Saint Augustine on the Trinity

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Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
John Donne

 

 

 

 

All those Catholic expounders of the divine Scriptures, both Old and New, whom I have been able to read, who have written before me concerning the Trinity, Who is God, have purposed to teach, according to the Scriptures, this doctrine, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit intimate a divine unity of one and the same substance in an indivisible equality; and therefore that they are not three Gods, but one God: although the Father has begotten the Son, and so He who is the Father is not the Son; and the Son is begotten by the Father, and so He who is the Son is not the Father; and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son, but only the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, Himself also co-equal with the Father and the Son, and pertaining to the unity of the Trinity. Yet not that this Trinity was born of the Virgin Mary, and crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven, but only the Son. Nor, again, that this Trinity descended in the form of a dove upon Jesus when He was baptized; nor that, on the day of Pentecost, after the ascension of the Lord, when there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, the same Trinity sat upon each of them with cloven tongues like as of fire, but only the Holy Spirit. Nor yet that this Trinity said from heaven, You are my Son, whether when He was baptized by John, or when the three disciples were with Him in the mount, or when the voice sounded, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again; but that it was a word of the Father only, spoken to the Son; although the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as they are indivisible, so work indivisibly. This is also my faith, since it is the Catholic faith.

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7 Comments

  1. I read a reference to the Trinity someplace yesterday. It was a helpful image.
    God is the water.
    Christ the rain.
    Holy Spirit the wind.
    And we are the recipients.

  2. we are made in the image and likeness of God.We are happy when alone but not for too long.We want someone to talk to,laugh with,and be with.If God were two persons then there could be deadlock.Three persons are never deadlocked,never lonely.

  3. Because Christ told us: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    [16] And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. [17] And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. [18] And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

    Matthew 28: 16-20

  4. For a time longer than we’ve had an understanding of the Trinity, believers have only known one person of God (that being the Father). When offerings were made they were made to him alone. God reveals his nature as he sees fit in his time. When Jesus said to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost he at no point said there would be no other persons revealed; just that the people were to invoke the person to which God at this point had revealed.

  5. I believe if there were other persons in the Godhead Christ would have mentioned that fact. As Saint Thomas Aquinas noted, the doctrine of the Trinity is simply a matter of revelation:

    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1032.htm#article1

    The usual Christian heresy in regard to the Trinity is to deny the doctrine in preference to God being one person. I can’t recall a heresy that speculates as to more than three persons in the Godhead.

    Mormons believe that the Trinity consists of three separate beings, three gods. Mormons also believe that their are other gods, including a wife to God the Father, but I do not believe these other gods are part of the Mormon Trinity.

  6. It’s possible that Jesus withheld telling the world about other person/persons of the Godhead because it was not needed at the time or the people were not ready. We know this was the case before the reveal of Jesus. Even the Church allows for further revelation after the return of Christ. Perhaps when we die we are greeted by the 4th person of God to take us to our final resting place. Perhaps the Lion of Judah is not Jesus as is sometimes speculated, but the 5th person of God. My point is that the Church calls it a mystery, which makes me question why there can’t be more to be revealed about it. Thanks!

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