Sunday, 26 May 2013

Trinity? What Trinity?

For centuries people have been trying to comprehend the mystery of the Holy Trinity as if it is a puzzle which we are meant to resolve and when we do we get a prize.

God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit ... (no title) ... three in one. What is that supposed to mean?

We accept (those of us who believe) that God exists and is up there somewhere, in Heaven , above the clouds or wherever. He has always existed and has created us as well as everything else in the Universe and beyond. OK ... we can understand and believe that.

Then there is Jesus. Born as a baby of a Virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit, and came to earth as a human. OK ... so He is the Son of God.

But wait a minute ... in the Credo it says I believe "in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. God of God, light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made."

Jesus was begotten, not made by God just like He made us and everything else. "Before all ages" - this means that Jesus has always existed. He did not just begin to exist when He was born on earth. When He was born on earth is when He appeared to us in human form. But before that, He has always existed with God, because He is God.

Consubstantial to the Father. From Latin consubstantialem, of one essence or substance. This word was used by the Council of Nicaea (325) when they wrote the Credo to express the Divinity of Christ. The Trinity is not a hierarchy. It isn't God at the top, then Jesus, and then the Holy Spirit. All three are equal and one; and have always been so.

Confusing? I suppose it is. But there's more.

We are then told about the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of God - His soul perhaps. He doesn't have a title as such. God is God, the Creator, Our Father in Heaven. Jesus is His only Son, our Saviour. But the Holy Spirit ... no title!


It was St Hilary of Poitiers, a Bishop in the 3rd Century AD, who first described the Holy Spirit as ‘the gift’. He is the gift given to us by God after Jesus ascended into Heaven. He is the very Spirit of God Himself. His very soul come back to us on earth to dwell within us and to help us in our Christian life. That’s why He is sometimes referred to as the Helper, the Counselor, God’s own Being living within us.

And that is the Holy Trinity which we believe in and perhaps don't understand.

But let's be honest, there are many men in this world who do not understand their wives; so what hope have we really got of understanding the Holy Trinity?

When we get to meet St Peter we will not sit an exam to check how much we have learnt and what we understand.

God will instead look into our hearts ... our Faith ... and our actions.

God does not ask us to understand Him ... He asks us to trust Him and love Him.

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful!

    One God in three persons. They are one because of one substance, but also because of their perfect love. God, therefore, is the perfect community.

    Blessings,

    Jose D. Pinell.

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  2. My husband in his homily today spoke about the Trinity as being like a family. Or community.
    The thing is, we just cannot wrap our minds around it. We just believe.
    Great post.

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    Replies
    1. I agree Colleen. It's a matter of believing without questioning.

      God bless.

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  3. A great message, Victor. A mystery wouldn't be a mystery if it was easily understood, would it? I think it takes humility to accept what we can't understand and it's that humility which gains us entry to Heaven.

    God bless, Victor:-)

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    Replies
    1. The problem Vicky is that humility is in short supply in the world today.

      God bless you.

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  4. Your last line really struck me Victor. God doesnt ask us to understand Him, only trust and love Him. Wonderful line. I will remember that in my conversations with others struggling to believe.

    God Bless you.

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    Replies
    1. That's right Michael. Christianity does not require us to understand and sit exams. Only Faith.

      God bless you Michael.

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  5. Great post about a puzzling subject, Victor. Even as a child the idea of the Trinity confused me and that didn't lessen at all over the years :)

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    Replies
    1. I see what you mean Mary. It is a difficult subject to understand; and probably God does not want us to. Just to believe and trust.

      God bless you and yours.

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