This blog is a thought provoking, and fairly involved reflection on the topic of the Holy Trinity, and the role it plays in relationship to Jesus, and God the Father; and what role the Holy Spirit play in each of us? I have a question for you to ponder prior to reading this reflection:
Can we love one another as fully as Jesus loves us?
Try answering the question, and please let me know of your answer. No grades will be given, and could be fun to find out how others think and believe. Thanks, to all that read my blog. Please share it with others.
Happy “Memorial Day” weekend to all Americans. Please, please, please be safe; and also remember our fallen military, our retired and active duty soldiers, sailors and Marines, and those veterans that have passed from this world to the grace of eternal bliss in heaven.
BONUS – Trivia:
✪In 1868, “Decoration Day” (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day”) was observed in the United States for the first time.
✪In 1958 – Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
Today in Catholic History:
† 1252 – Death of King Ferdinand III of Castile (3rd Order Franciscan)
† 1416 – The Council of Constance, called by the Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burns Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy.
† 1431 – Joan of Arc was burned at the stake as a heretic.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Love from the Heart: It is only from the depth of the heart that a real relationship with Jesus can arise.
Today’s reflection is about Jesus and the role of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity.
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. (NAB John 16:12-15)
Every time we make the “Sign of the Cross,” we are proclaiming a central tenet of the Catholic faith. We are declaring our belief that God IS both one, AND three divine “Persons” in one God. This unveils God as the one Holy Trinity of divine persons. Making the Sign of the Cross is the one, unique statement and action that separates the Catholic faith from ALL other religions in the world.
Jesus knew the disciples disposition to knowing matters of faith and that they were slow to believe (Luke 24:25). He knew that they could become overwhelmed with too much so fast, as they had been overwhelmed in the past. Jesus also knew of the special gift and mission of the Holy Spirit since He, Jesus, is one with the Spirit in the Trinity. When He said in today’s Gospel reading, “he … will declare to you the things that are coming,” it was not meant as a reference to new predictions, but to interpretations of what had already occurred, or had already been said.
The Holy Spirit played (and still plays) an important role within the community of Christ. The Holy Spirit made what Jesus said or did “understandable,” by associating His words and actions with Holy Scripture. Interestingly, this is exactly what a “Sacrament” is defined as: the word of God in action.
The Holy Spirit did not make prophetic disclosures about the future, but simply guided the Church community’s maturity in its understanding of Jesus as the fulfillment of everything that had been promised in Holy Scripture. The Holy Spirit was, and still is, the source of deeper understanding of the revelation of God! The Holy Spirits function is to reveal Jesus, to draw us closer to Him, and to glorify Him. This is how the Holy Spirit takes what the Father had given Jesus, and then declares it to the disciples, then and NOW!
So, where is God the Father in all this? God is NOT a remote or secluded being, nor uninvolved deity: His very existence is about relationships. The Trinity is more than just a model for togetherness. It is also the power that helps us to live together. If it is God’s nature to share his eternal life with us; and if we are created in His image and likeness, it must follow that we are meant to share our lives with each other as He shares His existence and presence with us. Paul reminds us in his first letter to the Corinthians (12:12-14) that WE are the body of Christ, by writing, “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many.”
Can we love one another as fully as Jesus loves us? As “Sanctifying Grace” matures in us, and we draw from God’s love for us, we grow in grace and hope; we allow truth to enter into us, and radiate from us; and we grow in the ability to love others as Jesus loves us. Paul (obviously one of my favorite people ever) wrote in his letter to the Catholics in Rome (5:5), “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
Jesus assures us that as we intensify our relationships with Him, the Father, the Holy Spirit, AND each other, our existence will start to mirror the very life of the three-fold Godhead: the Holy Trinity. This IS the experience and joy of being a Catholic!
“Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: St. Ferdinand, king, III Order
Born near Salamanca, Spain, c. 1199; died in Seville, Spain, on May 30, 1252; canonized in 1671 at the request of Philip IV. He was a Franciscan III Order member.
Ferdinand was the son of Alphonso IX, king of León, and Berengaria, the oldest daughter of Alphonso III, king of Castile. His maternal grandmother was the daughter of Henry II of England, and her sister Blanche became the mother of Saint Louis of France.
The death of Berengaria’s brother, Henry, left her heiress to the throne of Castile in 1217, but she ceded her rights to the 18-year- old Ferdinand. He was a stern, but forgiving, ruler who ignored personal slights, and an excellent administrator. The archbishop of Toledo, Rodrigo Ximenes, was chancellor of Castile and his principal adviser for many years. Ferdinand married Beatrice, daughter of King Philip of Swabia in 1219.
Upon the death of his father in 1230, Ferdinand became king of León. There was opposition to this, for there were supporters of the claim of his two half sisters, but his union of the two kingdoms made a recovery from the Moors possible. He campaigned against the Moors without respite for 27 years, and his success won the great devotion of his people. He recaptured the greater part of Andalusia, including Ubeda, Cordova (1236), Murcia, Jaen, Cadiz, and Seville (1249).
It was in the battle of Xeres, when only 10 or 12 Spanish lives were lost, that Saint James (Santiago) was said to have been seen leading the host on a white horse. Saint James’s chronicle is a principal source for Ferdinand’s achievements. Ferdinand’s military efforts were not so much imperialistic in motivation as driven by a wish to save Christians from the dominance of infidels.
Although he was a warrior, it was said of him that “he feared the curse of one old woman more than a whole army of Moors.” In thanksgiving for his victories, Ferdinand rebuilt the cathedral in Burgos and converted the great mosque of Seville into a church. He restored to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella the bells that had been removed by the Moors.
Once the Moors and Jews submitted, he pursued a course of tolerance, while encouraging the friars to convert them. He was the founder of the famed University of Salamanca in 1243. He married Joan of Ponthieu on the death of Beatrice. By his second wife he was the father of Eleanor, wife of King Edward I of England. It is interesting to note that upon his death he was buried in the habit of a Franciscan friar in the cathedral of Seville. At his death he was popularly acclaimed a saint but canonical recognition took another 400 years.
King Saint Ferdinand is depicted in art as a crowned knight with a greyhound. He is dressed royal regalia, cross on his breast, and the dog at his feet (Roeder). He is the patron saint of persons in authority (rulers, governors, magistrates, etc.)–a result of his wise appointments; the poor and prisoners (over whom such persons rule); engineers (a result of his technical military skills), and the Spanish army.
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Prologue to Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule, Chapter 1:
We are spouses, when by the Holy Spirit the faithful soul is united with our Lord Jesus Christ; we are brothers to Him when we fulfill “the will of the Father who is in heaven” (Mt 12:50).
We are mothers, when we carry Him in our heart and body (cf. 1 Cor 6:20) through divine love and a pure and sincere conscience; we give birth to Him through a holy life which must give life to others by example (cf. Mt 5:16).