The best way for me to communicate what I grasp of the Mystery of the Trinity is by sharing 3 personal experiences. The first relates to God the Father. Looking at the famous painting by Rembrandt about the Return of the Prodigal Son, I was touched by the loving look of the Father and his hands on the back of the Prodigal Son. It seemed to me that the Father was re-creating his son anew. I then realized that the forgiveness of the Father for me (for each of us) is like a re-creation, going back into God’s womb and there, being made anew. It’s more than a simple washing away of the wounds of sins I have committed. Most of us have sins for which we can never make proper amend on our own, and therefore, we would be doomed to hell. Many saints did not commit this kind of sin but only through God’s PREVENTIVE grace. But God the Father, because he is the Creator, the source and origin of everything that exists, can recreate us in his very womb. It’s absolutely amazing and freeing. The Son participates in this forgiveness too. It is through the Son, through his Passion and Resurrection that the Father pours out his forgiveness. The Holy Spirit participates, too. In the Holy Spirit, we are renewed; in him, we receive the desire to be forgiven and the grace to accept it.
The second experience relates more to the Son. It is the experience of infinite beauty that draws us to God. This is according to St. Thomas Aquinas and the Sciptures. Christ is the resplendent image of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). We also get a glimpse of his beauty in the Transfiguration. The beauty of God can be experienced in nature, as is often the case for me, or through Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son: it is the beauty of his teaching, the harmony of his life, the beauty of his virtues, of his holiness, of his goodness. “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being” (John 1:3). All beauty comes from him, especially the beauty of spousal love that we see in marriage and in consecrated life. This experience of beauty is given to us in the Holy Spirit living in us, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son. And its ultimate source is the Father. That experience has a redeeming quality. It is the experience of Christ the Redeemer who gives us a participation in his beauty. The third experience is about being transformed in our most intimate being. Particularly, the experience of being able to love another person or God, above our limited capacity. You wonder how you become more patient, more forgiving, even for a person that you didn’t like. You experience the Love that is from the Father, being active in you, for the sake of other people. It can be quite amazing. It is like the “finger of God” (Luke 11:20), as Jesus said, touching your very self, and making wonders in you. Like ET! The “finger of God” is the Holy Spirit touching you and transforming you. All this is FROM the Father, THROUGH the Son, IN the Holy Spirit.
The Trinity is like a net of relationships coming from above (the Father), through the Son, in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 3), and in the Spirit acting in us. God surrounds us in and out with himself. We are in the joyful dancing and singing circle of the three-in-one.
God bless you,
The Father, the Creator and Origin
The Son, the Redeemer
The Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier