The Divine Trinity


Disputation over the Trinity - by ANDREA DEL SARTO - from Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence . . . . . Saints in Heaven discuss the Absolute Mystery of the Holy Trinity which is beyond their Ability to Fully Comprehend. Included (ccw) are Saints Mary Magdalene; Saint Francis of Assisi bearing the Wounds of his Stigmata; Saint Dominic; Saint Lawrence with the Grate on which he was Burned to Death; Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo; and Saint Sebastian with the Arrows of his Martyrdom.

 

The Catechism is not enough, Theology is not enough, Formulas and Analogies are not enough to explain the Unity and Trinity of God. Only God can Speak about Himself, and only the Holy Spirit, Who is Love, can Communicate this Knowledge to us. If you are in the State of Sanctifying Grace, the Holy Trinity dwells 'in-you' in a very Special and Personal way. When we speak of the Redeeming Mission of the Incarnate Son of God, it is a Work of all Three (3) Divine Persons as One (1) Principle; every Spiritual Gift coming from the Father (James 1:17), Merited for us by the Son (Romans 5:19: Luke 24:46,47; Hebrews 13:8), and Infused into the Soul by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). What a Marvelous Thing it is to realize that the Inner Life of the Divine Persons, that Eternal Procession of Infinite Knowledge and Love, the Contemplation of which will be the Source of our Beatitude in Heaven, takes place within the Soul of every Person in the State of Grace.

 

The Divine Trinity

by Father Richard M. Hogan & Father John M. LeVoir
from the Catechetical Teachings of Pope John Paul II

Notre Bene - Venerable Pope John Paul II has developed a new Theological Synthesis for Presenting the Catholic Faith. This Synthesis is called Phenomenology. Using this Synthesis, beginning about 1985, Pope John Paul II began a Series of Weekly Catechetical Addresses to cover the Central Tenets of Catholicism, following the Articles of the Nicene Creed. Fathers Hogan and LeVoir have compiled the Pope's Teachings into Book format entitled 'Faith for Today', and below is their Presentation on the Holy Trinity.

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God: Three (3) Persons in One (1) Nature

There is no Attribute, no Mystery, no Perfection in God that is more Incomprehensible to us than the Three (3) Divine Persons in the One (1) Divine Unity. Even living-with God for all Eternity () in Heaven, we will never Fully Understand this Mystery. The Intellect, however, Enlightened by Faith, can 'in-a-certain-way' Grasp and Explain the Meaning of the Dogma. Thus, it can bring close to Man the Mystery of the Inmost-Life of the Triune God. Therefore, it is possible for us to Examine this Mystery in some detail. The Purpose of such Examination is not to Comprehend the Trinity - an Impossible Task. Rather, the Purpose is to Appreciate more-and-more the Glory and Wonder of God. Such an Examination might be compared to the Jeweler's Study of a Beautiful Diamond. He looks at it from Different Angles, not to Comprehend it or even to Understand it Fully, but rather to Appreciate its Beauty.

In God there are Three (3) Distinct Persons:

yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Father
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Son
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Holy Spirit

Each Person has the One (1) same Divine:

yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Substance
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Nature
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Essence
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Being
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Power
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Intellect
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Knowledge
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Love
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Will
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Mind
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Godhead
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Divinity
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Consciousness
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Wisdom
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Holiness
yellowdot.gif (100 bytes) Majesty

 

However, at First Glance, the Study of the Trinity seems doomed-to Failure. God is not a Diamond that can be held in One's Hand. How is it possible to Gaze on Him, to Examine Him from Different-Angles? Of course, that Question has already been Answered. If Man is made in the Image of God, then God is, in a certain-sense, "in the Image and Likeness" of Man. Clearly, it should be Possible for us to Examine Ourselves and, Guided by the Gospel, come to some Understanding of God. This Procedure was followed at the Beginning of the Discussion on God's Nature. It should be possible to Follow the Same Procedure in Gazing on God as a Trinity (3) of Persons in the One (1) Godhead.

In regard to the Trinity, there are Four (4) Distinct 'Angles' or 'Viewpoints' to consider:

First, there is the Mystery of the Processions. The Question asked is: Why are there Three (3) Persons?

The Second Consideration involves the 'Relationship' among the Three (3) Persons. The Question asked is: What distinguishes each Person from the other Two (2)?

The Third Mystery involves the Activity of the Trinity within itself. The Question is: What do the Three (3) Persons do among Themselves?

While the First Three (3) 'Viewpoints' consider the Trinity in itself or, better, within itself, the Fourth Area of Examination Studies the Trinity as it Acts Outside of Itself (Ad Extra); i.e., as it Acts towards the Created Order, especially towards Human Beings. In this Fourth Area, the Question asked is: Does One (1) Divine Person or do all Three (3) Divine Persons Act toward Human Beings?

 

The Two (2) Processions

At the very beginning of this Chapter, the Creation of Human Persons in God's Own Image was mentioned. Each of us is Human Person with the Powers of Thinking and Choosing, i.e., with a Mind and a Will. However, as Persons, we not only are Capable of Independent Thought and Free Choice, we are also 'Aware' of the Thoughts we think and the Choices we make. Thus, when we are Appreciating a Wonder of Nature like the Grand Canyon, we 'Know' the Beauty we are seeing and we also 'Know' that we have Chosen to look. We have an 'Awareness' of our own Acts. This 'Self-Awareness' or 'Consciousness' pertains to Personhood. ' Consciousness' contains the Acts that we Knowingly and Freely Choose. Of course, 'Consciousness' Mirrors all these Acts - those expressed in-and-through the Body, and those that remain-internal. Our ' Consciousness' is a kind-of Inner Image that we have of the Acts we Knowingly and Freely Choose. By viewing this Inner Image, we Know ourselves.

Definition
'Consciousness' - The Intuitive 'Awareness' by which we Recognize something as Cognitionally present in the Mind.

Since God is, in a certain sense, a Reflection of Man, it is evident that God is a Personal Being Who must have the Personal Faculties that we have. Clearly, He must have a 'Consciousness' of His own Acts as each Human Person has a 'Consciousness' of his Acts. In other words, there is no doubt that God is aware of His Acts of Thinking and Choosing, and that His 'Consciousness' contains His Acts of Thinking and Choosing. God's ' Consciousness' is a kind of Inner Image that He has of all His Acts. Thus, through His 'Consciousness' God knows Himself.

In a certain sense, God knows Himself before He knows anything else. His Act of Knowing Himself is logically prior-to knowing anything else. In this, God somewhat resembles Human Beings. Before we learn about the Created World, we learn about ourselves. For example, as a child develops and grows, there are the wonderful discoveries of Hands, Fingers, Feet, etc. As Human Persons, we come to know ourselves before we know the World around us. What is true for us is, in this case, especially true of God. All Reality depends upon God. As the Creator, by knowing Himself, He knew the World and everything in it before it was created. As Being itself, He possesses all the Powers and Potentialities that are in Creation. Thus, God knew Himself, and in knowing Himself, He knew Creation. Clearly, His First Act of knowing is the Act of knowing Himself. There was nothing else to know!

Since God is Perfect, He knows Himself Perfectly. In other words, His 'Consciousness' contains an Identical Image of Himself. This Image would not be Identical to God Himself if it only existed in the Mind of God, and not in Reality. God "Is", He exists. If His 'Consciousness' contains an Identical Image of Himself, it too must exist. This Image does exist in Reality and is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Son. God the Son is Begotten from the Father's 'Consciousness' of His Act of knowing Himself. The Second Person mirrors the Father. He is the Identical Image of the Father. He is the Father's Self-Concept.

Origin of the Son

God the Father possesses Two (2) Internal Divine Processions

1. Knowing Act of Intellect

arrow002.gif (3348 bytes) Generates
(Begotten, not made,
not created)

The Son of God,
Second Person of the Holy Trinity

2. Willing Act of Will

***

***

"Generation" is the production of one living-being from another, both having the same nature.

A word, in a language, signifies a Concept or an Idea. In fact, it is almost impossible for anyone to think of anything without, at the same time, thinking of the word for that thing (or, at least, a mental picture of it). In God's Act of knowing Himself, He Generates a Self-Concept. This Self-Concept is signified by a Word. Since the Self-Concept of the Father is Perfect, it encompasses all Concepts and, therefore, all Words. Clearly, the Divine Self-Concept is the 'Word', par excellence. Saint John confirms this 'Insight' when he names Christ the Word of God (in Greek, Logos). Pope John Paul compared the Procession of the Son from the Father to the Self-Knowledge of Human Beings: "By Analogy with the Cognitive Process of the Human Mind, whereby Man, in knowing himself, produces an Image of himself, an Idea, a Concept, that-is a 'Conceived Idea', which from the Latin 'Verbum' (word) is frequently called the Interior Word, we Dare to think of the Generation of the Son or the Eternal Concept and Interior Word of God. God in knowing Himself Begets the Word, the Son, Who is God, just as the Father".

When the Father Sees the Son, Who is the Identical Image of the Father, and the Son Sees the Father Who is the Son's Identical Likeness, They Choose one another, i.e., They Love one another. The ' Consciousness' of the Father and of the Son contains the 'Inner-Reflection' and 'Image' of Their Act of Love. This 'Image' of the Love between the Father and the Son is Identical to Their Love. Since the Love of the Father and the Son is Real, the Identical Image of that Love in the 'Consciousness' of the Father and the Son must actually exist. The Holy Spirit is the Love of the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit Proceeds (Spirates, a type of Procession) from the Father's and the Son's Act of Love.

Origin of the Son and the Holy Spirit

God the Father possesses Two (2) Internal Divine Processions

1. Knowing Act of Intellect

arrow002.gif (3348 bytes) Generates
(Begotten, not made,
not created)

The Son of God,
Second Person of the Holy Trinity

2. Willing Act of Will

arrow002.gif (3348 bytes) Spirates
(not made, not created,
not
generated)

The Holy Spirit,
Third Person of the Holy Trinity

"Generation" is the production of one living-being from another, both having the same nature.
"Spiration" is a type of Procession, from the noun "spirit" which means "breath"; "proceeds from the Divine Will, inflamed, as it were, with love" CCC.

An "Internal Divine Procession," refers to the origin of One (1) Divine Person from Another through the communication of the One (1) Divine Essence. There are Two (2) Internal Divine Processions: the Generation of the Son and the Spiration of the Holy Spirit.

Pope John Paul offers a description of the Procession of the Holy Spirit: "The Father, Who Begets, loves the Son Who is Begotten, and the Son loves the Father with a love which is Identical with that of the Father . . . . At the same time, the Father and the Son are not only United by that Mutual Love as two Persons Infinitely Perfect, but Their Mutual-Gratification, Their Reciprocal-Love, Proceeds in Them and from Them as a Person, the Father and the Son 'Spirate' the Spirit-of-Love consubstantial with Them". The Processions in the Trinity have their Source in God's Acts of 'Knowing' and 'Willing'.

The Divine Processions are not Time-Related. As mentioned above, God exists outside-of-time. The Processions within the Trinity exist outside-of-time. They always were, are, and will be. There never was a time when the Son did not exist. There never was a time when the Holy Spirit did not exist. If there were a time when the Son and the Holy Spirit did not exist, neither would be God.

 

The Relationships

Although it is a fundamental-tenet of the Christian Faith that there are Three (3) Persons in One (1) God, this teaching in no-way Compromises or Diminishes the other equally firm-teaching that there is only One (1) God. But, there seems to be a Difficulty. Since there are Three (3) Persons in One (1) God, then there must be 'Distinctions' among the Persons. Since there are 'Distinctions', then it would seem that God is not a Perfect, Simple Unity (1). He would not be One (1) God, but Three (3). However, this is impossible. The Problem can be stated in Two (2) Ways. How can there be Three (3), if there is only One(1)? Or, how can there be One (1) if there are Three (3)? The Difficulty can be approached from either Vantage Point.

One might think that a possible Explanation of the Problem lies in the 'Distinction' between 'Person' and 'Nature'. 'Nature' signifies What someone is and 'Person' signifies Who someone is. Thus, for example, when we speak of 'Human Nature', we indicate What makes a Man a Man, with his Essential Components and his Properties. On the other hand, a 'Human Person' is he or she who exists as a Concrete Human Being, as an Individual (1) possessing Humanity, that is, 'Human Nature'. All Human Beings share the same Humanity, the same 'Human Nature'. In a sense, they are all One (1) because they are all Human, i.e., they have a common 'Human Nature'. Thus, there is a Oneness (1) among all Human Persons, even though every Human Person is a unique-individual. In God, there is One (1) Divine Nature, but Three (3) Persons. If it were possible to establish that God had One (1) Divine Nature, as all Men share One (1) Human Nature, the Unity (1) and Trinity (3) of God could be explained in the same way as the Unity (1) of Human Nature among the Billions of Human Persons.

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Quantity of Persons (Who)

Nature (What)

God

Three (3) Divine Persons

One (1) Divine Nature

Mankind

Billions (109) of Human Persons

One (1) Human Nature

However, this 'Distinction' is not sufficient in itself because God's Nature is not exactly like Human Nature. Human Nature exists Separately and 'Distinctly' in each and every Human Person. In God, the Divine Nature does not exist Separately and 'Distinctly' in each of the Divine Persons because the Divine Nature is Perfect, Unified (1) and Simple. There are not Three (3) Individualized, Separate, Concrete Repetitions of the Divine Nature in each Divine Person, as there are an Incalculable Number of Individualized, Separate, Concrete Repetitions of Human Nature, in each Human Person. Thus, the Problem that began this discussion remains: How can there be Three (3) in One(1)? Or, how can there be One (1) in Three (3)?

The reply, which our Reason 'stammers', is based on the Concept of 'Relation'. The Three (3) Divine Persons are distinguished among Themselves solely by the 'Relations' which They have with one another. In everything but Their 'Relationships', the Three (3) Divine Persons are Identical. Our Reason "stammers", to use Pope John Paul's phrase, because the 'Relations' among the Three (3) Divine Persons are unlike any 'Relations' that Human Persons experience.

 

The Three (3) Divine Persons are Identical, in everything but Their 'Relationships'
Father's Majesty

=

Son's Majesty

=

Holy Spirit's Majesty
Father's Mind

=

Son's Mind

=

Holy Spirit's Mind
Father's Knowledge

=

Son's Knowledge

=

Holy Spirit's Knowledge
Father's Intellect

=

Son's Intellect

=

Holy Spirit's Intellect
Father's Will

=

Son's Will

=

Holy Spirit's Will
Father's Essence

=

Son's Essence

=

Holy Spirit's Essence
Father's Holiness

=

Son's Holiness

=

Holy Spirit's Holiness
Father's Love

=

Son's Love

=

Holy Spirit's Love
Father's Power

=

Son's Power

=

Holy Spirit's Power
Father's Wisdom

=

Son's Wisdom

=

Holy Spirit's Wisdom
Father's Divinity

=

Son's Divinity

=

Holy Spirit's Divinity
Father's Substance

=

Son's Substance

=

Holy Spirit's Substance
Father's Being

=

Son's Being

=

Holy Spirit's Being
Father's Nature

=

Son's Nature

=

Holy Spirit's Nature
Father's Relationship

Son's Relationship

Holy Spirit's Relationship
 

 

For Example, 'Sonship' is a 'Relationship'. It is a Vital 'Relationship' only when at least Two (2) Human Persons exist: a living Son and at least One (1) living Parent. After both Parents have Died, the Son, at least in a certain sense, ceases to be a Son. Nevertheless, the Human Being who was a Son does not cease to be a Human Person, just because Death has ended the 'Relationship'. All Human Beings are Persons because God created them as Persons. In other words, a Human 'Relationship' does not constitute a Human Person, as the Divine 'Relationships' constitute the Three (3) Divine Persons in the Trinity. Human 'Relationships' do not make Human Beings Who they are, but the Divine 'Relationships' do make the Divine Persons Who They are.

Divine Relationships make
Divine Persons Who They Are
Human Relationship ≠ Human Person
Divine Relationship = Divine Person

In God, then, the Divine 'Relationships' define the Three (3) Divine Persons. The Father is 'Fatherhood' itself. 'Fatherhood' defines Who He is. The Son is 'Sonship' itself, existing in its own right. 'Sonship' defines Who the Son is. The Holy Spirit is Love itself. Love is a 'Relationship' between at least Two (2) Persons. He is Love, existing in its own right. Love defines Who the Holy Spirit is. In other words, the 'Relations' in God are "Subsisting". These 'Relations' distinguish the Three (3) Persons in God from one another. The Father is distinct from the Son precisely because He is 'Fatherhood' and not 'Sonship'. The Son is distinct from the Father because He is 'Sonship' and not 'Fatherhood'. The Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son because He is Love and not 'Fatherhood' or 'Sonship'.

Analogy of Relationships

Subject
[One (1)]

Relationships
[Many]

Unity of a Man
Unity of a Woman

Husband, Brother, Son, etc.
Wife, Sister, Daughter, etc.
Unity of God Father, Son, Holy Spirit (3)

 

Since there is a Distinction of the Divine Persons on the basis of the Divine 'Relationships', how is it possible to maintain the Unity (1) of God? A solution is suggested by Analogy with Human 'Relationships'. A Man might be Husband, Brother, Son, Uncle, Great-Uncle, Grandfather, and even Great-Grandfather. A Woman might be Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Great-Aunt, Grandmother, and even Great-Grandmother. But the Man is only One(1) Individual and the Woman is only One (1) Individual. Both have a Multitude of 'Relationships' but both remain One (1) in themselves. If Many Human 'Relationships' can exist within the Unity (1) of an Individual Human Being, can that not also be posited of God? Of course it can. (It should be noted that the above Analogy does not completely explain the Mystery of the Trinity. No Human Analogy could ever explain the Trinity). God is Three (3) Persons, i.e., Three (3) Subsisting 'Relations', in One (1), Perfect, and Simple Godhead (Nature).

 

The Trinity as a Communion of Persons

The Three (3) Divine Persons are perfectly United (1) with one another. Christ said, "All that the Father has is Mine". In another Passage Christ indicates the Union between Himself and the Holy Spirit when He says that the Holy Spirit "will take what is Mine and declare it to you". The Holy Spirit has what is Christ's, and what is Christ's is the Father's. Consequently, there is a Total-Union among the Three (3) Persons of the Trinity.

This Union within the Holy Trinity exists through the Personal Choice of each Divine Person to give Himself totally to the others. This Total Self-Gift of each Person within the Trinity is founded on the Perfect Knowledge that each Person has of the other Two (2). This is what Divine Love is: a Personal-Choice, a Will-Act, made by each Divine Person based on Knowledge of the Truth, to surrender Himself totally and completely to the other Two (2) Persons. The self-donation of each Divine Person to the others, Unites all Three (3) in a Communion of Persons. In effect, among the Persons of the Trinity, there is an Attitude, a Choice, to Act as One(1). The Divine Communion of Persons is a Total-Union. It is a Reciprocal Compenetration or Mutual Indwelling. As Pope John Paul II states: "The Council of Florence expressed this Trinitarian Truth in the following words: 'Through this Unity . . . the Father is completely in the Son, completely in the Holy Spirit; the Son is completely in the Father, completely in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is completely in the Father, completely in the Son'".


Human Family ≈ Trinity

The Human Family, as a Loving Union of Human Persons existing in 'Relationships' with one another and basing its life on the Truth, should reveal the Mystery of the Trinity to us, although only partially and very inadequately. Since God is in a certain sense in the Image of Man, it should not be surprising that Human Family Life expresses, again very inadequately and only partially, some aspects of the Triune God.

 

The Trinity and the Created Order

The Love within the Trinity is Perfect and Complete. However, God Chose to Act 'Outside' of Himself in 'Creation', 'Revelation', and 'Sanctification':

We attribute 'Creation' to the Father, 'Revelation' to the Son, and 'Sanctification' to the Holy Spirit. The Almighty Power of God (associated with the Father Who is Power) is most clearly present in 'Creation', the bringing of things into Existence from nothing.

Since 'Revelation' is the unveiling God's Self-Knowledge, i.e., Wisdom, it is associated more with the Son Who is Wisdom.

'Sanctification', a sharing of God's own life, is only accomplished by God's loving self-gift of His own life, i.e., of Himself, to Human Beings. God's self-gift of Love is associated more with the Holy Spirit Who is Love.

Nevertheless, the Power of God (associated with the Father) is shown in God's Acts of 'Revelation' and 'Sanctification'. The Wisdom (associated with the Son) is present in 'Creation' and in 'Sanctification'. The Love of God (associated with the Holy Spirit) is present in 'Creation' and 'Revelation'. As Pope John Paul II writes: "Although the Work of Creation is attributed especially to God the Father - this we profess in the Creeds of the Faith: 'I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth' - it is also a Truth of Faith that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the Unique and Indivisible Principle of Creation". The 'Revelation' of God and the 'Sanctification' of Man are, just as Creation, the Work of the entire Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

Creation

God reveals in 'Creation' His Power (attributed to the Father). As stated by Pope John Paul, "The Creator's Omnipotence is shown . . . in calling Creatures into Existence from nothingness". God the Creator powerfully brings things into Existence out of nothing. In the Twentieth Century, the Sciences have offered us incredible feats of Power and even Majesty. The launch of the Saturn V Rocket that sent the first men to the Moon comes to mind, as do the truly wondrous miracles wrought daily in our hospitals. But even in this Twentieth Century, it is not possible to bring things into existence out of nothing. Further, 'Creation' is not only an Act of God's Power, it also reveals God's Wisdom. When we see the work of an artist, we see a reflection of the Divine Artist's knowledge. However, in God, all knowledge is included in His own self-knowledge, i.e., in His Wisdom, because His self-knowledge is Perfect. God's 'Revelation' of His Wisdom through His 'Creative-Act' is most obvious in the case of Man, who is made in God's own Image and Likeness. When anyone sees another Person, he sees an Image of God, i.e., he sees Wisdom (Divine self-knowledge). In addition, 'Creation' is an Act of God's Love. According to Pope John Paul: "To create means to give (especially to give existence). And he who gives, loves". In Creation, the Trinity - Power, Wisdom, and Love - Acts as One (1) Principle.

 

Revelation

The Work of 'Revelation', the Unveiling of God's Wisdom, is accomplished most completely through Christ, God the Son (the Wisdom of God) made Man. In and through the Incarnation and the Redemption, God's Wisdom is 'Revealed'. As the Second Vatican Council taught, Christ is "both the Mediator and the sum-total of Revelation" (Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation). Christ Himself said in response to Philip, who asked to see the Father, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father?'" God's Wisdom is 'Revealed' in every Act of Christ, but most especially in Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection. In the Paschal Mystery, Christ 'Revealed' God as One Who Loves. Thus, in 'Revealing' God as Love, Christ 'Revealed' the Divine self-knowledge, i.e., Wisdom. Further, Christ's life is not only the most-complete Manifestation of God's Wisdom, it is also an Act of Divine Power. The Power of God can be seen in the Union of the Two (2) Natures in the One (1) Divine Person (Hypostatic Union). The Power of God is also obviously present in the Miracles of Christ and in the Resurrection. But the awesome Power of God can most clearly be seen in the Effect of the Pascal Mystery, as Pope John Paul explains "Death is conquered with Death". In addition, in Christ's 'Revelation' of God's Wisdom, we see an Act of God's Love. The Incarnation shows us the self-gift (Love) of God. God "emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" - Philippians 2:7. He emptied Himself, i.e., He gave Himself; "And he who gives, loves", as explained by Pope John Paul. God's stupendous Love is also Marvelously Present on the Cross: "Greater Love has no Man than this, that a Man lay down his life for his friends" - John 15:13. The Incarnation and the Redemption were the Work of the Trinity. In the Incarnation and the Redemption, the Trinity - Power, Wisdom, and Love - Acts as One (1) Principle.

 

Sanctification

God carries on the Work of 'Sanctification' by giving Human Beings His very own life (Grace). This self-gift of God is clearly identified with the Holy Spirit. Just as it is fitting for the Son, Who is the Wisdom of God, to 'Reveal' the Truths about God to us, so it is fitting for the Holy Spirit, Who is Love, to 'Sanctify' us by giving us God's life. Love unites Persons. In the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit (Love) unites Father and Son. In the World, the Holy Spirit, through His Gift of Divine Love, i.e., Divine Life of Grace, unites Human Beings in the Union of all those who share God's Grace. Further, when God shares His life ( Grace) with Human Beings, it is not only an Act of His Love, it is also an Act of His Power. In giving Himself to us, God gives us new life. Just as God's Gift of Human Life in His Creative Act is an Act of Power, the giving of His Divine Life is also an Act of Power. God's caring for those He has Blessed with His Grace is also an Act of Power. He not only gives His Divine Life, He Cares and Nurtures that Divine Life, in all those who share it. The awesome number of People who share God's own life indicate the Scope and Magnitude of His Omnipotence exercised through the Gift of His own life. In addition, God's 'Sanctifying' Work 'Reveals' His Wisdom. All those who share God's life have "put on Christ" - Galatians 3:27. They are other Christs because they live God's own life. Christ, as the Wisdom of God, 'Revealed' Divine Wisdom. Other Christs 'Reveal' God's Wisdom in a way similar to Christ. In the Work of 'Sanctification', the Trinity - Power, Wisdom, and Love - Acts as One (1) Principle.

It is the teaching of the Church that all Exterior Activities (Ad Extra) of God are common to the Three (3) Divine Persons. Any Act of God on the Created World is an Act of the Three (3) Divine Persons acting as a Single (1) Principle. As Saint Thomas explains, "to produce any effect in creatures is common to the whole Trinity, by reason of the oneness of their Nature; since where there is one Nature there must be one Power and one Operation".

It is no wonder that before the Mystery of the One (1), Triune (3) God, we stand almost speechless in Awe, able only to mutter, "Glory to God in the Highest" - The 'Gloria'.

 

Audio Clips on the Trinity

by Father Richard Hogan, PhD,
and Fulbright Scholar

The above Four Audio Clips were produced by EWTN Radio and each is approximately 26 minutes long. To begin this Series, Father Hogan logically develops the Attributes of God necessary for understanding the Trinity, and once the Framework is Developed, begins to Unfold the various Mysteries of the Trinity. Understanding the Trinity is a Difficult, Slow, Repetitive Process you will have to Fight your way through, but "No Guts, no Glory", "No Pain, no Gain", "No Cross, no Crown". As a hopeful 'Bride of Christ', do you want to spend an Eternity married to a Stranger you know nothing about? Understanding the Trinity Reveals God's Infinite Love for us.