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20. God's Love

1. Where there is will there is love, for love is the fundamental act of will. Since God is will, God is love.

2. God loves all existing things, that is, things that have positive being. For these things exist by God's will, that is, by his love. To love a thing is to will the thing and to will good to it. God wills the existence, essence, and perfections of existing things; hence he loves these things. God's love is not like human love which is attracted to things by the good it finds in them; God's love causes the good in things.

3. God loves some things more than others inasmuch as he confers more perfection on some things than on others. A plant has more perfection than a lifeless body; an animal has more perfection than a plant; a human being has more perfection than an animal. In each case, greater perfection means greater love of God for that reality.

4. God wills or loves the better things more than others inasmuch as these better things have more good from the divine will.

"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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"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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"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

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