Be ready for Mass by reading Opening the Word for Trinity Sunday. Timothy P. O’Malley…
Beholding the Trinity
On a recent visit to Columbus, Ohio — my first plane ride in a long time — I met a quite remarkable woman. Dominican Sister Mary Ann Fatula isn’t looking for attention, but I need to tell you about her, because she is so beautiful.
She entered the Dominicans six decades ago. She loves the Holy Trinity — unmistakably, each person. She attributes this love and devotion to her Byzantine upbringing, which is so self-consciously Trinitarian. She has written a few books, but I especially recommend “Heaven’s Splendor: And the Riches That Await You There” (Sophia Institute Press, $14.95). It’s about everything we probably should have been thinking about all this past year: What’s most important? What are we made for? All I want is God — right?
“What has God prepared for us?” she asks. “An unending life of feasting on nothing less than God: ‘This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God’ (Jn 17:3).”
She insists: “Every one of us has been created to need and to have the most perfect love. Regardless of how much we may be loved or may long to be loved by other human beings, their love, as beautiful as it is, can never be enough for us. The Persons of the Trinity have created us to feast on their love.”
That’s amazing! We know it, but do we think about it? Are we awed by it?
She continues: “They are every joy that could possibly enchant us, every good our hearts could ever want. Beholding the Trinity, we will see beauty itself; possessing the Trinity, we will feast on infinite delight.”
Some people find the Trinity so impenetrable. But Sister Mary Ann finds in it everything she needs to be love in the world. She’s a humble instrument, which makes the reality of her life all the more powerful.
She also writes: “Every dearest love story on earth, every experience of true and devoted love that we have been blessed to enjoy, is only a shadow and foretaste of this unfathomable love of the Divine Persons for one another. Every love that is good and beautiful has its source in this mystery of the Trinitarian communion, in the infinite, self-giving love of the Divine Persons for one another.”
There is so much that interrupts our days. Responsibilities and politics and so many things that seem to want to drag us down. Just look to heaven in it all. That’s where, as Sister Mary Ann puts it, “we will realize the depths of the Father’s love for us in giving us every good, and, most of all, in not withholding from us even his only beloved Son …. Forever we will delight …. not only in the Father but also in his Son, who, through infinite love for his Father and for us, gave himself unreservedly to us, completely sacrificing himself for our sake.”
Do we give ourselves unreservedly to God? Sister Mary Ann Fatula is human like the rest of us, but she does, day after day. It’s unquestionable when you are in her presence. She loves the Holy Trinity, and she would do anything for all three Persons of the Trinity — her love is palpable. Can we imitate her? Can we order our lives completely toward God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit each and every day, every moment of our lives? Because that would change things! That would set us on fire with the will of God. This love would give us God’s grace to surpass any obstacle.
Please read “Heaven’s Splendor.” We have to want heaven. We have to keep it in mind as our destination and home. We have to see how much God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit truly love us. Keep them always in your mind and heart. They will change everything, if we give God permission, as Cardinal John O’Connor, founder of the Sisters of Life, always put it.
It’s not a heavy lift for us. It’s all about God — the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Glory be! And may it be so!
Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and editor-at-large of National Review.