What's in Your Heart
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed, perhaps after experiencing a traumatic event or receiving bad news? Jesus had the insight to realize that his followers were about to be traumatized by his crucifixion, so he promised them further guidance by way of the Spirit once they could “bear” to hear it. It is important for us to know when we need some healing time before moving forward, especially when confronted with loss or setback.
In the fourth century a lot of people in the Christian world thought the priest Arius had a pretty good take on the Trinity. He said that God came before his Word, so there was a time when Jesus was not. Some Christians even went around crooning: “There was a time when the Son was not.” It became a top hit of the day. But then Saint Athanasius came along and said: “Those who maintain ‘There was a time when the Son was not’ rob God of his Word, like plunderers.” Saint Augustine soon weighed in with his own take on the Trinity. Instead of a catchy tune, he told a love story. Love, he said, requires a lover, a beloved, and the action of love. Because love has these three parts, and God is the greatest love, then God must have three parts.
But the last word on the Trinity goes to Saint Gregory of Nazianzus: “No sooner do I conceive of the one than I am illumined by the splendor of the three; no sooner do I distinguish them than I am carried back to the one.”
What’s your way of telling the story of the Trinity?
The world’s your ship, not your home.
—Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
And so in our making, God almighty is our loving Father, and God all wisdom is our loving Mother, with the love and goodness of the Holy Spirit, which is all one God, one Lord.
—Julian of Norwich
There is a holy and perfect Trinity, acknowledged as God in the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. . . . The Father does all things through the Word in the Holy Spirit. Thus the unity of the Trinity is safeguarded . . . .