Do you want to know God? Do you want to understand Him that is all things. The divine creator who made Heaven and Earth, angels and humans, all things visible and invisible?
I want to clear one thing up. Let’s start with the basic principle. God is love; we all know this. But we must also understand, God isn’t some distant creator. He very near to all of us, individually.
I had the mistake of thinking of God as some omnipresent judge waiting to condemn people for any infraction. Some Protestant denominations hold to this idea, and this is a flawed view. God is our most intimate friend IF we are close with Him. And even when we are unfaithful to Him, He always calls us back to Him lest we condemn ourselves for being disloyal to an always faithful Father.
Since then, I started to develop my understanding of God, thanks to Saint Augustine. For if God is Love, there is no way He can be one person. Instead, He is three persons, just as Christian, and specifically, Catholic Theology teaches.
Let me ask, what is love? Take a moment and ponder that question. The English language so inaccurate when it comes to describing the word. You can love soda (I do), You can love nature. You can love your pet. You can love your friend, your significant other, your spouse, and your child. Notice how in each case, love takes on a different meaning?
Yet love, on the Catholic level, is giving yourself over to another and denying your will for the good of another. We can see this most accurately, ideally in the holy sacrament of Marriage. Husband and wife giving themselves over to each other entirely, denying themselves for the sake of the other, and love made manifest through new life being created.
Thus we can see, to some level, the divine nature of God. For in love, there must be the Lover, the beloved, and love itself. Thus we have God the Father who loves and adores his Son, his Son loves and adores the Father, and the love they share between each other is so perfect and complete that it is made manifest through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit adores both the Father and Son. This has been the constant relationship from outside of time. It has always been, is being, and will continue to be until the end of time.
Yet most people are still confused by the mystery of God, of the Trinity. I hate to burst your bubble, but we will never truly understand it. We will never truly understand God. When we die, and by His grace, we might come closer when we are in heaven. However, only God can truly understand Himself so wholly and fully.
Saint Agustine wanted to solve the mystery of the Trinity. He tried to figure out God. Yet, anytime he tried it, he came up with nothing. It was too much for him. It was the most simple thing that we can think of, yet, how often is the most simple, the most confusing?
He was frustrated and decided to go out on the beach to clear his head. During his meditative walk along the shore, he came across a young boy. Pausing, he watched the boy running back and forth from the water to a hole in the sand.
By the looks of it, the boy kept pouring handfuls of water into the hole. Realizing this, Saint Augustine came up to the boy. “Boy, what are you doing?” He asked.
The boy looked up with an innocent expression, “I’m trying to fit this whole ocean in this hole of sand.”
Augustine was perplexed by this, “Boy, that is an impossible task. It cannot be done.” He said.
“That is true,” The boy arose with a confident smile, “It would be easier and quicker to draw all the water out of the sea and fit it into this hole than for you to fit the mystery of the Trinity and His Divinity into your little intellect; for the Mystery of the Trinity is greater and larger in comparison with your intelligence than is this vast ocean in comparison with this little hole.”
Before Saint Augustine’s eyes, the boy vanished, and he realized that he witnessed an angel. I think we can understand something from this. There are some mysteries that we can never fully understand. We might scratch the surface, but we will never know the most profound meaning of this.
I think that was a subtle way of God trying to tell one of the greatest masters of Christian theology not to worry about it. You have what you need, and that is sufficient.
Saint Agustine realized this. He wrote one of the most profound and most simple ideas of who God is and His nature, “The Trinity, one God, of whom are all things, through whom are all things, in whom are all things.”