Cultivating the Trinitarian Intuition
We are highly privileged to celebrate the central mystery of our Christian faith that says that the God of Jesus Christ and our God is one in Being or Substance and of three Divine Persons who are inseparably united, equal in glory, power, dignity and majesty. We only became Christians through this solemn truth and will remain Christians if and only if we can adhere to it for our good, the edification of our neighbours and the Glory of God.
The message of the Trinity affirms the fact that “We are spiritual beings … on a human journey” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.). Spiritual beings because we are created in the image and after the likeness of God. So, at the moment of our divine conception in the mind of God we were purely spiritual until at a point in time we became human. It is amazing that the divine moment of our conception in the mind of God has endowed us with numerous potentials especially the Trinitarian intuition. The Psalmist says it better about the outcome of our creation from God: “You brought my inner parts into being; you wove me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for you made me with fear and wonder; marvellous are your works, and you know me completely” (Ps. 139:13-14). Now what do we do with ourselves? How do we respond to the love of the Trinity and how does the Trinity inform or shape our lifestyle? I would like to share as follows: first, from the Father who has engraved in our hearts, minds and souls the capacity to create; we need to be creative, initiative, resourceful and productive. There is so much in us that is trivialised, underestimated, and undiscovered. We can live and fulfill the aforementioned points by cultivating the Trinitarian intuition.
A Trinitarian intuition means knowing and understanding the Trinity in our hearts not so much with formal knowledge but with more of wisdom and a firm conviction that says in the heart of my heart I know that there is a God who is One in Being and of Three Divine Persons. That in me I have the potentials to be aware that the foundation of life is relationship. Everything and Everybody is pulling towards relationship since all are relational. The greatest problem bedeviling humankind is disconnection and isolationism. We are disconnected from ourselves, others, the environment and God. The foregoing is clearly a debate in philosophy called the problem of “One and many.” This problem has been answered by the Trinity – One Godhead and Three Persons. We can understand endlessly the Trinity if we have the Trinitarian Intuition.
Lack of Trinitarian intuition has resulted in many shortfalls today in our relationships with God, the environment, others and the self. For instance, there are new emerging issues that are associated with our belief in the Trinitarian God. Before now, the challenge was about how God can be One and yet Three Divine Persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now the new difficulty is about the lack of in depth awareness and appreciation of GOD AS A PERSON. If the vast majority of people in the world and the Church particularly had this awareness, I think by now our relationships with the self, others, the environment and God, would have improved and we would have been talking less about abortion, ritual killings, and wickedness of all kinds (Please mention them in the silence of your hearts and minds). If we have had a good understanding of God as a Person our culture would have been greatly transformed as Jesus would say you cannot add new wine into old wineskin (Matt. 9:16-17). If our awareness of God as a Person is alive, I tell you that our politics would been innovative and transformative. Therefore our celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity reminds us that God is a PERSON.
Thus, understanding God as a Person is important since we are persons and we usually identify ourselves by the Name of God “I am” (Exo. 3:14). At the heart of the awareness of our personhood is the potential of the Trinitarian intuition. Let us desire it! Let us pray for it! Let us cultivate and practise it in our day-to-day life and activities. HOLY TRINITY – HAVE MERCY ON US!
Fr. John-Mary Atep