What Is the Holy Trinity?

The Holy Trinity is certainly one of the most unfathomable mystery in the Catholic Church, and may be considered as something non-sense, too complicated to take into belief—or even blasphemous by Protestants and non-believers alike. One of the most popular questions to raise against it is “How can God be three persons when the very definition of God is essentially one?” For Catholics, the explanation that we can give—one that is drawn from catechesis—is that the Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit who are all consubstantial to each other. The three Persons have a divine, relational connection to one another. However, it seems that this is the farthest Catholics can explain away the Holy Trinity and it is unfair for a couple of reasons. First, let’s be honest: not a lot of the faithful can truly understand the definition of the Holy Trinity in a philosophical sense. Not everyone is blessed by the gift of intellect, and I do not intend to undermine them. In fact, some of them may even be better than the so-called “intellectuals” because they sure do have something that “intellectuals” do not. Yet, this point is a worthy topic for another post. The next reason is that even if the faithful understands the concept of the Holy Trinity, their understanding of it may be more or less a surface level understanding and may not be able to connect that understanding to them on a deeper, more personal level.

There is man named Joshua with a deep romantic admiration for a woman named Samantha. Joshua pursues her relentlessly, and Samantha is well aware of his intentions. The two starts getting to know each other. This allowed Joshua to pursue her on a more personal way, knowing what ticks her and what does not. Yet, Samantha is not sure of her feelings for him, and so there were times when she becomes indifferent to him. Sometimes she does not even feel any “butterflies” with him. But Joshua does not budge. He never gives up on her. After weeks, months, and years of persevering in his pursuit, Samantha finally confesses her love to him as well. They were together for a little while as couple and, eventually Joshua proposed to her. It was during a family gathering for Joshua’s birthday celebration on a blissfully colorful sunny day. The entire family gathered together with the two of them around the cake table. After they sang to him a happy birthday, Joshua wasted no second, knelt before her, took out the ring out of his pocket, and said to her “There may be many gifts I could receive on this day, but I know I did not have to wait for this day to receive the greatest one. I already knew when I first laid my eyes upon you, that you would be the greatest gift for me. Samantha, you are the greatest gift God gave to me because you make me feel complete. So with that, will you marry me and be with me for the rest of my life?” Samantha, with tears joy, said yes, and a year later the two got married.

Just as Joshua and Samantha complete one another with the undying love between them, God the Father and the God the Son complete one another with the Holy Spirit. Their love for another is certainly evident in scriptures:

“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” – Luke 3:22

“Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit” – Luke 23:46

The Father pours out His complete love for His beloved Son and the Son responds to that love by living out in full trust and self-abandonment to the Father just as Joshua pours out his love to Samantha without any reservation and Samantha responds to it by surrendering her entire life under the care of his hands.

So what does this tell us about the Holy Trinity?

It tells us that the concept of the Holy Trinity shows the completeness of our faith. God is complete in a way that there is a relational fulfillment in Him. This relational fulfillment is established by the Father, the Son, and the love between them which is the Holy Spirit. This relational fulfillment is what makes oneness sacred. When the family is one and united, it is holy. When communities are one, it is holy. When a person is mentally, physically, and spiritually united, he or she is holy. Redemption consists in being one with the One who is Holy. The Holy Trinity is a dogmatic display of what we, faithful, ought to be, and that is to be complete.

In our lifetime, we seek things that make us complete. Our present age longs for that which makes us complete. Unfortunately, some of us look for that what we think completes us in the wrong places. And we cling to that thing for as much as we can, which then turns into addiction. Whether it be money, material possession, sex, alcohol, power, we have made those things which we think make us happy as our gods. The Holy Trinity is a reminder that we can never be complete by all the things the world offers us. Only by God – who is complete – can we be completed.

Divine Love craves for the Human Love, and this is why the Father sends His Son to the world. He sends His Son to the world to create a pattern for us to follow. The willingness of the Son to endure suffering and death is a testament of faith that the Father will complete Him through the Resurrection. The willingness and the faith signify the presence of the Holy Spirit. As the Son willingly offers up every patches of His humanity – such as suffering, hunger, sickness – so too must we offer the same thing to the Father with faith and willingness, that we may be made complete as well with the promise of His Resurrection for us.

The organic elements necessary for human survival are carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. These elements consist of a single unit that repeats itself in forming a strand. Similarly, God calls us to form the pattern of the Holy Trinity in us. As each and every one of us form that pattern of completeness in us, we form a strand, and that strand depicts an image as it grows. And the image is God.

We are still in the progress of forming the pattern of the Holy Trinity in us, as we continue with our lives, and this is perhaps the reason why we still call a great mystery.

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