God Our Father

Apostles Creed begins: “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth”

What does it mean? – Monotheism
How do we know God exists? – Faith & Reason

The answer is both simple and complex.

We know about God because God has revealed Himself to us.
Salvation History. Scripture. Experience.
Even when God reveals Himself, God remains a mystery beyond words.

The word mystery is to say something not wholly known. Mystery refers to something partially revealed, much more is hidden.

Though we can know things, much more is beyond our reach or understanding.

“If you understand, it is not God.”

St. Augustine

(looking at nature, creation, reason)

Light Notes on St. Thomas Aquinas Five Proofs


I. Motion. We observe motion is all around us. (conditioned on the here and now dependent) For something to be in motion, it must be put into motion by another object in motion. This other object was put into motion by another object preceding it and so forth.

Cannot have an endless backwards infinite series, an infinite series would have no first mover and thus no subsequent movement. There is a first unmoved mover, which we understand to be God.

potential movement -> actual movement

motion/motus: change, of any kind. Growth in physical life and knowledge. (The unenergized energizer)

examples: learning a language, logs in a fireplace can potentially be cold or hot

motion is going from potentiality to actuality. Something can move from potential to actualized, and requires another actual for it to be moved. That moved actuality was moved by a mover and so on.

Life. That mysterious thing. That thing that makes me happy and sad, at times the greatest gift and sometimes burdensome, what I know best and I know least.

We always associate life with movement or activity. An animal moving is an animal that is alive. A child filled with joy – full of life. The activity must come from the inside. Inner activity.

(Motion here meaning motus, “change” and not to be confused with moving from one location to another in the same state without change, not mere animation or movement)


II. Efficient Cause. We observe that everything has an efficient cause and that nothing is or can be the cause of itself. (table made by carpenter, carpenter made/created by parents, etc)

Cannot go back infinitely, because every cause is dependent on a previous cause. No first cause means no intermediate cause and no final cause. There must be a first efficient cause, which we call God.

The First Cause outside of all creation that caused creation to come into existence.


III. Necessary vs Possible Being. Contingency. We observe in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, as they come into existence and pass out of existence. There is a time before they are yet to be and a time after when they are no more.

Cannot have everything as merely possible contingent beings, then it would allow a time of nothing. Therefore some being exists of its own necessity, and does not receive its existence from another being, but rather causes them. This all men speak of as God.

There must be one Necessary Being, one non-contingent being, we call God.

Something is contingent if it depends on something before it to exist.


IV. Degrees of Perfection. We evaluate things and people in terms of their being more or less perfectly true, good, noble, etc. We have certain standards of how things and people should be.

But we would have no such standards unless there were some being that is perfect in every way, something that is the truest, noblest, and best. That most perfecting being we call God.

Story: We say something is good when it the purpose in which it was made for. Example: a pencil.

It is good when it writes, bad when it breaks or used for another purpose, such as a can opener. It would be bad, and destroy it.

Evil= excess or defect of what is good (too much or too little sleep or food is bad). All badness is spoiled goodness.


V. Design. In nature, we observe that inanimate and non-intelligent objects act toward a goal or purpose. These objects do not achieve their purpose or goal by chance, but rather according to a plan.

An arrow reaches its target because it is directed by an archer, what lacks intelligence achieves goals by being directed by something intelligent.

An intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end, this being we call God.

I AM WHO AM.  His very nature is “to be”

He is beyond what human words can describe, beyond what human thoughts can conjure. We are pondering a mystery that cannot fit in our minds.

It is often easier to say what God is not, such as God has no beginning or end, or God is not subject to the limitations of space and time.

We are often attached to our senses, however know truths that are beyond them. (Justice.)

                                                  You don’t see faith taking a walk or justice eating a sandwich.   

Imagery helps us to understand what we cannot directly see, hear, or touch.

The foundational image that God has revealed to us is the Trinity. One God in three Persons.

It is the central mystery of our faith.

“Triune”   tri + unus   three-one, three-oneness

Then God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gen 1:26)

Not three, but one God. The same “substance” or “essence”.  Distinct from one another, different persons. Different relation/relationships.

Following the creed “We believe in God… The “Father almighty”

-look at the first person of the Trinity

FATHER: What does it mean to call God “Father”?

More than the old and honored title, as Christians we claim it in a special way because of Jesus.

When Jesus Christ took on human nature, He was able to reveal His Father to us in the way that only a child can speak about a parent.

Jesus called God “Abba”  … intimacy, it implies an intimate and loving relationship.

Almighty – no creature, no power, no force in creation is more powerful than God is.


It acknowledges God as the CREATOR – the Father – of everything that is.

God did not need to create the world but freely chose to do so.

In creating the world, God wishes to share His love and goodness with every creature, but especially with us, the people He created in His image. (Man and Woman, Nuptial Imagery).

God’s plan for all creatures to live in loving union with their Creator is what the Garden of Eden represents.


Love- full, faithful, fruitful, free

For love to be true, it must be freely given and received.

Original Sin rejects God’s love.  Jesus reconciles humanity with divinity.

Freedom implies choices. With the freedom to choose love and goodness, is the freedom to chose hate and evil… to be in darkness over light.

“Why am I here?” “What is my ultimate destiny?”  God’s plan is that we should spend eternity joyfully in perfect union with Him. (will explore in later chapter)

Another important thing of creation is that a reality exists beyond our senses

In the Nicene Creed, we say that we believe in God “maker of all things visible and invisible.”

What we do know is the existence of angels.

We are bodied intellectual spirits. Angels are beings of spirit, not matter.

They have intelligence and will. They have individuality and they are immortal.   

“Angel” comes from the Greek angelos meaning “messenger.” They are God’s servants and messengers; they glorify God without ceasing. (both Old and New Testament)

-unite with us in praising God (Eucharist) and watch over each of us from conception to death.