A Pilgrim's Catechism
The Occasional Thoughts of a 21st-Century Roman Catholic on Journey
Towards the Reign of God
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo: The Creation of the Universe
Does God act?
God does act but not like created beings. He does not act here and there or now and then. Existing in the eternal now, in the one moment of eternity, God acts once and for all.
God’s being is his act and his act is his being.
God’s one act begets but does not create his Son, the Word, who is true God from true God and, in that same one act that is his being, God loves the Son as the Son loves him. The Love who thus proceeds is the Holy Spirit, also true God from true God.
The same one act of God that begets the Son, the Word, and spirates Love, the Holy Spirit, also creates the world and all and everyone in it, revealing God to human beings once and for all in every created moment, calling human beings to share in divine life, offering them forgiveness, reconciliation and renewed divine life, all in the same one act, once and for all, yet in every moment.
Unlike created beings God does not interact. He does not initiate activity nor does he respond. His act is one and fully expressive of his being.
Human, created freedom involves choices. God is absolute freedom but he does not choose. God just does the good in his one, eternal act.
Voltaire was being ironic when he referred to this as the best of all possible worlds but God in his freedom does not choose one world rather than another. He simply and freely creates the best of all possible worlds.
God does not choose to create rather than not create, nor does he create out of compulsion. God is totally free. Whatever is done in God's one, eternal act is done freely.
Thomas Aquinas says that it is impossible to prove that the creative act is not eternal and it would seem that it must be eternal. There cannot be a time when God did not create and then created because there is no time in God. God creates, indeed does all, in the one act that his is being.
We respond to God but God does not respond to us. What we understand as response from God is rather our further response to him, of growth in his life which he offers once and for all in everything that he is.