[quote="Beryllos, post:18, topic:443004"]
Yeah, I suspect the poster meant "modalism." I've never heard of monalism. Modalism is the error that teaches that the Trinity exists at various times and places AS the Father, Son, OR Holy Spirit. In other words, God changes His "mode" depending on a number of factors. It would be like comparing God to water. Sometimes, water exists as a liquid, sometimes as a solid (ice), and sometimes as a gas (water vapor). However, this is heresy, to say that sometimes God is the Father, sometimes the Son, and sometimes the Holy Spirit.
But, the analogy can be used to demonstrate that like liquid water, ice, and water vapor are ALL water, so also the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are ALL God. Again, the analogy lags, but all analogies lag when talking about the Trinity.
But, to be fair to the priest, we don't know what he said. He MAY have said something modalistic, but we don't KNOW as we weren't there. Perhaps he said that the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are all coequal branches of the ONE federal government. All are distinct. So also the Three Persons of the Trinity are God, and are distinct Persons, but there is only ONE God.
Does the analogy lag? Yes. How so? Well, the Three Divine Persons are ALL God, but they are not "parts" of the One God, in the same way that the three branches of government are "parts" of the one government. But, this is the same problem St. Patrick had with his clover. Each branch of the clover is not fully the clover, while each of the Three Divine Persons IS fully God. St. Patrick did the best he could. Presumably, so did the priest. Out of simple Christian charity we owe him the benefit of the doubt, the same as we'd want anyone to give us the benefit of the doubt.
When it comes to the Trinity, all we can do is offer analogies. St. John Paul II used the family. Great analogy...but it still lags, and he would readily admit this. St. Patrick used the clover...but it still lags, and he likewise would admit this. This priest came up with a unique analogy to explain literally the most complex idea in the universe (and even that is heresy...because the Trinity is not an "idea" and He (God) ENCOMPASSES the universe, rather than being contained within it). In other words, we literally CAN'T come up with words to adequately express the Trinity. So, we do the best we can with our feeble human language, until on the other side of eternity we can contemplate the inner union of God for all eternity, and then we STILL won't be able to comprehend it.
The running joke among priests is that we all give our deacons the opportunity to preach on Trinity Sunday. It's tough...be patient with us. We're doing the best we can!