"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Fr. Voigt, Distinct but Inseparable.

Distinct but Inseparable
Fr. Voigt 
And God created man in His Image and Likeness as the book of Genesis reveals.  This revelation is the most important reflection a human being can have in order to understand a bit of the interior life of the holy Trinity.  What is it in man that can call forth the reality of the Life of God?  What would you say?  In humility St. Augustine takes man's interior life as the key to intimacy with the God Who created us, loves us and redeems and sanctifies us.  Now let us enter into the divine reflection presented by St. Augustine.  

In his sermon, the saint admits that maybe many of those present will not grasp the presentation but he will try by the grace of God to open up this mystery for all to perceive the mystery of the Trinity by man's interior activity.  He will begin with the activity of the mind which is defined as memory.  As you read this presentation your memory as sharp as it may be captures the words and commits them to the memory.  In Don Bosco's school days there was a sharp student who challenged John Bosco to a test of memory.  They would read a section of a book and closing the book the sharp student repeated the section word for word.  How could Don Bosco top that?  He did by starting the work from the end and proceeding backwards to the beginning to the amazement of all.  Hence there is a distinct power in man called the memory.

Yet this power in man is not separated from the power called understanding.  Understanding takes what one hears, reads or sees and makes sense out of the words or actions we perceive.  This is the power in which the individual gives meaning to what he has learned.  Victor Frankl in his work: Logotherapy; Man's Search for Meaning, remarks that man has the power to understand suffering and give it meaning.  When Man finds the meaning of his suffering, then suffering ceases to confuse but now it can direct the soul to its goal.  Hence understanding cooperates with memory to discover the meaning of the life we live. 

From this inter-relationship of the memory (a distinct power) and understanding (another distinct power) we are lead to the reality of the will.  Through the knowledge attained through the inseparable activity of the memory and the intellect, the will is guided to decision.  The memory presents facts; the intellect seeks the meaning and truth underlying the facts and the will decides to act based on the evidence presented.  Now St. Augustine sees that those listening are getting the picture and he rejoices that his conclusion is acceptable to the wise and the humble in the congregation. 

Hence as in man there are three distinct and separate powers which act inseparably.  So in the Holy Trinity  it is revealed that there are three separate persons acting always inseparably.  The Father is distinct from the Son and the Holy Ghost and this is clear in the Transfiguration for the Father speaks saying, "This is my beloved Son, listen to him."  At the same time the Holy Ghost is seen as a cloud overshadowing the event in which the Son is manifested in His glory.  Father, Son and Holy Ghost are separate Persons but acting in union. 

Consider your hand.  It is composed four fingers, a thumb and a palm.  Each is distinct but always acting as your hand.  Now what is the goal of the hand:  to work, to create, to function for our physical benefit.  What then is the goal of God revealing His interior life to us?  That we might realize that Love is the alpha and omega of all God does and all He desires from us.  Let us memorize the actions of the beloved Son, understand that we are meant to imitate this divine humanity and will to grow in love daily (even moment by moment).  All of this comes so beautifully together in the humblest of all His creatures:  our blessed Mother.  Turn to her when you seek to know more and more of the God Whom you will one day see face to face.

May this feast of the Most Holy Trinity stir our hearts to the goal of divine love. 

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Richard Voigt