[Copyright TAN Books, reproduced with permission.]
"I return thanks to You, O God, one and true Trinity, one sovereign divinity, holy and indivisible unity." (Roman Breviary)
1. From Advent until today, the Church has had us consider the magnificent manifestations of God's mercy toward men: the Incarnation, the Redemption, Pentecost. Now she directs our attention to the source of these gifts, the most Holy Trinity, from whom everything proceeds. Spontaneously, there rises to our lips the hymn of gratitude expressed in the Introit of the Mass: "Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity; we will give glory to Him, because He has shown His mercy to us": the mercy of God the Father, "who so loved the world that He gave it His only-begotten Son" (cf. John 3,16); the mercy of God the Son, who to redeem us became incarnate and died on the Cross; the mercy of the Holy Spirit, who deigned to come down into our hearts to communicate to us the charity of God and to make us participate in the divine life. The Church has very fittingly included in the Office for today the beautiful antiphon inspired by St Paul: "Caritas Pater est, gratia Filius, communicatio Spiritus Sanctus, O beata Trinitas!"; the Father is charity, the Son is grace and the Holy Spirit is communication: applying this, the charity of the Father and the grace of the Son are communicated to us by the Holy Spirit, who diffuses them in our heart. The marvellous work of the Trinity in our souls could not be better synthesized. Today's Office and Mass form a veritable paean of praise and gratitude to the Blessed Trinity; they are a prolonged Gloria Patri and Te Deum. These two hymns — one a succinct epitome, and the other a majestic alternation of praises — are truly the hymns for today, intended to awaken in our hearts a deep echo of praise, thanksgiving and adoration.
2. Today's feast draws us to praise and glorify the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, not only because of the great mercy They have shown to men, but also and especially in Themselves and for Themselves: first, by reason of Their supreme essence which had no beginning and will never have an end; next, because of Their infinite perfections, Their majesty, essential beauty and goodness. Equally worthy of our adoration is the sublime fruitfulness of life by which the Father continually generates the Word, while from the Father and the Word proceeds the Holy Spirit. The Father is not prior to, or superior to the Word; nor are the Father and the Word prior to or greater than the Holy Spirit. The three divine Persons are all co-eternal and equal among Themselves: the divinity and all the divine perfections and attributes are one and the same in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. What can man say in the presence of such a sublime mystery? What can he understand of it? Nothing! Yet what has been revealed to us is certain, because the Son of God Himself, "who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him" (John 1,18). But the mystery is so sublime and it so exceeds our understanding, that we can only bow our heads and adore in silence. "O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable are His ways!" exclaims St Paul in today's Epistle (Romans 11, 33-36). He who, having been "caught up in paradise", could neither know nor say anything except that he had "heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter" (2 Corinthians 12, 2-4). In the presence of the unspeakable mystery of the Trinity the highest praise is silence, the silence of the soul that adores, knowing it is incapable of praising or glorifying the divine Majesty worthily.
"O eternal Trinity, You are a deep sea in which the more I seek the more I find, and the more I find, the more I seek to know You. You fill us insatiably, because the soul, before the abyss which You are, is always famished; and hungering for You, O eternal Trinity, it desires to behold truth in Your light. As the thirsty hart pants after the fount of living water, so does my soul long to leave this gloomy body and see You as You are, in truth.
"O unfathomable depth! O Deity eternal! O deep ocean! What more could You give me than to give me Yourself? You are an ever-burning fire; You consume and are not consumed. By Your fire, You consume every trace of self-love in the soul. You are a Fire which drives away all coldness and illumines minds with its light, and with this light You have made me know Your truth. Truly this light is a sea which feeds the soul until it is all immersed in You, O peaceful Sea, eternal Trinity! The water of this sea is never turbid; it never causes fear, but gives knowledge of the truth. This water is transparent and discloses hidden things; and a living faith gives such abundance of light that the soul almost attains to certitude in what it believes.
"You are the supreme and infinite Good, good above all good; good which is joyful, incomprehensible, inestimable; beauty exceeding all other beauty; wisdom surpassing all wisdom, because You are Wisdom itself. Food of angels, giving Yourself with fire of love to men! You are the garment which covers our nakedness; You feed us, hungry as we are, with Your sweetness, because You are all sweetness with no bitterness. Clothe me, O eternal Trinity, clothe me with Yourself, so that I may pass this mortal life in true obedience and in the light of the most holy faith with which You have inebriated my soul." (St Catherine of Siena)