God is Just, Well, God: Mulling the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity

The absolute simplicity of God

may be shown in many ways.

—St Thomas Aquinas

When St Thomas says God is simple,

he means God is just, well, God:

wholly at one with himself—

pure act without potential, perfect

beyond perfections,

neither existing nor existence,

immaterial and so impartial,

necessary, needless, not outstanding

but upholding, never suffering

the fact that he suffers,

the uncreated ground

and guide

and goal

of all that is, was,

and ever shall be.

And I agree whole-heartedly,

however hard it may be

to comprehend.

Still, St. Paul’s odd remarks

about the cross force me to think

divine simplicity in a coarser,

queerer way: the God to whom

Jesus teaches me to pray

is, I’m afraid, special. Or,

as they used to say,


slow, lame, unstable,

good for nothing,

no account,

not the brightest,

not quite right,

not all there,






out there,

a boob,

a sucker,

a fall guy,

a philistine,

an easy mark,

a god-damned fool.

All true, I believe,

if just a bit too much

to swallow.

1 comment