is the manner in which Catholics believe God is revealed to the world. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of the Christian life.” (CCC, #261)
The Church shows that because God is “mystery,” meaning that we just can’t pin God down — we’re unable to know everything there is to know about God — God has tried to communicate to us just who He is. Traditionally, the Church expressed this as, God being revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three expressions or “persons” of one divine essence. The Trinity is one. Catholics do not believe in three Gods but rather one God in a unity of three persons with one divine nature. Sound confusing?
One analogy that could be helpful is to think of the different states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Ice can become water and water can become steam. All of these are the same essence and contain equal amounts of hydrogen and oxygen but they appear in different forms.
God is three “persons” but one “essence.” The Father is just as much “God” as the Son and neither are “more God” than the Spirit.
Still confused? Let’s try thinking of these things in a yet another way. Instead of “persons” let’s substitute the word “expressions” of God.
Expressions of God
The Trinity can be thought of in these three expressions:
- God is “beyond us.” (but at the same time always right here with us)
We can never really fathom what God is, but we know that He is far beyond our limited human nature or anything we can come to know in that human experience. God is the ultimate mystery, the question that we never fully answer. This is God the Father — the creator, the one who is beyond all understanding but never beyond our reach.
- God is also “among us.”
We come to know God in the person of Jesus. God takes on our human nature and becomes “one of us.” Catholics also believe that this human experience of God continues in the sacrament of the Eucharist. God the Son is among us.
- God is also “within us.”
God is the “divine spark” that awakens us to the fact that we are alive. God imbues us with our creativity, our gifts and talents, and our limitations as well. As we come to know ourselves as people, we also come to know God — who knows us better than we know ourselves. This is the experience of God the Holy Spirit.
God is all these things and more. We don’t know all that God is but this is how God has been revealed to us throughout the course of our history — how we have come to best express God. (adapted from an article at BustedHalo.com)
#1: Please post a comment on your understanding of the Trinity or something that "struck" you in the above article.
Have you ever thought about the meaning of GRACE? What is GRACE? Grace is not a thing. You don't get more grace the way you get more money in the bank. The worst thing you can do is to think of grace as a thing. Grace is nothing else but God loving you (FREELY GIVEN). It's a relationship, like the love you have for a friend. Evidently this relationship can be deep or shallow: That's up to you. Much depends on how you see it. (adapted from YOUTH UPDATE)
In other words...you always have grace and it is everywhere...you just have to notice it, and embrace it! God loves you always...He wants you to love Him back!
#2: Did you think of GRACE as God's loving you... or did you think of it as something that you have to earn? Or as something that you can lose? Has your understanding of grace changed? Please comment.