On Beatitude, Part V: The

On Beatitude, Part V: The Ascent of The Goods We Receive From Union With God

A.) As Creatures

Man is naturally unified to God in five ways: as a creature, a natural thing, a living being, a knower, and a lover. These unions may be more or less perfect in many different ways, and each will be dealt with in turn. We turn first to the union that man as a creature has to God

To be Created is the first good of any creature, and it is the good upon which all its other goods are based. To create means to be the efficient cause of existence simply speaking, and its effect is a creature, or a contingent being. Since the proper effect of creation is a sort of thing, and a sort of thing is atemporal, it makes no difference whether we regard creation as the temporal beginning of existence of a contingent thing, or the temporal maintaining in existence of a temporal thing. To distinguish between these two is accidental to the act of creation.

Said another way, creation is the making of what is essentially contingent, but what something is essentially it is for as long as it exists, just as a man is alive for as long as he exists . But to be contingent means to be dependent on another for existence- and so it is irrelevant to the act of creation to differentiate between the act at 5:15 (when, perhaps, a creature begins to exist) or at 5:30 (when perhaps it has existed for 15 minutes).

Creation is the fundamental and first union of all creatures to God, a union without which no further union is possible. In creatures for whom to exist is the ultimate good, this union is also their ultimate good.


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