REFLECTION: MOST HOLY TRINITY
May 29-30, 2021
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central and greatest revealed mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “Consubstantial Trinity.”
God is one but not solitary; God is a family of three divine persons. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves, but each of them is God whole and entire because each of them equally possess the fullness of the one and indivisible divine nature. The divine persons are really distinct from one another in their relation of origin; i.e. it is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and Son . There is only one nature, substance, essence to designate the divine being in its unity, but three persons (hypostasis) in view of their interacting relationship. Inseparable in what they are, the divine persons are also inseparable in what the do. Each divine person perform the common work according to His unique personal property; i.e. One God and – Father from whom, Son through whom and Holy Spirit in whom all things are. Each person is co-equal and co-eternal in one Godhead.
Christian life is a communion with each of the divine persons, without in any way of separating them. Think of God as one being that is composed of three “I’s” or persons (Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier), each of whom is fully God. You can envision this when you recite the Gloria and the Nicene Creed at mass. We pray to each person of the Trinity because of the unique personal property each person performs in our lives even though they share the same essence. Jesus speaks to the Father as another person even though He has the same nature, is co-equal and co-eternal as the Father because His relationship with the Father as a separate person is different. And because Jesus took on a human nature and that He proceeds from the Father, He can say that the Father is greater than He. Even though the three persons act in unity, from oral and written sacred tradition, we envision them separably as follows: God the Father as creator, covenant maker, Lawgiver, and care giver; God the Son as the Word of God, Redeemer, and mercy; and God the Holy Spirit as Love, Life, Truth, and grace giver.
The classic summary of St. Paul’s belief in the Trinity is the benediction that closes 2 Corinthians: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” For further insight See The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 234, 252-267.