Pastoral Notes

The Holy Trinity

GOD THE FATHER  (cfr. Mystere du Pere [cf. Mystery of the Father] 

The analogy of the fatherhood which is given to us in t he created  world, is variously reached and at the same time is very  poor and  out of proportion in comparison with that reality of  the “Father” in  God. God in some ways identifies with the Father, and at  the same  time He exceeds all that we can think of regarding the subject of  “father” in the dimension of the creature, especially in t he dimension of a human reality. A father is one who gives life,  who hands  down humanity and who conditions its development, who  is a  point of reference for a child, and a correlator of the  certainty of  existence and good. The Father – God, is actually mysterious in  the terms of the world and the Creation. His is the Mystery which  is beyond everything and that conditions everything. Thi s Mystery  is cleared up with one reference: it is the reference of Chris t – “no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the S on  chooses to reveal him.” Thanks to Christ, we also “kno w” the Fa- ther in some way, and we have access to Him. In Christ’ s consciousness as well as in His mission and the world, t he Father completely obscures “the Absolute,” although at the same ti me it ab- sorbs Him in a certain way. The Father is also the Creat or and the  Lord (I praise You, father, Lord of heaven and earth, because ...  Mt 11.25). He is the Height of existence and good, He is  the Be- ginning,  final  Support,  Certainty  and  Fulfillment  all the fulfillments. If a person can think about Him reasonably in t he terms of  the Absolute, it is possible only on the condition that  they accept,  after Christ, the truth about Love. The Father, He is the Fulfillment of Truth and Goodness, in a typical only-to-Him  way, accepting the world since the reality of Creation, giving existence – to the  man whom He creates “in his own image and his likeness,”  granting to him participation in His Divinity. He is constantly present in  everything – being in Creation in the deepest way, especially in  man – out of our created imagination and thought. At  the same  time only He is the anchor of self-confidence and the condition of  the development of everything, especially of a man (cfr. ed uca- tion). Outside the “mystery of the Father,” there is no evolution of  man in truth and love. (cfr. Guillou’s thesis).  THE SON OF GOD  Jesus the Lord said “anyone who has seen me has seen the Fat her”  and at another time “the Father and I are one.” These words  are  the key of the meditation. The Son appears as a “visibili ty” of the  Father, not only His invisible Image that is the Consubstantial  Word, but also his “revelation” in the history of mankind, which  enters in becoming a Man. God – Man: the God of history  arrange s the whole history of salvation and concentrates it around Him- self. In this ultimate closeness to a man, to mankind,  to history,  Jesus – God, fully the Son to man, to humankind, to history, Jesus,  God and Son acts above all as Consubstantial to the Father  (Consubstantialis). This divine act, which is a result of his Person,  enters in the most thorough way into the history of man kind, from  Bethlehem until Calvary. First of all, it enters in the e vent of the  Cross, a fulfilling sacrifice which has salvific power. But the whole  human background of these events, life and death, do not  cover  the God-Son. Meditation with some special power showed me His  reality, in which the Father became (and still is becoming) visible in  a special way. Unfathomable is that mystery of bearing  the Son –  the Word. Here the analogy with human bearing “according  to the  body” disappoints in a special way. The Son is eternally Consubstantial – and as eternally the Son, He is bearing by the father

THE HOLY SPIRIT  “God is a Spirit – and truly worshippers shall worship him in  spirit and in truth (J)”. Our notion of God’s spirituality develops  over the poor experiences of our own human spirituality.  This  reality is at the same time “purely” spiritual and “purely” person- al. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are a spirit . “The Spirit permeates everything, He permeates the depths of God. ”  We know He is Holy, that He is a Person, as are the Father  and  the Son. We know that He “proceeds” from the Father and t he  Son as Love. God is love. The Holy Spirit is love of  the Father  and the Son. Therefore He is “Holy,” as holiness is love.  His “proceeding” from the Father and the Son is at the same ti me  remaining in the unity of the Father and the Son, and –  to a  certain extent – constituting that unity. Yet this mutual giving of  the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father in the Holy  Spirit – and mutual “breath” of that Spirit, is a complete mystery  of faith. The Holy Spirit is a “hidden God” (Deus absc onditus).  If He is an internal gift with whom the Father and the S on are  united – He especially has been revealed to man as a Gift . This  is revealed by Christ, who described his Passion and Death as a  price for that Gift for man (“if I go not away, the Comforter will  not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (J).  Here  we  already  pass  from  the  “Trinitas  theologica”  [“theological  Trinity”]  to  the  “Trinitas  oeconomi- ca” [“economic Trinity”]: the acting of Persons in the work of  human salvation. The Holy Spirit – at the cost of the Son’s Passion and Death – becomes a gift for souls: “he will guide you  into all truth...” “God’s Love is spilled in our heart s by the Holy  Spirit who is given to us:” the Holy Spirit is the source of man’s  holiness, and holiness consists of truth and love. In  them is ex- pressed the true nature of “spirituality” and holiness, also on the  level of man. In one way, we know more about the Holy Spirit  from  the  Revelation  in  the  “economic”  order  than  in  the  “theological” order. Also, in the economic order, He is s till  “Deus absconditus.” As long as the Son, Christ, consists of the  “visibility” of God and His “historicity” – the Holy  Spirit re- introduces us to His “invisibility.” And after all, H e is above all  an Action, He is Effectiveness and Bearing fruit – not  entering  into the sphere of our sight. His action in the soul, however effective and basic, is always action of the Invisible in the invisible.  [This article is the first in a two-part series providing excerpts of personal notes written by Saint John Paul II dating bet ween July 1962  when he was auxiliary bishop of Krakow, to March 200 3, two years  before his death and in the 25th year of his service as Roman Pontiff.]