CFC: Section III The Blessed Trinity

Section III of the Catechism for First Communicants ( p. 7 & 8 ) discusses The Blessed Trinity. It tells us: “There is only one God. In God there are three Divine Persons. The Father is the first Person. The Son is the Second Person. The Holy Ghost is the third Person. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Ghost is God. The three Divine Persons are one God. We call the three Divine Persons in God the Blessed Trinity.”

Well, talk about something that is both clear and confusing. St. Patrick totally deserves credit for his shamrock analogy. It’s easy to see how people could misconstrue this basic Christian doctrine. It could appear that Christians worship three Gods (, and some like to incorrectly suggest that Catholics worship the goddess Mary, too). And it may be slightly blasphemous (what can I say I am a Monty Python fan), but I just envisioned in my mind that the Blessed Trinity is kind of like Siamese triplets. Three distinct personalities who share one body. Of course, that also kind of sounds like Sybl; except she had more than three personalities. I’m just saying that this is one of those things that can kind of strain your brain to understand.

There are a few sects that don’t recognize the Trinity at all, but I can’t think which ones off hand. It’s times like this when I wish I wasn’t too lazy to go upstairs and root through the closet for my copy of The Joy of Sects. And then some denominations put more focus on one part of the Trinity over others. For instance, Pentecostals seem to put a lot of emphasis on the workings of the Holy Ghost, aka Spirit. Scott Hahn, the great Catholic convert and theologian, wrote something to the effect that the biggest problem with Protestants is that they tend to put too much emphasis on Jesus, kind of forgetting sometimes that there are two other members of the Blessed Trinity. Growing up Catholic I felt I had a pretty healthy understanding of God the Father and Jesus the Son. It’s only recently that I feel that I’ve begun to understand and appreciate the Holy Spirit. That’s pretty sad since I supposedly received the Holy Spirit at Confirmation; of course, back then the teachers were emphasizing that Confirmation made us “adults in the Church”.

I have other thoughts about each member of the Blessed Trinity, but *spoiler alert* the CFC goes more in depth about each member in the next few sections. The end-of-section prayer reads: “By the sign of the cross we please God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. I will often make the sign of the cross.” Non-Catholics are often intrigued by the sign of the cross, especially the baseball fans. Sometimes I think they see it as some sort of secret handshake. It’s really just an acknowledgment of the Blessed Trinity. Although, Scott Hahn goes in depth about the solemnity of the sign of the cross in his book Swear to God, which is one of his better books in my opinion. May have to pull that one back off of the shelf sometime soon.

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