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29. The Divine Persons

1. A person is a complete substance of the rational order.

2. A person is a substance, not an accidental. A person is a complete and subsistent substance, not a mere member or part of a greater substance. A person is of the rational order, or has a rational nature, that is, a person has (at least fundamentally) understanding and free will.

3. The name person indicates what is most perfect in nature. Hence it is a name rightly applied to God who is all-perfect. But in applying the term to God we exclude from its meaning all that is limited and imperfect in our concept of a creatural person.

4. Applied to God, the name person means a divine relation as subsisting, that is, as perfectly existing in the order of infinite substance. What actually subsists is, as we have said,the divine nature and essence itself. And this subsistence is actual in the terminals of the divine relations (that is, in the three Persons) without being merely shared among them. The undivided nature of God subsists perfectly in each of the three Persons, so that, while they are really distinct Persons, they and the same God.

"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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