Praying in the Trinity – to the Father
God the Father is the source and end of all our prayer as he is the source and end of all creation. He it was who sent us Christ, and through Christ the Holy Spirit, to bring us back to him. That is why Jesus taught us to say in prayer, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven…’
But although Jesus taught us to call God ‘Father’ that does not make God male (as Jesus is): rather it signifies that all that a good father does in our human experience, so God does as well. We can say the same things of God but in infinitely more true ways. So too the Holy Spirit is not male but also transcends gender. Indeed in the ancient eastern parts of the Church, because the word for ‘Spirit’ is feminine, the Holy Spirit is often addressed as ‘she.’
As one theologian put it, ‘We have no other words to use but human ones!’ Yet God transforms our words as we use them, stretching them to give them new and deeper meanings. The Holy Scriptures also use maternal imagery to describe God because since God is infinite and eternal no single word or image can ever capture (or control) God’s essence. The divine source of all, to whom we pray - whom Jesus teaches us to call Father - is an infinite well of love, mercy, and forgiveness.
Almighty God, Eternal Father, from the fullness of my heart I adore You.
May the Holy Spirit touch my soul that I may love You as deserve, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
In Christian Art
One of the most powerful images of the Trinity in art is called ‘The Throne of Grace.’ God, depicted as a loving Father, holds his crucified Son before us while the Holy Spirit of love passes between them. Like all images of God it falls infinitely short of the original but still captures the essence of Christian faith: God (the Father) so loved the world that he gave up his only Son for us.
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen