Sunday, May 22; Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Our parish school is committed to forming the “minds, hearts and spirits” of our young people.  We are committed towards a holistic approach to the person.  I recall reading in Carl Jung’s autobiography that if we deny the spiritual side of ourselves it leads to neurosis.  Jung had separated from Freud over this question: Freud saying that this search for God was nothing more than frustrated libido; Jung emphatically stating that the spiritual self is real.   Later, in an interview Jung was asked if he believed in God and he responded, “Believe in God?  I have seen Him!”  Whatever your view on Carl Jung, I do believe his understanding of the psyche—that is, soul—of the person rings true.  To deny our spiritual selves and need for God can lead to neurosis.  Just watch the news; proof enough!

All of us are composed of minds, hearts, and spirits.  We are complex creatures, made in God’s Image and Likeness.  This three-fold aspect of the human person can help us glimpse the truth we celebrate and ponder this Trinity Sunday.  Like us, God is no one-dimensional reality while at the same time mysteriously more; vast and all-encompassing.   

However, love that is vast and beyond our reach lacks an intimate touch with us humans.  So, the Incarnation—God becoming finite and small—happened within this broken world; swaddled in a way that boggles and demands faith.    The Incarnation shatters all previous notions of God. 

Then, there’s love’s tendency to get under the skin of another; to be wedded to another in a lasting, promising way.  So, the Spirit of God descends into us and within the heart of our world, urging us in words beyond speech and within life to catch fire and become “all flame” as I pointed out during my Pentecost homily.

At the heart of God, there is community.  There is relational life.  Like us, God wants not to live apart from relationship.  Conceived in relationship as we are, we are given hope, joy and meaning through the friendships and the loves of life; all the mysterious design of Providence.  In an obstetrics article I read years ago, it said how an infant will die if it is never held; never bonds with another. 

What I’ve just described are but hints and guesses upon the mystery of God and what makes God tick.  We can only sense who God is by looking into the truth of our own selves.  What makes us tick?  What gives hope?  I recall being at a luncheon following a funeral at the parish; a parent of a college professor at the University of Washington.  In line next to me was a woman, a retired professor, who said, “Father, I’m an atheist.”  I was trying to make a turkey sandwich from the spread before me and didn’t really want to discuss religion and atheism.  I just wanted to eat my sandwich, thank you!  Anyway, I sat near her and asked, “What gets you out of bed”?  She responded, “My grandchildren and concern for the environment”.  Her answer showed me she did believe in something.   Implicitly, she did assent to God, though I didn’t say that to her.   I told her how I admired her commitment to those two loves in her life.  Obviously, they fulfilled her and, in a very real way, informed her mind, heart and spirit.  What I most admired was her honesty with me.  How refreshing within a world of pretense.

What happened between us, years before Bergoglio was elected pontiff, was what Pope Francis now calls a “culture of encounter”.  This alone reveals mutual respect and opens us to the mystery of the other with the potential to make us one. 

As followers of Christ, we are challenged to live the Trinitarian life: to strive amid our differences to become one in mind, heart and spirit.  Only this completes us and leads to God.

Father Tim Clark, Pastor

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