When Fr. Luigi walked into the class he carried with him his “dispensa” or large book of mimeographed graphed notes in Italian.
It was 1 1/2” think and we knew that we all would becoming intimate friends with it’s pages.
There was a collective sigh when he started handing them out.
The sigh was heartfelt but almost inaudible because you didn’t mess with Fr. Luigi.
The notes contained many chapters.
There were chapters on the historical development of the dogma Trinity,
and the scriptural basis for the belief in the Trinity.
There was a chapter on what the Church Fathers had said about the Trinity,
and also a long chapter on the theological controversies which were rooted in our understanding of the Trinity.
We dutifully memorized and quizzed each other over and over again,
On the exam I gave Fr. Luigi back everything he gave me so much so that I got an A on the Trinity.
It sounds weird even to say it ,
“I got an A on the Trinity.”
At the end of the class the notes were put back on the shelf hopefully never to be opened again.
After all I reasoned the Trinity was and is a mystery and we can never really go much deeper than memorizing the formula.
Remember the vision of St. Augustine and the little boy.
St. Augustine was walking along the shore meditating on the mystery of the Trinity when he caught sight of a little boy who had dug a hole and was running to the sea filling up a shell and dumping it in the hole.
When Augustine asked him what he was doing he said, “I am going to put the sea into that hole.”
Augustine responded, “you will never be able to put the sea into that hole.”
The little boy responded, “you will never be able to figure out the mystery of Trinity” and disappeared.
It just goes to show you that even brilliant saints need humility.
Then one day a little Nun named
Sr. Bianchini brought up the Trinity.
Her theology came not from a big dispensa or book of formula rather it sprang from the hours she spent in prayer.
She said to me.
”We were created by God who is a communion of love.”
The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit love each other in the most intense and passionate communion of love which ever has existed and ever will exist.
She went on to explain that
our desire to love and be loved is so strong because God who created us is Himself a communion of love which we call the Trinity.
It made so much sense to me.
Our fear of loneliness,
our desire to share our lives with others,
our ability to love,
our ability to do heroic things,
all of these come from a tiny memory in our heart of the communion which exists in the Trinity.
We spend our whole life and all of our energy trying to get back to that communion and live in the presence of God.
As St. Augustine said.
“Our souls can’t rest until they rest in You”
So once we understand that because we were created by God who revealed Himself as a community of never ending love we can understand that we too were created to love,
Our desire to love in a small way is a mirror of God’s passionate love in the Trinity.
Our love can be generative because God’s is.
Our love heals because God’s does.
Our love is faithful because God’s is.
Think about it,
this deep seated desire to love motivates almost all of what we think, say or do.
Why else would a father or mother get up and go to a job they hate for years and even decades if it wasn’t motivated by love of their families?
Why would a husband and wife struggle through all the seasons of marriage if they were not motivated by love?
And why else would parents refuse to give up on their kids even when they seem distant and cold?
And why else would anyone lay down their life for for a complete stranger like st. Maximillian Kolbe did … in the horror of Aushwitz?
What is a person really looking for when they casually hook up or go on the internet for things they would never watch with their mother?
Even these sins are often vain attempts to be loved to be freed from loneliness, to be whole.
GK Chesterson said “Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God”
Yes on this day on which the Church calls us to meditate on the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity
we have also gain insight into ourselves,
what motivates us and
how we were created to live and love.
our faith properly understood is not a dry collection of formula and ritual in a dusty book on a shelf,
it is a passionate search for unity and communion with our God,
our God, who lives in the incredible communion of the Trinity
and longs for us to love Him,
Father Son and Holy Spirit.