Holy trinity

The Truth of the Holy Trinity

“In our faith, we believe that in God there are three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And each of these three persons possesses the unique divine essence. (Father Ludwig Ott)

There are many misconceptions surrounding the Catholic belief in the Holy Trinity, the most common being that it implies that Catholics believe in three different gods. John Morales hosted William Albrecht on morning air to discuss the truth behind this dogma and how the Trinity fits perfectly into our faith.

“The Father is the Eternal God, the Son is the Eternal God, and the Holy Spirit is the Eternal God.” And yet, they are not the same people. They are three distinct persons who are all fully and entirely God, possessing the same divine nature, without a hierarchical structure. The three persons are all equally God. Albrecht emphasized the importance of this point because of heretics in the past who held that the Son is lesser, or the Holy Spirit is lesser. But whenever a Trinitarian heretic has arisen, the Church has been there to expose this false teaching.

Albrecht took John’s listeners back to Genesis during the Creation story. We see a passage that says a lot about the Trinity: “Then God said: Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the domestic animals, all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

Let we make human beings in our image. The question was, John explained, who was this “we”? The ancient Hebrew scriptures did not quite understand why God spoke in this seemingly strange way. But through the Incarnation, the fulfillment of Scripture and the realization of the Holy Trinity, this “we” becomes clearer.

Certainly, understanding the Trinity is not like putting together a puzzle where the picture becomes totally clear to us. The dogma surrounding the Trinity is one of those “deep mysteries” of faith that will be somewhat hazy until we attain eternal salvation and receive a glorified intellect. As John pointed out, it is nearly impossible for us to fully understand the reality of three different people possessing a divine and eternal nature as God.

Although it may sound counter-intuitive or like an oxy-moron, the bottom line is that we believe in one God. We are a monotheistic Church which has found the full truth through the history of Salvation. As Saint Paul said: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:13)

But, as John continued, we are not only biblical Christians. As Catholics, we derive our beliefs from sacred scripture and sacred tradition. So what did the early Church Fathers have to say on the matter of the Trinity? Albrecht made reference to several fathers including Pope Saint Clement of Rome who wrote in the 1st century, a letter fully recalling the blessing of Saint Paul: “As God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit live, the faith and hope of the elect, who in lowliness of spirit , with immediate meekness and without repentance observed the ordinances and appointments given by God.

And of St. Ignatius of Antioch, “…with the ministry of Jesus Christ who was with the Father before the beginning of time.” If he was with the Father before the beginning of time, he is eternal, and therefore God. Ironically enough, Christian denominations like Jehovah’s Witnesses often use the Church Fathers to try to prove that Christians should not believe in the Trinity, but their collections of documents and sources are heavily edited and interpolated to reflect a teaching contrary to the Catholic faith.

Tune morning air weekdays at 5am CT

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Drew Mariani

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Drew Mariani