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The Blessed Trinity and Us

  • FATHER REGINALD GARRIGOU-LAGRANGE, O.P.

Saint John writes: And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God (Jn 17:3)...


aaroad. . . and My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is (1 Jn 3:2). We are called to see the infinite fruitfulness of this divine nature that subsists in three Persons; to contemplate face to face the eternal generation of the Word, splendour of the Father and image of his substance (He 1:3); to see the ineffable spiration of the Holy Spirit, this torrent of spiritual flame, the mutual love of Father and Son, which, from all eternity, unites them in a most absolute reciprocal self-giving.

Such a knowledge and love cannot be realised in us unless God first deifies us in a certain manner in the depths of our soul, unless we first receive something of the very nature of God, unless our soul is deified in some way, that is to say transformed in God. The blessed in heaven can participate in the divine operations, in the very life of God, precisely because they have received this nature from him, just as a son receives his nature from his father.

From all eternity God necessarily generates a Son similar to himself, the Word. He communicates to him his nature without dividing or multiplying it; he makes him God of God, Light of Light, the splendour of his substance. Purely gratuitously, he has wished to have other sons in time, adopted sons. He has loved us, and this creative love has made us participate in the very principle of his intimate life. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers, says Saint Paul. In this is found precisely the essence of the glory that God reserves for those he loves: The things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him.

The elect will become part of the very family of God as they enter into the circle of the Holy Trinity. In them the Father will generate his Word; the Father and the Son will issue forth Love. Charity will assimilate them to the Holy Spirit and meanwhile the vision will assimilate them to the Word, who in turn will make them similar to the Father whose expression he is. At that time we will be able to say truly that we know and love the Trinity that dwells in us as in a temple of glory, and we shall be in the Trinity, at the summit of Being, Thought, and Love. This is the glory, the goal to which our spiritual progress tends — configuration to the Word of God.

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Acknowledgement

Garrigou1Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, o.p. "The Blessed Trinity and Us." from Knowing the Love of God: Lessons from a Spiritual Master. (Raymond Smith, o.p. & Rod Gorton, Trs., Lighthouse Catholic Media, Dekalb, Illinois. All rights reserved.]

Reprinted under a fair use provision.  

The Author

garigou1garigouFather Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. († 1964) was a French Catholic theologian. He has been noted as a leading neo-Thomist of the 20th century, along with Jacobus Ramírez, Édouard Hugon, and Martin Grabmann. He taught at the Dominican Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome from 1909 to 1960. Here he wrote his magnum opus, The Three Ages of the Interior Life in 1938. Other books include Knowing the Love of God: Lessons from a Spiritual Master. In 1918 Garrigou initiated courses in sacred art, mysticism, and aesthetics at the Angelicum.

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