Catechism of the Catholic Church

62 Part One Paragraph 2. The Father I. “I n the N ame of the F ather and of the S on and of the H oly S pirit ” 232 Christians are baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 53 Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son, and the Spirit: “I do.” “The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.” 54 233 Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names, 55 for there is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity. 234 Themystery of theMost 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. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith.” 56 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin.” 57 235 This paragraph expounds briefly (I) how the mystery of the Blessed Trinity was revealed, (II) how the Church has articu- lated the doctrine of the faith regarding this mystery, and (III) how, by the divine missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit, God the Father fulfills the “plan of his loving goodness” of creation, re- demption, and sanctification. 236 The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology ( theolo­ gia ) and economy ( oikonomia ). “Theology” refers to the mystery of God’s inmost life within the Blessed Trinity and “economy” to all the works by which God reveals himself and communicates his life. Through the oik­ onomia the theologia is revealed to us; but conversely, the theologia illumi- nates the whole oikonomia. God’s works reveal who he is in himself; the mystery of his inmost being enlightens our understanding of all his works. So it is, analogously, among human persons. A person discloses himself 53 Mt 28:19. 54 St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermo 9, Exp. symb.: CCL 103, 47. 55 Cf. Profession of faith of Pope Vigilius I (552): DS 415. 56 GCD 43. 57 GCD 47. 189, 1223 2157 90 1449 1066 259