Sermon for Trinity Sunday – June 19, 2011 by Fr. Sretenovic
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
When we are thinking about the Holy Trinity, we may come to a conclusion that we can apply to many aspects of the spiritual life. I believe it, but I don’t get it. One God, three Persons. Yes, I believe that, but don’t ask me to explain it. And, don’t worry, I won’t.
But this conclusion is applicable to our experience trying to go from meditation to resolutions. For instance, you try to meditate upon God’s patience with sinners, holding back His hand from chastisement, as he has done now for so long. Then you resolve to try to imitate that patience in ways that apply to your particular circumstances. Then, strike one, strike two, strike three, you’re out.
And then you think, But, I believe in God’s mercy, and I believe I must be also merciful even to the point of being the basis of whether or not I will be forgiven at judgment. But, obviously, I do not yet get it, I do not yet understand. It is said that the greatest distance in the world is the journey from the head to the heart. And we prove this proverb right every single day. So, the goal of the spiritual life is to bridge that gap. Frankly, the solution is simply trying harder. Now, many attempt this but they put too much emphasis upon the practical applications and not upon the meditation. Making better meditations will help us move from faith into insight. You believe and you will get it because you will bring your belief with you wherever you go. Otherwise, as is often the case, we live in a way in which that when we make our meditations we leave what little we have gained behind. So there needs to be a more generous efforts on our parts in prayer.
If we do this, then we will find that when the opportunities come, we will understand what is at stake, and then we will be patient, we will bite our tongue, we will see it for what it is. But, if we are not making our daily meditations, then what happens is there is a disconnect and, then, even though we know what we are supposed to do, we don’t do it.
So, we tend to focus more on the active rather than the meditative, and that’s why we fall so many times. So the head and the heart are not meditation and then resolution. The head and the heart are meditation and they are resolution, they are both together. Both have to exist in each one or the chasm will not be bridged. The bridge has to be built in the morning so you can cross it in the afternoon. You don’t plug an appliance in unless you are going to use it, and if you see someone trying to turn on an appliance before plugging it in, take some pictures and show me, because I think it will be something I will enjoy very much to see. Now, who does that, unless you don’t know it’s not plugged in. If it’s not plugged in, you’re not going to be fooling around with the thing.
This is why when I mentioned a few weeks back it is so important concerning again the daily meditation. With it, we can acquire every virtue. Without it, we’re just along for the ride. In the first three centuries, there were many who converted to the Catholic faith. Yet, what per cent were martyrs and what per cent had to do public penance for defecting under duress. My guess is that the second category was much more plentiful than the first. There were a number of martyrs, but there was probably even a greater number of those who were not ready to be martyred. But, at least in their case, they got a second chance.
If we are faced with such a choice in these times, we can bet that there will be no second chance. Even if some don’t believe that they will ever be faced with such a decision and no body is required to believe that they will be, better to prepare for the worst because it might not be enough for us simply to keep the faith peacefully to the end of our lives, as we have been able to do to this point. God may require our blood. And if we don’t give it, it will not matter what we otherwise would have done or the fact that we otherwise would have been saved in a different time in Church history.
So, the very fact that, again, it could be 50 years before the chastisement comes to the fulfillment. Or it could be 5 years. We just don’t know. It’s fruitless to try to guess exactly when. But we do know that there is enough of a chance of martyrdom at some point where all of a sudden the devil takes hold to the point where it’s like a Catholic hunt, the equivalent of a witch hunt. So, even though there’s a chance that that really will not happen, we may be able to live our days and never have to face that. That’s perfectly possible. But because of the times that we are living in, the fact that they are prophetic, they are Fatima times and Our Lady did warm that the good would not be spared, sooner or later it is going to come to pass. And, when it does, either we are martyrs or we are going to relapse. If we relapse, again, we might not have that chance to do public penance. It might simply be judgment at that point.
So, it is very important that we bridge that gap between the head and the heart. The martyrs were martyrs because they knew how to go, again, from the head to the heart. Having done so faithfully every day until the end, they entered the presence of the Holy Trinity and beheld Him in Whom they had always believed, but Who was beyond their understanding.
In The Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.