From a very young age, I was taught to make the sign of a cross and calling the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit on my pillow before going to bed at night. I was told that this will keep away bad dreams and keep me safe through the night. I remember doing this diligently simply because I didn’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night by a bad or frightening dream. This was like my safety net and I never failed to do it every night. This does not mean that I never had bad dreams but I simply did it, even though I may not have understood how it works, I kept doing it for the longest time I can remember.
The solemnity that we celebrate today is something that many of us have learned from a very young age. We were taught to call on the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for various reasons: to begin or conclude a prayer, before going on a journey, before starting an exam, and like me, calling on that name before going to sleep. There is much about the Trinity that many of us do not understand. Great doctors and theologians of the Church like Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, and many other great minds have all in their own way tried to explain. Even as I read them today, I admit that I have a better understanding, but not the language I would use for someone who asks for an explanation on the Trinity.
While in school many of us learned things like the Pythagorean theorem, law of gravitation, newton’s law of motion, algebra formulas, etc, etc. At that time, we just learned the principles and like me (most likely many others too), did not challenge these ‘laws and theories’ but just learned how to apply them in mathematical or scientific realms (I still don’t understand why I had to learn them!). There are many truths in our faith that escape our human understanding and even logic. Faith is neither a mathematical problem or a puzzle to be solved. Here it is God who chooses to present Himself in a Trinitarian vision… not a “problem” to be solved but a mystery to believe.
The Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity is neither the time for us to try to explain this mystery or hope to have a fuller understanding (there are other times for this). Despite not understanding (like many other things in life), we are called to make that ‘leap of faith’. As a child, I certainly did not understand the Trinity as I do now, but that did not stop me from taking that ‘leap of faith’, trusting that by the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, I will be protected from bad dreams.
Origen once said, the ‘Trinity is the fountain of all holiness’ and as a child, in that simple act of faith, I somewhat found “holiness”. For us today, the Trinity is our source of faith, on which we model our Christian discipleship. Therefore, on this Trinity Sunday, let us once again make that ‘leap of faith’ and commit ourselves to be led and inspired by ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit’, now and forever. Amen.