Skip to content

Fr Dwight Longenecker on the Holy Trinity and Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life

By Fr Dwight Longenecker
5/26/2013 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In other words-to be saints. Saints have these three aspects of body, mind and spirit in perfectly graced balance


When Jesus Christ says, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but through me" is he also pointing us toward an insight concerning the Holy Trinity and our progress in the Christian life and vocation? The Holy Trinity is therefore, not some abstruse doctrine, but a living and vital concept that renews me from within and is hidden, but revealed, within the simple gospel teaching that Christ himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Fr Dwight Longenecker

Fr Dwight Longenecker

P>GREENVILLE, SC (Catholic Online) -When Jesus Christ says, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but through me" is he also pointing us toward an insight concerning the Holy Trinity and our progress in the Christian life and vocation?

Here's my reasoning. The Way can, by anaology, be understood as the physical aspect of our being. It's the walk we walk. It's the life we lead. It's the body we have. It's the actions we do. It's the deeds we decide on. It's the body.

The Truth can, by analogy, be understood as the mental or intellectual aspect of our being. It's the doctrine we believe. It's the philosophy we follow. It's the analysis we understand. It's the thought, the concept, the decision and the dogma. It's the head.

The Life can, by analogy, be understood as the spiritual, intuitive, relational, emotional aspect of our being. It's the relationships we have. It's the emotions we feel. It's the intuitions we have. It's the life that we live. It's the compassion we feel and the love that we love. It's the heart.

These three aspects, Body, Mind and Spirit make us, in an analogous sense, into little trinities. However, also in us, because of the effects of sin, those three are at war. They are discordant. They are not in harmony. The end of the Christian journey is to be fulfilled and completed, whole and in balance, to be 'self actualized', as properly understood. To become that we were intended to be.

In other words-to be saints. Saints have these three aspects of body, mind and spirit in perfectly graced balance. They have responded to God by offering their human freedom, by saying yes to God's continued offer of grace, they have been completed, perfected in Him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

So, if these three aspects of Body, Mind and Spirit are meant to be one, when Jesus says he is Way, Truth and Life he is also saying that he is fulfillment of the Body, the Mind and the Spirit. He completes the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of who we are. Life in Christ is therefore life that is completed physically, mentally and spiritually. In Him we come to wholeness. In Him all that is lacking in body, mind and spirit is completed, purified, fulfilled and made One.

The Church teaches us that what one person of the Holy Trinity does, all do. So, for example, when God spoke the world into existence he did so through the Divine Word (who was in time incarnate as the Son) and through the indwelling and overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, at the incarnation God the Father, who begat the Son eternally, overshadows the Virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit so that the Son is enfleshed. Likewise here, the Son speaks of being the Way, the Truth and the Life and so indicates that he IS the physical aspect, the mental aspect and the Spiritual aspect of Man, and therefore One Unity. Blessed Trinity.

And this is where the Holy Trinity comes in. Jesus prays in John 17 that we might be "one as he and the Father are one." That if I am Body, Mind and Spirit-a little trinity, then I am called to be three in one and one in three, total unity and total trinity. This is what I aim to become in Christ and by his grace and through his church, for through his church I am given three aspects of my redemption and sanctification. I have sacraments which minister to the Body and Doctrine which ministers to the Mind, and Grace-the infilling of the Holy Spirit, which redeems my Spirit.

The Holy Trinity is therefore, not some abstruse doctrine, but a living and vital concept that renews me from within and is hidden, but revealed, within the simple gospel teaching that Christ himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

-----

Fr Dwight Longenecker is the pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina. Browse his books, connect with his blog and be in touch at dwightlongenecker.com

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MAY 2017
Christians in Africa.
That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.


Comments


More Year of Faith

The Happy Priest on the Baptism of the Lord and our own Baptism Watch

Image of

The consideration of Jesus' baptism, gives us an opportunity to remember our own baptism.  If you do not know the date of your own ... continue reading


Regret of Judas or Repentance of Peter?

Image of

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. HYTHE, ... continue reading


Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables ... continue reading


The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the ... continue reading


The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.