mercredi, juin 10, 2009

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

With this Sunday, begins the time after Pentecost that will lead us toward the end of the liturgical year. We had the opportunity to meditate on two of the great mysteries of Faith, which are the Incarnation, during the Christmas cycle, and the Redemption during the Easter cycle. This new liturgical season begins with the feast of the Blessed Trinity, which is the third great mystery of faith.
Since the beginning of the liturgical year, we have contemplated the works of God in the history of men. Certainly, the moral aspect was still present in the liturgy, especially with the epistles of Saint Paul that we find throughout the liturgical year. The divine interventions of God in our world suppose an answer from men. The Revelation speaks first to our intelligence, but in order to move then our will. The Sundays after Pentecost will help us to answer in a right way by conforming our lives to our faith. We would say that the agenda of this liturgical season can be summarized by the words of Saint Paul: Walk in the spirit! (Ga 5,16) The gift of the spirit has been given to us: it is the gift of Pentecost. Now we have to use it well in order to achieve the will of God that is our sanctification.
We said yesterday evening during our meditation on the Holy Spirit that in order to act well, we have to know first our nature and our condition and to know the principles of spiritual life that unfortunately too many people ignore. The regime of grace in which we live now has its rules and principles that have been well described and commented by the Saints and the Doctors. It is precisely an effect of the Spirit that one lives according to these rules and principles of spiritual life. The progress of your soul depends basically on how you apply them.
The great principle of everything is in fact God himself, and it happens that God is Trinity, which means, as Saint Thomas says, trine-unity. And Saint Athanasius says: Unity in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity is to be revered. It is certainly a great mystery that God is Three Persons, well distinct but truly equal. Yet, the fact that it is a mystery should not dispense us from making the effort of our intelligence that would be a fair answer to the gift of Revelation. And effort means sacrifice. The quest for God is difficult but it is worthwhile and salutary.
Seek God and your soul shall live, Psalm 69 says. But Saint Augustine warns us. It would be rash and dangerous to think that you know God. Our quest for God is never achieved in this present life. This is why the Psalmist adds in Psalm 104: Seek His face evermore. Similarly Saint Paul also says: And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he hath not yet known as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known by him. (1 Co 2-3) There would be a lot to say about this sentence. It is an invitation to humility and to charity. Whatever you know about God is still nothing and can even be dangerous because of a certain pride. It is a usual temptation that when you know, you want to be sure that others know that you know. So Saint Paul, well aware of this danger, invites us to love in order to be known by God. Yet, it is still true that we owe to progress in our knowledge of God. Saint Augustine encourages us by saying: Let us seek with the desire to find, and find with the desire to seek still more. Whatever you know, you still have more to know.
In order to know more about God we can look at ourselves, since we have been created to His image. Saint Augustine says that when I love something, I discovered three things, which are myself, the thing that I love, and love itself. If a soul loves itself, there is a certain identity between the lover and the thing that is loved.. There is a relation between two terms: the soul that loves and love. They are on a relative point of view two different things, but they are united together in one spirit.
Now, in order to love something, you have to know it first. A soul knows itself first and then loves itself. The soul and the knowledge of itself are two different things, but again they are united together in one spirit. So, Saint Augustine says that the soul, its knowledge and its love are three different things but these three things are only one; and when they are perfect, they are equal. Our soul, our intelligence and our will are finally the image of the Blessed Trinity. In God, there is a perfection of knowledge and of love, so there is a equality between the three terms: three things that are only one substance.
It is then in the right comprehension of intelligence and of love that we can apprehend as much as we can the mystery of God. Knowing and loving! Here is the principle of our religious life that is well conformed to our rational nature. Being created in the image of God, with an intelligence and a will, we have to use them in order to return to Him, our principle and our end. If you know God, as He truly is, which is Trinity, then we can love Him. If you love Him, then we are known by Him. We are incorporated into the relations between the Three Divine Person. In other word, we share the Divine intimacy with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is the gift of the Divine grace.

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