Emmitsburg Council of Churches

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Father John J. Lombardi

In arriving here I think of "The Three G’s" --I am glad to be here at St. Peter’s and St. Patrick’s and to serve and lead you in our blessed Faith! I am grateful to Fr. John Lesnick for all his help and assistance. I think of God: for my vocation – and yours – to love God more and his people, our neighbors, especially through Mass; and care of one another. Let us fly toward Heaven and holiness and PRACTICE our Faith (not just "talk the talk") and learn holy DOCTRINE (The Truth shall set you free) and form a personal relationship with Jesus and The Trinity, so we shall be saved from sin and Hell and death and help save other souls! (Continued in insert)

Trinity Sunday: This is the highest and central doctrine of our Religion: God-as-He-is – The Three-in-One Lord – the Ultimate Reality. So stop chasing around other passing realties. He is Personal; continue to form a loving-affectionate relationship with God-the-Trinity. God is a family and calls us to a communal, family of Faith on earth.– and, finally, to Bliss – Heaven. Are you responding accordingly to all this? … Come let us worship Him!

The Trinity-- God is Infinite Mystery: there is always more of Him to love and since He is Three-in-one mystery we can be constantly infatuated, spiritually seduced and in love with Him­forever, unlike finite creatures we sometimes get bored or tired with. Sometimes we get frustrated as Catholic- Christians in trying to understand God and His ways­as He is in Himself, His mysterious providence and also His passive will of allowing so much evil. Okay, let’s understand that we cannot fully understand Him, and we will thereby be freed and not enslaved to small finite understandings of Him on our terms but relax and accept Him as Mystery and worship Him precisely because He is so unlike us! Thus, there is always more of God to love and worship.

God is Family: Since The Trinity is Father Son and Holy Spirit and so united and in Love, The Lord God Trinity show us what we should be.

Saints use reason to try to understand God as Three­in-One like water: which may come as liquid, gas (mist) or ice­they are all water in different forms. Or Sunshine: The Sun itself is like the Father-Generator; the rays of the sun are like the Son-Jesus irradiation; and the warmth is like the uncreated Love of the Holy Spirit. Again, famously, St Patrick , one of our patrons described to the pagans of England and Ireland that the Lord-God-Trinity is like a shamrock­three leafs in one single stem and plant. All these helpful-creative and yet limited illustrations point to diversity and unity, which we as parishes can learn from: accepting and cultivating many gifts and talents and yet always uniting in our one True religion. Though we are individual we should always unite around our Lord God and give Him glory­not our own.

Last week I was on the phone for a whole hour with Pateeka from India who was changing our internet computer system and who was very capable and kindly And yet: the times was very intense with passwords, and queues and trials and security systems and the sheer length of time I was very tired after it and felt drained. Like this life can drain us of God. I realized after this experience I needed to get out for the rectory office and get fresh air and see others and re-focus On God form the hocus pocus of life which often invades, pervades and steals our desire for God

Here’s a prayer-aspiration to memorize: Most Holy Trinity/ within they Unity/Heal me by Thy Divinity. Keep praying that prayer. Also meditate upon The Divine attributes: A-is for Agape: God-the-Trinity is all supreme sacrificial Love­Un-Created Love (Read Jn. 3:16). B is for Beauty: God is all-entrancing, mystically majestic and splendidly glorious, and source of all other earthly beauty. C is for Consubstantial: All three Divine Persons of the Godhead are equal, and co-eternal. D is for Divine­He sees, knows and loves everything all in advance, in one successionless moment. E is for Equanimity­God’s Divine Being is a peaceful repose and paradise of supreme serenity.

Read paragraph # 234 in The Catechism of the Catholic Church (which I hope to teach and use here for adult spirituality and education and learn more about God the Trinity !

Now read and meditate upon a beautiful quote from Fr. Pedro Arupe, past Jesuit leader, On Loving God:

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."

…Okay, back to some personal reflections and our new spiritual relationship…I feel at home already here at St Peters and Patrick’s, Hancock and Little Orleans:

My baptized name is John, now of Hancock (get it)! I’m saying "crik" now instead of creek. I’m getting used to traffic on Main St. stopping for me in the cross walks instead of rushing thru. I liked it when the guy in the archery shop smiled at my NASCAR hat and then introduced me to Derek, the owner, and I walk down in my black suit and collar and he asks: "Are you the Law?" and I reply­"Kinda, and the spirit too!" and we both laugh. I know I have a home when one "local" says she moved up here from Washington years ago and never looked back: "You’ll love it!" they added. I feel at home when I asked Fr John Lesnick how many funerals are at the parishes here and he replies­about two or three. Okay­so people here live forever I’ll can sign up for that!

Interesting: I learned at the Thrift store that a "mouse-chaser" is a cat I’ve heard some different names I usually don’t otherwise, like Tillie, Beula and Cody and Travis and Bonnie--refreshing! I went to the Roadkill Restaurant (near Warfordsburg, Pa.) last week and saw Pam the waitresses, with her shirt reading for the Monday menu- "Everything scraped up from the weekend" (she later gave me some venison at the Parish Council meeting. I look forward to hiking and biking with you; playing basketball and hunting and fishing and picnicking and visiting with you, kayaking on "The Nation’s River" (Potomac), praying and most of all going with you deeper into a Divine Life

You might ask: Just what should be our Mission here at St Peters and St Patrick’s? That’s simple, it consists of "The Five S’s of Holiness": Sacraments: Communion and Confession as frequently as possible; Silent prayer-meditation--daily; Scriptures: "spiritually digesting" them frequently ; Service: esp. to the poor, sick and dying; Saints: reading how God used other people like us and giving the saints not only adulation but also imitation of their lives.

I heard at our excellent Parish Council meeting from the Youth Group "SOS"­S=doing Spiritual events; O=going on Outings­biking and hiking, etc; and S=Service-to the needy.

What is a priest and who am I? From Fr Bayer I learned we priests need to teach the orthodox Faith to others­this is what you paid for and what we were trained for. "Veritatis Splendor " (title of encyclical by Pope John Paul II) means the shining-ness of Truth­and this what we all need, specially those in serious sin and drugs addiction and depression and alienation whom we can reach out to with whole and holy Doctrine. Fr Jim Farmer is teaching me to preach the truth even when it is difficult and even upsetiiing­wther about pro life issues or simplicity of life Fr Joe taught me pastoral love­always go out to the people­don’t’ get stuck behind books and bureaucracy. Another priest taught me (or tried to) good order and rhythm as important to spiritual endeavors (Fr John Lesnick had all the paper clips in the desk drawers in one direction, magnetic north I guess) and then I came in with some quixotic Italianesque style and Fr Menig­age 92­taught me to keep on keeping on ­ as he is in Emmitsburg. Fr George Reid taught love of the Lord and His flock, Jesus’ people I’m thankful for all these priestly witnesses in this Year fo the Priest

This I command you-love one another" (Jn. ) I look forward to praying and laughing and when appropriate weeping with you and your friends and families. I will need your help, wisdom and talents, and especially your Christ-likeness !

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi