In Catholic theology we define a person as an individual intelligent being. We further identify three kinds of persons in existence: God, angels, and men. In all creation, they alone possess intellectand will.
- Angelic persons are individual intelligent beings with a mind and a will, each existing as different and distinct from all other angels that God created. Angels are persons without bodies; they are pure spirit.
- Human persons are likewise distinct and different individuals. Unlike the angels, we have not only our own unique soul, with our own mind and will, we also have our own different and distinctive body which is ours alone. Man is a body-soul composite; his soul does not merely inhabit his body.
- Totally unique, however, are the Divine Persons. The Persons of the Holy Trinity are not created. They existed from all eternity. They cannot not exist. Moreover, each of the three Divine Persons is true God. The three Persons in God are not merely three personifications, or three ways of describing God, or three metaphors to distinguish God’s activity as Creator, as Redeemer, and as Sanctifier. The Father is not the Son, and Father and Son are not the Holy Spirit. They are, in the deepest sense, three Individuals. So true is this, that we may simply identify personality as individuality. (For Advanced Course lesson 5.)