Why do we do that? Catholic Life Explained

I accept on faith that God is a Trinity of Persons, and I know it’s something we can’t fully understand. Should I just accept that, or should I try to learn more?

There’s a legend from the life of St. Augustine. As the early Church grappled with the identity of Christ and his relation to the other Persons in the Trinity, the holy theologian wrote a book about the Trinity. The story goes that, while he worked on the piece, he took a break to walk along the seashore. He came upon a small boy who had dug a hole in the sand. He was carrying a bucket, which he’d fill up with seawater and pour into the hole. Back and forth he walked. St. Augustine gently chided the young boy, “You can’t pour the whole ocean into that hole.” The boy responded, “And you cannot fit the whole Trinity into your mind.”

The Trinity is a mystery! Our finite mind can’t comprehend the infinite God. Of course, the lesson isn’t about giving up trying to understand God. St. Augustine did write that treatise, after all. The hunger to know more about God is good. We can read books about the Trinity or about the fatherly love of God, the life of Christ, and the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. More than that, we can deepen our life of prayer. The heart of our Trinitarian teaching is “God is love.” The Three Persons are an infinite relation of love between one another. Real understanding of that comes less through our heads but through our hearts.

Liturgical Publications