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Friday, April 12, 2013

Catechism of the Catholic Church - The Creed - The Father - CCC 232-267

Catechism of the Catholic Church*
Section Two 

The Profession of the Christian Faiths The Creeds 
Chapter 1 I Believe in God the Father

Paragraph 2 - The Father  

CCC #232-267 A Study

In this next section of the Catechism study we examine briefly “how the mystery of the Trinity is revealed, how the Church has articulated the doctrine of the faith regarding this mystery, and how, by the divine missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit, God the Father fulfills the “plan of his loving goodness” of creation, redemption, and sanctification.” (CCC 235)

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity
is the central mystery of Christian
 faith and of Christian life
.” (CCC 261)

How the Mystery of the Trinity is Revealed
CCC 238-248, 261-263

The Father is revealed by Jesus as the eternal Father in relation to his only Son, who is eternally Son only in relation to his Father:  “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)

The apostles acknowledge Jesus to be the Word of God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”; (John 1:1) as “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation”; (Colossians 1:15) and as the “radiance of the glory of God and the very imprint of his nature, and who sustains all things by his mighty word.” (Hebrews 1:3)

The Church following the apostolic tradition confessed at the first ecumenical council at Nicaea in 325, “that the son is “consubstantial” with the Father, that is, one only God with him.” (CCC 242)

The Father and the Son are revealed by the Spirit:   “The Spirit is sent to the apostles and to the Church both by the Father in the name of the Son and by the Son, in person, once he had returned to the Father.  The sending of the person of the Spirit after Jesus’ glorification reveals in its fullness the mystery of the Holy Trinity.” (CCC 244)

 “The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name - he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] have told you.” (John 14:26) “For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.  But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

The Church following the apostolic faith concerning the Spirit confessed in the second ecumenical council in Constantinople in 381: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father.”  The council also concluded that “The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance and also of the same nature.”  The Creed from the Council of Constantinople went on to say, “With the Father and the Son, he [the Spirit] is worshiped and glorified.” (CCC 245)

In 447, Pope Saint Leo I dogmatically affirmed the Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.”  But this was not added to the Creed until the Council of Florence in 1438, when it was explained:  “The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once from the Father and the Son.  He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle…”

Christians are baptized in the name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
 not in their names, for there is only one God,
the almighty Father, his only Son, and
 the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity
.” (CCC 233)

How the Church Articulated the Doctrine of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity
CCC 249-256, 265-267

“The doctrine of the Trinity includes three truths of faith:  First, the Trinity is One.  We do not speak of three gods but of one God.  Each of the Persons is fully God.  They are a unity of Persons in one divine nature.  Second, the Divine Persons are distinct from each other.  Farther, Son, and Spirit are not three appearances of modes of God, but three identifiable persons, each fully God in a way distinct from the others.  Third, the Divine Persons are in relation to each other.  The distinction of each is understood only in reference to the others.”** The Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. 

No one can come to me unless the Father
who sent me draw him, and I will
raise him on the last day
.” (John 6:44)

How the Divine Missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit
 Fulfill God The Father's Plan
CCC 257-260

“God is love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  God freely wills to communicate the glory of his blessed life.  Such is the “plan of his loving kindness,” conceived by the Father before the foundation of the world, in his beloved Son:  “He destined us in love to be his sons” and “to be conformed to the image of his Son,” through “the spirit of sonship.” (CCC 257)

“The whole Christian life is a communion with each of the divine persons, without in any way separating them.  Everyone who glorifies the Father does so through the Son in the Holy Spirit; everyone who follows Christ does so because the Father draws him and the Spirit moves him.” (CCC 259)

“The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity.”  (CCC 260)  

Prayer of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity.  May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery.  
*Catechism of the Catholic Church Vatican Web Site
God the Father with Four Angels and the Dove of the Holy Spirit - Giovanni Francesco da Rimini
Baptism of Christ - Francesco Albani
**United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, page 52-53
Original Post of Catechism of the Catholic Church with index

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