Spirituality: In the Heart of the Trinity

Every authentic spirituality originates in the Trinity, source of life, of love, of spiritual energy that is transmitted in its creatures and in a very special way in humans.

Every gift is from above, and the Spirit of God fills the universe with His gifts. The Church is moved and driven by God's Holy Spirit who distributes His gifts generously to those He wishes to and however He wishes to.
 
The Congregation of the Daughters of St. Eusebius is a gift from God to His Church, in order that this Church is the image of love He has for His children. So the Founders of the Congregation, Father Dario Bognetti and Mother Eusebia Arrigoni showed to the poor and small tenderness and mercy of the Father and wanted the sisters to continue this mission in time.
 
So we want to display the icon of the Holy Trinity to better understand this dynamism.
Among all the icons, the biggest, deepest and artistically valuable is the one of Trinity by Andrej Rublev which, in the opinion of many, is a masterpiece of rare theological depth, incomparable beauty and fine richness of symbols. It portrays the theme of Unity and Trinity of God!


The Word of God is the basis of the iconography of the Trinity. It takes us back to Genesis 18.1 to 10.

And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day. And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground.

And he said: “Lord, if I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant: But I will fetch a little water, and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree. And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen ye your heart, afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: “Do as thou hast spoken.”

 Abraham made haste into the tent to Sara, and said to her: “ Make haste, temper together three measures of flour, and make cakes upon the hearth.” And he himself ran to the herd, and took from thence a calf very tender and very good, and gave it to a young man: who made haste and boiled it. He took also butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled, and set before them: but he stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

They asked him: “Where is Sara thy wife?” He answered: “Lo, she is in the tent.” The guest said: “I'll come back to you next year; so your wife will have a son.”

Andrej Rublev carefully studied the text of Genesis: at the top you can see the tent of Abraham, the oak of Mamre, the mountain. They are the historical background, which becomes symbolic. The true picture however is one that comprises the three guests who indicate the three persons of the Holy God.

The three are not just people sitting together, but constitute a profound unity.

The distinction between the people is evident, but the unit of them is even more so.

Rublev evokes not only the appearance of God to Abraham, he understands how to express the Trinity. Geometric Composition, colors and symbols are studied for that. Halos are also the image of the Trinity, that “in three persons, it is the only three sun light”.

The faces are young: none of them seem older or younger, because in God there is no before or after, no yesterday or tomorrow, but only a perennial today. They are juvenile figures, and at the same time contain the strength and attraction of both sexes, for God is neither male nor female: in God, One and Triune, the differences are not destroyed, but unified and complete.
In the icon of the Trinity the colors reveal the ideas and express the symbols: the pink-gold recalls the imperial mantle, green expresses life; red, sacrificed love. Special significance is dark blue: it indicates the divinity and eternal truths; it is distributed to the three angels, delicate, almost silver, with different shades.

The angel on the left, representing God the Father, wearing a blue tunic, but it is almost entirely covered by royal robe. “No one has seen God.” Therefore the central angel representing God the Son, wears the blue mantle: “The Son revealed Him.” And as St. Paul says: “He dwells in inaccessible light”, only in the Son He becomes visible. Also the right angel, representing God the Holy Spirit, even wearing the blue underneath the tunic, shows it thoroughly, because its mission is “to remember and understand the Word”.








The Father sits solemnly on his throne. The building above it and the pilgrim's staff held vertically in his hand reveals his upright position. The look and gesture of his right-hand side have something imperative. Also the royal robe, gold and pink, which are high class colors, proclaim that He is the source of divinity and the source of life.











The center angel is the Word of the Eternal Father. He came from the Father and is now turned to him in listening and responding. It's all consent. The deep red of his robe recalls the purple of Emperors, but especially most ready love of his obedience. The blue robe that proclaims Jesus as the father showed up and became understandable to our senses as well. On his back the tree reminds us of the tree of life tree of the earthly paradise and its connection with the cross: an old legend tells that the cross was taken from the wood of the tree of the earthly paradise.










The angel on the right, is in unreserved dedication, endless devotion and surrender. His face expresses readiness to cooperate and consolation. The Holy Spirit abundantly bears blue for his mission to make understand. The green robe speaks of his action that “gives life” and “renews the face of the earth.”






Love has not allowed God to be alone. The happiness of the Trinitarian community should communicate outwards; divine life should involve other beings. But man knew the story of revolt, darkness and death. God the Father can not allow humanity to be lost forever. God wants all men saved!







The hand of the Father, which indicates the dish of veal offered by Abraham, illuminates your plan with clarity and firmness.








Father and Son agree. It is both invitation and command, but also the expression of greater love. The Son shall “become a man and be among men”. The Son understands him: the head nods to a consent in perfect accord.











Only the Son shall descend from heaven to the earth? No; the Holy Spirit will descend with him, “will cover with his shadow the Virgin”, fill men to help them to believe and accept the Redeemer and so be saved and holy. Son and Holy Spirit are in full collaboration.













Also the Holy Spirit is silent, everything with the Father and the Son. Yields and corresponds with gratitude.










The pilgrim's staff that each angel holds in their hands speaks of this plan of salvation. God became a pilgrim in search of the sinful man. The whole initiative is God's as well as the execution. God seeks man! In all other natural religions, it is the needy man who seeks God in the dark, as St. Augustine wrote: “The human heart is made for you, Lord, and will have no peace until it rests in thee.” Only the revealed religion ensures that it is God who seeks us first. Only the Son becomes man, but the plan belongs to the three of them, and each plays a specific part. The three are in conversation here to express this story of love.










The plateful of veal offered by Abraham is at the center of the painting. The meaning is clear: the feast of Abraham meant the Eucharistic banquet. The way of salvation finds its culmination in the sacrifice. The tray can be called chalice.









The Son wears an all red tunic. He will fulfill the mission through the sacrifice of himself: He will be the victim. He understands him. The arm heavily leaning on the table and the veiled expression of sadness say he knows well the price of his mission. The staff tilting a little to the Holy Spirit is like a cry for help. The head tilts to the Father, but the rest of the body (knees, shoulders, hands ...) is directed to the Holy Spirit.







The tree of life will act the redemption. It is the cross. He already seems to be ready to lean on the shoulders of the Son to receive him. The mountain and the tree symbolize the creatures of the mineral and vegetable worlds and bowing they also participate in the move of the Spirit toward the Father.
So does the father's house that is open and welcomes this move.






The group of the Three seems to affirm the Christocentrism: Jesus at the center of salvation history, but also at the center of the Trinity. For by His incarnation is that we are meeting the dispersion and become his body: we as members, and He as the head. In the Son we become children! He is thus the God we meet and who becomes the “path” that leads us to the Trinitarian communion.








The Three are positioned around the table. It is a circle that says opening, embrace, invitation. They occupy three of the four sides of the table. One side is free. This empty space is the human vocation: God created man, redeemed him and called him to share his life. You must enter through this door.






There is one sacrifice of salvation: that of Calvary to which we are called to participate in. On Byzantine altars a shrine contained the relics of the martyrs. Here it is painted on the wall opposite the table to indicate the collaboration that God expects of us.

One enters the Trinitarian communion purified by love, by the gift of self, as evidenced by the martyrs. The necessary conditions are holiness and readiness to love even in martyrdom. In Jesus we are one body. The whole story of salvation is a start to the Unit blessed and eternal. We are not passive in the plan of salvation, but a living part of the divine dialogue, and we are partakers of the trinitarian mission to the ends of the earth.

 








It is the Holy Spirit who shouts within us: “Abba, Father!” . In the Son, through the Holy Spirit, we are introduced into that move that leads to the Father.







We are “members of Christ” through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, we give the Father all honor and glory! We enter the hymn of thanksgiving that we call Eucharist and which allows us to sit at the banquet of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Contemplation of the Trinity through this icon reveals a greater awareness of the mission, presented by the Second Vatican Council as a trinitarian plan to make the divine community and the human community one family. The destiny of man is learned in this contemplation, the way Jesus prayed: “Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me” (Jn 17,24); “Father, that all may be one, as we are, that the world may believe!” (John 17:21).

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