In May 2017, the Fake Resistance’s four bishops1 falsely and publicly declared that God infinitely loves a creature (viz., the Blessed Virgin Mary).2 Then, in August 2017, Bishop Williamson repeated this same error (viz., that God loves a creature with an infinite love).3
Here are the words of the Fake Resistance’s bishops:
Mother of God, we commend our own selves also to your protection and to your all-powerful intercession with Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, but who is at the same time a Son who infinitely loves His Mother, and will do anything she asks.4
This present error is a further reminder not to trust the Fake Resistance—especially Bishop Williamson. He frequently teaches liberalism5 and his colleagues remain silent about his errors (and defend them). Faithful and informed Catholics should never trust the Fake Resistance without separately confirming the truth from a reliable Catholic source, just as they should never trust Pope Francis or Bishop Fellay.
When examining this claim (that God infinitely loves a creature), a faithful and informed Catholic might immediately see that the four Fake Resistance bishops must be wrong for four reasons:
Below, we discuss each of these four reasons.
God loves Himself infinitely.6 If (contrary to the truth) God were to love any creature (e.g., His mother) infinitely, then He would love that creature as much as He loves Himself. This is because God’s love for Himself and His love for a creature (e.g., His mother) would both be infinite and therefore equal.7 Thus, it is perverse and false to say that God infinitely loves any creature, even His mother.8
Further, if someone were to (wrongly) suppose the even greater error that God loves everyone with an infinite love, then this would mean that God not only loves everyone as much as He loves Himself, but also that God loves everyone equally. This is a second error, and it results in the false consequence that God loves His mother equally with every person possessing only a much smaller amount of grace and that He even loves her equally with the worst sinner.
But the truth is that God loves better people (and things) more.9 If a person asserts that God loves everyone infinitely, this adds a second false consequence to that original error (viz., that God infinitely loves even a single creature).
Thus, because God does not love any creature equally with Himself, God does not infinitely love any creature (even His mother).
Goodness is the object of love. Love should always be in proportion to the goodness in the thing loved.10 It is perverse to love something beyond the goodness in it. For example, a man sins by loving pleasure more than God, because, although pleasure is good, it is a good lower than God is and so should be loved less than God.
God is infinitely good and thus is infinitely lovable.11 But every creature has finite (i.e., limited) good12 in it and so is not infinitely lovable. Thus, no creature should be loved infinitely. Such infinite love would exceed that creature’s goodness.
Infinite love for a creature is perverse because it is a love out of proportion to the creature’s goodness. Thus, if God loved any creature infinitely, He would be perverse because His love would be inherently disordered. This is impossible.
Thus, God does not infinitely love any creature (even His mother).
We love a thing or a person because it is good.13 This is not so, with God. A creature is only good because God loves it and only in proportion to God’s love for it. The more He loves a creature, the more goodness He puts into it.14
The Persons in God share infinite goodness among Themselves but God shares limited goodness with creatures.15 If God infinitely loved any creature (e.g., His mother), He would thereby make that creature infinitely good, which is impossible.16
God knows and loves creatures for His own sake. As declared in the Book of Proverbs: “the Lord hath made all things for Himself”, including man. Proverbs, ch.16, v.4.
God directly thinks of and loves only Himself.17 Because only God is infinite Truth and Goodness, only God is worthy of His own direct thought and love. Creatures are only worthy of God’s single, eternal thought and love insofar as He caused them and they reflect Him. Thus, God only knows and loves creatures because, knowing and loving Himself perfectly, He also knows and loves His works because He caused them and they reflect His goodness.18
When a person loves a second person for the sake of a third person, he loves that third person more than the second person. Thus, a man loves his wife’s relatives because he loves her. He loves them less than he loves her, because his love for her makes him love them.19
Similarly, God loves Himself for His own sake and loves creatures because they are His work. In other words, God loves creatures because He loves Himself, just as the man loves his wife’s relatives because he loves his wife.
God loves Himself infinitely but loves creatures (even His mother) less than that (viz., finitely) because He loves them for the sake of Himself.20 Thus, God does not infinitely love any creature, even His mother.
God does not infinitely love any creature (even His mother).
Especially in matters of our Holy Faith, we should speak truthfully. It is much better to say:
Any of those statements avoid the falsehood of saying that God infinitely loves her (or any creature).
A person speaks falsely when he declares that God infinitely loves His mother. Perhaps his error is an ill-considered exaggeration motivated by piety. The person might merely mean that God loves Our Lady “very greatly”. But we should speak truly and accurately about the things of God.
Sometimes people interpret a particular exaggeration not as a lie, but as an “exaggeration to make a point”. For example, a man could emphasize his familiarity with the city of Paris by declaring that “I’ve been to Paris a million times”, although he was actually there only fifty times.
But, especially in matters connected to our Faith, we should speak truthfully and not exaggerate. Thus, no one should ever say that God infinitely loves His mother, even if he intends “merely” to exaggerate and emphasize God’s love for His mother. Such an error is incomparably further from the truth than is the exaggeration of the man who says that he has “been to Paris a million times”:
Thus, it is false, and we should never say, that God infinitely loves His mother.
Again, this present error is a reminder not to trust the Fake Resistance’s four bishops, so careless as they are with the Catholic truth.
St. Thomas explains that truth this way:
The perfection of charity may be understood in two ways: first with regard to the object loved, secondly with regard to the person who loves. With regard to the object loved, charity is perfect, if the object be loved as much as it is lovable. Now God is as lovable as He is good, and His goodness is infinite, wherefore He is infinitely lovable. But no creature can love Him infinitely since all created power is finite. Consequently, no creature's charity can be perfect in this way; the charity of God alone can [be perfect], whereby He loves Himself [infinitely].
Summa, IIa IIae, Q.24, a.8, respondeo (emphasis added; bracketed words added to show antecedents).↑
Infinite loves are all infinite, i.e., they are all unlimited. There is no greater or lesser when comparing one to another. For if we assumed contrary to the truth, that one “infinite love” were greater than a second “infinite love”, then the smaller “infinite love” would have a limit, i.e., it would be finite and limited as smaller than the other “infinite love”.
The infinite has no proportion to the finite, since the infinite incomparably exceeds what is finite. However, something infinite can be called equal to a different infinite thing (of the same kind) because neither of them has any limits. Thus, one can say that the Father loves the Son just as much as the Son loves the Father, because neither love has limits.
Thus, since two infinites are equal, they have the same proportion to each other as two finite, equal things have to each other.
Therefore, because two infinites are equal, they can be compared one to the other as having the same proportion (viz., equality), as one finite thing has compared to another finite thing which is equal to it.
Here is how the Summa explains this truth:
Although there can be no proportion between finite and infinite, since the excess of the infinite over the finite is indeterminate, there can be proportionality or a likeness to proportion between them: for just as a finite thing is equal to some other finite thing, so is an infinite thing equal to an infinite thing.
Summa Suppl., Q.92, a.1, ad 6.↑
GodÂ lovesÂ ChristÂ [Who is a Divine Person] not only more than HeÂ lovesÂ the wholeÂ human race, but more than HeÂ lovesÂ the entireÂ createdÂ universe: because He willed for Him the greaterÂ goodÂ in giving Him â€œa name that is above allÂ names,â€ in so far as He wasÂ trueÂ God. Nor did anything of His excellence diminish whenÂ GodÂ delivered Him up to death for theÂ salvationÂ of theÂ human race; rather did He become thereby aÂ gloriousÂ conqueror: â€œThe government was placed upon His shoulder,â€ according toÂ Isaiah 9:6.
Summa, Ia, Q.20, a.4, ad 1 (emphasis added; bracketed words added for clarity).↑
Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains this truth:
It must needs be, according to what has been said before, thatÂ GodÂ lovesÂ more the better things. For it has been shown (Ia, Q.2, a.3), thatÂ Godâ€™sÂ lovingÂ one thing more than another is nothing else than His willing for that thing a greaterÂ good: becauseÂ Godâ€™sÂ willÂ is theÂ causeÂ ofÂ goodnessÂ in things; and theÂ reasonÂ why some things are better than others, is thatÂ GodÂ willsÂ for them a greaterÂ good. Hence it follows that HeÂ lovesÂ more the better things.
Summa, Ia, Q.20, a.4, respondeo (emphasis added). ↑
St. Thomas also explains that same truth regarding charity in particular:
The perfection of charity may be understood in two ways: first with regard to the object loved, secondly with regard to the person who loves. With regard to the object loved, charity is perfect, if the object be loved as much as it is lovable. Now God is as lovable as He is good, and His goodness is infinite, wherefore He is infinitely lovable. But no creature can love Him infinitely since all created power is finite. Consequently, no creature's charity can be perfect in this way; the charity of God alone can, whereby He loves Himself.
Summa, IIa IIae, Q.24, a.8, respondeo (emphasis added)↑
Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains this truth: “Our love is based on a creature’s goodness. For a thing is not good because I love it, but rather I love a thing because it is good.” St. Thomas Aquinas, Lectures on St. Matthew’s Gospel, ch.17, §1436.
St. Thomas explains that truth more fully, as follows:
GodÂ lovesÂ everything thatÂ exists. Yet not as weÂ love. Because since ourÂ will is not theÂ causeÂ of theÂ goodnessÂ of things, but is moved by it [viz., by the goodness in the thing] as by its object, ourÂ love, whereby weÂ willÂ goodÂ to anything, is not theÂ causeÂ of itsÂ goodness; but conversely itsÂ goodness, whether real orÂ imaginary, calls forth ourÂ love, by which weÂ willÂ that it should preserve theÂ goodÂ it has, and receive besides theÂ goodÂ it has not, and to this end we direct ourÂ actions: whereas the love of God infuses andÂ createsÂ goodness.
Summa, Ia, Q.20, a.2, respondeo (emphasis added and bracketed words added to show the antecedent). ↑
Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains this truth: “God’s love is the cause of the goodness in things.” St. Thomas Aquinas, Lectures on St. Matthew’s Gospel, ch.17, §1436 (emphasis added).
St. Thomas explains that truth more fully, as follows:
GodÂ lovesÂ more the better things. For it has been shown (Ia, Q2, a.3), that Godâ€™s lovingÂ one thing more than another is nothing else than His willing for that thing a greaterÂ good: becauseÂ Godâ€™sÂ WillÂ is the cause of goodness of things; and theÂ reasonÂ why some things are better than others, is thatÂ GodÂ willsÂ for them a greaterÂ good. Hence it follows that HeÂ lovesÂ more the better things.
Summa, 1a, Q.20, a.4, respondeo (emphasis added). ↑
Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains this truth:
Just as God poured out goodness in creatures through creation, so in His Son through generation, since He communicates all goodness to His Son; hence creatures are blessed by participation, but He gave all His goodness to His Son; “The Father loveth the Son: and he hath given all things into his hand” (St. John’s Gospel, 3:35).”
St. Thomas Aquinas, Lectures on St. Matthew’s Gospel, ch.17, §1436.↑
For God is able to make any creature better, yet He cannot make a creature of infinite goodness: because infinite goodness is incompatible with the notion of being created, whereas determinate goodness is not, however great it be.
St. Thomas Aquinas, De Potential Dei, Q.3, a.14, ad 6 (emphasis added).↑
St. Thomas adds: “There must beÂ willÂ inÂ God, since there isÂ intellectÂ in Him. And as HisÂ intellectÂ is His ownÂ existence, so is HisÂ will.” Summa, Ia, Q.19, a.1, respondeo.
Further, “In God, there is love”. Summa, Ia, Q.20, a.1, respondeo. But because (as St. Thomas explains), “God is truly and absolutely simple”, His one act of love is the same as His one act of knowing, and the same as His own being. Summa, Q.3, a.7, sed contra, quoting St. Augustine.↑
GodÂ necessarilyÂ knowsÂ things other than Himself. For it is manifest that He perfectly understands Himself; otherwise HisÂ existenceÂ would not beÂ perfect, since HisÂ existenceÂ is HisÂ actÂ of understanding. Now if anything is perfectly known, it follows ofÂ necessityÂ that its power is perfectlyÂ known. But the power of anything can be perfectlyÂ knownÂ only byÂ knowingÂ to what its power extends. Since therefore the divine power extends to other things by the very fact that it is the first effectiveÂ causeÂ of all things, as is clear from the aforesaid (Ia, Q.2, a.3) God must necessarily know things other than Himself.Â
Summa, Ia, Q.14, a.5, respondeo (emphasis added).↑
Friendship extends to a person in two ways: first in respect of himself, and in this way friendship never extends but to one's friends: secondly, it extends to someone in respect of another, as, when a man has friendship for a certain person, for his sake he loves all belonging to him, be they children, servants, or connected with him in any way. Indeed, so much do we love our friends, that for their sake we love all who belong to them, even if they hurt or hate us; so that, in this way, the friendship of charity extends even to our enemies, whom we love out of charity in relation to God, to Whom the friendship of charity is chiefly directed.
Summa, IIa IIae, Q.23, a.1, ad 2 (emphasis added).↑
For God is able to make any creature better, yet He cannot make a creature of infinite goodness: because infinite goodness is incompatible with the notion of being created, whereas determinate goodness is not [incompatible with being a creature], however great it be.
St. Thomas Aquinas, De Potential Dei, Q.3, a.14, ad 6 (emphasis added; bracketed words added to show the antecedent).↑
St. Thomas puts this same truth a little differently, when he teaches: “There can be no proportion between an infinite and a finite weight, although there is a proportion between less time and more time, provided the time is finite ”. St. Thomas Aquinas’s commentary on De Coelo, lecture 12, §121.↑