A Letter from Fr. Paul - June 16, 2019
Congratulations to Deacon Patric, who will be ordained Sunday, June 23rd, at noon at Mother of Good Counsel. Please join him for the Mass, if possible.
I received a good doctor’s report and a new cast last week, as well as a “prescription” of four more weeks of putting no weight on the foot. I also found out I have a plate and screws in the foot, so I should have fun at airport screening! My next appointment is July 3rd. The sisters are taking good care of me. Thank you for your continued prayers.
As always, we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity the weekend after Pentecost. I “understand” or wrap my mind around the mystery of the Trinity in this way (this is NOT a theological treatise but a personal reflection):
Each of us plays many roles in our lives, a number of them at the same time. For example, I am the pastor at Pius with various duties and responsibilities and as pastor I conduct myself in a certain way. I am also a member of the Salvatorian Family and my responsibility as a member of the Provincial Council of the religious men means I conduct myself in a different way when I am at a community gathering. I am the Director of Candidates for the Society, which brings different responsibilities and ways of acting in my local community. And I am a member of the large Portland family, used to joking and teasing with my many brothers. But I am one being, Paul Portland, despite all these different roles, responsibilities, and ways of acting.
That is how I understand the Holy Trinity. There is one God, as there is one of any of us. But that God has different roles and ways of relating to us, different personae one might say. One of those personae is the creating God, the God who brought everything into being and sustains creation; another is the redeeming God, the God who reached out when we turned away; and another is the inspiring or mentoring God, the God who continues to walk with us as we travel through life. This makes perfect sense to me: we all have different personae, different roles, different responsibilities. So does God.
It is revealing (about ourselves) to reflect on how we image and relate to God. For example, I relate to God as Father most when I am awed by the beauty of creation or the incredible complexity of life (I feel the most distant from this persona of God). When I am confused or troubled or trying to figure out how to move forward with an issue, I relate to God the Spirit. Most of the time, I relate to Jesus, who was human like me, and I try to build a personal relationship with Him, I look at His actions to see how I should act (in one sense, this could be the same as what I said about the Holy Spirit, but, then, it IS Jesus’ Spirit, isn’t it?)
I invite us this week to reflect on the Trinity and our personal relationship with the various personae of our One, Triune God. How can I grow to bring the creative, redeeming, and inspiring God closer to my heart? The closer He is to my heart, the easier I can share His love with others! And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS
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