IV - GOD’S OPERATIONS OUTSIDE HIMSELF

Posted by on 20 January 2016

The Creator

1 - God is what He has, creatures have what they are (conf. 13, 3, 4)

2 - Whoever has without knowing who has given to him has without having. When what he possesses shall be removed from him by God, to him only his own malice shall remain (s. 127, 3, 3)

3 - God created the universe wholly: when He wanted, how long He wanted and how He wanted (Gn. litt. 4, 2, 6)

4 - When it is said that God made the creation out of nothing, it is meant that He didn’t make it by taking it out of Himself (c. Iul. imp. 5, 31)

5 - All things have been created good by God, who is great in the great things, but not little in the little ones (c. adv. leg. 2, 12, 42)

6 - To create also means to regulate and to give order to all reality, so that it may grow and reach perfection (mor. 2, 7, 9)

7 - The maker of creation knew it very well inside His own soul, where art itself is more beautiful than the objects made by art. An object is perfect if it pleases the artist. The creation pleased God because it was perfect (Gn. c. man. 1, 8, 13)

8 - The way of being of creatures is threefold: their immutable reasons are in the Word of God; they exist as works made by Him until the seventh day; they exist as works He continues to do afterwards until now (Gn. litt. 5, 12, 28)

The universe

1 - Let us contemplate the creature, let us praise the Creator (s. 261, 4)

2 - The entire universe sings with one voice (vera rel. 3, 5)

3 - Things, in their own order, are sketches of the Trinity (trin. 15, 2, 3)

4 - There are two reasons why God loves His creation: that it may be, that it may be preserved (Gn. litt. 1, 8, 14)

5 - If we are near the eternal creator, necessarily we will be made eternal too (vera rel. 10, 19)

6 - Realities created by God, since He governs and contains them, have a mode of existence different from what He is in Himself (Gn. litt. 2, 6, 12)

7 - ‘In the beginning God created heaven and earth’ - ‘In the beginning was the Word’. That is: God created the universe in His Son, through whom all things have been made. In such a way Genesis and Gospel agree (s. 1, 2)

8 - All living creatures have their own laws; their transformations or changes from one thing into another obey to the specific but hidden beauty unfolding in time (Gn. litt. 3, 16, 25)

9 - The very good creator of the good natures is the very righteous regulator of the bad wills (civ. 11, 17)

10 - Even if some natures become individually ugly because of sin, the universe remains, with the inclusion of them, always beautiful (Gn. litt. 3, 24, 37)

11 - Creatures exist from God, through God and in God (en. Ps. 101, s. 2, 12)

Faithful and rebel angels

1 - We know by faith that God created His angels as pure spirits; they are although angels -or messengers- inasmuch as they are His ministers and sent to man. The word ‘angel’ indicates their assignment, not their nature. An angelic being, for what he is, is spirit; for what he does he is an angel (en. Ps. 103, s. 1, 15)

2 - If it is the creation of angels what is meant in the passage where God said: ‘Let there be light’ (Genesis 1:3), that means that the angels were made sharers of the eternal light, which is the immutable wisdom itself of God, that is, the only-begotten Son of the Father. Being illuminated by the Light by which they had been created, they were meant to become light forever, by partaking of God’s eternal day. Every faithful angel becomes, in this way, light, not in himself but in God. If an angel turns away from Him, he becomes a rebel: he is no longer light in the Lord, but darkness in himself, since he has been deprived of the participation in the eternal light. There is no essence of evil, but what is considered evil is in fact the loss of the good (civ. 11, 9)

3 - The angels always see the face of the Father and therefore of the whole Trinity, since they see through the Son and in the Holy Spirit (c. ep. pel. 3, 7, 18)

4 - The angelic spirits, in the act itself of creation, were created as light and were also illuminated so that they might live in wisdom and happiness. Some of them turned away from their illumination and therefore did not achieve the sublimity of the wise and happy life, which is undoubtedly eternal and firmly certain of its own eternity. They have anyway the life of intelligence, even if in a condition of permanent folly and injustice, insofar as they have rejected the eternal life of God (civ. 11, 11)

5 - ‘And God separated the light from the darkness’ (Genesis 1:4), that is, He divided the holy society of the angels, shining in the world of the intelligible through the enlightening of truth, and the darkness opposed to Him, which means the tenebrous spirits of the rebel angels, who had turned away from the light of justice (civ. 11, 19)

6 - Angels don’t need books, commentators, readers. Their reading is their vision, since they see the truth itself and are satiated at that source, from which we get only drops (s. 57, 7, 7)

7 - What is the name of the angelic nature? Spirit. What is its assignment? Being an angel or messenger. An angel is a spirit because of what he is, he is an angel because of what he does (en. Ps. 103, s. 1, 15)

8 - The faithful angels remain firmly in the eternal good, which is God, and in His eternity, truth and love. The rebel angels, on the contrary, desirous of their own power, as if they were something good by themselves, are cast down from the supreme and beatifying universal good to particular goods. And since they replaced the highest eternity with the display of pride, the evident truth with the fallacy of vanity, unifying love with the taste of factiousness, they have become proud, deceitful, bringers of hatred. A creature is unhappy if it loses God; God, on the contrary, cannot be unhappy because He cannot lose Himself (civ. 12, 1, 2)

9 - The prince of the angels fell down from heaven together with his companions; but men will ascend to occupy the place from which those angels fell. And since the devil saw that man would reach the place which once was his own, full of envy he wanted to throw him down. Man fell, but God went down and became man (s. 229/H, 2)

10 - ‘You will see the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man’. May the angels of God ascend and descend. May this be done in the Church. The Head is above, His members are here on earth: may the angels ascend to Him and descend to His members. Christ is there, Christ is here (en. Ps. 44, 20)

Man

1 - God wanted to created man from only one ancestor, so that, through this reminder, the bond of concord among many people might be kept (civ. 12, 27, 1)

2 - Adam’s voice is the voice of the entire humankind (s. suppl. 21, 2)

3 - The four letters of the name ‘Adam’ indicate, in Greek, the four cardinal points: anatolé, dúsis, árktos, mesembría. By putting these words one under the other and by reading their initials we have ‘ADAM’: East, West, North, South (Io. ev. tr. 9, 14)

4 - Adam is the upside-down prefiguration of the future Christ (c. Iul. imp. 3, 107)

5 - Adam, while sleeping, deserved to receive the bride whom God had shaped from his side. From Christ, sleeping on the cross, the Church was born, since from His side, hit by the spear, the sacraments of the Church flowed. Christ’s weakness makes us strong (Io. ev. tr. 15, 8)

6 - How can man watch the works without searching for their author? (s. suppl. 26, 31)

7 - Consider three aspects in creation: who made every creature, through what He made them and why He made them. The author is the Father, through His Word, in the goodness of the Holy Spirit. The whole Trinity is therefore shown to us in His works (civ. 11, 24)

The creation of man’s soul

1 - God Himself has shaped the soul, that is, the vital spirit in man. The soul has not been transmitted as Adam’s descendant, but, coming from another source, has been infused into the body and fashions its senses so that man may become a living soul (Gn. litt. 10, 6, 11)

2 - Whatever emanates from God is necessarily of His own nature and therefore is unchangeable like God. The soul, on the contrary, is changeable, therefore it is not emanated from God. Since it has not been made from another thing, it has been made out of nothing, but it is God who created it (an. et eius or. 1, 4, 4)

3 - Each one draws the kind of his own nature from the same source from which he draws the origin of his own nature (an. et eius or. 1, 19, 32)

4 - You know something important if you know not only that the Creator made man, but also that man was made according to a plan. As far as you are concerned, think that He made you in His image so that you might love Him (s. 68, 5)

5 - The rainbow seems to shine from the clouds like letters, written as a reminder for God (c. adv. leg. 1, 20, 44)

6 - How is it possible that the one who has been created lives and the one who creates does not live? God therefore exists. Woe to us if we doubt it! But whoever doubts must, in his search, start to believe, because without believing he will never find what he searches (div. qu. 23)

7 - God has not created anything unknowingly, since He knows everything. As a consequence, if the world did not exist, it could not be known by us; if it had not been known by God, on the contrary, it would not exist (civ. 11, 10, 3)

8 - God acts through eternal, immutable, stable reasons of the Word, who is eternal like Him and, so to say, through a sort of fomentation of the Holy Spirit, eternal as well (Gn. litt. 1, 18, 36)

9 - The world itself, in its beauty, silently asserts that it has been created by a God of greatness, of inexpressible and invisible beauty (civ. 11, 4, 1)

10 - The non-being is the opposite of the being. No essence contrary to God, that is, to the supreme essence and the creator of all essences, therefore exists (civ. 12, 3)

The relationship between God and man

1 - God let Himself be called God (doctr. chr. 1, 6, 6)

2 - Man, without God, is really nothing: nihil est homo (s. 361, 5, 5)

3 - Accept God as He is, not as you wish He might be. Love Him as He is. He does not love you as you are, but hates you in order to make you as you are not yet (s. 9, 9)

4 - Man, if he wants to be something, must turn to the One by whom he has been created (en. Ps. 70, s. 2, 6)

5 - We departed from God by ceasing to be similar to Him, but He didn’t allow us to perish (vera rel. 55, 113)

6 - Man cannot object at all to God’s power (s. 269, 2)

7 - Yield to God, because He is God (s. 15/A, 8)

8 - God’s image subdues the beasts, and God shall not subdue His own image? (s. 55, 3, 3)

9 - Empty images are like painted foods (vera rel. 51, 100)

10 - God offers Himself to us in the form of a gain. He cries out: ‘Love Me and you shall possess Me, because, without possessing Me, you cannot even love Me’ (s. 34, 5)

11 - Love God so that God may love you, and you cannot show how much you love God, unless you show that you love His interests (s. 296, 13)

12 - Don’t ask anything of God, except God. Love gratuitously, desire from Him only Himself. Don’t be afraid of poverty: He gives Himself for us and He is enough for us. May He give Himself and this is enough (s. 331, 5, 4)

13 - God must be shown and must be shown to man. No man can show Him: He Himself shows Himself. I can only suggest to you what you may do to deserve to see Him (s. suppl. 23, 8)

14 - God’s face, my brothers and sisters, is so sweet, so beautiful, that, after seeing it, nothing else can delight us! (s. 170, 9)

15 - The whole of our prize will be to see God (s. suppl. 23, 1)

16 - You tell me: ‘Show me your God’. I tell you: ‘Show me your soul’ (s. suppl. 23, 9)

17 - Let me know myself, let me know You [noverim me, noverim te] (sol. 2, 1, 1)

18 - Two things have been proposed to man’s consideration: to know God and to know himself. God, so that he may trust in Him; himself, so that he may not trust in himself. Nothing is dearer to God than God’s image (s. 20/A, 2)

19 - Your God is everywhere: if you don’t get far from Him, He will never disappear to you (Io. ev. tr. 34, 6)

20 - God is silent, but God’s works speak (s. 313/D, 2)

21 - Why does not man see God? Because he obstinately wants to be man. May he start to let oneself be cured and from man may he become son of God (s. suppl. 25, 15)

22 - You worship the God who makes you too gods; the others worship gods made by themselves. Whoever worships them loses the opportunity to become a god, insofar as, by making false gods, alienates himself from the true one (s. suppl. 6, 3)

23 - Every man is a sinner and a mortal being; God, on the contrary, is just and immortal (s. suppl. 26, 39)

24 - God is the good. There is no good for those who forsake Him (nat. b. 7)

25 - The good that makes good whatever is good is God (s. 61, 3, 3)

26 - The supreme good cannot be but God: by following Him we live well; by possessing Him we live not only well, but also happily (mor. 1, 6, 10)

27 - God, by being the cause of the existence of everything exists, cannot be at the same time also the cause of their non-existence, that is, of their departing from the being and tending towards the non-being. This is evil in its widest meaning (mor. 2, 2, 3)

28 - God loves sinners. He loves what He wants to realize, He does not love what He wants to eliminate (s. 335/I, 5)

29 - The true divine predictions are the work of the only God; the true sacrifice must be offered to the one true God (s. suppl. 23, 16) - She had plenty because she had God in her heart (s. 107/A, 7)

30 - We need God’s goods, not God our goods (s. suppl. 22, 19)

31- We remain in Him out of extreme need, He remains in us out of mercy (s. 134, 1, 1)

32 - God is with us in predestining us, in calling us, in justifying us, in glorifying us. If God is with us, who can be against us? (s. 158, 1)

33 - ‘God’s right hand’ stands for ineffable, inestimable, incomprehensible blessedness and completeness (s. 213, 5)

34 - May God renew you; may God keep you and guard you; may God lead you to the one who is eternal life. Amen

35 - God is humble in His greatness, man is humble in his weakness (s. 380, 7)

36 - God is full, you are puffed up (s. suppl. 9, 6)

37 - God is jealous without envy, gets angry without changing, has compassion without experiencing sorrow, regrets without repenting of any wrongdoing, is patient without suffering (pat. 1, 1)

38 - O Lord, you can console, sustain, frighten! (en. Ps. 99, 8)

39 - God will be all in all when we shall start to want nothing except Him. He will indeed be everything for us when we shall need nothing, since He will satisfy us (c. s. arian. 37, 34)

40 - When God shall be all in all, He shall replace everything we need (s. 334, 3)

Providence

1 - God does not abandon us after creating us, He didn’t take the trouble to make us without taking the trouble to protect us (s. 26, 1)

2 - The ineffable medical art of the divine Providence even changes the ugliness of vices into a certain kind of beauty (vera rel. 28, 51)

3 - Divine Providence assigns a role to the defeated and another to the defeaters, others to those who fight and to those who are spectators, and finally to the peaceful ones, who contemplate only God in eternal life (vera rel. 40, 76)

4 - God preferred to draw good from evil rather than not to allow evil to subsist (ench. 8, 27)

5 - These are the mines of Providence: the good is everywhere (doctr. chr. 2, 40, 60)

6 - No leaf falls without God willing it (s. suppl. 29, 12)

7 - There is no creature that, willingly or unwillingly, is not at the service of divine Providence; all those who, by their will, agree with it, do what is good; in those who rebel, on the contrary, the decrees of the divine justice are fulfilled (Gal. exp. 32)

8 - I cannot see how who even rules out the intervention of divine Providence in our souls may be called religious (mor. 1, 6, 10)

9 - What more could divine Providence have done in order to save man? It never abandoned man when he abandoned God. Now God’s very righteous power operates in a wonderful and incomprehensible way even through mysterious successions of things submitted to God, who exercises both the severity of punishment and the clemency of forgiveness (mor. 1, 7, 12)

10 - Nothing, under the sublime governance of divine Providence, happens in an irrational way, even if the reason is hidden (civ. 12, 27, 1)

11 - The more things are done with measure, form and order, the more they are indeed good. These three aspects are like general goods present in the realities made by God, both in the spirit and in the body (nat. b. 3)

12 - To understand this we should have a global vision of the whole, in which the single particles of the single events harmonize with convenient proportion. Because of this, we are advised to have faith, in order to accept what we don’t understand by means of reason (civ. 12, 4)

13 - Religious discussion about good and evil comes to nothing, unless we acknowledge that everything exists, inasmuch as it exists, comes from God, while, insofar as it deviates from His essence, it does not come from God, although it is still ordered by divine Providence, as it is suitable to all reality (mor. 2, 7, 10)

14 - Divine Providence does not immediately repay everyone for the evil committed, but only some people; this is to tell us that it watches over all, while keeping its infinite patience (en. Ps. 30, II, s. 3, 12)

15 - Usually divine Providence radically reforms, through crises and wars, the corrupt behaviour of individuals and tests the life praiseworthily honest of people, both in order to preserve it on earth for other tasks and to reward it in eternal life (civ. 1, 1)

16 - Nature’s Creator is also its Saviour. We should not praise the Creator in such a way that we may be impelled, or even convinced, to consider the Saviour as superfluous (nat. et gr. 34, 39)

17 - We defend God’s cause better when we recognize Him as Creator and Saviour, instead of making the help of the Saviour empty by defending a creature, as if this creature were sound and unimpaired in its strength (nat. et gr. 42, 49)

18 - God became man so that man might become God (s. 371, 1)

19 - What do you love so much that you don’t love God? Tell me. Love, if you can, something that He has not created. Look around and investigate about the whole creation. You admire creation because you cannot see Him. On the contrary, through the things you admire, you must love the one whom you cannot see! (en. Ps. 79, 14)

Justice

1 - Wherever the supreme justice is, the supreme wisdom is as well (c. prisc. et orig. 10, 13)

2 - If God’s justice is at stake, only God is responsible for justice (s. 397, 2, 2)

3 - He who judges is superior to what is judged (vera rel. 29, 53)

4 - One is the way God judges, another the way God commands man to judge, since God is, without any doubt, juster than man (c. Iul. imp. 3, 12)

5 - Justice is based on God’s law (s. 83, 5, 6)

6 - Our justice is He: God! (pat. 20, 17)

7 - Man is just insofar as he is saved (spir. et litt. 29, 51)

8 - No just thing displeases a just person (vera rel. 22, 43)

9 - The righteous person serves freely, the unrighteous one serves in chains (agon. 7, 7)

10 - When you have to show yourself in front of the Judge, be yourself your judge. You sinned? Accuse yourself. You acted well? Praise God (s. suppl. 8, 4.6)

11 - If you have despised mercy, you shall feel the weight of truth; but if you have not despised mercy, you shall rejoice in truth (en. Ps. 39, 19)

12 - The judge is not just any peasant whosoever handling a trident, but God Trinity (en. Ps. 49, 13)

13 - Who is the one who does not judge with partiality? The one who loves everybody equally. Universal love avoids favoritism (Io. ev. tr. 30, 8)

14 - Must God’s judgment be feared or rather loved? The evil ones must fear it because it will bring punishment, the good ones must love it because it will bring the crown (en. Ps. 100, 2)

15 - Rejoicing because of injustice is the insolence of a soul exulting disorderedly (s. dom. m. 2, 25, 83)

16 - If you listen to your neighbour as you listen to yourself, you will persecute the sins while sparing the sinner (s. 13, 8)

17 - Against the accusations and the low insinuations of men, brothers and sisters, let us take God as our judge, as our witness. The one who one day will be the judge will not refuse to be the witness (Io. ev. tr. 36, 11)

18 - Practice justice and you shall have peace: they are friends to each other! (en. Ps. 84, 12)

19 - In the end Christ will come as a judge to demand back the things He has given (adn. Iob 37)

Mercy

1 - Misericordia (mercy) is called like this because it makes the heart (cor) of whoever feels pain for somebody else’s misfortune miserum, that is, afflicted. This name, however, does not affect the person who is merciful, since he or she is free from misery (mor. 1, 27, 53)

2 - Do not cut off the bridge of mercy (en. Ps. 60, 6)

3 - The Lord sees when He has mercy (Io. ev. tr. 49, 20)

4 - The only and true God, creator of heaven and earth, makes it possible that justice does not rule out mercy and mercy does not impede justice (cons. ev. 1, 14, 21)

5 - God in judging is merciful, in being merciful is just (ep. 167, 6, 20)

6 - Mercy is good, but it must be not against judgment (qu. exp. c. pag. 88)

7 - Mercy is gratuitous, judgment is due (praed. sanct. 14, 29)

8 - The task of the divine mercy is to free those who are in misery (en. Ps. 135, 4)

9 - God’s mercy, when it punishes the world, does not want to condemn it. Strict punishment is always according to justice. Strictness (severitas) is, in a way, cruel (saeva) truth (veritas) (s. 171, 5)

10 - Nobody is freed unless by means of an undue mercy, nobody is condemned unless by means of a due judgment (ench. 24, 94)

11 - The Lord says: I have a credit with you and you have a credit with another person; remit his debt and I shall remit your debt (en. Ps. 143, 7)

12 - Whatever evil you don’t commit because of His protection, consider it as a remitted debt (virg. 52, 53)

13 - Christ became man for man. What great mercy! It was not great for Him to be what He was; He wanted something great: to become what He had made (s. 229/H, 1)

14 - Only two remained: the adulteress and Jesus, the miserable woman and mercy (misericordia) (Io. ev. tr. 33, 5)

15 - O God of mercies, help those who understand and kindle the interior light in those who look for truth (c. ep. fund. 27, 29)