instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Should we all be equally lovable?

If God loves one person more than another, it can only be because the one is more lovable than the other. (Which in turn can only be because God made the one more lovable than the other, so this doesn't conflict with God's sovereignty.)

But in a perfect world, wouldn't we all be equally lovable? Isn't it just that one person responds more and better to God's grace, and so becomes more lovable? Wouldn't God love every member of an unfallen race the same? Doesn't God love all sparrows equally?

My answer to these questions is, "Not necessarily." (Okay, my answer to the sparrows question is, "I have no idea. Let me pour you a drink and we'll figure it out.")

People are different. Even perfect people are different, since they are members of the human species and images of God, and the perfections of the human species and the human images of God entail variety. As Bl. Raymond of Capua puts it in his Life of Catherine of Siena:
...the incomprehensible greatness of our God, Whose overflowing goodness can never run dry, ... pours out daily ever-varied charisms to add beauty and perfection to the souls of His saints... keep in mind that the Church herself can chant in the liturgy of each particular saint, without belittling any of the others: "His likeness has not been found." This infinite variety of individual types of sanctity flows from the infinite resources of power and benevolence possessed by the One Who sanctifies them, adorning them one by one with the special radiance of their own particular charism. [65]
One "special radiance" could, in principle, be more lovable (because its corresponding charism is of a higher order) than another, or they could be equally lovable, or, as I've suggested before, they could be simply incomparable.