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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.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart. "
St Philip Neri

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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