The Gift of God

May 30, 2021
The Gift of God

Chapter Talk – Trinity Sunday – May 30, 2021, cycle-B

Holy Trinity: God-love.  ‘God-love’ is how Pope Francis addresses the Triune God.  This name he gives for God reveals in a terse, poetic way the nature of the triune God: Love, unconditional Love.  Pope Francis writes: “Jesus made manifest the face of God, in substance One and in persons Triune; God is all and only Love, in a subsistent relationship that creates, redeems and sanctifies all: Father and Son and Holy Spirit” (Angelus, June 11, 2017).  With the incarnation we are given a living encounter with God, a living encounter with unconditional Love.  Once we have experienced this living encounter, we are no longer the same.  We cannot leave behind what this encounter has opened within us, and it continues to call to us to live and serve from the gift of God’s life given to us in his Son.  In another talk Pope Francis says: “And this is faith: to welcome God-Love; to welcome this God-Love who gives himself in Christ, who moves us in the Holy Spirit; to let ourselves be encountered by him and to trust in him. This is Christian life. To love, to encounter God, to seek God; and He seeks us first; He encounters us first” (Angelus, June 7, 2020).  The One who has sought us first becomes the impetus, the motivation that sets us on this journey, a journey of living into the Love at the center of our lives and to be that love for one another.  ‘God-love’ is embodied fully in Jesus, and he is the One we follow.

Mechthild of Magdeburg has written a profound poetic prose reflection on the Holy Trinity.  Her words, written in the 13 th century, resound throughout all the ages and resound now, in this moment on this solemnity: “The Father sings a hymn of praise: ‘I am white water, a surging stream no one can stop.  But, sad to say, a person can block up the heart easily with a foolish thought and so prevent My restless, ever-working Godhead from flowing into their soul’” (Give Us This Day, May 2021, p.312-313).  God is saying we can block this gift of God’s life, this surging stream.  And this we do through a ‘foolish thought’.  What for each of us could be these foolish thoughts that put blocks upon our hearts? Are we being judgmental, murmuring about something, taken by a hurt?  The love of God in the Trinity flows through an open heart, a heart present and aware, not a hardened one, not a heart distracted by many things.

How does the Holy Trinity, this communion of persons, this communion of love meet us in our daily lives?  We love with the love that is God.  For us to love as Christ means self-knowledge is a daily work…We are to quietly reflect, to become aware of the different motives of the heart…daily.  For our inner lives to be an open channel of God’s love, this daily awareness is pivotal.  It is the ‘pure of heart’, the ‘humble of heart’, a heart aware and present, in any given moment that can channel the gift of God’s trinitarian love.           

The Trinitarian life is stamped upon our hearts.  St. Augustine believed “that the structure of the individual human soul was a mirror image (vestige) of the Trinity.  By knowing oneself, one would know God” (The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality, p.970).  The divine Trinity, this communion of Love, is closer to us than perhaps we are to ourselves.  We encounter the Trinity through Christ: the face of God’s love. In this encounter we are always brought back to the truth of ourselves in any given moment and the truth that is God: unconditional Love and Mercy, pulsating in the heart of humanity and in the heart of the world.  We bow before this mystery, we bow before this immense gift of God.

Sr. Kathy DeVico, Abbess

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