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How to connect the Trinity to your family life

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Soren and Ever Johnson  - published on 05/26/24

You don’t need to create this from scratch! Remember, you already have this communion in a fundamental way by virtue of the sacraments and your participation in the Mass.

“Talk to me about your growth opportunities,” a friend said as we assisted with a mock job interview last week. The young job-seeker responded, “Oh … you mean my weaknesses?” And we all laughed. Such an uncomfortable but necessary question! We all need growth opportunities and a big one is coming up.

Like a patient and loving mother, the Church turns to us — through her dazzling liturgical calendar — with tenderly-expressed “growth opportunity” questions, with days and seasons that, to paraphrase St. John Paul II, “reveal man to himself.”  

With the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, perhaps the Church’s revealing question is, “Can you tell me about your relationship with the Persons of the Trinity, and how that shows up for you in a typical day?” 

And here, many of us might pause … wondering how to connect the greatest mystery ever with our busy lives, long lists, schedules, moody teens, financial worries, screen addiction, or latest misunderstanding with our spouse.   

To help us, on Trinity Sunday, the Church invites us to remember that our communion with the Trinity and with one another is something we develop — through our cooperation with God’s grace. But this responsibility comes with some great news: There is a strong sense in which we have already received this incomparably beautiful, unearned gift! We’re both cooperating with God in deepening this relationship with the persons of the Trinity, and we already possess it. 

Default operating system

For starters, each of us is created in the “imago Dei,” the image of a Trinitarian God. Trinitarian communion is our default operating system. Relationship and community are inscribed in our innermost selves. And with our baptism, this image is vivified with a divine indwelling in our souls.

And just as breathtaking: the Trinity is the default operating system of every family. As the Catechism memorably states, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit” (2205).

Your family is a “little Trinity,” and your home a domestic church, a “Trinity House,” a dwelling place of our Trinitarian God.

5 Levels

Your interview with the Church is going well … but what about that second part of the question: “…can you tell me about how that shows up for you in a typical day”? 

What we have learned over the years at the Trinity House Community is that the answer to this question is five-fold, reflecting a growing and then overflowing communion with the Trinity as we move though five “levels” of home and family life.

Here, let’s just look at Level 1, Faith Life (and check out Levels 2-5, Person & Relationships, Household Economy, Family Culture, and Hospitality & Service at our website, where you can access a free 60-minute workshop).   

Level 1: Faith Life. On this ground-floor level of your family life, you receive your family’s communion from God. What a relief! You don’t need to create this from scratch! Remember, you already have this communion in a fundamental way by virtue of the sacraments and your participation in the Mass. 

3 Steps

And yes, you can develop this communion. Here are some practical steps to get you started: 

  • Reclaim a Holy Sabbath. Too many of us allow busyness and distractions to rob us of what God has in store for us each Sunday: holy, renewing worship; cessation of striving; sweet, profound rest; deep connection with our loved ones; being refreshed by His life within us. Make one small step this week to be more intentional about Sunday.    
  • Create a beautiful home altar. An attractive home altar — perhaps with a statue, flowers, crucifix, Bible, and devotionals — will give your family a focal point, a spiritual center of gravity, and a place to come together in daily prayer.    
  • Practice “surrender” in daily life.We all know how prone we are to default to self-reliance, our “self-justification project,” and “meeting my needs.” To counter this powerful vestige of original sin, we need to surrender daily to the Lord, inviting His grace to flow through our “Trinity House,” into our marriages, families, friendships, and work. 

And just as our family life can reflect the loving communion of the Trinity, so can our lives in community — in relationship with other families in our parishes. That’s why we’ve launched Trinity House Community Groups — families gathering regularly, learning together how to bring a “taste of heaven” into their homes and communities.  

As one young dad described a Trinity House Community Group gathering, “It’s like date night, family night, and Bible study all rolled into one.” And as a participating pastor, Fr. Michael Weibley, O.P., said, “One of the real takeaways is the encouragement they get from other couples and families to live the faith. They talk things out in a communal way and then put things into practice at home. It helps them become great husbands and wives and great mothers and fathers.”  

If what one poet says — that “love calls us to the things of this world” — is true, then how much more does the love of God, which we glimpse in such a special way on Trinity Sunday, call us anew to communion in friendship, marriage, family and community? Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit!

~

Soren & Ever Johnson are Founders and Directors of Trinity House Community, with parishes in 8 states hosting Trinity House Community Groups.  

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