Day 39: The Father Almighty (268-278)
So is it 10 or 11 paragraphs today?
Whatever it is, that’s quite a few!!
(Let me just warm up and crack my knuckles as I prepare to type today’s notes! 😉)
You guys made it to Day 39!!
THAT IS PRETTY REMARKABLE!!
Those first couple of days were SLOGGY…if that’s a good word for it
Fr. Mike knows he’s brought this up before so he’s bringing it up again
TODAY IS AMAZING!!
And also the days to follow!!
We have so much…
SO MUCH GOODNESS!!
We have so much to have revealed to us about God
Did you know that Fr. Mike is using the Ascension Edition of The Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Today’s section is about how GOD IS ALMIGHTY
We believe that God is ALMIGHTY
What does that mean?
What are we saying when we say that God is ALMIGHTY?
We will dive DEEPLY into this and it’s very fascinating
Tomorrow we will talk about how if God the Father is ALMIGHTY He is also the CREATOR of Heaven and Earth
Tomorrow is about how God is a CREATOR
Today we are establishing the fact that God is ALMIGHTY
What does that mean?
It could be a fancy word for OMNIPOTENCE (I happen to think that OMNIPOTENCE is a fancy word itself, but I am not a wordsmith…🤪)
It could be a fancy word for the fact that God is ALL-POWERFUL
The fact that God is ALMIGHTY means that HE CAN DO ANYTHING!!
HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WILLS!!
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!!
Paragraph 269 says, “Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will.”
We need to highlight not only that the ALMIGHTY POWER OF GOD is one of His attributes
This reveals something to us about God’s CHARACTER
St. Thomas Aquinas is quoted in Paragraph 271, “In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical. Nothing therefore can be in God’s power which could not be in his just will or his wise intellect.”
Fr. Mike dove right in!!
God’s ALMIGHTY POWER is in NO WAY ARBITRARY
We would say God’s goodness IS NOT ARBITRARY
We would say God’s power IS NOT ARBITRARY
It is an ESSENTIAL ASPECT of what it means to be God
This is a remarkable thing that St. Thomas Aquinas was able to highlight this
God is BEING ITSELF
God is NOT A KIND OF BEING
God is NOT A TYPE OF BEING
GOD IS BEING ITSELF!!
God is the GROUND…
God is the FOUNDATION…
God is the ESSENCE…
OF ALL BEING!!
Because of that, one of the things that we say about God is that HE IS SIMPLE
Not in the sense He is easy to understand, apprehend, or comprehend
We already established that is not the case
GOD DOES NOT HAVE PARTS
There ARE NOT PARTS of Him that are POWER
There ARE NOT PARTS of Him that are WILL
There ARE NOT PARTS of Him that are INTELLECT
There ARE NOT PARTS of Him that have WISDOM OR JUSTICE
God’s POWER is part of HIS VERY EXISTENCE
God’s WILL is part of HIS VERY EXISTENCE
God’s INTELLECT is part of HIS VERY EXISTENCE
IT IS ALL ONE!!
IT IS ALL IDENTICAL!!
Just like St. Thomas Aquinas said!!
This is an ESSENTIAL ASPECT of what it means TO BE GOD
ALL OF THESE QUALITIES!!
THEY ARE ALL PART OF WHAT IT IS TO BE GOD!!
IT IS PRETTY REMARKABLE that for people for THOUSANDS OF YEARS have reflected on and really hashed out the fact that God’s identity IS NECESSARY
God’s identity IS ESSENTIAL
Fr. Mike says it like this…
Part of God’s identity…
(Um….squirrel 🤪) Up - Dug the Talking Dog - "Squirrel !"
(So let me try and backtrack and figure out what Fr. Mike is saying here…)
(Jeopardy theme playing 🤔🤔🤔)
(Ah here we go!!)
THEY ARE ALL IDENTICAL…
God’s identity IS ESSENTIAL
GOD IS A NECESSARY BEING!!
WITHOUT THE BEING OF GOD…
NOTHING ELSE WOULD EXIST!! (Ok THAT’S what Fr. Mike is trying to say 😁)
GOD IS A NECESSARY BEING!!
EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING ELSE IS A CONTINGENT BEING!!
GOD IS BEING ITSELF!!
God can do whatever He pleases
God also REVEALS that His ALMIGHTY POWER…
Is as a FATHER
His OMNIPOTENCE is part of His GOODNESS
Think about this…
The fact that He is the Father Almighty reveals that HE IS GOOD!!
The Catechism is going to bring up The Mystery of God’s Apparent Powerlessness in the face of evil and in the face of suffering
Is God INCAPABLE of addressing suffering?
Is God INCAPABLE of stopping evil?
We are going to talk about that today
IT IS REALLY FASCINATING!!
When we finally…
This is going to be stated in one of the last bullets of Paragraph 274, a quote from the Roman Catechism
If we come to FAITH…
If we come to BELIEVE…
In God’s ALMIGHTY POWER…
The fact that He is ALMIGHTY FATHER…
Then we can trust Him in the DEEPEST OF WAYS
Once we come to this place…
“Yeah, I know that God is ALMIGHTY. I know that God is FATHER. I know that He is POWER and OMNIPOTENCE as well as GOODNESS ITSELF!!”
Then there is nothing we think God can’t do
There is no claim He can make about Himself that we do not give ASSENT TO
We KNOW that we can TRUST Him
Because we know that He can do ALL THAT HE SAYS
So we pray for that kind of FAITH
So let's say a prayer now!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father Almighty, you are the almighty Father. You are simple. You are one. Lord God, you are justice and goodness itself. You are being itself. You are love itself. Every good thing flows from you. Every truth flows from you. All of our wills, that can choose and can love, are a gift from you. All of our intellects, that can think and apprehend, they're from you. So we ask you Lord, help us to think. Help us to know. Help us to love you. For you are wisdom, and you are love. And we declare that you are good. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”
Are you grateful?
Fr. Mike is grateful!!
There is SO MUCH GOODNESS in what we read today
There is so much…
It is very POWERFUL to talk about God’s POWER
To talk about the FACT that GOD IS ALMIGHTY
Paragraph 268 highlights three aspects of God being ALMIGHTY
God’s Almighty Power is UNIVERSAL
God’s Almighty Power is LOVING
God’s Almighty Power is MYSTERIOUS
So God’s power is UNIVERSAL
What does that mean?
God created EVERYTHING
God rules EVERYTHING
God can do EVERYTHING
That is very important for us to assert
Because God’s power is INFINITE
Because God’s power is ALMIGHTY
Because God’s power is OMNIPOTENT
Which means that there is NO ROOM FOR ANOTHER GOD
IN THE UNIVERSE…
OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSE…
IN TIME OR ETERNITY…
If God Himself is INFINITE…
If God Himself is BEING ITSELF…
If God Himself is POWER ITSELF…
THEN THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ANOTHER GOD!!
WHICH IS REMARKABLE!!
That might not be what you are preoccupied right now
Maybe you are preoccupied with the question, “If God can do everything, can He make a square a circle?” (Another popular one is, “If God can do anything, can He make a rock so big that even He can’t lift it? 🤔 THAT, my brothers and sisters is called a paradoxical question and it is pointless because if God created a rock so big that even He cannot move it, it means he moved it when He first created it….dizzy!!! p.s. thanks John and Andrew!!!)
Here’s the remarkable thing about how unremarkable that question is…
While it is maybe a natural question to ask…
Because we established that God who CREATED everything…
Also RULES everything…
And can DO everything…
His power is UNIVERSAL!!
HE CAN DO IT ALL!!
Here is what God CANNOT DO…
GOD CANNOT CONTRADICT REASON!!
We established with St. Thomas Aquinas, “God’s almighty power is in no way arbitrary: ‘In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical.”
In creating a world where there is such a thing as a square which has four corners and those corners add up to 360 degrees
God cannot make a square into a circle and let it still be called a square
It’s one of those things that GOD CAN’T CONTRADICT HIMSELF
BECAUSE TRUTH CANNOT CONTRADICT TRUTH!!
POWER CANNOT CONTRADICT TRUTH!!
THAT IS NOT A LIMITATION OF GOD’S POWER!!
It is actually ENTIRELY CONSISTENT with God’s POWER
It is actually ENTIRELY CONSISTENT with God being REASON ITSELF
God is not simply POWERFUL
God is also REASON ITSELF
We say that God can do EVERYTHING
But to make a square a circle is NOTHING
Because it means the moment a square becomes a circle, it ceases to be a square (And as we all know thanks to Huey Lewis and the News, IT’S HIP TO BE SQUARE!! 🤣 Huey Lewis & The News - Hip To Be Square )
The square circle is a circle that is not a circle (wait, then why do they call the wrestling ring the “squared circle” in pro wrestling? 🤔🤪)
That is to say, it is nothing whatsoever
We have established that God WILL NOT DO NOTHING
GOD CAN DO ALL THINGS!!
GOD CANNOT DO “NOTHING” (I put nothing in quotes here because honestly, I feel there are better ways to explain these paradoxical statements without confusing us more and more…)
Does that make sense??
Or is this a clever play on words? (Sure, clever is one way to put it I suppose 🤣)
Paragraph 269 says, “[God] is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal.”
WHICH IS INCREDIBLE!!
Not only is God’s power UNIVERSAL
His power is LOVING
Paragraph 270 says, “God is the Father Almighty, whose fatherhood and power shed light on one another. God reveals his fatherly omnipotence by the way he takes care of our needs; by the filial adoption that he gives us…finally by his infinite mercy…”
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
We have the most…
Fr. Mike doesn’t want to say, “THE MOST POWERFUL BEING IN THE UNIVERSE”
That’s one of the…
That’s an incorrect way of saying it
You say, “Who is the strongest Avenger?”
Some say THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Some say THOR
(This is a ridiculous question because all of them pale in comparison to the power of The Force which means Darth Vader would defeat any one of them in a fight!!! 😁🤣)
Some say that GOD would be the strongest one
GOD IS NOT A CHARACTER IN THIS!!
We sometimes fall into this trap
When we talk about God’s POWER
When we talk about God’s BEING ALMIGHTY
When we talk about God’s BEING STRONG
We sometimes think, “How strong is God?”
GOD IS STRENGTH ITSELF!!
It’s like saying, “God is the biggest being in the universe!”
GOD IS BEING ITSELF!!
We can fall into the trap of imaging God being like SUPERMAN or THOR or JUST REALLY REALLY POWERFUL
THAT IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY TO THINK OF THIS!!
The RIGHT way to think of this is…
GOD IS POWER!!
GOD IS GOODNESS!!
GOD IS HIS WILL!!
GOD IS BEING!!
We recognize that God’s BEING, God’s POWER…
GOD IS GOOD!!
GOD IS LOVING!!
God wants to use that and give of Himself to TAKE CARE OF US
To ADOPT us as sons and daughters
And finally by His MERCY
WHICH IS INCREDIBLE!!
Lastly, God’s power is MYSTERIOUS
Why do we say it is MYSTERIOUS?
Because God, who is ALL POWERFUL and ALL GOOD
Paragraph 272 says, “Faith in God the Father Almighty can be put to the test by the experience of evil and suffering. God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil.”
So is God INCAPABLE of stopping evil?
“God, are you incapable of stopping evil?”
“God, are you absent?”
We will talk about this so many times in the next number of days and weeks
Paragraph 272 continues, “But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil.”
God’s power is made manifest NOT by squashing evil and eliminating evil from the world
His power is evidenced by ENTERING INTO EVIL
By allowing suffering to OVERWHELM HIM ON THE CROSS
Through which HE CONQUERS EVIL
Paragraph 273 says, “Only faith can embrace the mysterious ways of God’s almighty power.”
It takes A LOT OF FAITH
It takes A LOT OF TRUST
To be able to say, “God, I would rather you take away the evil. I would rather you take away the suffering.”
GOD DOES NOT REMOVE THE SUFFERING, HE REDEEMS THE SUFFERING 🤯🤯🤯
Once we get to that place of FAITH and HOPE…
Then we realize that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
The Roman Catechism states in Paragraph 274, “Once our reason has grasped the idea of God’s almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe-even if they be great and marvelous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature.”
EVERYTHING THAT IS COMING AFTER THIS
Once we accept that God’s power is UNIVERSAL
Once we accept that God’s power is LOVING
Once we accept that God’s power is MYSTERIOUS
If we ACCEPT that…
If we HAVE FAITH in that…
If we TRUST IN HIM…
Then there is NOTHING that we will hesitate about which He reveals about Himself
That’s Fr. Mike’s prayer for all of us
Tomorrow we talk about Creation
We will talk about Almighty God who is the Father Almighty who created EVERYTHING
HEAVEN AND EARTH
That He created this in GOODNESS
Even though there is a GREAT MYSTERY to Creation
God’s power is UNIVERSAL
God’s power is LOVING
God’s power is MYSTERIOUS
God’s USES His power for YOU AND ME
TO BRING US MERCY!!
TO BRING US REDEMPTION!!
Let that mercy COME TO MEET YOU
Will you let that loving power come into your life?
Will you believe, just like all the great Saints and people in Scripture who were faithful to the Lord…
THAT NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Bible Translation - RSVCE
CCC 268 "Of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for he is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it "is made perfect in weakness".
"Our God is in the heavens;
he does whatever he pleases."
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
"all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made."
"Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil."
2 Corinthians 12:8–9
"Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
1 Corinthians 1:18–19
"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.”
CCC 269 "The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the "Mighty One of Jacob", the "LORD of hosts", the "strong and mighty" one. If God is almighty "in heaven and on earth", it is because he made them."
"Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.
The archers fiercely attacked him,
shot at him, and harassed him sorely;
yet his bow remained unmoved,
his arms were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel)"
"Therefore the Lord says,
the Lord of hosts,
the Mighty One of Israel:
“Ah, I will vent my wrath on my enemies,
and avenge myself on my foes."
"Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! [Selah]"
"Whatever the Lord pleases he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from his storehouses."
"Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will."
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: This is what you shall say to your masters: “It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me."
"I prayed to the Lord, saying: ‘Ah Lord GOD! It is thou who hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power and by thy outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for thee"
"And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”
"He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: "It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?"
Wisdom of Solomon 11:21
"For it is always in thy power to show great strength,
and who can withstand the might of thy arm?"
"Then Mordecai prayed to the Lord, calling to remembrance all the works of the Lord. He said:
“O Lord, Lord, King who rulest over all things, for the universe is in thy power and there is no one who can oppose thee if it is thy will to save Israel. For thou hast made heaven and earth and every wonderful thing under heaven, and thou art Lord of all, and there is no one who can resist thee, who art the Lord. Thou knowest all things; thou knowest, O Lord"
"The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will."
"Then Tobit wrote a prayer of rejoicing, and said:
“Blessed is God who lives for ever,
and blessed is his kingdom.
For he afflicts, and he shows mercy;
he leads down to Hades, and brings up again,
and there is no one who can escape his hand."
CCC 270 "God is the Father Almighty, whose fatherhood and power shed light on one another: God reveals his fatherly omnipotence by the way he takes care of our needs; by the filial adoption that he gives us ("I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty"): finally by his infinite mercy, for he displays his power at its height by freely forgiving sins."
2 Corinthians 6:18
"I will be a father to you,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day."
CCC 272 "Faith in God the Father Almighty can be put to the test by the experience of evil and suffering. God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil. Christ crucified is thus "the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
1 Corinthians 1:20–25
"Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
"It is in Christ's Resurrection and exaltation that the Father has shown forth "the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe".
"and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all."
CCC 273 "Only faith can embrace the mysterious ways of God's almighty power. This faith glories in its weaknesses in order to draw to itself Christ's power."
"I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me."
"The Virgin Mary is the supreme model of this faith, for she believed that "nothing will be impossible with God", and was able to magnify the Lord: "For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."
Luke 1:34–38 (Douay Rheims)
"And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren.
Because no word shall be impossible with God.
And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her."
"And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name."
Then Job answered the Lord:
“I know that thou canst do all things,
and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted."
CCC 276 "Faithful to the witness of Scripture, the Church often addresses her prayer to the "almighty and eternal God" ("omnipotens sempiterne Deus. .."), believing firmly that "nothing will be impossible with God"
"They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” The Lord said, “I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, in the spring, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
"And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first."