The Rector writes …
The Catechism reminds us that: “the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them … the whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself”. If the rest of the Christian year is a working out of the diversity of this Trinitarian self-revelation, then this Sunday’s celebration of the Holy Trinity is the Church’s attempt to express the fundamental and essential unity which constitutes the Godhead. Our belief is that although the differing Persons are distinct and can be identified by actions proper to their own Being, everything they are reflects their intrinsic unity. “The whole divine economy is the common work of the three divine persons. For as the Trinity has only one and the same nature, so too does it have only one and the same operation. ‘The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three principles of creation, but one principle’”.
What this means in practice is demonstrated most wonderfully in the Mass. At the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, the celebrant holds up the Host and Chalice saying: “through him, and with him and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours Almighty Father, for ever and ever”. It is in in the power of the Holy Spirit that fragments of the material creation are transformed into the Bread of Life and become the means by which the sacrificial Lamb offers himself in love and obedience to the Eternal Father. It is no accident that in the Church’s annual calendar Corpus Christi follows on so closely to the feast of the Trinity – each reality mirroring the other. With this newsletter you should find a handbill adverting the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament which starts at 5pm next Sunday from the Assumption Church in Warwick Street and wends its way via Regents Street and Oxford Street back to Spanish Place for Benediction.
Next Sunday’s Corpus Christi Procession is one of our parish’s major acts of evangelisation, and it is so important that it is supported by large numbers. Please ensure your own presence and encourage as many as you can to walk with you in what has become a great act of witness to the precious Catholic belief in Christ’s living presence in the Eucharist. Pope Francis has asked that we all be “missionary disciples” and here is a way in which we can respond to his injunction and show those on the streets around us that our faith is alive and matters to us. The Catechism reminds us that: “inseparable as they are, the divine persons are also inseparable in what they do. But within the single divine operation each shows forth what is proper to each in the Trinity, especially in the divine missions of the Son’s Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit”. Nowhere is this more experienced as truth than in the Eucharist where the Son is bestowed by the Father, through the co-operation of the Holy Spirit, who then returns a total sacrificial love to its Source through the mediation of the same Spirit.
In one of visions in which Saint Catherine of Siena heard the Father speak to her, she records what was said: “when this appearance of bread has been consumed, I leave behind the imprint of my grace, just as the seal that is pressed into warm wax leaves its imprint when it is lifted off. Thus does the power of this sacrament remain there in the soul: that is, the warmth of my divine charity, the mercy of the Holy Spirit remains there”. If the essence of God can only be comprehended by the Godhead itself (1 Corinthians 2:10-16), we can still have a share in this the greatest of all mysteries by participation. Each time we come to Mass we are immersed in the Trinitarian love when, without fully understanding, the individual heart is opened to divine grace. Next Sunday’s Corpus Christi Procession, while focusing on Christ’s effective presence in the Eucharist, is, as it can only be, a truly Trinitarian celebration