Trinity Sunday. The Trinity. Three Persons.
Actually: mysteriously intimate.
Elizabeth Catez was born in France in 1880, and grew up in Dijon. She entered the Carmelite monastery in Dijon in 1901. Her fascination with the Trinity led her to take the name Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity. She died in 1906 in her convent—at the age of 26—from Addison's disease. She composed a beautiful prayer to the Most Holy Trinity, an intimate prayer full of humility and hope and awe and, above all, love, a prayer that helps us to discover that, although apparently abstract, our calling to relationship with God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is actually mysteriously intimate. I share her prayer with you for this “Trinity Sunday”.
O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to become utterly forgetful of myself so that I may establish myself in you, as changeless and calm as though my soul were already in eternity. Let nothing disturb my peace nor draw me forth from you, O my unchanging God, but at every moment may I penetrate more deeply into the depths of your mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it your heaven, your cherished dwelling-place and the place of your repose. Let me never leave you there alone, but keep me there, wholly attentive, wholly alert in my faith, wholly adoring and fully given up to your creative action.
O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, I long to be the bride of your heart. I long to cover you with glory, to love you even unto death! Yet I sense my powerlessness and beg you to clothe me with yourself. Identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, submerge me, overwhelm me, substitute yourself for me, so that my life may become a reflection of your life. Come into me as Adorer, as Redeemer and as Saviour.
O Eternal Word, utterance of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, to become totally teachable so that I might learn all from you. Through all darkness, all emptiness, all powerlessness, I want to keep my eyes fixed on you and to remain under your great light. O my Beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may never be able to leave your radiance.
O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, overshadow me so that the Word may be, as it were incarnate again in my soul. May I be for him a new humanity in which he can renew all his mystery.
And you, O Father, stoop towards your poor little creature. Cover her with your shadow, see in her only your beloved son in who you are well pleased.
O my `Three', my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to you as your prey. Immerse yourself in me so that I may be immersed in you until I go to contemplate in your light the abyss of your splendour!
Yours in the Trinitarian life,
co-sojourner in faith
Allow me to appeal to my Belgian heritage…. Joseph Mercier was a professor of philosophy at the University of Louvain and Archbishop of Brussels from 1906 to 1926, the year of his death. Mercier is noted for his staunch resistance to the German occupation of Belgium from 1914–1918, during the Great War. So noted was he that he was invited to visit the United States by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.
Mercier is also noted for his deep spirituality, which radiated in his interaction with people. On this feast of Pentecost, when we celebrate the Holy Spirit, the Promise of the Father, the Consuming Fire, the Comforter, allow me to share with you a secret from Fr. Mercier. He won’t mind!
I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to the things of sense and your ears to all the noises of the world in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctity of your baptized soul (which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit), speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:
Oh, Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me your orders. I promise to surrender to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will.
If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely, and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it, and you will arrive at the gate of Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity and happiness.
Yours in the Holy Spirit,
All women raising children in one way or another, all women spiritually guiding others on the “path of life” (Psalm 16:11), mothers of all types, we salute you! We give thanks for the gift of yourselves, for opening the treasures of your hearts. This Mothers Day, we carry you in a special way in our prayer. In fact, our prayer is that of St. Paul in this Sunday’s second reading (Ephesians 1:15-23). What more could we want for mothers?
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
Now, this sounds fine and dandy. But, what if I have not had a good experience of mothering—on the receiving or the giving end? And so, what if I am not “feelin’ it”? Well, there is still an opportunity to celebrate—in hopeful fashion. Mothers Day need not simply be a walk down happy memory lane or a celebration of happy mothering. Mothers Day can be lived in great hope with respect to all mothers. “Hope for what?” you may ask. We can prayerfully seek refuge in God in Whom there is always a bond with mothers. When we pray for someone, we love them. When we pray for mothers with whom we have difficulty, we love them. If so, our hearts connect with them, in silence, and healing can take place. Happiness follows love. If prayer is an act of love, prayer leads to happiness.
How helpful to know and how fitting to declare on our parochial “Titular Feast”, our “name day”: Feast of the Ascension for Church of the Ascension (and St. Agnes!). Dare we believe that Jesus shares with us the endless blessings of His Ascension? It is divine love that attracts Jesus’ body into heaven. It is this divine love that Jesus’ shares with us—and, in particular, with mothers.
And, let us not forget Mary, help of mothers, our spiritual mother, guiding us on the “path of life”.
Happy Mothers Day!
Blessed Feast of the Ascension!
Yours in our Ascended Lord,
Some of you may have noticed the different sayings or phrases on our mobile sidewalk sign. They are typically one of three types: informational, inspirational or playful.
NOW OPEN BETWEEN EASTER AND CHRISTMAS
THAT GOD BE QUIET DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD IS BLIND
IF GOD HAD A FRIDGE, YOUR PHOTO WOULD BE ON IT
WHERE DO BROKEN HEARTS GO? WE HAVE A GOOD IDEA…
BE THE KIND OF PERSON YOUR PET THINKS YOU ARE.
WE USE DUCT TAPE TO FIX EVERYTHING.
GOD USED THREE NAILS.
WHAT DOES GOD WANT FOR CHRISTMAS? YOU.
And, the list goes on. In addition to being a sort of conversation with the neighbourhood, these signs are intended to be signs (pun intended) that there is life here at Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes.
In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” If this is Jesus’ purpose for us, then, necessarily, our calling, as His disciples and friends, as a parish, is aliveness. As a parish, we are called to be vibrant—from the Latin vibrare, “to move to and fro”. In a vibrant parish, there is movement: in particular, movement towards new persons looking for a spiritual home, and movement outward beyond the church walls.
My question: how are we responding to this calling? Fullness of life overflows, is “contagious”. Are we sharing the divine life that we have been graciously given? Or, are we, in some way, content with being in a comfortable niche? Will you join us in extending this abundant life to all whom the Spirit brings across our path? Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us…
From the desk of the Rector