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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Attributes of God

The perfections we speak of when we try to describe God are His 'attributes', because we attribute to God the qualities we know belong to the divine nature.  The perfections in God only dimly correspond to the various properties we find in ourselves.

In the Apostles' Creed there is only one attribute given to God:  He is Almighty.

Since Apostolic times, however, the Church has identified no less than fifteen divine attributes:

He is absolutely ONE.
He s the TRUE God.
He is the LIVING God.
He is ETERNAL God
God is IMMENSE.
God is INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
God is INFINITE.
He is UNIQUE.
God is PURE SPIRIT.
God is TOTALLY SIMPLE.
God is UNCHANGEABLE.
He is TRANSCENDENT.
God is PERFECTLY HAPPY
God is the MOST SUBLIME.

There have been libraries written about each one of these attributes.  I would never, EVER, pretend to be learned enough to offer anything new when discussing the attributes of my Creator.

The Catholic Church speaks of the attributes of God as internal because they describe God as He is in Himself.  In a world where atheism is so prevalent, and so rigorously defended by those who hold to its ever changing precepts, believers must be clear in our understanding of who the One True God is.

Of course, we must also be aware of what we call the relative attributes of God - those divine perfections that are in relation to the world He has created.

The Apostles' Creed mentions only that attribute that is His almightiness.  By this phrase, we know that He cannot do anything that would deny His own nature.   He cannot tell a lie nor act in a contradictory nature, like change His mind (which is not the same as answering our prayers as we appeal to His permissible Will).

Reflecting upon God Almighty means to reflect on His majesty, His omniscient nature.  It means to settle into the security that God always was, always will be and that He is in charge.

It means nothing happens in His universe by mistake.

How beautiful is that?

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