Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 63 in his actions, and the better we know a person, the better we understand his actions. 237 The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the “mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God.” 58 To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit. II. T he R evelation of G od as T rinity The Father revealed by the Son 238 Many religions invoke God as “Father.” The deity is often considered the “father of gods and of men.” In Israel, God is called “Father” inasmuch as he is Creator of the world. 59 Even more, God is Father because of the covenant and the gift of the law to Israel, “his first-born son.” 60 God is also called the Father of the king of Israel. Most especially he is “the Father of the poor,” of the or- phaned and the widowed, who are under his loving protection. 61 239 By calling God “Father,” the language of faith indicates two main things: that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent author- ity; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children. God’s parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of motherhood, 62 which emphasizes God’s immanence, the intimacy be- tween Creator and creature. The language of faith thus draws on the human experience of parents, who are in a way the first representatives of God for man. But this experience also tells us that human parents are fallible and can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood. We ought therefore to recall that God transcends the human distinction be- tween the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God. He also transcends human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin and standard: 63 no one is father as God is Father. 240 Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard-of sense: he is Father not only in being Creator; he is eternally Father in relation to his only Son, who is eternally Son only in relation to his Father: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one 58 Dei Filius 4: DS 3015. 59 Cf. Deut 32:6; Mal 2:10. 60 Ex 4:22. 61 Cf. 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 68:6. 62 Cf. Isa 66:13; Ps 131:2 63 Cf. Ps 27:10; Eph 3:14; Isa 49:15. 50 2443 370, 2779 2780 441-445