Dear brothers and sisters,
In the Catechism, we have more wisdom about God and the world than the very wisest person who lived before Christ. Before Christ, wise and self-disciplined people learned about God from the outside – from reflecting on the beauties of creation, for example, or thinking about human experience philosophically. This is what the great religious thinkers of antiquity did – Buddha, Zoroaster, Plato, Aristotle, and others – they dedicated themselves to looking at God from the outside. They learned a lot; there is a lot of truth in what they discovered, just as there would be a lot of truth in what an FBI agent would discover about you or me if he put us under surveillance for a while. However, if we were to sit down with that agent and honestly tell him everything he wanted to know about ourselves, he would make much
more progress much more quickly. That’s what God has done through Jesus Christ. He wasn’t satisfied with being known partially and doubtfully, the only way our external human efforts could lead us to him. He wanted to let us into his heart, to reveal himself to us, to show and tell us about his nature, essence, thoughts, and desires. He has given us the inside story about himself: this story is told in the Bible, and it is explained in the Catechism. Through our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit enables us not just to know about God, the way we know about someone through a magazine article, but to know God, the way we know a friend. What is the central characteristic that we discover about God? He is dynamic, personal, and involved in our lives – in short, that he is a Trinity: one divine nature, and three divine Persons.