Gods Love

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Aquinas's natural theology succeeds only if its arguments for and investigations of the nature of first being turn up attributes that identify it as God. A crucial component of that identification is a set of attributes that establish personhood. In Chapters Six and Seven I claimed that the attributes of intellect and will are sufficient conditions of personhood. Still, their sufficiency is easier to appreciate when we're shown that certain personifying attitudes, such as pleasure and joy, are corollaries of perfect intellect and will. Personifying relationships would be more illuminating in that way than attitudes are, and so divine love would be more valuable than pleasure and joy for bringing out the personhood entailed by divine intellect and will. In fact, love for other persons is arguably the traditional divine attribute that is, even theoretically, most significant from a human point of view, because it would most fully reveal God as a person. And we needn't pretend that we have only a theoretical interest in seeking a rational basis for claiming that the ultimate principle of reality is not oblivious or indifferent to us, but knows us fully and loves us, even so.

We caught a glimpse of love as a corollary of will in Chapter Seven, where I claimed that since there can't be unactualized potentialities or non-occurrent dispositions in absolutely perfect, atemporal God, the divine static volition that has as its proper object perfect goodness, identical with God himself, must manifest itself in God's eternal love of himself and joy in himself. We've just seen Aquinas's derivation of joy as a corollary of God's nature. Earlier in SCG he offers this derivation of divine love: 'All things, in so far as they are, are assimilated to God, who is being, primarily and maximally. But all things, to the extent to which they are, naturally love their own being, each in its own way. Far more, therefore, does God naturally love his being. Now his

nature is perse necesse esse (as was proved above [1.22]).

25 The Marietti editors supply a reference to 15.124, where this formulation is introduced in argument G6 (see Ch. Three). However, the identification of God's nature with perse necessary being is argued for not in 1.15 but in 1.22, esp. 22.205 (see Ch. Four).

God, therefore, necessarily wills that he be' (80.680), and, we're now in a position to add, delights in the necessarily perfect fulfilment of that volition.

But the meagre, metaphysical self-love derived in that passage end p.238


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved does nothing even to enhance our understanding of divine personhood, let alone contribute to the concept of a loving God. In fact, since Aquinas here infers this divine self-love from the utterly universal ontological thesis that 'a// things, to the extent to which they are, naturally love their own being, each in its own way', the only love that's been attributed to God so far isn't even a personifying attitude, much less an interpersonal relationship of the sort that would illuminate the personhood established by the attribution of intellect and will and that would interest human beings most in connection with attributing personhood to first being. However, that short derivation is by no means all we have to go on. As soon as Aquinas has argued for pleasure and joy in God, he devotes a full chapter to God's love (1.91).

Now of course Aquinas recognizes the occurrence of love as a passion in human beings. He even argues for love's primacy among all the passions in one important respect.

26 See e.g. ST la.20.1: 'Love, however, is oriented toward the good in general, whether it is possessed or not possessed, and so love is naturally the first act of will and of appetite [generally]. And for that reason all other appetitive movements presuppose love as their first root. For no one desires anything other than a loved good, nor does anyone rejoice over anything other than a loved good. Hate, too, is directed only toward that which is opposed to a loved good, and it is obvious that sadness, likewise, and others of that sort are traced back to love as to their first source. Thus in anything in which there is will or appetite [generally] there must be love; for if the first is removed, the others are removed.' Also ST IaIIae.25.2, 27.4; In DDN IV: L9.401; and SCG IV.19.3559.

But because his SCG chapter on God's love occurs just after he's developed his account of intellective counterparts of passions, he can and does avoid even mentioning love as a passion here. He begins by simply declaring that active divine love is a corollary of intellective appetite in God: 'in God there

must likewise also be love, in accordance with the act of his will' (91.755)

27 See also ST la.20.1, ad 1: '[L]ove, joy, and pleasure are passions in so far as they signify acts of the sensory appetite but not in so far as they signify acts of the intellective appetite. And it is in that way that they are posited in God. . . . [H]e loves without passion.'

—a declaration in which the words 'likewise also' smooth the way for the attribution of love by indicating that it's to be patterned on the immediately preceding attribution of pleasure and joy.

But the argument for divine love that is most like the arguments for pleasure and joy is also the least helpful one in the chapter, because its weak conclusion, that 'love is not incompatible with end p.239


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved divine perfection as regards the defining characteristic of its species' (91.759), is founded on oversimplified accounts of (R) the relationship between love's object and the one who loves it and, especially, of (O) love's

object, which is identified in this argument simply as what is good.

28 'Love considered in respect of its object does not entail anything incompatible with God, since [love] is for what is good (cum sit boni). Nor [does it entail anything incompatible with God] considered in respect of the way it is related to its object; for the love of any thing when it is possessed is not less but more, since our affinity for any good is enhanced when we possess it (quia bonum aliquod fit nobis affinius cum habetur).' On this basis it's hard to see how divine love differs specifically from divine pleasure or joy. (The part of the argument I'm omitting here doesn't help in that respect.)

The argument's weak conclusion doesn't really need more support than those oversimplifications provide, but they leave out a formal feature of love that distinguishes it in Aquinas's view from all other attitudes. Later in that same chapter he points out that 'it is essential to know that although the soul's other activities are concerned with only one object, love alone is evidently directed (ferri) to two objects. For we must be related in some way to some object in virtue of intellectively cognizing, or enjoyingf, for example]. Love, on the other hand, wills [O i ] something for [O 2 ] someone. For we are said [strictly speaking] to love [O 2 ] that for which we will [O 1 ] some good . . . That's why, speaking simply and strictly, we are said to desire (desiderare) the things we long for (concupiscimus), but to love not them but rather ourselves, for whose sake we long for those things. And for that reason those things are said to be loved [by us] per accidens

and not strictly speaking' (91.763).

29 Accounts of love's double object appear also before 759's oversimplified account—viz. in 756, 757, and 758—though they are less fully developed than the one in 763. I think it's clear that the double-object analysis of love isn't meant to extend all the way down to the sub-cognitive 'natural love' Aquinas sometimes recognizes; see e.g. n. 9 above.

(Since this double-object analysis of human love is carried out in terms of volitions, and since it's undertaken in connection with attributing love to God, we may suppose that it's intellective love that's being analysed, whether or

not the analysis is intended to apply as well to the love that is a passion.

30 Aquinas sometimes recognizes a technical distinction between amor and dilectio, associating the latter specifically with intellective love—e.g. The supreme appetite, however, is the one that occurs together with cognition and free choice (libera electione), for that appetite [the will] somehow moves itself. And so the love (amor) associated with it is also the most perfect and is called dilectio, in so far as what is to be loved [with that love] is picked out by free choice' (In DDN IV: L9.402). The etymological connection between electio and dilectio that Aquinas hints at isn't imaginary, though it's hard to believe it has much influence over the meaning of dilectio, which in this special sense seems close to the meaning of'esteem'. In my discussion of the divine attribute I will use just the term 'love', as Aquinas uses just amor. For a fuller discussion of the technical differences among the four terms amor, dilectioi amicitia, and caritas, see ST IaIIae.26.3.

end p.240

Kretzmann, Norman , (deceased) formerly Susan Linn Sage Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Cornell University, New York

The Metaphysics of Theism

Print ISBN 9780199246533, 2001 pp. [241]-[245]

The two objects of love are (O i ) direct—the good that is willed—and (O 2 ) indirect—the one for whom that good is willed. Only (0 2 ), love's indirect object, is ever loved strictly speaking, or perse, or for its own sake; (0 1 ),

the direct object, is always loved only per accidens.

31 Cf. ST IaIIae.26.4c: '[T]he love with which a thing is loved so that there may be what is good for it is love unconditionally (simpiiciter), while the love with which something is loved so that it may be something else's good is love in a certain respect only.'

Furthermore, in any case of loving it's only what might be called the terminating (0 2 ) object that is loved for its own sake. Someone whose good a person wills is, considered just as such, an (0 2 ) object of that person's love, but he or she may not be its only (0 2 ) object: 'Someone whose good a person wills only in so far as it contributes to another's good is loved per accidens—just as a person who wills that wine be kept safe so that he may drink it, or that a human being be kept safe so that he or she may be of use or pleasure to him, loves the wine or the human being per accidens but himself per se' (91.757). And so'true love requires willing someone's good in so far as it is that person's good' (ibid.), in which case that person is the love's terminating (0 2 ) object.

As an analysis of intellective love of others, this is promising, but drastically incomplete. All that's been accomplished so far could stand as a full analysis only of benevolence, and of course benevolence isn't all there is to love, even to intellective love. Aquinas's terminology can occasionally suggest that he might think otherwise, as when he says that the love one has for another person whose good one wills 'is called by many the love that belongs to benevolence, or to friendship' (In DDN IV: L9.404). Friendship, however, involves more than benevolence as ordinarily understood, and the more it involves is unNolence. Aquinas of course recognizes this: 'friendship consists in sharing . . . But friends share themselves with each other most of all in intimacy (convictu), which is why living together seems especially

appropriate and pleasurable in friendship' (In EN IX: L14.1946);

32 Cf. Nicomachean Ethics IX 12, 1171b29-1172al.

and 'to spend time together with (simul conversari ad) one's friend seems to be especially appropriate end p.241


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved to friendship' (SCG IV.22.3585). 33

These forms of togetherness that characterize friendship also occur among the practicable forms of the all-consuming union that passionate love may seem to demand, especially at its kindling, about which Aquinas had to learn from a pagan: " 'Aristophanes said that lovers would desire that one thing should be made of the two of them", but "since that would result in one or both of them being destroyed", they seek a union that is feasible and acceptable (convenit et decet)—living together, talking together, and being

joined together in other such ways' (ST IaIIae.28.1, ad 2).

34 Aquinas read about Aristophanes' insights in Aristotle's Politics II 1, 1262bll-16.

So it's a recognition of love's essential magnetism that's still missing from the account of true intellective love as the willing of someone's good in so far as it is that person's good. What's still missing is an account of univolence, of the subject's willing some sort of union with the person who is loved for his or her own sake. No intellective personal relationship that does not entail a volition for somehow being together with a person can count as love for that person. How does this essential univolence fit into Aquinas's attribution of love to God?

As an ingredient in the divine self-love we've considered so far, univolence could seem to be utterly redundant. One might even object to attributing love to God at all simply because 'Love is a uniting and binding force (vis unitiva et concretiva), as Dionysius says in De divinis nominibus IV [§15.180], But that can have no place in God, since he is simple' (ST la.20.1, obj. 3). Applied to God's loving himself, that's not a formidable objection—as Aquinas's rejoinder to it shows: 'in loving oneself one wills what is good for oneself and so seeks to unite that good with oneself as far as one can. To that extent love is called a uniting force, even in God: but [uniting] in the absence of any compositeness, because the good he wills for himself—he who is good through his essence . . .—is nothing other than himself' (ad 3). In keeping with absolute simplicity, of course, there are in God no real but only conceptual distinctions among all the elements into which love has been analysed so far: its subject, its two objects, the subject's volition of what is good for the one who is the principal object, and the subject's volition of union with that one. God's volition of union end p.242


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved with himself is necessarily, eternally fulfilled in a real union, supremely perfect in its utter seamlessness. (As you may know or suspect, Aquinas's account of God's love of himself becomes an account of divine interpersonal

love in his exploration of the doctrine of the Trinity;

35 See e.g. ST la.37.2. but that has no place in this development of natural theology, where only created things are available as possible objects of God's interpersonal love.)

We're looking at Aquinas's rejoinder to an objection that is concerned with an apparent difficulty in the notion of a simple God's loving himself, a difficulty we've seen him handle with dispatch. But in that same rejoinder he goes on to address the much more interesting, difficult question of the nature of univolence in God's love for others. The human terms in which he begins to develop his answer here depend heavily on his analysis of self-love, which he understandably treats as basic to his account of interpersonal love: 'In loving someone else, on the other hand, one wills what is good for that person. In doing so, one treats that person as oneself, directing good to that person as to oneself. To that extent love is called a binding force, because one attaches the other person to oneself, relating oneself to that person as to oneself' (ad 3). Having applied the first half of the Dionysian unifying-and-binding formula in showing how the volition of union is compatible with God's simplicity, Aquinas now takes up the second half—binding—in a way intended to deepen our understanding of what's involved in willing someone else's good when that willing is a component of loving. It can't be left at the level of one's broadly, blandly wishing 'May all be well with you!' It must be one's willing, one's individuated willing, that everything be good for that other person in just the way one wills that for oneself.

But notice that as Aquinas presents it here the binding aspect of love is tantamount to, and already fully realized in, that full-fledged willing of the other person's good, informed by one's understanding and willing of one's own good. Love's binding is completely achieved as soon as just that volition is in place. By that very volition of yours you have bound to yourself the other person whose good you will in this way, but unilaterally, in a manner that may leave him or her totally unaware of the bond, and even of you. If this 'binding' captures any of the associative aspect of love we're end p.243


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved looking for, it does so only conceptually or attitudinally. It certainly entails no sort of real uniting of the beloved with the lover. It doesn't even involve on the lover's part a volition of real union in addition to the volition of the loved

one's good.

36 Sometimes Aquinas calls binding and uniting two sorts of uniting. See e.g. ST IaIIae.25.2, ad 2: 'There are two sorts of uniting of what is loved to the one who loves it. One is indeed real— I mean the one that involves being conjoined with the thing itself. And it is that sort of uniting that pertains to joy or pleasure, which follows desire [and which may or may not be achieved]. But the other is attitudinal (affectiva) uniting, which occurs in accordance with suitability (aptitudinem) or appropriateness (proportionem)—I mean that to the extent to which one thing has a suitability for and an inclination toward another, it already shares something of it. And in this way love implies uniting—a uniting that indeed precedes the movement of desire.' Also Iallae.28.1c: 'The uniting of the one who loves to what is loved is of two sorts. One is indeed in reality—e.g. when what is loved is now present to the one who loves it. But the other is attitudinal (secundum affectum), a uniting that must, of course, be considered on the basis of a preceding cognition, since appetitive movement follows cognition. . . . Therefore, love brings about the first [real] uniting in the manner of an efficient cause. For it moves [the one who loves] to desire and to seek the presence of what is loved as of that which suits him and pertains to him. But it brings about the second [attitudinal] uniting in the manner of a formal cause, since love itself is such a uniting or connecting. Thus Augustine says in De trinitate VIII [10] that love is, so to speak, "a kind of life linking, or seeking to link, two together". His phrase "linking together" refers to the attitudinal union, without which there is no love, but his "seeking to link together" pertains to real union.'

None the less, this attitudinal binding is all Aquinas offers here by way of accommodating God's love of others to the Dionysian formula (which he plainly accepts as providing part of the correct analysis of love): 'And in that way even divine love is a binding force ... in so far as he wills good things for others' (ad 3). Whatever this consideration may add to our understanding of what God's love for others might come to, it is, after all, obviously not identifying, or not fully identifying, its associative aspect. To the extent to which anything of that sort has shown up so far in the analysis of God's love, it's been confined to self-love's volition of purely reflexive union, which Aquinas handled easily in dealing with the worry about 'a unifying and binding force' in the componentless context of divine simplicity.

But Aquinas approaches the associative aspect of God's love more encouragingly in the chapter of SCG he devotes to the topic, when he takes as primary what appears to be God's volition of union with other things, and then uses that as the basis for one of his arguments for the thesis that God loves himself and other things.

end p.244


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved

As Dionysius says [De divinis nominibus IV §15.180], moving toward union is a feature of love (amoris est ad unionem movere). For the attitude (affectus) of the one who loves is in a way united to what is loved because of a likeness or suitability between the one who loves and what is loved. And so his appetite tends toward the perfecting of the union, so that a union that has already been founded in attitude may be completed in activity. (That is why it is appropriate even for friends that they enjoy each other's presence, and intimacy, and talking together.) But God moves all other things toward union [with himself]. For in so far as he gives them being and other perfections he unites them to himself in the way in which that is possible. Therefore, God loves both himself and other things. (91.760)

I'm less interested in assessing this argument as an argument than in using it as a source of insight into Aquinas's understanding of the associative force in God's love for others. It begins with a version of the first half of the Dionysian formula, expressed here in words that bring out the uni fying force of love especially graphically: 1moving toward union is a feature of love'

37 The formula as Aquinas read it in the medieval Latin translation of Dionysius (who attributes it to Hierotheus, nobilis noster sanctitatis perfector), reads this way: Amorem, sive divinum sive angelicum sive intellectualem sive animaiem sive naturalem dicamus, unitivam quamdam et concretivam intelligimus virtutem.

Love entails the lover's moving toward union with the beloved because it begins in the lover's recognition of 'likeness or suitability' in the beloved. On the basis of the recognition that that relationship is an inchoate, attitudinal union with something good, even if it should be only a one-sided relationship at this stage, the lover's appetite naturally 'tends toward the perfecting of the union, so that a union that has already been founded in attitude may be completed in activity' (lines 5-7). So the route of love's movement toward real union is mapped in lines 2-6, and, as we had some reason to expect, love's unifying force begins with and develops through the attitude Aquinas identifies as love's binding force. The real union of friends, described in standard terms parenthetically in lines 7-9, seems clearly to be offered as an image of the real union God wills that the creatures he loves have with him—and, naturally, as a faint image: 'it is appropriate even for friends'. And when the argument proper resumes with the premiss in lines 9-10, in the setting provided by that image of real union, it seems to be accepting this strong account of the uniting force of love as fully applicable end p.245

Kretzmann, Norman , (deceased) formerly Susan Linn Sage Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Cornell University, New York

The Metaphysics of Theism

Print ISBN 9780199246533, 2001 pp. [246]-[250]

to God's love universally: 'God moves all other things toward union [with himself].'

But then in lines 10-12 we're given the terms in which Aquinas evidently thinks the strong account has to be accepted in God's case, and what a falling off is there! How is God supposed to move all creatures toward union with himself? Apparently only 'in so far as he gives them being and other perfections' (line 10). That is supposed to be God's uniting creatures 'to himself in the way in which that is possible' (line 11). But, as depicted here, the way that is possible seems clearly to fall far short of achieving love's real union. We have evidence of its failure. If we consider just human creatures, and if we suppose for the sake of the argument that our being and other perfections are indeed given us by God as goods willed by him for persons he loves, it hardly needs to be pointed out that many or most of us don't see it that way. Aquinas's analysis of loving strikes me as insightful in distinguishing (ideally) (1) an incipient stage of attitudinal binding, (2) a development characterizable as movement toward union, and (3) a culmination in some form of real union. On that analysis, God's binding even conscious, rational creatures to himself certainly can go unnoticed by the creatures, especially since the binding that is a component of God's love seems tantamount simply to his choosing which possible created things to actualize. But if God's moving creatures toward loving union with himself is of such a sort that those creatures can remain totally oblivious of that process, too, then how does uniting differ from binding in the case of God's love for others? Is divine love's moving toward union, like love's binding generally, simply an attitude of the lover's which the beloved can be, and often is, ignorant of?

As presented in this argument, moving toward union does differ sharply from binding, in being not merely a choice or a volitional attitude but the actual giving of actual gifts—the creature's nature and existence—the gifts of


38 Because creation is ex nihilo, there is a formal difficulty about considering a creature's being and specifying perfections as gifts given to it: 'To that which gets made, the maker gives being. Therefore, if God makes something ex nihilo, God gives being to something. Therefore, either there is something receiving being, or nothing. If nothing, then through that action nothing is established in being, and in that case it is not true that something gets made. But if there is something receiving being, it will be other than that which is God, since what receives and what is received are not the same. Therefore, God makes [whatever he makes] out of something pre-existent, and so not out of nothing (ex nihilo)' (QDP 3.1, obj. 17). Aquinas's rejoinder: 'Simultaneously with giving being, God produces that which receives being. And so [in giving being] he need not act on (ex) something preexistent' (ad 17).

When a volition of some end p.246


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved creature's good in the form of its being and its specifying perfections is God's volition, it is perfectly efficacious. And the chosen recipient, wittingly or unwittingly, and willy-nilly, is thereby indeed united to God, ontologically. With just a little embroidery at this point we can bring out that real ontological union as particularly lively. For, as we've seen, Aquinas's analysis of love includes the lover's willing the beloved's continued being—just what constitutes God's unremitting, eternal activity as universal first sustainer.

Still, real ontological union, which even the rational creature can remain utterly ignorant of, is a long way from love's culminating real union, of which both participants must be fully aware, since, as Aquinas often observes, it involves mutuality, sharing, intimacy, and enjoyment. Furthermore, ontological union is achieved by God unilaterally and all at once in creating and sustaining, and so could never be thought of as a union toward which God moves creatures. How, then, can Aquinas settle here for what I'm calling ontological union, where he's out to support the conclusion that 'God loves . . . other things', and to support it on the basis of God's moving other things toward union with himself?

He can settle for it because he has to—and because settling for it doesn't mean settling for anything less than true love, as long as it's remembered that true love can be love unfulfilled by real union: 'love is not that very relationship of union; instead, union is a consequence of love. That's why Dionysius says that love is a uniting force' rather than an achieved union (ST

39 Aquinas cites Aristotle as well to this same effect here: 'and the Philosopher says, in Politics II [1, 1262bl0], that union is a product (opus) of love'.

Divine love, too, can be love unfulfilled. Not even omnipotence can compel the willing participation of the beloved, and without it love's culminating

union can't be achieved.

40 This possibility, which appears to be realized often, may seem to make God dependent on beings other than himself. The first thing to notice in this connection is that God's absolute independence could not rule out logical dependence. For instance, being omniscient depends on knowing that 2 + 2 = 4, and so God considered as omniscient is logically dependent on knowing that 2 + 2 = 4. But the claim at issue here is that God's nature entails a loving relationship with other persons, and that not even omnipotence can guarantee another person's love for him. This sort of dependence can't be described as merely logical. Still, God's nature entails only his fully loving others, and his loving them couldn't be in any way dependent on their loving him. Even among human beings, X's love for Y would be recognized as weak or defective if it depended on Y's loving X. What does and must depend on other persons' love for God is what might be described as the best outcome of the divine-human loving relationship. The best outcome, real union with God, is not independent of the human being's free choices; but a human being's union with God could not be an aspect of God's nature. God's love for other persons, which must be an aspect of his nature, is in no way dependent on any will but God's.

That's why it's ontological end p.247


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved union alone in which God unites creatures'to himself in the way in which that is possible'. But the real giving of real gifts that constitutes God's unilateral establishment of ontological union does constitute the first movement toward the sort of real union of creatures with him that could count as the culmination of love's uniting force; and, of course, gifts can be received by their chosen recipients without being acknowledged, without even being recognized as gifts. Since these gifts given to creatures are their being and the perfections that specify them, it's clear that the establishment of ontological union is an indispensable pre-condition of achieving love's union with creatures.

In at least one remarkable passage Aquinas clearly identifies God's love itself as the source of the indispensable pre-condition and of further steps in God's

moving others toward loving union with himself:

41 This identification could be viewed as a mere corollary of Aquinas's thesis that the role of intellective love among acts of will parallels the role of the passion of love among the passions (see n. 26 above): 'although evidently several acts pertain to will, . . . love is found to be the single source and common root of them all. . . . And since it was shown in the First Book [of SCG] that God's activity is his very essence [1.45] and that God's essence is his will [1.75], it follows that in God there is no volition as potentiality or as disposition, but [only] as act. But it has been shown that every act of will is rooted in love. Therefore, there must be love in God' (SCG IV. 19.3559 and 3563).

God, who is 'the cause of all things because of the outpouring of his goodness, loves all things' [quoting Dionysius], and out of love he 'makes' all things, giving them being, and 'perfects' all things, filling out individuals with their proper perfections, and 'contains' all things, sustaining them in being, and 'turns' all things—that is, directs them toward himself as toward their end . . . This divine love, I say, 'did not permit him to remain in himself, without offspring'—that is, without the production of creatures. Instead, love 'moved him to activity' in accord with the best possible mode of activity, in so far as he produced all things in being. For the fact that he willed to diffuse and to share his goodness with others as far as that was possible—that is, by way of likeness—and that his goodness did not remain end p.248


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved in himself alone but flowed out to other things, was an outgrowth of

the love associated with his goodness. (In DDN IV: L9.409)

42 See also the endorsement of this line of thought in 91.765: 'Even some philosophers have claimed that God's love is the source of things [cf. In Met. I: L5.101], Dionysius's remark agrees with this when he says that the divine love did not permit him to be without offspring'; also SCG IV.20.3570.

As detailed in that account, the ontological union prompted by love and effected in the gift-giving that is the creating, sustaining, and directing of creatures includes all that divine love can achieve on its own to begin the

process of moving a creature toward real loving union with God.

43 The new ingredient here, in addition to creating and sustaining, is divine directing, introduced in Aquinas's claim that God " 'turns" all things—that is, directs them toward himself as toward their end'. Such directing, however it is supposed to be manifested in the lives of creatures, is clearly a crucial further step in moving creatures toward union with God, but I'm leaving it out of account here because it plays no part in Aquinas's presentation of God's love in SCG 1.91. (Does he omit it because he sees no way of arguing for it within natural theology?) See also In DDN IV: L12.460. Here Dionysius 'again gathers together love's two forces, mentioned above, into one first love—viz. the divine, with which God loves: "a single, simple force", which perse moves all the things God loves toward a unifying binding, proceeding from the first good, which is God. And by way of a kind of detour (derivationis) it comes "all the way to" the lowest of the number "of existing things", and [then] through a kind of turning around (conversionem) toward the end, coming back "again from that"—viz. from the last of existing things—"next", going up (ascendens) "through all things", it returns to the first good by way of a kind of circular movement, "turning itself back, and always returning in the same way", by proceeding from that first force and "through it". For all the secondary forces derive from the first through a kind of likeness and return to it by the same cause. For the likeness of the first force is found not only through causes but also through effects. And in this way love remains in that force always and, further, always returns to it as to its end.'

The next move is up to the beloved, at least when the beloved creature is endowed with freedom of choice.

What might the next move be? It seems to me that a rational creature's merely coming to recognize and understand the fact of that ontological union can provide an altogether natural prompting of creaturely love for the creator, in very much the way a child progresses from instinctual attachment to its mother (presumably with no clear conception of any difference between the two of them initially) to a reflective, intellective love of her that begins in the child's dawning recognition of her gifts to him. Some sort of union between child and mother to some degree is essential to the child—the human analogue of what I'm calling 'ontological union'. And normal instances of that union incorporate from the very beginning end p.249


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved the mother's love of the child and behaviour on the mother's part that should, normally, lead to the child's mature loving of her. But, of course, she can't get that just by willing it, or guarantee the development of it by doing all the things that should, normally, prompt the full return of love and the mutuality that goes with it. For all God's surpassing of even mothers in power and ingenuity, divine love, too, must finally leave some of the

movement toward the culminating real union up to the beloved.

44 With different aims in view I discussed love as a relationship between God and human beings earlier in Kretzmann 1991b.

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