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The Trinity: The Mystery that addresses our deepest longings and questions
Catholic World Report ^ | Carl E. Olson

Posted on 05/31/2015 2:27:19 PM PDT by NYer

"Trinity" (Троица) by Andrei Rublev (c. 1410) []


• Dt 4:32-34, 39-40
• Psa 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22
• Rom 8:14-17
• Mt 28:16-20

The popular television show “Unsolved Mysteries,” was a documentary-styled program pursuing answers to crimes and strange events that had yet to be solved and explained. As the saying goes, everyone loves a good mystery, as evidenced by the success of that show and the popularity of so many movies, books, and television programs about solving mysteries and crimes.

The Trinity is also a mystery, but not the sort that needs to be solved, or can be solved. The popular apologist Frank J. Sheed (1897-1981), author of the classic work, Theology and Sanity (Ignatius Press), explained that a theological mystery is not a puzzle, nor is it “something that we can know nothing about: it is only something that the mind cannot wholly know.” The mystery of the Trinity is beyond our understanding precisely because God is so beyond man, who is limited and finite.

Sheed used the analogy of an endless art gallery into which the visitor walks deeper and deeper—never reaching the end but finding the visit to be completely satisfying. Sheed also describes “a Mystery” as “an invitation to the mind.” The Trinity, in fact, is an invitation, not only to the mind but to every hidden part and deep longing of man.

Although the Trinity was not revealed until after the Incarnation, there are tiny hints in the Old Testament. Before God revealed himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, he established that he is the one, holy, and personal Creator. The Israelites were surrounded by pagan tribes and groups believing in any number of gods. Many of those gods were bound to specific places and had only a capricious interest in the well-being of man.

Moses asked the Israelites, in today’s reading from Deuteronomy, “Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live? Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation …?” The one, true God spoke to Moses and the people, and he formed a covenantal people for the good of the world. The significance of these two actions cannot be overstated; they are essential acts that ultimately lead to God speaking to man through the Word—the second person of the Trinity—and establishing a people of God, the Church, through a new and everlasting covenant.

That covenant, rooted in the Father’s love, the Son’s sacrifice, and the power of the Holy Spirit, is intensely familial, relational, and loving. We have received, St. Paul told the Christians in Rome, “a Spirit of adoption,” by which we are made sons of God who are able to cry, “Abba, Father!” This gift of sonship is to be shared with the entire world. “Go, therefore,” Jesus told his apostles as he commissioned them to be his spokesmen, “and make disciples of all nations.” And how are disciples made? By being baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and by following the rules of the family of God, the Church.

One of the most puzzling, even perverse, falsehoods of our age is the notion that the Christian belief in the Trinity somehow makes God too specific and exact, and that spiritual growth and enlightenment is best reached by speaking of God in vague and abstract ways. This is like saying that a child is harmed by personally knowing his two parents, and that he would better off believing any one of millions of adults just might be his father or mother.

The fear of so many, at the heart of it, is that an encounter with the true and living God will change them; it will require a transformation in what they do and think—and in who they are. That, of course, is true. But accepting the invitation of the Trinitarian mystery is not about solving God, but recognizing that the answers to our deepest questions are found within that mystery.

TOPICS: Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: carleolson; catholicworldreport; holytrinity; thetrinity

1 posted on 05/31/2015 2:27:19 PM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; Salvation; ...


2 posted on 05/31/2015 2:27:39 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: NYer

Shhh! Don’t tell these lady Anglican priest(esses):

3 posted on 05/31/2015 2:46:57 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: NYer

A mystery is something that was NOT revealed in the Old Testament but is revealed in the New Testament. The Trinity is not a mystery.

4 posted on 05/31/2015 3:00:43 PM PDT by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR!)
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To: NYer

Theology and Sanity is an excellent book.

5 posted on 05/31/2015 3:45:31 PM PDT by grimalkin (We are a nation under God. If we ever forget this, we are a nation gone under. -Ronald Reagan)
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To: NYer
The Trinity: The Mystery that addresses our deepest longings and questions
1 and 1 and 1 is One – A Homily for Trinity Sunday
Defending the Trinity
Mystery of the Trinity
Saint Athanasius on the Trinity

Some Plain Preaching on the Family On the Feast of the Holy Trinity
My God Is So High, You Can’t Get Over Him … A Sermon for the Feast of the Holy Trinity
The fleur-de-lis
The Trinity: A Mystery for Eternity
1 and 1 and 1 Makes One. A meditation on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity
The Trinity: Three Persons in One Nature
Essays for Lent: The Trinity
Pope to theologians: focus on the Trinity
Defend the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity! [Catholic caucus]
Hold Fast to the Confession of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit [Catholic Caucus]

[Ecumenical] Lent through Eastertide - Divine Mercy Diary Exerpts: The Holy Trinity
One God, Three Equal Persons: St. Gregory of Nazianzus {Ecumenical Thread}
Radio Replies Second Volume - The Holy Trinity
The Blessed Trinity {Ecumenical}
A Mystery for Eternity (Reflection on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)
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Radio Replies First Volume - The Holy Trinity

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The Concept of the Most Holy Trinity - The Relationship between the Three Persons in One God
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 3: God and the Holy Trinity
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The Father as the Source of the Whole Trinity - Greek and Latin Traditions About the Filioque

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Why Do We Believe in the Trinity?
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Trinitarian Mystery
HaSheeloosh HaKadosh: The Holy Trinity
The Divine Trinity

6 posted on 05/31/2015 5:18:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: SubMareener
I really don't want to get into a fight, but, The Trinity as we now define it was not church wide doctrine until Nicea in 325. There were to be sure trinitarians who believed the standard Holy Catholic Definition of The Trinity before then but they were mostly Greek Churches and especially those that followed the Bishop at Alexandria just before Nicea.

I do not accept the universal definition of the Trinity however I most certainly believe in God The Father and in His Son Jesus Christ and in The Holy Ghost I just refuse to believe they are in one body. In the garden when Christ prayed for His Apostles He prayed to His Father in Heaven, not to Himself. When asked when the 2nd coming would be He said He didn't know, that only The Father knew that. It is implausible to me that if The Father and The Son were one substance that The Son would not know anything The Father knew. If They were One then He wouldn't have to ask His Father to take away the bitter cup he was about to drink. Christ noted that He would not do His own will but that of his Father.

There are many more examples but those are enough to convince me that the Holy Catholic Church definition of The Holy Trinity is not correct.

I realize that that makes me a heretic. I don't believe that it is terribly important that I understand the exact nature of God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost. No matter how wrong I am in my belief there is nobody who really knows. I am unwilling to believe that the first two hundred years of Christians were all wrong and had heritical beliefs.

7 posted on 05/31/2015 5:54:58 PM PDT by JAKraig (my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: SubMareener
Beg to differ. Read the beginning of Genesis very carefully. You will find the Trinity there. The wind (Holy Spirit) the Word (the Son) and God the Father.

Why does God say "Let US make man in our own image."? The Triune God was already present?

8 posted on 05/31/2015 6:01:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Not sure why you think you disagree with me. I said the Trinity is not a mystery because it is found in the Old Testament. Elohim is the name of the triune Godhead in Genesis.

9 posted on 05/31/2015 7:03:49 PM PDT by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR!)
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To: NYer


10 posted on 06/02/2015 2:22:44 PM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44
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