Holy trinity

A smart way to explain the Holy Trinity to children

Why not take this opportunity to enter more deeply with your children into the Trinitarian mystery?

The feast of the Holy Trinity is the perfect opportunity to explain this great mystery to your children. Start by talking about the word “Trinity” itself. Why not together try to think of other words beginning with the prefix “sort”, like “tricycle”, for example. It is easy to see that “sort” indicates three items. In God there are three Persons. Who are they? To help your children name them themselves, suggest that they make the sign of the cross. They will quickly realize that they are really speaking to three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Talk about each of the three Persons of the Trinity

There are three Persons, but one God. These three Persons are not three gods. Mom, dad and a child are three people, three individuals. With God it is different: There are three Persons in one God. It is important to insist on this truth which, in addition to understanding it with our mind, requires the adhesion of our faith. When we speak of God, when we say we believe in God, when we pray, it is indeed three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We offer these three Persons the same worship and the same glory. None of them is more important or more divine than the others.

This is why it is important to tell children about it. Of course, it is still the same one God, but it is good to get acquainted with the three Persons. A little girl, who had been mostly educated about the Father and the Son, was amazed to find that the Holy Spirit was also fully God. As she had not heard much of him, she prayed to him less by name than the Father and the Son. For her, he was a secondary figure, a kind of servant of God.

Use the right words

For the same reason, we need to be very clear when talking to children: some terms, while correct in and of themselves, may be ambiguous for little ones. So while it is correct to say that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus, it may not be clear to children who might infer that the Holy Spirit is not a person distinct from Jesus. It may suggest something like the spiritual part of Jesus to them, and nothing more.

It is also correct to say that Jesus is the Son of God. But we must be clear and make sure that the child understands that Jesus, the Son of God, is God. Not a God different from his Father. He is one God with his Father and the Holy Spirit. When we talk to children, too often we notice that while they can certainly imagine a God, they see him as the only Person of the Father. This Father God has a Son, Jesus, animated by a spirit, the Holy Spirit. Of course, children cannot fully understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity (this is quite difficult for adults!). But that’s no reason to dilute its truth.

By faith we see the Holy Trinity

Moreover, faced with this mystery, God does not tell us to leave our intelligence at the door and to stop seeking to understand. On the contrary, if God gave man intelligence, it is so that he can use it and develop it in all areas. And so we must use our intelligence, in all humility, recognizing its limits. God tells us, “Believe. Have faith. And this faith makes it possible to understand truths which cannot be grasped by intelligence alone.

If, faced with the mystery of a God in three Persons, we say to ourselves: “It is impossible. It cannot exist. It’s ridiculous to think that’s true ”- so we stay within the bounds of our very limited intelligence, with a basic view of reality. If one believes, if one accepts to recognize a higher reality, then one can enter into the Mystery. By faith, we can glimpse the Holy Trinity and contemplate it while waiting for the day when we will see it face to face. Looking at the Holy Trinity, we see that God is love: the Father loves the Son who loves the Father, and from this love springs the Holy Spirit. To help children enter into the mystery of the Holy Trinity, it is not enough to tell them that there is only one God in three Persons. We must also add: three People who love each other. The meaning of the Holy Trinity is precisely this infinite love which continuously flows between three Persons.

Christine ponsard


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