As we emerge from Eastertide and begin to keep again the season of grace which follows the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the celebration of the feast of the Holy Trinity, we are launched into what might at first seem to be a less exciting time of the liturgical year. Certainly we will shortly keep the feasts of Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart, and the Assumption of Our Lady, but, on the whole, we now revert to green vestments and to the cycle per annum, or “of the year.” In the personal ordinariates we retain the medieval custom of referring to this time as “after Trinity,” reminding ourselves of the source and focus of all worship. Yet, whatever name is used, the apparent ordinariness of these weeks must be characterised not by a spiritual lethargy or boredom, nor a return to the way things were—the old habits of sin and waywardness—but rather by the simple and vital task of our sanctification: the outworking of our baptismal promises, renewed at Easter and again at Pentecost.
The doctrine of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity is a central tenet of the Christian faith; at once a mystery beyond all telling and a reality intrinsically present in the lives of each of us. Blessed John Henry Newman, concluding one of his sermons on the subject, encouraged his congregation to consider this lofty topic only with a certain reverence. He writes: “May we never speak on subjects like this without awe; may we never dispute without charity; may we never inquire without a careful endeavour, with God’s aid, to sanctify our knowledge, and to impress it on our hearts, as well as to store it in our understandings!” So we may well be tempted to handle this profound theological notion with kid gloves; with a kind of holy fear. Yet the ready presence of the Most Holy Trinity, which runs through the veins of each Christian, and which is present in a very real way in the action of the Sacred Liturgy, calls us to set aside such anxiety, if not our just reverence, and to enter into the mystery and life of the Trinity, with awe and respect for sure, but with tenacity and confidence, knowing that the doctrine we revere is not something distant from us, but here and now, in our midst; in our very being, and in the act of divine worship we gather this morning to perform.