In my years as a priest, I have often had people ask me why God, who we say needs nothing and is fully content and joyful in Himself, created anything outside Himself. Does His act of creation indicate that He lacked something or that He needed others?
This is difficult for us humans to understand. To some degree that difficulty arises from us, who are often motivated most by need. We tend to project our own realities onto God. But need and incompleteness are not the only things that motivate.
In the Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas has a beautiful reflection on how and why God willed to create things outside Himself:
For natural things have a natural inclination not only towards their own proper good, to acquire it if not possessed, and, if possessed, to rest therein; but also to spread abroad their own good amongst others, so far as possible … to communicate as far as possible to others the good possessed; and especially does this pertain to the divine will, from which all perfection is derived in some kind of likeness. Hence, if natural things, in so far as they are perfect, communicate their good to others, much more does it appertain to the divine will to communicate by likeness its own good to others as much as possible … (Summa Ia, q.19, art 2).
As I read St Thomas I think of examples. For example a tree spreads it pollen for the sake of other trees and future trees. Flowers do the same and interact with bees and other insects. Elements interact with other elements to become compounds. Compounds become chemicals and so forth. An atom alone is very limited. Joined to other atoms, it can become a mighty structure. All this echoes something of the God who made it.
To be sure, it is true that God is able to savor the good that He is and to rest in it, to enjoy it fully. God can find complete satisfaction in the perfection of His own being, of His own glory.
But, as St. Thomas points out, even in us who are imperfect creatures, there is an aspect of our love and joy that wants to be effusive and diffusive, to radiate outward. It is not so much that love and joy are lacking something, but rather just the opposite—they overflow to others from us quite naturally. We do not share joy and love because we have to, but because we want to, and because they naturally shine forth.
When one is joyful, it is hard to hide it. Joy shows; it is effusive; it shines forth and naturally reaches others who will notice it and then immediately ask, “What are you smiling about? Why are you so happy?” Yes, those who are filled with joy and the experience of love seek naturally to share that with others. Someone who has heard good news or has experienced something wonderful can barely contain himself and immediately seeks to share it.
It is the same with love, though in more diverse and sometimes subtle ways. Love radiates; it motivates; it moves out and shines forth. Again, not because love is lacking, but more simply because that is what love does. It moves outward and bears fruit.
And so it is with God, who is Love. His love is not lacking something, but, as love, He radiates. He shines forth; He bears fruit. He delights in sharing. And He, whose nature is ‘to be’ who is existence itself, allows his love to radiate outward in a creation distinct from Him but proclaiming of his love and joy.
Behold! All creation is a shining forth God’s love and joy. See its immense size, its awesome diversity and fruitfulness—and then understand why the universe is expanding outward at such a rapid rate!
Scientists are looking for some grand unified theory, one simple principle or formula that explains everything. In a word, it is love. It is God, who is Love, and His joy rushing and radiating outward, bearing fruit and saying, “Come, share my joy!” People, and especially scientists, like formulas, so how about this one?
That is, Creation equals Joy times Love squared. Love, of course, is the constant; it is ever-abiding and never withheld. And yet it is mysteriously expanding outward. Why is love squared? I don’t know, but it makes the formula memorable! At the end of the day, God’s love is infinite. So then what is the square of infinity? Anyway it’s very big and it’s a constant.
Is God lacking something? No. Then why does He create? Because that’s what love does. But why then will it all end as Scripture says it will? It will not end in annihilation; it will “end” in a perfection that, though different, will be the fulfillment of all that is. Jesus, who holds all creation together in Himself (cf Col 1:17), says at the end, “Behold I make all things new!” (Rev 21:5) And then will be fulfilled what St. Augustine said of what shall finally be for us and the Lord: Unus Chritus, amans seipsum (One Christ, loving Himself).
We are living in the love of God; yes, even those who reject it are living in His love.
14 Replies to “C=JL² This is the Metaphysical Math and Source of All Creation. It is the Grand Unified Theory”
Profound, utterly mind-blowing. God is Love.
Enjoyed this post immensely
Beautiful! This is among, say, my top 10 favourite things you’ve written.
God’s Trinitarian love is overflowing, and it expresses itself in creation. That is what a perfect God, doing perfect things, does – He shares. He shares Himself in creation, in the Eucharist, and in allowing human beings to share in His bringing forth new humans. For me the big miracles are:
1 Priests consecrating the Body & Blood of Jesus
2 Parents helping to bring new human beings into existence
Yes, the God of everlasting life cannot hold back His everlasting love, therefore, He must reveal Himself through the Tree of Life and share His everlasting perfect gift to the crown of His creation – Adam and Eve. And soon you will understand.
LIFE, LOVE AND LIGHT!!! IT MUST ALWAYS AND ETERNALLY BE TRINITARIAN!
‘To those who believe, No explanation is needed. To those who do not believe, NO explanation will suffice’.
God is amazing! Love is ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”!
It is easy to say that God is Love, which He is. But there still remains the mystery of why God created man with a free will since in His foreknowledge He knew man would fall. It is difficult to see the action of Love in an orphaned child, in a sexually abused child, in a homeless child. With so much suffering, inequality, wars, hate, atrocities, sickness, natural disasters, perversion, narcissism, hate it is difficult to see where Love comes into all this. Why is evil permitted to coexist with good? Why does evil have so much power over man? And then in the end there is death which brings to an end all this evil. But what of the souls who did not ask to be born into this sick world? What of the souls who didn’t want to sin, but because of their sick nature they could not resist temptation?
Beautiful! As I read this another question arose that I often think about. I know God is never sad or disturbed as that is a lack … a lack of perfect peace. However, with the unimaginable tragedies such as abortion, wars, the moral collapse of individuals influenced by a toxic culture and so on, I have not been able to understand how God can be in perfect peace and happiness. I think about the Agony in the Garden when Jesus sweat blood as he contemplated the sins of this world, when He cried over the fate of Jerusalem, or when He cried at the tomb of Lazarus. Does Jesus not cry any more?
Beautiful reflection Father but I ran some numbers and I believe your formula is incorrect. It should be C=JL3 since love is communicated from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
The formula is correct. There are not 3 gods but 3 Persons in ONE GOD!
A beautiful reflection that gave me much to think about. But I still struggle with some unanswered questions and maybe Msgr. Pope or someone can help me with some of my questions. I have some of the same questions that Father Agathon has in his comments above.
If God knew with omniscient fore knowledge that Adam and Eve would sin and He saw all of the subsequent pain, sin and suffering, why would he push the “start button” on that kind of world? Wouldn’t it bother him to foresee His creatures, that He created for love, suffer so much? And, what about the suffering of His Son? Why didn’t He just create a reality like heaven, where He would be able to share his love that way? After all, He shares his love that way now with people who go to heaven. He has for all eternity shared his love within the Trinity. He lacks for nothing. Wasn’t the eternal love within the Trinity sufficient? Why did he even “need” time, space and body/soul beings to share his love? Can anyone point me in a direction for some answers to these questions?
Augustine’s view of sexual feelings as sinful affected his view of women. For example he considered a man’s erection to be sinful, though involuntary, because it did not take place under his conscious control. His solution was to place controls on women to limit their ability to influence men.
He believed that the serpent approached Eve because she was less rational and lacked self-control, while Adam’s choice to eat was viewed as an act of kindness so that Eve would not be left alone. Augustine believed sin entered the world because man (the spirit) did not exercise control over woman .
Interesting tidbit on love/dedication/liken2 at; http://news.msn.com/world/worlds-oldest-priest-2
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