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7. The Infinity of God

1. When we call God infinite, we mean that God is not limited in any way whatever. All creatures are finite or limited. For creatures receive their being and their perfections, and whatever is received is measured and limited by the giver or by the capacity of the receiver. Now, God's being is not received; God is self-existent being. There is nothing prior to God from which he could receive anything. Hence nothing can mark or limit God; nothing can set boundaries to God's self-existing perfection; nothing can diminish that perfection, nothing can add to it. A perfection that can neither be diminished nor increased is necessarily boundless or infinite. Hence, God is infinite in perfection. As God is absolute being, God is absolute infinity.

2. God alone is infinite. Creatures have what is called potential infinity inasmuch as there is no fixed limit to the possibility of succession and variation in them. A lump of wax is a finite thing with a finite shape, but there is no limit to the number or variety of shapes that may be given to it. At any moment, the number of shapes it has received is a finite number; potential infinity attaches only to the shapes not yet received. Again, an abstract number may be multiplied or divided without limit, although at any instant in the process of multiplying or dividing, the number is a finite number. This type of infinity is actual infinity. Actual infinity is absolute. It excludes all potentiality. It can neither be increased nor diminished. Actual infinity is pure actuality. God alone is pure actuality; hence God alone is actual infinity.

3. No bodily thing can be infinite. For bodily infinity would be infinity in size, and size is always measurable; that is, size is always finite. Even a mathematical body must be thought of as contained within its lines and surfaces.

4. There cannot be an actually infinite number. A number has potential infinity, for it can be endlessly multiplied or divided. But actual infinity is incapable of being multiplied or divided. What is actually infinite cannot be increased or diminished, but a number can always be added to or lessened.

"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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