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===Trinitarianism and other Christian conceptions===
To [[Trinitarianism|trinitarian]] Christians (which for many centuries has represented the vast Christian majority), God the Father is not at all a separate god from the Son (of whom [[Jesus]] is the incarnation) and the [[Holy Spirit]], the other members of the [[Godhead (Christianity)|Christian Godhead]]. Trinitarian Christians describe these three persons as a [[Trinity]]. This means that they always exist as three distinct "persons" (Greek ''hypostases''), but they are one God, each having full identity as God himself (a single "substance"), a single "divine nature" and power, and a single "divine will".
Other Christians, however, have held a very diverse variety of alternative ideas. A handful have described the Father, Jesus Christ and Spirit as each a distinct, eternally existent being ([[tritheism]]), or as a different "manifestation" of a single being ([[modalism]]). Some have theorized that the relationship of Father and Son began at some point probably outside of normal "history" ([[Arianism]]); and others have believed that God became a Father when he uttered his creating Λογος ("logos" or "word"), who is both a principle of order and a living being to whom God bears the relationship as Father (some [[gnosticism|gnostics]]). Others found strong affinity with traditional [[paganism|pagan]] ideas of a savior or hero who is begotten by deity, an idea of the Father similar to [[Mithraism]] or the cult of the Roman emperor.
For most Christians, the person of God the Father is the ultimate, and on occasion the exclusive addressee of prayer, often in the ''name of'' Jesus Christ. The [[Lord's Prayer]], for example, begins, "Our Father who art in Heaven...."
In the New Testament, God the Father has a special role in his relationship with the person of the Son, where Jesus is believed to be his Son and his heir (Hebrews 1:2-5). According to the Nicene Creed, the Son (Jesus Christ) is "eternally begotten of the Father", indicating that their ''divine'' Father-Son relationship is not tied to an event within time or human history. ''See'' [[Christology]].
In [[Eastern Orthodox]] theology, God the Father is the "source" or "origin" of both the Son and the Holy Spirit; in Western theology, all three hypostases or persons have their origin in the divine nature instead. The Cappadocian Fathers used this Eastern Orthodox monarchian understanding to explain why trinitarianism is not tritheism: "God is one because the Father is one," said [[Basil the Great]] in the fourth century. In the eighth century, [[John of Damascus]] wrote at greater length about the Father's role:
: ''Whatsoever the Son has from the Father, the Spirit also has, including His very being. And if the Father does not exist, then neither does the Son and the Spirit; and if the Father does not have something, then neither has the Son or the Spirit. Furthermore, because of the Father, that is, because of the fact that the Father is, the Son and the Spirit are; and because of the Father, the Son and the Spirit have everything that they have.''

Culture Religion

  •  Beatific Vision  (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  •  Blessed Trinity  (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  •  God Three Persons of (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  •  God Relation of the Universe to (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  •  God Nature and Attributes of (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  •  God Existence of (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  •  Nature and Attributes of God  (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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~WHO IS GOD~

  1. Christ's True Humanity
  2. Christ assumed a real body, not an apparent body. (De fide.)
  3. Christ assumed not only a body but also a rational soul. (De fide.)
  4. Christ was truly generated and born of a daughter of Adam, the Virgin Mary. (De fide.)

    The Union of His Two Natures in the one Person, Christ
  5. The Divine and the human natures are united hypostatically in Christ, that is, joined to each other in one Person (De fide.) (a) Christ Incarnate is a single, that is, a sole Person. He is God and man at the same time. (b) The God-Logos is connected with the flesh by an inner, physical or substantial unification. Christ is not the bearer of God, but is God really. (c) The human and the divine activities predicated of Christ in Holy Writ and in the Fathers may not be divided between two persons or hypostases, the Man-Christ and the God-Logos, but must be attributed to the one Christ, the Logos become Flesh. It is the Divine Logos, who suffered in the flesh, was crucified, died, and rose again. (d) The Holy Virgin is the Mother of God since she truly bore the God-Logos become Flesh.
  6. In the Hypostatic Union each of the two natures of Christ continues unimpaired, untransformed and unmixed with the other. (De fide.)
  7. Each of the two natures in Christ possesses its own natural will and its own natural mode of operation. (De fide.)
  8. The Hypostatic Union of Christ's human nature with the Divine Logos took place at the moment of conception. (De fide.)
  9. The Hypostatic Union was never interrupted. (Sent. certa.)
  10. The Hypostatic Union will never cease. (De fide.)
  11. The Blood in the Living Body of Jesus Christ is an integral constituent part of human nature, immediately, not merely mediately, united with the Person of the Divine Logos. (Sent. certa

The Unity and Trinity of God
by Catholic.net


Baltimore Catechism Part 4 Lesson 3

January 22, 2004 / Lesson 3: ON THE UNITY AND TRINITY OF GOD

    21.Q. Is there but one God?

    22.Q. Why can there be but one God?

    23.Q. How many persons are there in God?

    24.Q. Is the Father God?

    25.Q. Is the Son God?

    26.Q. Is the Holy Ghost God?

    2. Q. What do you mean by the Blessed Trinity?

    28.Q. Are the three Divine Persons equal in all things?

    29.Q. Are the three Divine Persons one and the same God?

    30.Q. Can we fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and the same God?

    31.Q. What is a mystery?

    A. A mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand.


Lesson 3: ON THE UNITY AND TRINITY OF GOD


"Unity" means to be one, and "Trinity," three in one.




21. Q. Is there but one God?


A. Yes; there is but one God.




22. Q. Why can there be but one God?


A. There can be but one God because God, being supreme and infinite, cannot
have an equal.


"Supreme" that is, the highest. "Equal" when two are equal one
has everything the other has. You could say one pen is the equal of another if
it is just as nice and will write just as well; one mechanic is the equal of
another if he can do the work equally well. Two boys are equal in class if
they have exactly the same marks at the end of the month or year. You could
not have two persons chief For example, you could not have two chief generals
in an army; two presidents in the nation, or two governors in a state, or two
mayors in a city, or two principals in a school, unless they divide equally
their power, and then they will be equals and neither of them chief. God
cannot divide His power with anyone-so as to give it away entirely-because we
say He is infinite, and that means to have all. Others have only the loan of
their power from God. Therefore, all power and authority come from God; so
that when we disobey our parents or superiors who are placed over us, we
disobey God Himself.




23. Q. How many persons are there in God?


A. In God there are three divine persons really distinct and equal in
all things-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.


"Distinct," not mingled together. We call the first and second persons
Father and Son, because the second is begotten by the first person, and not to
indicate that there is any difference in their age. We always see in the world
that a father is older than his son, so we get the idea perhaps that it is the
same in the Holy Trinity. But it is not so. God the Father, and God the Son,
and God the Holy Ghost existed from all eternity, and one did not exist before
the other. God the Son is just as old as God the Father, and this is another
great mystery. Even in nature we see that two things may begin to exist at the
same time, and yet one be the cause of the other. You know that fire is the
cause of heat; and yet the heat and the fire begin at the same time. Though we
cannot understand this mystery of the Father and Son, we must believe it on the
authority of God, who teaches it. First, second, and third person in the
Blessed Trinity does not mean, therefore, that one person was before the other,
or brought into existence by the other.




24. Q. Is the Father God?


A. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.




25. Q. Is the Son God?


A. The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.




26. Q. Is the Holy Ghost God?


A. The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.




2. Q. What do you mean by the Blessed Trinity?


A. By the Blessed Trinity I mean one God in three Divine Persons.




28. Q. Are the three Divine Persons equal in all
things?


A. The three Divine Persons are equal in all things.




29. Q. Are the three Divine Persons one and the same
God?


A. The three Divine Persons are one and the same God, having one and the
same divine nature and substance.


Though they are one and the same, we sometimes attribute different works
to them. For example, works of creation we attribute to God the Father; works
of mercy to God the Son; and works of love and sanctification to the Holy
Ghost; and you will often find them thus spoken of in pious books; but all such
works are ..done by all the Persons of the Trinity; because such works are the
works of God, and there is but one God.




30. Q. Can we fully understand how the three Divine
Persons are one and the same God?


A. We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and the
same God, because this is a mystery.


"Fully"--entirely. We can partly understand it. We know what
one God is and we know what three persons are; but how these two things go
together is the part we do not understand-the mystery.




* 31. Q. What is a mystery?

A. A mystery is a truth which we cannot fully
understand.


"A truth," that is, a revealed truth-one made known to us by God or His
Church. It is a truth which we must believe though we cannot understand it.
Let us take an example. When a boy goes to school he is taught that the earth
is round like an orange and revolving in two ways, one causing day and night
and the other producing the seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. The boy
goes out into the country where he sees miles of level land and mountains
thousands of feet in height. Again he goes out on the ocean where sailors tell
him it is several miles in depth.


Now he may say: how can the earth be round if deep valleys, high mountains, and
level plains prove to my senses the very opposite, and the countless things at
rest upon its surface tell me it is motionless. Yet he believes even against
the testimony of his senses that the earth is round and moving, because
his-teacher could have no motive in deceiving him; knows better than he, having
learned more, and besides has been taught by others who after long years of
careful study and research have discovered these things and know them to be
true. If therefore we have to believe things that we do not understand on the
authority of men, why should we not believe other truths on the authority of
God? Yes, we must believe Him. If a boy knew all his teacher knew there would
be no need of his going to school; he would be the equal in knowledge of his
teacher, and if we knew all that God knows we would be as great as He. As well
might we try to empty the whole ocean into the tiny holes that children dig in
the sand by its shore, as fully to comprehend the wisdom of God. This is the
mistake unbelievers make when they wish to understand with their limited
intelligence the boundless knowledge and mysterious ways of God, and when they
cannot understand refuse to believe. Are they not extremely foolish? Would
you not ridicule the boy who refuses to believe that the earth is round and
moving because he cannot understand it? As he grows older and learns more he
will comprehend it better; so we, when we leave this world and come into the
presence of God, shall see clearly many things that are unintelligible now.
For the present, we have only to believe them on the authority of God teaching
us. Another example. We take two little black seeds that look just alike and
place them in the same kind of soil; we put the same kind of water upon them;
they have the same sunlight and air, and yet when they grow up one has a red
flower and one a blue. Where did the red and where did the blue come from?
From the black seed, or the brown soil, or the pure water, air and sunlight?
We do not know. It is there, and that is all. We see it and believe it,
though we do not understand it.


So if we refuse to believe everything we do not understand, we shall soon
believe very little and make ourselves ridiculous.


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Acts of

Act of Adoration
Jesus, my God, I adore You, here present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, where You wait day and night to be our comfort while we await Your unveiled presence in heaven. Jesus, my God, I adore You in all places where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved and where sins are committed against this Sacrament of Love. Jesus, my God, I adore You for all time, past, present and future, for every soul that ever was, is or shall be created. Jesus, my God, who for us has endured hunger and cold, labor and fatigue, I adore You. Jesus, my God, who for my sake has deigned to subject Yourself to the humiliation of temptation, to the perfidy and defection of friends, to the scorn of Your enemies, I adore You. Jesus, my God, who for us has endured the buffeting of Your passion, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the heavy weight of the cross, I adore You. Jesus, my God, who, for my salvation and that of all mankind, was cruelly nailed to the cross and hung there for three long hours in bitter agony, I adore You. Jesus, My God, who for love of us did institute this Blessed Sacrament and offer Yourself daily for the sins of men, I adore You. Jesus, my God, who in Holy Communion became the food of my soul, I adore You. Jesus, for You I live. Jesus, for You I die. Jesus, I am Yours in life and death. Amen.

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 God, Who is God?- Does God really exist?- How can we know?- If God made everything, who made God?- the I AM
    The Most Holy Trinity, God is a Family, only One God
    God the Father in Christianity, in Judaism, in Islam, in polytheistic religions
    God the Son, Jesus Christ -
The Messiah, God, Man, Work of Jesus, How to Appropriate the Work of Christ
    God the Holy Spirit, work of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the One who is always with you to purify and sanctify you
   

NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST
Today begins the Novena to the Holy Ghost preceding the Feast of Pentecost. It is one of the oldest novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. To encourage devotion to the Holy Spirit, Holy Mother Church has enriched this novena with and indulgence of ten years on any day of the novena with a plenary indulgence if one participates in at least five exercises and moreover go to confession, receive Holy Communion and pray for the proper intentions. Accompanying each day is the Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Today is First Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost

THE BLESSED TRINITY: AN EXPLANATION


Mother Church, in her Divine Wisdom, tells us that there are Three Persons in the One True God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This truth is often called the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity

The idea that One God could be three Persons is not easy for a child, who lacks abstract reasoning abilities, to understand. Realizing this fact, religious instructors often dismiss young students' questions by saying "The Trinity is a mystery". Unfortunately, this gives the children the impression that one can know nothing about the inner nature of the Triune Godhead, and that the doctrine of the Trinity can neither be explained nor understood at all.

This is not so. A "mystery" is not something we can know nothing about; it is something which we know but can never entirely comprehend. Thus everything having to do with our Infinite Creator is a mystery, for the depths of God are ultimately incomprehensible. Yet we do know something about God, for God has revealed Himself to us. And one thing God has revealed is that there are Three Persons in the Godhead.

A Contradiction?

This is not a contradiction. If Mother Church said "God is Three Persons - but really only one Person," or "There are three Gods - but really only One God," those would be contradictory statements. But she says that there are Three Persons in one God, meaning that the Three Persons share one and the same Divine Nature.

The words person and nature describe two different things. Person denotes who someone is, while nature denotes what one is. So if we ask "Who is God?", the answer is "God is Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit". If we ask "What is God?" the answer is "God is One - a Single Divine Nature". If we put these two truths together we find that God is Three Divine Persons who share one Divine Nature.

Here's an example to help you understand: Let's say there are three men - John, James and Joe. Each one thinks, loves and decides for himself, yet they are joined in such a way that they all share the same soul. John can think with James' intellect, because it is also his own; James can love with Joe's will, because it is his will as well.

Now, if we ask John; "Are you a person?" he'd say "Yes, I am a person." James and Joe would say the same thing, for each is a distinct person from the other. Yet we can't say there are three distinct human beings, since they share one human nature among them. Likewise with God. There are not three Gods, there is only one God; one Divine Nature possessed equally and totally by three distinct Persons.

Origin of the Doctrine

Some have tried to claim that Christians copied the Trinity from similar pagan concepts. This is not the case, however. The accompanying article, Is the Trinity a Pagan Concept? addresses this charge in-depth.

So where does this doctrine really come from? The Bible! Though the word trinity never appears in Scripture, the concept is based on the biblical teachings regarding God.

Sacred Scripture tells us that there is only one God (Dt 4:35; Isaiah 45:5; 46:9). Yet it also refers to three distinct persons as "God": God the Father (Gal 1:1), Jesus Christ His Son (Jn 1:1; 20:28) and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3,4). Since God cannot lie or contradict Himself, His Word cannot contain discrepancies. This seeming contradiction is easily reconciled by the belief that the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are Three distinct Persons in One God. This is the truth which God was conveying through Scripture, a truth which Christians later labled "The Trinity" (literally "tri-unity").

Christians also believe that God is Triune based on the biblical revelation that God is Love (I John 4:8, 16). Love cannot exist all alone; it is by very nature directed toward another. We love someone or something, who is the object of our love. In fact, in order for love to exist there must be three elements:

  1. A "Lover", that is, one who does the loving
  2. A "Beloved" - the one who is loved, and
  3. The Love itself which binds them together
Now if God is Love, and love needs these three elements, then these elements must exist in God. And they do: God the Father is the Eternal Lover, God the Son is the Beloved (Eph 1:6; Mt 3:17) and the Holy Spirit is the Divine Love binding Them together eternally.

Some may object "What if one loves oneself? Then there are only two elements". Actually, there are three elements here as well, for the "beloved" in this case is actually ones self-concept! We each have a particular concept of ourselves (which may or may not be accurate!). If we "love ourselves" we are really loving our self-concept, and if we don't "love ourselves" it's really that self-concept which we find unlovable for some reason. So in love of self, the "lover" is the self, the beloved is the self-concept, and the self-love is the third principle.

This is also an excellent image of the Holy Trinity, for it clearly reveals the origin of the Beloved Son. The Second Person of the Trinity is the Personal Expression of the Father's eternal Self-Concept. Thus the Beloved Son is also called the "Word" (John 1:1), the Expression or Utterance of God. The Father loves the Son because the latter is a perfect Image of Himself (Col 1:16; He 1:3), a perfect Self-Concept (after all, how could the Omniscient One have an imperfect Self-Concept?). And the Holy Spirit arises from the Father's love for His Son/Word.

Thus the Father, Son and Holy Spirit do parallel the Self/Concept/Love-of-Self "trinity" mentioned above. (The main difference being that the Former are three distinct Persons, while the latter are not).

Three Persons

The Persons of the Trinity are not exactly like human persons. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not three separate "consciousnesses" in God, each with His own intellect and will. Rather they are three distinct subjects of consciousness who share one Intellect and one Will. The distinction between the Three Persons is in their relation toward one another: the Father is the "Begettor", the Son is the "Begotten One", and the Holy Spirit is the "Spiration". This is how the Three are differentiated from one another.

Though each Person is distinct from the other two, they do not act separately. What the Father does, the Son and Holy Spirit do as well. The Godhead acts as one. We sometimes appropriate an activity to one Person or another, such as when we call the Father "Creator", the Son "Redeemer" and the Spirit "Sanctifier". Yet these designations are not absolute; the entire Trinity actually participates in creation, so all Three Persons are "Creator". The entire Trinity makes us holy, so all Three are "Sanctifier" as well, etc..

So God is Three Persons; So What?

Some people seem to believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is irrelevant to our spirituality and Christian walk. Nothing could be more untrue! Christians are called to have a relationship with God; surely it is important for us to know the One Whom we worship and love.

The truth that God is "Three-in-One" also shows us that there is a "Community of Love" within the Godhead. God is not a solitary Monarch, reigning all alone in Eternity. Rather, God is a "Family", so to speak; a Father and a Son bound together by an Eternal Love which is a Third Person, the Holy Spirit. This is a very beautiful thought.

Finally, the doctrine of the Trinity allows us to understand how God gives us a share in His own Divine Life. The Father sends the Son, Who becomes flesh, taking on Himself our human nature. The Son then unites us to His Sacred Humanity, making us one Body with Him. By this union we also partake of His divine nature (see II Peter 1:4), and so become sons and daughters of God in the Eternal Son. Jesus then loves the Father in us, and the Father loves Jesus in us, and so their mutual Love, the Holy Spirit, becomes present in our souls. The Spirit causes us to proclaim that Jesus is Lord (I Corinthians 12:3) and cries within us "Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).

Yes, it is the Holy Trinity who divinizes us, making us created partakers in God's own life and adopted members of the Heavenly Family. By the act of Creation and Redemption, the Godhead has "extended" (so to speak), the Eternal Family into the created realm; not by making us God by nature, but by the Son becoming human and giving us a share in the divine nature.