This is what we say in the Creed each time we go to mass….and it took me a long while to realise that we are actually speaking out our beliefs about the Holy Trinity..
One substance….yet 3 distinct persons.
How can we convey this mystery to young children? Should we even try?
Well, I for one think that we definitely should! It is what our faith hangs on and young children will believe it, if we just make the effort to explain…
In the creed it tries to explain the mystery of the Trinity that though they are one God – they are also made up of 3 persons. Now, for any child on the planet who has the ability to believe in ‘becoming invisible’ or in the concept of ‘time travel’, I don’t think that the mystery of The Most Holy Trinity or even the Real Presence is too much of a stretch. They will always remain mysteries, but we can help them have a better grasp of the Holy Trinity through real life examples of 3 in 1!
So, there are 3 elements here- and 1 apple!
Peel, flesh and seed represent the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
What do you think of this explanation?
The 3 elements here: 1. the sun itself; 2. its light beams and 3. its warmth – all making up the sun. Although this is from a very good source…and it has given me a better understanding of the Trinity…it somehow doesn’t sit comfortably with me. How does it sit with you?
The image that I was offered as a child and have always gone back to is the image of the 3-leaf clover.
Three distinct leaves from the 1 clover- now that just makes complete sense to me!
You will probably know what type of image will suite your child- we can only give each explanation a go and see!
A good thing to remember, is to say to your child that the Trinity is a loving community. They are a family who each love each other to infinity! And because we are made in God’s image, we should love each other similarly: without envy, without competition and by always singing each other’s praises.
And if your child says, “..But mum/dad I just don’t get it!” I think we can get away with saying that “God is such a mystery and our human minds are so very small compared to His, this is the best way we can think about The Holy Trinity till we get to Heaven.” Then we will see God face to face and all will be revealed!
The Trinity is a core element of my story, ‘A Prayer from the Heart’. I wanted to show children that God is everywhere and at all times- that He never leaves them and that He is always for them.
As I wrote God into the story, I conveyed Him as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – not as a teaching point- but it is so wonderful if it can be used as one! You can see the distinct 3 persons in the illustrations and I hope that they come over as one God.