Does God have just one divine intellect and one divine will?

I really need an authoritative cite on God having just one divine intellect and one divine will. Of course, Jesus has additionally a human intellect and a human will.

Aquinas addresses divine simplicity in the ST. But I can’t find an ST cite that specifically talks about one divine intellect and one divine will.

This is relevant to the understanding of “person” with respect to the Trinity. If God has just one divine intellect and one divine will, then the divine “persons” would not have their own separate divine intellects and divine wills. And, in modern parlance, there would not be three self-consciousnesses - just one “self-consciousness” that the three divine persons “share” (to put it very loosely).

This scenario preserves the unity of God. There would be no risk of tritheism. But the notion of “person” it entails is different from the usual understanding of a person possessing his/her own intellect and will. And likewise is different from the modern notion of “person” as having his/her own singular self or “center of consciousness” (Descartes et al).

It would also circumscribe marriage as an image of God (e.g., in the Theology of the Body). Yes, marriage reflects two persons in one flesh, and thus is iconic of the unity of the plurality of divine persons in the Trinity. But the married persons still have separate intellects and wills.

Augustine used a different image of the Trinity based on the rational faculties of the individual human being (memory, knowledge and loving). This approach accents the unity of God but is also closed in on just one individual (does not include a plurality of persons).

In baseball lingo…the Catechism “knocks this one out of the park…a walk off home run”…in my opinion. Also…accepting this dogma in faith…and then reflecting on the dogma of each of us being created in the image and likeness of God…is an incredible and astonishing mystery…a dogmatic fact and…for me a really scary mystery…this God of ours is “out of his mind” over us…doing all this for lowly creatures!
Pax Christi


**The formation of the Trinitarian dogma

252 The Church uses (I) the term “substance” (rendered also at times by “essence” or “nature”) to designate the divine being in its unity, (II) the term “person” or “hypostasis” to designate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them, and (III) the term “relation” to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others.

**The dogma of the Holy Trinity
253 The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”.83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), **“Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature.”**85

254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 “Father”, “Son”, “Holy Spirit” are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.

255** The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another**: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. **While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."89 Indeed “everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship.”**90 "Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son."91

256 St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called “the Theologian”, entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople:

[INDENT]Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your whole life.** I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down. . .** the infinite co-naturality of three infinites****. Each person considered in himself is entirely God. . . the three considered together. . . I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendor. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. . .92/INDENT]


258** The whole divine economy is the common work of the three divine persons**. For as the Trinity has only one and the same nature, so too does it have only one and the same operation: "The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three principles of creation but one principle."97 However, each divine person performs the common work according to his unique personal property. Thus the Church confesses, following the New Testament, “one God and Father from whom all things are, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and one Holy Spirit in whom all things are”.98** It is above all the divine missions of the Son’s Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit that show forth the properties of the divine persons.**

259 Being a work at once common and personal, the whole divine economy makes known both what is proper to the divine persons, and their one divine nature. Hence the whole Christian life is a communion with each of the divine persons, without in any way separating them**. Everyone who glorifies the Father does so through the Son in the Holy Spirit; everyone who follows Christ does so because the Father draws him and the Spirit moves him**.99

260 **The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity.**100 But even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity: “If a man loves me”, says the Lord, “he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him”:101

John 16:15

All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine.

Thank you for this marvelous quote, and one so accessible.

I’ve been scouring Aquinas’ Summa Theologica for some time and here was something right in front of me in the CCC.

Of course, we could have a further discussion. Obviously, the notion of “person” in the Trinitarian context is different from our usual understanding of a person as a unique and incommunicable “center of consciousness”. It seems that there is only one “center of consciousness” in God even though there are three “persons”.

Obviously, the notion of “person” in the Trinitarian context is different from our usual understanding of a person as a unique and incommunicable “center of consciousness”.

Human beings are finite, count-able, divide-able, measure-able.

The infinite is supremely one, indivisible, measureless.

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