Question about the Trinity


#1

I am a new Catholic, and have been around Christians all my life, but recently I’ve been having a problem with the Trinity. Not in thinking that it doesn’t make sense, or doubting that it’s true. I’ve never though the Trinity was a difficult thing to understand at all before this. What has been happening, is that I realized that I wouldn’t have a problem with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit being three seperate Gods. I think the Catholic teachings about the Trinity make the most sense, and I can easily accept that they are true, I’m just kind of confused about why I’m feeling this way.


#2

My gut feeling is that the Devil is tempting you to feel this way. Put it out of your mind and be confident in the knowledge that God is one God not three Gods.


#3

I recommend you read the book called Theology for Beginners by F.J. Sheed. It has a great chapter on the Trinity.


#4

See yourself as being Body, Soul, and Spirit. Three in one and each being separate. So why can’t you see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being three in One - not three Gods but One.

Hope that helps.


#5

It’s not possible for there to be more than one God for a number of reasons:

  1. Two beings who were eternal, un-created, having every perfection infinitely, would necessarily be identical with each other and thus just one being in reality.

  2. God told us that there is one God. (Deut. 6:4)


#6

I second the recommendation of Frank Sheed’s Theology for Beginners. :thumbsup: This is an excellent book, and gives an especially helpful presentation on the Most Holy Trinity.


#7

It’s not uncommon to conceive of the divine persons that way.

The first thing that tends to come to mind when we hear the word “person” is “human being”, and so it’s all too easy to subconsciously project “person=human being” into a discussion of the Trinity. What ends up happening is that the divine persons turn into separate entities, the way human persons are separate entities.

But that’s not what the Catholic Church believes about the divine persons. A divine person is not an entity, much less a separate entity. St. Thomas Aquinas offers the term “subsistent Relation”, which fits much better. Here’s why:Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
It’s only in the mutual relationships of Father, Son and Holy Spirit that the distinction of the divine persons stands out. The Father cannot be distinguished apart from his relation to the Son. The Son cannot be distinguished apart from his relation the Father. The Holy Spirit cannot be distinguished apart from his relation to the Father and the Son. If we attempt to isolate any one person from the others, then that person cannot be distinguished at all.

If, on the other hand, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were separate gods, then we would be able to distinguish one person without reference to the other persons. But that is not what the Church believes.


#8

You should try to get a copy of St Augustine’s beautiful book ‘The Trinity’ where he carefully explains the doctrine in great care and depth, including the ‘signs’ of the Trinity in our own soul.


#9

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