A piece of sunshine

[김애란] Three in one

Three in one  


By Kim Ae-ran 




When I go to the supermarket or convenience store, I often find some products labeled "Three in one," which means I can have three items or benefits if I buy one. What a treat! Nobody would feel bad when something more is given for free. 


One day, I had a chance to listen to an interesting lecture on pseudo-religions. By the end of that lecture, a sharing was given by a religious person who had changed religions. She left Catholicism to join another similar religion and then returned to Catholicism after some time. She confessed she could have remained a Catholic only if she had better understood the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.


We Catholics believe in the Trinity, which comes from Latin, "Trinitas." Trinitas is a combination of "tri" (triad, meaning three each, triple or threefold) and "unitas" (meaning unity or oneness). Three in unity in the doctrine of the Trinity literally means the presence of three consubstantial persons. God is three divine persons in one substance, essence or nature ― in other words, one God in three divine persons called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


By reason, it is not easy to understand this interdependent and interrelated relationship. The traditional doctrine of the Trinity says: there is one God; God is three co-existing eternal persons; each person is fully God, co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial.


Deuteronomy 6:4 clearly says there is only one God: "The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!" Then, how can one God become multi-personal? There is no such term as the Trinity in the Old Testament, but some phrases imply the existence of the Trinity as in Genesis 1:26 when God says "Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness" and Genesis 18:2 mentions three visitors standing near Abraham. Various phrases in the New Testament directly talk about the existence of the Trinity as in Matthew 28:19. ("Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.") 


C.S. Lewis explains the Trinity in "Mere Christianity" as having three dimensions with many figures. With one or two dimensions, we can't make various figures. There is only a vertical line with one dimension, and there is only a square with an angle with two dimensions. But many dimensions can create a hypercube.


The Trinity shows the triune nature of God, the complexity of three entities, the endless possibility, capacity and diversity of unity. The best way to figure out the Trinity would be by pondering on what roles the Trinity has for us. In sum, the Trinity loves and saves us, and is present in us. Love is the fundamental basis or ground for the Trinity, and this love is revealed through our relationship, fellowship, communication and communion. 


God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son to redeem the world, and through the Son, the Holy Spirit is always with us, guiding, inspiring and protecting us. When we truly love one another, this relationship of three in one is renewed, multiplied, strengthened and reproduced among us.


Whenever I reflect and ponder on the Words of God, the only ultimate answer that comes to my mind is always love. The relationship of the Trinity witnesses love, and this love shows us the essential reality of the Trinity.


The Daughters of St. Paul are now preparing for the 11th General Chapter which will be held September 2019 in Italy with the theme of "Arise and go on your journey"(Dt. 10:11) trusting in the Promise. In preparation of that historic gathering and consulting like a synod, the General Government invites each of us to reflect on the abundant riches, merits, dreams and positives we have already experienced throughout the past six years as well as appeals or calling from God and the methods to correspond to that appeals. 


My personal appeal coming from my heart is that I myself should live and witness the Words of God first of all. When my heart is burned with the inner fire of the Words of God, I believe many doors will be opened.


The author is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul (Figlie di San Paolo) living and giving the Good News to the world by means of social communication. Learn more about the congregation at fsp.pauline.or.kr.

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