shall find it expressed in the Gospel most clearly and most precise. At the moment when the Saviour received Baptism in the Jordan a voice from heaven is heard saying: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. " At the same time the Holy Spirit, under the form of a dove, rested on the head of Jesus. Behold, the three adorable persons of the Blessed Trinity, perfectly distinct. Later on, when Jesus commanded His apostles to go and preach His Gospel throughout the world, He said to them: "Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." These words again reveal the existence of the Holy Trinity. In fact, the design of Our Lord and Saviour was certainly not to baptize the faithful in any other name than that of God, and He indicates three persons in whose name He wishes Baptism to be given. Each of these three persons must, therefore, be truly God, and that could not be unless they were really and absolutely equal among themselves.
There is but one God; this is the foundation of our faith. But this same faith teaches you that the unity of God is fruitful; that the divine nature, without ceasing to be one, is communicated by the Father to the Son, and by the Father and the Son, to the Holy Spirit. Adore, with a respect wholly filial, the mysterious shadow under which God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—unveils His majesty to mortal eyes. Be faithful, and a day shall come when you shall contemplate Him without veil or shadow.
Second Point.—-You owe to the Trinity the homage of your respect. " The Holy Trinity is truly God, who reigns in the highest heavens and who fills the whole earth with His majesty. A Being infinitely perfect, to whom all honor, all praise, all glory is due for ever and ever." Strive, therefore, to mingle your voice in the concert of blessed spirits who in the heavenly city sing with unspeakable joy and in profoundest abasement: "Holy, holy, thrice holy is the God of armies!" With them adore the eternal Father, the principle of everything which exists; the eternal Son, equal to His Father; the Holy Spirit, equally eternal, and whom we cannot separate from the two other persons. To the three persons give the same worship, the same adoration; and when in God's temple you shall hear resounding these triumphant words, "Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost," unite your voice to the voice of the Church, and sing with enthusiasm to the glory of the august Trinity.
Third Point.—You owe to the Holy Trinity the homage of your love. Everything, in the Church, is done in the name of the Trinity. It is in this name that the august sacrifice of the New Law is offered. The priest at the foot of the altar makes the sign of the cross while pronouncing the names of the three adorable Persons of the Holy Trinity. It is in this name that you have been regenerated at the sacred font of Baptism, and it is in this name that the priest restores you to grace in the Sacrament of Penance. The Church puts this sacred name on your lips at the beginning of all your prayers and all your acts, by these august words: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." How often, perhaps, it has happened that you pronounced these words without thinking of what you said! Accustom yourself, therefore, to pronounce them henceforth with sentiments which should arise in every Christian heart. "In the name of the Father." He it is who has created us; by a single word He could reduce this world to the nothingness from which He has drawn it. With what respect should we be filled when pronouncing a name which recalls such grandeur and so many blessings? "In the name of the Son." This name recalls all that is tenderest in love, most generous in devotion and most lovable in virtue. While pronouncing this ever-blessed name, you place your hand on your heart, as if you would say to the Son that you love Him. Oh, may this sign be the expression of truth and not a vain ceremony "In the name of the Holy Ghost." It is the Holy Ghost who has sanctified the world; it is in Him, as the source, that grace dwells, or, rather, grace is nothing else than the Holy Spirit Himself. He resides in you as the pledge of your divine adoption He prays for you in terms which no human tongue can express. When you speak His name, ask of Him the grace never to sadden His heart by resisting His holy inspirations.
Fourth Point.— You owe it to the Holy Trinity to retrace their image in yourself. This image God Himself has deigned to engrave in your soul, since Holy Scripture tells you that God made man to His
own image and likeness. If, by imposing silence on your senses, you consider yourself intimately for a few moments, you will easily find the traits of this glorious resemblance. Our soul is simple; God is one, and still there are in Him three things really distinct. As the Father, our soul has being; as the Son, it has intelligence; as the Holy Ghost, it has love. Like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, our souls have in their being, in their intelligence, in their love the same happiness and the same life (Bossuet). This likeness, which is only commenced in us, must be perfected by retracing in our soul and in our conduct, as far as the weakness of our poor nature shall allow, the divine perfections. It is to perform this glorious work that Jesus calls us in these words: "Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." And thus the Christian, on his way to perfection, can find no resting- place: he must "grow constantly from virtue to virtue," until he arrives, as St. Paul says, to " the plenitude of the perfect man, which is in Christ Jesus."
O my God, I love to contemplate Thee in the unity of Thy nature and in the Trinity of Thy persons. No mystery reveals to me better than this one Thy grandeur and my nothingness. The less I understand Thee, the more I adore Thee. The most worthy use I can make of my reason is to annihilate myself before Thee. It is the joy of my mind, the charm of my weakness to feel myself overwhelmed by Thy greatness. May I, O my God, by my fidelity in adoring Thee in the shadows of faith, merit to contemplate Thee face to face, and without veil or shadow, in the city of the elect.
Source: Short Instructions on the Feasts of the Year, Imprimatur 1897