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Reflection on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Posted on May 30, 2021, by Eileen Custy SL

The God I grew up with is not the God I know now, and I suspect the same is true
for all of you. My first year of teaching high school students, Sister Matthew Marie
looked at my transcript and saw that I did not have enough credits in any subject
area to teach in high school. She said, “Well, anybody can teach religion.” So, that
being determined, I was assigned a freshmen class which met three times a week
for a whole semester and was given a small thin textbook entitled “The Attributes of
God.” By the second day of that semester, I was finished with the book and had to
rely on any creative genes I might have inherited. And so began an assignment that
I continued for the next 40 years. 

The book focused on such things as the omnipotence, omnipresence, righteousness,
transcendence and many other similar qualities of God. Calling God almighty
didn’t generate closeness, either. The impression of God that it did generate was
this gigantic persona out there somewhere who kept a vigilant eye on everything
we did and provided an appropriate punishment for wrong-doing. And yet, even
with that scary picture in my childhood, God didn’t seem so bad. My father made
sure I had a healthy respect for God and kept the rules: Confession every week, if
possible, Mass every Sunday, for sure, come rain or shine, and be on time! 

Over the centuries, theologians have worked and reworked their theories. They
have argued about Jesus: Was he truly human or just divinity living in a human
body? Did he have only human knowledge or divine knowledge, too? Is God three
persons in one and how is that possible? 

So what has changed? Has God changed? Have we changed? Our way of
understanding this world has changed. Science has given us a picture of creation
that is mind-boggling. Illia Delio puts it this way: “The discovery of evolution and quantum physics opened up a new window to the divine mystery that illuminates the role of God and humans in evolution. It is not a matter of trying to fit the old God into the new cosmos; rather it is the birth of a new God.” 

Creation doesn’t go back a few thousand years to Genesis; it goes back 13.7
billion years ago. Starting with tiny particles coming together that have been
expanding from the lowest forms of life to the highest, God’s energy brought forth
this universe. Quantum theory creates a view of a generous God sharing life and love and patiently waiting for the world to become fully humanized, as Teilhard De
Chardin says. God gives life to all things. God is the energy that drives creation
forward. God is love. Love shares itself, creating new life, sustaining all life,
energizing it and pulling in a spiral upwards. God is no longer out there. Love,
God’s love, is right here in us and all living things. 

In some ways this makes God more complex because the whole process is so
magnificent. But at the same time, we have come to know God in a more intimate
way. God is the creator who gives life by sharing God’s own self in every one of
those tiny particles that make up the universe. I used to love that meditation on the
universe in those old green meditation books that we used in the novitiate. But that
was nothing compared to what we know about the universe now and are learning
more about each day with tiny helicopters hopping around on Mars and the older
Hubble telescope continuing beyond its life expectancy to travel farther and farther
out in space still sending us pictures. 

Our own lives were, hopefully, generated by two people who loved one another and
by a God who loves every living thing in existence. That love shared by our
parents helped us develop the power to love. Does the God who gives us life and
love not impower us also? 

Cardinal Sean O’Malley spoke of how loving makes us more human. Loving
others gives them the confidence to share love. We talk about the Spirit of God: Isn’t that simply the empowering love God shares with us? We talk about the Son
of God: Isn’t Jesus the one who shows us how to love as God loves? Isn’t he the one
who died an unjust and painful death out of love for us? 

Illia Delio writes, “If God is at the heart of this physical evolving cosmos, then love is the energy that makes everything precious and alive. God is the ultimate wholeness and depth of love, the inner Omega of everything from the smallest quark to the largest galaxy. Because divine love is totally other-centered, the whole universe is a theophany, a revelation of God’s glory.” 

This is not the God of my childhood. Our God is here, right here, in every smallest
particle on earth and in each one of us. God is love. Love empowers. Love strengthens. Love makes us more human. 


Eileen Custy SL

Eileen Custy was born and raised on a dairy outside of Denver and attended a one-room schoolhouse for her first eight years. After a year of college at Loretto Heights, she joined the Sisters of Loretto. In spite of the fact that she thought at that time she never wanted to be a teacher, she loved the work and taught for 46 years. Most of those years were spent in El Paso, Texas. Eileen “retired” in 2004 and moved to Kentucky, where she served as an administrative assistant to the Motherhouse Coordinator for nearly 20 years before retiring in November 2023. Eileen continues to serve the Motherhouse Community, particularly pastorally.