Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me thine eyes!
One of the tenets of the doctrine of the Trinity is that each Person possesses the Divine Nature in its entirety. Thus, it’s wrong to say that each Person comprises 1/3 of God. This, in turn, means that one can’t say, “We only have God whole and entire if we take all three Persons together”. Rather, it can rightly be said–as mind-boggling as it seems–that with the Father alone, we have God in His totality. With the Son alone, we have God in His totality. With the Holy Spirit alone, we have God in His totality. Then of course, with all three Persons together, we have God (you guessed it) in His totality. So how does this work? If God is three Persons, how can it be that all three taken together don’t make up any more of a whole than one taken alone? Read on, m’friend. Be prepared for confusion, too, especially if you don’t read about the Trinity often. But Ill do my best to explain why this is the case, and I hope by the time you’re done reading, you will come away with a new appreciation for the holiness and majesty of God.
Reason 1: All Three Persons are Infinite
So first of all, the infinite can only be equal to itself. If “infinite” is “limitless”, then one limitless thing can not have more or less “limitlessness” than another “limitless” thing. If there were differences between two limitless things, then one of them would not actually be limitless at all. Ponder that for a minute, and read it as many times as you need to. Now, if the Father is limitless, the Son is limitless, and the Holy Spirit is limitless, there can be no inequality between Them. Fair enough. But one limitless thing can’t be more limitless than another limitless thing. Thus, the Trinity is not more limitless or infinite than one of the three Persons individually. It’s simply impossible that such a thing would be the case. The Father is as great as the three Persons together, the Son is as great as the three Persons together, and the Holy Spirit is as great as all three Persons together.
Reason 2: One Nature
It is Catholic doctrine that the three Persons are distinct from one another. Each is wholly Himself. Thus, the Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, the Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. However, despite the singular identity of each Person, there is only one Divine Nature. There can’t be any more than one because there can’t be two separate, infinite things. Now, each distinct Person possesses the totality of this single Divine Nature. Think about that for a second. Each one has 100% of the Divine Nature. The Divine Nature can only be possessed completely, since the infinite can’t be cut in parts. Now, this being the case, if someone were to say that each Person alone is not equal to all three Persons together, that would mean that all three Persons together would have 300% of the Divine Nature, which is simply impossible. As baffling as it is, there is not “more of the Divine Nature” in three Persons together than in one alone.
Reason 3: All Three Persons are Perfect
This is rather like reason #1. If something is perfect, it is complete. It lacks nothing. The Father is perfect, the Son is perfect, the Holy Spirit is perfect, and all three together are perfect. But there can’t be more perfection in three together than in one alone. Perfection means nothing is lacking. Nothing is lacking in one Person alone, and nothing is lacking in all three, and that means that one Person has to be equal to the three together.
Reason 4: Inseparable
Because there is one and only one Divine Nature, and it is only able to exist completely, that means that whoever has this Divine Nature must be inseparable from whomever else happens to have it. For example, the Son can’t decide to “cut away” His portion of the divinity so as to be isolated from the Father and the Holy Spirit. It just doesn’t work like that. It can’t be sliced up or separated. Ergo, because They possess the same nature, the Father is where the Son and Holy Spirit are, the Son is where the Father and the Holy Spirit are, and the Holy Spirit is wherever the Father and the Son are.
What does that mean? It means that in the womb of the Virgin Mary, although the human nature of her child was possessed by the Son alone, the Father and the Holy Spirit were there present. Not because They were the owners of the newly conceived Body (something only belonging to the Son), but because They’re inseparable from the Son. Because He has the one same nature They do, They must be present wherever He is present. Likewise with the Eucharist. The Father and Holy Spirit are present in the Eucharist not because the Body and Blood which It has become is Theirs, but because the Divine Nature of the Son–the very same one possessed by Them–is present in the Eucharist.
Mind-boggling, isn’t it? I hope I’ve gotten you to think of something new in reading this. It’s really quite something, and if you ask me, it’s proof that the Trinity is real.
You can’t come up with this stuff by yourself.
Eadem Trinitas sancta benedicat vos (if you didn’t get that, try Google Translate).