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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    and of the Holy Spirit not in their names 55 for there is only one God the almighty Father his only Son and the Holy Spirit the Most Holy Trinity 234 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life It is the mystery of God in himself It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith the light that enlightens them It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the hierarchy of the truths of faith 56 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God Father Son and Holy Spirit reveals himself to men and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin 57 235 This paragraph expounds briefly I how the mystery of the Blessed Trinity was revealed II how the Church has articulated the doctrine of the faith regarding this mystery and III how by the divine missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit God the Father fulfils the plan of his loving goodness of creation redemption and sanctification 236 The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology theologia and economy oikonomia Theology refers to the mystery of God s inmost life within the Blessed Trinity and economy to all the works by which God reveals himself and communicates his life Through the oikonomia the theologia is revealed to us but conversely the theologia illuminates the whole oikonomia God s works reveal who he is in himself the mystery of his inmost being enlightens our understanding of all his works So it is analogously among human persons A person discloses himself in his actions and the better we know a person the better we understand his actions 237

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    stamp of his nature 65 242 Following this apostolic tradition the Church confessed at the first ecumenical council at Nicaea 325 that the Son is consubstantial with the Father that is one only God with him 66 The second ecumenical council held at Constantinople in 381 kept this expression in its formulation of the Nicene Creed and confessed the only begotten Son of God eternally begotten of the Father light from light true God from true God begotten not made consubstantial with the Father 67 The Father and the son revealed by the spirit 243 Before his Passover Jesus announced the sending of another Paraclete Advocate the Holy Spirit At work since creation having previously spoken through the prophets the Spirit will now be with and in the disciples to teach them and guide them into all the truth 68 The Holy Spirit is thus revealed as another divine person with Jesus and the Father 244 The eternal origin of the Holy Spirit is revealed in his mission in time 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 69 The sending of the person of the Spirit after Jesus glorification 70 reveals in its fullness the mystery of the Holy Trinity 245 The apostolic faith concerning the Spirit was confessed by the second ecumenical council at Constantinople 381 We believe in the Holy Spirit the Lord and giver of life who proceeds from the Father 71 By this confession the Church recognizes the Father as the source and origin of the whole divinity 72 But the eternal origin of the Spirit is not unconnected with the Son s origin 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 Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father alone but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son 73 The Creed of the Church from the Council of Constantinople confesses With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified 74 246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son filioque The Council of Florence in 1438 explains The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son He has his nature and subsistence at once simul from the Father and the Son He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration And since the Father has through generation given to the only begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father except being Father the Son has also eternally from the Father from whom he is eternally born that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son 75 247 The affirmation of the filioque does not appear in the Creed confessed in 381 at Constantinople But Pope St Leo I

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    of the poor of the orphaned and the widowed who are under his loving protection 61 239 By calling God Father the language of faith indicates two main things that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent authority and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children God s parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of motherhood 62 which emphasizes God s immanence the intimacy between Creator and creature The language of faith thus draws on the human experience of parents who are in a way the first representatives of God for man But this experience also tells us that human parents are fallible and can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood We ought therefore to recall that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes He is neither man nor woman he is God He also transcends human fatherhood and motherhood although he is their origin and standard 63 no one is father as God is Father 240 Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard of sense he is Father not only in being Creator he is eternally 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 64 241 For this reason the apostles confess Jesus to be the Word In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God as the image of the invisible God as the radiance of the glory of God and the very stamp of his nature 65 242 Following this apostolic tradition the Church confessed

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    is not unconnected with the Son s origin 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 Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father alone but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son 73 The Creed of the Church from the Council of Constantinople confesses With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified 74 246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son filioque The Council of Florence in 1438 explains The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son He has his nature and subsistence at once simul from the Father and the Son He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration And since the Father has through generation given to the only begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father except being Father the Son has also eternally from the Father from whom he is eternally born that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son 75 247 The affirmation of the filioque does not appear in the Creed confessed in 381 at Constantinople But Pope St Leo I following an ancient Latin and Alexandrian tradition had already confessed it dogmatically in 447 76 even before Rome in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon came to recognize and receive the Symbol of 381 The use of this formula in the Creed was gradually admitted into the Latin liturgy between the eighth and eleventh centuries The introduction of the filioque into the Niceno Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin liturgy constitutes moreover even today a point of disagreement with the Orthodox Churches 248 At the outset the Eastern

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    doing this she did not submit the faith to human wisdom but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand 82 252 The Church uses I the term substance rendered also at times by essence or nature to designate the divine being in its unity II the term person or hypostasis to designate the Father Son and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them and III the term relation to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others The dogma of the Holy Trinity 253 The Trinity is One We do not confess three Gods but one God in three persons the consubstantial Trinity 83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire The Father is that which the Son is the Son that which the Father is the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is i e by nature one God 84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council 1215 Each of the persons is that supreme reality viz the divine substance essence or nature 85 254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another God is one but not solitary 86 Father Son Holy Spirit are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being for they are really distinct from one another He is not the Father who is the Son nor is the Son he who is the Father nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son 87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin It is the Father who generates the Son who is begotten and the Holy Spirit who proceeds 88 The divine Unity is Triune 255 The divine persons are relative to one another Because it does not divide the divine unity the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son the Son to the Father and the Holy Spirit to both While they are called three persons in view of their relations we believe in one nature or substance 89 Indeed everything in them is one where there is no opposition of relationship 90 Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son 91 256 St Gregory of Nazianzus also called the Theologian entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight which I want to take with me as

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    as good as 1 000 Help set a new record for the number of gifts this month Goal 1 000 769 to go Catechism of the Catholic Church The formation of the Trinitarian dogma 249 From the beginning the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church s living faith principally by means of Baptism It finds its expression in the rule of baptismal faith formulated in the preaching catechesis and prayer of the Church Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings such as this salutation taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all 81 250 During the first centuries the Church sought to clarify her Trinitarian faith both to deepen her own understanding of the faith and to defend it against the errors that were deforming it This clarification was the work of the early councils aided by the theological work of the Church Fathers and sustained by the Christian people s sense of the faith 251 In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity the Church had to develop her own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin substance person or hypostasis relation and so on In doing this she did not submit the faith to human wisdom but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand 82 252 The Church uses I the term substance rendered also at times by essence or nature to designate the divine being in its unity II the term person or hypostasis to designate the Father Son

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    really distinct from one another He is not the Father who is the Son nor is the Son he who is the Father nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son 87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin It is the Father who generates the Son who is begotten and the Holy Spirit who proceeds 88 The divine Unity is Triune 255 The divine persons are relative to one another Because it does not divide the divine unity the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son the Son to the Father and the Holy Spirit to both While they are called three persons in view of their relations we believe in one nature or substance 89 Indeed everything in them is one where there is no opposition of relationship 90 Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son 91 256 St Gregory of Nazianzus also called the Theologian entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight which I want to take with me as a companion and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit I entrust it to you today By it I am soon going to plunge you into water

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    person performs the common work according to his unique personal property Thus the Church confesses following the New Testament one God and Father from whom all things are and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things are and one Holy Spirit in whom all things are 98 It is above all the divine missions of the Son s Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit that show forth the properties of the divine persons 259 Being a work at once common and personal the whole divine economy makes known both what is proper to the divine persons and their one divine nature Hence 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 99 260 The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God s creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity 100 But even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity If a man loves me says the Lord he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him 101 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 Grant my soul peace Make it your heaven your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest May I never abandon you there but may I be there whole and entire completely vigilant in my faith entirely adoring and wholly given over to your creative action 102 IN BRIEF 261 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life God alone can make it known to us by revealing himself as Father Son and Holy Spirit 262 The Incarnation of God s Son reveals that God is the eternal Father and that the Son is consubstantial with the Father which means that in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God 263 The mission of the Holy Spirit sent by the Father in the name of the Son Jn 14 26 and by the Son from the Father Jn 15 26 reveals that with them the Spirit is one and the same God With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified Nicene Creed 264 The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father as the first principle and by the eternal gift of this to the Son from the communion of both the Father and the Son St Augustine

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