St. Anthony Messenger

Quick Questions and Answers

In simple terms, how can I explain the Trinity to a non-Christian?

St. Patrick is said to have used a shamrock to illustrate unity and diversity. Believing in many rival gods and goddesses is very easy. Believing in a single God whose three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) never act out of rivalry or resentment shows us what our being made in the divine image means.

What is the “unforgivable sin ” against the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:31)? Can it, in fact, be forgiven?

There is no sin beyond God’s power to forgive. That would be like a rock so heavy that God could not move itÑa contradiction in terms. The “unforgivable sin ” is a refusal to submit any sin to God’s healing grace.

Why is intinction (dipping a consecrated host into consecrated wine) rarely permitted? I refuse to drink from a common cup for health reasons.

Millions of Catholics worldwide drink from the cup at Mass. If this were as dangerous a health hazard as you indicate, most of them would become sick, but that does not happen. Many people feeling ill refrain from receiving from the cup temporarily. Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches use intinction, administered by a bishop, priest, or deacon who uses a spoon to drop the consecrated bread and wine into the communicant’s mouth.

Can you suggest good readings to use at a funeral?

Wisdom 3:1–9 and John 11:32–37 are quite popular. Parishes have booklets with appropriate readings for use in planning or preplanning funerals.

What is the mystical part of the Church?

In addition to God, the saints in heaven represent the mystical part of the Church. So do the saints living among us.

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