The Catechism of the church teaches us that the greatest mystery of our faith is the Holy Trinity. Though it requires understanding, it primarily requires faith. God revealed himself as one God in three persons. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit share one divine essence (they are ‘consubstantial’ as we pray it in the Creed). God is a communion of Love.
God is always life-giver. That’s why we call him Creator. So when he reveals himself as Holy Trinity, he reveals the ‘secret’ of all Life. Faith, from our part, is indeed required to recognise the Holy Trinity as the source of all life. Faith is required to connect to this source.
Psychology revealed how important it is for the child to identify with their mother and their father. Developmental psychology, and psycho-analysis carefully studied this very important and vital process in our individual formation. They showed how important it is for the child to be severed from their ‘original unity’ with their mother, as before and after the birth they are one. Gradually, the mother has to let their ‘child go’. They help they child on this journey. When they teach their child to speak, they are, symbolically and in reality, handing over them to the father. For our introduction into language is our first absorbing the laws, values, and the culture of society. We could sum up this important process as a journey, supported by our mother’s and father’s love. The child identifies with the love of their parents, and this trust, this faith, this instinct to believe sustains them on becoming an independent, real person.
Today’s feast is an eye-opener. Our ‘individuation’, our becoming our truer self does not stop. We need this second identification with God’s very life. Besides acquiring the language that we speak, we need to acquire the language of Love. This is the language and life of the Holy Trinity.
Christianity, when it stepped onto the stage of history, was not a political or ideological movement. It was the very emergence of a new language which spoke a new life. The first generation of Christians, actually for centuries, were ‘obsessed’ on thinking about this secret which God has shared with us. They wanted to penetrate into the life of the Holy Trinity. They contemplated, prayed, and imitated the love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And this imitation, this fervent desire to live according to this love made a difference. It was not about theology, the life of the whole society, that of a whole culture was based on this vision.
Today we are called to contemplate the fruits of our union with the Holy Trinity. Our murderous instincts, our destructive powers, our desires to dominate, even to kill, are offered an alternative. This is an alternative which requires permanent work. This alternative is laborious, it is daily if not hourly toiling. But when individuals and communities contemplate and imitate the life of the Triune God, we are given wonderful capacities. These constitute us as humans, and keep us humane.
If we speak the language of the Trinity, through this identification with divine Love, we have an imagination to live in peace. We have an ability to tell our stories, to write novels, poetry, to sing. We have the ability to produce art and beauty, and to delight in life and social justice. If one imitates the self-giving life of the Trinity which produced our salvation by the death and Resurrection of Jesus, we have the most beautiful and important ability of ours: to start anew. To begin anew, to rebuild, to grow, to reconcile proceeding even the lowest points of one’s life.
Sadly, actually tragically, we live in a ‘fatherless’ culture. Parental authority, authority in general is lost. The ‘second level of fatherhood’, God as an authority is lost. However techno wiz our society becomes if we are not initiated into the language of love as our mother tongue, uncontrollable forces will organise and take control over our lives. If we don’t have the Trinity as our Loving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we will be threatened by fragmentation, criminality, and the delirium, agitation, false visions. The ‘collapse of the paternal function’, the collapse of our desire for union with the Triune God will inevitably lead to the ‘surge in riots and revolutions… the explosion of the death drive, which threaten globalized humanity today’ (Julia Kristeva, Ch 7 ‘A Father is Being Beaten to Death’ in Julia Kristeva, Passions of Our Time, Columbia University Press, New York 2018), pp.91-100
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..