Solemnity of the Holy Trinity 2011

The Holy Trinity from Yates Thompson 13, a Book of Hours from the second quarter of the 14th century
The Holy Trinity: illustration from a Sarum Book of Hours, second quarter of the fourteenth century, now in the British Library.

It would be presumptuous to try to add anything new to the thousands of words, good and bad, written about the Most Holy Trinity. For me, Augustine’s De Trinitate is one of the most satisfying treatments of a profoundly difficult subject, but that is a conclusion I came to only after a nodding acquaintance with modern physics made sense of some of his more mystifying passages.

For some, it is more important that today is Father’s Day. Somehow the two celebrations come together; and if I cannot speak about the Trinity, perhaps I may say something about human beings.

If you think about it, the primary relationship of all of us is that of child — son or daughter, as the case may be. We may not have siblings, we may never be parents ourselves, but we are all the child of someone, or rather, of two persons. The human family reflects the divine, being at least a trinity of persons; but there the analogy ends, for in relation to God, we are, all of us, eternally filial. If we have had inadequate or bad parents or have never known our own parents, this filial relationship with God does not usually come easily. We have to learn an unfamiliar language and it can be painful.

Father’s Day may be another example of soulless commercialisation, but make the connection with today’s feast, and it becomes more than a sentimental commemoration of dear old Dad: it is a reminder of the importance of fatherhood, both human and divine.


10 thoughts on “Solemnity of the Holy Trinity 2011”

  1. It’s a comfort to me to hear you acknowledge this as a ‘profoundly difficult’ subject.
    Trinity Sunday is a mystery to me and I struggle with the months that follow. Advent to Pentecost has such a clear focus and practical expression.
    How do we approach this other half of the liturgical year?

    • I usually post something on Ordinary Time straight after Trinity Sunday, but no time today! It is the doctrine of the Trinity that I find complex, especially once one begins to delve.

      • Thanks. I look forward to reading this, but will also delve in the blog archives.

        May I also ask what has happened to Corpus Christi? As with Ascension Day it isn’t marked up in my calendar or marked out on the pray-as-you-go website. I’m confused.

        • You may have to look in Colophon, the predecessor of iBenedictines. Corpus Christi will be celebrated in England and Wales on 26 June (it has been transferred to the Sunday from the Thursday).

  2. A lovely post sister but I am not sure that child is in fact the primary relationship. We are children for around 12 years. We may be a parent for 8o years, a spouse for 60 years or a sibling for 100 years.

    • Probably my language wasn’t clear enough. We are all someone’s child, i.e. son or daughter (it’s not age dependent), and go on being someone’s child until we die; but we may not have brothers or sisters; we may never marry; we may never have children; in which case spouse and parent are realtionships we do not have.

      • Yes, I see what you mean.
        I have heard the sacrament of marriage called the laity’s own sacrament because it is the only one which cannot be received by the clergy.

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