God is a communion of love, and we’re invited to join that communion!

How can we be one with God?

“I [Jesus] pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me…”  (cf John 17:20-23)

Jesus is speaking to God the Father. In this verse, we can see the communion of God. We know, since Jesus revealed it to us, that there are three persons in the one God. The term which we use to describe the three persons is the Trinity or the tri-une God.

Jesus is praying to His Father that His disciples may all be one as the Father and the Son are one. Now, the Father and the Son are one in substance, i.e. they are both the one God. Since we humans cannot become one in substance, that is, we cannot become God, how can we be one with the Son in us and the Father in the Son? We can be united in one, that is, in full communion with the Father and the Son. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are a communion–a communion of love–and we can be fully united in that communion of the Trinity. That is what it is to be in heaven–united with God.

The communion of God–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–does not need us in the least. The Father loves the Son completely and perfectly, giving everything He is to the Son. The Son loves the Father completely and perfectly, giving everything He is to the Father. As the Father and the Son love each other perfectly, They give everything They are to each other, even their very existence, and that perfect love brought into existence is the Holy Spirit.

The tri-une God loves us so much, that He wants us to become one with the communion of God. How incredible is that?! How undeserving we are to be united with God, yet He still wants us!

The beloved disciple, Saint John, says in his first letter (4:8) that “God is love.” There was a heresy in the early days of the Church called Sabellianism, in which the existence of the three persons of God was denied. This heresy was quashed quickly and easily given the multiple references to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in the gospels, e.g. the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:10-11, Luke 3:22 and the commission to teach the gospel and baptize in the name of the Trinity in Matthew 28:19.  In the last century, this heresy was revived in the Pentecostal Oneness movement.

OK, back to Saint John. He said, “God is love.” If God is love, then God loves. Makes sense, right? We know that God does not change; therefore, if God loves now, He has always loved, even before the existence of the universe. If God is a lover then there must be a beloved. Before the universe existed, God was alone. If God is a lover, who was the beloved?  There must have been a “target” of that love. How can one love if there is nobody to love? The Father is the lover, the Son is the beloved, the Holy Spirit is the shared love. God is a communion of love! (And we’re invited to join that communion!) You don’t need to understand the Trinity to believe. Our pitiful, created, finite minds will never comprehend the infinite, uncreated God.

As Saint Augustine said:  Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.

Published in: on June 6, 2014 at 18:43  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Are you a betrayer like Judas or Peter?

We have all betrayed our Lord at different times in our lives.  Some of us betray Him often; other people betray Him rarely.  But when you do sin, who do you emulate?  Judas or Peter?  Judas had deep regret for His betrayal, but what did he do?  Did he seek forgiveness?  Did he ask for mercy?  No, he went and committed suicide.  He received no forgiveness for his sin because he didn’t seek it.  God is merciful.  His ocean of mercy is greater than your sea of sin.

Now, Peter.  He denied Christ three times just as Jesus told him he would.  At the cock’s crow, Jesus looked at Peter.  Peter realized his betrayal and went and wept bitterly.  Theologians say he had a deeper conversion at that moment.  Peter was forgiven because he was open to it, unlike Judas.

So the question is, are you a betrayer like Judas or Peter?  Will you seek forgiveness and mercy while on your knees?  Or have you become distant and unbelieving of the mercy of our Lord?  Never think you cannot be forgiven.  No matter what your sin is, no matter how many times you’ve sinned, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve been to confession, you will ALWAYS be forgiven if you are truly repentant, if you truly regret your sin, if you truly mean to go and sin no more.

Jesus is called the “Divine Mercy” for a reason.  Because His mercy is endless if you only go to Him and throw yourself on the mercy of our Lord.  He loves you with a love you cannot even imagine, and His desire is that you be with Him in heaven at the end of your earthly life.  If you haven’t been to confession in a long time and are afraid to go, pray and ask for the courage.  The priest is always ready to receive you.  There’s really no need to be embarrassed or frightened or nervous, even though it is human nature.  Just go to your local priest, confess–if you don’t remember how, just ask, priests are more than willing to help you–and you will be absolved of all your sins.  Those words of absolution can make you cry.  It feels as if a great weight is lifted off your shoulders.  Freedom from the slavery of sin is an amazing thing.

You have betrayed our Lord.  Now be like Peter.  Then go and sin no more.

Know the Shepherd

This is the March 30, 2014 Reflection from Give Us This Day, Daily Prayer for Today’s Catholic:

There’s a true story I love about a house party in one of the big English country houses.  Often after dinner at these parties, people give recitations, sing, and use whatever talent they have to entertain the company.  One year a famous actor was among the guests.  I’ve been told he might have been Charles Laughton.  When it came his turn to perform, he recited the Twenty-third Psalm, perhaps the most beloved psalm in the Psalter.  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  His rendition was magnificent, and there was much applause.  At the end of the evening someone noticed a little old great aunt dozing in the corner.  She was deaf as a post and had missed most of what was going on, but she was urged to get up and recite something.  In those days, people used to memorize a lot of poetry!  So she stood up, and in her quavery old voice she started, The Lord is my shepherd, and went on to the end of the psalm.  When she had finished there were tears in many eyes.  Later one of the guests approached the famous actor.  “You recited that psalm absolutely superbly.  It was incomparable.  So why were we so moved by that funny, little old lady?”

He replied, “I know the psalm.  She knows the shepherd.”

–Madeleine L’Engle, Glimpses of Grace:  Daily Thoughts and Reflections

Published in: on April 2, 2014 at 10:05  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Human Reason? Church? Bah!

Are you a person who says you do not believe in human reason, rather only in the scriptures?  Well then, you believe in human reason!  If you read a passage and determine its meaning, then you have used your own reason.  And how do you know you’re right?  Certainly, there is nothing wrong with reason.  God endowed us with it.  He wants us to use it.  But how do you know you are right?

The Son of God took flesh, became one of us, His own creatures, and gave His life for our sins.  He founded a Church to continue to teach all nations with His authority (see Matthew 16:18 and 28:19).   There can be only one authority.  This Church Jesus founded assembled various writings, now universally recognized to be inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The Church that created the Holy Bible is the final authority on its interpretation.  (“Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’  He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone instructs me?'” –Acts of the Apostles 8:30-31).  Jesus founded one Church (“my Church” see Matthew 16:18), and no pretender could possibly have authority over it.

Published in: on February 28, 2014 at 00:50  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Importance of the Family Rosary

The following comes from the fall newsletter of Mother Miriam’s new community, Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope (pdf), and I thought it was appropriate for this Month of the Holy Rosary:

[F]rom the booklet “Our Glorious Faith and How To Lose It” by Fr.  Hugh Thwaites, S.J.  “It seems to me,” wrote Father Thwaites, “that a principal cause of the loss of faith is the dropping off in the practice of the family Rosary.”

Father Thwaites begins: “Without delay now, I want to talk about my theme.” (Note: Bolded type below in original.)

In Austria, after World War II, there was a complete collapse of vocations.  One year, apparently, no one at all entered the seminaries.  So the bishops held a synod, to find out how it could be that this had happened.  The conclusion they reached was that the war had so disrupted family life that the centuries-old practice of the Rosary in the home had stopped, and had just not started up again.  This is my experience, too; when the Rosary goes, the faith soon collapses.

I remember someone telling me of a friend of his, a great Catholic, the pillar of the parish, whose children had all lapsed, one after the other.  They had all fallen away from the sacraments and from attending Mass.  So I said to him, “I wouldn’t mind betting that your friend had been brought up to recite the family Rosary when he was a boy, and that his children haven’t.” The next time I saw him, he said that this was indeed true.  His friend had recited the family Rosary at home when he was a boy, and when he had got married and started his own family they all said the Rosary.  But then, one evening when they were about to start the Rosary, one of the children switched on the television, and that was that.  The custom of the family Rosary was dropped, and in due course, they gave up the practice of the faith.

After this life, that one unrebuked action will be seen to have affected the eternity of many people.  God sent His Mother to Fatima to tell us that we had to say the Rosary every day.   There were no other prayers She asked us to say.  Accordingly, we should do what She asked.

A layman I met once who did not say his Rosary told me that he read the breviary every day.  That is fine.  It is what priests have to do.  It is the prayer of the Church.  So in a way it is better than the Rosary.  But it is not what Our Lady asked for.  She asked for the Rosary.  If a mother sends her child to the shop for a bottle of milk, and he comes back instead with ice cream, is she pleased? In a way, ice cream is better than milk, but it is not what she asked for.

In that most holy home at Nazareth, do you think that Our Lady had to ask for anything twice? If we want in any way to be like Jesus, we must do what His Mother asks.  If we do not, can we expect things to go right? We cannot with impunity disobey the Mother of God.  She knows better than we the dangers of this spiritual warfare.  She sees more clearly than we do the dangers that beset us.  She warns us: You must say your Rosary every day.

If the garage mechanic warns you that your car needs repairing or else it will break down, surely you would heed that warning.  If the gas gauge warns you that you need more gas, do you do nothing about it? And if Our Lady comes to Fatima and tells us, not just once but six times, that we must say the Rosary every day, do we disregard that warning? If we do, we have only ourselves to blame when we find that our children have lapsed from the faith.

I know that Fatima is only a private revelation, but nevertheless the Church has endorsed it, and that makes it rash for us to disregard it.  If the Church informs us that Our Lady really did come to Fatima and tell us these things, then we must harken to her words.  It really seems to me that those Catholics who do not take Fatima seriously and say the Rosary every day in their homes are very akin to the Jews who laughed at Jeremiah.  If God sends us His prophets and we do not take them seriously–well, we have the whole of the Old Testament to tell us what happens as a result.  But at Fatima, God sent us, not His prophets, but His Immaculate Mother.

So I think that the abandonment of the family Rosary is a main reason why so many Catholics have lost the faith.  It seems to me that the Church of the future is going to consist solely of those families who have been faithful to the Rosary.  But there will be vast numbers of people whose families used to be Catholic.

In my work of going round visiting homes, I have seen this conclusion borne out time and again.  Homes can be transformed by starting the recitation of the daily Rosary.  I remember a woman telling me that she could not thank me enough for having nagged her into starting it; it had united her family as never before.  And I remember another home where I called.  There was a strange tension there: the children were silent and the wife seemed withdrawn, but the husband was willing to start the family Rosary.  When I called back again a couple of months later, the atmosphere was quite different.  The children were chatty and the wife was friendly, and the husband walked down the road with me afterwards and said how amazing it was that the home was so much happier.

One reason, I think, why the daily Rosary makes for a happy home, is this.  From what some possessed people have said, and from what some of the saints have said, it seems certain that demons fear the Rosary.  It makes their hair stand on end, so to speak.  Holy water certainly drives them out, but they come back again.  The daily Rosary drives them out and keeps them out.  It is rather like living in an old house where there are mice everywhere.  The only way to get rid of them is to bring cats.  If you get a couple of cats, after a week or two there simply will not be any more mice.  Mice fear the very smell of cats.  And in a home where the Rosary is said every day, after a time the demons realize they are impotent in front of Our Lady, and go elsewhere.

This must be one reason why, as they say, “the family that prays together stays together.” In that home, utterly free of evil spirits, there is an atmosphere one does not find outside.  In a demon‑infested city like London, where I live, such a home is an oasis of God’s grace, and people find a comfort and peace there which they enjoy greatly.  We human beings are not meant to live in the company of demons, but with God and with the angels and saints in heaven.

So, as I see it, in this effort we are making to keep the faith and pass it on, the practice of the Rosary is absolutely indispensable.  Whatever else a person may do, even though they go to Mass every day, they still need to say the Rosary in their home.  It is the medicine our Mother has told us to take, to keep our faith strong and healthy.

Try to say the Rosary everyday and please Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary.

God Must Be a Trinity for He Is Love

The apostle John tells us that “God is love” (or your translation of the Bible may say “God is charity”…same thing).  Can this be if God is a singular being, that is, not a Trinity?  There is evidence that God is a Trinity in Genesis:

The Lord–in three persons–visits Abraham.

Genesis 18:1-3 – And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.  And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground.  And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant….  (Notice, Abraham did not say “Lords” plural.)

It is in the apostle John’s first letter where he tells us that God is love.

1 John 4:8 – He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is love.

First let us realize that God does not need us.  God was before time and the universe existed, and He was complete in and of Himself.  However, if that is true, that God is complete in Himself and has no need of any created being, then how is God love?

You see, if God loves, there must be an object of that love, a beloved.  Right?  Well, the beloved is the Son of God.  Here is part of the Nicene Creed (a statement of what Christians believe):  “We believe…in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages; God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God; begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father….”

God is a Father, the Father of the only begotten Son.  This indicates only two Persons, though.  The third is the Love itself.  When a person loves with all his heart, he gives everything to his beloved.  He holds nothing back.  It is the same with God, but even more so than what is possible with us mere creatures.  God the Father loves His Son.  God the Son loves His Father.  In their love, they give each other everything, even their very existence.  The love between the Two is the Third Person of the Trinity–the Holy Spirit.

God is a communion of three persons, each loving the other with no need of you or me.  God had no need to create anything; however, God created heaven and the angels, the universe, the earth, the flora and fauna, and man (created in His image) to have dominion over the earth–all out of love.

He loves us with an unknowable love, and we should love Him because He is OUR FATHER, in heaven, hallowed be His name…and His desire is for us to join Him in heaven, to be a part of that communion of love.  He wants so much for us to join Him that He even sent us His only begotten Son (God the Son condescended Himself to become one of us) to be sacrificed for our sake, us miserable sinners.  Not only that, but before we go to heaven, we can actually receive the real body, blood, soul, and divinity of the Son of God:  1 Corinthians 11:24 – “Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me.”  And this we do at every mass.

Can you think of anything greater than being in the presence of Love Himself–a love we will never, ever know on earth–for all eternity?  So, do your part:   “Let us therefore love God, because God first hath loved us.” (1 John 4:19)  “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”  (John 13:34-35)

God Loves You This Much

…so love Him back.

Published in: on July 22, 2013 at 10:07  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ask Jesus to Teach You to Be a Disciple.

To seek mercy, we must first be humble.  We must feel regret for offending God, who loves us beyond measure.  Humility and remorse on our part come before mercy on God’s part.  That is not to say God’s mercy is not always there.  And we surely can’t earn it like a merit badge!  What we have to do is cooperate with God and His will in all humility.  We have to die to self and allow God to act through us.  This means checking our pride and arrogance.  Never forget, though–we can do nothing on our own, only with Jesus (cf John 15:5).  Pray.  Ask Jesus to teach you to be a disciple.  Pray for humility.  Pray for mercy.  What more can we do before our judge but ask for mercy?  But how can we honestly do that if we are unable to lie prostrate before God full of humility?

Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 22:13  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Of Judgement and Punishment of Sinners

“In all things look to the end and how you will stand before the strict judge, from Whom there is nothing hid, Who takes no bribes, receives no excuses but will judge that which is just.  O miserable sinner, O foolish sinner, what will you answer to God, Who knows all your evil deeds–you who are sometimes afraid of an angry man?  Why don’t you provide yourself against the day of judgement?  When no man can be excused or defended by another, but each one will have enough to answer for himself?”  –from the 17th Day, Preparation for Total Consecration according to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

Published in: on April 13, 2013 at 10:11  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

The Simple Legal and Biblical Argument for Marriage

On the assumption, marriage is considered a “right” in the first place…

Homosexual activists claim there is a “right” to marriage.  From where do our rights come according to the founding document of our country?  Our Creator, that is, God.  In the very next sentence, we learn that it is the government’s job to secure our rights.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….”

So now that we know our rights come from God, let’s see how God defines marriage:

Matthew recorded in his gospel these words of Jesus:  “Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said:  For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.”  (Matthew 19:4-5)

Mark recorded in his gospel these nearly identical words of Jesus:  “But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.  For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.  And they two shall be in one flesh.”  (Mark 10:6-8)

In both accounts, Jesus says the Creator’s plan–from the beginning of creation–was for a man to marry a woman.

(Even in ancient times, before the coming of Christ, marriage was always a heterosexual union, despite some men having multiple wives.)

Since our rights come from our Creator, and our Creator’s plan for marriage–“from the beginning of creation”–is a marriage between a man and a woman, and since “governments are instituted among men” “to secure these rights,”  the job of our government is to secure marriage as is.

Rights are not given by government.  If they were, they could also be taken away by government.  That is why our Founders acknowledged our rights come from God.  Since marriage is a creation of God, governments do not have the authority to change the very essence of what marriage is.  If government had the authority to redefine the very nature of marriage as created by God, then government could change anything with regards to religion or religious liberty, such as requiring Christians to pay for things that violate core beliefs of their religion, such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion drugs–all life issues.  Oh wait….

Published in: on March 25, 2013 at 20:54  Comments (3)  
Tags: ,

Freedom or Moral Anarchy? Heaven or Hell?

Donald Demarco quotes Abraham Lincoln in the OSV Newsweekly:  “For Lincoln, the question of slavery ‘must be settled on some philosophical basis.  No policy that does not rest on some philosophical public opinion can be permanently maintained.'”

I agree.  The philosophy that holds that killing a baby in the womb is immoral must be learned and agreed by all.  In what other case do we ever accept the killing of innocents?  Never!  Animals have better protection laws than than children in the womb and pregnant mothers.  Laws regarding pregnant mothers and their children are written not to protect them, but to protect abortionists.

Informed consent so the mother knows fully what she will be doing as well as the risks and mental and physical consequences if she obtains an abortion; parental consent so the parents of a minor can consent or not to their daughter having an abortion; parental notification so the parents can simply know that their daughter is about to undergo a medical procedure without their consent; laws to notify authorities about an underage girl raped by an adult; and other such laws are written to protect the mother & child in some way, and all are all fought tooth and nail by the abortion industry and/or abortion supporters, and in too many cases, these laws are struck down.  Protect the abortionists, not the mothers & children.  That is where the interest lies.  And, unbelievably, the current occupant of the White House didn’t even support a law to prevent babies who survived an attempted abortion to be given medical care.  Let ’em die!  It is all about the industry, and the industry is completely and utterly immoral.

The philosophy of “freedom” needs to be overhauled, too.  It must once more be understood not only as non-oppression by government but also the freedom to do what is right, because “freedom” has turned into moral anarchy:  “I can do whatever I want.  I’m free.”  This insanity has brought us the notion of same sex marriage, because as soon as someone is labeled “discriminatory,” “bigoted,” or “unfair,” people jump because Americans don’t want to be any of those things.  However, retaining the idea that a marriage is reserved for a man-woman union (as it has been since the dawn of time!) is not discriminatory or bigoted or unfair.  It is as natural as can be.  You can change civil law.  You can’t change natural law.  You can behave as you please.  You can’t change what is right and true.  You can also send yourself to hell by giving God the finger when He has made clear that “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.  For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.  And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (See Mark 10:6-9).  “From the beginning” means that was God’s plan for His creation (us) when He created us.  Remember, you’re a creature; God is the Creator.  We were purchased by the blood of Christ on the cross.  Not only did He create us, He also purchased us (ransomed us from the slavery of sin).  We belong to God.  We need to do what He wants.  (And He only wants good for us, so there’s no reason to be afraid.)  That’s called obedience.  Obey!  That big, bad four letter word of our time.

Now, you can take the words of God and chuck ’em out the door.  You can laugh at Church teaching, mock it, and call it out-dated.  But keep in mind that hell does, indeed, exist.  Live by your philosophy now and suffer the consequences later.  Or live by God’s philosophy (which truly is freedom) and enjoy union with Him who is unimaginable love for eternity.

It’s your choice.  I choose God, because if I have to pick between feeble, very temporary pleasure on earth and infinite love that we can’t get here on earth and have it for all eternity, I’ll choose Love.

Published in: on February 20, 2013 at 17:41  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

God Is One. God Is Love. God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

God is one. There are three persons in God: the Father, who is a spirit, perfect and infinite. A perfect reflection of Himself, a thought, a Word, the Son is begotten. God is love. The Father loves the Son perfectly and infinitely. The Son, who is identical to the Father in all ways except that He is the Son, loves the Father perfectly and infinitely. In perfect and infinite love, they give to each other everything, even their existence. Thus the Holy Spirit is the love that proceeds from both the Father and the Son.

Published in: on February 18, 2013 at 23:56  Leave a Comment  

Believe in the Trinity

Understanding God is very important for properly understanding the Christian faith. First let us remember that God is a mystery. There is no way the finite, created mind can fully comprehend its infinite Creator. However, it is not beyond belief to accept what God has chosen to reveal to us.

The Trinity existed before the creation of the universe but is only hinted at in the Old Testament. In that time, pagans worshiped many gods. When God began revealing himself to His people, it was first necessary to establish a monotheistic belief system. There is but one God, and that had to be established before the full revelation of the Trinity (to avoid any notion of there being three gods), which occurred after the Incarnation.

Let’s start “in the beginning.’ In Genesis 1:26, what did God say? “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Us? Our? If God is a single person, why does He speak in the plural? Because there are 3 persons in the one God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Again, the plural is used in reference to God, in Genesis 11:7 (the story of the Tower of Babel). God said, “let us go down….”

The Holy Spirit appears in various places in the Old Testament. Just see the many verses that say something to the effect of “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him.” The Holy Spirit speaks through the prophets. There are many times that the prophets said “thus saith the Lord.”

Let’s go to the New Testament where the Trinity is fully revealed. Does the language in Luke 1:35 sound familiar? The angel says to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” That’s right! I just mentioned the same phrase in the last paragraph.

But let’s combine creation and the Incarnation. John writes: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God….” I’ll pause here for a moment. “The Word was with God.” Before creation, there was only God, but this Word was WITH Him. Continuing: “…and the Word was God.” So the Word was with God, and the Word IS God. There seem to be two entities of some sort here, in a supernatural way. The Word was WITH and IS God. Continuing: “The same [the Word] was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him.” The Creator is God, so God made all things by (some translations say “through”) the Word. John 1:14 answers a mystery: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Ah! The Word is the only begotten, the Son, of the Father! These would be two persons of the Trinity. So far, it’s very clearly stated. There is a Father and Son. Two persons and both are God. But notice, “God” is always in the singular. There is only one God.

In Matthew 1:18, the Incarnation is described as such: “she [Mary] was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” It takes a person to make another person pregnant. In this case, a person of God.

When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth and greeted her, “the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” –Luke 1:41 The Son of God is in Mary’s womb. The Holy Spirit fills Elizabeth and informs her that Mary is carrying the Son of God.

Let’s jump to the baptism of Jesus, mentioned in both Matthew 3:16-17 and Mark 1:10-11. The Spirit of God descended as a dove and came upon Jesus, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Voila, all three persons of the Trinity, individually present in the same place. Jesus exits the water, the Holy Spirit descends over Him, the Father speaks from the heavens. This is abundantly clear. It takes real mental gymnastics to find a way to dismiss or deny the Trinity.

But let’s not rest on this. At the presentation of Jesus in the temple Luke 2:25, “the Holy Ghost was upon [Simeon],” and Jesus, the Son of God, was in Mary’s arms.

In Matthew 4:1, Mark 1:12, and Luke 4:1, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. One person of the Trinity was led by the another person of the Trinity.

When we read the gospels, we see Jesus prayed often to the Father. Surely, Jesus wasn’t talking to Himself. For example, when Jesus prays to the Father “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Jesus prays to His Father, not to Himself. Jesus received love from His Father. To interpret that as Jesus received love from Himself is nonsensical.

In Luke 10:21, Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit and prays to the Father.

Read Luke 10:16 where Jesus says to His disciples, “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” Someone sent Jesus: the first person of the Trinity, God the Father.

We see something similar in “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” –Matthew 10:40.

Later, before Jesus leaves His apostles, He tells them “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” The Father sent Jesus, and now Jesus sends his followers. And in Matthew 28:19, Jesus tells them to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (the Trinity). These are the words from the mouth of God Himself; therefore, these are the words to say in order to have a valid baptism and to become a Christian.

Several places in John (14:26, 15:26, and 16:7), Jesus says He and the Father will send the Holy Spirit: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” It just doesn’t make sense for Jesus to leave, go back to Himself, and send Himself back to his disciples.

In Hebrews 9:14, Christ offered Himself by the Holy Spirit to God.

As I mentioned earlier, God first had to establish a monotheistic belief with His people who lived in an era of multiple pagan gods before He could reveal the Trinity. He wouldn’t want them to think there are three gods after all. But that’s no different than what Jesus said to His disciples in John 16:12: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”

It seems clear that there are three individual persons but always one God.

I’ll end with a few quotations from the early Christians:

Letter of Barnabas (Saint Paul’s friend) (AD 74): “And further, my brethren, if the Lord [Jesus] endured to suffer for our soul, He being the Lord of all the world, TO WHOM God said at the foundation of the world, ‘let us make man after our image, and after our likeness,’ understand how it was that He endured to suffer at the hand of men.’”

Ignatius of Antioch (who was a disciple of the Apostle John) (AD 110): “Jesus Christ…was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed…Jesus Christ…came forth from one Father and is with and has gone to one [Father]….”

Polycarp of Smyrna (who also learned from the Apostle John) (AD 155): “I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, with whom, to you and the Holy Spirit, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.”

Justin Martyr (AD 155): “But this offspring who was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with him.”

Athanasius (AD 359): “[The Trinity] is a Trinity not merely in name or in a figurative manner of speaking; rather, it is a Trinity in truth and in actual existence. Just as the Father is He that is, so also His Word is one that is and is God over all. And neither is the Holy Spirit nonexistent but actually exists and has true being. Less than these the Catholic Church does not hold, lest she sink to the level of the Jews of the present time, imitators of Caiaphas, or to the level of Sabellius.”

Fulgentius OF Ruspe (AD 515): “See, in short you have it that the Father is one, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit another; in Person, each is other, but in nature they are not other. In this regard he says: ‘I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:30). He teaches us that one refers to their nature, and we are to their Persons. In like manner it is said: ‘for there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:  and these three are one.’ (1 John 5:7). Let Sabellius hear we are, let him hear three; and let him believe that there are three Persons. Let him not blaspheme in his sacrilegious heart by saying that the Father is the same in himself as the Son is the same in himself and as the Holy Spirit is the same in himself, as if in some way he could beget himself, or in some way proceed from himself. Even in created natures it is never able to be found that something is able to beget itself. Let also Arius hear one; and let him not say that the Son is of a different nature, if one cannot be said of that, the nature of which is different.”

Published in: on February 2, 2013 at 04:14  Leave a Comment