MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA. TREATISE II. 4. THE PROCESSION OF THE DIVINE PERSONS.
Our Lady of RansomMEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA.
TREATISE II. 4.
MEANS OF HONOURING THE TRINITY.
I. All that the universe has it derives from God, and in every one of its elements it represents some quality that exists in God. The great fact in the universe is life. Life is fecundity, each living creature producing further life of its own kind. There is no sterility except in death. Visible life witnesses to life in God, and fecundity therefore witnesses to His fecundity. Fecundity of life is a higher quality than sterility and loneliness ; it must exist therefore in God in an infinite form as a perfection. The world manifests the extrinsic activity of the divine energy ; there must be a greater, an infinite activity, within the being of God, and this activity cannot end in sterility. The Almighty Himself asks: "Shall not I, that make others bring forth, Myself bring forth? Shall I, that give generation to others, be barren? saith the Lord thy God" (Isa. Ixvi. 9). The supreme exemplar of all fecundity must then be found in God. The persons of the Blessed Trinity are the accomplishment of the divine life, and action, and fecundity. Our souls are gifted with fecundity by God ; they should produce divine thoughts and good deeds. Too often they exhibit a fecundity as to frivolities and sins, and a sterility as to spiritual fruits. Reverse this order in yourself; strive to be dead towards the world and self, but alive towards God.
II. God is supreme life. Life is activity. Every being acts with the fulness of its energies. God, therefore, must have in every way an infinite action ; and this, from the fact of being infinite, must be intrinsic and within the substance of God ; because there can be no infinity but that which is in God and is God. Now, action is movement ; and the most adequate movement of a being is that by which it produces something equal to itself and of the same nature. There must then be a procession (or a production), of the same nature as God, and within the Godhead. God is supreme goodness. Now, "goodness is diffusive of itself." Although creation manifests an incalculable goodness and diffusiveness from God, this is not infinite ; and from that fact it does not amount to a full and adequate exercise of the divine goodness and diffusiveness. There must be an infinite communication of goodness, and this, of necessity, must be within the Godhead. This is accomplished in the procession of the Divine Persons. You have activities and good gifts from God. Exercise them in their fullness, and diffuse them for the benefit of others. Your spiritual life is death unless it manifests itself by active charity and production of good.
III. A spiritual being has two faculties, intelligence and will ; and by these it develops, according to its capacity, knowledge and love. In God these faculties produce in finite personified Wisdom, the Divine Son, and infinite personified Love, the Holy Ghost. Each Person proceeding, as being the term (or effect, speaking incorrectly) of infinite action, is infinite, is within the Godhead, and is God ; and hence they do not constitute three infinities or three Gods. Thus God is not solitary, wrapped in a sterile contemplation and love of the Divine Essence. There is plurality in Him, as to the Persons ; yet there is no division, no substantial separation of the Persons. There is a most perfect Unity, and not a mere union of three infinities. The Persons exist together, and in one another, in the indivisible infinite God head. How marvellous is this revelation of the secret of existence of the Divinity ! All the wisdom of the world cannot arrive at the discovery of it ; but it is the inheritance and firm possession of those little ones who possess the divine gift of faith. As to those from whom it is hidden, how inadequate and worthless must be their merely human notions of the divine nature!
MEDITATIONS ON CHRISTIAN DOGMA BY THE RIGHT REV. JAMES BELLORD, D.D.