Choose a topic from Vol 1:


God's existence known by reason
Nature of God
Providence of God and Problem of Evil


Nature of man
Existence and nature of the soul
Immortality of the soul
Destiny of the soul
Freewill of man


Nature of religion
Necessity of religion

The Religion of the Bible

Natural religion
Revealed religion
Mysteries of religion
Value of the Gospels
Inspiration of the Bible
Old Testament difficulties
New Testament difficulties

The Christian Faith

The religion of the Jews
Truth of Christianity
Nature and necessity of faith

A Definite Christian Faith

Conflicting Churches
Are all one Church?
Is one religion as good as another?
The fallacy of indifference

The Failure of Protestantism

Protestantism erroneous
Greek Orthodox Church
Salvation Army
Witnesses of Jehovah
Christian Science
Catholic intolerance

The Truth of Catholicism

Nature of the Church
The true Church
Hierarchy of the Church
The Pope
Temporal power
Outside the Church no salvation

The Catholic Church and the Bible

Not opposed to the Bible
The reading of the Bible
Protestants and the Bible
Bible Only a false principle
The necessity of Tradition
The authority of the Catholic Church

The Church and Her Dogmas

Dogmatic truth
Development of dogma
Dogma and reason
The Holy Trinity
Grace and salvation
The Sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
Extreme Unction
The Millenium
Prayer for the Dead
The resurrection of the body
The general Judgment
The End of the World

The Church in Her Moral Teachings

Mental restriction
Ecclesiastical censures
Index of Prohibited Books
The Inquisition
Catholic Intolerance
Protestant services
Prohibition of drink
Sunday Observance
Convent life
Mixed Marriages
Birth control

The Church in Her Worship

Holy Water
Sign of the Cross
Liturgical ceremonial
Spiritual Healing
The use of Latin
Devotion to Mary
The Rosary
The Angelus
Devotion to the Saints
The worship of relics

The Church and Social Welfare

Poverty of Catholics
Catholic and Protestant countries
The Church and education
The Social Problem
The Church and Capitalism
The Church and the Worker

The Holy Trinity

637. But there are many individual dogmas of the Church which my reason could never accept. Take, for example, your dogma of God.

Catholic dogma concerning the existence and nature of God is in perfect harmony with the conclusions of sane philosophy, which have already been discussed.

638. I am referring to the doctrine of the Trinity. You have no sufficient reason for believing in that contradictory doctrine.

No contradiction is involved in the doctrine of the Trinity. The reason why we believe it is because God says that it is true, using terms which express it as nearly as possible in human language. As God ought to know His own intimate nature, His describing it is the best of possible reasons for believing in it.

639. Has not the Christian doctrine of the Trinity a mythological origin?

No. Christ taught us this doctrine both implicitly and explicitly in giving us His revelation. And He definitely ordered His Apostles to baptize in the one Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

640. But Indian philosophy taught this Trinitarian doctrine long before Christianity.

It did not. In the Vedic philosophy there are traces of a trinity, but not of the Trinity. The idea of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is not to be found in it. That philosophy taught a pantheistic notion, all things being a kind of emanation from God to be reabsorbed into Him. It has no distinction such as ours between the Creator and the creature, and Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva bear no real resemblance whatever to the Christian doctrine of three divine and equal personalities sharing the one divine nature. The Indian notion no more resembles the Christian doctrine than does the hegelian Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis. You might just as well try to account for the notion of the Trinity from any notion of triplicity wherever it occurs.

641. The idea of the Trinity was derived from ancient Egyptian mythology. The Oracle of Serapis used to reply, "First God, Oxen the Word, and with them the Holy Spirit. All these are of the same nature and make but one whole, of which the power is eternal."

Your only reason for attempting to derive the doctrine from Egyptian mythology is that you do not wish to admit that it is from God. The Egyptians derived their religious notions from their own every-day life. They had a multiplicity of gods, a god for every locality, each associated with some animal as a symbol Later the idea grew that the gods resided in statues combining human figures with animal heads. Legend made the gods marry, sometimes two goddesses to one male god, thus forming a triad. Or again, the number three was derived from the family unit of father, mother, and child. The mother was the counterpart of the father, and that father lived again in his child. Religious idealization attributed these notions to a supreme god, and the Egyptians spoke of Osiris, Isis, and Horus, father, mother and child. But Isis and Horus were both inferior to Osiris, and all three mere myths. Nor does even the mythical notion imply a tri-unity or trinity in anything like the Christian sense of the word, nor any true divinity of infinite perfection.The Oracle of Serapis certainly never used the words you quote. The books of Trismegistus Hermes, or the Hermetic Books, which are the great source of Egyptian mythology are full of Neo-Platonic and post-Christian interpolations and additions, and are unreliable. The attributing of the expressions "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" to the Oracle of Serapis is but a subterfuge of enemies of Christianity who wish to suggest that the doctrine was never revealed by God. Anyone Can attribute anything to anybody. It is a different matter if you ask for proof of authenticity. Men who will not believe in the doctrines of Christianity with evidence, will swallow oceans of oracles without evidence. Their eagerness not to be credulous when the historical Christ speaks is absurd in the light of their immense credulity when anybody merely mentions the magic words Oracle of Serapis. Their dislike of Christianity at once makes possible any anti-Christian assertion. But this is not rational.

642. Explain fully to us the Trinity, in the Christian sense of the word.

No man on earth can explain fully the Trinity. The finite mind cannot fully comprehend an infinite being. Even did God condescend to explain the doctrine fully to you, you would lack the capacity necessary in order to comprehend it. It is a revealed mystery to be accepted as true merely because God teaches it. However, we can explain the doctrine which Christians must believe. There are three divine Personalities in one divine Nature—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. These three Persons are equal in all things; equally God, equally eternal, powerful, etc. God is an infinitely perfect and purely spiritual Being, active in His knowledge and love. The knowledge God has of Himself is a living Personality called the Son. The idea of intellectual generation is not foreign to us, for we ourselves speak of our own thoughts as concepts and as the offspring of our intelligence. The mutual and reciprocal love between Father and Son is also a living personality—the Holy Spirit. There is no contradiction in this doctrine. We do not speak of one divine nature, yet three divine natures; nor of three divine persons, yet one divine person. We speak of one Divine Nature, yet of three Divine Persons, nature, and personality being quite different aspects of our consideration. It is as if, when dealing with the Persons, we viewed numerical distinction, as in the addition of 1 + 1 + 1 into 3, yet when dealing with the Nature in which all three Persona share, that fusion which results in unity by multiplication of the same three figures— 1X1X1 equals 1. Yet whilst the absence of contradiction is clear, the full significance of the triune nature of God is beyond the limited capacity of the human mind. We know the fact by revelation, and believe it implicitly because God has revealed it.

643. If Christ be the Son of God, there must have been a time when Be did not exist, for no son can be as old as his father.

Christ is the name given to the Second Person of the Holy Trinity in His assumed human nature. As the Christ, therefore, He was not eternal, but began in time. But before the Second Person appeared on earth in this human form, he existed as the Eternal Son of God, equal with the Father in all things. But in His divine nature, if He be a son, how can He be as old as His Father? I'm afraid it is impossible to express an eternal fact in terms of time. Time is successive duration. We speak of growing old as time goes by. But in eternity there is no succession of time, and there can be no such thing as age when we speak of God. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost always exist, not existed; and they exist not for a long time, but without time. What we call now is only the indivisible instant which is the last moment of the past and the first moment of the future simultaneously. Our time is based upon the coming and going of movement. But there is no such thing in God. Yet the Second Person of the Holy Trinity is truly a son. A son is a being or person who derives from his father the same human nature possessed by the father. In the one God, the Second Person shares through the First Person exactly the same Divine Nature. And from that point of view He is the Son. But He differs from earthly sons in that He does not receive a numerically distinct nature, nor does He exist subsequently to the Father. He eternally participates in the Divine Nature through the Father. The word son in human language is the nearest inadequate approximation we can find to express the truth by analogy. To say that it completely expressed the reality would be to fall into that anthropomorphism which you would be the first to ridicule. You cannot object to the treating of God as if He were merely a kind of glorified created human being, and then refuse to believe on the score that Catholic theology does not explain Him in terms which would reduce Him to the same level as ourselves,

644. What does the term Holy Ghost mean?

It means Holy Spirit. "Ghost" is Anglo-Saxon for spirit, "spiritus" in Latin meaning a breath. Thus the word spirit is associated with human breathing as a kind of intangible impulse. Christ used the term to bring home to us that the Third Person of the Holy Trinity is the impulse of love invisible and intangible between Father and Son. Since love tends to union, and union with and in God is holiness, the Third Person is termed the Holy Spirit.

645. You teach that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son, yet is responsible for the birth of that Son.

The eternal Son of God, in becoming man, took a human nature from the Virgin Mary. Thus was born a being who was both God and man. As God, this Second Person of the Holy Trinity always existed, and from Him in eternity the Holy Ghost always proceeds, as from the Father also. In this sense the Holy Ghost does not give being to the Son. But the human nature, which began in time, was due to the operation of the Holy Ghost, and was assumed by the Son. There is no inconsistency in this doctrine.



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