THE COEXISTENCE OF THE THREE DIVINE PRESENCES
Within man who is created in the image of God, (1) is a physical body, (2) a spirit, and a soul. Equally, God, the Creator of human beings, also enjoys a physical body, (5) a Holy Spirit, (4) and Divine Soul. (3)
(1) [Gen. 1:26]
(2) [1 Thess. 5:23]
(3) [Col. 1:15, 1:19, 2:9]( Cat. # 484)
(4) [Is. 61:1; Lk. 4:18; Acts 8:39; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 4:6; 2 Cor. 3:17, 8]
(5) [Jn. 12:27]
Diagram 20: Man has a body, a human spirit and a soul.
Note: In Diagram 20, we see that man has a physical body, a human spirit and a soul of the "unknown beyond."
Diagram 21: God has a body, a Spirit and a Soul.
Note: In Diagram 21, we see that God also has a physical body (Jesus Christ), a Spirit (the Holy Ghost) and a soul (the Divine Soul Consciousness of the Father) of the "unknown beyond."
In Jesus dwelled bodily the fullness of the Holy Trinity of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. [Col. 1:15, 1:19, 2:9](CCC. # 484, 515, 722, 2502) Jesus said,
"The Father and I are one." [Jn. 10:30](CCC. # 590)
While the Holy Spirit is omitted from the words of Jesus, such omission is not a denial of the coexistence of the Holy Spirit but rather a confirmation of the coexistence of the Father. The coexistence of the Holy Spirit is made known through other passages such as when Jesus died on the cross and commended His Spirit to the Father. [Lk. 23:46] It is also known that a body without a spirit is dead. [Jas. 2:26] Jesus, in His human nature, could not have enjoyed life in Himself if the Holy Spirit did not coexist in Him.
The coexistence of the Father and the Son is found in the following passage,
"Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise." [Jn. 5:19]
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One in the Divine intellectual Soul Consciousness, being in perfect harmony with one another.
Without neglecting what will be added later in this chapter, as proof of the coexistence of the Divine intellectual Soul Consciousness of the Father within the physical Body of Jesus Christ, two Bible passages are reviewed. In the first, Jesus says,
"Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honour the Father who sent him." [Jn. 5:23]
To understand this passage, we have to consider the creation of man. Is it possible to honor the soul of a person without honoring the body of that person and vice-versa? No, it is not possible! When someone honors the physical body of a person, that honor also shines upon the soul of that person that is manifested through the physical body because they are one. In the same way, it is impossible to honor Jesus without honoring God the Father and vice-versa... for they are One.
In another Bible passage, Jesus said,
"Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you." [Jn. 17:1]
Again, can we glorify the physical body of a person without that glory shining upon the soul of that same person? No, it cannot be done! When we glorify a person, we actually glorify his body, his spirit and his soul. In the same way, when the Heavenly Father glorified Jesus by resurrecting Him from the dead, the Heavenly Father was also glorifying Himself through Jesus. In this statement, the glory of the Holy Spirit who also played a very important role in the resurrection of Jesus should not be omitted. For the body without a spirit is dead. It was when the Holy Spirit returned within the body of Jesus that Jesus regained the life that He previously enjoyed in His human nature, resurrecting from the dead.
"Following this apostolic tradition, the Church confessed at the first ecumenical council at Nicaea (325) that the Son is 'consubstantial" with the Father, that is, one only God with him. [The English phrases 'of one being' and 'one in being' translate the Greek word homoousios, which was rendered in Latin by consubstantialis]
The second ecumenical council, held at Constantinople in 381, kept this expression in its formulation of the Nicene Creed and confessed 'the only- begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father.'" [Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed; cf. DS 150] (CCC # 242)
GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS IMAGE
As has been shown until now, man is truly created in the image of God.[Gen. 1:26](CCC. # 36, 225, 2809) As God enjoys a physical body, a Holy Spirit and a Divine Soul, man also enjoys a physical body, a human spirit and a soul.
At the same time, it is important to differentiate that while man was created, God is eternal. The Divine Soul of God, the "I am", the Divine intellectual self-consciousness is eternal, having no beginning, nor end. This is not so for man, his soul having been created by God. Therefore, contrary to what heresies have upheld, man can never become equal to God, nor become gods as a child of God.
JESUS HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF
At this point, it is important to emphasize that Jesus had life in Himself, apart from God the Father.
"For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself." [Jn. 5:26]
While the soul of man cannot manifest life in itself unless it has a physical or spiritual body in which to manifest itself, this is not true of God the Father. The Father has life in Himself, apart from Jesus and the Holy Spirit as was shown from the previous quoted Bible passage.
The affirmation that the intellectual soul of man cannot manifest life in itself without a physical or spiritual body is taken from the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas that were mentioned in the first chapter.
"In virtue of its specific nature, the intellectual soul is meant to be united to some body as the latter's form; the body even enters into the definition of the soul. For this reason, souls are numerically differentiated according to the relation they have to different bodies, which is not the case with separate substances."
"In virtue of its specific nature, the intellectual soul does not possess the body as a part of itself, but has only an aptitude for union with the body. Therefore it is numerically differentiated by its capacity for union with different bodies. And this remains the case with souls even after their bodies have been destroyed: they retain a capacity for union with different bodies even when they are not actually united to their respective bodies."
(Extracted from: "The first part of 'LIGHT OF FAITH: THE COMPENDIUM OF THEOLOGY' by St. Thomas Aquinas"; # 85. Unity of the possible intellect.)
Also, as explained in an earlier chapter, the human spirit has a mind of its own apart from the mind of the physical body. It is equally true of God in who's image man was created. Each of the three Divine Presences of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, have a mind of Their own.
Diagram 22: God has three minds.
Note: In Diagram 22, we see that there are three minds in God, the minds of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Diagram 23: Man has two minds.
Note: In Diagram 23, the physical body of man and his human spirit have a mind of their own. But the soul of man does not have a mind of its own, requiring a physical body or a human spirit to manifest itself.
THE FULLNESS OF GOD WITHIN JESUS
Consider the following words of Jesus,
"From now on you do know Him (God the Father) and have seen Him." [Jn. 14:7]
Did you know that whenever we look at a holy picture of Jesus, we are actually looking at the image of God the Father as much as it is humanly possible to know Him in His formless Divine nature?
He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God." [Col. 1:15]
This would be similar to someone saying to you, "Show me your soul!" You would certainly answer that it cannot be done and that by knowing you, they know your soul. When they see your physical body, they know your soul. When they talk to you, they are also talking to your soul. It is the same with God. When you see the physical body of Jesus, you know the Father. When you are looking at Jesus, you are also looking at God the Father. Jesus does not look like an old man as some portrait God the Father to be by creating false gods to adore. As your physical presence is the image of your formless soul, the physical Presence of Jesus is the image of God the Father who is formless in nature.
THE EQUALITY OF THE THREE DIVINE PRESENCES
All three Divine Presences of the Holy Trinity are equal in their natures because of their perfect coexistence as One, each being inseparable from the other.
For the Holy Trinity to be known to man in its fullness, it requires that all Three Divine Presences of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be known as God knows Himself.
Through the Holy Trinity, we learn that without the physical Presence of Jesus in the physical world, the Heavenly Father could not have manifested Himself physically to man in human form. Nor could He manifest Himself in the spiritual world to the angels without the spiritual form of the Holy Spirit.
God the Father, without a physical and spiritual form, would have remained forever as a voice, a cloud, a pillar of fire, a light, all these being symbols of His Divine Presence.
Without the coexisting Presence of God the Father within Jesus, Jesus could not have claimed to be God because He would not have enjoyed the Divine nature. As we learn from the Third letter of Cyril to Nestorius, (The Council of Ephesus - 431 A.D.) "... Jesus was united by nature and not turned into flesh and he (God) made his indwelling in such a way as we may say that the soul of man does in his own body."
"Christ is not dual, even though he be considered to be from two distinct realities, brought together into an unbreakable union. In the same sort of way a human being, though he be composed of soul and body, is considered to be not dual, but rather one out of two. Therefore, in thinking rightly, we refer both the human and divine expressions to the same person."
Nor could Jesus have life in Himself while enjoying His human nature without the indwelling spiritual Presence of the Holy Spirit who gave life to His physical Body. The Holy Spirit, also having life in Himself, is God and one with Jesus in the Holy Trinity.
Finally, the Holy Spirit could not claim to be God without the Divine indwelling Presence of God the Father within Him. Nor could He claim to be the Spirit of God the Father or of Jesus unless He truly was.
Because of the Three inseparable Divine Presences of the Blessed Trinity as One, Jesus commanded the Holy Catholic Church to baptize in the one Name of the three Divine Presences of the Holy Trinity. For all three Divine Presences of God are one. [Mt. 28:19]
ALL DIVINE ACTIONS FLOW FROM THE THREE DIVINE PRESENCES
All Divine actions flow from the Three Divine Presences of the One God. Nothing that is done, is done without the perfect harmony of each and every Divine Presence of the Holy Trinity.
In the incarnation of Jesus, the Heavenly Father sent the Son, Jesus obeying the Father, [Mk. 9:37; Lk. 9:48, 10:16; Jn. 3:17, 3:34, 4:34, 5:23-4, 5:30, 5:35-7, 6:29, etc...] and the Holy Spirit dwelled within Jesus. [Lk. 1:35]
In the resurrection of Jesus, the Son was raised by the Father [1 Thess. 1:10] through the power of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit returned to make His indwelling within Jesus, Jesus resurrected from the dead to once more have life in Himself.
In the Sacrament of Baptism, the soul receives its free gift of the new human spirit of the seed of God by the grace of God the Father in the Most Holy Name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the soul is forgiven of its sins and regains its righteousness in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist that leads to eternal life in the Kingdom of God, the soul receives the Living Bread and Blood by the grace and mercy of the Heavenly Father, the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb and the power of the Holy Spirit.
While these are only a few manifested Divine actions, no Divine actions are executed without the perfect harmony of all Three Divine Presences of the Holy Trinity for they truly are One.
COMMUNION WITH THE SON IS COMMUNION WITH THE FATHER
All are called to enjoy a fellowship with Jesus.
"By God, you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord." [1 Cor. 1:9]
When a Christian enjoys a personal relationship with Jesus, he also enjoys a personal relationship with God the Father.
"Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." [1 Jn. 1:3]
Jesus is "the way, and the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through Him." [Jn. 14:6] To bypass Jesus is similar to someone saying, "I do not need you. I will speak directly to your soul (or your spirit)." This is impossible for all three, the soul, the spirit and the body are one, being inseparable from one another. As such, no one goes to the Father unless he goes through Jesus. Therefore,
"Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son." [2 Jn. 1:9]
The Holy Bible holds the truth to the mystery of the Holy Trinity. To deny the truth, the teachings of Jesus, is to deny both the Father and the Son.
ONE GOD BUT THREE DIVINE PRESENCES
The Holy Catholic Church teaches that there are three Divine individual Presences in the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In support of this truth, there are a number of Bible passages that refer to God in the plural. Some of these are:
"Let US make humankind in our image, according to OUR likeness." [Gen. 1:26]
"Then the Lord God said, 'See, the man has become like one of US, knowing good and evil.'" [Gen. 3:22]
"And the Lord said, 'Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let US go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another's speech.'" [Gen. 11:6-7]
THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS
While there are Three Divine Presences within God, there is only one God and only one Most Holy Name. It is the Name of Jesus.
"Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." [Eph. 1:21; Phil. 2:9]
Who will be exalted above all? It is Jesus! Who bears the Name of Jesus? It is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Is there any biblical proof to support this? Yes, there is! Read carefully the following Bible passages:
"Holy Father, protect them in 'your name' that you have 'given me', so that they may be one, as we are one." [Jn. 17:11]
"While I was with them, I protected them in 'your name' that you have 'given me.'" [Jn. 17:12]
The Most Holy Name of the Son is also the Most Holy Name of the Father for they are One.
To understand the exchange of the one Most Holy Name of Jesus between the Father and the Son, it is necessary to once more turn to the creation of man. The name that one receives at birth and by which he is known, is it not also the name of his soul and his spirit? When a person physically dies and goes to Heaven in his human spirit form, how do the heavenly beings recognize him? Is the person not recognized by his human spirit that is in the image of his physical body? Will the others in Heaven not call him by the same name by which he was known on earth? Yes!
Equally, the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit who are One is the one and only Most Holy name of Jesus. That is why it is impossible for us to go to the Father without going through Jesus! That is why it is impossible for us to glorify the Son without glorifying the Father! That is why when we pray to the Son, we also pray to the Father.
And, that is why, the Holy Catholic Church baptizes and blesses its children in the One Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Catholic Church, in all its written documents, never states, "in the names of" in the plural form, but rather "in the Name of" in singular form.
To further perceive the mystery of the Holy Trinity, we will now turn to the gift of bilocation.
THE GIFT OF BILOCATION
Bilocation, a gift that has been bestowed upon many saints of the Holy Catholic Church by the grace of God, is a spiritual manifestation that permitted the individual saints to be present in more than one location at the same time. Padre Pio, beatified in May, 1999, was known for having been blessed with this spiritual gift of the Lord God.
When someone enjoys the spiritual manifestation of bilocation, at that particular moment, his human spirit is separated from his physical body, his spiritual presence manifesting itself in another location. While it may appear to the human mind as if there are two of the same person who are bilocating, in truth, there is only one person, but two separate presences of the same person. One presence is physical, the other being spiritual.
Through the gift of bilocation, it is easier to perceive how the human spirit has a spiritual mind of its own, while being apart from its physical body. While both, the physical body and the human spirit enjoy the one and only soul of the same person, when apart in separate bodies, each body is in perfect harmony with the other, both having a mind of their own. In other words, there is one soul but two bodies, each body having a mind of its own.
Diagram 24: Two bodies but one person.
Note: As is seen in Diagram 24, the physical body and the spiritual body of the same person have been separated. While separated, they each have life in itself because the soul continues to manifest itself through the mind of each body. While it appears that there are two persons, there is only one.
Because the physical and spiritual bodies of man each have a mind of their own, they are capable of acting independently from the other. While one body is able to act independently from the other, having a free will of its own, the mind of one body would never contradict the mind of the other body because both minds and wills are in perfect harmony in their one soul. The two bodies and the two minds, enjoying the same soul, belong to that particular soul. They are part of his whole being.
During this spiritual experience, all the actions of each body, either of the physical or spiritual one, are known to the other presence since both bodies enjoy the same soul. What one thinks, sees, hears, smells or touches is immediately experienced in the mind of the other body and vice versa. It is like when your right hand picks up something in coordination with your left hand. They act simultaneously.
Resulting from the gift of bilocation, one may believe that there are two separate persons of the same individual because both literally exist and manifest independent actions. At the same time, in truth, there is only one person who is being manifested in two separate presences, one being physical, the other spiritual.
The reason as to why there is only one person is because although there are two minds and two bodies, both minds and bodies belong to the one being, the one soul. Although the soul has a spiritual and physical nature, those natures belong to the same person.
By understanding God's gift of bilocation within the Holy Catholic Church, it is easier to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of the fullness of our own creation as a body, spirit and soul. But most important of all, by understanding the gift of bilocation, we gain spiritual insight on the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
By understanding bilocation, we also gain an understanding of the two minds within us, the mind of the physical body that is drawn towards the worldly ways and the mind of the spiritual body that is drawn towards the spiritual ways. Through this new knowledge, we are obligated to accept as truth that while there was only one Padre Pio, at times, it sure appeared as if there were two persons, two Padre Pio. Indeed, there was one person in Padre Pio, but two manifestations of his person. Each presence, the physical and the spiritual ones, could easily be perceived by the human mind as being a person in himself because each one has a mind and free will of his own.
In the same way, because of the limitations of the human mind, man perceives three Divine Persons in God who is One. Because the Three and One conflict with one another, the human mind is unable to perceive the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
Setting aside the word "Person" to replace it with the word "Presence", in truth, it can be said that there is only One God who manifests Himself in Three Divine Presences.
God the Father, of a Divine formless and invisible nature (See the note below.), manifests Himself through the mind of His Divine intellectual Soul Consciousness. He is eternal. He has life in Himself because He has a mind of His own. He acts apart from the Son and the Holy Spirit.
God the Holy Spirit, of a spiritual nature (See the note below.), manifests Himself visibly in the spiritual world. He is eternal. He has life in Himself because He has a mind of His own. He acts apart from the Father and the Son.
God the Son, of a human nature (See the note below.), manifests Himself visibly in the physical world through the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ. He is eternal. He has life in Himself because He has a mind of His own. He also acts apart from the other Two Divine Presences, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
NOTE: Because each Presence of the Holy Trinity coexist as One (as the body, spirit and soul of man coexist) it is truthful beyond any doubt that each Presence of the Divine Trinity, although appearing to be of one nature in their respective physical, spiritual or Divine nature, equally possess the natures of the other Two Divine Presences. Therefore, each Presences of the Holy Trinity truly enjoy the Divine, spiritual and physical natures by their perfect coexistence.
And so it is revealed that the Lord, in His almighty power, to manifest His formless nature to the physical world,
"emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross." [Phil. 2:7-8]
THE TRUE DEATH OF JESUS
We now come to the question, "How could Jesus have died if He is God because God cannot die?" The answer to this question is easy. As previously stated, each Divine Presence of the Holy Trinity has life of His own, there being Three Divine minds in the Divine intellectual Soul consciousness of God. Having a mind of His own through His physical body, Jesus was able to say, "I am" apart from the Father and the Holy Spirit who also rightfully make the claim of being "I am."
When Jesus died on the cross, at which time the Holy Spirit departed from His physical body, the mind of Jesus could no longer function through His physical body that had died. As such, for a period of time, Jesus had truly died. His self-awareness, His "I am" that knew Himself through His physical mind became non-existent. During that time, the independent minds of the Father and the Holy Spirit continued to manifest Themselves in their respective Divine Presences. Although the Divine intellectual Soul consciousness of God lived on, it was deprived of One of the Divine minds, the mind of Jesus.
By once more using bilocation as an example, it can be understood how Jesus died while God did not die. In the person that experiences bilocation, if one of the two bodies died, that person would no longer have two minds in which to manifest himself. One of his minds would die with its respective body. As such, the body that died and that knew that it had life in itself, would no longer be able to have that self-awareness of its existence. While the person would still live because the soul of the person continues to live and manifest itself through the mind of the other body, the soul would be deprived of a part of its fullness, the body that died and the life that it had in itself.
Equally, while God cannot die, the life that Jesus had in Himself ceased to exist for a period of time. During that time, the fullness of God as Three living Divine Presences in the Blessed Trinity was non-existent. This is not a denial of the fullness of God that exists in the Father and the Holy Spirit, but rather an affirmation that the fullness of God that existed in one of the Three Divine Presences had died. Through Jesus Christ, God truly died for mankind!
Diagram 25: The death of Jesus.
Note: As is seen in Diagram 25, there only remains two Divine Presences in the Holy Trinity. By using the colour black, it represents that Jesus has died. No longer having life in Himself through the mind of His physical body, for a period of time, He was truly dead. During that time, the Father and the Holy Spirit continued to have life in Themselves. Although of the Divine nature by His oneness with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus had died.
When the Divine intellectual Soul Consciousness of God the Father [1 Thess. 1:10] and the Holy Spirit returned upon Jesus to coexist within Him, Jesus regained His life. His mind once more gained the self-awareness of His independent existence apart from the Father and the Son. At that moment, Jesus resurrected from the dead. Being truly dead, Jesus could not raise Himself by the power of His own separate mind. This is why, enjoying the human nature that every human enjoys, Jesus feared death as every human do. Jesus said,
"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want." [Mt. 26:39]
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