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  • Sarah Beth Dippel


On the feast of St. Patrick, it seems appropriate to talk about the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

St. Patrick was a Catholic missionary to Ireland. While his banishing of snakes might be up for debate, his teaching of the Holy Trinity is one lesson many catechists still use today to explain the mystery of the Trinity (ok, that's lore too, but let's go with it.)

Catholics do not believe in three Gods but rather one God in a unity of three persons with one divine nature. Now that does sound confusing. It is no wonder priests struggle with a homily for Holy Trinity Sunday.

"The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and life" (CCC 234). There is only one God but three persons. This mystery is incomprehensible for human reason to grasp; how can 3=1 or 1=3? That's where St. Patrick's simple teaching comes in so handy. The shamrock has one stem and three leaflets. The shamrock gives the people of Ireland, and now us, a visual symbol of the great mystery of God. While the Blessed Trinity might still be beyond our complete comprehension, He is among us and within us. He is guiding us as a good Father. Among us as the Son, walking with us in our trials and our joy. And within us as the spirit, calling us to follow Him. #livinglent2

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