The Holy Trinity
Perhaps the deepest, the most profound of all mysteries is the mystery of the Trinity. The Church teaches us that although there is only one God, yet, somehow, there are three Persons in God. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, yet we do not speak of three Gods, but only one God. They have the same nature, substance, and being.
We came to know this immense mystery because Christ revealed it to us. Just before ascending He told them: "Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). We know that these Three are not just different ways of looking at one person. For at the Last Supper, Jesus told us: "I came forth from the Father." So He is different from the Father. But He also promised: "If I go, I will send Him [the Paraclete] to you. . . . He will guide you to all truth" (John 16:28, 7, 13). So the Holy Spirit is also different.
Even though the Three Persons are One God, yet they are distinct: for the Father has no origin, He came from no one. But the Son is begotten, He comes from the Father alone. The Holy Spirit comes or proceeds from both the Father and the Son. These different relations of origin tell us there are three distinct Persons, who have one and the same divine nature.
Even though everything the Three Persons do outside the Divine nature is done by all Three, yet it is suitable that we attribute some works specially to one or the other Person. So we speak of the Father especially as the power of creation, of the Son as the wisdom of the Father, of the Holy Spirit as goodness and sanctification.
The two doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation are the foundation of Christian life and worship. By becoming man, God the Son offered us a share in the inner life of the Trinity. By grace, we are brought into the perfect communion of life and love which is God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This sharing in the life of the Trinity is meant to culminate in heaven, where we will see the three Persons face to face, united to them in unspeakable love.
Taken from The
Basic Catholic Catechism
PART TWO: The Apostle's Creed
First Article of the Creed: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth."
By William G. Most. (c)Copyright 1990 by William G. Most
Electronic text (c) Copyright EWTN 1997. All rights reserved.
Continue on to Q&A on the Trinity
Back to the teachings on God and His Creation main menu
The Holy Spirit
Novena & Caplet to the Holy Spirit:
The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is
the oldest of all 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 Spirit 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.
It commemorates the nine days between the Ascension of Our Lord and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost Sunday. During this time Our Lady and the twelve Apostles prayed in the upper room for the coming of the Paraclete.
(opens in a new webpage)
Come, O Creator Spirit blest! And in our souls take up Thy rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid, To fill the hearts which Thou hast made. Great Paraclete! To Thee we cry, O highest gift of God most high! O font of life! O fire of love! And sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known, The finger of God's hand we own; The promise of the Father, Thou! Who dost the tongue with power endow.
Kindle our senses from above, And make our hearts overflow with love; With patience firm and virtue high The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread, And grant us Thy true peace instead; So shall we not, with Thee for guide, Turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow The Father and the Son to know, And Thee, through endless times confessed, Of both, the eternal Spirit blest.
All glory while the ages run Be to the Father and the Son Who rose from death; the same to Thee, O Holy Spirit, eternally.