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THE BLESSED TRINITY AND THE SUPERNATURAL LIFE

by a Carthusian

 

PROLOGUE

Per ipsum et cum ipso et in ipso
est tibi Deo Patri omnipotenti:
in unitate Spiritus Sancti, omnis
honor et gloria

Canon Missae

In the pages which follow, the writer has made no attempt to present a complete treatise on the dogma of the most Blessed Trinity. Nor is it his desire to treat of any particular problem of the interior life, or to suggest new solutions. His aim has simply been to invite the reader's attention to the more general vistas of the supernatural life. We shall view the whole horizon of the Faith, with its practical consequences. We shall start with the consideration of the Source — the Blessed Trinity, the most intimate life of God — in order to come back finally to the consummation of all things in this same mystery. The life of all created things, and in particular the higher and interior life of man, will thus appear as having both its root and its end in the depths of the divine being.

If one is to arrive at the term, it is essential that one should know the direction. God invites us to set out upon the way which will lead us to himself. This way we must know if we are to walk with surety. The vision of the end will give us the desire, which will give birth to confidence, and this confidence in turn is the source of all strength.

Our humble attempt will have achieved its aim if it has helped to make us aware of our dignity as children of God. It is true that God, according to the inspired Word, dwells in light inaccessible (I Timothy vi, 16). But it is also true that thanks to the redeeming Blood of Christ we are raised to a supernatural state and are become children of God. Does not, indeed, the Apostle say: In ipso vivimus et movemur et sumus — in him we live and move and have our being (cf. Acts xvii, 28). Filii et haeredes — sons and heirs (Romans viii, 17).

It suffices — and it is, in fact, necessary — that we should live solely under the influence of the Holy Spirit if we are to become fully his 'sons'. Qui Spiritu Dei aguntur ii sunt filii Dei — for whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.(Romans viii, 14) And it is by the same Spirit that the Father will become our Father: Abba, Pater. But there is a conflict between the Spirit of God and our narrow self-interest. Nothing will give us so great an impulse to die to ourselves as this knowledge of our true destiny. To convince ourselves of our greatness will be the surest way to make ourselves so 'little' that we keep back nothing for ourselves. Then only will we draw deep breaths of the divine life, a foretaste of our eternal happiness.

(Translated from the French by a monk of Parkminster, The Carthusian Order © 1962; Darton, Longman, and Todd, London, 1962, 1998)

 

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