CT 34: Identity between God’s Will and His Willing

In Chapter 34, we get another puzzler:

Hence it is also clear that the divine will is the very act of willing in God. As has been pointed out, God’s will is identical with the good willed by Him. But this would be impossible if His willing were not the same as His will; for willing is in the will because of the object willed. Accordingly God’s will is His willing.

I’m thinking this is a first act/second act thing, as we saw in CT 31. “God’s will” is first act, God’s capability of willing, as God’s intellect is first act, God’s capability of understanding. “God’s willing” is His exercise of His will, second act, as God’s understanding is second act.

Now, Thomas says that God’s will is identical with the good willed by Him, that is, the object willed. This was stated in the previous chapter, I guess, though it wasn’t obvious to me at the time. But anyway, God’s willing of the object willed (second act) stands between God’s will (first act) and the object willed; and so if they are identical, God’s willing must be identical with both.

Thomas continues:

Again, God’s will is the same as His intellect and His essence. But God’s intellect is His act of understanding, and His essence is His existing. Therefore His will must be His act of willing. And so we see clearly that God’s will is not opposed to His simplicity.

This appears to be making the argument that God’s first act and second act in any aspect are always identical…which implies that God’s essence is first act and his existing is second act. Interesting.

But the main point, of course, is that God’s willing, His ability to will specific things, does not detract from His simplicity. God is One.

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