I was once asked what my favorite prayer was. I had to think about it, but my answer ended up: The Glory Be. Some may think it’s because it is so short. Others may think it’s because it provides the opportunity to both praise and ponder the Glory and Eternity of God. But really, I like it because it gives praise to God as Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit.
The Trinity is one of those mysteries of the Catholic faith that we humans can never fully understand with our finite brains. I think most of us have an idea about it that makes sense to us, either that or we just don’t think about it much. While I am no different than others in my lack of true understanding, what I can appreciate is God is one in three persons. The Catechism tells us that the divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire.
Prayer is a conversation with God, so when you pray, who do you talk to? Do you pray to God the Father? Praying the Our Father is exactly that. How about praying to His Son, Jesus? Well if you hear the priest at Mass, most prayers are “through Jesus Christ,” and are offered on your behalf, so it’s as if you said it yourself. But how about the Holy Spirit? While there are a few prayers out there for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit is not invoked as often in prayer.That is why I like the Glory Be, because it does include the Holy Spirit.
I like to use the comparison of speaking to another person. If you know someone who is a fan of a certain sports team, even if you don’t like the sport or the team, you would still inquire about that interest, because it’s important to that person. It’s the same way with God. Sure, you can focus your attention on one of the Persons of the Trinity, but wouldn’t the relationship go deeper if you recognized all of the Persons?
The Glory Be is so simple, but it speaks volumes. It praises God in all 3 Persons and acknowledges this glory across time: in the beginning, now and evermore. How amazing is it, that we can pray these words and express what remains a mystery to us.