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Thursday, November 17, 2011



For anyone interested in Sheed I have been working on this:


Carl, I don't know if your background was similar to mine in this regard, but there was a certain protocol to our application of the Trinitarian teaching. We were Baptist but I don't really know if this was something that was particularly Baptist or something more specific to my own immediate family and circle.

What I mean is that there was a specific order in our prayer, for example, and it came from our understanding of the Trinity from Scripture. We specifically would pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps it was just my own understanding of it, and it is not that I can even remember direct teaching on this, but praying to any other person of the Trinity other than the Father was not done, publicly at least. Was it prohibited? I don't think so.

I didn't really think much about it until as a Catholic I heard someone recommend praying to the Holy Spirit. It struck me as odd and gave me an uneasy feeling and I wasn't sure why. In personal prayer it was quite common to address the prayer to Jesus, but in any common prayer, formal prayer or liturgical prayer it would have been somewhat jarring. That kind of prayer was more the preserve of the emotion based preaching of some kinds of evangelists.

Does this ring any bells with you Carl?

Carl E. Olson

LJ: It's an interesting question. My experience growing up in a Fundamentalist home/church, in general, was that we prayed almost exclusively to Jesus. There were certainly prayers that began, "Heavenly Father..." and that made numerous references to "Lord...Lord...Lord", but most prayers were directed to Christ. We never prayed directly to the Holy Spirit; we were, in fact, almost as anti-Pentecostal as we were anti-Catholic, and so we avoided anything that might be construed as "pentecostal", even though we readily believed in the Trinity.

but in any common prayer, formal prayer or liturgical prayer it would have been somewhat jarring.

It would have been very jarring!


As a priest, for decades I have used Frank Sheed's explanation of the Trinity in Trinity Sunday's homily. The man was brilliant!

K L Maslonka

My favorite author when I joined church 50 years ago. This was his first book I read.
Also Society and Sanity is good.

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