I was asked one time, about fifteen years ago, by a Trinity University professor, in San Antonio, over dinner, how I knew that God existed. I almost expected the question since I knew the professor was a non-practicing Catholic. And being a professor I thought he would appreciate my answer: I gave him the proofs of the existence of God in pure Thomistic philosophy: God as the First Mover, God as the First Cause, God as the Supreme Perfection, God as the Intelligent Designer of the Universe. I thought that I had scored a technical knockout. But he wanted more. He asked: But how do YOU know that God exists? I talked, then, about MY EXPERIENCE of God. That was the answer he was looking for. So, that could be my question to you today on this Solemnity of the Holy Trinity: What is your own experience of God?
Our life as believers in God is to deepen our faith and our love for this God who is the source of everything we are and everything we do. We make attempts daily, though a life of prayer and fidelity, to connect with this Supreme Being, who has been revealed to us by Jesus as a Trinitarian God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier. It is with the Grace of Faith that we are able to give assent to this most holy mystery. We endeavor to understand this reality, which is at the same time, ONE and THREE, one God and three Persons and right away we are defeated by the impossibility of grasping the fullness of the Infinite with our finite mind. But we must continue to go deeper into the mystery, to know more about this reality and with great humility. "How can you put the immense waters of the sea into that cup?" an angel supposedly ask St. Augustine as he walked by the sea shore pondering the mystery of the Trinity. Yes, our mind, is that small cup.
Our understanding of God requires a formulation to which we must all assent. The Councils of the Church throughout the centuries have provided that UNITY of doctrine which enables all to adhere to the same belief. The Council of Nicaea, in present day Turkey, in 325 AD resulted in an ecumenical consensus of that NATURE of God and of Jesus is truly the Son of God and a true man. The Nicene Creed that we recite on Sundays is the product of that theological and ecumenical tradition. Other Ecumenical Councils dealt with the same formulation about the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son. What we recite so simply and clearly was the product of blood, sweat, and tears.
And so the question remains: Who is God for YOU? Perhaps the answer may depend on your own spirituality. Some are able to focus more on the FATHERHOOD of God. St. Therese of the Child Jesus was not able to say the prayer "Our Father who are in Heaven..." without shedding many tears overwhelmed by the privilege of being "a child of God." Others are more Christ oriented in their prayer life. Others are able to be filled with the Holy Spirit for everything they do. How about you? Whatever your spirituality, we all must aspire to be like the great saints, like St. Dominic, our Founder, who, according to his contemporaries "only talked with God and about God." Our life filled with His Presence, in good times and in bad times, in joy and in sorrow, from the beginning of the day to the end, "being present to God and having God present in all that we are and do." That may be the best way to honor the mystery of the Trinity.
May GOD THE FATHER, and THE SON and THE HOLY SPIRIT bless you,