Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review: Three Persons, One God



Three Persons, One God

by Allison Gingras
Pheonix, AZ: Leonine Publishers, 2012

In Three Persons, One God: Growing in Relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Allison Gingras offers a primer in developing a personal relationship with the three persons of the Blessed Trinity. In her introduction, Gingras refers to the Gospel passage of Luke 8:4-15. That parable is about the farmer who went out to plant seed. Some fell on a footpath, where it was eaten by birds. Other seed feel upon the rocks where the plants sprouted but quickly died due to lack of moisture. The seed that fell among thorns was soon choked, but the seed that fell on fertile ground grew and produced a mammoth crop. We want to be the fertile soil that basks in God’s Word and spreads it to others, but how can we make sure that we are fulfilling that purpose? This is Gingras’ purpose in writing this book. 

The first three chapters each focus on one person of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Gingras invites us to move into a relationship of trust with God the Father, to acknowledge the humanity and understanding of Jesus and to seek the great help that the Holy Spirit can provide. Each chapter provides the opportunity to look up relevant Scripture passages and to journal about one’s answers to reflection questions.  

The last three chapters further develop the qualities of God as compassionate, trustworthy, and forgiving. These aspects of God require a response from us. We need God’s love and we need to acknowledge that need. We can’t make it through this life on our own. God desires for us to love Him in return. This is why he gave us the gift of free will – so that we might choose to be in relationship with Him. 

When we love God, we learn to trust Him. As Gingras readily admits, such trust is not always easy. She writes, “I see trust in the rearview mirror. I am not always able to see what God is doing at the time God is doing it. I struggle with great anxiety, and even fear sometimes, as I work through God’s plans and give up my will for His.” She acknowledges that despite the difficulty, when we do “Let go and let God,” “we realize that His plans for us are always better than our own plans could ever be.”

We also need to accept God’s gift of forgiveness and, in turn, ask for that forgiveness when we have failed. As Catholics, we have the wonderful gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The more we make use of it, the better our relationship with God will be. 

Three Persons, One God is a short book, designed for the person just beginning to want to deepen her relationship with God. Perhaps faith feels perfunctory or life simply feels like it is missing something? If so, then this book is definitely one worth reading. It is also a wonderful book to recommend to someone who wants to learn more about the three persons of God. It is easy-to-understand and emphasizes the personhood of God.

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