How can one explain the Holy Trinity?

My elderly father says he cannot get his mind wrapped around the Trinity.
I don’t know what to say to him because, tbh, I don’t really understand it either how one “person” can be 3 components.
Even sometimes when I pray I say “dear God” then “dear Jesus” just to cover all bases :woman_facepalming:.
It probably doesn’t help that there also are official Catholic prayers to Jesus particularly, or Holy Spirit particularly etc…

Is there a way to explain it (it needs to be realistic as my dad is very intelligent) and also to get out of the frame of mind that I’m praying to three people/spirits?


The Most Holy Trinity is not like three independent human people would be, with three minds and wills. The Most Holy Trinity has essentially the three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with only one divine will and mind. The three divine persons reciprocally penetrate and indwell in one another. Yet, in Jesus Christ there are two natures unconfusedly , unchangeably. In Jesus Christ are two wills.

Catechism 461 states: “the Church calls “Incarnation” the fact that the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it.”


The way I’ve come up with an understanding is, that we are made in God’s image.

So, using that, the Trinity is as follows:

Father = the soul of God.

Son = the body of God in Jesus Christ

Holy Spirit = the spirit of God.


I just read about this yesterday. Matthew 3:13-17. Jesus comes to be baptized by
John in the Jordan. The heavens open and the spirit pf God descends like a dove.
A voice from above says "This is my son whom love.

There is the Holy Trinity - God proclaiming Jesus as his son and the Holy Spirit
descending from God to Jesus.


Read “Theology for Beginners” by Frank Sheed. It has one of the best explanations of the Trinity I have heard, and although the Trinity cannot be completely understood, this explanation will make some sense of it.


St Patrick used the shamrock: one God, one substance, three persons.

Here is a small peak into the Most Holy Trinity-- One God but their divine persons. The family is an example of the blessed Trinity, the father is one man but has distinct relationships that are different. …in a family Dad is father to his children but to his wife he relates as husband and to his own Dad he relates as son but he is one person. Again as we know the blessed Trinity is a mystery but a terrific adventure to reflect on, meditate on and to ask each person of the blessed Trinity to teach us about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Knew a priest who would say to his flock…"when you wake up in the morning ask Jesus to teach you about the Father and when you come to the end of your day …reflect on what happened throughout your day. " See what Jesus was trying to teach you about the Father.

You might find the short lessons on “The One and Triune God” from the International Catholic University helpful.

Jesus prays that we will be ‘One’ in the same way that he is ‘One’ with the Father.

The Holy trinity is one of those mysteries I believe our limitted human minds cannot fully understand in this life. I see the Holy Trinity as the manifestation of perfect love.
God the father, the creator is perfect Love, because He loves, there must be another person to receive and reciprocate that perfect love, and that is the 2nd person of the Trinity, the eternally begotten son, Jesus. Now through this perfect love between Father and Son and vise versa, a spirit of love generates eternally from both persons, and that is the 3 rd person, the Holy Spirit. God reflects the reality of the Trinity in His creation in some ways…for example…Out of reciprocal love of a man and a woman, a child is born, they are 3, but are one, through love.


Read Bible where is says “The Word was made flesh” then meditate upon it and when it’s time God will give you glimpse of mistery, but never in full! That is so so you can spend the whole life discovering and living the Faith.

That’s not accurate for describing the Trinity. That’s the heresy of Modalism, which asserts the persons are not distinct, but are just different modes of the same God.


thats why i said for a start, not for an end.

there u go i deleted it, we dont want heresy!

Yes, but if you start wrongly, you end up even more wrongly. If you aim the rifle off by an inch at the firing line, you will miss the target by a yard. And your “start” wasn’t just a little bit incorrect. Thank you for removing it.

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There’s nothing more realistic than a person, even an intelligent person, not being able to fully understand something. If an individual would be able to acknowledge that fact of themselves, it would be a sign of intelligence.

Love that!

One thing I would say to your father is why would he assume that he can get his mind wrapped around the Trinity? If God is infinite and eternal, how could our finite and mortal minds wrap around Him? So the fact he doesn’t fully understand it is good, no one who believes in the Trinity does.
But the easiest way it was explained to me was: In the One Being/Nature/Substance of God/The Divine are three co-equal and co-eternal Persons, namely, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These Three Persons are not eachother, but seperate in their Personhood. Emphasizing the distinction between person and being is vital. If one doesn’t understand the distinction then the Trinity will be missed. An example of the distinction would be: A human is a being and a person, but a rock is not a person but has being/nature.
You misspoke when you said:

God is not one person, but three Persons in One Being. Some will think how is that possible? Since God is outside of time and the material realm, why would we question how God can exist in this way? If God exists out of dimensions, then He is a hyper-dimensional being meaning He can exist in ways that are different than us. To assume God must exist as one person in one being is a fallacy. God has revealed in Scripture that He is One, but that He exists as three co-equal and co-eternal Persons.
Hope that helps

God bless!

That sums up the prayer of Jesus in John 17 - that we may be one as Jesus is one with the Father.

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Or maybe…

God the Father - Heart
God the Son - Mind
God’s Spirit

I wonder if the greatest commandments could describe this love?

God the Father loves all that he is with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength.
God the Father loves the Son as he loves himself.
God the Son loves the Father as he loves himself.

Can the Father love the Son more than he loves himself?

In the NIV Bible, there is a translation of 1 Samuel 18, which links the spirit and the 2nd greatest commandment together. I have not seen this translation in any other Bible.

NIV Bible, Samuel 1 - 18

  1. After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.

Profound and beyond my understanding !

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