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God, His Unity and Perfection: The Being of God

I am starting another series from Jaques-Bénigne Bossuet’s Elevations on the Mysteries, starting with the first one. This would be 1,1.

From all eternity, God is: God is perfect: God is happy: God is one. The impious asks: why is God? I answer him: why shouldn’t he be? Is it because he is perfect and perfection is an obstacle to being? Silly error! To the contrary perfection is the reason for being. Why should the imperfect be and the perfect not? It is to say: why is that which is more than nothing is, and that which is nothing is not? What is called perfect? A being to which nothing is lacking. What is called imperfect? A being to which something is lacking. Why is a being which lacks nothing non-existent, sooner than a being to which something is lacking? From where comes the idea that something is and that it cannot make nothing exist, if it is not because being is worth more than nothing; and, that nothing cannot prevail against being, and cannot prevent a being from being? But for the same reason, the imperfect cannot be worth more than the perfect, neither prevent the being from being.  Who can thus hinder that God is not and why the nothing of God which the impious imagines in his senseless heart, why, I say, this nothing of God carries itself on God’s being and is it worth more that God is not than he is? O God! One is lost in such a great blindness.  The impious loses himself in the nothing of God which he prefers to the being of God; and himself, this impious, does not dream to ask himself why he is.  My soul, reasonable soul, but whose reason is weak, why do you want to be and God is not?   Alas, are you worth more than God? Weak soul, ignorant soul, astray, full of errors, and uncertain of her intelligence; full in your will of weakness, of wandering, of corruption, of bad desires, is it necessary that you be and that certitude, comprehension, the full knowledge of the truth and the changeless love of justice and of rectitude not be?


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