He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Prayer to the Holy Trinity
Glory be to the Father,
Who by His almighty power and love created me,
making me in the image and likeness of God.
Glory be to the Son,
Who by His Precious Blood delivered me from hell,
and opened for me the gates of heaven.
Glory be to the Holy Spirit,
Who has sanctified me in the sacrament of Baptism,
and continues to sanctify me
by the graces I receive daily from His bounty.
Glory be to the Three adorable Persons of the Holy Trinity,
now and forever.
God our Father, who by sending into the world
the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification
made known to the human race your wondrous mystery,
grant us, we pray, that in professing the true faith,
we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory
and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Thus says the wisdom of God:
“The LORD possessed me, the beginning of his ways,
the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago;
from of old I was poured forth,
at the first, before the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no fountains or springs of water;
before the mountains were settled into place,
before the hills, I was brought forth;
while as yet the earth and fields were not made,
nor the first clods of the world.
“When the Lord established the heavens I was there,
when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
when he made firm the skies above,
when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth;
when he set for the sea its limit,
so that the waters should not transgress his command;
then was I beside him as his craftsman,
and I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,
playing on the surface of his earth;
and I found delight in the human race.”
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)
CCC 288 Thus the revelation of creation is inseparable from the revelation and forging of the covenant of the one God with his People. Creation is revealed as the first step towards this covenant, the first and universal witness to God’s all-powerful love.1 And so, the truth of creation is also expressed with growing vigor in the message of the prophets, the prayer of the psalms and the liturgy, and in the wisdom sayings of the Chosen People.2
CCC 721 Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary.3 Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”
In her, the “wonders of God” that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested:
1 Cf. Gen 15:5; Jer 33:19-26.
2 Cf. Isa 44:24; Ps 104; Prov 8:22-31.
3 Cf. Prov 8:1-9:6; Sir 24.
The fact that there are three Persons in the one God has been clearly revealed by Christ himself. He spoke of being equal to the Father yet a distinct Person from the Father; then he spoke of the Holy Spirit as a Person with distinct actions of his own, whom he and the Father would send on earth, to complete the work of man’s salvation. The Church accepted this fact and this doctrine without hesitation from its very beginning, as it was given to it on Christ’s undoubted and undoubtable authority.
This doctrine was not revealed to the Jews of the Old Testament, and for a very good reason. They were surrounded by pagan nations who had many gods, and anything that even remotely looked like polytheism was anathema to their strict monotheism. But there were many hints at the possibility of more than one Person in their God–one of which we have just read in Proverbs today–but the Jews did not see the hints for their minds were closed against any such idea.
What is remarkable is the ease with which the Jewish converts of the early Church, and they were numbered in thousands, accepted this doctrine once they accepted the divinity of Christ. The one followed of necessity from the other. The Gentiles accepted it too without question, not because their former paganism allowed many gods, for Christianity had but one God (in whom there were three Persons), but because the authority from whom this truth came was none other than Christ who was one of the divine persons of the Triune God.
The doctrine of the Trinity is the basic mystery of our religion. We too accept it, not because we can understand it but because we have it from Christ. Granted that we cannot understand how the one divine nature has three distinct persons in it, we can use our reason and see that, because our intelligence is so finite and limited, to comprehend or to understand the inner nature and qualities of the infinite is something entirely beyond us. In fact, if we could understand God and grasp his nature, fully, then he would not be God but something finite and limited like ourselves.
Today, let us humbly adore the Blessed Trinity and let us thank the three divine Persons for all the knowledge concerning themselves which they have revealed to us. We know enough about the goodness and the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for us to make us want and wish to spend eternity thanking them. We know enough about the plans they have made for us, so that we can share in their eternal happiness. We know more than enough, to make any sensible human being do all in his power to cooperate with them in the work of his own salvation.
We were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If we strive to live lives faithful to our baptismal vows, we can be sure that the same Father, Son and Holy Spirit will receive us into the eternal mansions when we depart from this world.
Ps 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place —
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet:
O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
Brothers and sisters:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character,
and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)
CCC 368 The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one’s being, where the person decides for or against God.1
CCC 733 “God is Love”2 and love is his first gift, containing all others. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”3
CCC 1820 Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus’ preaching in the proclamation of the beatitudes. The beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the “hope that does not disappoint.”4 Hope is the “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. .. that enters. .. where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.”5 Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation: “Let us. .. put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”6 It affords us joy even under trial: “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation.”7 Hope is expressed and nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything that hope leads us to desire.
CCC 2658 “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”8 Prayer, formed by the liturgical life, draws everything into the love by which we are loved in Christ and which enables us to respond to him by loving as he has loved us. Love is the source of prayer; whoever draws from it reaches the summit of prayer. In the words of the Cure of Ars:
l love you, O my God, and my only desire is to love you until the last breath of my life. I love you, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving you, than live without loving you. I love you, Lord, and the only grace I ask is to love you eternally. .. My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love you, I want my heart to repeat it to you as often as I draw breath.9
CCC 2734 Filial trust is tested – it proves itself – in tribulation.10 The principal difficulty concerns the prayer of petition, for oneself or for others in intercession. Some even stop praying because they think their petition is not heard. Here two questions should be asked: Why do we think our petition has not been heard? How is our prayer heard, how is it “efficacious”?
CCC 2847 The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man,11 and temptation, which leads to sin and death.12 We must also discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a “delight to the eyes” and desirable,13 when in reality its fruit is death.
God does not want to impose the good, but wants free beings. .. There is a certain usefulness to temptation. No one but God knows what our soul has received from him, not even we ourselves. But temptation reveals it in order to teach us to know ourselves, and in this way we discover our evil inclinations and are obliged to give thanks for the goods that temptation has revealed to us.14
1 Cf. Jer 31:33; Dt 6:5; 29:3; Is 29:13; Ezek 36:26; Mt 6:21; Lk 8:15; Rom 5:5.
2 1 Jn 4:8,1.
3 Rom 5:5.
4 Rom 5:5.
5 Heb 6:19-20.
6 1 Thess 5:8.
7 Rom 12:12.
8 Rom 5:5.
9 St. John Vianney, Prayer.
10 Cf. Rom 5:3-5.
11 Cf. Lk. 8:13-15; Acts 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; 2 Tim 3:12.
12 Cf. Jas 1:14-15.
13 Cf. Gen 3:6.
14 Origen, De orat. 29 PG 11, 544CD.
That there are three Persons in the one God, each one infinite in power, in glory, in wisdom, is a fact we accept because the Triune God has revealed it to us. No intelligent Christian, or for that matter, no intelligent human being, who hears of this mystery, can even think of questioning this truth once he admits its existence has been revealed by God “who cannot deceive or be deceived.” The human mind, let it be that of the greatest genius the world has ever produced, is finite and limited; it cannot even begin to grasp or study the infinite, much less deny anything the Infinite tells us of itself.
As Christians then we accept without question that there are three Persons in the One God and we bow down in humble adoration before them. But there is another mystery in the Blessed Trinity which can and should cause us wonder and amazement. It is, the mystery of this Triune God’s love for us. St. Paul’s words in today’s reading shows us the three divine Persons cooperating on our behalf. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have each a part in the work of enabling us, finite, fragile and fickle creatures, to share in their infinite happiness.
But why? They are infinitely perfect and infinitely happy in themselves, they need nothing from us. Here again is where our small, finite intelligence fails us. We can understand human love and human generosity which is hardly ever without a tinge of selfish interest, and which at its greatest is but a temporary and very limited quality and quantity. But God’s love for us is infinite. It is completely and entirely without self-interest. It is not a limited gift but the promise of an unending state of happiness, if we do what is asked of us during our few years of probation in this world.
We know the fact that it has been clearly and very definitely revealed to us–God loves us with an infinite love. The three Persons of the Blessed Trinity have proved and are still proving this fact to us. We cannot in this life understand why, but we can and we must show our gratitude for this fact of divine generosity and love.
Today, the feastday of the Blessed Trinity, let us thank, from our hearts, the three divine Persons for all they have done and are continuing to do for us. Let us resolve to make ourselves less unworthy of their divine love, by doing what they ask of us, by living our faith in charity and by keeping ever before our minds the hope of the eternal reward, so generously offered to us. If we do this, one day soon, we shall meet the three divine Persons, we shall get to know them a little more intimately, and we shall share personally, joyfully and gratefully in their divine, eternal happiness.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)
CCC 91 All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them1 and guides them into all truth.2
CCC 243 Before his Passover, Jesus announced the sending of “another Paraclete” (Advocate), the Holy Spirit. At work since creation, having previously “spoken through the prophets”, the Spirit will now be with and in the disciples, to teach them and guide them “into all the truth”.3 The Holy Spirit is thus revealed as another divine person with Jesus and the Father.
CCC 244 The eternal origin of the Holy Spirit is revealed in his mission in time. The Spirit is sent to the apostles and to the Church both by the Father in the name of the Son, and by the Son in person, once he had returned to the Father.4 The sending of the person of the Spirit after Jesus’ glorification5 reveals in its fullness the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
CCC 485 The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son.6 The Holy Spirit, “the Lord, the giver of Life”, is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it, causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own.
CCC 687 “No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”7 Now God’s Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance, but the Spirit does not speak of himself. The Spirit who “has spoken through the prophets” makes us hear the Father’s Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. The Spirit of truth who “unveils” Christ to us “will not speak on his own.”8 Such properly divine self-effacement explains why “the world cannot receive [him], because it neither sees him nor knows him,” while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them.9
CCC 690 Jesus is Christ, “anointed,” because the Spirit is his anointing, and everything that occurs from the Incarnation on derives from this fullness.10 When Christ is finally glorified,11 he can in turn send the Spirit from his place with the Father to those who believe in him: he communicates to them his glory,12 that is, the Holy Spirit who glorifies him.13 From that time on, this joint mission will be manifested in the children adopted by the Father in the Body of his Son: the mission of the Spirit of adoption is to unite them to Christ and make them live in him:
The notion of anointing suggests. .. that there is no distance between the Son and the Spirit. Indeed, just as between the surface of the body and the anointing with oil neither reason nor sensation recognizes any intermediary, so the contact of the Son with the Spirit is immediate, so that anyone who would make contact with the Son by faith must first encounter the oil by contact. In fact there is no part that is not covered by the Holy Spirit. That is why the confession of the Son’s Lordship is made in the Holy Spirit by those who receive him, the Spirit coming from all sides to those who approach the Son in faith.14
CCC 692 When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the “Paraclete,” literally, “he who is called to one’s side,” ad-vocatus.15 “Paraclete” is commonly translated by “consoler,” and Jesus is the first consoler.16 The Lord also called the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of truth.”17
CCC 729 Only when the hour has arrived for his glorification does Jesus promise the coming of the Holy Spirit, since his Death and Resurrection will fulfill the promise made to the fathers.18 The Spirit of truth, the other Paraclete, will be given by the Father in answer to Jesus’ prayer; he will be sent by the Father in Jesus’ name; and Jesus will send him from the Father’s side, since he comes from the Father. The Holy Spirit will come and we shall know him; he will be with us for ever; he will remain with us. The Spirit will teach us everything, remind us of all that Christ said to us and bear witness to him. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and will glorify Christ. He will prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment.
CCC 1117 As she has done for the canon of Sacred Scripture and for the doctrine of the faith, the Church, by the power of the Spirit who guides her “into all truth,” has gradually recognized this treasure received from Christ and, as the faithful steward of God’s mysteries, has determined its “dispensation.”19 Thus the Church has discerned over the centuries that among liturgical celebrations there are seven that are, in the strict sense of the term, sacraments instituted by the Lord.
CCC 1287 This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people.20 On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit,21 a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost.22 Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age.23 Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn.24
CCC 1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy – heavier than the Law of Moses.25 By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to “receive” the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ.26 This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life.
CCC 2466 In Jesus Christ, the whole of God’s truth has been made manifest. “Full of grace and truth,” he came as the “light of the world,” he is the Truth.27 “Whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”28 The disciple of Jesus continues in his word so as to know “the truth [that] will make you free” and that sanctifies.29 To follow Jesus is to live in “the Spirit of truth,” whom the Father sends in his name and who leads “into all the truth.”30 To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes or No.’”31
CCC 2671 The traditional form of petition to the Holy Spirit is to invoke the Father through Christ our Lord to give us the Consoler Spirit.32 Jesus insists on this petition to be made in his name at the very moment when he promises the gift of the Spirit of Truth.33 But the simplest and most direct prayer is also traditional, “Come, Holy Spirit,” and every liturgical tradition has developed it in antiphons and hymns.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.34
Heavenly King, Consoler Spirit, Spirit of Truth, present everywhere and filling all things, treasure of all good and source of all life, come dwell in us, cleanse and save us, you who are All Good.35
1 Cf. 1 Jn 2:20,27.
2 Cf. Jn 16:13.
3 Cf. Gen 1:2; Nicene Creed (DS 150); Jn 14:17, 26; 16:13.
4 Cf. Jn 14:26; 15:26; 16:14.
5 Cf. Jn 7:39.
6 Cf. Jn 16:14-15.
7 1 Cor 2:11.
8 Jn 16:13.
9 Jn 14:17.
10 Cf. Jn 3:34.
11 Jn 7:39.
12 Cf. Jn 17:22.
13 Cf. Jn 16:14.
14 St. Gregory of Nyssa, De Spiritu Sancto, 16: PG 45, 1321A-B.
15 In 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7.
16 Cf. I Jn 2:1.
17 In 16:13.
18 Cf. Jn 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; 17:26.
19 Jn 16:13; cf. Mt 13:52; 1 Cor 4:1.
20 Cf. Ezek 36:25-27; Joel 3:1-2.
21 Cf. Lk 12:12; Jn 3:5-8; 7:37-39; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8.
22 Cf. Jn 20:22; Acts 2:1-14.
23 Acts 2:11; Cf. 2:17-18.
24 Cf. Acts 2:38.
25 Cf. Mk 8:34; Mt 11:29-30.
26 Cf. Mt 19:11.
27 Jn 1:14; 8:12; Cf. 14:6.
28 Jn 12:46.
29 Jn 8:32; Cf. 17:17.
30 Jn 16:13.
31 Mt 5:37.
32 Cf. Lk 11:13.
33 Cf. Jn 14:17; 15:26; 16:13.
34 Roman Missal, Pentecost Sequence.
35 Byzantine Liturgy, Pentecost Vespers, Troparion.
In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, read at today’s Mass, we have a clear statement of the faith of the infant Church in the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. In these verses from St. John–a part of the discourse at the Last Supper–we have St. Paul’s, and the Church’s source of the truth of that doctrine, Christ himself, who was the second Person of the Blessed Trinity become man for our salvation. As regards this basic dogma of our Faith then, that there are three Persons in the One God, there is no room for doubt, we have it on the authority of Christ who is God. If we cannot understand how this can be, we need not be surprised–our human minds are very limited, they depend on our human senses for their images of things. A man, deaf from birth, has no image in his mind of sound, a man blind from birth has no mental idea of color, but it would be irrational of these to deny the existence of sound and color.
We Christians, however, have no difficulty in admitting the existence of the Blessed Trinity, and today as we honor the three divine Persons, our central thought should concentrate on gratitude to each of the three; the loving Father who planned not only our creation but our elevation to adopted sonship; the all-obedient loving Son, who carried out the Father’s plan, sharing with us our humanity so that we could share in the divinity; the Holy Spirit, fruit of the love of Father and Son, who has come to dwell in the Church and in each individual member, in order to fill our hearts with a true love of God.
We know we are unworthy of this divine generosity. The greatest saints that ever lived on earth were unworthy of such divine interest. That should not and must not stop us from availing of this divine generosity. We can show our gratitude in one way only, that is by appreciating our privilege and by striving to show our appreciation of it in our daily lives.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit know all our human weaknesses, they knew them before they arranged to make us sharers in their own eternal happiness. They know also that it is those of us who try and try again to rise above our human weaknesses, who will finally share their heaven with them.
This possibility is open to all. The Blessed Trinity will exclude nobody from heaven. What we know of their plans for mans sanctification makes such a thought impossible. If some fail the fault will lie completely and entirely with themselves, they did not do the little that was asked of them.
May God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit grant us the strength to overcome our human weaknesses and live and die in their love so that we may share their eternal kingdom with them.
Applications written by Fr. Kevin O’Sullivan and used with permission of Franciscan Press.
The sustaining Force of the Blessed Trinity
The Spirit does not speak, as it were, from himself, but is a listening to and a making clear of the Son, who in turn does not speak on his authority, but is, as the one sent by the Father, his distinct presence. The Father also gives himself to the Son so completely that everything that he has belongs to the Son. Each of the three Persons of the Trinity points to the other two. In this circle of love flowing and intermingling, there is the highest degree of unity and constancy and this in turn gives unity and constancy to everything that exists… What sustains us is the movement of the heart and spirit that leaves itself and is on the way to the other… It is only if each Christian makes his whole being available to the Word in the passage of time that time can as a whole be made open to Christ… The Trinity, then, provides us with the means by which both the individual and the community of the Church can disentangle the confusion of time. We shall not solve the problems that trouble us today by theorizing, but by spiritual means, by entering, in other words, into the form of the Trinity… The selflessness of those who bear witness to Christ gives authenticity to the Church, just as Christ’s selflessness bore authentic testimony to himself and to the Spirit. It is in this way that a living interrelationship can develop, that growth can come about and that we can be led into the fullness of truth, a truth that is richer and greater than anything that we can invent.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments and how unsearchable His ways! For “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has first given to Him, that recompense should be made to him?” For from Him and through Him and unto Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen
Rom. 11: 33-36