One of the best known stories about the Holy Trinity is that of St Augustine. He was walking along the seashore in North Africa, in the early fifth century, trying to understand the Trinity. He saw a little boy who had dug a hole in the sand and was running back and forward to the sea with a bucket, filling the hole with water. When St Augustine asked what he was doing, he said he was emptying the sea into his hole. When St Augustine told him that this was impossible as the sea was too big, the boy replied that it was easier to put the sea into the hole than for St Augustine to understand the Trinity and he promptly vanished. The message that St Augustine took was that our human brains are too simple to fully understand the Trinity.
Evidence that our single God is made of three distinct persons can be found in both the Old and New Testament: The Father – the Creator, the Son – who became a human to save us from Hell and the Spirit – the Giver of Life. The complexity of the Trinity did not stop Augustine, who was intellectually brilliant, from writing De Trinitate, one of the most referenced books on the subject to this day. St Augustine was particularly struck by analogies of the make-up of the Trinity in our daily lives. He put forward the analogy of Lover, Beloved and Love to understand the three persons of the Trinity. The Father: the Lover, the Son: the Beloved and the Spirit: Love. The love between the Lover and Beloved results in a third person, the Spirit.
This analogy of St Augustine shows how the intimate relationship of the Trinity is reproduced in traditional marriage: the father and mother are lover and beloved, and the love between them results in a third person, a child. That traditional marriage reflects the fundamental make-up of the God who made the universe is not often considered. It is not however surprising that God who is so personable and loving would want to use the Trinity structure as a building block for our society.
At the centre of newly created life is sexual reproduction. We are so used to this concept in biology and zoology that we accept it as part of life and the basis for evolution, without thinking where it comes from. We can see however all around us, the profusion of life that is its result. Consider the hundreds of seeds in a single pumpkin or the schools of hundreds of tiny fish that you see in shallow waters off Malta. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.
When we recognize the link between new life and the Trinity we start to understand how sacred the institution of marriage really is. The life giving element of marriage is essential for marriage to be based on the structure of the Trinity. Husband and wife must be male and female to be able to produce new life, as Archbishop Scicluna has stated. Gay “marriage” unable to produce new life, is at odds with this.
Setting up new structures of long term partnership like Gay “marriage” is extremely problematic on a spiritual level. It is a conscious exclusion of the major role of the Holy Spirit in the world, that of giving life. Since the Holy Spirit is God, this is denying God his role in the building block of society that the traditional family is. In simple terms it says to God that we do not want his very intimate loving structure to be what we base our society on. Society depends so much on the traditional family for its structure and function that without it, society is damaged, as are its members. The worst however is the major insult to God himself.
We need to reflect on how it is that an island like Malta that has had a deep commitment to God and his laws, dating back hundreds of years, is now wanting to reverse this. It is a cataclysmic change for an island with such strong Catholic roots and it will have major negative effects. The politicians who sign in this change bear the major responsibility before God, particularly the leaders. However, all of society is tainted by this and we all have to see what we can do to stop it happening or if it goes ahead to reverse it as quickly as possible and atone to God for this gratuitous attempt to distort his wonderful plan of life.