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18. The Life of God

1. Things have life when they have the perfection of self-movement. In the world around us, this perfection is manifested by plants, animals, and human beings. Other bodily things (called, in general, minerals) have not this perfection. Therefore, not all things are alive; some things have life, some lack it.

2. Life is primarily the substantial principle or source of self-movement. Secondarily, it is the operation of self-movement.

3. Plants have vegetal life with the operations of nutrition, growth and development, and reproduction. Animals have vegetal life and also sentient life with its operations of sensing, appetizing, and local movement. Human beings have vegetal and sentient life and also rational life with its operations of understanding and will. Rational life is far superior to the other forms of life. Yet in earthly man, rational life is bound up with bodiliness. Even in angels it seeks a goal outside itself. Pure and perfect rational life is self-sufficient; its movement is not change; it tends to no goal outside itself; its activity is identified with its essence. Such rational life is all-perfect life, absolute life. It is pure perfection. Now, all pure perfection belongs to God eminently. Therefore, God is life.

4. God is life. God is knowledge. In the divine simplicity, the perfections of life and knowledge are one. Hence all things that are in God's knowledge are in God's life, and therefore we have the saying, "All things are life in God".

"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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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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