Catechesis on the Holy Trinity by Pope Saint John Paul II

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Between the years of 1985 to 1991, during the General Audiences, Pope Saint John Paul II gave the world an amazing series focused on the catechesis of the Holy Trinity. These catechetical lessons were part of John Paul’s Catechesis on the Creed. He began with God the Father in 1985 and 1986. He then continued with Jesus Christ, Son and Savior 1986 and 1989. He concluded this multiyear series in 1989 and 1991 with the Holy Spirit. In total, there are 238 teachings.

I hope that these words help you come to know the Most Holy Trinity in a more profound way and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will be with you always in prayer.

The correct attitude towards God

“I could not end this initial catechesis of our discourse on God without recalling a second fundamental attitude besides that of upright intelligence, mentioned above. This is the attitude of a docile and grateful heart. We speak of him whom Isaiah proposes to us as the three times holy (6:3). We must therefore speak of him with deepest and total respect, in adoration. At the same time, however, sustained by him “who is in the bosom of the Father and has made him known” (John 1:18), Jesus Christ our brother speaks of him with tenderest love. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).”

God is the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

“In this sense the New Testament contains the fullness of trinitarian revelation. God, revealing himself in Jesus Christ, on the one hand unveils who God is for man and, on the other, discovers who God is in Himself, that is, in his intimate life. The truth “God is love” (1 John 4, 16), expressed in the first Letter of John, possesses here the value of the keystone. If by means of it one unveils/is unveiled who God is for man, then one also unveils/it is also unveiled (inasmuch as it is possible for the human mind to understand it and for our words to express it) who He is in Himself. He is unity, that is, communion of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus brings the Holy Spirit to humanity and the Church

“We can say that Jesus Christ is he who comes from the Father as the eternal Son; he who went forth from the Father, becoming man by the power of the Holy Spirit. After having fulfilled his messianic mission as Son of Man by the power of the Holy Spirit, “he goes to the Father” (John 14:12). Going there as Redeemer of the world, he gives to his disciples and sends down upon the Church in all ages the same Spirit, in whose power he acted as man. In this way Jesus Christ, as he who “goes to the Father,” leads to the Father all those who will follow Jesus in the course of the centuries by means of the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus reveals the Trinity

“But here it is important to point out that the Incarnation, even if it refers directly to the Son, is the work of the One and Triune God (cf. Fourth Lateran Council). This is already testified by the message of the Annunciation (cf. Luke 1:26-38). Furthermore, by his teaching, Jesus has proposed for our consideration “vistas closed to human reason” (Gaudium et Spes, 24) those of the inner life of the one God in the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Finally, having fulfilled his messianic mission, in departing from his apostles on the fortieth day after the resurrection, Jesus completed in every detail that which he had announced. “As the Father has sent me I also send you” (John 20:21). He told them: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).”

Pentecost: the divine life is poured out

“Through the work of the Paraclete, the apostles and the other disciples became an “Easter people,” believers in and witnesses to Christ’s resurrection. Without reserve, they made the truth of that decisive event their own. From the day of Pentecost they were the heralds of “the mighty works of God” (Magnalia Dei).

“They were made capable of it from within. The Holy Spirit effected their interior transformation by virtue of the new life that derived from Christ in his resurrection and now infused by the new Paraclete into his followers. We can apply to this transformation what Isaiah prophesied metaphorically: “until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest” (Isa. 32:15). Truly on Pentecost the gospel truth is radiant with light: God “is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt. 22:32), “for all live to him” (Luke 20:38).”

The Holy Spirit can only give true joy

“Jesus invited his disciples to rejoice, to overcome the temptation to sadness at the Master’s departure, because this departure was the condition planned by God for the coming of the Holy Spirit: “It is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). It will be the Spirit’s gift to provide the disciples with a great joy, even the fullness of joy, according to Jesus’ intention. The Savior, after inviting the disciples to remain in his love, said: “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete” (John 15:11; cf. 17:13). It is the task of the Holy Spirit to put into the disciples’ hearts the same joy that Jesus had, the joy of faithfulness to the love which comes from the Father.”

Features Image: Pixabay. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

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