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  A Christian Faith Magazine May 2005, Volume 10, Issue 10  
Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci All For One
Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci
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As impossible as it may seem for human beings to live together in peace, we need each other. Unless one is a Mountain Man, works the night shift at a radio station, or is engaged in some other solitary circumstance, people are in contact with other people. Bonding occurs in numerous social structures: spouses, friends, colleagues, teammates, club members, and so on. The task of functioning as a unit while maintaining one's individuality invites speculation about the meaning of identity. Is one the whole or the part? A spoke in a wagon wheel is definable as a spoke, but also can be perceived as essential to the wheel itself. Each part contributes to the understanding of the whole as a single entity. Then again, parts may be able to be removed from the whole without the identity of the whole being compromised. For example, a car without a door, or without a horn, or without a radio is still a car. If each part of a car is systematically removed, when does it cease to be a car? At what point does it lose its "car-ness?" Admittedly, one may conclude that there are better ways to use one's time. However, in like manner, many theologians and laypeople throughout the centuries have given themselves to intense contemplation of the greatest of these mysteries - the Trinity.

Our belief is monotheistic. Yet, the One God is defined as a Trinity of Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus asserted that He and the Father are one and that He would remain with the Church through the sending of the Holy Spirit. The Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon composed a creed that characterized the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit in terms of equality and of unity. Over time, thinkers have created numerous metaphors in the attempt to express the relationship of the three Persons in one God.

First comes the creative Idea, which foresees the whole work as finished. This is the Father. Next the creative Energy, which engages in a vigorous struggle with matter and overcomes one obstacle after another. This is the Son. Third is the creative Power of the work, its influence on the world through its effect on the soul of the user-believer. This is the Holy Spirit. All three are indispensable to completeness as they unite in their work.

- The Mind of the Maker
- Dorothy Sayers

While this example of illustrating the One God in Three Persons may be helpful, all attempts at explaining the Trinity bow before its unfathomable mystery. One may find no more suitable appreciation of the futility of this pursuit than in the sage comment Alexander Pope uttered when he asserted that the "proper study of man is man." Perhaps, the only viable insight into the mystery of the Trinity that is attainable by the mind of man may be acquired through the contemplation of human nature itself. From birth, the life-force of the infant discovers its strength, health, and sense of well being through the caring of the parent. Properly understood, independence is a myth. When sleep has left our eyes and we begin a new day, unspoken homage is paid to those who provide us with electricity, water, telephones, automobiles, refrigerators, televisions, plumbing, and the roof over our heads. Less prosaically, it is as if we were born with spaces in our hearts that only another's love can fill. The desire for wholeness impels one to search for a source of fulfillment. If a complete human being reflects the presence of others in establishing that wholeness, does this fact not lend itself to appreciating, at least in a surface manner, the mystery of the Trinity? Open to answer may be the old question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Love - shared among the Persons of the Trinity in an unknowable unity - extends its beauty by initiating the wonder that is creation. The human being, created in the image and likeness of God, manifests that image and likeness through his or her capacity to love. Each person is a lover seeking someone to love and from whom to receive love. Thus, creation draws its mission.

Trinity, as dogma, shatters belief in a cold, empty, and meaningless universe. Whether one reaches for the stars or plumbs the depths of the soul, ultimately the exploration leads one home and to a feeling of being home authentically. The scientist may seek to explain the inner workings of space, time, and matter. The theologian may search for inspiration and insight into the secrets of the Divine Presence. The Trinity, immersed in eternal love, shepherds us to the final truth that at the heart-of-the-matter is a heart.

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