"Freebies!"
Visit the new online stores
that offer a very large assortment of religious goods!
Order a copy
of the website!
Back to the Home Page

Back to Beautiful Teachings



Catholic Doors Ministry
presents

THE MANUAL
OF THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH


Our Living and True God.
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost
CHAPTER II


EXPLANATION OF THE BLESSED TRINITY.

Q. What do you understand by the Trinity?

A. I understand that there is but one living and true God, and that in God there are three distinct persons, called Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Return to Table of Contents

THE GOD HEAD.

Q. What do you mean by one God?

A. I mean that the divine Nature, the divine Substance, the Divinity, or the Godhead, which all signify the same, is but one; and, therefore, that God is one; and there cannot possibly be more than one such divine Nature nor more than one God, seeing that God is immense and infinite, and filleth all places, and all things.

Q. How does the unity of God appear from scripture?

A. In scripture it is thus declared; "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God," Deut. vi. 4. And all the wonderful things which God did for his people, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, are declared to have been wrought expressly that "they might know that the Lord he is God, and beside him there is no other," Deut. iv. 35. And God himself, by Moses, says, "See ye that I alone am, and there is not other God, and beside me; I will kill, and will make alive, I will strike, and I will heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand," Deut. xxxii. 39. And by Isaiah, he says, "I am the first and the last, and besides me there is no God," Isa. xiv. 6. Hence he expressly commands us, "Thou shalt have no other God but me," Exod. xx.

Q. Can it be shown from the Old Testament that there are three Persons in God?

A. Yes, it can' "For God said, Let us make man to our image and likeness," Gen. i.26, where these words, God said, show the unity of the Godhead; and these other, Let us make, and to our image, show the plurality of the Persons. So also, "God said, Lo, Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil," Gen. iii. 22. where the same truth appears. Again, "The Lord said to my Lord - from the womb, before the daystar, I begot thee," Psal. cix. 1. 3.; where God the Father speaks to God the Son, as to a distinct person. Also God the Son says, "I am appointed King by him over Sion, his holy mountain, preaching his commandment: The Lord hath said to me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee," Psal. ii. 6, 7. Lastly, "By the Word of the Lord the heavens were established, and all the powers of them by the Spirit of his mouth," Psal. xxxii. 6.; where all the three Persons are expressly mentioned, the Lord, who is the Father, the Word of the Lord, who is the Son; and the Spirit of the Lord, who is the Holy Ghost.

Return to Table of Contents

PROOFS FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT.

Q. How is the Trinity of the Persons shown from the New Testament?

A. This appears from several texts of scripture; thus, our Saviour says, "I will ask thy Father, and he will give you another Comforter, the Spirit of Truth," John xiv. 16.; where the three persons are clearly pointed out as distinct Persons, to wit, God the Son, who speaks, I will ask: God the Father, of whom he promises to ask; and God the Holy Spirit, whom he promises shall be given. So also, "There are three who bear testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are One," 1 John v.7. Here the Trinity of the Persons and the Unity of the Godhead are expressly declared. Hence the Apostles are commanded to baptize, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." In the name, and not in the names, to show there is but one God; and "of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," to show there are three Persons in God.

Q. Are there three Persons really distinct among themselves?

A. Yes, they are really distinct Persons, as appears from the above sentence, spoken by Jesus Christ, where he says, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter - the Spirit of Truth," John xiv. 16.; for one who asks is evidently a distinct person from the one of whom he asks; and the one who is given is distinct from him by whom he is given.

Q. How else does it appear that the three Persons are distinct among themselves?

A. Because each of the three has certain personal properties which the others have not, and we can say, with truth, of the one, what cannot be said of the others.

Return to Table of Contents

PERSONAL QUALITIES OF THE TRINITY.

Q. What are the personal properties of the Father which cannot be said of the Son or of the Holy Ghost?

A. That the Father is from no other, neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but is the Origin or Principle from whom the other two Persons proceed, and therefore, he is called the first Person, and the Father.

Q. What are the personal properties of the Son?

A. That he is begotten of the Father from all eternity, and proceeds from the Father only, and therefore, is called the second Person, the Word, and the Son of God: according to that, "Thou art my son, the day have I begotten thee," Psal. ii. And, again, "The Lord said to my Lord - from the womb, before the day-star, I begot thee," Matt. cix. 1, 3. Also, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," Matt. iii. 17. "And God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son," John iii. 16.

Q. What are the personal properties of the Holy Ghost?

A. That he proceeds both from the Father and the Son, and, therefore, is the third person, and is called the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Truth: Thus, God the Son says, "When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father," John xv. 26.; where it is plain, that the Holy Ghost is sent by the Son from the Father; and, therefore, must proceed from both. Again, he says, the Holy Ghost, "whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things," John xiv. 26. Here the Holy Ghost is said to be sent by the Father in the name of the Son; in the former texts, he is said to be sent by the Son from the Father, which shows he is equally sent by both, and therefore, proceedeth or comes from both. Lastly, God the Son says, "He (the Spirit of Truth) shall receive of mine, and shall show it you," John xvi. 14.

Q. Does the distinction of the Persons appear in anything else than in their personal properties?

A. Yes, it appears also from this, that God the Father "spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all," Rom. viii. 32. And God the son being thus delivered up by his Father, was made man, and died upon the cross for the sins of the world; but it cannot be said that the Father and the Holy Ghost was delivered up, or made man, and died for us; which evidently shows the Son to be a distinct Person from the Father and the Holy Ghost. In like manner, the Holy Ghost appeared in the form of a dove upon our Saviour after his baptism, Matt. iii. 16.; and in the form of fiery tongues upon the apostles on Pentecost, Acts ii. 3.; but it cannot be said, that either the Father or Son appeared in this manner; which shows the Holy Ghost to be a distinct Person from them.

Q. Is the second Person really and truly God, equal to the Father from all eternity, and of the same substance or nature with him?

A. Yes, he is; our holy faith assures us of this in the strongest terms. Thus, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God - And the Word was made flesh," John i. 1, 14. In which text, the Word, or the second person, the same that was made flesh, is expressly declared to be God, and the Word was God. So God the Son declares, "I and the Father are one," John x. 30.; that is one in substance, one in nature, one God. Of the Redeemer, the ruler in Israel, it is said, "His going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity," Mich. v. 2. Of Christ, St. Paul says, "who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God," Phil. ii. 6.; and again, "Christ is over all things, God blessed forever. Amen," Rom. ix. 5.

Q. Is the Holy Ghost also true God?

A. Our holy faith assures us of this also. Thus St. peter first said to Ananias, "Why hath Satan tempted thy heart, that thou shouldest lie to the Holy Spirit?" and then adds, "Thou hast not lied to men, but to God," Acts v. 4. The divine perfections also are attributed to the Holy Ghost in scripture, to- wit: immensity, "The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world," Wisd. i. 7.; and omniscience, "The Spirit (of god) searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God," 1 Cor. ii. 10.; and he is associated with the Father and the Son in baptism, as being the same God with them.

Return to Table of Contents

NOT THREE DISTINCT GODS.

Q. If all the three persons be God, and at the same time be distinct among themselves, why are they not three distinct Gods?

A. Because they all three, though distinct Persons, have but one and the self-same divine nature, the same divine substance, the same God head: now the divine nature being infinite and immense, cannot possibly be multiplied or more than one, but is the self-same in all the three Persons; who, therefore, are but one and the self-same God, have all the same divine perfections, and are equal in all things.

Q. But how can we conceive or comprehend this?

A. It is impossible for us to comprehend it. In the simplicity of our heart we believe it is so; because God himself has revealed it. He alone perfectly knows and comprehends himself: it is impossible for us, poor finite creatures, to know more of him that what he is pleased to discover of himself to us. Seeing then that he has revealed that there is but one only God, and that in God there are three distinct Persons, this we are to believe as a certain and divine truth, without presuming to search further, or to know more about him than he is pleased we should know; for the scripture says, "He that searcheth into Majesty, shall be overwhelmed by glory," Prov. xxv. 27.

Return to Table of Contents




To submit your question, please send it to our:
EMAIL ADDRESS
(On the subject line: Indicate "FAQ" for "Frequently Asked Questions.")






Copyright © Catholic Doors Ministry