Episode 23: Explaining the Trinity without shamrocks

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) image posted by TeamRCIA

RCIA catechists sometimes fall back on what the nuns taught us in grade school when they have to explain the Trinity. Catechumens need a better, deeper understanding of this core mystery of our faith.

Also, Nick and Diana answer a question about how to receive an infant into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

See also:
The Trinity is not a math problem

RCIA image: When Other Christians Become Catholic by Paul Turner
When Other Christians Become Catholic
Paul Turner

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  1. Before I would attempt to explain the Trinity or Incarnation to a catechumen some important foundational work must be done. I would begin by exploring what most people love to talk about, themselves. Before you try to understand the nature and essence of God you should try to understand who and what you are. In a series of discussions we explore the world around us and then take a closer look at ourselves. We try to lead the catechumen to a deeper understanding of what is a human being and the concepts of “person” and “nature”. Once they understand these concepts as they apply to themselves it is easier to show these concepts as they apply to the Trinity and the Incarnation.
    Human beings = 1 person 1 human nature
    Trinity= 3 persons 1 divine nature
    Jesus= 1 person 2 natures (divine and human)

  2. On the question of the child who was baptized as an infant in another Christian Church: I had a similar situation just recently. I called the diocesan Canon Law office and received a slightly different response. The Canon lawyer said that when the older child was being received into the Catholic Church through RCIA/adapted for children(parents already Catholic but had their three children baptized in the Lutheran church), the younger two (ages 3 & 4) could have been “entered into the books,” as it were, at the same time with the notation that the profession of Faith had been made FOR these young children. I think the point of this is that there has to be a “point of entry” into the Catholic Church, as it were – a date that can be referred back to on the occasion of later sacraments. So for First Communions, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders…the family would be able to produce their Profession of Faith certificate, so that there would be no need for questioning as to whether they were now Catholic or had to make a Profession of Faith now that they are of catechetical age.

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