Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Q19 A2: Whether God wills things apart from Himself?

Yes. God wills not only Himself but other things apart from Himself because if natural things, in so far as they are perfect, communicate their good to others, much more does it appertain to the divine will to communicate by likeness its own good to others as much as possible.

He wills both Himself to be, and other things to be; but He wills Himself as the end, and other things as ordained to that end (inasmuch as it befits the divine goodness that other things should be partakers therein).

The divine will is God's own existence essentially, yet they differ in aspect, according to the different ways of understanding them and expressing them (Q13, A4).

For when we say that God exists, no relation to any other object is implied, as we do imply when we say that God wills. Therefore, although He is not anything apart from Himself, yet He does will things apart from Himself.

As He understands things apart from Himself by understanding His own essence, so He wills things apart from Himself by willing His own goodness.