How to explain the Holy Trinity? Many have tried. It is important to remember that our faith is filled with “mystery.” A mystery is something that cannot be completely explained. Our minds cannot fully comprehend the full meaning. St. Augustine tried. He tells the story of walking along the beach, pondering the Trinity, and coming across a little boy pouring water into a hole in the sand. When Augustine asked what he was doing, the little boy responded that he was pouring the whole ocean into the very small hole in the sand. Augustine responded: “That is nonsense, no one can do that.” They boy responded, “Well neither can you, Bishop Augustine, comprehend the mystery of the Trinity.” With that the boy disappeared.
It is one of the oldest mysteries of our faith. St. Patrick tried to use the 3 leaf clover to explain the Trinity. It has also been explained utilizing the H2O compound which, under different circumstances, presents itself in different ways: water, steam and ice. Each uniquely different in appearance, yet the same nature: a single compound of 2 hydrogen and 1oxygen molecule.
Everything we do starts and ends with the Trinity. It is the beginning and end of every prayer. It is the beginning and end of every Mass. The Trinity is invoked before and after meals. We are baptized in the name of the Trinity, our sins are forgiven in Confession in the name of the Trinity, we are married with the blessing of the Trinity, and finally we are lowered into the grave and blessed in the Trinity. We don’t even think about it. We just do it. We get lost in the Trinity. Perhaps that is the best place to be in any mystery…to be lost and swept up in the mystery itself.