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Old 5th September 2012, 12:14 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Consubstantial

In the new wording of the Creed at Mass, we say that Jesus is consubstantial with the Father. The dogma being referred to is that all Three Persons are One Substance (being, nature). The Father and the Son and the Spirit each possess the Divine Nature in its entirety. The attributes of that Nature are not distributed, some to one Person, and others to another Person.

For example, God is Love. Love is an attribute of the Divine Nature. Now this wording, 'attribute', is really insufficient, because Love is a description of the Nature itself, and not a mere quality of the Nature. But words always fall short when speaking of God. The point here is that all three Persons are consubstantial, and so they all have Love as their Nature. For the Three Persons have the very same Nature.

It is not true, as some persons claim, that the Holy Spirit is the Love between the Father and the Son. This figure of speech cannot be taken literally. If it were true, then the Father and the Son would have no Love other than the Spirit, and they would not be consubstantial. The Love of God is not found only in the Spirit.

Similarly, the will of God is not found only in the Father, and the knowledge of God is not found only in the Son. The Son is not the personified knowledge of God, as if the Father and Spirit had no knowledge other than the Son. These types of claims contradict the dogma that the three Persons are consubstantial.
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Old 5th September 2012, 06:21 PM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default Metaphor proposed....helpful or foolish?

Is it absurd, or even heretical, to present the metaphor of water vapor, lwater, and ice as a metaphor for this? Water is in all three; they are in a sense one yet different aspects of that one. Am I speaking gibberish here or is there a shred of sense to this metaphor?
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Old 5th September 2012, 08:10 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by garabandalg View Post
Is it absurd, or even heretical, to present the metaphor of water vapor, lwater, and ice as a metaphor for this? Water is in all three; they are in a sense one yet different aspects of that one. Am I speaking gibberish here or is there a shred of sense to this metaphor?

It is not heretical, nor even foolish, to use a wide variety of metaphors and figures of speech in explaining the Trinity and the Nature of God. St. Thomas used the metaphor of an earthworm in talking about procession and the Trinity.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1027.htm#article2
Of course, no set of words suffices, as Thomas also says. But it is not wrong for us to use many figures of speech about God.

Concerning the figure that God as Three Persons is like Will, Knowledge, and Love -- this figure is useful. It only becomes abject heresy if one takes the figure to be literal, as if will were only in the Father, and knowledge only in the Son, and Love only in the Spirit.
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Old 5th September 2012, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
It is not true, as some persons claim, that the Holy Spirit is the Love between the Father and the Son. This figure of speech cannot be taken literally. If it were true, then the Father and the Son would have no Love other than the Spirit, and they would not be consubstantial. The Love of God is not found only in the Spirit.

We cannot know exactly what is real relation and how Love is expressed within the Trinity. Everything is possible.

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Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
Similarly, the will of God is not found only in the Father, and the knowledge of God is not found only in the Son. The Son is not the personified knowledge of God, as if the Father and Spirit had no knowledge other than the Son. These types of claims contradict the dogma that the three Persons are consubstantial.

Jesus said that only Father knows when there will be the end of times. So that shows us there is some kind of knowledge accessible only to Father.
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Old 5th September 2012, 10:57 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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We cannot know exactly what is real relation and how Love is expressed within the Trinity. Everything is possible.

The Magisterium is able to teach all the truths of faith and morals found in Divine Revelation. The Church does have a doctrine on this subject, which is why we say "consubstantial" in the Creed. So we can and do have knowledge on this subject. It is a mystery beyond complete comprehension. But it is contrary to Church teaching to speak as if we have no knowledge, or as if any assertion on the subject might be true.

Love is not "expressed" in the Trinity, since God is Love, Love must be the unchanging Nature of God, and not a set of loving acts. So there are no separate acts of love within the Trinity.

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Originally Posted by LittleBrother View Post
Jesus said that only Father knows when there will be the end of times. So that shows us there is some kind of knowledge accessible only to Father.

The doctrine of the Church on this subject is that Jesus was not saying that He, the Second Person of the Trinity, does not know something. That interpretation of the passage would be contrary to the dogma that the Three Persons are each consubstantial -- they each possess the full Nature of God. So each is all-knowing without any exception.

Either Jesus was speaking about the finite knowledge of his finite human mind, which is not all knowing (since he is like us in his human nature in all things but sin),
or, Jesus was speaking figuratively, in so far as it was not knowledge that he should reveal to the Apostles at that time.
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