Reflections on the nature of the Trinity

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’

Frank Duff who founded the Legion of Mary said that the first mention of the Trinity was by the Angel Gabriel to Mary in Luke (1: 35), The angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God.’ (The Father is the power of God, God’s creative power is in His will, He willed creation into existence.)

A brief explanation of the Trinity.

We can never fully understand the theological mystery of the Trinity but hopefully we will spend all eternity contemplating them. In 1 John (4: 8) we have the most important message in the world, ‘God is love’, He is the infinite being of love. The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is only one God being and that He is also at the same time three infinite persons, God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and each of these three persons is the one God. Wherever one member of the Trinity is present all three are present. They can never be divided in their divinity. In John (4: 24) Jesus says, ‘God is spirit’ so each of the three persons is spirit and has the ability to will, to know and to love. In brief, God has an infinite good will, and He eternally begets His infinite knowledge of that goodness in His mind and He loves that goodness with infinite love.

God’s infinitely good and all powerful divine will, His infinite only-begotten knowledge of Himself and His infinite and perfectly unselfish love for His own goodness each have a Personality: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through all eternity the existence of God’s divine will (the Father) begets or causes the existence of His infinite self knowledge and that self knowledge is His only begotten Fruit/Son. To put it another way, God is constantly in the act of perfectly knowing the infinite goodness of His divine will. The Father loves the knowledge of His own goodness in the Son and the Son loves the goodness in the Father and that love proceeding from both the Person of the Father for the Son and from the Person of the Son for the Father is the Holy Spirit. The Son is called the Logos or the mind of God and God contemplates or knows the goodness of His divine will in His mind/Logos and He loves that goodness with His Holy Spirit.

Infinity in size

Infinity is not a number, it is beyond all numbers, numbers are finite no matter how big they might ever get. In order to help us get some idea of what infinity means imagine if every atom in this whole universe suddenly exploded out into a new universe the same as our one and imagine if that process happened over and over every minute for all eternity? But that would still never in all eternity be anything compared to our infinite God, in a sense it would never even be microscopic in comparison to infinity! Our whole universe is practically nothing to God but yet we mean so much to Him.

Does infinite physical existence exist? What is outside our bubble?

If we think of our expanding universe as a big bubble that contains all known physical existence or even a multiverse etc and if we ask does infinity exist outside of the bubble or is there just a finite universe (or multiverse etc) unsurrounded by any existence whatsoever? It seems to be more reasonable to believe that there is ultimately an infinite existence which contains and extends to infinity outside our universe (or outside our multiverse etc) than to believe that there is just a finite bubble of existence surrounded by non-existence or more correctly that it is not surrounded by any existence whatsoever, no space, no time, absolute impenetrable non-existence. It would be more reasonable if there is an infinite container because the concept of a finite bubble of existence like our universe existing totally alone and totally unsurrounded by anything or any type of space whatsoever does not seem logical or reasonable. If our universe is finite that would mean existence having a boundary with non-existence. What is non-existence? If we had two perfectly smooth surfaces and pressed them tightly together we could say that there is nothing or non-existence between them. Any type of space is not nothing or non-existence. Another problem is that our universe is expanding, so theoretically, it must be expanding into something that exists, so it seems more reasonable to think that there is some form of existence into which our universe is spreading out into, and more reasonable for there to be an infinite existence surrounding and containing all finite bubbles of existence no matter how many or immense we may discover them to be.

Eternity

Eternity is an infinite amount of time and so the ancient age of our universe which is near 15 billion years old is nothing in comparison to eternity. Imagine if every atom in our whole universe symbolised a billion years, and so the total amount of atoms would represent a incredible amount of time but that would not even be a tiny fraction of eternity. An infinite amount of anything can’t have fractions because fractions are numbers and infinity is not a number.

Eternal existence of the Universe without God

Some scientists believe that the matter in our universe is eternal but does it seem reasonable that the matter has existed for so long and that events have been happening for so long and yet only resulted in our universe expanding out with the Big Bang just a mere 14 billion years ago? When we consider how long eternity is that doesn’t seem reasonable. We would have to wonder how that could happen and ask why have they not settled down to perfect stillness by now? Perhaps it would be more reasonable if the events were cyclic so that for example if the universe expanded and contracted repeatedly for all eternity but at present our universe is accelerating in its expansion which doesn’t make a contraction seem very possible. Theoretically most agree that you can’t have an infinite regress of events. The existence of a Creator seems very reasonable.

Existence of the Universe from non-existence without God

Is it possible that the universe or multiverse etc just suddenly sprang into existence from non-existence? It doesn’t seem reasonable that there was non-existence and suddenly a universe or multiverse etc sprang into existence from non-existence. No existence can spring from non-existence.

Infinite series of events

In this natural existence of ours, are we presently existing at the end of eternity or the beginning or are we somewhere in between? Eternity has no beginning, no end and i dare to say it has no middle or in between time either. From a natural perspective I don’t think we can keep adding more and more time to eternity.

God exists

Theists don’t have to worry about such problems because the revelation of God’s existence in scripture and in our own experience of Him solves those problems since God is infinite and eternal. As Christians we believe that all creation exists in our infinite God, He is the infinite container that contains, surrounds and permeates all creation. When we think about the ultimate container for the universe and the eternal cause of creation’s existence it does not seem to be unreasonable to believe in the existence of God.

Calvary helps to support the doctrine of the Trinity

Looking back at the inspired story of Adam and Eve we see that two trees are mentioned, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. When we look at Jesus on the Tree/Cross on Calvary we can see a profound Tree of the knowledge of good and evil - God’s goodness in redeeming us and mankind’s evil in committing that sin and all sins and also we see the Tree of Eternal Life because by His death on the Tree/Cross He bought our eternal life.

Jesus on the Tree is not just the Tree of knowledge in appearance but also because in the doctrine of the Trinity the Son of God is God’s divine Fruit (Son) of knowledge of His goodness, and He was nailed to the Tree on Calvary. Apples are on apple trees and God’s Fruit of Knowledge was nailed to the Tree on Calvary. Jesus the New or Last Adam was tempted again to commit His first sin by trying to take down God’s divine Fruit of Knowledge (Himself) from the Tree but He didn’t do that, He remained obedient unto death. Mary the New Eve obeyed God’s will too and did not attempt to try and take down her Son from the Tree/Cross.

God is Love

Venerable Louise Margaret Claret de la Touche (See www.infinitelove.ie) had profound revelations about God’s love and she explained that God is the Trinity because God is Love. Love by its divine nature must flow from one person to another and so in God there is an eternal community of love in which love flows from the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father and that Infinite Love between the Father and the Son is the Third Person known as the Holy Spirit.

Mercy

Mercy is love put into action and over 2,000 years ago God put His love into action when the Son of God came to earth and became man and redeemed us. In Matthew 25 Jesus showed us that if we want mercy we too have to put our love into action by feeding the poor etc. Jesus is God’s Divine Mercy. Mercy is when you give something good that is not deserved and Justice is when it is something good or bad which is deserved but when we think about God’s goodness to us in this life and then hopefully eternal bliss in the next life we realise that God’s nature is mercy. We deserve nothing in this life or the next life from God. From our perspective as creatures mercy is His greatest attribute.

The Trinity in Scripture

Some passages in the Old Testament seem to hint at a plurality in God. In the book of Genesis, chapter 1, the story of creation the term God can include the Father, the Son can be included in each phrase ‘God Said’ because the Son is the Word of God (John 1: 1-3) and the Holy Spirit in the phrase ‘God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters’. In Genesis (1: 26) God says ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ which seems to hint at God’s Trinitarian nature because otherwise God would have possibly said ‘I will make man in my image’. After the fall ‘Yahweh God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3: 22). In Genesis (11: 7) God says “Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech”. Another hint of God’s Trinitarian nature could be Genesis (18: 1-2), 1 Yahweh appeared to him (Abraham) by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood near him.’ They briefly speak to Abraham as one or in unison which is unusual if they are just angels. In Isaiah (9: 5-7) 5 For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on David’s throne, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever.’ This tells us that the Messiah will be the Mighty God and because God is Trinity He is the Wonder Counsellor, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace.

In the New Testament the first public revelation is at the Baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan by John the Baptist (Mark 1: 10-11) 10 Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. 11 A voice came out of the sky, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” In St John’s Gospel, chapters 14, 15, 16 and 17 Jesus speaks a lot about the relationships between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He tells Philip in John (14: 9) “He who has seen me has seen the Father’. Earlier in John (10: 30) Jesus said ‘I and the Father are one.’ To show us that the three persons of the Trinity are equal to each other He said in John (16: 15) ‘All things that the Father has are mine; therefore I said that He (Holy Spirit) takes of mine and will declare it to you.’ The Holy Spirit is a Person and He proceeds from both the Father and the Son and He was equally sent by both the Father and the Son, John (14: 16) ‘I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, that He may be with you forever’ and John (15: 26) ‘When the Counsellor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about me.’ Jesus is showing that both the Father and the Son would send the Holy Spirit. After Jesus ascended back to Heaven He named the three Persons of the Trinity when He told His disciples in Mathew (28: 19) ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. By Baptism we receive the Holy Spirit and are born of God. We are adopted as sisters and brothers of Jesus and so we are made children of God.

Their Nature

Their nature is love and Spirit because scripture says in 1 John (4: 16) ‘God is love’ and ‘God is Spirit’. God has a divine will, self knowledge and perfectly unselfish infinite love for His own goodness. The Eternal Father who we call the first person of the Trinity seems to act like the divine will of the Trinity even though each person of the Trinity has equal freewill. He seems to ratify the decisions. In the Our Father prayer we say ‘Thy will be done’ and Jesus made it clear that He was sent by the Father and that He came to do the will of the Father. God has perfect infinite knowledge of Himself and all His goodness and this knowledge is the second person of the Trinity who we call the Son of God. In Matthew (11: 27) Jesus said, ‘No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son’. The Son of God is the Father’s only begotten and eternal fruit (Son) of the knowledge of His goodness. The Father sees the perfect knowledge of His own goodness in the Son and burns with the infinite love for the Son and the Son of God sees the infinite goodness in the Father and burns with infinite Love for Him and that infinite fire of love between the two is the Holy Spirit. Theologians say that the Holy Spirit is the atmosphere of love eternally produced between the Father and the Son. In Genesis (1: 27) it says, ‘God created man in his own image’ and so by looking at human-nature we can learn more about God’s nature. If one person had perfect knowledge of another person they could become a copy of that person. Psychiatrists and Counsellors try to get to know their patients as much as possible in order to try in some way to be a copy of their patient and then they are better able to see their patient’s problems from their point of view. So knowledge of another person can help us to become like a copy of that person. The Father has always known Himself, He has always had perfect infinite Knowledge of Himself and that Knowledge of Himself is His Son. Scripture says in Colossians (1: 15) ‘He is the image of the invisible God’.

Yahweh - I AM

In Exodus (3: 15) Moses asked God to tell him His Name and God replied, ‘Yahweh’ which means ‘I am’. God is the only being who really has a right to say ‘I am’ because He is the source of His own existence. He invented us as unique individuals and it is only because of God’s stupendous goodness and mercy that we can say, ‘I am’. We exist only because God exists and He gave us the stupendous gift of existence whereas God Himself is the source of all existence.

The Three Persons

The idea that God is three persons but only One God, and that each of these three persons is the One God might be difficult for us to understand, and there is no example in Nature that could ever exactly show this situation. Human beings though resemble God because in Genesis (1: 27) it says that God created man ‘in His own image’, so in order to better understand the nature of God we can look at our human nature.

The Father: Divine Will

It is clear from reading the New Testament that the Father is God. In the Apostles Creed we say: ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.’ So the Father is the Creator and that is because He is the divine will. God’s creative power is in His will, He willed creation into existence. In the ‘Our Father’ we pray, ‘Your will be done’. Jesus showed us in His life on earth that He came to do the will of the Father who sent Him. God has so much respect for us that He gave us the gift of our freewill which makes us capable of making choices and decisions. That gift gives us a greater sense of our own individuality but in a sense it is a terrifying gift because it gives us eternal power over the destiny of our immortal souls. The decisions we make in life decide our eternal destiny. The Father seems to be the divine will of God so perhaps He ratifies the decisions of God. This may seem unfair to us until we reflect on how we ourselves make decisions. We generally use three things when we make deliberate decisions. We use our knowledge in our mind, we use what we want or love in our heart, and we use our freewill to make the decision. It is the same with God, the Holy Trinity makes all their decisions using their infinite knowledge (the Son), their infinite love (the Holy Spirit) and their infinite will (the Eternal Father). So every decision is really a Trinitarian joint effort. We can say, They know, They love and They decide. Each of the three persons of the Trinity must have equal freewill.

In the Our Father prayer we ask the Father to make the decision to ‘Forgive us our trespasses’. God forgives us through the merits of His Son’s passion and death. The Father’s will for us is always motivated by His infinite love for us, so we please Him greatly when we use our freewill to do and accept His will. He is the Father of Mercy, He agreed to give us everything we have and none of which we deserve. Our obedience to the Father should be based on trust in His goodness and belief in His burning love for us.

The ‘Our Father’ prayer tells us that the Eternal Father dwells ‘in Heaven’ but it should be remembered that God is infinite and omnipresent in all creation and all existence can only exist in Him. Heaven is in Him and He can’t be contained just in heaven.

Father Christmas God

God’s nature is mercy and our Heavenly Father is like an incredible Santa Claus or Father Christmas because He wants to give us the stupendous gift of eternal life through His Son. The evergreen Christmas tree symbolises the Tree of Life and the Tree of Life is the Cross of Jesus on Calvary because by His death on the Cross He bought our eternal life. The Father sent His Son down to earth to be born in Bethlehem later allowed Him to be martyred by hanging on the Tree/Cross on Calvary. Our heavenly Father Christmas wants to give us presents every day of our lives especially the gift of His Son in Holy Communion. Father Christmas picks Rudolf to lead his sleigh and God often picks the nobodies of this world to be somebody for Him.

The Son of God, God the Son

The Son of God is God. Jesus promised to raise Himself from the dead and in John (20: 28) after He rose from the dead He appeared to the disciples and showed Thomas that He truly had risen from the dead and Thomas exclaimed, ‘My Lord and my God!’. In John (1: 1) we read, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ In John (5: 22-23) we see that the Son is to be honoured just like the Father: 22 For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgement to the Son, 23 that all may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He who doesn’t honour the Son doesn’t honour the Father who sent him. There are other passages that show the divinity of Jesus but these ones are the most simple and clear.

Eternal Wisdom

In 1 Corinthians (1: 24) St Paul says ‘but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.’ The Son of God is the second person of the Trinity and He is also called the Wisdom of God and naturally we can understand that wisdom is knowledge of good from evil. When we want to make an important decision we sometimes ask a wise person to help us choose the good decision and not the evil one. In chapter 8 of the Book of Proverbs God’s Wisdom is a person even though in feminine form which may have been more appropriate for King Solomon to fall in love with Wisdom. A wise person is one who in his mind knows the good choice from the bad choice. The Son of God is God’s Eternal Knowledge of Himself and since God is the infinite ‘Goodness’ then the Son is called the ‘Eternal Wisdom of God’.

Barabbas the Son of the Father

Nearly 2000 years ago two people got what they did not deserve from Pontius Pilate. Pilate gave Jesus the only Son of the Heavenly Father the greatest injustice of all time by condemning Him to torture and death, and to Barabbas, who was a notorious criminal, and whose name ironically means ‘Son of the father’ Pilate gave a great act of mercy, he set him free. Jesus, by allowing Himself to be unjustly condemned has given every human being that would ever exist the chance of eternal life, the chance of becoming an eternal child of God. Jesus became the victim of Divine Justice and so He became our source of Divine Mercy. He is the Divine Mercy of God. He took our punishment so that we could be adopted as children of God.

Son of God, the Messiah(Christ)

Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was in Matthew (16: 16), Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” and in Matthew (22: 41-46) Jesus questioned the Pharisees about who is the father of the Messiah, and they replied that the Messiah is the ‘Son of David’ but Jesus asked them why then does David call the Messiah ‘Lord’? They could not answer. Jesus was implying and showing that the Messiah has an even greater father than King David and that He is ‘Lord’. In fact they knew that Jesus called God by the term ‘Father’ and they correctly suspected that He was discreetly claiming to be a divine Son of God and that would be blasphemy to the Jews. To the Jews God does not have a divine Son. They nearly attempted to stone Him to death on that accusation of blasphemy. Later at His interrogation in Mark (14: 61-64) the high priest asked Him if He was the Messiah and the divine Son of God and Jesus replied ‘I am’ and then referenced two scripture passages which will in the future prove His divinity so they accused Him of blasphemy and condemned Him to death for it.

Mark (14: 61) Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
62 Jesus said, “I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, (Psalm 110: 1) and coming with the clouds of the sky (Daniel 7: 14).”
63 The high priest tore his clothes, and said, “What further need have we of witnesses?
64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” They all condemned him to be worthy of death.

This passage shows us that Jesus was executed for claiming to be the Messiah and the divine Son of God.

Son of God the Priest

Sin is an infinite offence against the God of infinite love and majesty therefore only God could atone to His justice for our sins. Offences are measured not just by the action but also by who is offended, so for example, it is a greater offence to steal from our parents than from a stranger because they have done more for us and love us more. God gave us everything and loves us with infinite love. A priest is someone who offers a sacrifice. The Son of God is our Priest who came to earth and allowed Himself to be martyred and He offered up that infinite sacrifice in atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world.

Logos - Word of God

In John (1: 1) it says, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ The term ‘Word’ here comes from the Greek word ‘Logos’ which some theologians translate as the ‘Mind’ of God. If God wanted to invent and create something new He could imagine or know the idea of that object and then will the object into existence. In order for anything to exist it has to be known first in the mind of God. This is why in John (1: 3) it says ‘All things were made through Him.’ All of Creation exists in the mind of God. Many say that God is a figment of our imagination but in reality all of creation is a figment of God’s imagination.

The Incarnation and our Redemption

The Son of God became the man Jesus of Nazareth over 2,000 years ago. The name Jesus is derived from the name ‘Joshua’ which means ‘God saves’ and in the Old Testament it was Joshua who led the Israelites across the River Jordan into the Promised Land but Jesus redeemed us and He leads us into the promised land of eternal salvation above in heaven. When we sin we are actually rejecting God, so if we reject God by sin it would be fair for God to reject us which ultimately would mean our extermination. God in His mercy created Hell because Hell is still eternal life but with fair punishment received. The fear of being exterminated would be terrifying. Jesus is the hero who suffered the experience of feeling rejected or forsaken by the Father for our sake but He rose from the dead to help us believe in eternal life. On the Cross in Matthew (27: 46) He cried out, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!’ The sufferings of Jesus have atoned to God for the sins of all mankind but by baptism we are part of His Body and so we should unite our sufferings, prayers and good deeds to Him with His sacrifice to the Father in atonement for our sins and the sins of the World.

The Mass

The best way and time to do this is at the Catholic Mass. At the Mass from the time of the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus at Calvary (By the power of the Holy Spirit through the words of the ordained priest) until the Lamb of God prayers we can unite our sufferings, prayers and good deeds through Jesus, with Jesus and in Jesus ‘in atonement for our sins and the sins of the World’ (quote from the prayers of the ‘Divine Mercy’ Chaplet - St Faustina). Jesus loves us so much that He makes Himself present risen from the dead in Holy Communion so that we can receive Him into our heart. He is God’s Manna from Heaven, God’s Fruit of Eternal Life and God’s Fruit of Knowledge for us.

Mercy and Justice

On Good Friday Pontius Pilate gave two people what they did not deserve. To the notorious criminal Barabbas whose name ironically means son-of-the-father, Pilate gave a complete pardon, a great act of mercy, but to Jesus the real Son of the Father, Pilate gave the greatest injustice in the history of mankind when he condemned Him to suffering and death. Jesus took the place of Barabbas so that Barabbas and every one of us could really become adopted children of God. Barabbas symbolised each one of us and Jesus took our place but it is He who will judge mankind at the end of time.

God the Holy Spirit

Scripture in a few passages shows that the Holy Spirit is God as in Acts (5: 3-4) But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 While you kept it, didn’t it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn’t it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men, but to God.” As mentioned earlier Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as a Person. On Pentecost Sunday He descended and appeared as a large flame of fire which then divided and rested on the heads of all present. The Holy Spirit is the perfectly unselfish love God has for His infinite goodness. He is the bond of love and unity between the Father and the Son. Love unites and hatred divides and the Holy Spirit wants to unite us all in love in this life and eternally in the next.

The Holy Spirit, Baptism and Confirmation

In Acts (2: 38) 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” so in the sacrament of baptism our sins are washed away and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and are initiated into the Church which is the Body of Christ. Infant baptism is perfectly alright because Gabriel speaking about St John the Baptist said in Luke (1: 15) ‘He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb’ and that shows that even unborn babies can receive the Holy Spirit. Isaiah (11: 2-3 LXX) shows the 7 gifts the Spirit would give the Messiah and therefore Christians too: 2 and the Spirit of God shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and godliness shall fill him; 3 the spirit of the fear of God.

Usually people who have been infant baptised usually around the age of 12 can receive the sacrament of Confirmation in which they confirm that they want to be Christians and so usually the bishop lays hands o their heads and prays over them for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit to become active in them. Acts (8: 14-17) 14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; 16 for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptised in the name of Christ Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit and Charismatic gifts

The Holy Spirit can give Charismatic gifts as well for the building up of the community: 1 Cor (12: 4-11) 4 Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are various kinds of service, and the same Lord. 6 There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit; 10 and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages. 11 But the one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing to each one separately as he desires.

The Holy Spirit and forgiveness of sins

After Jesus rose from the dead He breathed the Holy Spirit on the Apostles for the ministry of forgiving sins which is available to us in the sacrament of confession: John (20: 21-23) 21 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit! 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven them. If you retain anyone’s sins, they have been retained.”

The Holy Spirit and Mary

Mary is called the Spouse of the Holy Spirit because in Matthew (1: 18) ...After his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. In Genesis (2: 24) we see that when a man and a woman get married under God they are ‘one flesh’ and similarly we can say that the Holy Spirit and Mary’s spirit are ‘one spirit’ to some degree. We will all have spiritual union with God in heaven but Mary’s union with God is more profound because of her sinlessness and her sanctity which was increased by her suffering.

Jesus is the divine Head of the Church and the Holy Spirit formed His Body through Mary at the Annunciation but ideally He continues to form the rest of the members of the Mystical Body of Jesus (the Church) through Mary. We should give ourselves to Jesus through Mary and she will prepare us to better receive the graces of the Holy Spirit so that Jesus will be formed much easier and more fully in our hearts through the graces she obtains for us from Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mary is a symbol of what the Church will one day be in Heaven. Like Mary the Church will be spiritually sinless and virgin having been purified and renewed by God. Mary became the “Mediatrix of all Graces” for mankind when she obeyed God's will. In the story Eve helped to bring sin into the human race through Adam; Mary helps to bring the Graces of the Holy Spirit into the human race through her continual prayer to her Son Jesus. Jesus is the New Adam and the source of all the graces which we receive. In the story, the devil used Eve to obtain his victory of sin and so God wants us to use the intercession of Mary (the New Eve) to obtain the graces we need to obtain our victories over sin. There is a sort of poetic justice in the pattern of salvation. Mary is the spiritual “Mother of all the Living” and so she is the Mother of our souls and she wants to help form Jesus in our hearts according to the will of God and by obtaining for us the graces of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit and the Church

The Church is the “Assembly” of all the true followers of Jesus. It is also called the “Bride” of Christ and since Jesus is the New or Last Adam then the Church is also a new ‘Mother of all the Living’ because she has the graces from Jesus that we need for salvation. Through the Church in baptism the Holy Spirit washes away all our sins and makes us children of God and then if we allow Him in the other Sacraments of the Church He will give us so many gifts and graces during our lives to help us become more like Jesus so that Jesus will increase in us and we will decrease so that it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. Jesus commanded us in John (13: 35) “Just as I have loved you, you also love one another” but we can only do this if the Holy Spirit forms Jesus in our hearts. We should continually ask the Holy Spirit to form Jesus in our hearts so that we can overcome sin.

The New Pentecost of the Holy Spirit

Pope Saint John Paul II spoke about and believed that there would be a New Pentecost in the Church, an age of the Spirit brought about with the help of Mary’s intercession to her Son. Saint Peter quoted this passage from the Prophet Joel (2: 28-32) in Acts (2: 17-21) referring to the first Pentecost but it has not yet been fully completed because there is still so much division in mankind so we hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will come and unite all believers:
28 “It will happen afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions.
29 And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days, I will pour out my Spirit.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes.
32 It will happen that whoever will call on Yahweh’s name shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as Yahweh has said, and among the remnant, those whom Yahweh calls.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is on fire with the love of the Holy Spirit for the Father and for all of us His creatures. We should ask Mary to pray to Jesus on our behalf so that He will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit into our hearts to form Jesus in our heart more and more.

God’s Love for us

One of the most amazing things Jesus ever said is in John (15: 9) 9 ‘Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you.’ That is because we know the Father has infinite love for the Son so Jesus has infinite love for all of humanity. The Father and the Holy Spirit too have this same infinite love for us.

Conclusion

To conclude, we can never understand fully the Mystery of the Trinity. God decided to share His love with creatures that He Himself would invent into existence. He is not somewhere in Creation, Creation is somewhere in Him. He created Creation so large and so long ago to help us to understand just how large and how old He is. No creature, not even the greatest saint or angel, before they existed could have merited or deserved to have been invented and created. Nor can we in our short lives ever deserve eternal life but He is infinitely merciful. God gives us 24 hours a day every day of our short lives and we usually hate spending time with Him. His Sacred Heart burns with Love for us but when we sin we pierce His Heart like a crown of thorns but we also pierce His Heart if we do not believe that He Loves us no matter how good or bad we are. If you love someone and that person does not believe that you love them then you feel pain in your heart, well it is the same with God.

In order to get to know the Holy Trinity better we should ask Mary the Mother of Jesus to help us, she is the unique Mother of the Son, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit and the perfect Daughter of the Eternal Father. She looked at her Son and knew that He was the Son of God, and by listening to Him and Contemplating Him she got to profoundly know the Trinity. The Servant of God, Frank Duff explains her relation to the Trinity very well in the ‘Legion of Mary’ handbook. We can get to know God’s love us better if we reflect on the Incarnation and Passion of Jesus. God knew that when He gave humans freewill that He was giving him a very self-destructible power but God has so much love and respect for us that He wanted us to be free to choose. God wants to give us a supernatural will, supernatural knowledge and most importantly supernatural love for all eternity.

As St Paul says in the 1 Corinthians (2: 9) “Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.”

Prayer of Reparation

St Michael the Archangel taught the children at Fatima:
‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
I adore You profoundly and I offer You the Most Precious Body,
Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the
Tabernacles of the world in reparation for the
Outrages, Sacrileges and Indifferences by which He is offended
and by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary
I ask You for the conversion of poor sinners.’

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