A Catholic Monthly Magazine


by Bill Lambert

by Bill Lambert

Like millions before me I have problems with the Trinity. It’s like when I phone up heaven and get the celestial voicemail, I don’t know whether to push button 1 for the Father, 2 for the Son or 3 for the Holy Spirit.

It’s enough of a problem trying to communicate with an infinite God who is way above our reason, without his complicating things further by being three persons in one.

It’s a hard one for the theologians to get their heads around, but I think I have at last got a working hypothesis which suits me: When you want something, go to the right person.

So I look at the special attributes of the three Persons….


Vision of the Trinity to St Alexander Svirsky in 1508

There’s kindly God the Father; you can ask him for anything you would seek from Dad. And we’re told it helps if you mention his son’s name.

And his son, our brother in his humanity. We know our brothers and sisters almost as well as we know ourselves because we share the same genes. Jesus is one of us, able to share our hopes, our joys and our pains. Of the three persons, Jesus is the one with whom we can feel an intimate human fellowship.

Then the Holy Spirit.... the more-feminine person of the Holy Trinity family. The Spirit is wisdom, understanding, honesty and love. The Spirit is the source of grace and faith.

That’s the closest I can get to the mystery of the Trinity with my limited intelligence. As I said, it’s a working hypothesis. And I hope it may work for you too.

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