God is a complete openness and receptivity to the other. He is love. Now, we believe we are made in the image of God. Thus, we become fully alive to the degree that we imitate God.
In another, Deacon Mike Bickerstaff offers an excellent primer, 'The Inner Life of God', on this Mystery of our Faith, including the actual 'definition' of the Trinity, and connects it to each of us as made in His image:
Man and woman were created in the image and likeness of God. Although we may lose the likeness of God by sin, we never forfeit the image. Thus, in learning about God and coming to better know who He is through the doctrine of the Trinity, we learn something about ourselves. We were not made to be solitary beings; we were made to be in community. We were created to live and love as God does.
And from the blog The Christocentric Life comes another beautiful meditation on what the Trinity means for us and our lives:
We are born in relationship with the Blessed Trinity. We have the gift of life because the Triune Community of Love breathed life into us. Stop for a minute. Meditate upon the model of perfect love and unity given to us by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This unending union of love, beauty, joy and wisdom is the reason we exist. We are made by, and made for, unity and love. What will happen if we begin to live this Trinitarian vision? Jesus says that if we do then "...they also may be in them, so that the world may believe that You have sent me." We will show Jesus to the world in how we love one another.
Also from the blog Beginning to Pray, we find another post on the Trinity and specifically the thoughts of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, and how we ought to approach prayer. Simply, humbly...if you struggle with praying, read this!
...we only become most fully the creature we are predestined to be in Christ through completely entering into this mystery and allowing God to enter into us. The Three in One and One in Three is our true home, the fulfillment of all desire, our inheritance with the saints, the Abyss of Mercy, the Furnace of Love, our heavenly homeland.

I hope you go and read and listen to each one I just shared, but what I want to share with you here is the beautiful prayer that this Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a French Carmelite nun who died at the young age of 26, composed. It is now beloved and prayed around the world, and we are each invited to make it our own. Some pray it each day; perhaps I should start doing that, too... what graces lie in wait for those who pray and meditate on these words each day, I am sure!

O my God, Trinity whom I adore; help me to forget myself entirely that I may be established in You as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing trouble my peace or make me leave You, O my Unchanging One, but may each minute carry me further into the depths of Your mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it Your heaven, Your beloved dwelling and Your resting place. May I never leave You there alone but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring, and wholly surrendered to Your creative Action.
O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I wish to be a bride for Your Heart; I wish to cover You with glory; I wish to love You...even unto death! But I feel my weakness, and I ask You to "clothe me with Yourself," to identify my soul with all the movements of Your Soul, to overwhelm me, to possess me, to substitute yourself for me that my life may be but a radiance of Your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior.
O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life in listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You. Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light. O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may not withdraw from Your radiance.
O consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, "come upon me," and create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole Mystery.
And You, O Father, bend lovingly over Your poor little creature; "cover her with Your shadow," seeing in her only the "Beloved in whom You are well pleased."
O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey. Bury Yourself in me that I may bury myself in You until I depart to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your greatness.

And in the original French:

O mon Dieu, Trinité que j'adore, aidez-moi à m'oublier entièrement pour m'établir en vous, immobile et paisible comme si déjà mon âme était dans l'éternité! Que rien ne puisse troubler ma paix ni me faire sortir de Vous, ô mon Immuable, mais que chaque minute m'emporte plus loin dans la profondeur de votre Mystère. Pacifiez mon âme, faites-en votre ciel, votre demeure aimée et le lieu de votre repos; que je ne vous y laisse jamais seul, mais que je sois là tout entière, tout éveillée en ma foi, tout adorante, toute livrée à votre action créatrice.

O mon Christ aimé crucifié par amour, je voudrais être une épouse pour votre cœur; je voudrais vous couvrir de gloire, je voudrais vous aimer...jusqu'à en mourir! Mais je sens mon impuissance et je Vous demande de me revêtir de Vous-même, d'identifier mon âme à tous les mouvements de votre Âme; de me submerger, de m'envahir, de Vous substituer à moi, afin que ma vie ne soit qu'un rayonnement de votre Vie. Venez en moi comme Adorateur, comme Réparateur et comme Sauveur.

O Verbe éternel, parole de mon Dieu, je veux passer ma vie à Vous écouter, je veux me faire tout enseignable afin d'apprendre tout de Vous; puis, à travers toutes les nuits, tous les vides, toutes les impuissances, je veux vous fixer toujours et demeurer sous votre grande lumière. O mon Astre aimé, fascinez-moi pour que je ne puisse plus sortir de votre rayonnement.

O Feu consumant, Esprit d'amour, survenez en moi afin qu'il se fasse en mon âme comme une incarnation du Verbe; que je Lui sois une humanité de surcroît, en laquelle il renouvelle tout son mystère.

Et vous, ô Père, penchez-Vous vers votre pauvre petite créature, ne voyez en elle que le Bien-aimé en lequel Vous avez mis toutes vos complaisances.

O mes Trois, mon Tout, ma Béatitude, Solitude infinie, Immensité où je me perds, je me livre à Vous comme une proie; ensevelissez-vous en moi, pour que je m'ensevelisse en Vous, en attendant d'aller contempler en votre lumière l'abîme de vos grandeurs.

Blessings to everyone on this Father's Day -- may St. Joseph pray and intercede for and protect all fathers, biological and spiritual, today and always; and may the beauty and love of the Holy Trinity -- our Creator, our God, Infinite Love Who Loves us Infinitely -- dwell in your hearts always, leading you ever nearer to communion with and union in Him.

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