The Trinity vs Sin. How does this work?

First, I imagine God the Father, the first person of the Trinity in Heaven saying, “No sin is allowed in Heaven. This is my dwelling place. No original sin, no mortal sin, not even an ittsy bittsy teensy weensy venial sin is allowed here. God and sin do not mix.”

Second, I imagine Jesus Christ, God, the second person of the Trinity saying, "My mother, the Arc of the New Covenant, and my human body, will be my dwelling places. No sin can be in either place. No original sin, no mortal sin, and not even an ittsy bittsy teensy weensy venial sin is allowed. God and sin don’t mix.

Thirdly, I imagine the Holy Spirit, God, the third person of the Trinity saying, “Christian, you will be my dwelling place. You will be my temple. No original sin is allowed there. No mortal sin is allowed there. Not even an ittsy bittsy teensy weensy venial sin is…oh, wait…never mind. I can tolerate a venial sin in my dwelling place.” Christian responds, “Huh? God and sin do mix?!”

How does God, the third person of the Trinity, accomplish this? Even though mortal and venial sin are “different,” they are both still imperfect. Now, I can understand why the Holy Spirit might want to dwell in a newly baptized baby, or a Christian fresh out of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and maybe even someone who just recieved the Holy Eucharist. But why would He “stick around” and continue to dwell in us when we’re not in a state of absolute perfection and impecability? How does He “mix” with imperfection in His temple? To me it seems like light and darkness trying to occupy the same “place.”

p.s. If possible, I would like explanations in layman’s terms. :wink: And maybe some recommended reading or audio on this topic.

Thanks!

For starters, venial sin does not totally sever the bonds of charity. After death, these venials sins, if not cleansed from the soul, must be purged in Purgatory. I’m sure you are aware of that.

Chapter and verse escape me right now but in the Bible it says, “not all sins are deadly”.

We can farther on this topic if you like.

I remember you quoted me this in a different thread. For some reason I’m not understanding the “bonds of charity” thing and how it relates. I’m trying, but I’m not there yet. :frowning:

Exactly! So, why can’t the non-deadly ones enter all of God’s dwelling places?

Be patient with me, I’m just a baby apologist. :smiley:

Revelation 21:23-27 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day – and there shall be no night there; they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The verses are describing heaven – where “NOTHING unclean” may enter.
Sin of any sort is “unclean” - thus the need to be purged of all sin before we can enter heaven.

I’m not sure what the issue is. Certainly, no sin will enter Heaven. That is why the saved are purged of sin before they enter.

Do you mean to ask how the Holy Spirit can indwell imperfect humans who still walk the Earth?

Grace

Remember what St. Paul writes, “God shows His love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I like your question. :slight_smile: Here’s how I’d approach it:

First, I imagine God the Father, the first person of the Trinity in Heaven saying, “No sin is allowed in Heaven. This is my dwelling place. No original sin, no mortal sin, not even an ittsy bittsy teensy weensy venial sin is allowed here. -]God/-] Beatitude and sin do not mix.”

Second, I imagine Jesus Christ, God, the second person of the Trinity saying, "My mother, the Arc of the New Covenant, and my human body, will be my dwelling places. No sin can be fitting in either place. No original sin, no mortal sin, and not even an ittsy bittsy teensy weensy venial sin is allowed. God -]and sin don’t mix/-] can dwell among sinners, but only while himself remaining perfectly and profoundly holy and alien to sin.

Thirdly, I imagine the Holy Spirit, God, the third person of the Trinity saying, “Christian, you will be my dwelling place. You will be my temple. No original sin is allowed there. No mortal sin is allowed there. Not even an ittsy bittsy teensy weensy venial sin is allowed. -]…oh, wait…never mind/-]. I can tolerate a venial -]sin in/-] sinner as my dwelling place, because it is my job to continue the work of Christ, dwelling among sinners, in order to bring repentant sinners to perfection.” Christian responds, “-]Huh? God and sin do mix?!/-] Have mercy on me God, a sinner!”

Yes. And also why venial sins, while lesser in “degree” than mortal sins are not “anti-God” enough to prohibit His indwelling. They are still “against God” and imperfect. So how can they be allowed into the same “temple” as God (i.e. Christians)? See what I mean?

Ok, thanks. This may be getting me somewhere. :slight_smile: So, basically you are saying that the Holy Spirit can be present in an imperfect temple just like Jesus can be present in an imperfect world. The difference being that Jesus dwelt “among” sinners while the Holy Spirit dwells “within” sinners. Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit remain profoundly holy and alien to sin.

I think that makes sense to me, so far. What is it, then, that prompts the Holy Spirit to “leave” when there is a mortal sin within our temple? Why can’t He tolerate those? Because they are “grave?” Why wouldn’t any sin be “grave” enough to prompt Him to leave since all sin is less than perfection?

Jesus remained perfect, but He didn’t “leave” the world despite all the mortal sin all around Him. In fact, He is still here in the Blessed Sacrament! So, why can’t the Holy Spirit do the same thing? Why can’t He “remain” in our earthly temples even if there is mortal sin?

Is it about “choice?” Is it because a mortal sin is my way of telling the Holy Spirit, “Get out?” If so, then why isn’t a venial sin saying the same thing? It, too, is a rejection of God. :shrug:

Yes. I say again: Grace. While we are to strive for perfection (“Be perfect as your Father is perfect”), we know this isn’t really possible. God saves us by grace. So long as we remain in grace (by avoiding mortal sin or by confessing our sin whenever we fall), He can continue to work in us.

Good, because I don’t ever want God to leave. :imsorry:

I wonder if this is why the OSAS idea appeals to so many people. I must admit, there was a time I visited that camp, but no longer. :dts:

:amen:

I wonder if this is why the OSAS idea appeals to so many people. I must admit, there was a time I visited that camp, but no longer. :dts:

It could be one contributing factor. Of course, many are just ignorant of sound teaching because OSAS is all they have ever been taught.

I once visited them, as well. When I studied Catholicism in depth, they couldn’t hold a candle to it. :wink:

I think in a certain sense He does remain. He is God and omnipresent…

Is it about “choice?” Is it because a mortal sin is my way of telling the Holy Spirit, “Get out?” If so, then why isn’t a venial sin saying the same thing? It, too, is a rejection of God. :shrug:

…but, right, it is about choice, and we choose whether he is present as just judge/witness or as loving advocate/spring of life. Mortal sin is a choice for the former, venial is not. Venial sin allows us to keep our loving advocate, even though it harms our relationship with Him.

Also, just a thought: maybe it is just as appropriate to say that we dwell in the Spirit, as to say that the Spirit dwells in us…

As some have pointed out, God and sin are not “mixing” - for that would be an abomination.

Venial sin weakens the love bond between you and God, but it doesn’t sever it.

Take the example of a marriage: venial sin are acts that prevent love from deepening between the couple, but the couple is still married; mortal sin is so sever that it severs the marriage bond.

So God is not “mixing” here with sin, the more venial sin, the more you’re resisting having the bond of love grow. The more venial sin, the less God’s presence is manifested in your life.

The faith tract I read said, “Mortal sins can’t coexist with the supernatural life.” Which led me to wonder why venial sins can coexist with the supernatural life, even though they are less grave. They are still imperfect, so why would the Holy Spirit co-exist with them in the temple of the Christian? So maybe I should say “co-exist” rather than “mix.” Venial sin can coexist with divine life.

Regarding the marriage analogy, I see your point. I’m not sure it “quite” works in the sense that I think the Church does not consider marriage something that can be disolved, while the supernatural life within us apparently can be disolved by mortal sin.

Additionally, my understanding of venial sin is that no amount of venial sin can be “mortal.” It’s not as if there is a “last straw” where there are so many venial sins that the Holy Spirit says, “That’s it! I’m outa’ here!” So, He co-exists with them. So, if God can “co-exist” in His temple with my venial sins now, why not later in Heaven? Why not in Mary, etc? Why is it “fitting” that he avoid venial sins in those other places, but not in the temple of the Christian? Why are venial sins “bad” enough elsewhere, but not “bad” enough within the temple of the Christian?

In Heaven, sin is sin. None of it can get in (no co-existence). In Mary, sin is sin. None of it can get in (no co-existence). In Jesus, sin is sin. None of it can get in (no co-existence). In the temple of the Christian, sin is either mortal or venial, and some of it can get in and stay, at least until Purgatory (co-existence). It’s the same God saying, "I can’t co-exist with sin here, but I can co-exist with sin over here.

Why wouldn’t God co-existing with any sin anywhere, even the smallest sin, be an “abomination,” even temporarily before purgatory?

Remember, I’m not expressing doubt about what God does. I’m trying to sharpen my apologetic sense and find helpful ways of articulating what God does. So none of this is meant to cast doubt or be irreverent.

BTW here is the faith tract I read: catholic.com/library/Grace_What_It_Is.asp

I think I need to start a different thread, because my question has really changed.

As you pointed out, venial sin is not of the same nature as mortal sin, so it’s not as if 100 venial sins = 1 mortal sin. So the comparison to allowing venial but not mortal only works so far.

Also, when you say “none of it can get in” Heaven, sin isn’t a “thing” in itself. Mortal sin is an act which loses the sanctifying grace in your soul and merits eternal punishment. The person is a “sinner” at that point in the sense they are separated from God, and eternally separated if in Hell. Venial sin is likewise an act, but it only impedes spiritual growth (similar to how a bad habit impedes physical/mental health) and only merits temporal punishment. The person is a “sinner” at this point in the sense their fallen human nature facilitates towards these venial sins via concupiscence. Since sin isn’t a “thing”, God isn’t exactly co-existing with it in either case.

Ok, thanks for this. Your point that sin is not a “thing” has me rethinking it in terms of being a “state.” A person can be in one of five states (or conditions).

  1. a state of no sin and no concupiscence
  2. a state of no sin, spiritually alive, with concupiscence
  3. a state of sin, spiritually alive, with concupiscence
  4. baptized, but in a state of spiritual death with concupiscence
  5. unbaptized, dead from original sin and with concupiscence

#1 applies to Jesus and Mary
#2 applies to a Christian fresh from baptism and/or reconciliation
#3 applies to a Christian with venial sin
#4 applies to a Christian with mortal sin
#5 applies to the unbaptized

#3, #4 and #5 are “actual sinners”
#2 is a “potential sinner”
#1 are “not sinners”

In the case of #3, they have not been “perfect” but they have not acted in a way that says, “God, I want you out of my life.” The Holy Spirit knows there has been imperfect behavior, but also knows there has been no direct request made for Him to leave the temple, so He stays. Maybe like when a child disobeys his parent, but doesn’t quit loving his parent(?)

#4 has essentially said, “I no longer love you, God, get out of my temple.”

Am I getting closer?

Wow. Well presented, concise and thought-provoking.

Hello TommyWommy;

I believe relationships and the forgiveness of sins are at the heart of the Trinity, and I wonder if the spirit, and the ‘Trinity’ can be summed up through the greatest commandments.

When Jesus spent his time on Earth, he would have lived by the greatest commandments. Could these same commandments possibly describe the relationship between the Father, Son and Spirit, and also God’s love for us?

Jesus loves God the Father with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Jesus loves each and every one of us as he loves himself.

God the Father loves God the Son with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
The Father loves each and every one of us as he loves himself.

When Judas betrayed Jesus, did Jesus continue to love him as he loved himself?
When the soldiers scourged Jesus, did his love continue.
When the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, did Jesus continue to love them?

In order to love under these conditions, there is the need to forgive, and we know that Jesus forgave on the cross. Can the forgiveness of sins hang on the greatest commandments, does the divine nature of Jeus in heaven follow on from his human nature?

Could the spirit be the power of God’s love; working through the perfection of the greatest commandments? Is it possible that God’s purpose for each and every one of us is, to have this Trinitarian relationship with each other?

And just a short passage that links the Spirit and the second greatest commandment.[FONT=Verdana][/FONT]
1 Samuel 18

1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.

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