June 23, 2022
by Assistant Principal -Mission and Identity, Mr Geoff Brodie
The centuries old prayer “Glory be” is one of the most known and used short prayers. An example of a ‘doxology,’ it is prayed as follows:
“Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen”
In this short exclamation of praise, we may discern two ‘Trinities.’ The first is the divine mystery of the inner life of the One God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Catechism teaches that the ‘mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life.’ (CCC234) It is the revelation of the divine love that is the very inner nature of God and ‘is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them.’ Our life and all creation are therefore ultimately understood as the giving and receiving of love. To be in love is to share in the divine nature of the Creator. That knowledge surely stops us in our tracks if we take it seriously. The “Glory be” is a confession of the essential rationale and motivation of a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition.
The second ‘Trinity’ is proclaimed in the words As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be. They profess the infinite nature of God who is mysteriously beyond all space and time, but in our historical nature as human beings we inescapably experience past, present, and future. It is when we reflect on how we experience this trinity of past, present, and future we come to know our lived reality as made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). I invite you to confirm for yourself that every present moment is anticipated by our past and interpreted by our expectations of the future. Even when we believe we are living just in the moment, our past and future are present, mediated into the ‘joys and the hopes, the griefs, and the anxieties’ of the present moment (see Gaudium er spes 1). We are historical beings, but love is always the invitation into life as a new creation. We are not prisoners of our past because love is merciful. Our futures are not determined because our freedom is a gift of God’s love.
What is the world without end that concludes the prayer? Perhaps it is sharing in the love of the Divine Trinity perfecting and bringing all our past, present and future to share in God’s Kingdom – that world without end? Perhaps we are called to witness the mercy and justice of God’s love to transform this world into God’s kingdom, which has no end? Perhaps we called to forgive the mistakes of the past and endure in a hope-filled future, so that we are light to world? Such challenges are the vocation of sharing in God’s love.
An education that abides in this proposal for faith, hope and charity offers the fullness of life. A Catholic education in the Edmund Rice Tradition accepts the loving gift of its heritage and the promises of eternal life to enrich every encounter. Our classrooms are not factories for the economy: they are responses to Jesus’ invitation to have life and have it to the full. (Jn 10:10). The very first paragraph in the Catechism sets out the goal of education.
God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.
May this term break be a time when we cry out together: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen”