(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 46

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It is known in the Christian world that God is Infinite and Eternal; for in the doctrine of the Trinity which takes its name from Athanasius it is said that God the Father is Infinite, Eternal and Omnipotent; likewise God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; and yet there are not three that are Infinite, Eternal and Omnipotent, but One. From this it follows that, as God is Infinite and Eternal, nothing but what is Infinite and Eternal can be predicated of God. But what the Infinite and Eternal is cannot be comprehended by the finite, and yet it can be. It cannot be comprehended because the finite cannot contain the infinite; and it can be comprehended because there are abstract ideas by means of which it can be seen that things exist, though not what their nature is. There are such ideas respecting the Infinite as that God, because He is Infinite, or that the Divine, because it is Infinite, is Being (Esse) itself, is Essence itself and Substance itself, is Love itself and Wisdom itself, or is Good itself and Truth itself, and thus is the Self, yea is Man Himself. Such ideas also are present when it is said that the Infinite is the All, and that Infinite Wisdom is Omniscience, and that Infinite Power is Omnipotence.
[2] Yet these ideas are merged in obscurity of thought, and from being incomprehensible perchance meet with denial. This happens unless those things which thought derives from nature are withdrawn from the idea, especially what it derives from the two things proper to nature, space and time, for these cannot but limit ideas and cause abstract ideas to be as nothing. However, if those things can be withdrawn in man as they are in an angel, then the Infinite may be comprehended by means of the ideas just mentioned above. Hence also it may be comprehended that man has reality because he was created by the Infinite God who is the All; and that he is a finite substance because he was created by the Infinite God who is Substance itself; and further that he is wisdom because he was created by the Infinite God who is Wisdom itself; and so on. For unless the Infinite God were the All, Substance itself and Wisdom itself, man would not have reality; and thus would be nothing or merely an idea of being, according to those visionaries called idealists.
[3] From what has been shown in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, it is clear that the Divine Essence is Love and Wisdom (n. 28-39); that the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom are Substance itself and Form itself, and consequently the Self-subsisting and the one only subsisting Essence (n. 40-46); and that God created the universe and all things therein from Himself and not from nothing (n. 282-284). From this it follows that every created thing, and especially man, and the love and wisdom in him, have reality and are not merely ideas of being. For unless God were Infinite there would be no finite; and unless the Infinite were the All there would be no reality; and unless God had created all things from Himself there would be nothing. In a word, We are because God is.


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