Attributes of God

Summary of Catechism paragraphs 198-231 and 268-78:

  • God is the beginning and end of all things, the fundamental ground of all being.
  • Thus God is utterly unique; there is only one God.
  • Through Christ, we know that this one God comprises three divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – the Holy Trinity (next topic).
  • In the Old Testament, God revealed His name to Moses: the Hebrew YHWH, a deeply evocative name meaning “I Am He Who Is,” “I Am Who Am.”
  • Profound honor and respect are due to God’s name; indeed, precisely to avoid casual or careless use of His sacred name, the Jewish people have substituted the term Adonai (“Lord”) instead of pronouncing YHWH.
  • This name signifies God’s fullness of being; transcending all time, He has every perfection, such as infinite goodness, almighty power, eternal beauty.
  • God is truth; therefore He can never deceive or be deceived.
  • God is ever-faithful to His promises and rich in mercy.
  • God is love; this divine love is lavished upon us, as Scripture attests with rich imagery of God loving us as a father, mother, and spouse.
  •  God’s inmost being is wrapped in mystery; as St. Augustine wrote, “If you understood Him, it would not be God.”

Live Your Faith

By reflecting upon God’s majesty, we soon realize our own littleness in the universe.

We begin to grasp that we are completely, totally, and absolutely dependent upon God for everything – our very existence; whatever talents and abilities we have; our families and friends; our possessions; and the priceless gift of our Catholic faith, whereby we come to know God and experience his love.

Once we see this truth, we live in a spirit of thanksgiving to God and learn to trust wholeheartedly in Him.