Monday, May 18, 2015

Mystery of the Trinity

Friends of Faith:

I think Ascension and Pentecost rival Easter and Christmas as Holy days – or maybe I should say I realize that it is as necessary to celebrate them in order to fulfill the Christian Church’s very existence and God’s gift of eternal life for each of us.

Jesus’ birth, death and rising give us the promise of eternal life. His ascension into Heaven and his sending of the Hoy Spirit guides us to the fulfillment of that very life. Without any part we would have lost a piece of a puzzle without which we could not be completed.  They are the fulfillment of the mystery of the Holy and Divine Trinity.

Just as Jesus took care of us, we are called to take care of others—to care more about each other than ourselves, to live not to gratify me, but to gratify and support each other.

“Brothers and sisters, live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. Gal 5:16-25

Our human nature makes us sinful, and yet through God’s infinite grace and mercy he gives us the example of Jesus and the guidance of the Spirit to complete us. He knew even in creating us in his likeness that we would need both example and gift so that we could eventually come back to Him—the example of selfishly serving each other through the grace and gifts of the Spirit.

“But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, lust, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5: 16-25

Wow—can’t we as Christians see these faults in others, aka society (in law, in politics, in the culture.) And I don’t have to look very deeply into myself to see my own faults. No one person or culture is “exempt” from the temptations. All of us at some time or another have failed to keep our tempers, have told a lie or have done something that is more about what’s good for me than about what’s good for society as a whole.

It’s not a "judgment" to look around and realize our faults and the faults of others, it is more of a review of what is and what should be, of determining right from wrong, good from evil, of how we should change our daily lives to help others and to help others learn the truth. (We cannot however judge God’s mercy, forgiveness or condemnation.)This is the Spirit working within us, allowing us to evangelize and live our Christian faith, values and morals as an example to others.
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.” Gal 5: 16-25

The Holy Spirit is what guides us to discern what is from God and what the temptations of the world are that lead us away from God. The reward of the fruits of the Spirit may be given to us personally or because of our example the entire Christian community may grow when it sees how our faith helps us to overcome the sacrifice and sufferings of daily life.

I think the Saints (apostles and modern day disciples like Dorothy Day, JPII and Mother Theresa) are most “rewarded” when we follow their example and study their lives—when we strive to learn and live as they themselves did by living with less and giving more of our time, talents and treasures to others.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. 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.

We are called to live in the Trinity, in the reception of the Spirit, in the mystery of living and dying through faith by protecting and treating with dignity every life (born and unborn) (legal and illegal) (sinner and saint).

God’s law cannot be enforced politically—rather we must each strive to live not for ourselves but for the common good of others.

Renew in us our faith,


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