Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Trinity Sunday can be a tricky moment for a preacher.

Was there a good… I wrote GOOD… point in the sermon you heard for your Sunday Mass?

Let us know what it was.

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  1. John of Chicago says:

    Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

  2. bohannons says:

    Our soon to be ordained transitional deacon took us through the highlights of the Arian heresy and its confrontation at the council of Nicea. He went through the Latin and Greek roots of ‘consubstantial’ and the climax was regarding the Athanasius quote, ‘That which has not been assumed, cannot be saved’. The Diocese of Nashville has a good future priest.

  3. John of Chicago says:

    or… All that I have written seems like straw to me.

  4. Ng says:

    Mary is the answer to understanding the Trinity; Mary is the Daughter of God (the Father), the Mother of God (the Son) and the Bride of God (the Holy Spirit). Through Mary can we perceive into the greatest of mysteries of the Most Holy Trinity.

  5. Today was the feast of All Saints in the Byzantine Church, so our sermon was on always being alert and being prepared to join the Saints in heaven.

  6. Hank Igitur says:

    Trinity Sunday:
    History and universal adoption of the feast
    The Athanasian Creed
    The nature of the Trinity
    Prohibition on representing the Holy Ghost in any human form in Church Art
    How the Holy Ghost works in us

  7. jilly4ski says:

    Father took the opportunity of his being on the way out* of the parish to preach on controversial topics. He talked about how the trinity was reflected in us. As individuals and as married couples. Then he talked about how contraception, in vitro fertilization, masturbation, divorce all destroy that image of the trinity in marriage.

    *Father actually has been preaching against gay “marriage” and other controversial topics since he got here 10 months ago. Father is leaving to join begin a novitiate at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison Kansas. I am sure he would appreciate your prayers.

  8. BLB Oregon says:

    Well, maybe this is cheating, but the Sunday bulletin where we went to Mass this weekend referred to this quote from Pope Benedict:

    “It is not only the Church that is called to be the image of One God in Three Persons, but also the family, based on marriage between man and woman. In the beginning, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’”. God created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life. It is love that makes the human person the authentic image of the Blessed Trinity, image of God. Dear married couples, in living out your marriage you are not giving each other any particular thing or activity, but your whole lives.”
    —Pope Benedict XVI, June 3, 2012

    This prompts one to go look up the rest of the homily. It is a beautiful reflection on family life, in the context of the imitation of the Blessed Trinity:

  9. PomeroyonthePalouse says:

    The Trinity is not like a Rubik’s Cube. You can’t just play with it hoping to line everything up with all the colors going the same way. Rather the Trinity is like us (or we are like the Trinity). We should be like Christ (who became human in every way like we are) whose goal was to do the will of the Father with the aid/assistance of the Holy Ghost.

  10. On the frightful importance of not getting the Trinity wrong: how most schism among the particular Apostolic churches involves heresy impinging on understanding the Trinity in some way; and on the daily practical importance of not getting the Trinity wrong — for, being made even as individuals in His image, if we get Him wrong, we have already got ourselves wrong.

  11. MangiaMamma says:

    We had one of our priests from Africa celebrating the Mass we attended. We were grateful for no bad analogies as he shared “the Trinity is three in one and one in three” and how it is a mystery. He did share how we pray to the Trinity at the beginning of Mass with the sign of the cross and in the Gloria and in the Credo. His homily was very good!

  12. Jim in Seattle says:

    Sermon on how Islam does not recognize the Trinity, and the divinity of Jesus. How some consider Islam a heresy but at the very least a wrong turn from Christianity. Islam fills the void when people stop their practice and adherence to Christianity, which does not bode well for Europe or America. Bottom line: practice the Catholic Christian faith in all its glory and depth in a public way.

  13. MarrakeshEspresso says:

    Father talked about the LOVE OF GOD, in that He made us all out of nothing, out of sheer love.

    We don’t ‘make God happy’ because He’s already complete in Himself, but that community of love which is the Trinity overflows in sheer creativity, and makes things, including us.

  14. Bthompson says:

    It was my first homily ever as a new deacon!
    I got surprisingly positive feedback on the point that as necessary and good and mandatory as knowing the content of our faith is, that knowledge is worthless if we are not entering into–so far as a creature can–the eternal exchange of love of the Trinity.

  15. Random Friar says:

    I told a story of a communist camp, and it’s absolutely dehumanizing and impersonal regimen. Then spoke of St. Augustine’s analogy of God as Love itself, the lover, and the beloved, and how we participate in that love.

  16. Priam1184 says:

    Our priest focused on God the Father and the wonder of Creation. He then used the ugliness of the Gnostic and Materialist views on the subject to contrast to and illuminate the beauty of the Church’s teaching on the subject.

  17. Priam1184 says:

    @Jim in Seattle: Read Hilaire Belloc’s essay on Islam in his work “The Great Heresies”. I found it very illuminating. I am fully convinced that Islam started (and in truth remains whatever its outward trappings) nothing less than an anti-Trinitarian heresy probably at least somewhat influenced by Arianism. There is the famous citation from the Qur’an carved into the inside of the Dome of the Rock (the oldest extant Islamic building in the world) in Jerusalem that says “Say not that He is Three but He is One… far be it from his glory to have a son.” If only we had a Church leadership that was willing to fight the battle of ideas with these people instead of the nonsense road to nowhere dialogue approach, if only…

  18. jenniphd says:

    Father Cano’s homily was excellent, as always, but the most exciting thing was that we had two seminarians from our diocese at Mass learning the Latin rite!! I can only hope and pray this means that Bishop Rhoades intends for the TLM to be more widely available.

  19. Muv says:

    I own up. I drifted off.

    But this is where I drifted to. Pondering on the fact that when driving to church for the Pentecost Mass, a pure white dove flew up across the road a few feet in front of our car. Nothing extraordinary when you consider that there is a dovecote behind a house there, but totally amazing when you take into account the fact that I drive along that road at least five times a week and generally see the doves wheeling together in the sky, and have no recollection of ever before
    seeing a lone dove do a quick flight directly in front of our car. Thank you God, I thought, for speaking to me through birds.

    I have been taking a daily walk across the fields to say the rosary over the past week. Birds have been appearing in threes. On one day I saw three skylarks all singing close to each other in the sky (usually they are much further apart); on another, three swallows skimming a crop for insects; on another, three ducks on a very noisy flight at a stream; and finally, sitting on a seafront, three birds appeared right at the end of a rosary flying in the sky in front of me. And then came Trinity Sunday. God had anticipated the Sunday again.

    No priest could better that. [?!? That’s a good point from the Sunday sermon you heard?]

  20. idelsan says:

    In a nutshell: It is not a mystery to understand, it’s a mystery to live.

  21. tominrichmond says:

    Our newly (under one year) ordained FSSP associate pastor preached another home run sermon, beginning with the story of St. Augustine and his encounter on the beach with the boy trying to fill his hole in the sand with the contents of the ocean; then Father transitioned to a fascinating discussion of the sign of the cross, and the significance of the “direction”: forehead to chest, like Christ coming to earth from the Father; and then, left shoulder to right, the work of the Holy Ghost in bringing us by Grace from the unsaved “rams” to the saved “sheep” on the right hand of God.

    He playfully admonished us not to bring up this last point with our Eastern brethren, who cross themselves from right to left; and he ended up with a wonderful reflection of the significance of the sign of the cross as a prayer, almost the first prayer, since we say it upon rising, upon beginning our other prayers, and most significantly, it is repeated often during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    I wish every parish could have priests with the zeal and fire of devotion like I have seen with our FSSP priests.

  22. Charivari Rob says:

    We were at the Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by one of our newly-ordained priests.

    The pastor-host preached and brought his “A” game. Talked about the Trinity, talked about being a priest (not a job, but a life). Related the two topics quite adroitly – I wish I could do it justice. Also hit the evils of abortion, euthanasia, and “redefining” marriage.

  23. I approached the subject addressing two questions: not what we believe about the Trinity, but why we believe it; and then, what difference does the Trinity make? (And my purpose was, by the time I answered them both, I’d ended up shedding light on what we believe.)

    In the course of addressing those questions, I pointed out how remarkable it is that we can penetrate any of the mysteries of God and that man (of all animals) is uniquely curious and hungry for mystery–suggesting that God designed us precisely for a relationship with him.

    Then I spent some time on that remarkable idea: of man having a relationship with God–impossible! That is, unless God himself stoops down to lift us up into the relationship He already is.

    I contrasted the sorts of relationships that we might have had to God, being so far inferior to him: are we like an inert object to him? Are we like a pet to God? No, instead of being “God’s goldfish,” we are God’s one-and-only, forever. (You can read the whole thing if you click on my name above.)

  24. Gretchen says:

    Father spoke about the Trinitarian nature of crossing oneself. He quoted Church Fathers and saints about the importance of crossing oneself often and the efficacious nature of doing so, and the history of doing so.

  25. AdTrinitatemPerMariam says:

    I can summarize Father’s homily in 6 words:
    Life is a battle. Get serious.

  26. yatzer says:

    Our priest also spoke about Arianism and the Athanasian Creed and how the most serious heresy tends to come from within the Church herself. I’m going to have to look up that creed. It sounds important.

  27. Scarltherr says:

    My nephew, Reverend Mister Matthew Capadano, gave his first homily as a transitional Deacon. He spoke about Paraclesis, (hope I spelled that correctly), and the love dance that is the nature of the Trinity. It was wonderful. About halfway through, he set his notes aside and continued. At no point did his homily go off track. I know I’m partial, but it was one of the best homilies I’ve ever heard.

  28. ejcmartin says:

    Father asked the children who is God and one youngster answered “He’s the boss”. Father did go on to have a good homily about mystery and the Trinity.

  29. mhanniga says:

    Our priest highlighted how the first reading from Proverbs 8:22-31, speaks to the presence of the Son at the creation of the earth. He continued by describing the beautiful image of relationship reflected in the Trinity. Also, how God is continually creating through His relationship with us and our relationships with each other and the wonder of the world itself. He also tied this in with Memorial Day and our relationship with those who have died defending our freedom as well as lost loved-ones. These few words certainly don’t do it justice. It was a beautiful reflection.

  30. Jim in Seattle says:

    @Priam1184: Thanks for the reminder of Belloc’s essay. I have a copy and will spend my day reading it. One other note – our priest is of the FSSP. It is so refreshing to have that wonderful society training priests well grounded in the faith and willing to speak out on the truth.

  31. Arele says:

    We attended St. Louis, a very old, historic Catholic church in Oregon, where the college students from the Newman Center community were stopping on their four day 100 mile pilgrimage walk to the Grotto (National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland).

    A priest with their group from Argentina gave a powerful homily on the Trinity. He spoke of the three persons of the Trinity in relationship of constantly giving and receiving love from each other. In my mind I saw three spinning wheels in dynamic, inseparable relationship and it felt so real, alive and powerful. I never have understood it before like this.

    Then, he spoke of his visit to the Holy Land and of seeing the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, so close together and yet so different. They both are fed by the Jordan river, but the one difference is that the Red Sea does not just receive water, but gives water too. The Dead Sea only receives water, and it is so full of salt (from evaporation below sea level) that it is effectively dead. No one can drink from it and no fish can live in it.

    I have never understood the Trinity like this before. Excellent!

  32. msc says:

    Compare 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

  33. Matthias1 says:

    I remember hearing some people joke about this being the Sunday we hear a bunch of bad (and maybe even unintentionally heretical) analogies about the Trinity.

    Our pastor used it as a chance to talk about Catholic marriage theology, which I thought was pretty clever. The human family with openness to children as an echo (my word, not his) of the Trinity. “Even if your own marriage situation prevents you from receiving communion, you are still welcome here,” which I thought was a very mild way of both welcoming such people and reminding them what was proper in this situation.

  34. Priam1184 says:

    @Arele Did he mean the Sea of Galilee, not the Red Sea?

  35. ddhue says:

    We can now call God by name.

  36. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Scarltherr,

    The word you want is, perichoresis.

    The Chicken

  37. bernadette says:

    Our priest gave a homily about how the Holy Family reflects the Holy Trinity and is a model for sacramental marriage. He spoke about all the perversions of this holy model, such as artificial contraception, divorce, and so called “gay marriage.” I understand that this was preached at all of the Masses at my parish, by all of the priests.

  38. Imrahil says:

    Dear @msc,

    or compare

    3 = 1 indeed.

    (In Z2.)

    (No, this was not a sermon note. Apologies.)

  39. Sword40 says:

    My visiting son and his family went to the local OF Mass where the priest got slightly confused. After he read the Gospel he paused, looked puzzled then said he read the wrong Gospel, then corrected himself and said , no, he had the wrong sermon, so he improvised a really short sermon.

    Meanwhile, my wife and I attended the EF Mass, where the priest had to borrow a missal to read the epistle and the Gospel. Great sermon on the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.

  40. PA mom says:

    We were at vacation Church, where the Franciscans are a little off track. Despite the continuance of this phenomena, the new translation was carefully and beautifully rendered, and Pope Francis mentioned in the sermon! Having something to do with love, as most of the sermon was about Memorial Day. The Trinity was mentioned in detail, but not explained.

  41. frjim4321 says:

    A friend from NAC turned me on to a very fine blog that is quite helpful.

    I got a lot of help from the “Trinity is not a puzzle, it is a mystery” motif.

    Patricia Sanchez, who is always wonderful, seems to have been supplanted by Roger Karban at Celebration. It’s a big disappointment.

    The sample that I spun off was helpful in that the tack was, everything the trinity creates necessarily mirrors the trinity, so in reflection on the mystery, what does it tell us about the trinity and what does it tell us about ourselves.

    I found it very interesting.

  42. scaron says:

    Father spoke on the concept of an “Idea Feast” as differnt from a “Historical Feast” such as Easter or the Nativity. He also spoke compellingly on the nature of a Mystery, the Mystery of the Trinity, and the Mystery of the Priesthood. This last was especially relevant as this Sunday was Father’s 50th anniversary of his first Holy Mass. In your charity, please pray for our Pastor Emeritus, Rev . Thomas Connery, fifty years a priest!

  43. Scarltherr says:

    Thank you Masked Chicken.

  44. frjim4321 says:

    Scaron, although I think the term “idea feast” is meant to be disparaging … since there could be negative vibes I don’t use such terms with the people here.

  45. Ed the Roman says:

    Notes for us:

    1) The Trinity is a mystery.

    2) You don’t get it. No, really, you need to get that you don’t get it.

    3) Our invitation to join the life of that mystery is of such transcendental importance that nothing else we pay attention to matters in comparison.

  46. dbwheeler says:

    I’m thankful that I can be satisfied with a bagel made just about anywhere…having once lived in NYC and eaten the supposed best, all I can say is if that is not available, take and eat what is at hand and be
    glad. I remember the little girl in the Donner party that was lost in the mountains (yes, that Donner party) who found some bread crumbs in the fingers of her glove that staved off her hunger pangs. Her family eventually reached California. I doubt she turned up her nose at anything throughout the rest of her life.

  47. HeatherPA says:

    Excellent homily warning against presumption of salvation and lazy Christianity- “just because we were formed by God the Father, forgiven and redeemed by God the Son and baptized with God the Holy Spirit does not mean we will automatically be in heaven.”

  48. david s says:


    The homily I heard was very much like the one you recounted–the importance of the Sign of the Cross as a prayer invoking the Holy Trinity, including the story of St Augustine and the little boy on the beach. One difference was that the priest is well over 90 years, so probably ordained about 70 years ago!

  49. MAJ Tony says:

    As Providence would have it, I happened to be in Norwalk, CT, for Mass at St. Mary’s. Wonderful place undergoing a 3-phase de-wreck-o-vation under the auspices of the master de-wreck-o-vator Mr. Duncan Stroik. The homily regarded the nature of God and the trinity, that God is the essence of love, how that love must be shared, that it had to be first shared between two perfect persons (Father and Son), and that the highest love also needed to be shared with persons (mortals) that could not truly return that love in kind, which required the Son to become man, die on the cross, and send His Holy Spirit to complete that giving of love, and how the God of the old testament is misunderstood. I felt it was publishable material.

  50. Jack007 says:

    We were blessed with a beautiful sermon on the Trinity. Father stressed how the Mass begins, ends, and is filled with blessings invoking the Trinity.
    Incidentally, Father was a visiting priest.
    Fr. John Berg, Superior General FSSP.
    It was an honor to have “The Boss” in town visiting our new parish.
    Jack in KC

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