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One God, Three Divine Persons


The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic faith.  Upon it are based all other teachings of the Church.  In the New Testament there is frequent mention of the Father, the Son, and the Holy spirit.  A careful reading of these passages leads to one unmistakable conclusion: each Person is presented as having qualities that can belong only to God. 


But if there is only one God, how can this be?  The Church studied this mystery with great care and after four centuries of clarification, decided to state the doctrine in this way: in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons –the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – truly distinct one from another.

All effects of God’s action upon his creatures are produced by the three divine Persons in common.  But because certain effects of the divine action in creation remind us more of one divine Person than another, the Church ascribes particular effects to one or the other divine Person.  Thus, we speak of the Father as Creator of all that is, of the Son, the Word of God, as our Savior or Redeemer, and of the Holy Spirit – the love of God “poured into our hearts” – as our Sanctifier.


To believe that God is Father means to believe that you are son or daughter: that God your Father accepts and loves you: that God your Father has created you as a love-worthy human being.

To believe that God is saving Word means to believe that you are a listener: that your response to God’s Word is to open yourself to his liberating gospel which frees you to choose union with God and brotherhood with your neighbor.

To believe that God is Spirit means to believe that on this earth you are meant to live a sanctifying, supernatural life that is a created sharing in God’s own nature – a life which is the beginning of life eternal.