Rorate Caeli

“The glory of God is the common good of the people”

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— that is the shortest creed, a creed given by the Savior Himself. It is the Savior’s highest revelation, and His greatest gift of light. He alone could say it, for, “no man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18) It is the epitome of salvation, the foundation of the faith, the anchor of hope, the source of love. It is in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit that children are baptized, marriages are solemnized, priests are ordained, churches are consecrated, sinners are absolved, sick persons are anointed, and the dead are buried.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— this Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity is the exemplar and first cause of all true unity and concord, of every flourishing community, of all authentic peace. The further humanity distances itself from the Triune God, the more hopeless and incurable its disunity and strife become. Separate from God every bond of friendship, every bond of love, every bond of marriage, every bond of peoples becomes fragile and unsound. Our human community depends on its link to the Trinity, on the encompassing unity of the Trinity.

The whole purpose and final goal of our community, and all our lives, is nothing other than this: glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. But, worried voices as us, what about the public good? The glory of God is the common good of the people. The glory of God is the salvation and happiness of humanity. The glory of God is the safety of the state, and the security of legitimate authority. If only our world would realize this! If only it would understand the words of out Lord: “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

H.E. Bishop Paul Wilhelm von Keppler (1852-1926)
Sermon preached at the German Katholikentag in Stuttgart, 1925
Translation: Rorate Cæli