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11. The Unity of God

1. Unity means oneness, and oneness is the same as being. For every being is that one thing. A being cannot be multiplied or divided into a plurality of itself. To divide a thing into parts is to destroy its unity and also to destroy its being as that one thing. And yet each part is that one part, that one thing; still the truth holds that being and the one are really the same, although there is a logical distinction between them.

2. The one and the many are contrasted as opposites. The many (that is, plurality, multitude, more-than-one) is countable or measurable by the unit, that is by the one. And multitude (that is, two or more) when measured by the unit is called number. Thus number is contrasted with the unit which measures and determines it.

3. When we speak of the unity of God, we speak of the fact that there is one God and cannot be more than one God. God is infinite, and a plurality of infinities cannot be. If, by an impossible supposition, there were two infinite beings,"X" and "Y", then: either (a) "X" and "Y" would have identical perfections, and thus would actually be one being and not two; or (b) "X" would have its own perfections which "Y" would lack, and "Y" would have its own perfections which "X" would lack; thus neither being would be infinite, for what lacks any perfection is, by that fact, finite or imperfect. Thus it is inconceivable that there should be more than one infinite being. That is to say, it is inconceivable that there should be more than one God.

4. Since being and oneness are really the same, it follows that the more perfect being is the more perfect unity. God is absolute being; therefore God is absolute unity. (The unity of God's being does not conflict in any way with the trinity of Persons in God. This fact will be discussed later.)

"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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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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