Trinity Truths

Book review of The ‘One Thing’ Is Three.


Editor's note: On the May 31 Register Radio program, Jeanette De Melo interviewed Father Michael Gaitley about the book The One Thing Is Three and the new parish-based evangelization program Hearts Afire.  Listen to the interview here.

The ‘One Thing’ Is Three

How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything

By Father Michael E. Gaitley, MIC

Marian Press, 2013

400 pages, $14.95

To order: or
(800) 462-7426


A little over a year ago, Father Michael Gaitley of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Mass., introduced Hearts Afire, a parish-based program for the New Evangelization that has already spread to hundreds of parishes across the country.

With his latest book,The ‘One Thing’ Is Three, Father Gaitley is setting hearts afire by showing how, as the subtitle goes, the Most Holy Trinity explains everything.

He makes the truths of faith come alive in stirring ways.

After reading about what he calls "the marvels of the Mass" — how we’re caught up with Jesus at his passion and crucifixion and are part of the supernatural, infinite merits of the Mass — Mass will never be the same for readers.

The sections on crosses, sufferings and worries make it easy to see how we can turn our tiniest of challenges into infinite merit to help others, thanks to Jesus and the Mass.

Throughout, Father Gaitley does so in ways he identifies as the "enrichment of faith." He explains that the idea comes from John Paul II (as Karol Wojtyla) regarding how best to inspire the faithful to live their faith.

Overall, this book’s style stands out because it is written from the heart, as if readers are sitting down with Father Gaitley for a one-on-one retreat.

For example, he assures readers: "Take a deep breath, and bear with me. I know I’m pouring on a lot of theology here, but if we stick with it, I think it will bear the fruit of great wisdom. It will help us understand the incredible vocation of the lay faithful living in the world."

Or take this excerpt, where he underscores and reiterates a specific truth: "In Part Two, we learned that a central goal of the Christian life is our transformation in Christ. Specifically, we learned that this transformation begins at our baptism, which makes us sons and daughters of the Father, in the Son. Alright, so we’re sons and daughters in the Son. But what does this mean? As we read earlier, it means …"

Because he leads us as a good friend, we have no trouble tagging along and quickly understanding important truths — from God’s merciful love to what’s at stake in the battle for life in modern culture.

Using a key quote from John Paul II (just one of many from him and others throughout) warning of great battles between the culture of life and the culture of death, Father Gaitley defines the problem and tactics as he portrays a reporter interviewing the culture of death in a question-and-answer session.

Together with an excellent summary chapter and appendix, with bonus sections on Divine Mercy and recommended books and other resources, this book offers a real and exciting way to enrich one’s faith.

Joseph Pronechen is the

Register’s staff writer.