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27. The Proceeding of the Divine Persons

1. Scripture indicates a proceeding in God. This cannot be a creatural movement, nor an operation involving change. It must be in God and of God. And it must be in the order of intellect and will (that is, the intellective order), for this is the most perfect type of proceeding.

2. There is in God an eternal proceeding, likened to our human knowing, in which God (the Father) eternally begets the Word. The Word is God the Son. This proceeding is generation.

3. There is in God an eternal proceeding, likened to our willing or loving, in which Spirit proceeds from Father and Son. The Spirit is God the Holy Ghost. This proceeding is procession.

4. The two proceedings cannot both be called generation, for one is in the order of knowing, and the other is in the order of willing or loving. Speaking in terms of our creatural human processes, the mind begets reality by knowing; the mind generates the mental word or concept. Hence the divine proceeding which is likened to knowing is rightly called generation. And since, when we know a lovable being that can reciprocate our love, love proceeds from lover and beloved, the second divine proceeding is rightly called procession.

5. Proceedings of the intellective order which are in and of the agent, are two only: one in the likeness of knowing; one in the likeness of willing. Hence in God there are no other proceedings than generation and procession. There are other relations, as we shall see, but there are no other proceedings.

"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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