Trinitarian love


Today is Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is central to Christian faith for many reasons, including as a matter of doctrine. The Trinitarian nature of God is often explained through multiple metaphors but remains a mystery.

But we can also understand the Trinity in terms of lived experience. St Augustine wrote in his work On the Trinity that whenever I love my brother, I know God even better than I know my brother. What I think he means is that in every act of loving, we know and have a firsthand experience of God in the very act of loving. In this way, God is known intimately in the movements of my own heart.

Love of another person, then, is intimately wrapped up in a deeper, even more foundational love–God’s love that infuses and informs our own human loves. The Holy Spirit is given to us so that God’s love can become my own love, working in and through me. But then it is also the case that this same Spirit is present in others, can be known in others. God’s love in one person touches that same love in the other.

Trinity Sunday is an invitation to notice and to come to know this God whose very nature is loving relationship. We are invited not only to intellectually affirm, but also to experience this mystery, through our relationship with God and through our relationships with one another.