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33. The Person of God the Father

1. A principle is that from which anything takes its rise in any way whatever, or from which anything proceeds in any manner. A principle is not necessarily a cause; a cause is only one type of principle. The divine proceedings involve, in first instance, the Father begetting (but not causing) the Son. Hence the term principle is rightly applied to God the Father.

2. A name proper to the First Person of the Trinity is that which divine paternity (which is proper to the First Person) implies. This is the name Father.

3. The name Father is truly a personal name, that is, it applies to a divine person rather than to the divine essence in unity. But we often use the name Father as an essential name of God and not a personal name. When we say, for instance, "God is the Father of us all," we are not speaking of the First Person of the Trinity, but of the three Persons in undivided Godhead. Thus Father, strictly speaking, is a distinctive personal title of the First Person; less strictly, Father is one of our ordinary names for God in unity.

4. In the divine proceedings the Father is the principle whence proceeds the Son (by eternal begetting or generation); the Father and the Son together are the one principle whence proceeds the Holy Ghost (by spiration and procession). The Father himself does not proceed from any principle. It is the distinctive property of the Father to be unbegotten. This is the Father's innascibility.

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"The greatest glory we can give to God is to do his will in everything."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Happy is the youth, because he has time before him to do good. "
St Philip Neri

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