Catholic Free Press
It is not one bit an exaggeration to say that the course I took on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity changed my life. Learning about the Trinity taught me about relationships. We are made in the image of God, and we have the same spiritual internal activities of thinking and willing. While remaining perfectly one, there are two processions in God that explain how from Father proceeds the Son by an act of the intellect and the Holy Spirit, from the Father and the Son together, by an act of the will. This helped me understand why we all desire unity in our families, even as we want to retain our individual personalities. It helped me understand why I desire to know and be known, to love and be loved, to learn and to belong, and why everyone else has those same innate desires.
However, like any absolute mystery of Divine Revelation it’s at once a truth so simple a child can articulate it, yet so profound that all the inspired minds of the Church through the millennia cannot exhaust the mystery. Studying the way this dogma was carefully articulated and defended through the history of the Catholic Church gave me a deeper appreciation for how hard the Church tries to see the world as it is, to see the truth. That course was as complex as any calculus or organic chemistry course, yet at the end, the priest returned to our human limits in humility. “And that’s as far as we can go.” That stuck with me too.
Not only did I learn how to approach relationships better, I learned how to order my thinking more honestly, how to admit what I do and do not know, what I can and cannot know, and what I can do to address a problem at hand. Isn’t that what St. Thomas did throughout his summaries? Now, even in the daily minutia, when there’s an issue to resolve, whether it is a major decision about education or health, or even about silly sister spats over seemingly meaningless little toys – anything – I’ve learned to first see and accept the world as it is, and then to acknowledge my limits so that I am spared from worrying endlessly about things I can’t even change. And I understand something else. God revealed truths to us not so we could formulate fancy words, but because He loves us and wants us to know ourselves better by striving to know and love Him.
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