My Father and father-in-law were both Marines. I have children in the military and many family members and friends who are in active service to our country. When I think of the sacrifice our soldiers have made over the years, both in their service and many with their lives, I am humbled.
When I think of the duty of a soldier, I stand in admiration. Soldiers have a Creed and values by which they are called to live. These values push them beyond human limits in times of adversity, calling them to a higher level of loyalty and commitment than we might think is impossible in today's world. The Soldier's Creed talks of never accepting defeat, never quitting, never leaving a fallen comrade. The Creed also speaks of the care a soldier takes in regards to their own body, arms, and equipment. Soldiers are called to lay their life down for another so that our American freedoms and way of life may be maintained. In short, a soldier is called to think, act, and care for others ahead of themselves. A soldier knows what it is to make a commitment and live by it--even if it means laying their life down for it.
How does this relate to the Holy Trinity, you might ask?
The loving relationship flowing between God the Father and God the Son is the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that flows from the heart of Jesus Christ to us, drawing us into this holy relationship. The love that flows is a love that knows no cost. It is unconditional. This love is the passionate love of creation (God the Father) as well as the sacrificial love of one who is willing to lay down their life so that others might live (God the Son).
We are called to live this love in every relationship that we have--whether as husband and wife, parent and child, neighbors, co-workers, citizens, and we see this lived out every day in our soldiers.
As disciples, we know personally the Savior who loved us enough to die for our sins, opening the door to eternal life. We are also called to live deeply this love and be this love for others. This means a love that is forgiving, merciful, unconditional, eternal, self-sacrificing, loyal, trustworthy, truthful, and all of the other attributes of Divine Love.
We will always do this perfectly? No--we are a sinful people. Our sin ruptures the loving relationships that we have. Sin causes great pain and hurt--but we cannot and should not despair. It is the Holy Trinity that gives us hope that in and through God, our loving relationships can be healed and glorified--just as Christ's Passion, death, and resurrection did.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta discovered the relationship between love and hurt. "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only love."
When our relationships challenge us, we must love more deeply. When we feel lost, we must love those around us and God more deeply. We must pray for strength through the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit may draw us ever closer to the heart of Jesus. Let us be comforted by Him and thus, bring that comfort to those in our lives whom we have hurt or are hurting.
In the end, love is the answer--to love as we see exemplified in the Love of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit--three in One. May God give us the strength to love and when we fail to do so, have mercy on us and fill us with all the greater capacity to love.