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“A being whose essence requires that it exist in itself, an ens per se (a being by itself) or ens in se (a being in itself). It is commonly distinguished from an accident, whose essence is to exist in another, that is, in a substance.” Modern Catholic Dictionary, p. 523.
CCC 252 “The Church uses (I) the term ‘substance’ (rendered also at times by ‘essence’ or ‘nature’) to designate the divine being in its unity, (II) the term ‘person’ or ‘hypostasis’ to designate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them, and (III) the term ‘relation’ to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others.”
“I believe in one God.” CCC 200 “These are the words with which the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed begins. The confession of God’s oneness, which has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant, is inseparable from the profession of God’s existence and is equally fundamental. God is unique; there is only one God: The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence.
CCC 202 “Jesus himself affirms that God is ‘the one Lord’ whom you must love ‘with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’. Mk 12:29-30 At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is ‘the Lord’. Cf Mk 12:35-37 To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God. Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as ‘Lord and giver of life’ introduce any division into the One God:”
“We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal infinite (immensus) and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple.” (Lateran Council IV: DS 800)
Marty’s note: DS is an abbreviation for Denzinger-Schönmetzer’s Enchiridion Symbolorum, a compendium of ancient Church documents. This quotation is found in the Enchiridion’s section 800.
CCC 465 “The first heresies denied not so much Christ’s divinity as his true humanity (Gnostic Docetism). From apostolic times the Christian faith has insisted on the true incarnation of God’s Son ‘come in the flesh’. Cf 1 Jn 4:2-3; 2 Jn 7 But already in the third century, the Church in a council at Antioch had to affirm against Paul of Samosata that Jesus Christ is Son of God by nature and not by adoption. The first ecumenical council of Nicaea in 325 confessed in its Creed that the Son of God is ‘begotten, not made, of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father’, and condemned Arius, who had affirmed that the Son of God ‘came to be from things that were not’ and that he was ‘from another substance’ than that of the Father.
The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one because they are all the same spiritual substance.
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