52 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed
ing us as sons and daughters in Baptism and by being rich in mercy to
forgive our sins. Scripture constantly praises the universal power of God
as the “mighty one of Jacob” and the “Lord of hosts” (Gn 49:24; Is
1:24ff.). God’s power is loving, for he is our Father.
God’s parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of
motherhood, which emphasizes God’s immanence, the intimacy
between Creator and creature. The language of faith thus draws
on the human experience of parents, who are in a way the first
representatives of God for man. But this experience also tells
us that human parents are fallible and can disfigure the face
of fatherhood and motherhood. We ought therefore to recall
that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes.
He is neither man nor woman: he is God. He also transcends
human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin
and standard: no one is father as God is Father. (CCC, no. 239)
Jesus revealed God as
in a new sense. God is Father in his
relation to Jesus, his only begotten Son. At the Last Supper, Jesus calls
God “Father” forty-five times (cf. Jn 13-17). The Son is divine, as is the
Father (cf. Mt 11:27). In a later chapter, Jesus as the Second Person of
the Trinity will be discussed further.
Before the Passion, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit as
teacher, guide, and consoler. The Spirit’s appearance at Pentecost and at
other events in the New Testament gives ample evidence of the Holy
Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity. This, too, will be discussed in a
The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian
faith and life. God reveals himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The
doctrine of the Trinity includes three truths of faith.
First, the Trinity is One. We do not speak of three gods but of one
God. Each of the Persons is fully God. They are a unity of Persons in one
Second, the Divine Persons are distinct from each other. Father, Son,
and Spirit are not three appearances or modes of God, but three identifi-
able persons, each fully God in a way distinct from the others.