Trinity

Peace to all,

I need some insight as to what the doctrine of the Trinity is? I get real confused with this. Thank you very much.

Tony

The doctrine of the Trinity is that God is three, but also one. It’s a very difficult concept for some and that’s understandable, since it is rather well… strange. That said, it is clearly taught in Scripture and by the Church throughout the ages.
We believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ (the Son) and the Holy Spirit (or Ghost) are one and that God is triune. Each of them is God. You’ll notice in Scripture they are always presented as one. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not names, but name. And it is also written, “In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word is Jesus, and this shows us the Trinity.
If you wish, you can read the teachings of the Church on this matter directly from the Catechism: scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p2.htm

Hi Tony,

The term “Trinity” came into being at the Council of Nicea in 325 ad. The doctrine itself had been believed by the Church since it was revealed to the Apostles by Jesus 3 centuries earlier, but the the term was new in 325.

Basically, Trinity means a Tri (3) Unity.

Catholics, Orthodox and most Protestant Christians believe that there is only One God and that God is made up of 3 distinct Persons: Father, Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit.

The Trinity is One God in 3 Persons.

The 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity: Jesus is by Nature both Fully God and Fully Man as at the Incarnation (when he was miraculously conceived in Mary’s womb) He took on a Human Nature. Jesus is 1 Person in 2 Natures.

Tony,

Do you mind sharing if you are Catholic, Anglican, Mormon, Protestant, etc with us?

The dogma of the Holy Trinity

253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”.83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85

254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 “Father”, “Son”, “Holy Spirit” are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.

255 The divine persons are relative to one another. 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: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."89 Indeed "everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship."90 “Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son.”

vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P17.HTM

God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To put it briefly.

Thank you all for your comments. :slight_smile:

2nd Adam I was baptized Catholic and made my first communion. That was the last I saw the inside of a church for about 20 years. I am a seeker I suppose.

Eucharisted, Singlemommonica, and Georgesword thank you for your comments as well. I have read some of the excerpts from the Catechism but that’s where I get lost.

I get totally lost Jesus is God, The Father is God, The Holy Spirit is God yet they are all different persons. It seems to me that there are three Gods though I know that this in NOT what the church teaches.

Can you help out in unconfusing me.

Thanks and have a wonderful day,
Tony

Since you were baptized Catholic, I leave you in the hands of my Cathoilc brothers and sisters. You should not be listening to the kind and friendly Mormons on this site in regards to Christian doctrine (truth).

God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Son in the flesh.

That’s as simple as it gets.

Hey Tony,

You can look to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for a brief overview of what the Trinity doctrine means. My description of it is basically restating what it says, but hopefully a little easier for you to understand.

The Trinity is the belief that there is one God that exists as three distinct Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is important to emphasize that They are three distinct Persons, because critics of the Trinity may ask you questions like “well how did Jesus pray to Himself?” or “how did Jesus’ baptism occur when the Father spoke, Jesus was in the water, and the Holy Spirit was in the form of a dove?” or “did Jesus send Himself?”, etc. None of those questions are true from the Trinitarian point of view. Jesus prayed to the Father, not Himself. All three members of the Trinity were present at Jesus’ baptism. And the Father sent the Son, not Jesus sent Himself. The point is that they really are distinct Persons.

One word that trips people up is “consubstantial”, also said as “of one substance”, “one in essence”, etc. This word basically means that there is a Divine essence or nature (or “stuff”), and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are that nature. It is better to say that they “are the Divine nature” rather than “they possess the Divine nature”. I do not possess my humanity; I am human. Similarly, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the Divine nature, and there is only one Divine nature, therefore we say that they are “of one substance”.

The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God because they all are that “God substance”. They do not share it, one is not more Divine than another. They each are fully Divine, fully God. Even though they are each fully God, they are not each other. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, the Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. They are of the same Divine nature, but they are not each other.

When Jesus Christ, our Savior, Incarnated on earth, it was only He that took on flesh. The Father and the Holy Spirit did not Incarnate, because they are not the Son. Remember, they are Three distinct Persons.

So, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One in the sense that they are one in purpose, will, intent, and nature (substance). They are inseparable not in the sense that they are attached to each other or are the same Person (a heresy), but that there is an eternal relationship between the Three, where the Son is begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (through the Son). You cannot have one without the others.

Please ask me which parts you do not understand. It boils down to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct Persons that are One in will, purpose, intent and nature (substance), who all exist eternally, without beginning or end.

**greenleaf2009: **

I get totally lost Jesus is God, The Father is God, The Holy Spirit is God yet they are all different persons.

greenleaf2009,

It’s odd, but prior to my conversion and acceptance into The Holy Church I too wrestled tortuously with this concept. I simply could not convince myself that Jesus of Nazareth was God Incarnate. Now, so many years into my life as a faithful Catholic, I sometimes experience the converse; that I struggle to see beyond His Divinity and must remind myself that He was also truly a man.

It’s funny what faith can do :wink:

The blessed Trinity is a mystery, Jesus revealed the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to our humanity. Trinity is a dogma of faith from revealed scripture.

IF you can picture your body as the universe in minature? Place your pointer finger to your forehead, this reflects the father in heaven, here is where one contemplates the mystery of the Father in heaven from the mind where we love God.

Now lower your finger to the center of your torso, this reflects the body or image of God revealed by Jesus in his humanity, it is here from the heart where we love God.

Now cross your chest from left to right, this symbolizes the Holy Spirit from where there is no beginning and no end neither is there a seperation from the east and west making the symbol from all eternity, including the power from the left and right arms of the body of God which is named Jesus, it is from here where we Love God with all our Strength.

Now from this universal picture from eternity, we view these three persons as “One” indivisible. What Jesus has revealed to humanity is How God “abba Father” is present in creation, from Heaven (eternity), How God the Son became present in time from his humanity to save humanity, How God has always been present in creation from creation through the Holy Spirit.

Our creed reveals that “We believe in One God”, “We believe in One Lord Jesus Christ”, “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the giver of life, who proceeds from the father and the son, with the father and the son he is worshipped and glorified, he has spoken through the prophets”.

If you reflect the sign of the cross in the name (singular) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit upon your person, reflects the God head from eternity, and it is from this sign we are saved from death and damnation. Reflect how your person is the universe in minature

Read John 1:1-14

Jesus is God incarnate, because no one can raise the dead, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, calm the seas just by the speech of his Word.

Go to adoration, ask God to reveal this mystery to you, so that your faith does not doubt, and then Pray, Pray, Pray…

Peace be with you

I’ll probably be lamb basted for saying this on a Christian board, please don’t take it personal friends. But I know how you feel Tony, the concept of the Trinity is confusing because it doesn’t make sense.

You can try to rationalize it as many of the Christians do, but at the end of the day, you’d still be left trying to figure out how 3=1

When people say “3=1” or “three is one and one is three” in relation to the Trinity, you have to define what you mean so we can see where you are coming from.

Hi Tony,

There are many ways to explain this - three that I have heard of which have helped are:

  1. Take an egg. If you just have the shell (for example - you blew out the contents to make an Easter Egg) - what do you call it? It’s an egg. If you crack and egg and separate the yolk from the white. Just looking at the yolk - what do you have? It’s an egg. Just looking at the white - what do you have? An egg. There are 3 distinct parts, each separate part is an egg, but together, you do not have 3 eggs, it is just 1 egg.

  2. Look at a clover. There are 3 different leaves, but it is 1 clover. (St. Patrick I believe used this method to teach the Irish)

  3. Many see the family stucture Husband, Wife and Child as an example of the Holy Trinity: Let’s take the original Human Family and see: Adam and Eve - Adam was first, but Eve came from Adam’s rib (similarly the Father was and the Son (Jesus) is eternally begotten of the Father) and the bond of love was so strong between Adam and Eve, that they gave birth to Cain (similarly the Holy Spirit comes from the Father and Son). 3 distinct persons, but 1 family. The image of God is Family: God made them in His Image and Likeness, He made them Male and Female.

Hope one of more of these analogies help.

Some analogies are better than others, however I always think that it’s best to stay away from them, because none can actually what the Trinity means. For example, the egg analogy says that each part is…a part, and not fully the egg. The shell is not the egg, it is part of it. In contrast, the Trinity states that each Person of the Trinity is fully God, and not part God. So the egg analogy approximates it, but like all analogies, sadly fails on some point.

Similarly, you are quite right that the Trinity is a family! However, the family analogy of Adam, Eve, Cain does not work, because Eve did not always exist, nor did Cain.

I recently wrote an article on my blog on the Trinity, I hope it helps everyone!

onecatholic.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/explaining-the-trinity/

God is One with One Nature. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate persons
who have the same Nature. As you have a human nature along with the rest of humanity,
so does the Three Persons have that One Nature which is God. This is what God has
revealed to us. His Nature is Divine and is far beyond our comprehension as we are far
beyond the comprehension of an ant. All this is so because He has told us it is so and to
not believe it is to deny what God has revealed and to deny Him.

PAX DOMINI :signofcross:

Shalom Aleichem

God made man in his image, therefore it is logical to find that the divine trinity is mirrored in the nature of humanity.

The human nature is divided into three aspects, the Mind, the Body, and the Soul. Of course each aspect of God is not compareable to a singular human aspect, as God is undeniably God and unique. But again the nature of the trinity is mirrored to an extent in each individual aspect of humanity. The mind is the creator, the originator of our ideas and actions, mirroring the role of the Father in the Divine Trinity. The body is begotten, mirroring the nature of the Son. And our soul proceeds from God, mirroring the nature of the holy spirit. Each one if these aspects is undeniably human, but each aspect is not eachover, the body, is not the soul for example. Therefore humans themselves are like God, three in one, and one in three. Just as God said that man was made in his image

This shows the truth of the Divine Trinity and hopefully makes it more understandable to you.

Except that a human is one person (and the use of the word ‘divided’ is troubling, since God (the divine nature) is fully expressed in each Person, while we can’t really say that about the mind or the body, since they are 'parts), and God is three Persons, so the mind/body/soul analogy doesn’t work.

I know everyone that makes analogies has good intent in trying to explain the Trinity, and I mean no offense to anyone, but it’s really best not to use any analogies, they all fail on some level, and generally will explain modalism or Oneness Pentecostalism/Unitarianism, and not the Trinity.

Again, if anyone would like, they can check out the Catechism on this issue, and I wrote an article on the Trinity attempting to explain the various objections and issues people have with it:

onecatholic.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/explaining-the-trinity/

Tony, a book often recommended here for those wanting to get a better grasp of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is Frank Sheed’s Theology for Beginners. He offers a very comprehensive, yet very readable presentation on the Church’s Faith in this regard.

Theosis is correct in that the three persons of the trinity are each fully God into and unto themselves but are yet one God.

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