Catechism On Line

The Mystery of the Holy Trinity

Book, Chapter 3

In this chapter we discuss the following topics: 

- How do we express our faith in The Holy Trinity?

- It is the deepest Mystery of our Faith

- Bishops' Conference in Nicea

How do we express our faith in The Holy Trinity?

Through baptismal promises every Easter:
  • Do you believe in one God the Father almighty.... ?
  • Do you believe in Jesus Christ his only son.... ?
  • Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins and the life everlasting.... ?

The Holy Trinity is the deepest Mystery of our Faith

The reference to the Holy Trinity was made by Jesus, when He sent His disciples to go and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In our Church, the term "Trinitas" was first coined by Tertullian in his work named Apologeticum. Since then it was even directly used by some Heavenly messengers. For example, during his apparition in Fatima, Portugal to Francisco, Jacintha and Lucia in September of 1916, the angel of peace said the following prayer: "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly and offer you the most precious body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all tabernacles of earth in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners".

But what is this Trinity? Our Church defines it as follows:

The central belief of Christian faith; the mystery of one God in three divine persons:
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

To earthlings like us, it is a mystery how can three persons function as one. But the concept becomes clearer if we compared the Trinity to an MP3 player. Like the Trinity, an MP3 player is composed of three separate functional entities. One is the player itself. A piece of hardware where music is saved on a magnetic media. Here, the player would be GOD Himself. The music would be the Holy Spirit. and your earphones would be Jesus who is in intimate contact with you (with our ancestors 2000 years ago, and with you in the Eucharist). Jesus brings you the information which He receives from GOD the father, and the Holy Spirit is the music you listen to.

God the Father MP3 player
Son Earphones
Holy Spirit The music

The mystical concept of the Holy Trinity is difficult to understand. It has created much controversy among Christians and was not accepted in Islam. Intensive theological debates have taken place in the early Church about the relationship of Jesus to GOD. One school of thought led by theologian Arius had it that the Son was not co-equal and co-essential with the Father, but merely the chief of His creations, as opposed to the view of equality between Jesus the God-Son and the God-Father. 

Nicean Conference

Therefore in 325 the first great Church council was called to Nicea in Bithenia (in today's Turkey). It was presided by the Emperor Constantine. The judgement of about 300 bishops brought forward what we know today and profess as the "Nicene Creed".

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