“Come Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up thy rest; come with Thy grace and heav’nly aid, to fill our hearts which Thou hast made.”
Whenever I think of Pentecost, this ninth-century hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus, with lyrics by Rabanus Maurus and translated by John Cosin, runs through my head on continual repeat.
I do not claim to fully understand the Trinity, but I do know the Father, Son, and Spirit are three persons in one. They are inseparable, even though our human understanding often causes us to think of them as distinct beings.
The first line of song reminds us that the Spirit is truly one with God, the Father. The Spirit is the Creator who not only fills our hearts with love and inspiration, but likewise created these hearts in the first place.
Additionally, the Spirit is one with God, the Son. Just as Jesus spread God’s love through word and deed, the Spirit moves us to follow this example.
At the recent CISVA Track and Field championships, I witnessed a vivid example of God in three persons in the Grade Five girls 60-metre event. We are blessed with inclusion in our school system and, in my experience, students with special needs are welcomed into our schools and extra-curricular activities, with open arms. Our track and field program makes no exception.
As the young girls lined up for their heats, a competitor in a racing wheelchair joined the group at the starting line. Even though the other girls’ legs carried them faster than this girl’s strong arms could wheel her chair, she had the chance to experience the rush of the starter’s pistol, hear the roar of fans calling her name, and feel the satisfaction of a racer’s adrenalin rush, just like every other track athlete at the meet.
That day, there were three races involving wheelchair athletes; however, this 60-metre heat was the first such race of the day and it was blessed with a moment more inspiring for me than the fact that the disabilities of these children do not hold them back.
After crossing the finish line, the other racers – 10- and 11-year-old girls – spontaneously turned around in their respective lanes and, clapping their hands the entire way, walked back to the finish line. In what almost looked like a choreographed routine, they reached the line at approximately the same moment as the girl in the racing chair. All competitors were together on that finish line and, for a moment, not one of them was a winner; they all were.
To me this is evidence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one God. We were created by God, the world was blessed with the example of God in human form, and we continue to have the Spirit of God living amongst us all the time. When we witness the union of the people he has made, the beauty of a simple – yet profound – action, and a heartwarming feeling so alive you can see it in the tears filling people’s eyes, that to me is an example of the inseparable nature of the Trinity at work in our lives.
I don’t remember which racer placed first in that heat. All I know is that many people in the stands “won” the gift of seeing the Trinity in action. Additionally, other competitors followed the girls’ examples to clap and high-five the other athletes throughout the day. As Bishop Robert Barron states, “we don’t think our way to an understanding of God so much as we live our way to it.”
We began our track meet in prayer, asking for safety, healthy competition and sportsmanship. The Spirit answered those prayers, as we watched eight little girls live their understanding of God. More than adrenalin and the admiration of fans drives us to live a good life; “the Spirit is … the energy and life force of the Body of Christ,” according to Bishop Barron.
When we invite him into our hearts, the Spirit “takes up (his) rest” and allows us to see goodness and beauty in the world; furthermore, when we pray, “Come Holy Ghost,” the Spirit moves us to be goodness and beauty in the world.
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