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Seek to understand the Trinity, says papal preacher

Catholic World News - March 16, 2012

Studying the works of the Church Fathers is useful “to rediscover the vital unity between faith as it is professed and faith as it is lived,” the preacher to the pontifical household said in the 2nd of his weekly Lenten Sermons.

Father Raniero Cantalamessa explored the thought of St. Gregory Nazianzen in his sermon on March 16. He remarked that the 4th-century scholar, who wrote most memorably on the Trinity, saw the Trinity not merely as a dogma but as a focus of love. “Love presupposes one who loves, one who is loved, and love itself,” the preacher said. “In the Trinity, the Father is the one who loves, the font and principle of all things; the Son is the one who is loved; the Holy Spirit is the love with which They love.”

Father Cantalamessa said that the work of St. Gregory Nazienzen should help believers to embrace the Trinity: “to make it ‘our’ Trinity, the ‘dear’ Trinity, the ‘beloved’ Trinity.” He suggested that the best way to show love for the Trinity is to seek understanding of God’s triune being—even while knowing that we cannot grasp the mystery. “We cannot embrace the ocean, but we can get into it,” he said. “Likewise, we cannot embrace the mystery of the Trinity with our minds, but we can enter into it!”

The Lenten Sermons are preached on Fridays in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the apostolic palace. Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia attend the meditations.

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