by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Man is engaged in a threefold quest, for life, truth, and love. Since he cannot find these in their fullness on this earth — because here life is mingled with death, truth with error, and love with hate — he must go out beyond the "margent of this world," out to Someone who is pure Life, pure Truth, and pure Love, which is God.
But this knowledge of God, which came from reason working on the visible things of the world, gives a very incomplete concept of Him. It is like the knowledge anyone might gain of an artist by looking at his painting. But I could look at that painting from now until the crack of doom and I would never know anything of the artist's inmost thoughts and loves, hopes and aspirations. I could know this only by a personal revelation on his part.
In like manner I can divine something of the existence of God, something of His Infinite Power, Life, and Beauty, by contemplating His universe; but I could never learn anything of His secret Thought and Love. His creation gives but dim hints of these. It was therefore only natural that man should desire further knowledge of the inner life of God, and in seeking that light should ask such questions as Plato asked four centuries before Christ:
If there is only one God, what does He think about, for if He is an intelligent being He must think of something?
If there is only one God, whom does He love? For, to be happy one must love.
These questions were hurled against the high heavens as so much brass, for there was no man to give them answer. The answer could come only from God Himself, and it came when Our Blessed Lord appeared on earth and revealed to us the innermost life of God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. This tremendous mystery, known as the mystery of the Trinity — the mystery which answers the questions of Plato, which is above reason and yet not contrary to it — with the help of revelation and analogy, I shall try to explain.
If we would answer the questions of Plato and know what God thinks about, and whom God loves, let us first ask the question of man, for man has been made to the image and likeness of God. The study of man's thoughts will tell us something about the thoughts of God.
Man thinks. He thinks a thought — a thought like Justice, Faith, Fortitude, Charity. But who has ever seen Justice? Who ever heard of Charity going out for a walk? Who knows the size, the weight, and the color of Fortitude?
No one has ever seen, tasted, or touched these thoughts, and yet they are real. They are spiritual thoughts, therefore. But where did they come from? Since they are not wholly in the outside world, they must have been produced, or generated by the mind itself, not with that physical birth by which animal produces animal, but with that spiritual generation by which we produce ideas or internal words.
There are other ways of begetting life, we must remember, than the mere physical ways we see in the world about us. The most chaste way that life is begotten is the way in which thoughts and ideas are born in the mind. Now some thoughts of man are banal and commonplace, trite thoughts which no man remembers; but there are also thoughts which are spirit and life. There are some thoughts of man into which man puts his very soul and his very being, all that he has been and all that he is. Such thoughts are so much the thoughts of that thinker as to carry his personality and his spirit with them, so that we can recognize them as thoughts of that person; thus we say, That is a thought of Pascal, of Bossuet, of Shakespeare, or of Dante.
Romance: The Blessed Trinity by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Part 2
Birth of Son: God thinks. He thinks a thought. That Thought of God does not come from the outside world; it is generated in His Spirit in a much more perfect way than the thought of Justice is generated by my spirit. The giving of life or the power of birth, I repeat, is not limited to us...How Son was born in the divine order of things; how word became flesh.
Romance: The Blessed Trinity by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Part 3
Holy Spirit: Love at such a stage does not speak; does not cry; does not express itself by words, nor by canticles; it expresses itself as we do in some ineffable moments, by that which indicates the very exhaustion of our giving — namely, a sigh, or a breath. And that is why the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is called the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost.
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