by Ian Nelson, Columnist
Most of you have probably heard that God is infinite in nature, but might have wondered
exactly what that means. Is He physically without bound? Is He eternal? Does He have unlimited power, knowledge, and goodness? The short answers to these questions are no, yes, and yes. God is pure spirit, so He has no physical form, although this gets confusing when the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is brought in (more on that later). God exists outside of space and time, having no beginning or end. Other aspects of His infinitude are His omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omnibenevolence. He knows all things, can do all things, exists in all things, and is all good, desiring such goodness for His creations.
In mathematics, infinity is considered in two ways: an immeasurably large quantity or an immeasurably small fraction of a number, for numbers can be added/multiplied infinitely or divided infinitely. These two senses of infinity can be applied to the aspects of God’s infinite nature. His existence, omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence are all infinite in the first sense, for they are not bounded in any way, being unquantifiable. His omnipresence is infinite in the second way, for part of His nature is reflected in everything that He has created. Thus, He is present within each created thing and since He created all things, He is present everywhere. This second sense of infinity also applies to God’s relationship to time. God exists outside of time and so each moment of time, moments that can be divided infinitely, is the present to Him.
One aspect of God’s infinite nature we have not yet discussed is His limitless love. This
deserves special attention. God’s love is infinite in the first sense, having no restraints. This love is evident from the very fact of the creation of humanity. We were created purely so that God could love us and so we could return that love and be happy with Him. And so man and woman were created in the Image and Likeness of God.
The love of God went even beyond just the creation of humanity. When Adam and Eve sinned, God did not abandon them to eternal separation from Him, but promised a Savior, Who would be His Son, Jesus Christ. He, the infinite God, would take upon Himself finite human flesh and human nature. Many of you might ask how this is possible, for this seems to be a contradiction. It seems that a being could be either human or divine, finite or infinite, but not both. However, as is often the case in the Catholic faith, the truth is both/and. Christ is both human and divine, infinite God with a finite body, fashioned by His own hand as His instrument of our salvation. Since all men were condemned to death because of their sin, Jesus came down to earth to take our place. In His infinite love, He was willing to take upon Himself the sin and suffering of each person and give up His life for our sake. When He died, He, Eternal Life, fought death itself. In this struggle, the conquering power of death was destroyed and He returned to life, making it possible for each of us to follow Him unto Eternal Life. In this way,
not only did God’s infinite nature allow Him to participate in His creation’s finite nature, but it also made it possible for finite humanity to be made part of His infinite nature.
This is the purpose of our lives, to live in the love of God so as to be one in His nature and to join in His infinite happiness for eternity without end.