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Saturday, June 13, 2009



by Dr. Jeff Mirus

Among all the concepts of God the world has known, only one draws the believer into the most profound intimacy of love. This intimacy is completely dependent upon the unique way in which the Christian God interacts in its three persons, and in which the Catholic God interacts with men. I refer, of course, to the doctrine of the Trinity and its wonderful relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary, leading to the Incarnation of the Son who accomplishes our Redemption through a completely self-sacrificial love.

The Christian drama of intimate love begins with the Trinity. God’s nature, as Christians understand it and philosophers ought to, is such that a relationship among three persons in God is absolutely required. Taking the Father as the first in logical priority (though not in time), we can see that if God’s knowledge of Himself is to be perfect, then that knowledge must in fact be another person, coeternal and coequal with the first, and aptly named (in priority) the Son. But the Son and the Father must also love each other infinitely and perfectly, so this love must itself be a person, also coeternal and coequal with the Father and the Son. We call this infinite perfect love the Holy Spirit.

Philosophers might have figured this out on their own, though it is always dangerous to assert too much from natural reason about God. In any case, Revelation is ever an aid to reason, and reality does tend to be intuitive once it is known. The point to grasp here is simply that the Christian God is in very truth a family in a relationship of perfect love, a love that is also infinite in its very intimacy, in the depths to which the beloved is known and cherished by the lover, and to which the lover pours himself out to the beloved. Moreover, this love, being infinitely intimate, always desires to include others within its magnificent scope.

Thus has God created other persons to share in His love, both angels and men. While the very act of creation is an act of love, the subsequent relationship of God to His creatures reveals how God loves each creature in the manner most fitted to its nature, establishing an intimacy of love between Himself and creation. The most striking instance of this from our own point of view, of course, is how God has chosen to love man. Just as the Father created man as a composite being, material and spiritual, body and soul, so too does He love man—and each man and woman—most appropriately through the astonishing Incarnation of the Son, the Word made flesh, infinity made intimate to human persons.


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