Friday, June 16, 2006

The Mystery of the Trinity

On NRO today, Michael Novak discusses the Catholic as dinner guest.

Then I came to my final point. “Well, Christians hold that the most divine aspect of human life—the best thing—is the love of friendship. And we think of God accordingly. Although we cannot imagine how this can be—our imaginations fail here—we think of God as more like a Community of Friends than as a Solitary Being.” Very high above us the fantail of a tiny silver jet left a high chalk line across the cobalt sky.

“The only reason we dare to think this way, really, is because that is how Jesus talked of His Father, and of the Spirit whom the Father would send, after the death of Jesus. Jesus spoke of all Three as One. ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me.’ In other places Jesus spoke of all three as one divinity. He said that Christians should be baptized ‘in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ Three in one.”

Honestly, I said to my inquiring friend: “I don’t pretend to understand this. But when I say ‘Trinity,’ I remind myself to think of God as a Communion of Three Friends. Although that is not quite strong enough, for one must somehow hold that this Communion of Persons constitutes only One God. But this God is more like communion than solitude.”


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