Why “God is love” has huge ramifications…

A Diagram of the Holy Trinity

God is great, yes?  God is the greatest.  God is greater than anything we can imagine.  In fact, St. Anselm spoke of God as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived”.

ttwngcbc

God exists from all eternity, with beginning or end.

Consider now God.

And compare that to God after having created the universe.

∆ ○

God created everlasting creatures (angels and men), things which have a point at which they begin to exist and from then on always will exist.

God also created perishable things, those objects that one day won’t exist anymore.

When God created the universe, did God grow in any way?

∆ ≤ ∆+○ ?

Every once in a while at weekday Mass there is the prayer: “Lord, our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness but makes us grow in grace…” (Preface for Weekdays IV).  God is so great that he can’t get greater. God is ttwngcbc.

Did God create the universe because God had to or because God chose to? If God did so out of compulsion, then it does not correspond to being almighty.  But if God chose to, in freedom, then God still is ttwngcbc.

A Reflection on the Holy Trinity

Add to the equation now that St. John teaches us to identify with God’s nature one very, important, simple word: Love.  God is love.  He doesn’t say that God loves a lot nor just that God loves well, but that God is love.

Now, if you were asked to go outside and love for a few minutes… and then to come back, that would be ridiculous, right?  Love is not something solitary.  It is a transitive verb.  Love is a relationship between two persons.

It is interesting to observe how in the English language you can say that you love something.  But in most other languages that is not even possible.  You may have noticed the same thing yourselves.  In almost every language apart from English and Russian, it is incorrect grammar to say “I love ice cream”.  You can say “it pleases me” or “I enjoy it” but not “I love it”.

Love is between persons.  Apply that to God and things start to get interesting.

God is love.  That means God always is in a relationship of love.

Let’s go back now to creation.  If God is love and is always in a relationship of love, it could sound like God would have needed to create the universe and the human beings in it… in order to have others to love.  In that scenario, God might be love but he would not be almighty since the creation of the world would be something he would have been forced to do because of a deficiency within God.

We wouldn’t call that kind of creator “God” as though he were almighty even though he might love us a lot.  We might call him “Fred” or “Zeus” or “Buddy”.  We wouldn’t call him almighty because he would have been coerced into creating lesser beings in order to have someone to love.

Another alternative, which has many followers, is the idea that God is almighty but that he does not love us.  That is not how the mystery of God is revealed by Jesus Christ.

The way it makes sense for God to have created the world in freedom and still be love – always already in a relationship of love – is for God to be a union of divine persons, is for God to be a Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Because God is the Holy Trinity, God can be love and be almighty.

Another Diagram of the Holy Trinity

The Father is God, but is not the Son or the Spirit.
The Son is God but is not the Father or the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God but is not the Father or the Son.

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now,
and will be forever.
Amen.

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