Thought for the Day – 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity
The Trinity dogma is not the result of poetic fantasies or of philosophical elucubrations. Nor it is a rational theological formulation that offers the pretext of saying that it is a mystery so detached from our lives that more than one Christian feels quietly authorised to ignore it. The Mystery of the Trinity is a great mystery which surpasses our minds but speaks deeply to our heart because it is, in its essence, nothing but the explication of the profound expression of Saint John: “God is love” (1 Jn 4: 8,16). If God is love, he cannot be loneliness in Himself. In order to have a love affair, it must be at least two. To love only oneself is not love, it is selfishness. God Love is, at least, one who always loves and one who has always been loved and reciprocates love: an eternal Lover, an eternal Beloved and an eternal Love.
The Lover is God, the Father in love, infinitely free and generous in love, motivated to love by no other thing than love.
The eternal Beloved, is the one who always welcomes love: He is eternal gratitude, grace without beginning and end. He is the Son in love.
Love is the Holy Spirit, in whom Their love is always open to self-donation and to “go out of their being”. Therefore, the Spirit is said to be a gift of God, a living source of love, a fire that powers in us the ability to reciprocate Love with love.
This mystery of love is concrete and close to us more than we think and we live it in practice when, above all in the most important or critical times where we most need God, we make the sign of the cross. By marking this holy sign, almost without being fully aware, we call upon the One and Triune God , saying, “In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. Not only do we invoke God Trinity to help us but we praise with the prayer “Glory to the Father, and to the Son and the Holy Ghost … Amen”. St. Teresa of Calcutta often recited as follows: “Glory to the Father-Prayer and to the Son -Poverty and the Holy Spirit- Zeal for souls. Amen-Mary. “ (JUNE 9, 2017 ARCHBISHOP FRANCESCO FOLLO)
How can we put the sign of the Cross into practice? Here are some ways you can make the sign of the Cross a part of your daily life.
1. Immediately after waking and before sleeping – making the sign of the Cross immediately after waking and before sleeping is as ancient as Christianity. It is a powerful way to consecrate our day to Our Lord.
2. When passing a Catholic Church – there is a beautiful Catholic tradition of crossing oneself while passing a Catholic Church in order to recognize Jesus present in the tabernacle and to show Him honour and love.
2. At the Name of the Holy Trinity – in Catholic prayer, the name of the Holy Trinity is often invoked. To show honour to the Holy Trinity, it is a good idea to Cross yourself when saying the Glory Be or any other time the Name is invoked.
3. In reparation for blasphemy – the name of God is abused frequently in daily conversations. If you want to make an act of reparation to God for this abuse of his Name, you can quietly make the sign of the Cross.
4. Before entering a room or house – G.K. Chesterton, the famous Catholic convert and all around genius, was said to have made the sign of the cross before entering any room. This Catholic custom also applies to entering a house and many have Holy Water fonts next to the door for blessings oneself when entering or leaving the home.
5. Blessing people or things – a small sign of the cross can be traced on the forehead of a child or upon an object which you wish to bless.
6. When afraid – in old movies that involve Catholicism, you will often see people cross themselves when in the presence of death, upon receiving bad news, or when generally afraid. Sadly, this custom has fallen out of use but it is an excellent way to drive away fear and to inspire courage.
There are countless other ways to employ the powerful sign of the Cross. The point is, we should use this powerful sign frequently and reverently, paying attention to what we are doing.
“Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink; in our comings in and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are in the way and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor’s sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful and the dread of evils; for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly; for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honour thy Benefactor.”
– St. Cyril of Jerusalem