The Glory Be praises the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three Persons in One God (cf. Matthew 28:19). The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: “Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names, for there is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity” (paragraph 233).
In the Baltimore Catechism, we read: “In God there are three Divine Persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost…. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 1:3)…. The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (John 1:1)…. The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. ‘Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?’ (1 Corinthians 3:16).”
When we are baptized, we become temples of the Holy Trinity; the Three Persons make their dwelling in us. St. Elizabeth of the Trinity prayed, “It seems to me that I have found my heaven on earth, because my heaven is You, my God, and You are in my soul. You in me, and I in You–may this be my motto.” What a wonderful reality, that the Blessed Trinity dwells in us! We should call this to mind often.
In the Baltimore Catechism we read: “The three Divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another, because all are one and the same God…. The three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God because all have one and the same Divine nature…. We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God because this is a supernatural mystery…. A supernatural mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand, but which we firmly believe because we have God’s word for it.”
Mother Angelica, who founded the Knights of the Holy Eucharist, had this to say: “St. Augustine, one of our greatest minds in the Church, was walking on the seashore and he saw a little child. While he was walking, he tried to comprehend the Trinity: how there could possibly be three Persons in one God. Further down the shore, this little child kept scooping a bucket of water and pouring it into a little hole on the beach. St. Augustine watched the child run back and forth, trying to fill the hole with water. Finally he said, ‘Son, what are you doing?’
“The boy just looked at Augustine and said, ‘I’m trying to put the ocean in this hole.’
“‘You can’t. That’s impossible,’ said Augustine.
“‘Neither can you understand the Trinity,’ the child responded. Then he disappeared.
“So remember when you come upon a mystery–either in your life, or in Scripture, or in the life of Jesus–your mind can’t accommodate all that is contained in the infinite, holy God. Kinda like trying to put the entire ocean in a small hole, isn’t it?”
The Glory Be can be traced back to the fourth century, when the Church was trying to get rid of the Arian heresy, which denied that Jesus Christ is God. The prayer is a doxology, a prayer of praise to God, which is frequently added to the end of prayers, such as psalms (in the Liturgy of the Hours). It is also used in the Rosary at the end of each decade, after the Our Father and the Hail Marys.
St. Bede the Venerable, an English Benedictine monk well known for his famous work Ecclesiastical History of England, loved this prayer and died while his Benedictine brothers were singing “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.”
There are so many reasons to praise our God! He blesses us each and every day with life, food, shelter, friends, family… Praising the Lord throughout the day helps us keep our eyes focused on God. We can pray the Glory Be when we wake up in the morning, as we prepare for the day, as we work, and as we play. God is with us always!
Let us give praise to our Triune God by praying this beautiful prayer often, both alone and with others.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.