Experiencing the Indwelling Trinity?

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Is “seeing” the Indwelling Trinity once during your lifetime a common experience? If not, how uncommon is it?

I can’t find any information dealing with how many people have such an experience. I know this is a very private matter that most don’t reveal to others, but I was just wondering about it.
You would probably have to start reading the great Saint mystics to answer this one.
You might want to read Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila as she goes into some detail on the subject. Fr. Dubay also has a good book that talks about the proper way to handle such experiences. The book is Fire Within which is an overview to the writings of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila.
Thanks, I’ve read almost every famous spiritual book you can think of, including the ones you mentioned. I still can’t find information that tells me the frequency of the experience or how common it is.

Do average people have it but don’t tell others about it? Can you expect it to become habitual? How common is it in modern times compared to the past? No one seems to touch this topic.

Thanks again for your comments!
Imkwo, have you had such an experience? I’ve had an experience where Jesus Himself literally appeared to me, but it was not in a dimension of this world. It was difficult to find others who understood what I was talking about without them trying to make me think I was delusional…which I was NOT! Meeting Jesus literally changed my life and set my heart on fire for Him. How happy I was to read the writings of Pope John Paul II and find him time after time encouraging everyone to seek a literal encounter with Jesus. Here are just a few quotes I’ve collected from his writings throughout the years:

*"…The most beautiful and stirring adventure that can happen to you is the personal meeting with Jesus, who is the only one who gives real meaning to our life."

“Christianity is primarily a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. It is a Damascus-road experience like the one St. Paul had. It is a personal Pentecost like the Apostles had in the Upper Room. Everybody’s experience may be different, but experience the love of Christ we must, or we will end up in a dry, brittle, intellectual head-trip. We will succumb to will power Christianity, the ultimate oxymoron and try to work our way up to God. That will eventually crush us under the load, and we will give up the fight in some significant way.”

“The person who has experienced the love of Jesus for himself can say without a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus exists and He exists for me! No one needs to tell them that God is real… they know - that they know - that they know, that Jesus is their Lord!”

“The burning desire to invite others to encounter the One whom we have encountered, is the start of the evangelizing mission to which the whole Church is called.”

“Only in the encounter with him, the Word made flesh, do we find the fullness of self and happiness,” the Holy Father added. “Religion itself, without the experience of wondrous discovery of the Son of God and communion with him, who became our brother, becomes a mere set of principles that are increasingly difficult to understand, and rules that are increasingly hard to accept.”

“The proclamation of Christ is not something reserved for a few, the Pope states. It is “the responsibility of all the members of the People of God,” he writes. “Those who have come into genuine contact with Christ cannot keep him for themselves, they must proclaim him.” This proclamation must not be imposed but proposed “with confidence,” the Holy Father explains.”

“Only the one who has experienced God can speak about him in a convincing way,” the Pope said."*

Pope John Paul II is a Mystic who knows the Reality of Jesus Christ in his life.

Jesus has told everyone of us in His Word: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."

I know for a fact that Jesus literally meant EXACTLY what He said here…because He came “in to” me and supped with me just as He said He would do. It was JOY unspeakable! No words can accurately explain it. One must experience it for themselves to fully understand. Jesus IS Love, Mercy, Compassion, Forgiveness, and everything GOOD. Just ONE look into His Beautiful Eyes changes us in an instant as we are consumed in His Love for us.

God bless you
If I understand St. Teresa of Avila correctly, many people enter the lower “Mansions” she describes in Interior Castle while comparatively few ever reach the higher Mansions. IMO, I’d think that’s as true today as through all of Christian history.

A vision of the Trinity is a key characteristic she describes in the higher Mansions so, by definition, I think she’d say the kind of thing you’re talking about is very rare but (if authentic) is also a great gift of grace. She goes on to describe many gifts that become habitual but I don’t get the sense that this is necessarily one of them.

She was reluctant to talk about her own experiences of this kind . . . a sign of her humility. She only wrote this book in obedience to her superiors and was quite concerned at somehow appearing “worthy” of such a gift.

St. Teresa also stresses the need to be skeptical . . . asking of herself is this from God, my imagination or the devil. I think she’d be the first to advise finding a good spiritual director when faced with anything out of the ordinary. Considering she’s a Doctor of the Church, I take her at her word. This is also where I think Fr. Dubay’s book can really help.
Thanks MIDGIE and DBT!

MIDGIE, I did have this experience, but it seems like a lifetime ago. Almost no one had internet access back then. My life was never the same after the experience. My life become MUCH, MUCH worse. It started with a high level of anxiety for a couple years because seeing the Trinity in my soul shattered my previous concept of God. I didn’t know how to pray anymore after the experience. All I wanted was to live in that state, which wasn’t possible because I have no power to bring it about. Therefore, my pray time turned into anxiety attacks.

Then I had three spiritual directors (at different times) which had no clue what I was talking about. So, I stopped trying to explain how I felt to them. Today, I’m messed up because my terrible prayer life mixed with negative events in my life.

The only people that I ever told about this experience was my spiritual directors. But today I’m so bad that I feel like I’m speaking about a different person back then that had this experience. I’m not the same person.

One thought that comes to my mind a lot is that if I go to hell, I’ll probably be tormented the most out of anyone there because I have been given so much knowledge about God and so much spiritual insight. And it’s possible because with everything I know, I am still very evil.

Since no one on this site will ever know me, I feel more comfortable saying what I just said.

By the way, MIDGIE, I never really saw anything physical or mental, it’s too hard to explain what I saw. It was nine years ago, but I still remember the exact things I was doing for those three or four days. It seems like God wasted a beautiful gift on such a useless person like me.

When I first tried to explain this to experience my spiritual director, I cried like a baby. That’s how personal this topic was to me. Today, I feel disconnected from that period in my life because of all the things I’ve gone through since. So, thats why recently I’m just trying to figure out more about this experience. It’s hard for me to move on without knowing more about this topic.

Thanks for listening and thanks again for your comments! Sorry, I write really bad.

I don’t know what your going through, but let me share this…

At times I’ve looked back on my life and said to myself … “If only I was as spiritual today as I was back then.” It seems that I used to be able to pray for 1-2 hours at a time without problem. Often today, praying 15 minutes can be difficult.

One time when I was thinking this, I was inspired by the thought … “you can never go back to where you were, you can only go forward”.

For me this was liberating. I do not need to be where I was, but only moving forward to where God is leading me today.

God Bless!
Thanks CatholicGeek for that! I think you are right. I just wish that it was that simple for me.

Today, I woke up feeling guilty that I said anything about my experience. I didn’t know you could get spiritual pride from saying things… even though no one knows who you are. But, I guess you can.

I don’t know why I feel any pride when I’m so messed up now.
  1. Anxiety for two years = messed me up
  2. Then the seminary trying to change who I was because they didn’t understand me = messed me up more
  3. When I was attending a State college I didn’t speak with people for whole days at a time because I kept to myself = messed me up
  4. I just about gave up my passion for pursuing God because I couldn’t deal with my situation anymore, then I started to pursue another passion I had = messed me up
  5. I feel guilty that I can’t find a good job because I have no real direction in my life anymore = messed me up
    Then there is so much more going on too.
All during that I was committing serious sins. My relationship with God become strange because I thought he knew I was trying as hard as I could with the situation I was in. But at the same time, I felt guilty because I wasn’t praying as much and I tried to distract myself with other things as much as possible. Spiritual things made me feel depressed and helpless.

Before my experience with the Indwelling, I didn’t understand how people could function without a close relationship with God. And now that’s how I feel I’m living today.

My problem goes beyond what I found in existing books can tell me. I still don’t know how to relate with God after my experience with Him. It’s like talking to someone on the phone for years and thinking you know that person, but when you meet him in person, he is so much different than what you imagined that you can’t go back to talking on the phone like before. And it’s hard to relate to the “real†God without being put in that state where I see Him in my soul. Therefore, I feel stuck with my relationship with God. I don’t know how to relate with Him anymore. If I relate like before the experience, then it’s a lie because I know God is not that way. And it’s impossible to relate with God the way he showed me without being in that state he put me in. Does this make any sense? I wish there was a more written on this topic because I’ve never seen anyone cover it before. I feel like a screw up.

Thanks for listening again. Maybe writing it down with help me deal with it better. I don’t know.
Something else that has helped me in the past …

When I’ve been depressed, or feel far from God, or the combination (which is more often the case) I feel that I cannot do anything until I get my relationship back to good again.

But I’ve found that I need to find an outlet to serve God and others. Even when I feel down. Not to be fake about it, or to put my feelings on others, but to give the best that I currently have. I think that if I wait until I feel better, I would probably wait forever.

I work with the youth in my parish, and find it very rewarding, even though that is not why I do it. It helps me to get out of looking at myself, which for me can cause an inward spiral down.

I’m just a layperson, no psychology degree or what not. This has helped me. But I’ve also talked to a Christian counselor in the past. It helped me know that I’m not the only one who goes through hard times. There is no shame in asking for help, be it anonymously over the internet, with a friend, with a counselor.

My prayers are with you
Imkwo, unless someone has “experienced” the Pure Love of God in their lives, then they really do not understand how you are feeling. I felt like a love-sick puppy for the longest time and searched high and lo for the meaning of what happened to me. I read book after book thinking I would find a way to enter the Lord’s Presence like that again. Instead of being thankful for being so blessed to have experienced the Lord’s Love like I did, I wanted more. I felt like a cat chasing my tail and never catching it. Then one day this still small voice spoke to my heart and said: "Be still and know that I am God." I was convicted for wanting more and know now that if the Lord wants me to experience His Presence again, it will just happen as it did the first time. There is NOTHING we can do to force God’s Hand. All we can do is raise our hearts to Him in prayer and wait before Him.

I don’t know what you experienced, but I have to hold on to the very last words Jesus spoke to me before He simply vanished before my eyes. I begged to go with Him and He just smiled the most unbelievable loving smile and said: “I will never leave you or forsake you. I will be with you to the end.” He extended His right Hand down to me as He ascended upwards. I reached up to Him to take His Hand and then He was gone. This happened to me 20 years ago and there’s not a day that I’m not thinking about Him. I don’t have a death wish, but I can’t wait for the day I leave this earth to “see” Him again…if He doesn’t return to earth first. While I wait, I now know I must walk by faith and not by sight. I know the Lord is with me exactly as He promised to be. Some of the most unusual things have happened to me and I know it is the Lord doing it.

After this happened to me, I went to talk with my parish Priest and he just looked at me like I was nuts. A Protestant Pastor slammed his fist on my sister’s table and told me I better rebuke that “evil” thing that appeared to me or I’d burn in hell for eternity. Boy, was I confused at their reactions??? I knew what happened to me and wanted desperately to talk to someone about it. The Protestant Pastor was thrown out of his church shortly afterwards for having an affair with one of his parishoners. The Priest was exposed on TV and all the newspapers a few years ago for being a pedophile. I didn’t even wish them any harm, but the Lord did warn it would be better to have a millstone hung around our necks and drowned than to harm one of His children. We need to be careful when judging others when we haven’t got a clue to what they experienced.

I think the more sinful we see ourselves, the closer we are to the Lord without us even realizing it. In this day of building “self-esteem” and all that psycho mumbo jumbo, people do not want to admit that there is nothing good in us. All our goodness is as filthy rags to the Lord. Nothing defiled is going to enter Heaven, so I think it’s normal that the Holy Spirit is at work in our hearts showing us our evil ways. It’s humbling and it makes us feel so weak…but it’s when we are weak that He is strong in our lives. It’s a contrite and humble heart which pleases the Lord.

I wish I could say meeting the Lord made me into an instant Saint, but it has not. I sure do desire more than anything else to be all the Lord wants me to be and to be used by Him in this world, but I’m more conscious now than ever before of just how far short I fall. This makes me lean on the Lord all the more…for I now know with certainty***…" I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing**."*

What a journey it has been. Remember what the Lord said: *** “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”***

The Lord told us to count the cost of following Him. He never said it would be easy, only that He would give us what we needed to get through each day. That He has done in my life. How about yours?

BTW, do you read the Bible? I gave up looking for someone to understand what happened to me and I went before the Lord in tears about it. He led me to the Bible where He supernaturally spoke to me from the first chapter of the Book of John. “In the beginning was the Word…and Word was with God…and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” I can’t tell you how excited I was to experience the TRUTH that the Lord literally and lovingly speaks to us through His Word. I’ve been reading His Word every day since then.

God bless you
Just remember that not all visions, mystical experiences come from heaven. Hopefully you are aware of that and just didn’t mention any tests you may have given. I remember hearing that Padre Pio ALWAYS asked any vision he received to praise Jesus Christ with him.

The other thought I’d offer is that Jesus Himself said that we would know them by the fruits. Knowing how hard-hearted I was and how much God had to permit me to go through before I finally learned what I needed to learn and opened my heart to him, I won’t say that your experience was other than heavenly, but I would suggest praying that God grant you the graces you need to learn whatever He wants you to learn, and to open your heart and soul to His loving graces and presence.

As for difficulty in praying, I highly recommend going and spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I sometimes read the writings of the saints when I cannot pray, but usually throw myself spiritually on my knees in front of Him and beg for the graces I need in order to seek Him more fully.

My prayers are with you, especially to Our Lady to grant you the graces you need, and to Padre Pio to pray for you to learn all that you need to learn to progress in your spiritual life as our Lord intends. You are truly blessed by Him, and also undergoing extreme testing or daunting interference.

May our Lady intercede on your behalf until you are surrounded by our Lord’s peace and love.
I have followed this thread, and have been moved to beg you to read Blessed Faustina’s Diary. There is something there for you. A Saint so holy that she literally, physically saw the Lord - often several times a day - yet was overcome with her own wretchedness. So much so that she tried not to do the things that the Lord Himself asked her to do, in Person! Can you imagine what she went through? She went through a dryness of the soul that lasted for a very long time, and then through a darkness of the soul that lasted for YEARS.

She said that, once she came through on the other side, she realized how necessary it was for God to ‘crush’ her very being in order that she could be who God wanted her to be. I have read and reread this book for years (it’s quite long), and I never get tired of it. Please pick up a copy, I KNOW that it will change things for you. I am praying for you – keep posting! :praying:

Sorry everyone for my previous post. I copy and pasted from “Microsoft Word” and I guess this message board doesn’t like that very much since some of the letters turned into symbols. (I didn’t see an edit button)

Thank you CatholicGeek! I might just try that. I know I already commit a lot of sins of omission.

Thank You MIDGIE! It’s nice to know that others felt similar to the way I do. To answer your question, I read the Bible every couple of days. I used to read it every morning. I should probably get back to doing that.

Thank you Robin L. in TX! You are right in saying that not every experience comes from Heaven, but I pretty sure mine did because while I was in that state for three or four days, I was a completely different person. I did everything to deny myself in every detail because I wanted to please God. Sacrificing yourself for God becomes very easily when He puts you in that State. After God left me, I tried to deny myself like before, but I didn’t have the strength to do it without Him. With God, going against your will at every second is easy, but when He left me, I felt it was impossible to live that way.

I have thought that what I’m going through is a test, but then I see how little I pray and how many serious sins I commit and then become convinced that I am too worldly for God’s purification. I understand so much about the Spiritual life from reading books that I know that I don’t fit in with the others that were tested. Rather, I think I’m one of those people that St. Teresa talks about who fell from one of the higher mansions into the 1st or 2nd mansion or even outside it. I don’t think I responded right after God left me. Today, I am very Lukewarm, but feel a helpless feeling too.

Thank You cricker! I have read Blessed Faustina’s Diary in the past. That was a long time ago. More than 10 years ago. Recently, I was thinking about reading it again because of my current situation. I’m so screwed up from the events in my life that I don’t trust people like I used. And I even have a hard time trusting in God because I feel that when I trusted him in the past, he betrayed me and left me feeling wounded. I am very jaded now because I was so wounded by so many events. I’m a very sensitive person and little things can wound me easily.

Thank you for suggesting Blessed Faustina’s Diary. I will follow your inspiration. Now I don’t have to worry about which book to read next. (I used to get anxious about picking the right book for the right time in my life)

Thank you everyone for caring and taking the time to post! And thank you for your prayers, I need them!
Today, I am very Lukewarm, but feel a helpless feeling too.
I doubt if you are as lukewarm as you think you are, but I can understand how you feel, especially when comparing yourself to the lives of the Saints.

I’ve been thinking about you and what you experienced since reading your lead note here. If you don’t mind, could you share what you experienced with us? The Trinity always leaves me baffled. I think to fully understand the Trinity, the Lord must reveal it to us as it appears He may have done for you. I’d be interested reading what you have to say about it.

As I’ve said, it was the Person of Jesus Christ Who appeared to me. He is a man and looks no differently than the rest of us…BUT the Power of Love that encompassed my whole being by just looking into His Eyes is unspeakable. The painting of Jesus that St. Faustina was commissioned to paint by Jesus is pretty close to what Jesus looked like when He appeared to me. From what I experienced, the Rays St. Faustina painted proceeding from the Heart of Jesus represents the Power of Love I experienced coming from Jesus simply by looking into His Eyes. As St. Paul, whether I was in my body or out of my body when I met Jesus, I do not know. I think I was in my body because Jesus says in the Scriptures that He would come “in to” us and sup with us, but it was definately in another dimension, maybe a Spiritual Dimension? I was wide awake sitting in a chair reading the book “The Greatest Story Ever Told” when I was drawn right into the Story of the Crucifixion as if I were right there 2000+ years ago when it took place. As I watched the Crucifxion and the Agony of the Blessed Mother, I was sobbing my heart out and telling Jesus how sorry I was when I was then drawn into another dimension where I found myself alone kneeling at the Foot of the Croos looking up into the Eyes of Love Himself. In that instant I was changed forever. Before I even had time to think about what was happening to me, Jesus was then standing before me in His Glorious Risen Body with the most unbelievable loving smile in His Eyes as He looked at me. It was like He was so happy to show me the Truth of the Power of His Resurrection.

Anyway, for years since I’ve experienced this Great Blessing in my life, I’ve wondered if Jesus Himself was not the Holy Spirit when He comes to us in a Spiritual Dimension like that? The Bible says in Jesus was the fullness of the Godhead. Although I was blessed beyond measure that Jesus appeared to me and I rode on a cloud of Love for days later, I was also left with hundreds of questions. I thanked Jesus profusely for reaching down from Heaven and picking me out of the pit of despair I was in, but I found myself questioning…WHO are you Jesus? Where did you come from? How did you do that??? Oh my gosh, you REALLY are ALIVE!

Let me just say, unlike St. Faustina, there was NOTHING holy about me when Jesus came to me. I saw myself a terrible sinner who KNEW I need God to help me. He was my ONLY Hope and I was simply searching for Him and His help before He came to me.

Like yourself, Imkwo, I, too, felt Jesus left me after a time of being on cloud 9 and loving EVERYBODY. I did something that I knew I should not have done and instantly I felt like the Lord left me. I sobbed my heart out and begged Jesus to forgive me. He did and I’ve experienced His Presence and work in my life these past 20 years…not like I did when He first manifested Himself to me., but in small little consolations in answer to my prayers.

Like yourself, I also feel so unworthy for having been the recipient of such a Great Grace and Gift and feel I have wasted it and that someone else would have accomplished so much more for the Lord had they received what I received. When I read the lives of the Saints and see how far short I fall, I end up in tears. When I see the suffering souls all around me who I so desperately would like to lead to the Lord, I beg the Lord to forgive me and to help make me worthy for Him to use in this world.

Well, to get back to the point of this note… would you explain how you now understand the Trinity since your vision? Can you put into words and explain what you experienced?

God bless you
MIDGIE, thanks for sharing your experience with me. Nothing like you experienced has ever happened to me.

I won’t be able to explain the Trinity to you (because my experience didn’t teach me the mystery of the Trinity) but, I can tell you a little more about what happened to me. Since this is very personal for me, I’d rather PM you than tell you publicly on here.

Thanks again for your message!
Hi Imkwo, I replied to your PM before seeing this note.

God bless you
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