How can we explain the Filioque?


#1

I’m just curious. I’m on the verge of accepting Catholicism, but I’m having difficulty with the papacy and the Filioque. What is the foundation of these things? Especially the Filioque?


#2

This document may help you.

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19851120en.html


#3

[quote="poptown, post:2, topic:313291"]
This document may help you.

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19851120en.html

[/quote]

:)


#4

[quote="JDGaney, post:1, topic:313291"]
I'm just curious. I'm on the verge of accepting Catholicism, but I'm having difficulty with the papacy and the Filioque. What is the foundation of these things? Especially the Filioque?

[/quote]

Some of the most thorough stuff I've read on the Filioque is by apologist Mark Bonocore. Here is his reply to Orthodox objections regarding the Filioque.


#5

If you're looking for an analogy to illustrate how the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, here is something that came to me the other day.

One explanation for the procession of the Holy Spirit is that the HS is the flow of love between the Father and the Son, thus the dual procession. In an arc light (explanatory article at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc_lamp ) there are two electrodes, and the light is the flow of electricity between the two. You have to have the two electrodes to have the light. Take away either electrode, and there is no light. The analogy extends itself pretty easily. If someone with more theological training wants to shoot some holes in it, I'll listen.


#6

Maybe just chalk it up to one of those things that still needs to be reformed?.......


#7

[quote="JDGaney, post:1, topic:313291"]
I'm just curious. I'm on the verge of accepting Catholicism, but I'm having difficulty with the papacy and the Filioque. What is the foundation of these things? Especially the Filioque?

[/quote]

The foundation of the Filioque?
It stems from the revelation of the Trinity.
We only know about them what they have told us.
They have told us their names.

The Father; The Son; The Holy Spirit.

In the catechism, you will find that we say -- the only differences discernable in the persons is by their relationship to each other.

The Father, then, is the origin. The Father is the one who begets a son. Also, a Father transmits life to a son. ( That's important to grasp. ).
The Son is the one who receives from the father his life; BUT, it's important to note that without having that life in himself, the son would be dead.

So, we have two names -- Father and Son and we know their relationship.
The last name is Holy Spirit. Spirit means breath (and a-spire, ex-spire, a-spirate, etc. all have to do with breathing.)

And breath or Spirit is Life.
That's why scripture says, "The life is in the blood"; for that's where the spirit resides. (There are bloodless animals, and that's not a contradiction if you read scripture carefully... )

Read the creeds from either the east or west, and both will admit: The Holy Spirit is the Lord the Giver of Life.

The Latin Church simply acknowledges first and foremost, that the Son has life in himself; and can transmit it. One of the analogies that Pope John paul tried to use with the eastern churches is that, you are the eastern lung -- and we are the western; yet we breathe together.

He was trying to underscore that natural reasoning can support multiple origins of breath in a body; and hence, the filioque is not naturally unreasonable nor a reason for division. A man (or church) is severly damaged by the loss of a lung.

Some previous posters allude to St. Thomas' reflections on the purpose of the Holy Spirit; but such an analogy is imperfect; although traditional. Love is not a single person of the Trinity. GOD is love.

All we really know about these three persons is what their names signify regarding their relationships with each other. Internal to the trinity, any act that one of them is doing -- they all are doing. The son is less than the father (in that the father is the Origin) and yet he is equal to the father (in that he does everything the Father is doing.)

If the father is breathing into the son, then it follows that the during the exhaling of the father -- the son is inhaling; and, if the son exhaled -- the father is simultaneously inhaling. (This is just an analogy). BUT: The very act of the father (and every act of the father), requires that the son be doing the same thing.

It's a mystery.
Everything beyond the little outline I just gave you is a subject called attribution; and is something I myself am still studying.


#8

Genesis chapter 1
[1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.*
[2] The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.*
[3] And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.*(See John below)

Gospel according to John chapter 1
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.*
[2] He was in the beginning with God;*
[3] all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.*
[4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men.*
[5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

(Continue w / Genesis)
[4] And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.*
[5] God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.*

As a point of interest, in this version the Sun was not yet made. Where did the light come from? The Son. (see John above)

According to Scripture, the Spirit was present with God and the Son~just sayin'

As a point of interest #2 ~ Did you ever realize the Trinity was mentioned in the first three verses of the OT?

Bible quotes from RSV


#9

[quote="ChurchSoldier, post:8, topic:313291"]
Genesis chapter 1
[1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.*
[2] The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.*
[3] And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.*(See John below)

Gospel according to John chapter 1
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.*
[2] He was in the beginning with God;*
[3] all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.*
[4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men.*
[5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

(Continue w / Genesis)
[4] And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.*
[5] God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.*

As a point of interest, in this version the Sun was not yet made. Where did the light come from? The Son. (see John above)

According to Scripture, the Spirit was present with God and the Son~just sayin'

As a point of interest #2 ~ Did you ever realize the Trinity was mentioned in the first three verses of the OT?

Bible quotes from RSV

[/quote]

Respectfully, Genesis here speaks of created, not Uncreated light. This created light cannot be God the Son, as He is Uncreated.


#10

Not created, but begotten. I don't know if that is the meaning of the text, but an argument could be made.


#11

The problem with understanding the Trinity is that we can't. God who is one in essence and three in person (my favored explanation) is still a notion constructed for human reasoning and falls short of the God about which it speaks. No one who is finite can grasp the infinite. We talk about the infinite but what we mean is, "Lots and lots more than I can count" or "Bigger than can be measured" etc, etc. As St Augustine said we conceive of God as being that thing in our selves, such as love, but to a superlative degree, but we cannot ever know perfect love because we have never loved anything perfectly because of sin.

So concerning the Trinity the Bible makes it clear that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and neither explains or apologizes for this confession. Our response to this is to accept that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and in those ways that it defies our explanation we have to accept that we cannot know God completely.

However that does not mean that we cannot know God at all.

Scripture tells us that the Son is begotten, this is of course problematic because to beget is to cause something to begin to exist and the Bible is pretty clear that this is not so. So we fumble around with the notions of the ever-present now and try to think of an eternal Father and eternal Son eternally begotten, but really what we are saying is....

"Well I understand what Father means and I understand Son and I have some apprehension of what Spirit means, so I can meditate on these relationships and think of them as perfect and eternal and, without a brain cramp, have some notion of what God is like."

In other words we take what we know of ourselves and think about it in a superlative fashion. Which is exactly the point.

God, who knows we cannot know Him, nevertheless has given us ways to think about Him in such a fashion that we can understand. We do this without full comprehension, but nevertheless a perfect Father who perfectly loves His Son who perfectly loves His Church and empowers us by the Spirit in perfect love so that we may commune with Christ as Christ does with Father...

Well those are all ideas we can understand.

So to a certain extent we have to take the words at face value in light of eternity and infinity and perfection, and in those places we cannot understand we have to punt to mystery and accept the Word is true and truthfully given for us and for our good.

God Bless


#12

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