Yesterday was Trinity Sunday. Better late than never in discussing the Trinity, so here goes.
The Church, rooted in Sacred Scripture, teaches that God is a Trinity of Persons. God the Father, the creator and sustainer of all things; God the Son (Jesus Christ), the incarnation of God, or His Word become flesh; and God the Holy Spirit, the perfect Love that exists between Father and Son that is so intense it forms a distinct Person. Paragraphs 234-256 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church discuss at length the Trinity; as always, see sidebar for link.
The Trinity does not mean that we Christians believe that there are three gods. God is Three Persons, in one God. How this is so cannot be explained nor understood by mere human intelligence, and yet it is a fundamental belief among Christians. Belief does not require understanding. You can believe in the existence of electricity without comprehending how it works. One needn’t stick a finger in a light socket to know that you’ll feel electricity’s existence.
God the Father created everything. Atheists may disbelieve in God, yet they cannot explain how everything came into being. Where did all the matter come from? Where did all the physical constants and mathematical variables and chemical formulae and so forth come from, how did they develop? From where and when did they start? How did they start, or come into existence? Some intelligent force or guiding spirit must have been the first cause at some point in existence to start the whole thing.
Evolution may explain many things, but is based on random chance and denies God’s involvement. Again, I return to the previous paragraph, where did it all come from to begin the evolutionary cycle or path?
Creationism does not explain things, unless you believe that God is a trickster bent on deceiving His people. Creationists believe that the Universe is about 6,000 years old and was created in 6 days, despite physical evidence to the contrary. If God created the Universe 6,000 years ago, yet planted evidence that it is billions of years old, what’s to say that the Universe isn’t really 30 seconds old, and any evidence to the contrary is false? Nothing in the Bible implies an age of 6,000 years, such a figure was derived at by believing that Biblical history is a continuous one, without breaks in its chain. God is Truth, He does not deceive. Creationism “dumbs down” God to a human level of understanding and maligns His magnificence.
Intelligent Design is also weak, as it implies God is merely a designer, an architect, and nothing more. Pope Benedict XVI recently postulated the idea of “theistic evolution”, which in simple terms accepts all that science states about the physical nature of the universe, yet declares that God is the author of it all. God designed the scientific laws and methematical and chemical formulae that govern the workings of the universe. Unlike primitive religions in which a deity causes things to happen, theistic evolution states that God gave the universe a type of free will (perhaps “autonomy” is a better term as free will implies intelligence or consciousness. But it is poetic.). It operates on its own, yet is dependent on the Creator, for without His continual sustenance, existence would cease. Just like we have our free will, or autonomy, but use our intelligence to freely align with God’s will or not to choose His will. The difference between us and nature.
God the Son is the physical manifestation of the Father into creation. The Father and the Son are one, and yet are distinct. Where one is, so is the other. The Son is the means by which the Word of the Father reaches us, and creation.
God the Holy Spirit is the perfect, intense love between Father and Son that serves as the means by which the Father communicates His will to us. He is the Advocate and our Guide, sent to us after Jesus ascended to Heaven before Pentecost, returning to the Father. Where the Spirit is, so are the Father and the Son.
All three are God, and yet are One, and yet are distinct Persons. To me, this uniqueness and impossible-to-understand idea (yet has persisted for 2,000 years) is proof of its Truth.
You just can’t make this stuff up. So much theology and so much symbolism for human relationships have been derived from the Trinitarian idea.
As sober alcoholics, we can take tremendous reassurance from the Trinity. The Spirit dwells within us, offering us guidance and direction if we quiet ourselves and listen to its promptings. It protects the Church from teaching error in areas of Faith and Morals. The Son communicates God’s Word to us through the Bible and the Church. He established the sacraments by which we live and grow in the Faith. The Father is just that, our Father to whom we love, petition, and are grateful towards. He sent His Son to suffer for our sins, as we were unable to do so for ourselves.
The Trinity provides endless amounts of material for pondering. Its resources will never be exhausted.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"