Today the Church celebrates the great mystery of the Trinity. As we know, mystery is by definition not able to be explained fully. The Trinity has over the centuries been a mystery to believers and non-believers alike. However, through our faith and trust in revelation we have come to a deeper insight into this mystery. The Catholic Catechism for Adults offers the following explanation of this central mystery of our faith.
God is revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity includes three truths of faith. First, the Trinity is One. We do not speak of three gods but of one God. Each of the Persons is fully God. They are a unity of Persons in one divine nature.
Second, the Divine Persons are distinct from each other. Father, Son, and Spirit are not three appearances or modes of God, but three identifiable persons, each fully God in a way distinct from the others.
Third, the Divine Persons are in relation to each other. The distinction of each is understood only in reference to the others. The Father cannot be the Father without the Son, nor can the Son be the Son without the Father. The Holy Spirit is related to the Father and the Son who both send him forth. (cf. U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults, USCCB edition © 2006, pp.52-53)
I encourage you to obtain a copy of The Catholic Catechism for Adults and read to learn more about our faith and the Church. The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church (popularly known as “YOUCAT”) published in 2011 is also a great source for information about the faith and Church, especially for high school, college age and adults. If you want to delve more deeply into the mystery of the Trinity, Stephen Bullivant has written a book on the Trinity. He is a lecturer in theology and ethics at St. Mary's University in London, England. His book is The Trinity: How Not To Be A Heretic. It was published in 2015.
Along with my recommendations (above) for further reading about our faith and the Church, here are a couple of other books you might find worthwhile for your summer reading.
Augustus Tolton by Joyce Duriga. Fr. Augustus Tolton was the first African-American ordained to the priesthood in the United States. He was ordained a priest on April 26, 1886 in the basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. Fr. Augustus was born into slavery in Missouri and escaped to Quincy, Illinois where he attended school. His vocation was supported by the Franciscan Friars in Quincy. He died in Chicago and is buried in Quincy. His cause for sainthood was begun 2010.
The American Spirit by David McCullough. In these times of great division in our country, these talks by the prominent American historian McCullough are inspiring and thought-provoking.
Breakthrough by Joyce Smith & Ginger Kolbaba. The amazing true story of John Smith who fell through the ice at Lake Louise, Missouri in January 2015 and miraculously recovered. It details the dedicated work of first responders and especially the medical team at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis, MO. The power of faith and God's intervention is vividly described in the book. Breakthrough is also a major motion picture available through Netflex, other streaming services or as a DVD.
The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross by Jon Meacham. Mr. Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize winning historian that writes with passion and faith about the power of Christ's words to impact our world today.
The Jesuit Guide to (almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin, SJ. Fr. Martin writes about practical spirituality for our times. The book offers revealing insights, often told with humor, in to how we can find God in our everyday lives.
With warmer temperatures here, the Cubs and Sox games on the radio or TV almost everyday, my Detroit Tigers team in last place (again!) and the arrival of the first summer holiday, Memorial Day this weekend, it appears we have arrived at the beginning of the summer season.
While many of us will gather to welcome the arrival of the holiday summer season, Memorial Day has a far more sacred task….that of reminding us of the sacrifice many people have given to allow us to live in freedom. Originally this holiday was called “Decoration Day” in reference to the decoration of the graves of soldiers who had died in the Civil War. The first official celebration of Memorial Day was held on May 30, 1868 when graves of Union and Confederate soldiers were honored at Arlington National Cemetery.
As we celebrate this Memorial Day 2021 weekend let us remember in prayer all those who have died in war and especially those who continue to suffer in the ongoing wars & various trouble spots throughout the world.
I encourage you to attend the 10:00 am Mass in church tomorrow, Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day as we offer prayers for all the dead, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy freedom. When you gather with family or friends for a meal or picnic this weekend, be sure and take a moment of silence to remember the many men and women who have given of their time, talents and even lives so that we can live in freedom. And continue to work, act and pray to God for peace in our world.
Memorial Day asks of each of to reflect upon the precious gift of freedom we have in living in the USA. Far too often, in the midst of disagreements, false narratives, racism and bigotry we see too often exhibited by some of our fellow citizens, we fail to realize the responsibilities we all have to continue to work to make the freedom of this country a reality for everyone.
The words of Dr. Martin Luther King are as challenging today for people of good will as they were years ago when he said, The ultimate measure of a [person] is not where [they] stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where [they] stand at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother/sister to a higher and more noble life.
Pope Francis reminds us, “This is the mission of the Church:…to heal wounded hearts, to open doors, to free people, to build bridges not walls….To tell others that God is good, God forgives all, that God is our Father, God is tender, that God is always waiting for us..."-
On this Memorial Day Weekend may each of us not only pray for peace and justice in our world, country, state and city but also do all in our power to respect all of life in everything we do.
Remember Memorial Day is a holiday so the church is only open for the 10:00 am Mass. No other Masses, confessions, gift shop or church offices are open on Monday. The regular weekday schedule resumes on Tuesday.
As I am sure you are aware, safety protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID are rapidly changing as more people receive shots of the vaccine. Protocols often vary between national, state, and cities. As we try to keep everyone as safe as possible and also practice what the most up-to-date science recommends, I ask for your patience as we continue to make adjustments, following the guidance of the Archdiocese and City & State health departments. Let us also continue to keep all those suffering because of COVID in our prayers.