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The Holy Trinity

Written by Reverend Chris Doig

As we are in the month of May – and one can never talk too much about Our Lady anyway – we we will look at the Holy Trinity from a Marian perspective. The day after we celebrate the Trinity this year is the feast of the Visitation, which is first rooted in Our Lady's Annunciation. Looking at that passage in the light of the Trinity we can see that all three divine persons are there: God the Father sends Gabriel to Mary to announce the good news and her mission to be the Mother of God. Next is mentioned the Spirit who will overshadow her and then she will conceive and bear a Son, whose name is to be Jesus. We can say that Mary was prepared since time began to be a dwelling place for the Holy Trinity (cf. Redemptoris Mater, 1; 8).

It is most fitting to think of Our Blessed Mother on this feast, because she was the first visited by the Trinity. She is the Mother of God, Mother of Christ and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. She is the model or, better, the image of what this divine life can do to the human person, what happens to human nature when it is taken up into God – not lost but repaired and perfected. Like the burning bush in the Exodus story that was burning but never consumed, so too Mary's humanity was not consumed but brought to life, now aglow with the fire of divine love. She now sits at her Son's right hand and enjoys the perfect union of love of the Trinity and she intercedes unceasingly for our eternal fulfilment (Lumen Gentium, 62); and so when we turn to her with a loving gaze, not towards some static picture, but a living image, she can impart divine grace and prepare our souls to live a life of communion with the divine persons, so that our body and soul can be a dwelling place for them.

The joy of this divine communion was infused into Mary at the Annunciation, and she received so much power and grace that it literally drove her out of Nazareth and she ran into the hills to see her cousin Elizabeth. In fact, her whole life was ordered to the Trinity. Together with her husband Joseph, Mary offered up her Son to Father in the temple, she remained with Jesus at the Cross and then she prepared the disciples to receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

A similar power was also given to the disciples on the mountain when Jesus told them to go out and baptize all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mt 28:16-20). Participation in the divine life, then, must move us out of ourselves and towards the other. Yes, Mary spent a lot of time in prayer and contemplation but only so that she could be a greater person of communion, the Mother of God and Mother of us all.

So it is with us. By our baptism we are immersed into this great mystery of the Trinity, not quite in the same way as Our Lady but the process is the same. It is only through the free gift of grace that we are inserted into the divine life, to which we must respond with the same openness and docility as Mary - “let it be done unto me according to your word (Lk 1:36).” The more faithful we are to our baptismal promises, the more space the three persons have to dwell in us. This means that we will no longer hide in our tombs or endlessly wander through the desert. God the Father calls us to live in his house, the Son goes out to get us and show us the way and the Spirit leads us into the fulness of Truth.

Our whole being must be ordered towards this Truth, that we are made for God, and not just any God, but the One True God who is three persons, whose inner life has been revealed to us by the Son, Jesus Christ, and whose life has been impressed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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