God is—and the Christian faith adds: God is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three and one. This is the very heart of Christianity, but it is so often shrouded in a silence born of perplexity. Has the church perhaps gone one step too far here? Ought we not rather leave something so great and inaccessible as God in his inaccessibility? Can something like the Trinity have any real meaning for us? It is certainly true that the proposition that “God is three and God is one” is and remains the expression of his otherness, which is infinitely greater than us and transcends all our thinking and our existence. But, as Joseph Ratzinger shows, if this proposition meant nothing to us, it would not have been revealed. And as a matter of fact, it could be clothed in human language only because it had already penetrated human thinking and living to some extent.
In this book of meditations, based on a series of homilies and meditations presented and compiled by the author shortly before he became archbishop of Munich-Freising, in 1977, theologian Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) presents his profound thoughts on the nature and person of God. Building a bridge between theology and spirituality, he makes wide use of the sacred Scriptures to reveal the beauty and mystery of who God is. He writes about each of the three persons in the Holy Trinity, showing the different attributes of each person, and that “God is three and God is one.”
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- Foreword by the author
- Sermons preached in the church of Saint Emmeram in Regensburg
Praise for the Print Edition
In this profound series of meditations, Ratzinger shows the enduring core of his theology. The future pope begins with an ancient Jewish story: The prophet Jeremiah and his son one day succeeded in creating a living man, through the correct combination of words and letters. “Now that you are able to create a man, God is dead. My life is the death of God,” the man says. Ratzinger then shows that man’s knowledge of God depends on the relationship that a man establishes between himself and the world and his life; that the question of whether God exists can be answered only in terms of some image of who or what God is, of some sense of how he shapes the whole of our existence.
—David L. Schindler, John Paul II Institute
- Title: The God of Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Triune God
- Author: Joseph Ratzinger
- Translator: Brian McNeil
- Publisher: Ignatius
- Publication Date: 2008
- Pages: 115
About Joseph Ratzinger
Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI, is one of our time’s most revered Catholic prelates, scholars, theologians, teachers, and authors. He has spoken on many crucial subjects, including sexual consumerism, modern gender roles, marriage, the priesthood, and the future. As a teenager, he studied classical languages and, in 1939, entered the minor seminary in Traunstein. Though he was drafted into the German antiaircraft corps in 1943, he reentered the seminary in 1945, when World War II ended. On June 29, 1951, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Freising on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. He received his doctorate in theology in 1953, from the University of Munich. Starting in 1959, Ratzinger taught theology at the University of Bonn.
At 35, Joseph Ratzinger was appointed chief theological advisor to the archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joseph Frings, and he maintained that title for four years. After many years of teaching at several German universities, Ratzinger was appointed by Pope Paul VI as archbishop of Munich and Freising in March 1977 and, in June 1977, was elevated to cardinal. In November 1981, Ratzinger was summoned by Pope John Paul II to Rome, where he was named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and president of the International Theological Commission.
On April 19, 2005, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to be the 265th pope. He took the name Benedict XVI, after St. Benedict of Nursia. Since that time, he has continued to receive worldwide respect and has been a spiritual influence to Christians and non-Christians alike.