Trinity Motel

Think Motel

God owns the place. Jesus Christ is behind the desk answering the phones and registering guests and the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit cleans all the rooms. She has the master key along with her cart full of stuff to replace the stuff that we either use or the stuff we stuff away in our suitcases. Is their soap really better than the soap in your home? Or is it just the feeling that you can get away with it?

The Holy Spirit attempts to clear the leaves from the pool so your kids can swim in its non-heated pool. The Holy Spirit makes your bed, switches towels, checks your minibar supply, and somehow scents your room with a universal scent that makes every motel room smell the same.

Today we celebrate the third person of the Trinity, the last person of the Trinity. I wouldn’t say I like that phrase. There is no “third.” Each Person of our Triune God has specific responsibilities to inform, reform, celebrate and better our lives. This weekend honors the motel’s housekeeper.

You may attempt to put that “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, but please rest assured that this motel is here to serve you…sometimes, whether you like it or not.

That’s the job of a motel housekeeper, the one we used to call “Ghost” because it sounded scary, but the job description hasn’t changed one iota.

She can still be that ghost if need be. “Do these folks really need new towels every single day?” She is also the Spirit that suggests you change those premium TV channels to watching the weather or golf channel when you should know better.

All right. Enough of the motel analogy. Or is an analogy. You don’t stay at a motel forever. Get the non-analogy? So, there’s that key, that soap, those towels, the leaves in the pool. Ummmm. What’s a divine Spirit to do?

The Spirit’s key opens doors that we thought were closed. Tragedy, setbacks, disappointments – we all lived our own lists and the Spirit readies us to open a new, revealing door. She loves those “Do Not Disturb” signs because she only haunts (I mean visits) those rooms more often than the others.

The soap? We seem never to have enough of something. What is that some thing that keeps stuffing itself into our lives? What stuff lingers in your head needs solving with the kindness of your soul? That’s the inspiring question from our spiritual housekeeper. What stuff do we continually stuff in our minds and heads until it becomes real? Stuff that separates us from those others, whomever they may be or where ever they may live? Or, more insidious is stuff that separates us from ourselves. Spring cleaning means more than our homes and gardens. Spiritually, it means cleaning up all of the stuff in the stuffed suitcases we laboriously carry around every day. Gossip is a form of stealing, theft. It tarnishes another’s reputation in order to bolster yours.

So far, I’ve used the word “stuff” twelve times. And, most of the time, it’s precisely what it is – just stuff. Stuff that damages your identity with the Trinity or stuff that damages your thoughts and opinions about the world around us. Let us allow ourselves and the power of the Holy Spirit to unstuff stuff that keeps us from our authentic selves or keeps us from each other.

Unfortunately these days many television stations, but not all, no longer provide information but stuff. Silly stuff. Scary stuff. Stuff to keep you watching and fearful about your personal future and, more seriously, scared of your neighbor. And, I don’t mean those who live to the left or right of your home. It’s all the neighbors we call the Body of Christ. When selfish stuff fills our minds then the Holy Spirit uses her master key to exchange those towels that have dried ourselves with division and discord. Helping us to move from the stuff of our minds to the unifying primacy of our souls.

I hope that you’ve noticed that I haven’t mentioned the importance of an “informed conscience.” A powerful Catholic tool for the soul and supported by the motel management. It’s not only simply a conscience but one that’s informed by our Church’s traditions and history. I also didn’t mention “discernment” which occurs after we turn the TV or whatever device off and recollect – re-collect – what we’ve heard and seen and then process it through the filter of our Catholic tradition. And, I didn’t mention “prayer” not even once. And we know how important prayer is.

Stuff. It’s what we insert in the Thanksgiving Turkey and what we insert to make our pillows comfortable. Stuffs what our motel housekeep helps us clean up or throw away. We think we’re unstuffing the stuffing yet how often adding to it.

I just added fifteen more the word “stuff” to the previous twelve. (Add one more of the word since I just said it.)

We have our work cut out for us. She has her work cut out for her and is here to fill us with herself. Those leaves piling up on the non-heated pool? It’s all the (that word) that keeps us from the warming waters from the motel’s owner, his registrar, and the welcoming, cheerful housekeeper who has the master key and promising us. She can dust, clean, vacuum, and make your bed every single day, complete with hospital tucks.

But do we really need fresh towels every day? If it’s from and delivered by the Holy Spirit, then you absolutely can bet on it. The minibar? That’s on your own.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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