Choose a topic from Part 1:

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".

"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

* * *

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

* * *

"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."
The Cure D'Ars

* * *