After Good Friday
, the following Sunday in the Roman church is the "Solemnity
of the Most Holy Trinity
," as intellectual
as the preceding observance
s were emotional
. In most people
s, I suspect, the mystery of "Three person
s in One God
" is accept
ed on faith
s have belabored the point with little success
in explaining how God
could be Father
and Holy Spirit at one and the same time. They explain that, "the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation
, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession
from the Father and the Son." The last phrase, in Latin
"filioque" (= "and the son"), was an addition to the Creed, which was rejected by the church in the East and has been a sore point between the Rome
for hundreds of years.
of the doctrine
of sola scriptura
, that scripture
is the only authority
for belief, will be hard pressed to find the Trinity unambiguous
ly defined in scripture. While the persons of the Trinity are mentioned individually, there seems to be no verse
where the Three are referred to as One. Matthew 28:18 contains the injunction to baptize the nations "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," but a unity is not implied. There is sufficient evidence in scripture to believe that the Father and the Son are one, but the position of the Holy Spirit is ambiguous.
Perhaps the best example of the unity can be found in II Corinthians
13:13 where St. Paul
writes: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity of God, and the communication of the Holy Ghost be with you all," all three mentioned in the same breath, so to speak.
Understanding the how and wherefore of the Trinity, as I've suggested, is not essential to faith. It is hardly worth fighting
over, although many have died in the name of truth about the Trinity.