Monday, May 23, 2016

Kaleidoscope

Sunday, May 22, was Trinity Sunday, and the best illustration of the Trinity, at least of which I am aware, comes from Saint Therese of Lisieux, known as "The Little Flower of Jesus."  She lived only to the age of 24 (1873-97) and yet possessed very advanced spiritual insight.  All the while, her faith remained that of a child.  She referred to her approach as the "Little Way of Spiritual Childhood."

Therese pointed to a toy she had played with as a child.  It was a kaleidoscope.  I remember one of those, and maybe you do too!

"This toy," she said, "aroused my admiration and I used to wonder what could produce so pleasing a phenomenon; when one day, after serious examination, I saw there were simply a few tiny scraps of paper and of wool cut no matter how, and thrown here and there.  I pursued my investigation and discovered three mirrors inside the tube: I had there the key to the problem.

"This was for me the image of a great mystery.  As long as our actions, even the least of them, remain within the focus of Love, the Blessed Trinity, which is figured by the three mirrors, reflects them, and endows them with a wondrous beauty.  Jesus, looking at us through the little lens, that is to say, as it were through Himself, finds all our actions pleasing to Him.  But if we leave the ineffable center of Love, what will He see?  Mere straws...actions sullied and nothing worth."

Many books have been written about the Trinity.  Put them all together and they still would not surpass the understanding shown in these few words of Saint Therese.