Unity of the Blessed Trinity, Lesson 21, Questions 1 & 2

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"And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. ... But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of The Holy Ghost is one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. ... The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son: not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. ... And in this Trinity nothing is afore or after, nothing is greater or less, but the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal" (From the Athanasian Creed).

Are the three divine Persons perfectly equal to one another?

The three divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another, because all are one and the same God.

"Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreated, the Son Uncreated, and the Holy Ghost Uncreated. The Father Infinite, the Son Infinite, and the Holy Ghost Infinite. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal, and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Infinite, but One Uncreated, and One Infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties, but One Almighty." (From the Athanasian Creed.)

All three Persons are equal in every way, equal in power and glory. The attributes and external works of God are common to all three Persons. However, in human speech we attribute certain works to each Person.

Thus we attribute to the Father the works of creation, to the Son the work of redemption, and to the Holy Ghost the work of sanctification. In reality these works belong equally to all three.

 

How are the three divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, one and the same God?

The three divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God because all have one and the same divine nature.

  1. Each of the divine Persons is God.
    "So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost is Lord. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord. For, like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to Be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords." (From the Athanasian Creed.)
  2. There are three Persons, but only one Being. The Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Ghost. The Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is neither the Father nor the Son.

It was the Son Who became man and died for us, not the Father or the Holy Ghost. But when we receive God the Son in Holy Communion, we also spiritually receive God the Father and God the Holy Ghost. The Blessed Trinity then dwells in us as in a Temple.

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