Why does God reveal Himself to us in a way that we cannot fully understand?
What is the dogma of the Holy Trinity?
The Holy Trinity is the term used to express the central doctrine on the Christian religion: the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, these Three Persons being truly distinct from one another. There is one being, with one nature and there are Three Persons.
We know this from the two sources of Revelation:
First Jesus taught his disciples to recognise in Himself the Eternal Son of God.
- As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love: as I also have kept my Father's commandments and do abide in his love. (Jn15:9-10)
When His ministry was drawing to a close, He promised that the Father would send them another Divine Person, the Holy Spirit, in His place.
- But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me. (Jn15:26)
Finally after the resurrection, He revealed the doctrine in explicit terms, bidding them:
- Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Mt 28:19-20)
- The first baptismal formula, using the words of Christ himself, clearly express the Godhead of the Three Persons.
- The doxologies from the earliest writings of the Fathers indicate clearly the doctrine of the Trinity which is in the now universal form: Glory be to the Father..
- The battle against the Arian heresy in the fourth century caused the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to be perfectly defined (Council of Nicea 325) …but never understood FOR IT IS A MYSTERY.
The dogma of the Holy Trinity is a mystery
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is a mystery, it cannot be understood by reason. We cannot see it, we cannot imagine it, it is a perplexing mystery. How is it that the Three Persons are not three beings but one Being? How is it that Three Persons are distinct but none have something that the other hasn’t got?
The greatest minds for two thousand years have reflected on the mystery, have tried to penetrate it, have tried to understand it. In the end they end their endeavour by simply gazing in wonder and adoration.
The light by which we know the Blessed Trinity is not that of reason but that of the supernatural virtue of Faith. We believe in the Blessed Trinity not because we can see it but because God has told us of Himself.
Why has God revealed this mystery?
But why does God wish to reveal things that we cannot understand? What’s the point? If God has given us a finite intellect, why give us something infinite that we can never compass? Although we cannot understand the mystery entirely, we can know God better (He did make us to know Him afterall) and so to love Him better.
What is precious to us, my dear breathren, on this earth?
- To have parents, a Father who can claim us as his own (and mother).
- To have someone that we can see or at least imagine, someone who talks to us, teaches us, and loves us – even to the point of self-sacrifice.
- To have someone that can be close to us, closer than anybody else can possibly be.
In the Most Holy Trinity, God exposes himself to be all of these things. Although all God’s works outside Himself are works of the three Persons acting together, we appropriate actions to an individual Person to reflect their individual attributes. And so we can say that:
- In God the Father, we have our Creator, our Father.
- In Our Lord, God the Son, we have a person with a human nature that we can recognise; Someone Who teaches us through the Gospels, through the Church; Someone Who shows His love for us, not only by His gentleness to children, compassion on the sick and infirm, and mercy upon sinners. He gave us the ultimate sign of His love, by dying for us on the Cross. Even in death He did not leave us orphans for He established a Church to continue His mission.
- In God the Holy Ghost we have that personification of love Who lives within us, inspires us, sends us His gifts, and intercedes for us.
Today let us return the love that is due to our Father, to our Saviour, and to the One Who holds us ever in His embrace, showering us with gifts.
We make this prayer through the Blessed Virgin Mary, daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Ghost.