Saint Athanasius on the Trinity

Sunday, May 21, AD 2017

 

We acknowledge the Trinity, holy and perfect, to consist of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In this Trinity there is no intrusion of any alien element or of anything from outside, nor is the Trinity a blend of creative and created being. It is a wholly creative and energising reality, self-consistent and undivided in its active power, for the Father makes all things through the Word and in the Holy Spirit, and in this way the unity of the holy Trinity is preserved. Accordingly, in the Church, one God is preached, one God who is above all things and through all things and in all things. God is above all things as Father, for he is principle and source; he is through all things through the Word; and he is in all things in the Holy Spirit.

Writing to the Corinthians about spiritual matters, Paul traces all reality back to one God, the Father, saying: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone.

Even the gifts that the Spirit dispenses to individuals are given by the Father through the Word. For all that belongs to the Father belongs also to the Son, and so the graces given by the Son in the Spirit are true gifts of the Father. Similarly, when the Spirit dwells in us, the Word who bestows the Spirit is in us too, and the Father is present in the Word. This is the meaning of the text: My Father and I will come to him and make our home with him. For where the light is, there also is the radiance; and where the radiance is, there too are its power and its resplendent grace.

This is also Paul’s teaching in his second letter to the Corinthians: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. For grace and the gift of the Trinity are given by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. Just as grace is given from the Father through the Son, so there could be no communication of the gift to us except in the Holy Spirit. But when we share in the Spirit, we possess the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and the fellowship of the Spirit himself.

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Saint Athanasius on the Trinity

  • Three sovereign Persons in one God.

  • On Trinity Sunday, every homilist should proclaim and discuss this creed. But I fear that most fear that his audience, supposedly the might highly educated in our history, has been so poorly catechized that it would right over their heads.There is a story by Aldous Huxley about a Spanish fisherboy whom he met walking on a beach. He was stuck by the boy’s intelligence. One day they fell into conversation about religion. The boy’s instruction extended only two his catechism but he showed an extraordinary mastery of it. But with that he was able to meet Huxley almost as a peer. Today one can have a master’s degree in theology and be lacking such depth. For so many learned Catholics begin with Descartes’ methodical doubt. Pascal begins his Pensees from a totally different perspective, from the depth faith of Athanasius. I can imagine The boy and the bishop at table sitting at table in Chesterton’s IN at the End of Time, and sharing a common beverage, having seen clearly what they had already discerned on earth. Our Father in heaven.

  • I think every homily I’ve ever heard on Trinity Sunday tackles the subject. With varying degrees of insight, of course, but I’ve rarely heard a dangerous slip-up (the kind that a Council would condemn). The biggest weakness is that many priests try to make it relevant to one’s daily life – and of course it is relevant, but not in a surface way.

Saint Jerome on the Trinity

Sunday, June 3, AD 2012

Saint Jerome in his sermon on Psalm 41 gave an immortal reflection on the Trinity:

 

Like a deer that longs for springs of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. Now just as those deer long for springs of water, so do our deer. Fleeing Egypt – that is, fleeing worldly things – they have killed Pharaoh and drowned all his army in the waters of baptism.

Now, after the devil has been killed, they long for the springs of the Church: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We can find the Father described as a spring in Jeremiah: They have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, to dig themselves leaky cisterns that cannot hold water.

About the Son we read somewhere: They have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Saint Jerome on the Trinity

  • The words of St. Jerome helped me regain balance lost after reading the post after this one. He actually translated the Bible – ever amazing the wisdom of God.

    “So then, you who have followed our lead and robed yourselves in Christ, let the words of God lift you out of this turbulent age as a net lifts the little fishes out of the water. In us the laws of nature are turned upside down – for fish, taken out of the water, die; but the Apostles have fished us out of the sea that is this world not to kill us but to bring us from death to life. As long as we were in the world, our eyes were peering into the depths and we led our lives in the mud. Now we have been torn from the waves, we begin to see the true light. Moved by overwhelming joy, we say to our souls: Put your hope in the Lord, I will praise him still, my savior and my God.”

  • Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. This Sermon is truly moving.

Saint Augustine on the Blessed Trinity

Sunday, June 19, AD 2011

 

 We have sufficiently spoken of the Father and of the Son, so far as was possible for us to see through this glass and in this enigma. We must now treat of the Holy Spirit, so far as by God’s gift it is permitted to see Him. And the Holy Spirit, according to the Holy Scriptures, is neither of the Father alone, nor of the Son alone, but of both; and so intimates to us a mutual love, wherewith the Father and the Son reciprocally love one another. But the language of the Word of God, in order to exercise us, has caused those things to be sought into with the greater zeal, which do not lie on the surface, but are to be scrutinized in hidden depths, and to be drawn out from thence. The Scriptures, accordingly, have not said, The Holy Spirit is Love. If they had said so, they would have done away with no small part of this inquiry. But they have said, God is love; so that it is uncertain and remains to be inquired whether God the Father is love, or God the Son, or God the Holy Ghost, or the Trinity itself which is God. For we are not going to say that God is called Love because love itself is a substance worthy of the name of God, but because it is a gift of God, as it is said to God, You are my patience. For this is not said because our patience is God’s substance, but in that He Himself gives it to us; as it is elsewhere read, Since from Him is my patience. For the usage of words itself in Scripture sufficiently refutes this interpretation; for You are my patience is of the same kind as You, Lord, art my hope, and The Lord my God is my mercy, and many like texts. And it is not said, O Lord my love, or, You are my love, or, God my love; but it is said thus, God is love, as it is said, God is a Spirit. And he who does not discern this, must ask understanding from the Lord, not an explanation from us; for we cannot say anything more clearly.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Saint Augustine on the Blessed Trinity

  • Through the hard lessons of human history the true perspective of the God/mankind relationship became evident to a precious few, the Israelites, who accepted the Creator and obeyed his commands. It is to our eternal benefit and everlasting thanks that they did and a covenant was formed which bound them together for generations to come.
    Salvation history seems to show that man obviously was a “slow learner” when it came to understanding our relationship with the Creator. So our eternal and loving God gave humanity a while to experience life at a distance from him. This prepared us for Christ; his beloved Son, the Teacher, his Word in the flesh.
    It was time for us to visually see, audibly hear, and bare witness to his word and love in action exemplified by his own Son. The Father through the Holy Spirit, which is his Will in action, came to us in the Incarnate flesh of Christ. Only an omnipotent being as our God could have designed and implemented such a revealing divine and complete plan for mankind’s ultimate salvation as the birth and life of Jesus.
    Through Christ we are called to become a new creation with a new commission and share intimately with the Creator in his plan for “his people”. We are now united as “one body” through Christ and pledge our will to do his “on earth as it is in heaven”.
    Family was God’s one choice for revealing his “Word” to “become flesh and dwell among us”. This was his model for man to understand our triune God, his love for us, his desire to be in communion with us, and to enjoy the mystery of his presence among us in this our universal home.
    It was a humble family which faithfully accepted the arrangement on his terms, by his means not as they had planned, and for his will to be done. Both Mary and Joseph, as part of that original covenant, were devout Jews and “willing” to do whatever God had in mind for them knowing they would be together “with child” in their adventure for the Holy Spirit who came to “overshadow” them.

    So what do we see here? A complete and dedicated union of a devoted husband, a pure and faithfully obedient virgin wife, and a divine child combined in love and purpose to make up the celestial package for the worlds first “Christmas”. A single unit of persons, Family was its name; Salvation was its goal; Love was its eternal message.
    There exposed and unfolded to the world was heavens “eternal family” of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in their greatest act of love for mankind’s salvation, spiritually conjoined with a “holy family” of husband, wife, and savior child. The nature of heaven’s Trinity revealed on earth in “Family” as only God would have it for the sake of all in humanity’s ultimate and nearly unimaginable triumph, the Incarnation.
    Father God is Love, willed through the Holy Spirit and His chosen vessel our Immaculate mother Mary, the “triumphant” woman named and promised in the garden, to be present among us as our savior Lord, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ once and forever.

  • Pingback: MONDAY MORNING EDITION | ThePulp.it