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Reflections of the Trinity in Nature!
"Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end amen"
“O Godhead here untouched unseen, All things created bear your trace”
(From a Hymn in Roman Catholic clerical Breviary)
This article contains some examples in Nature that seem to resemble or reflect the Trinity. It is also designed to deepen our Faith in the Trinity. The Mystery of the Trinity is beyond our understanding but we think that God has left some examples in Nature that reflect His nature. A friend of ours (Joe Kennedy - a dear friend R.I.P.) once said that there is no such thing as a "coincidence", it's a God-incidence!
God's first words in the Bible are "Let there be Light" (Genesis1: 3) and also Jesus said, "I am the light of the world" (See John 8: 12). So it is very appropriate that the Visible Light or White Light which we see can be made of these three colours: Red, Green and Blue. Scientists call them the "Primary colours of Light". Human eyes have three types of light cells to interpret all the visible Light rays we see. Equal amounts of these three Lights produces the appearance of White Light in our brain.
The Conception of New Life
Dr Scott Hahn gives an example of the Trinity in his book "Rome Sweet Home" and that is when new Life is conceived, when a husband and wife or a male and female become "One flesh" they can with the grace of God become three flesh, that is, a new child is conceived. God, who is the Inventor of all creatures and who has the power to simply "Imagine" all creatures into existence has in His goodness allowed humans to share in His creation of new Life. He has made His creation of New Life an image of Himself. Dr Hahn says that it is as if the Love between the two parents becomes the third (the child). The Trinity itself is a family of "Three" who are One.
The Human Person
Because of God's infinite Love for us He created the Human person in the "Image of God" (See Genesis 1:26-27). As mentioned already in the "Nature of the Trinity" article God is the great "I AM" and each of us is just a tiny little "i am ". We are given the incredible gift of "freewill" in honour of our Heavenly Father and so making us like Him and making us more fully His children. We can use our freewill to make decisions to reject Him or to love Him. That seems like a very powerful gift but if we reject God we are really only rejecting ourselves from Him. Our freewill only gives us great power over ourselves. We are given knowledge of good and evil (our conscience) in honour of the Son of God. By sharing in His knowledge we can share more in His Sonship. Finally we are given our emotions, including our ability to love in honour of the Holy Spirit and so we share in the eternal love and joy of God. Each of us can say "I am", "I know", "I love" and "I decide". We use the last three of these phrases every time we do a good or bad action. The way we use them will determine our Eternal destiny.
The Solar System
Looking beyond ourselves to Nature for models of the Trinity, the largest example is in our Solar system. Scientists say that three astronomical bodies (a star, a planet and a moon) are necessary for Life on Earth. They are the Sun, the Earth and the Moon. (Planets revolve around Stars or Suns and Moons revolve around Planets). In unique ways these three bodies are similar to the Trinity.
The Sun which is so high in the heavens reminds us of our Heavenly Father who lives high in Heaven, the Eternal Day, and if we look at the Sun we may go blind and also if we saw the Father's real glory in this life we would die (see Exodus 33: 20). His beauty is so intense that our soul on seeing Him would instantly want to leave our body and fly to Him like a tiny pin to an immense magnet. The Sun reminds us of the fact that if we are very good that one day we will be able to see the Glorious Beatific vision of the Father's face in Heaven. Blessed Catherine Emmerich said that when Jesus was dying on the cross "darkness came over the whole earth" because something obscured the Earth from the Sun and this was to show us the darkness that came over the soul of Jesus as He was allowed to feel rejected, or cut off and abandoned by His heavenly Father. The Father's presence was obscured from Him and this was His greatest suffering. It is the suffering that we deserve when we sin because we reject God every time we sin but if God rejected us we would no longer exist. When He felt rejected and abandoned by His Father He cried out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?". Like the Father the Sun showers down its fatherly warmth on good and bad alike.
In the distant past men thought that the Sun revolved around the Earth but thanks to Galileo we know the Earth revolves around the Sun and that seems more appropriate because our lives should revolve around God our Father.
The Earth can remind us of the Son of God, "Jesus Christ the Eternal Word of God". St John's Gospel (1: 3) says "Through Him all things came into being" see also Genesis (1: 3) "God spoke" and by speaking created all Life through His "Eternal Word". Similarly through the Earth all Life comes into existence and in this sense the Earth reminds us of the Heart of Jesus from where all Life comes because it is an incredible act of Mercy to receive Life and God's Mercy came to us from the Heart of Jesus. Also it was the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God: Jesus who became an Earthly man. The Earth feeds us our food and daily bread from itself and so too the Son of God feeds us of Himself in Holy Communion which is our Spiritual Bread of Life. The Son of God is the "Word of God" and the word of God in Scripture and in the Church's teaching is our Spiritual Food for our thoughts. By His words and actions He revealed His Heavenly Father to us. The earth too with all its different coloured objects reveals that the white light coming to us from the Sun is actually multicoloured. Some people think of the Father as a father of perfect justice but Jesus in His words, parables and actions revealed Him also as the Father of Mercy, Forgiveness, Love, Generosity, Compassion and unending good qualities. The Sun by shining on the earth reveals the Earth to our eyes and the Earth by absorbing some of the Suns rays and reflecting others reveals that those White rays from the Sun are actually multicoloured. The earth and the Sun reveal each other to us in different ways, so too the Father reveals His Son to us by sending us His Holy Spirit to enlighten us and the Son revealed the Father to us by His words, parables and deeds. The Earth itself on which we live can remind us of the Trinity in that it's surface is one third land and it is two-thirds water.
The Moon can remind us of the Holy Spirit, it too is necessary for Life on earth because it's gravity pull holds the earth steady and without it the earth would wobble so much that the atmosphere on earth would be too poisonous for Life. In Genesis (1: 2) we read, "The Spirit hovered over the sombre waters" which can remind us of the Moon which hovers from afar over our oceans and draws our tides and global currents. As the Holy Spirit is the Love that proceeds from both the Father and the Son for each other so too the Moon is both white and shines on us like the Sun but it is also a solid planet like the earth. The Moon resembles both the Sun and the Earth. It sheds Light (enlightens) on us from the Sun in the darkness of our lives and also it helps produce the air we breathe on Earth. The Moon does not shine as brightly as the sun on us in this earthly life but in Heaven the glory of the Holy Spirit and indeed of the three persons of the Trinity will be equally bright. When there is a solar eclipse, with the Sun, moon and earth in one line we see an image of the Trinity with the moon between the Sun and the Earth similar to the Holy Spirit as the Love between the Father and the Son. By incredible providence the Sun and the full moon appear the same size in the sky (This fact is visible when the moon is seen to perfectly block out the Sun during a solar eclipse) even though the sun is about 109 times the size of the moon. This can remind us that each person of the Trinity is equal. There are three basic things that we need to stay alive and they are Heat from the Sun, Food from the earth and Air to breathe that we get from our atmosphere, which is produced and maintained by the pull of the Moon on the earth. The Moon revolves around the Earth about twelve times a year and by coincidence the Holy Spirit can produce twelve fruits in Man. (The word "Month" comes from this cycle of the Moon)
Perhaps another model of the Trinity in nature is in the mysterious event or phenomena we call Fire. Fire needs Three things in order to survive or exist. It needs Heat, Fuel and Oxygen. (Actually we humans also physically need these Three things, we need the heat we get from the Sun, the fuel or Food we get from the Earth and we need the Oxygen we Breathe which we get from the atmosphere (which it'self is produced by the Moon.) God appeared in the form of Fire many times in the Bible, to Moses He appeared as the Fire in the Burning Bush without actually burning the Bush, again with Moses He appeared as the Pillar of Fire (Exodus 13 ; 2122) guarding the People of Israel. In Exodus (19; 18) "Mount Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke because Yahweh had descended on it in the form of Fire" and later when God appeared again to Moses on Mount Sinai, "To the watching Israelites the Glory of Yahweh looked like a devouring fire on the Mountain top" (Exodus 24; 18). In the New Testament we see that God the Holy Spirit descended on Mary and the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday in the form of "Tongues of Fire" (Acts of the Apostles 2; 34). The Seraphim Angels are closest Angels to the Throne of God in Heaven and their name means "Burning ones" because the Throne of God is ablaze with His Glory. All the Angels and Saints in Heaven are on Fire with love for God. This means that our souls can be on fire with Love or with hatred. We need to feed our Souls with the Fuel and "Food for Thought" of the knowledge of God to be found in the Scriptures, Church Teaching and the writings of the Saints. Jesus is the Eternal Knowledge of God. We need to be in the Heat and warm Presence of our Heavenly Father by living in the "State of Grace" (This means to have repented of our sins and to be free from serious sin). Or rather we need the warm Presence of the Heavenly Father in our Souls. We need to "Love God and Love our Neighbour) (Neighbour means all Good and bad people.). To do that we need to Breathe in the Holy Spirit who is the Breath of Life for our souls.
Another example of the Trinity in nature is in the substance Water, which is also vital for our Life on earth. Water molecules (H2O) are made of two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom. Physically one Hydrogen atom is bonded to one side of an Oxygen atom and another is bonded to the other side. They look something like this: H-O-H,. This can remind us of the Trinity, where the Oxygen can represent the Holy Spirit between the Father and the Son who are each represented by the two Hydrogen atoms. Representing the Holy Spirit by Oxygen seems very appropriate because the word "Spirit" comes from the Latin word "Spiritus" which means "Breath" and as we know it is the Oxygen in the "Atmosphere" which we need to breathe in order to live. It is also appropriate because Theologians say that the Holy Spirit is the "Atmosphere" of Love eternally produced between the Father and the Son. One other reason it is very appropriate is that when the Holy Spirit appeared on Pentecost Sunday to Mary the Mother of Jesus with the Apostles there was the sound of "a mighty wind" and He appeared to them as "Tongues of Fire". There is only one Greek word "Ruah" for "wind" and "spirit". We know also that a fire needs Oxygen to remain burning. We need the breath of the Holy Spirit to be on Fire with the Love of God. Water at 0.16 Centigrade has a special quality called a "Triple Point" whereby it can exist as three things at the one time, liquid water, solid ice and water vapour, this is like the Trinity who coexist as three Persons but are one God. It is very appropriate that Water should reflect the Trinity because Jesus uses water in the Sacrament of Baptism to confer Divine Life on us His creatures. In Scripture there are references to God as "Water" for example Jesus told the woman at the well that He was the "Living Water" welling up to Eternal Life.
Perhaps the Trinity also marks the material substance of Creation. Children going to school who learn Science are told that the material substance of Creation is made of atoms, and all atoms are made of three basic particles, Protons, Neutrons and Electrons. They are told that these three particles are the building blocks of all physical substances. Protons have a positive charge, electrons are negative and neutrons are neutral. These particles are reclassified for students in College who are told that there are three types of particles (Hadrons, Leptons and Bosons).
To conclude, we can never understand fully the Mystery of the Trinity. Before the beginning of our time and the creation of anything God was alone and He was overflowing with Infinite Love for Himself when He decided to Share His Love with creatures that He would " Invent" into Existence. Perhaps God has known us from all Eternity so we just say " Invent" to help us understand better. Hopefully we will spend all of Eternity gazing at this God of ours, He is not somewhere in Creation, Creation is somewhere in Him. He created Creation so large and so long ago to help us to understand just how Large and how Old He is. No creature, not even the greatest saint or angel, before they existed could have merited or deserved to have been invented and created. Nor can we in our short lives ever deserve Eternal Life, indeed what can we ever do in our short lives of even a hundred years to deserve to live in Heaven for never ending Millions upon Millions of years? Before He created us we did not exist and so we could not deserve to be invented or created.
Mercy, (which means undeserved) is God's nature, and like an incredible Santa Claus our Heavenly Father is the real Father Christmas and He wants to give us the stupendous gift of Eternal Life and we can receive that gift through the Son of God because He is our Eternal Life. This gift of Eternal Life was put on the Real Christmas Tree which is His Son's Cross on Good Friday and is available for the entire Human race but we must be very good and always repent and confess our sins in order to receive it. Our Heavenly "Father Christmas" wants to give us Presents every day of our lives in the tremendous gifts of the many "Graces" available in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church especially His Son in Holy Communion.
God gives us 24 hours a day every day of our short lives and we usually hate spending time with Him. When we realise how much our Heavenly Father "Loves" us then every day is Christmas Day! And as Santa Claus picked Rudolf the "Red Nosed Reindeer" who was an outcast to lead his Sleigh so does our Heavenly Father "cast the mighty from their thrones and raise the Lowly" (See Luke 1 : 52). We call this Goodness of God His "Divine Mercy". His Sacred Heart burns with Love for us but when we sin we pierce His Heart like a crown of Thorns but we also pierce His Heart if we do not believe that He Loves us no matter how good or bad we are. If you Love someone and that person does not believe that you love them then you feel pain in your heart , well it is the same with God. If we reject Him by our sins we will have to live without Him for all Eternity, but if we are good we will be able to Live with Him forever.
In order to get to know the Holy Trinity better we should ask Mary the Mother of Jesus to help us, she is the unique Mother of the Son, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit and the perfect Daughter of the Eternal Father. She looked at her Son and knew that He was the Son of God, and by listening to Him and Contemplating Him she got to know the whole Trinity better than any other human could. The Servant of God Frank Duff explains her relation to the Trinity very well in the "Legion of Mary" handbook. Also we should reflect often about the "Incarnation" and "Passion" of Jesus, that is God became Man in order to suffer and die for our sins. God knew that when He gave "Man" Freewill that He was giving him a very self-destructible power but God has so much Love and Respect for "Man" that He wanted him to be Free to choose to return Love to Him or not. If "Man" rejects God he deserves to lose everything that God gave him including the incredible "gift" of "existence". To lose our "being" or to exist no more is the most terrifying prospect ever. In hell a person still owns himself or herself. But God gave us Freewill hoping we will choose to Love "Him" and then one day share in His overflowing Bliss.
As St Paul says in the First Corinthians 2:9 "No eye has seen, no ear has heard nor has it entered into the Heart of man what God has prepared for those who Love Him".
PRAYER OF REPARARATION
St Michael the Archangel taught the children at Fatima:
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