Three in One
I smile when I see the old can of “Three-In-Oil” in the garage. As kids we oiled up our bikes and joked that all we needed to understand God was summed up on that little can. The name reflected its three-fold abilities: to clean, lubricate and protect.
But of God we ought to say that “Three is from one” for the mystery of the one God’s life has three moments. The first moment of God is pure existence. The second moment is the word that names that existence. The third moment of God is the cycle of expression and correspondence of the word from and back to the source of its existence. When God said, “I am who I am” he was saying “my name is existence.” (Ex 3:14) For Christians, Jesus is the word that expresses who this God is, he taught us to call this God Father and that their Spirit would declare to us all the truth.
In spiritual terms, therefore, one plus one equals three because whenever ‘one’ and another ‘one’ are in relationship three mysteriously appears.
The most obvious example of this is marriage where even before there are children the relationship of husband and wife is the third subtle but very real thing. From this we can discern the deeply trinitarian dimension of all life. When we reflect on the quality of our relationship with a certain person, or our career or with the environment we can recognize a negative or positive trinity. At this moment the relationship of most of the developed world with the environment is unsustainable: this is a negative trinity. Sometimes the relationship with our career becomes negative when we are giving too much or too little energy to it. The fundamental relationships of marriage and family are weakened when we don’t give them the attention and care they need to be whole.
The most important trinity in our lives and for our world depends on the relationship we have with our vocation.
The generic vocation of all people is to holiness. The specific vocation of each person is giving our best service to God, the church and the world. The more that we postpone discerning and engaging in what God really asks of us we are practicing a negative trinity. But when we really seek what God would have us do and take concrete steps towards that, including listening to wise and discerning people and reading the signs of the times then we create positive trinity within and around us.
If you don’t have a sense of what your vocation is, look around at the church and ask yourself: “what needs doing here?” and then take concrete steps towards what you see needs doing. Some of those steps will be towards wise people who can help you recognize these needs and what your gifts for service are. Prayer to God, the source of your existence, will strengthen your inner self to know and correspond to the word of your vocation.
In this way you will soak up the Spirit of your baptismal anointing. This Spirit will clean you of doubt, reduce friction with others and protect you and creation from disintegration. \
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director, OMI Lacombe Canada Province
Feel free to contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at email@example.com to arrange for an appointment.