"He Who Is"
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified
God is Love (214)
God revealed himself as "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Ex 34:6). Israel thanked God for this steadfast love and faithfulness (Ps 138:2). John says "God is love" (1 Jn 1:5, 4:8).
God is Truth (215-217)
"You are God, and your words are true" (2 Sam 7:28). Because he is truth, we must abandon ourselves to God's Word. Our first parents committed sin because they were led into doubt about God's Word.
God alone can give us true knowledge about all creation. He is also truthful in revealing himself because he sent Jesus "to bear witness to the truth" (Jn 18:37).
God's Motive is Love (218-221)
Through the prophets, Israel discovered that love was God's only motive in revealing himself (Isa 43: 1-7, Hos 2). God's love is as a father's love. His love is stronger than a mother's love for her children or a bridegroom's love for the bride. Even when the world sinned, "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" (Jn 3:16).
God's love is "everlasting" and will never be removed (Isa 54:8). "I have continued my faithfulness to you"(Jer 31:3). John reveals God's innermost secret, "God is love" (1 Jn 4:8). His inner being is an eternal exchange of love between Father, Son and Spirit.
Our Duties (222-227)
Believing in one God has enormous consequences. "We must serve God first" (Joan of Arc). We must live in thanksgiving. We must recognize the dignity of every human person. We must use created things according to God's plan and we must trust in God in every circumstance. "God alone is enough" (St. Teresa of Jesus).
Faith in the Trinity (232-233)
Christians are baptized "in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." They are not baptized "in the names" of the Father, Son and Spirit because there is only one God, the Most Holy Trinity. The baptismal confession of faith has three parts because "the faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity" (St. Caesarilus of Arles).
The Central Mystery (234)
The Trinity is the central mystery of Christian life, the source of all the other mysteries, and the most fundamental mystery in "the hierarchy of the truths of faith." The whole history of salvation is identical with the way God revealed himself as Father, Son and Spirit.
Three Aspects (235)
This section will explain three aspects:
- How the Trinity was revealed
- How the Church has articulated this mystery
- How God the Father fulfilled his plan by sending the Son and the Spirit
Inner Life and Exterior Work (236-237)
"Theology" refers to God's inner life and "economy" refers to God revealing and communicating his life to us. By God's actions in history (economy), he reveals his inner life (theology). Knowing God's inner life enlightens our understanding of his plan.
The Trinity is a mystery which would not be known unless revealed. The mystery is inaccessible both to reason alone and to Israel before the sending of Jesus and the sending of the Holy Spirit.