31st May - Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (B)
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Canon Luke writes...
Last Sunday, we rejoiced in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which ensures the continuation of God’s new covenant, established in Christ, with all creation. In this new creation, we are called to live in communion with God, who has revealed himself as a Trinity of love. This theme stands at the heart of the three feasts that conclude the Easter season and lead us back into Ordinary Time: Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi. These feasts remind us of the infinite love of God, and the living communion of faith and love to which we are called. In essence our faith is not a theory to be solved but a mystery to be embraced. Today’s feast reminds of The Reality which underpins everything.
The French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery makes the point: ‘If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” The church presents us with the big picture of the “endless immensity of the sea’ which is God. When we allow ourselves to be drawn into the mystery of God, then we shall drawn from the limited confines of the human mind to the wide expanse and deep wisdom of the heart.
There is a pertinent story concerning the great bishop and doctor of the Church: St Augustine of Hippo; preoccupied by the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, he wanted to understand the doctrine of one God in three persons and to be able to explain it logically. One day walking along the sea shore and reflecting on this matter, he saw a little child. The child made a hole in the sand, ran to the sea with a cup, filled the cup with water, ran and emptied the cup into the hole in the sand. Back and forth the child went, filling the cup and pouring it into the hole. Augustine drew near and said, ‘Little child, what are you doing?” He received the reply: “I am trying to empty the sea into this hole.” To which he replied “How do you think that you can empty this immense sea into this tiny hole and with this tiny cup?” The child retorted, “And you, how do you suppose that with your small head you can comprehend the immensity of God?” With that the child disappeared!
Like St Augustine we are not able to fully comprehend the how of the Trinity, but it is far more important to embrace the truth of God, which He has revealed to us; allowing faith to draw us where the eye and the mind cannot see, but only the heart perceive.
St Catherine of Siena uses similar imagery in her great prayer to the Trinity: perhaps we can make her prayer our own?
Eternal God, eternal Trinity, you have made the blood of Christ so precious through his sharing in your divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your light. I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.
I have tasted and seen the depth of your mystery and the beauty of your creation with the light of my understanding. I have clothed myself with your likeness and have seen what I shall be. Eternal Father, you have given me a share in your power and the wisdom that Christ claims as his own, and your Holy Spirit has given me the desire to love you. You are my Creator, eternal Trinity, and I am your creature. You have made of me a new creation in the blood of your Son, and I know that you are moved with love at the beauty of your creation, for you have enlightened me.
Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light and causes me to know your truth. By this light, reflected as it were in a mirror, I recognise that you are the highest good, one we can neither comprehend nor fathom. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself.
"...JESUS CHRIST, THE BEGINNING AND THE END...
ALL TIME BELONGS TO HIM... AND ALL THE AGES..."
These words on the doors of the Church porch express perfectly the purpose of our parish. We are
a community centred round the Lord Jesus.
Saint Francis' Parish in the heart of Maidstone was founded in 1859 and since then has been the heart of the Catholic community in the Maidstone area. From it was founded the parishes of Saint Thomas More, West Malling; Holy Family, Park Wood; and Saint Peter's Bearsted. In addition to the mother church there are Mass Centres at St Luke's, Preston Hall, and at St Mary's Anglican Church at Nettlestead.
Today the faith which inspired its foundation almost 150 years ago continues to find its expression in a lively community bringing together people of many races all united by their love of God. It is this love which calls us all to work together to build up our community and to care for all in need.
I would like to welcome all who visit our website and hope you share something of our vision for the future of the church and parish.
Canon Luke - Parish Priest
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