Monday, June 5, 2023

The Trinity: “God Himself is an Eternal Exchange of Love”

Thus the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit testify that they are in no way disunited in power, even though they are distinguished in persons, because they work together in the unity of the simple and immutable substance. How? The Father creates all things through the Word, who is his Son in the Holy Spirit; the Son is he by whom all things are perfected in the Father and the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is he by whom all things flourish in the Father and Son, and so these three persons are in the unity of inseparable substance; but they are not indistinct among themselves” (Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias).

Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and here is Saint Hildegard (the 11th century Benedictine abbess declared a “Doctor of the Church” by Pope Benedict XVI) seeking—like so many others had tried before and would continue to try—to ponder the “luminous darkness” of this most august mystery and find words to speak of His glory that have some meaning for us.

I find the Catechism most helpful here:

“God's very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange” (CCC 221).