by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Continued From: The Divine Romance: The Blessed Trinity by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Part 2
We are not yet finished with the inner life of God, for if God is the source of all life and truth and goodness in the world, He must have a will as well as an intellect, a love as well as a thought. It is a fact of nature that every being loves its own perfection. The perfection of the eye is color, and it loves the beauty of the sun setting in the flaming monstrance of the west. The perfection of the ear is sound, and it loves the harmony of an overture of Beethoven or a sonata of Chopin.
Love has two terms: He who loves and he who is loved. In love the two are reciprocal. I love and I am loved. Between me and the one I love there is a bond. It is not my love, it is not his love, it is our love — the mysterious resultant of two affections, a bond, which enchains and an embrace wherein two hearts leap with but a single joy.
The Father loves the Son, the Image of His Perfection, and the Son loves the Father. Love is not only in the Father. Love is not only in the Son. There is something between them, as it were. The Father loves the Son, whom He engenders. The Son loves the Father, who engendered Him. They contemplate each other, love each other, unite in a love so powerful, so strong, and so perfect, that it forms between them a living bond. They give themselves in a love so infinite that, like the truth, which expresses itself only in the giving of a whole personality, their love can express itself in nothing less than a Person, who is Love.
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.
That breath of love is not a passing one like our own, but an eternal spirit. How all this is done, I know not; but I do believe on the testimony of the Word Incarnate that that Holy Spirit has been sent by God to rule His Church: "But when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will teach you all truth." And I believe that the continuous, unbroken succession of the truth communicated by Christ to His Church has survived to our own day; not because of the human organization of the Church, for that is carried on by frail vessels, but because of a profusion of the Spirit of Love over Christ's Vicar and all who belong to Christ's mystical body.
Three in one, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; three persons in one God; one in essence, distinction of persons — such is the mystery of the Trinity, such is the inner life of God. Just as I am, I know, and I love and yet am one; just as the three angles of a triangle do not make three triangles but one; just as the heat, power, and light of the sun do not make three suns, but one; just as water, air, and steam are all manifestations of the one substance; just as the form, color, and perfume of the rose do not make three roses, but one; just as our soul, our intellect, and our will do not make three substances, but one; just as one times one times one times one, does not equal three, but one (1x1x1=1) — so too in some much more mysterious way, there are three Persons in God and yet only one God.
The Trinity is the answer to the questions of Plato. If there is only one God, what does He think about? He thinks an eternal thought; that is, His Eternal Son. If there is only one God, whom does He love? He loves His Son, and that mutual love is the Holy Spirit. I firmly believe that the great philosopher was fumbling about for the mystery of the Trinity, for his great mind seemed in some small way to suspect that an infinite being must have relations of thought and love and that God cannot be conceived without thought and love. But it was not until the Word became incarnate that man knew the secret of those relations and the inner life of God.
It is that mystery of the Trinity which gives the answer to those who have pictured God as an egotist God, sitting in solitary splendor before the world began, reduced to loving Himself as a selfish deity; for the Trinity is a revelation that, before creation, God enjoyed the amiable society of His three Persons, the infinite communion with Truth and the embrace of infinite Love, and hence had no need ever to go outside Himself in search of happiness.
The greatest wonder of all, then, is, that being perfect and enjoying perfect happiness, He ever should have made a world. And if He did make a world, He could only have had one motive for making it. It could not add to His perfection; it could not add to His truth; it could not increase His happiness. He made a world only because He loved.
Finally, it is the mystery of the Trinity, which gives the answer to the quest for our happiness and the meaning of Heaven. Heaven is not a place where there is the mere vocal repetition of alleluias or the monotonous fingering of harps.
Heaven is a place where we find the fullness of all the fine things we enjoy on this earth.
Heaven is a place where we find, in their plenitude, those things which slake the thirst of hearts, satisfy the hunger of starving minds, and give rest to unrequited love.
Heaven is the communion with perfect Life, perfect Truth, and perfect Love.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, to whom be all honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
The Divine Romance: The Blessed Trinity by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Part 1
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.
The Divine 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.
A Brief Definition of the Trinity
I know that one of the most oft-repeated questions I have dealt with is, "How does one explain, or even understand, the doctrine of the Trinity?" Indeed, few topics are made such a football by various groups that, normally, claim to be the "only" real religion, and who prey upon Christians as "convert fodder." Be that as it may, when the Christian is faced with a question regarding the Trinity, how might it best be explained?
I Love The Trinity
On the basis of Scripture itself, Christians throughout the centuries have professed belief in the Holy Trinity, affirming the fact that our one God is eternally existent in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are co-equal, co-existent and co-eternal.
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