Hello readers, and welcome back to Deeper Waters, where we are always diving into the ocean of truth! Tonight, we’re going to wrap up not only our look at the divine beatitude, but our look at the doctrine of God. We’ve come that far in the Summa! What will we be doing tomorrow? Well if you want to know readers, you will have to come back tomorrow! For now, we’re going to wrap up our look at the doctrine of God which as has been said, has used the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, which can be read at newadvent.org. Our topic tonight is the question of if every beatitude is included in the beatitude of God?
What do you desire? Does it somehow find its place in God? Aquinas says it does. Now of course, some of these are things we desire that are reflections of God. I think of many the young woman I met who has said she wants to be married to Jesus. Well in a way, I can understand what she means, though it doesn’t make much sense to me, but she cannot walk down the aisle and marry Jesus literally. If she wants a husband, she’ll need to look at humanity.
However, could it be that something that she does desire can be found in God and a husband is something that is meant to reflect that? Of course. What all could she want? Maybe she wants love. That’s definitely in the nature of God who is love. Maybe she wants security. That’s found in the providence and power of God. Maybe she wants sex. That kind of intimacy is also found in the love of God. Maybe she wants to be a mother. God is the one who makes the barren woman more than the mother of many according to Isaiah 54:1.
This is the line of reasoning Aquinas brings to the table. For instance, God does not have material joys such as riches in His nature, but He is self-sufficient within Himself. He not have physical pleasures such as food and drink within Himself, but He does give the pleasure of having us being provided and cared for.
Aren’t there some false desires? Of course. However, the only reason someone desires something is that they perceive that something as good. Hitler really thought he was doing something good. He thought the murder of millions of innocent Jews was a good thing for his own sick reasons. He was wrong of course and I do wish to be clear that is condemned 100%, but the reason he pursued it was he thought it was good.
A murderer might commit a murder for what he believes is justice. His means of getting what he wants are wrong, but we will not say that justice is a bad thing. A woman might commit an abortion to be financially secure. We do not condemn wanting to be financially secure, but her means to get it is wrong.
However, the good desired does in some way find its place in God. The murderer might want justice on his own terms, but he should instead seek to leave the case in the God of justice and the way he has set for humans to bring about earthly justice. The mother might want financial security, but she should trust God to provide and if she can’t handle a child, put the child up for adoption.
What about the rest of us? Seek our joy in God ultimately. We can enjoy many things here, and we should, but we should not lose sight of the greatest joy of all.
We shall begin another topic tomorrow.