The Mystery of God



One day Saint Augustine was walking along the seashore pondering the Mystery of the Trinity (he was currently writing his treatise On The Trinity). He just couldn’t comprehend it - “Father, Son, Holy Spirit; three in one!” he muttered, shaking his head.

Saint Augustine came upon a child running back and forth from the sea to a hole carrying water with a seashell. Saint Augustine asked the child “What are you doing?”.

The child replied “Can’t you see, I am emptying the sea into this hole”

“You can’t do that!”, Saint Augustine countered.

The child smiled and answered, “I’ll sooner empty the sea into this hole than you’ll fathom the depths of the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity”. And with that the child transformed into an Angel and disappeared.

Thus did Augustine understand that man would never penetrate to the depths of the Mystery of God.

Do you think that many in the Latin Church have become so focused on philosophy and systematic theology that there has been a loss of the sense of the Mystery? Perhaps this is something we can learn more from our Eastern brethren and some of the great mystics of the Latin Church - i.e, Saint John of the Cross (and other Carmelites) and others.



Although I tend to think Thomistically because I think he has provided the best answers to the problems, I am not a dogmatic Thomist. I feel there are problems in Thomas that get over looked (eg: at one point he states that it’s impossible for one person to have two natures-good by hypostatic union, elsewhere he denies the Immaculate Conception; his system also presents a serious problem for the body, in that once the soul leaves the body it ceases to be a human body-this could easily lead to docetism with respect to Christ, further more his system is inconsistent with transubstantiation, namely, that the form/substance “informs” whatever matter it has, thus if the bread in communion should literally and always take the form of tissue and blood, &c) and perhaps that’s because he was trying to answer questions he shouldn’t have been answering. I think that some of the Church Fathers, especially the Cappadocians, would have disapproved of his efforts




I only got a little more than half way through because the library wanted the book back. But Frank Sheed’s “theology and sanity” realy helped me to get a better understanding of the trinity. I’ve never been tired from reading before I read this book.:thumbsup:


The great danger of being a theologian is to become wise in our our own eyes and thereby blind to the truth.Theology is agreat benefit in developing a more complete understanding of sacred revelation but it must be tempered by the Sacred Scriptures, Magisterial teaching and the analogy of the faith.Thank God for His Sacred Mysteries for without them there would be no room for faith.Thousands of denominations have developed because of theologians, albeit at many times self styled theologians,coming up with so called NEW truths.
God bless.


It’s possible to think too highly of our own intellect: we might think that having studied philosophy and theology we now “understand” God, but he remains of course infinitely higher than human intellect.

That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t apply reason to the study of God. We have to. The Apostles Creed may seem quite straightforward, but somewhere down the road, someone is going to start stating things about our beliefs, that force the Church to say “wait a minute–that’s not quite what we believe.” And then the Church has to formulate its beliefs in response to some non-orthodox understanding. For example, Jesus is the son of God, does that mean that He is less than God? It is for just such reasons that the Nicene Creed was put together–to refine and clarify what we believe.


Jesus often used the child-like as having the ideal faith. Maybe we all think too deep at times, and miss the simplicity of the message.:wink:



Reason can be very impertinent in theological matters - it can trample all over on matters which God has not revealed and has reserved to Himself, like a runaway elephant. Theology tends to become rationalism if it has no sense of wonder.


Yes, I think the west can learn a great deal from the east. We need to learn a child like simplicity. Christ tells us that unless a man become as a child he can not enter the kingdom. We must realize that God is infinitely beyond what we can comprehend. God is ultimately a mystery to us. The definitions are merely pointers to something that can not even be spoken of.



Thank you for replying. I often wonder how I can believe with such an innocent child-like faith. It at times seems impossible for me and yet at the same time appears so simple to achieve. :frowning:


It is difficult. In our society we try to find a logical explanation for everything. It tends to take us away from faith. It complicates everything. We need to realize that God is ultimately mystery and that God is acting in the world. The knowledge that God is acting in all times and places of our lives helps us to realize a simpler approach to life I think. The combination of the understanding of God as mystery and that He is acting in the world leads to a child like faith if we submit ourselves to Gods action.



[SIGN]Amen Brother![/SIGN]


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