How does our understanding of God as Trinity change our lives?
Most people respond with either silence or “What are you talking about?”
What difference does it make how we think about God? Our Church thinks it makes all the difference and I am starting to come to understand it’s central importance as well.
Our Catechism summarizes our belief in the Trinity by describing it as “the central mystery of Christian faith and life.” When it speaks of both “faith and life,” it is speaking about both the revelation of who God is (faith) and that the Trinity shapes the life of the Church and our lives as well.
On the faith side, our language of the “Trinity” tries to capture the revelation of the Father’s love for the Son and the Son’s love for the Father. The Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. The love (Holy Spirit) wraps the Father and Son so tightly that they are one without losing the distinctions of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The stunning reality of this revelation is that God has room for us in this unity in relationship. God has room for us in the “midst” of this love and all of creation flows out of love. To come to know that love is the core attribute of God changes everything.
How does this become the central mystery of “life?” This is our challenge as Christians. The Trinity is supposed to define our life. How?
1. We are made in the image and likeness of the Trinitarian God. If I see God simply as a vindictive, mean, and punishing God, then the human person’s natural state is to be a vindictive, mean, and punishing. Yet, a human being made in the image and likeness of the Trinitarian God is loving and lives in union with others.
2. Every human being is naturally creative. The love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit overflows in creation. The most obvious image is the love of a husband and wife creating a new life. Yet, this is not the only way to be creative. When we truly love, we give life to the other person. We have the ability to give life to others when we commit ourselves to love like we are loved.
3. We are called to enter into this mystery of the Trinity. It is a mystery that cannot be fully grasped, but yet our God wants to be in relationship with us. We can best do this by remaining open to the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives and to keep discovering different facets of our lives.
The Trinity shapes our faith and our life. From a faith perspective, God is constantly in relationship, in love, and creative. From a life perspective, our lives are to be constantly in relationship, in love, and creative. All of this is understood as a mystery that allows us to constantly discover new facets of God and ourselves.
I know I have difficulty talking about the Trinity clearly but I also know that it is so important that I need to talk about it whether I do it well or not! All I can encourage you to do is to try and talk about the Trinity in your own lives and allow it to shape your faith and your life.
Sincerely in Christ,