St Paul tells the Corinthians that they are like babies who need to be fed with milk rather than solid food. That is how I feel about Christians who complain that doctrines like the Trinity are too complicated. Well, perhaps it is difficult to grasp – but surely for God to be God the divine nature has to be greater than our best understanding. There should always be that which is beyond us. But surely if we have a life of faith then we are drawn into God. That is to say, we find in God an exciting mystery. Our journey through life is a journey into God.
What is more, the Trinity is more than a doctrine. It is a dynamism into which we are drawn ourselves. The Trinity is the very life of God which touches each of us who are baptised. We acknowledge God as the Father of all and the source of creation. We acclaim Christ as God among us, who gave us his teachings, whose death and resurrection assure us of eternal life. We believe in the Holy Spirit, who breathes into the hearts of each of us and through the whole Church. I love that passage in the gospel according to St John, where Jesus says ‘As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us’ (17.21). It is a promise that we who are in Christ share in the life of the Trinity, in that love shared between the Father and the Son that is the essence of the Trinity. From our baptism and throughout our whole life of faith, this has been the reality promised us and which we have shared, even if we have often been unconscious of it.
But how can there be three and yet one? The best example is that of St Augustine, who said that the mind of each of us comprises memory, will and understanding. Each depends upon the other. Without any one of them the other two would not be complete. The whole mind also depends upon each of the three, and upon their interaction.
The best thing to do about the Trinity is to regard it as the life of God which we share by faith and baptism. This divine greatness is love. From this love the whole world came. From this love came Christ sent into the world. Into our world come God’s gifts of grace, stirring our heart, our conscience and our wills, inspiring and challenging us. Above all, into this love we are drawn, by God who is one God in three Persons, the Holy Trinity.