Today is Trinity Sunday. How best to live it out?
Love your family.
Yes, it is this simple. And this hard.
Because if God is a community of love, a trinity of persons, a three-in-one, then the very best way we have to celebrate this central truth of Christianity is to be a community of love. Which starts at home.
We Catholics speak the name of the Trinity every time we start to pray: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
But how often do we stop to consider that with each quick sign of the cross, we are evoking the very essence of family? A parent, a child, and the love between them.
Today as you love your family – in the everyday, concrete, hands-on ways that families love, over food and through tears and in quiet – think about what they have taught you of love. How it wakes in the night, how it keeps going in the dark, how it turns our faces toward light.
Today as you love your family – parents and grandparents, children and step-children, nieces and nephews, spouses and siblings – think about what it means that the Trinity is unity in diversity. That the dazzling force of creation itself springs from three different people loving each other.
And tonight, when you slip into bed with the day’s ordinary disappointments and failings still circling round regret, let yourself be forgiven by the mystery that our God is the dynamic dance of love itself. Every time we bow our heads and bend back toward each other to try again, we are stepping back into this Trinity dance that is the love of God.
The most important difference between Christianity and all other religions (is) that in Christianity God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance… (The) pattern of this three-personal life is . . . the great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality.
–C. S. Lewis
Love your family.
It will always be this hard and this simple. The people you are given to love are usually the same ones who lead you back to God, by their blessing or by their failing. They teach you what love is and is not and could be.
And on a Sunday that celebrates the wild mystery that is God, what better way to humble yourself back than to share gratitude and joy with the ones you’ve been blessed by the Trinity to love?
All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that ‘God is love.’ But they seem not to notice that the words ‘God is love’ have no real meaning unless God contains at least two Persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love. Of course, what these people mean when they say that God is love is often something quite different: they really mean ‘Love is God.’ They really mean that our feelings of love, however and wherever they arise, and whatever results they produce, are to be treated with great respect. Perhaps they are: but that is something quite different from what Christians mean by the statement ‘God is love.’ They believe that the living, dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created everything else.
–C. S. Lewis
For more on the Trinity, check out these posts: