The Holy Trinity

Summary of Catechism paragraphs 232-67:

  • The Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christianity, for this truth is fundamental to all other teachings of the faith.
  • This is the revealed truth that there is one God in three divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in an eternal communion of love.
  • There is unity in the Godhead because the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one in the divine substance.
  • Yet at the same time, each Person is distinct in terms of His relationship to the other divine Persons.
  • In one sense, God is called Father because He is the Creator, and a loving parent to His people.
  • But Christ reveals how God is Father “in an unheard-of sense” — that from all eternity, He is Father in relation to His only Son.
  • The Son, who became man in Christ, reveals the Father; the Son is the image of the Father, the radiance of His glory, His Eternal Word.
  • The Father has forever had this divine image of Himself; therefore we proclaim that the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and consubstantial with Him, meaning of the same divine substance.
  • Proceeding from the loving communion of the Father and the Son is another divine Person, the Holy Spirit; God the Holy Spirit has been described as the Eternal Love between the Father and the Son.
  • The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are at work throughout all of salvation history, and His eternal plan is to draw us into the Holy Trinity’s communion of love.

Live Your Faith

Although the mystery of God’s own interior life exceeds the limited capacity of our human minds, we do not need to understand it fully in order to appreciate its richness.

The fact that God is Himself a communion of Persons has implications for the way we live. God is one, but not a solitary, remote, inaccessible figure in stark isolation.

If God gives and receives love within Himself, so are we, who are made in His image and likeness, designed to live in loving communion with others.