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68

Part One

you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and

containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without

disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree

that raises up or inferior degree that casts down . . . the

infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person consid-

ered in himself is entirely God . . . the three considered

together . . . . I have not even begun to think of unity when

the Trinity bathes me in its splendor. I have not even begun

to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. . . .

92

IV.

T

he

D

ivine

W

orks and

the

T

rinitarian

M

issions

257

“O blessed light, O Trinity and first Unity!”

93

God is

eternal blessedness, undying life, unfading light. God is love:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God freely wills to communicate the

glory of his blessed life. Such is the “plan of his loving kindness,”

conceived by the Father before the foundation of the world, in his

beloved Son: “He destined us in love to be his sons” and “to be

conformed to the image of his Son,” through “the spirit of son-

ship.”

94

This plan is a “grace [which] was given to us in Christ Jesus

before the ages began,” stemming immediately from Trinitarian

love.

95

It unfolds in the work of creation, the whole history of

salvation after the fall, and the missions of the Son and the Spirit,

which are continued in the mission of the Church.

96

258

The whole divine economy is the common work of the

three divine persons. For as the Trinity has only one and the same

nature, so too does it have only one and the same operation: “The

Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not three principles of

creation but one principle.”

97

However each divine person per-

forms the common work according to his unique personal prop­

erty. Thus the Church confesses, following the New Testament,

“one God and Father fromwhom all things are, and one Lord Jesus

Christ, through whom all things are, and one Holy Spirit in whom

all things are.”

98

It is above all the divine missions of the Son’s

Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit that show forth the

properties of the divine persons.

92 St. Gregory of Nazianzus,

Oratio

40, 41: PG 36, 417.

93

LH,

Hymn for Evening Prayer.

94

Eph

1:4-5, 9;

Rom

8:15, 29.

95

2 Tim

1:9-10.

96 Cf.

AG

2-9.

97 Council of Florence (1442): DS 1331; cf. Council of Constantinople II (553):

DS 421.

98 Council of Constantinople II: DS 421.

221

758

292

850

686