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62

Part One

Paragraph 2. The Father

I.

“I

n

the

N

ame of

the

F

ather and of

the

S

on and of

the

H

oly

S

pirit

232

Christians are baptized “in the name of the Father and of

the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

53

Before receiving the sacrament,

they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the

Father, the Son, and the Spirit: “I do.” “The faith of all Christians

rests on the Trinity.”

54

233

Christians are baptized in the

name

of the Father and of the

Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their

names,

55

for there is only one

God, the almighty Father, his only Son, and the Holy Spirit: the

Most Holy Trinity.

234

Themystery of theMost Holy Trinity is the central mystery

of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is

therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that

enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching

in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith.”

56

The whole history of

salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by

which the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, reveals

himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who

turn away from sin.”

57

235

This paragraph expounds briefly (I) how the mystery of

the Blessed Trinity was revealed, (II) how the Church has articu-

lated the doctrine of the faith regarding this mystery, and (III) how,

by the divine missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit, God the

Father fulfills the “plan of his loving goodness” of creation, re-

demption, and sanctification.

236

The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology (

theolo­

gia

) and economy (

oikonomia

). “Theology” refers to the mystery of God’s

inmost life within the Blessed Trinity and “economy” to all the works by

which God reveals himself and communicates his life. Through the

oik­

onomia

the

theologia

is revealed to us; but conversely, the

theologia

illumi-

nates the whole

oikonomia.

God’s works reveal who he is in himself; the

mystery of his inmost being enlightens our understanding of all his works.

So it is, analogously, among human persons. A person discloses himself

53

Mt

28:19.

54 St. Caesarius of Arles,

Sermo

9,

Exp. symb.:

CCL 103, 47.

55 Cf. Profession of faith of Pope Vigilius I (552): DS 415.

56

GCD

43.

57

GCD

47.

189, 1223

2157

90

1449

1066

259