SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Indwelling of the Trinity

October 27, 2018 by  
Filed under Anthony Lilles, Contemplation, FEATURED, Holy Trinity, Trinity

What animates Christian Contemplation is the most beautiful and intimate mystery of the universe — the Glory out of which all things visible and invisible have issued forth.  This unseen Glory causes all that is to exist and holds all things in existence for no other reason that sheer love and goodness. By an utterly excessive outpouring of love, in a divine and wholly gratuitous gift of sheer grace, this inexhaustible treasure has been entrusted to the heart to be known and loved.

Such is the Divine Indwelling – beyond holding us into existence, the Trinity manifests its goodness and truth to those who believe in the Risen Lord. This is no ordinary knowledge, no simple accumulation or mastery of information. It is sacred truth – the kind of truth that when humbly received shatters all rash judgments and helps us find the way home.
The prayer that receives this knowledge and love is called mystical. It is produced, not by human effort, but by the gentle touch of the Holy Spirit. Only the most humble act of faith and determined devotion makes the soul vulnerable enough to receive this Divine Gift.
The Holy Trinity may dwell in a soul for many years before the soul becomes conscious of the gift that it has been given. The humble love that such a gift requires can take years of constant vigilance and silent readiness. Steeping the imagination in holy images prepares the soil. Baptizing our intelligence with revealed truth makes the necessary space. Surrendering affections and offering painful sorrows with love draws this powerful blessing.

This hidden secret cannot be grasped by mental gymnastics or intellectual feats.  This deepest spiritual truth evades the proud and powerful. The wise of this world are confounded by its simplicity. The clever stumble over its shocking liberty.  Only poor beggars are ready for this hidden bounty.

Pierced and disjointed in helter-skelter agony, hung on dead splintered wood between heaven and earth, the last wordless cry of the Word of the Father fills the empty voids of this world with this living fullness. It flows like a font from the deepest center of Holy Spirit bathed baptized souls. It falls like rain on the contrite and runs like streams from their eyes to their hearts. Its fragrance awakens and draws love. It shakes the foundations of human existence and rips open the veils that separate Bride from Bridegroom.
Such is the august mystery of the Holy Trinity. An endless sea of love and life flows immutably from its tenderness toward humanity and its patient purpose remains un-thwarted by our hostility.  Oh, that we might share the great stillness that it knows — the peace of love poured and received. That humble greatness resists our pride and that gentle immensity silences our aggression.
Generously implicated in our misery, the Father sends His Son in the power of His Spirit again and again into our hearts anew — a pure, total and personal gift — as if always for the first time. For, in the image of the unrepeatability of God's majesty, this astonishing gift never comes the same way twice.  A personal gift of mutual relations, enkindling with bright warm splendor, this indwelling mystery is the hidden uncreated form of every created gift of self, given and received in love.
This post originally appeared on beginningtopray.blogspot.com
Image credit:  Stained Glass window in the Cathedral of  St. Peter of Alcantara, Rio de Janerio, Brazil, By Eugenio Hansen, OFS [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
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About Anthony Lilles

Anthony Lilles, a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, completed his graduate and post-graduate studies in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. He and his lovely wife, Agnes, are blessed with three children and live in California, where he is the Academic Dean, and Associate Professor of Theology, St. John's Seminary, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Academic Advisor for Queen of Angels House of Priestly Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For over twenty years, Dr. Lilles worked for the Denver Archdiocese directing parish religious education, R.C.I.A. and youth ministry, as well as serving as Director of the Office of Liturgy for the Archdiocese and as Coordinator of Spiritual Formation for the permanent diaconate. In 1999, he became a founding faculty member of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary where he was Academic Dean for nine years and Associate Professor of Theology. He is a Board Member for the Society of Catholic Liturgy. Dr. Lilles has provided graduate level courses on a variety of topics including the Eucharist, the Sacraments of Healing, Church History, Spiritual Theology, Spiritual Direction and on various classics of Catholic Spirituality. His expertise is in the spiritual doctrine of Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity and the Carmelite Doctors of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In 2012, Discerning Hearts published his book "Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: A Theological Contemplation on Prayer," a compilation of discussions with seminarians, students, and contemplatives about the spiritual life. He collaborated with Dan Burke on the books "30 Days with Teresa of Avila" and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Therese of Lisieux. And, his book "Fire from Above" was published in 2016. Among his many accomplishments and responsibilities, Dr. Lilles now teaches theology for the Avila Institute. He blogs at BeginningtoPray.blogspot.com

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