There are things we try to describe and we just can’t express what we have in mind, or what we have seen. There are situations we do our best to explain to others and it seems we simply don’t have the words that would make people understand what we want to say.
Of course, this applies especially to… God! Scripture scholars and theologians do their best to tell us who God is, what his nature and his attributes are but even their most profound language falls short of what would need to be said.
A true story from an African country conveys much wisdom in this respect. A group of Christians had gathered to share the gospel on the eve of Trinity Sunday. The person responsible to prepare the meeting soon confessed: « The Holy Trinity, who can explain that? I tried to prepare something to say but I just don’t know what I could say. So, instead, let us practice our hymns for tomorrow. » At this point, the catechist inspired, no doubt, by the Holy Spirit, said to those present:
“I can explain something about the Holy Trinity. » And he went on: « If at mid-day I am in my hut with the door closed (there are no windows in a hut) what do I see? I can see the rays of the sun passing under the door and going everywhere. Then, I know the sun exists and I feel the heat which warms me. This is the Trinity:
– the sun is the Father;
– the rays are the Son whom the Father sends;
– the heat which warms me is the Spirit.”
A prayerful silence followed…