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31. Terms for unity and Plurality in God

1. The name Trinity as applied to God means the determinate number of three Persons in one and the same undivided God.

2. We rightly use the term distinction when we speak of the Persons of the Trinity. But we avoid the vagueness or the plain error of the terms diversity and difference; these words appear to suggest a cleavage in the undivided divine essence. We may, however, use the term other when we contrast the divine Persons, for this word stresses the distinction of Persons without implying a difference of essence or nature. Hence we may say, "The Son is other than the Father."

3. The terms alone and only are properly applied to God's name when we speak of God in comparison with creatures. Thus we say, "God alone is eternal," and "Only God is infinite." But we do not use the words alone and only in such a way as to suggest that God is solitary or lonely; such use would be an implied denial of the Trinity of Persons in God. Therefore, it is misleading to say,"Before there were creatures, God was alone."

4. The terms alone and only may be added to the name of one Person of the Trinity as distinct from the others when what is expressed is proper to that one Person. These words alone and only are not to be added to the name of any one divine Person if such expression would or could suggest the excluding of the other Persons from what is attributable to God in unity. Thus we may say, "The Son alone is begotten or generated." But we cannot rightly say,"The Holy Ghost alone gives us grace."

"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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

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"It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come."
Thomas á Kempis

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