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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.

"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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"The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart. "
St Philip Neri

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