I'm currently reading a fascinating book - a discussion between Brother David Steindl-Rast and Father Anselm Grun Faith Beyond Belief: Spirituality for Our Times.
In the conversation about the Trinity there are two images I find helpful. They are both expressed by Brother David. Commenting on the common description of "One God in three persons", he says:
"I would prefer to speak of ways of appearing. That is, ways God appears to us. If we go back to the mystery that is known to us through the reality we call life, we can distinguish three aspects: first the source of life, from which life constantly streams and emerges in every instant from possibility into reality. This origin from which everything springs forth we call Father. Second, the living reality that comes from the source we call Son. And third - because otherwise all that would remain static - comes the aliveness. This divine aliveness is what we mean when we talk of the Holy Spirit."
The source of Life...
the living reality...
the animating aliveness.
Brother David goes on to recall Augustine's analogy:
Silence... Word... Understanding.
I've also appreciated Cynthia Bourgeault's more visual image of the water wheel: life giving water continuously pouring from one to another in a relationship of self-giving love.