HomeQuestions & AnswersWhat does "I believe in God, One and Three" mean?
Questions & Answers

What does "I believe in God, One and Three" mean?

Tags: Faith, God
What is God like? The Blessed Trinity is the mystery of God in himself, the central mystery of Christian faith and life. What does it mean in practice to say “I believe in God, One and Three”? How can we relate to each of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity individually?

1. What does “I believe in God” mean?

The affirmation “I believe in God” is most important because it is the source of all the other truths about man and about the world, and about the entire life of everyone who believes in God (cf. CCCC 36). Believing in God means believing what God has revealed.

God in his goodness and wisdom reveals himself to man. With deeds and words, he reveals himself (cf. CCCC 6) and he has especially made himself known through the Incarnate Word, his Son Jesus Christ, who became Man to open up the path that leads to eternal happiness with God in Heaven.

In practice, for a person to believe in God means to adhere to God himself, entrusting oneself to him and giving assent to all the truths which God has revealed because God is Truth.
It means to believe in one God in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Contemplating the mystery

We must let these truths of faith fill our soul until they change our life. God loves us! The Almighty who made heaven and earth!
God is interested even in the smallest events in the lives of his creatures – in your affairs and mine – and he calls each of us by our name. This certainty which the faith gives enables us to look at everything in a new light. And everything, while remaining exactly the same, becomes different, because it is an expression of God’s love. Our life is turned into a continuous prayer, we find ourselves with good humour and a peace which never ends, and everything we do is an act of thanksgiving running through all our day. (Christ is Passing By, 144).

2. What is God like?
God is One and Three. One single God and three divine Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. (CCC 234)

Only God exists from eternity and for all eternity; he transcends the world and history. He is the creator of all things, and he made heaven and earth. He is the faithful God, always close to his people to save them. He is Holy above all, “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), always ready to forgive. God is spiritual, transcendent, almighty, eternal, personal and perfect. He is Truth and Love.

Contemplating the mystery

If you leaf through holy Scripture, you will discover constant references to the mercy of God. Mercy fills the earth. It extends to all his children, and is “all around us.” It “watches over me.” It “extends to the heavens” to help us, and has been continually “confirmed”. God in taking care of us as a loving father looks on us in his mercy — a mercy that is “tender”, welcome as “rain-clouds”. What security should be ours in considering the mercy of the Lord! “He has but to cry for redress, and I, the ever merciful, will listen to him.” It is an invitation, a promise that he will not fail to fulfil.(Christ is Passing By, 7)

It looks as if the whole world is coming down on top of you. Whichever way you turn you find no way out. This time, it is impossible to overcome the difficulties.
But have you again forgotten that God is your Father? All-powerful, infinitely wise, full of mercy. He would never send you anything that is evil. That thing that is worrying you, it’s good for you, even though those earthbound eyes of yours may not be able to see it now.
Omnia in bonum! Lord, once again and always, may your most wise Will be done! (The Way of the Cross, 9th Station, no. 4)
3. What is meant by the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?

The Catholic faith is this: that we venerate One God in the Trinity, and Trinity in the Unity, not confusing the Persons nor separating the substance. One is the Person of the Father, another that of the Son, another that of the Holy Spirit; but Father and Son and Holy Spirit possess the same Divinity, equal glory, and co-eternal majesty.

There is only One God, the almighty Father and his only Son and the Holy Spirit.

Contemplating the mystery

Our heart now needs to distinguish and adore each one of the divine Persons. The soul is, as it were, making a discovery in the supernatural life, like a little child opening his eyes to the world about him. The soul spends time lovingly with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and readily submits to the work of the life-giving Paraclete, who gives himself to us with no merit on our part, bestowing his gifts and the supernatural virtues!(Friends of God, no. 306)

Learn to praise the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Learn to have a special devotion to the Blessed Trinity: I believe in God the Father, I believe in God the Son, I believe in God the Holy Spirit; I hope in God the Father, I hope in God the Son, I hope in God the Holy Spirit; I love God the Father, I love God the Son, I love God the Holy Spirit. I believe, I hope in and I love the most Holy Trinity.

This devotion is much needed as a supernatural exercise for the soul, expressed by the movement of the heart, although not always in words. (The Forge, no. 296)
4. What are the consequences of believing in One God?

To believe in the one and only God involves coming to know his greatness and majesty. It involves living in thanksgiving and trusting always in him, even in adversity. It involves knowing the unity and true dignity of all human beings, created in his image. It involves making good use of the things which he has created. (CCCC no. 43)

Contemplating the mystery

This is the great boldness of the Christian faith: to proclaim the value and dignity of human nature and to affirm that we have been created to achieve the dignity of children of God, through the grace that raises us up to a supernatural level. An incredible boldness it would be, were it not founded on the promise of salvation given us by God the Father, confirmed by the blood of Christ, and reaffirmed and made possible by the constant action of the Holy Spirit. (Christ is Passing By, no. 133)
5. If believing means having faith in God, what is faith?

Faith is the supernatural virtue which is necessary for salvation. It is a free gift of God and is accessible to all who humbly seek it. The act of faith is a human act, that is, an act of the intellect of a person – prompted by the will moved by God – who freely assents to divine truth. Faith is also certain because it is founded on the Word of God; it works “through charity” (Gal 5:6) and it continually grows through listening to the Word of God and through prayer. It is, even now, a foretaste of the joys of heaven. (CCCC no. 28)

Contemplating the mystery

History is not subject to blind forces or the result of chance, but the manifestation of the mercies of God our Father. God’s thoughts are far above our thoughts, Scripture says. Therefore, trusting in God means having faith in spite of everything, going beyond appearances. The love of God, who loves us eternally, is behind every event, though in a way that is sometimes hidden from us.

When Christians live by faith, with a faith that is not mere words, but a reality of personal prayer, the certainty of God’s love shows in joy and inner freedom. The knots that sometimes entangle our hearts are cut, the weights that crush our souls melt away. If God is for us, who is against us?! And a smile comes straight to our lips. A son or daughter of God, a Christian who lives by faith, may suffer and cry; they may have causes for suffering, but not for being sad. (St Josemaria Escriva, “The riches of faith”, 2 November 1969)

See further:

- The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 232-260
- Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 25-49

Related articles


Pope: “It depends on me, to be or not be a neighbor to the person who needs my help”

Video. (Rome Reports). During the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis focused his entire speech on the parable of the Good Samaritan about a man who was robbed and beaten. Two men passed the dying man on the road and did nothing. In contrast, a third man, a native of Samaria, who was despised by the Jews because they didn’t observe the true religion, stopped to help him.


Pope's Last Audience: The Bark of the Church, is guided by God

Pope Benedict XVI held the final General Audience of his pontificate on Wednesday in St Peter's Square. Vatican Radio's English translation of the Holy Father's remarks.