Your Sunday Sermon Notes – Trinity Sunday 2018 – and ASK FATHER: “Trinitini” martini

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard for your Trinity Sunday Mass of obligation?

Let us know.

Also, apart from good points – which is what we want here – let us know if any of the preachers fell into the following heresies:

The Trinity is like…

Arianism – the sun, which produces light and warmth
Tritheism – the same wine in three bottles
Partialism – the egg which has shell, white and yolk or a shamrock with three leaves
Modalism – water, which is ice, fluid or steam

Because I made these points today – after railing away about Ireland and incompetence and then the Church’s attribute of indefectibility – I received a question by email about my sermon:


We are planning to have a special drink for the potluck to commemorate today’s Feast of the Trinity. We were planning to do a “Trinitini”, a martini with three olives to represent the three Persons in the One Triune God. However, just want to check that we wouldn’t be falling into any heresy by doing so, as you listed several heresies in your homily today. What would you suggest? One olive? Three?

This is just as important as the still-burning “plural of Gin and Tonic” question.

My response must be, first, never put that much fruit in a single martini.  Blech.

That said, if you make three martinis simultaneously and together from the same gin, and then pour them simultaneously, but distinctly, into one large glass such that you have the three distinct martinis in one glass, the three olives (or onions or lemon twists or mushrooms, etc.) in the one glass containing the three martinis would be the distinction of the three-in-one nature of each martini, each sharing in the same nature but distinct, and all working together in everything.  I believe that would avoid the heresies listed above.

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14 Responses to Your Sunday Sermon Notes – Trinity Sunday 2018 – and ASK FATHER: “Trinitini” martini

  1. bobbird says:

    What would be Fr. Z’s opinion of the scene in The Reluctant Saint — where Maximilian Schell, playing St. Joseph of Cupertino, enjoys an evening of martinis and cigars in the stable with the high-ranking bishop. Or was it chestnuts? Anyway, the bishop makes a comment in reference to an erudite monk’s lecture on the Trinity the night before: “Now it’s more of a mystery than ever.” Joseph makes the analogy of three folds in one blanket. This impresses the bishop. I know, it’s Hollywood, but if Patrick used a shamrock imperfectly for the Irish, perhaps we should be more forgiving to all human analogies, which can never get its mind around the Mystery. Just as we should be more forgiving of three (3) blue cheese olives in one martini. They are hard to find and when available, must be utilized with alacrity to their full extent.

  2. Josephus Corvus says:

    We got a two-fer in the heresy count: Partialism + Modalism. Father listed three or four of the common analogies including the shamrock and the ice/water/steam one. I think he is partial to modalism though, since he actually called it “different modes”.

    Question: many years ago there was a priest who was not given over to the heresy of the day club. He used the example of three matches held together and burning one fire. Thoughts on that one? It doesn’t seem to fall into the categories described above. (Yes, I do understand that by definition any attempt of analogy for the Mystery of the Trinity won’t come close to reality, but some are better than others.)

  3. Henry Edwards says:

    For those who hadn’t recited the Athanasian creed at Prime earlier this morning, it was read as the principal part of our Trinity Sunday sermon. Only at a TLM?

  4. RAve says:

    The ubiquitous (in Florida) and well-loved Publix supermarket (recently in the news for ignorance of Latin – no joke – and for being the target of anti-gun boycott) has amazing house brand ice cream. One of the 100+ flavors is our family favorite for Trinity Sunday: “chocolate trinity”. We paired it with some chocolate bubka. Perfect. Happy feast day.

  5. teachermom24 says:

    Not sure if this is a known heresy or not, but it sure was strange: the deacon preached today and said, “The early Christians came to the understanding of the Trinity through their experience.” He ended by talking of the Blessed Trinity as a “communion of love”, which I have heard before and can appreciate what he’s driving at.

  6. Sawyer says:

    The priest’s trifocal eyeglasses: focusing far, near, and very near. Probably partialism because the same lens has three separate, different focal components that make up the whole lens.

    Good point: the family (even though that’s subordinationism or could be tritheism). But he said correctly that the family is one way that human beings image God, especially through marriage and fruitful marital love. Also that Satan hates that human nature and marriage image God, hence the attacks on marriage, family, and children in our time are evidence of supernatural warfare being waged on earth.

  7. rtjl says:

    Definitely tritheism. The Holy Trinity are three distinct person who are one because they all just get along so gosh darned well with one another.

  8. Imrahil says:

    I distinctly remember two good points:

    1. The preacher posed the (rather interesting) question “what did our Lord revelate the Trinity for“, and answered that, among other things, the fact that we cannot utterly unveil this mystery serves to increase our awe before God and makes us avoid the danger of confining Him, in our heads, into what our own terms and thoughts can go.

    2. He mentioned the contribution of St. Augustine to Trinity theology and then told the well-known story of the child, the sea, the shell, the basket and St. Augustine. He said it is true, but there is one option it leaves out: we cannot scoop the sea into a basket, but we can go into the sea and have a swim.

  9. Joy65 says:

    Our Priest did very well in explaining: He said if we didn’t understand it that was good because it was a great mystery. He said it like this:
    Father is God
    Son is God
    Holy Spirit is God.

    Father is NOT Son, Son is NOT Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit is NOT Father but they are all God. He didn’t give any of the symbols, heresy you stated. He said we believe and accept this because of Faith.

  10. GM Thobe says:

    I was hoping for the Athanasian creed. We got the abridged version, and the four last things for the college bound. At a N.O. mass, no less. Quite nice.

  11. Ms. M-S says:

    Our homilist warned us that, no matter what St. Patrick or anyone else may have said, the Trinity is something we simply can never begin to understand. That’s why it’s called a mystery.

    And this, friends, is why we drive from one to four hours on Sundays to avoid the offerings at our local cafeteria catholic church and attend the TLM.

  12. We heard no heresies like the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son or that He proceeds eternally from the Both of Them.

    [We are pretty good natured around here. Even so, you might tread carefully!   o{]:¬)   And here’s an opportunity for a challenge coin exchange!]

  13. Alice says:

    Our priest avoided any trinitarian heresies by talking about mysteries and how we’re supposed to meditate on the mystery of the trinity. At least that’s what I think he was trying to say. Mostly he just talked about TV mysteries. The organist played various trinitarian pieces by Bach and Messiaen that, as an organist myself, I appreciated, but Father cut off the doxological verse of “Holy God We Praise Thy Name” (heaven help us if we had to spend an extra minute praising the Trinity on Trinity Sunday!) and the rest of the hymns didn’t seem to have much to do with the Trinity. I was a bit disappointed.

    We also went to a Lutheran service where I play. Pastor said he’d try not to give a dry lecture on trinitarian theology so he focused on Baptism. Unfortunately, I was too busy planning my postlude on “Eternal Father Strong to Save” (I love it when Trinity Sunday falls the day before Memorial Day and I can get a “twofer” out of that hymn) to catch the whole sermon. After the sermon, we recited the Athanasian Creed, as is the Lutheran tradition on Trinity Sunday. We also sang some great hymns to the Trinity. My children had to come with me and I found myself hoping that, should one of my boys have a vocation, some of the Lutheran liturgical sense will rub off on him. All the priests I know with good liturgical sense are either from an Ango-Catholic or a Lutheran background.

  14. Chuck4247 says:

    While not actually heard at Mass this Sunday, I would have to say my favorite explanation of the Trinity is this one from the computer programming world:
    “” (the empty string) = false
    0 = false
    NULL = false
    NULL != “” != 0
    Meaning, when evaluating booleans, that any of the three values would return false, but none of them are equivalent to each other in direct comparison.