Confusion at "Secreta" in Latin mass


#1

I go to the Latin mass, and read a part that confused me. I think it's in the Secreta, but I may be wrong.

"...we believe of Thy Son and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or distinction."

I always thought there was a distinction between the persons of the Trinity, meaning that the Father is the "powerful" person, the Son is the "teacher", and the Holy Ghost is the "merciful" person in the Trinity. Am I totally wrong here? Can somebody help me with this?


#2

The Father is the*** generating ***Principle in the Godhead; and He possesses the totality of the Godhead. He generates His Self-knowledge in eternity. His Self-knowledge is the Son.
Because the Father knows Himself totally, nothing missing, everything that the Father is is in His Self-knowledge. So, the Son also possesses the totality of the Godhead.
The eternal total Self-giving Love from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the Father breathes forth (spirates) the Holy Spirit. Father and Son give themselves totally, so the Holy Spirit possesses the totality of the Godhead.

Keep in mind that **God is Spirit "only", **and that spirit has no physical makeup, and so cant be divided. To reinforce: the Divine Essence doesnt occupy space. Neither do the angels, and neither do our immortal souls.

One of the OF prayers (so long since ive attended an OF celebration of the Mass that ive forgotten which...probably one of the Eucharistic prayers?:blush:) says: "...equal in majesty..."

But, there`s a Heirarchy: Father >>> Son >>> Holy Spirit.
The Father "sends" the Son, and Father and Son "send" the Holy Spirit.

This goes deep into the Mystery of the Trinity:
www.katapi.org.uk/TandS/Contents.html

A later, print version of the book is available from Ignatius Press, but i dont think theres any significant difference. The relevant parts of the online one can be downloaded. The whole of the books worth reading, though. The online versions easier on the eyes...unless it`s been changed, Ignatius Press print seems to be spidery.

Bit of a ramble, but i hope it helps. :shrug:

PS
For God, we should say "Person", rather than "person". They`re vastly different.


#3

It sounds like the preface of the Holy Trinity:

It is truly meet and just, right for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and the Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out, with one voice saying: Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus…

Re-read the part after the bold:

So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored.

See? It sublimely explains the Blessed Trinity here. The part you were reading could be read as simply: we believe that the other Persons are Divine the same at You (Father) – in other words – we believe in the Holy Trinity.


#4

For a better explanation that I could ever give, here is the relevent section of the Baltimore Catechism No. 3:

Q. 180. What does "unity," and what does "trinity" mean?

A. "Unity" means being one, and "trinity" means three-fold or three in one.

Q. 181. Can we find an example to fully illustrate the mystery of the Blessed Trinity?

A. We cannot find an example to fully illustrate the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, because the mysteries of our holy religion are beyond comparison.

Q. 182. Is there but one God?

A. Yes; there is but one God.

Q. 183. Why can there be but one God?

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

Q. 184. What does "supreme" mean?

A. "Supreme" means the highest in authority; also the most excellent or greatest possible in anything. Thus in all things God is supreme, and in the Church the Pope is supreme.

Q. 185. When are two persons said to be equal?

A. Two persons are said to be equal when one is in no way greater than or inferior to the other.

Q. 186. 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.

Q. 187. What do "divine" and "distinct" mean?

A. "Divine" means pertaining to God, and "distinct" means separate; that is, not confounded or mixed with any other thing.

Q. 188. Is the Father God?

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

Q. 189. Is the Son God?

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

Q. 190. Is the Holy Ghost God?

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

Q. 191. Do "first," "second," and "third" with regard to the persons of the Blessed Trinity mean that one person existed before the other or that one is greater than the other?

A. "First," "second," and "third" with regard to the persons of the Blessed Trinity do not mean that one person was before the other or that one is greater than the other; for all the persons of the Trinity are eternal and equal in every respect. These numbers are used to mark the distinction between the persons, and they show the order in which the one proceeded from the other.

Q. 192. What do you mean by the Blessed Trinity?

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

Q. 193. Are the three Divine Persons equal in all things?

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

Q. 194. 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.

Q. 195. What do we mean by the "nature" and "substance" of a thing?

A. By the "nature" of a thing we mean the combination of all the qualities that make the thing what it is. By the "substance" of a thing we mean the part that never changes, and which cannot be changed without destroying the nature of the thing.

Q. 196. 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.


#5

[quote="aball1035, post:1, topic:297415"]
I
I always thought there was a distinction between the persons of the Trinity, meaning that the Father is the "powerful" person, the Son is the "teacher", and the Holy Ghost is the "merciful" person in the Trinity. Am I totally wrong here? Can somebody help me with this?

[/quote]

Actually, no. All of the persons of the Trinity share those same traits. What you are describing is a theology knows as "Modality", which is not a Catholic view.

The distinction (and the only true distinction) between the persons is that The Son is Begotton of the Father, and the Spirit Proceeds from the Father (through the Son).

The Father, Son and Spirit Will and Act as one in power, teaching and mercy. One is no more merciful than the other, for example, nor is one more powerful that the other. The Godhead shares equally in all Divine traits.


#6

[quote="aball1035, post:1, topic:297415"]
I go to the Latin mass, and read a part that confused me. I think it's in the Secreta, but I may be wrong.

"...we believe of Thy Son and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or distinction."

[/quote]

I think it should be "that of Thy Son and that of the Holy Ghost, without difference of distinction (genitive)" but it seems to be a tough one to translate into English. I don't know if the meaning is any clearer, but it might, if we look at the interlinear translation of the Latin. (I can't find the new translation of the Preface of the Holy Trinity.)

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare,

Truly deserved and just it is, right and saving,

nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:

we to You always and everywhere thanks give:

Domine Sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus:

Lord Holy, Father almighty, eternal God:

Qui cum unigenito Filio tuo, et Spiritu Sancto,

Who with only begotten Son Your, and Spirit Holy,

unus es Deus, unus es Dominus:

one You are God, one You are Lord:

non in unius singularitate personæ,

not in one single person,

sed in unius Trinitate substantiæ,

but in one Trinity of substance,

Quod enim de tua gloria, revelante te,

What for of Your glory, being revealed by You,

credimus, hoc de Filio tuo, hoc de Spiritu Sanctu,

we believe, that of Son Your, that of Spirit Holy,

sine differentia discretionis sentimus.

without difference of separation we perceive.

Ut in confessione veræ sempiternæque Deitatis,

That in confession of true and eternal Deity,

et in personis proprietas, et in essentia unitas,

and in persons distinction, and in essence unity,

et in majestate adoretur æqualitas.

and in majesty may be adored equality.


#7

[quote="Brendan, post:5, topic:297415"]
Actually, no. All of the persons of the Trinity share those same traits. What you are describing is a theology knows as "Modality", which is not a Catholic view.

The distinction (and the only true distinction) between the persons is that The Son is Begotton of the Father, and the Spirit Proceeds from the Father (through the Son).

The Father, Son and Spirit Will and Act as one in power, teaching and mercy. One is no more merciful than the other, for example, nor is one more powerful that the other. The Godhead shares equally in all Divine traits.

[/quote]

So I take it that the reason for the persons are to signify who is begotten and proceeds from who


#8

[quote="aball1035, post:7, topic:297415"]
So I take it that the reason for the persons are to signify who is begotten and proceeds from who

[/quote]

Well, the reasons for the Persons are that they exist ;) The Godhead is One Divine Being with three distinct Persons. That is simply what is.

We can distinguish between the Persons in that the Son is Begotten while the Sprit Proceeds.

Any discussion about Divine role, such as Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier or power, teaching, mercy ...etc, are really meaningless, as the Trinity always acts as one being with one Divine Will.


#9

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