A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
July 11, 2020
The Most Holy Trinity
May 26, 2018
What a beautiful model of shared love and mutual respect we find in the Blessed Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirt, One in the same. Can you imagine the people at the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. discussing, even arguing about the nature of our one God? Where do you think you would have been in that discussion? Would you have thought it impossible or absurd as some did? Would you have claimed it was blasphemy to speak of God in this way? Or would you have been on the side of “all things are possible with God”? How then, in all of these discussions would the good people of God come to the model of the Trinity that we know and teach in the Catholic Church, actually, all Christian churches of today?
The only answer that makes any sense to me is that the process, the discussion and in the end, the consensus was possible only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit; in other words, only through God, one more way that God is truly present to his people. Over the centuries there have been 21 ecumenical councils in the Roman Catholic Church, the latest of these being Vatican II, 1963-1965. That particular council was truly a surprise to many when Pope John XXIII announced he would be convening a council. Out of that council came many liturgical changes; the priest would now face the people, Sunday Mass now allowed a vigil Mass on Saturday evening, the sign of peace was added, and the laity was invited to share their gifts as lectors, extra-ordinary Eucharistic ministers, ushers and greeters, including women. And girls were added to those who could serve Mass.
Each time a council of the Church took place there was resistance on the part of some people. Much conversation and even debate was not only allowed but encouraged. The people of God, with the hierarchy of the Church worked together to present the direction of the Catholic Church as she moved forward in time. The “sense of the faithful” played a very important role in the decision-making as well as the world culture. We as a Church exist in the modern world and that fact, the Church believes, must be factored into how we live and move in that environment.
So there will be future councils called by our Pope throughout our history. Some may be planned years in advance and some may be a surprise to the world. One thing will remain, God, through the Holy Spirit will continue to guide our efforts and lead us as we continue to advance the Church into the future.
Let us give thanks this day for the wisdom, the teaching and the model of love with which we are gifted in the Most Holy Trinity. Blessed be God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit!