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GOODNESS OF GOD

The perfect conformity of God's will with his nature (ontological goodness), and the perfect identity of God's will with the supreme norm, which is the divine essence (moral goodness).

God is absolute ontological goodness in himself and in relation to others. In himself, he is infinitely perfect and therefore his will is perfectly and infinitely happy in loving and enjoying himself as the supreme good, the summum bonum. He needs no one and nothing outside himself for his beatitude. God is also absolute ontological goodness in relation to others. He communicates his goodness to creatures, as the exemplary, efficient, and final cause of all created things.

God is absolute moral goodness or holiness. He is holy because he is exempt from all profaneness. He is the wholly Other whose will is not dependent on any creature. He is also holy because he is free from sin and, indeed, cannot commit sin. He is finally holy because his goodness is the norm of holiness for his creatures. They are as holy as they are like him.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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