The Trinity Is Love

Spring Mountain Morning c. J. P. Mahon, 2003

Spring Mountain Morning
c. J. P. Mahon, 2003

All my life I have struggled with the Scholastic theology explaining the Trinity. I just cannot fathom co-substantiality and the like. Fortunately, modern science and modern theologians, like Ilio Delio and her mentor, Teilhard de Chardin, give me a better grasp of the mystery but it too is only a faint grasp.

The days of the Sky God are limited. I sense a return to the Eternal Feminine which was rudely deposed by the warrior gods of the invaders from the Steppes. Today we are beginning to understand that God, however, we describe God, is masculine and feminine.

Many creation myths are all about separating that which was once one. At the corner of Fourth and Walnut in downtown Louisville, Thomas Merton had a true epiphany that changed his life. He “knew” he was one with all human beings and indeed with all of creation. All flows forth from the Divine. Evolution is the principle of creation. Delio affirms that the most basic category to describe God is not Being—it is Evolution. God is the matter and energy of Love evolving is the cosmos! God flares forth in creation. Unlike Yahweh, who was once a Canaanite warrior God (God of Hosts is a clear example of the warrior god), God is not up there and out there. As Sky Gods took control during the agricultural revolution and the invasions, the Mother Goddess, representing God in all creation, took a back seat. Unfortunately, when this happened, we lost our sense of oneness with the birds, the beasts, the sea and the rocks. Like angry Sky Gods we think have the right to dominate and destroy creation if we so choose.

The Incarnation tells us, if nothing else, that God is one with us. God became flesh—matter and energy. Christ is the perfect model of the kenosis of God. God pours self out in love so that we might grow in consciousness of who we are and see our true destiny—becoming loving sons and daughters sharing the divne life and call to love. The essence of God is evolution, flaring forth, flowing forth bestowing love. Before you report me to F1 and the Vatican Curia know that this is not pantheism. It is panentheism—God in creation and yet always transcending creation.

Chardin, once condemned, is coming into his own:

The most telling and profound way of describing the evolution of the universe would undoubtedly be to trace the evolution of love. (WOW!)

. . .Without you, without your onslaughts, without your uprootings of us, we should remain all our lives inert, stagnant, puerile, ignorant both of ourselves and of God. You who batter us and then dress our wounds, you who resist us and yield to us, you who wreck and build, you who shackle and liberate, the sap of our souls, the hand of God, the flesh of Christ: it is you, matter, that I bless.

Chardin sees that evolution is God unfolding in matter and history:

If there were no internal propensity to unite, even at a prodigiously rudimentary level — indeed in the molecule itself — it would be physically impossible for love to appear higher up, with us, in hominized form. . . . Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being. (All quotes from

The Heart of the Matter is a collection of Chardin’s writings. A reviewer wrote:

In another powerful essay titled “The Heart of Matter,” Teilhard calls Christians to move beyond the God of Above (classic Christianity) and the God of the Ahead (the new humanism). The former “tends to under-humanize us in the rarified atmosphere of too lofty skies” while the latter “de-humanizes us under their uninspired skies.” Teilhard lifts his prose to praise the cosmic Christ who knits together the splits of Matter and Spirit, Body and Soul, the Unconscious and the Conscious, and imbues us with eschatological dynamism and hope. (

The new theology is not about patriarchal hierarchies. Rather, it concerns itself with relationships. Love is all about relationships. John says that Jesus loved his own. Christ poured himself out that we might live and grow in what is most divine—LOVE.

The Trinity models love relationships. The Father pours Self out and Begets the Son who returns the love that “creates” of the Holy Spirit. Our call is the task of co-creation. We co-create when we pour ourselves out in love for others and indeed for all of creation (God enspirits all of creation from the rock to the chimpanzee to the human). Realizing that we are still describing unfathomable mystery, we can still say that love relationships in the Trinity are the model for us and of all of creation. Understanding that it is about relationships gives us a nice glimpse into God and our call—Love. Pretty simple really.

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