22 Jun 2011

19th June 2011 - Trinity Sunday

Better late than never!

Last Sunday's show didn't go out on air as the station was off air until after noon. However, this weeks programme will go out in our usual repeat slot on Thursday night. And of course it is available on podcast.

Programme summary

On this weeks programe, we had an interview with Fr Adrian Egan CSsR about Limerick's Solemn Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, our usual gospel reflection as well as our Saints of the Week. 

Limerick's Solemn Novena

We had previously blogged about the solemn novena in Limerick and posted Fr Egan's interview about the novena which can be read here.

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday, officially "The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity," is one of the few feasts of the Christian Year that celebrates a reality and doctrine rather than an event or person. On Trinity Sunday we remember and honor the eternal God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Trinity is one of the most fascinating - and controversial - Christian dogmas. The Trinity is a mystery. By mystery the Church does not mean a riddle, but rather the Trinity is a reality above our human comprehension that we may begin to grasp, but ultimately must know through worship, symbol, and faith. It has been said that mystery is not a wall to run up against, but an ocean in which to swim. The common wisdom is that if you talk about the Trinity for longer than a few minutes you will slip into heresy because you are probing the depths of God too deeply.

Further reflection on the history and theology of the Trinity available from churchyear.net.

The feast while encouraging us to reflect on our understanding of God could be summed up as a feast of Love, the divine love between God the Father and God the Son which is expressed as the Holy Spirit.

It is a feast which encourages us to reflect on the formulations of our faith as expressed in the creeds which sometimes we dont reflect on enough.

The gospel reminds us that God loved us so much he sent his only Son and after the world had rejected him, God sent his Spirit, the spirit of love. After a couple of liturgically heavy weeks it is a moment to pause and reflect.

The inner relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in such a way that each of them is fully and equally God, yet there are not three Gods but one is incomprehensible to the human mind. It is a mystery.

The story is told of St Augustine of Hippo, a great philosopher and theologian who wanted so much to understand the doctrine of the Trinity and to be able to explain it logically. One day as he was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on this, he suddenly saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a whole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup, came and poured it into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and came and poured it into the hole. Augustine went up to her and said, "Little child, what are doing?" and she replied, "I am trying to empty the sea into this hole." "How do you think," Augustine asked her, "that you can empty this immense sea into this tiny hole and with this tiny cup?" To which she replied, " And you, how do you suppose that with this your small head you can comprehend the immensity of God?" With that the child disappeared.

Like Augustine we may not be able to understand the how of the Trinity but I think it is very important to understand the why. Why did God reveal to us this mystery regarding the very nature of the Supreme Being? The importance of this doctrine lies in this: we are made in the image of God, therefore, the more we understand God the more we can understand ourselves. Experts in religion tell us that people always try to be like the God they worship. People who worship a warrior God tend to be warriors, people who worship a God of pleasure tend to be pleasure-seeking, people who worship a God of wrath tend to be angry people, etc. Like a God, like the worshipers. So the more important question for us to ask today is: What does the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity tell us about the kind of God we worship and what does this say about the kind of people we should be?

God does not exist in isolated individualism but in a community of relationships. In other words, God is not a loner or a recluse. This means that a Christian in search of Godliness (Matthew 5:48) must shun every tendency to isolationism and individualism. The ideal Christian spirituality is not that of flight from the world like that of certain Buddhist monastic traditions where the quest for holiness means withdrawal to the Himalayas away from contact with other people and society. 

Further reflections on the feast available from:
Saints of the Week

June 20th - Blessed Irish Martyrs
June 21st - St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ
June 22nd - Ss John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs
June 23rd - St Joseph Cafasso
June 24th - Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist
June 25th - Ss John and Paul, Martyrs of Rome

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