Trinity Sunday: The Soul's Relationship With the Trinity

Trinity Sunday: The Soul's Relationship With the Trinity

By Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

6/39.2 The soul’s relationship with each of the Three Divine Persons.

The divine life in which we are called to participate is extraordinarily bounteous indeed. The Father eternally engenders the Son, and the Father and the Son together breathe forth the Holy Spirit. This generation of the Son and the spiration of the Holy Spirit is not something that took place at a particular moment in time and gave rise once and for all to the Three Divine Persons. No. These ‘processions’, as theologians call them, are eternal.

In the case of human generation, a father begets a son but thereafter both father and son continue to exist independently of the act of begetting, even if one of them later dies. The man who is father is not just ‘father’: both before and after begetting he is ‘man’. In God, by contrast, the essence of the Father consists in giving life to the Son: this is what determines him as a Divine Person really distinct from the others. Among human beings, the son who is begotten has a separate existence from his father; but the essence of the Only-begotten Son of God consists precisely in being Son.[7371] And it is through him, making ourselves like him by the constant impulse of the Holy Spirit that we obtain and grow in the awareness of our divine filiation. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.[7372]

Among men, paternity and filiation are circumstances that fall short of defining the subject completely; but in God, paternity, filiation and spiration constitute the entire being of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.[7373]

From the moment man is first called to participate in the divine life through the grace of Baptism, he is destined to participate in it ever more and more; along this path he must journey continually. From the Holy Spirit we constantly receive impulses, motions and inspirations to encourage us to travel faster along the way that leads to God, and to revolve in an ever tighter ‘orbit’ around Our Lord. Our heart now needs to distinguish and adore each one of the divine Persons. The soul is, as it were, making a discovery in the supernatural life, like a little child opening his eyes to the world about him. The soul spends time lovingly with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and readily submits to the work of the lifegiving Paraclete, who gives himself to us without the slightest merit on our part, bestowing on us his gifts and the supernatural virtues!

We have run ‘like the deer, longing for flowing streams’ (Ps 41:2), thirsting, our lips parched and dry. We want to drink at this source of living water. All day long, without doing anything strange, we move in this abundant, clear spring of fresh waters that leap up to eternal life (cf John 4:14). Words are not needed, because the tongue cannot express this wonder. The intellect grows calm. One does not reason; one looks! And the soul breaks out once more into song, a new song, because it feels and knows it is under the loving gaze of God, all day long.[7374]

[7371] cf J. M. Pero-Sanz, The Athanasian Symbol, Madrid, 1976

[7372] Second Reading, Year C: Rom 8:14-17

[7373] A Carthusian, The Trinity and Interior life, Madrid, 1958

[7374] St J. Escrivá, Friends of God, 306-307