As we honor our human fathers, today’s a perfect day – the Feast of the Holy Trinity – to honor the Father of us all.
Importance of Fathers
Fathers co-create life. Fathers protect. Fathers guide. A father’s love for his wife — as sacrificial as Christ is to his bride the Church — energizes the love within the family. Fathers image Christ in the home.
We also know that our fathers are very human, and the ideals to which they are called may not have been fully realized in their lives on this Earth. Fortunately we have a Father in heaven, who never fails us.
God the Father
When we reflect on God the Father, we need to focus on two aspects of his divine fatherhood. The Catechism states: By calling God “Father”, the language of faith indicates two main things: that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent authority; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children. (CCC 239)
God the Father shows us that Jesus is his beloved son. He gives us his beloved son to suffer and die for our sins: The Father who creates us redeems us in the sacrifice of his son. What does this tell us about the Father’s love for us?
- God’s love for us has no limit.
- God’s love generates, sustains, redeems, guides and accompanies us through eternity.
- God’s love for us is infused with mercy.
- God loves us as his eternal children.
God the Father is not a soloist; he exists in the trio of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is inseparable, and the greatest mystery of the faith: The three persons of the Trinity are one being – consubstantial.
The Trinity is the highest principle of faith, the one that orders all others. It is a mystery, which one must accept as such – a mystery.
The Implications of Trinitarian Thinking
We are baptized in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Note the singular “name,” not “names” – further reinforcing their consubstantial unity. We receive the Son’s Body & Blood in the Eucharist at First Communion. At Confirmation we receive the Holy Spirit, and the attendant gifts of The Spirit. These gifts help us discern our vocation: to married life, consecrated singlehood or religious life – nun, monk or priest.
The Trinity is with us in each sacrament of the Church, in each prayer we send forth and in each relationship we have. The Trinity is a community of love. When we love, the Trinity is with us. Each conversation we have, each hug we give, each prayer we send forth for another is infused with the Trinity. This puts every aspect in our lives in 3D, or rather 3T – not just three-dimensional, but Trinitarian. The opposite hold true: When we choose not to love, when we sin, we separate ourselves from our 3T God, and we become flattened, limited one-dimensional, broken creates.
The Orthodox keep icons in every room to remind people that the eyes of the saints are always watching us. Catholics often place crucifixes in rooms, which are potent reminders of Christ’s sacrificial presence in our midst. Our response to these sacramentals is to make the Sign of the Cross. How many times does this simple sign of the Trinity mark the path of our days?
The Trinity lives within us in Baptism, is invigorated by the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit. We need to remember that we live our lives in 3T. Each word we say, each thought we have, each action we take, each choice we discern – all these exist within the Trinity. Our prayers guide us:
We pray to Our Father – Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…”
We pray to Jesus: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.
We pray to the Holy Spirit:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray: O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
And we pray the Glory Be: Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.
As you give thanks to your earthly father today, remember your heavenly Father. And remember that Father exists in a consubstantial community of love in the Holy Trinity. This reality infuses all that we are, all that we do, and all that we are to become.