Okay, we didn’t want to derail a thread in another section of the forum so this thread is going to discuss this concept and the concept of whether God has emotions.
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=753482&page=15 (continued from this thread)
Title is taken from this blog: payingattentiontothesky.com/tag/divine-immutability-and-impassibility/
To newcomers, both of the threads per the question as to whether God has emotions? Etc. can be discussed here.
On the other hand, if one means (when one asks whether God has emotions), can one truly and literally, not just in an improper or metaphorical sense, say that God is pleased with us or is angry with us? the answer is, Yes, in the relational sense explained above. That is, it is true to say that we are related to God as one who pleases is related to the one who is pleased, and that God has what is necessary to be related to in this way. We are related to God as one who elicits anger is related to the one who is angry, and God is in his own being what is necessary to be the term of this relation. Each of these predications indirectly tells us something about God. When we learn through Scripture, through the teaching and liturgy of the Church, and through our own meditation and prayer, how God is calling us to relate to him, then we learn ever more about the transcendent being to whom it is possible and appropriate to relate to in this way.
- Dr. Patrick Lee, Franciscan University, Steubenville.
Aquinas believes that it is not in the nature (the properties) of God to sympathize with the experience of pain and suffering in the same way that we do. By this I mean that God’s impassible nature is such that there is no existence of passions (desires) that a human would have.** I still contend (and I’d like you to provide proof against this view from the Summa Theologica or Summa Contra Gentiles if you disagree) that Aquinas believed God has emotions (not passions) such as joy and love.
In the discussion of the Trinity I explained that the persons of God (Father, Son, and Spirit) experience love and joy on an infinite level. Catholics believe that humans can experience love and joy also (as derived from the creator) but without the infinite bliss of God. In this sense, I argued, that our experience of love and joy are analogous to God’s love and joy. Perhaps I do not understand your objection, but I still do not understand why our joy and his joy are incompatable to the point where God does not “sympathize” with our joy. I maintain that our experience of joy (such as the joy of faith or the joy of marital love) may not be equal to the bliss of God, but it is still recognizable to him. If we read a beautiful poem about the joy of romantic love to God, I think he would identify and sympathize with the “feelings” of joy and bliss as well as the joy of relationship between two people who love each other.