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41. Our Notions of the Divine Persons as Operating

1. Our concepts or ideas of the divine operations of generatingand spirating (that is our "notional acts") ascribe theseoperations to thedivine Persons. Only by thus ascribing"notional acts" to the proper Persons can we grasp anddesignate the distinction of Persons in the Trinity.

2. The divine operations are not in God by free choice butby the necessity of the divine nature itself. Just as God isnecessary being, in the sense that he cannot be nonexistent, not byreason of any outside force, but by reason of his infiniteexcellence, so generating and spirating are in God by the necessityinvolved in the supreme excellence of the divine nature itself.

3. The divine operations do not proceed from nothing, asis the case in the external action of creating. The Son isgenerated, not from nothing, but from the Father.

4. The divine operations of generating and spirating arefrom God's almighty power, not, indeed from that power ascreative, for the operations and relations are eternal anduncreated; they are from God's power as the principle of divineproceeding.

5. God's power to beget and his will to beget are onewith his eternal essence. Hence the power of God means essence andnot relation.

6. There is only one eternal generating in God and onespirating. There is only one Father, only one Son, only one HolyGhost.

"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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