Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Benevolence towards God

The best kind of love involves benevolence. But how then can a love for God be of the best kind? Aquinas answers this problem basically by saying that we can do good to God by doing good to those God loves--namely, our neighbor. This is a good answer, but I also got another Thomistic answer from my friend Richard Sisca on Saturday: we can rejoice that God enjoys perfect beatitude. For Aquinas there are two ways of having the other's good in one's will: (a) by willing that good things should happen to the beloved; and (b) by mourning the evils and rejoicing in the goods that the beloved suffers or enjoys.

1 comment:

Richard Davis said...

Is it impossible to will a thing that already exists? If not, couldn't we exercise benevolence toward God by willing that He enjoy beatitude?

Also, while God's degree of enjoyment cannot be increased, can't we cause new goods for God to enjoy? Kind of like adding an extra gumball to an infinite supply of gumballs. There are no more before or after; but there is one that wasn't there before.