Some more easy material, but with some interesting consequences. We’re very quickly approaching God and evil, which is more difficult and fascinating.
 IN sequence to what has been said we must show how virtues are to be ascribed to God. For just as His being is universally perfect, in some way containing within itself the perfection of all beings, so must His goodness in some way comprise the various kinds of goodness of all things. Now virtue is a kind of goodness of the virtuous person, since in respect thereof he is said to be good, and his work good. It follows therefore that the divine goodness contains in its own way all virtues.
 Wherefore none of them is ascribed as a habit to God, as it is to us. For it is not befitting God to be good through something else added to Him, but by His essence: for He is altogether simple. Nor does He act by anything added to His essence, since His action is His being, as we have shown. Therefore His virtue is not a habit, but His essence.
Notes Don’t forget “simple” is a technical term, meaning among other things not composed of parts, an unbreakable unity, outside of time and therefore unchangeable, etc.
 Again. Habit is imperfect act, a mean as it were between potentiality and act: wherefore one who has a habit is compared to a person asleep. But in God there is most perfect act. Hence act in Him is not like a habit, as knowledge, but like to consider which is an ultimate and perfect act.
 Again. Habit perfects a potentiality; but in God nothing is potential but only actual. Therefore a habit cannot be in Him.
Notes Another don’t forget: God is pure actuality; in Him there is no potentiality of any kind. See simple.
 Further. Habit is a kind of accident: and this is utterly foreign to God, as we have proved above. Neither therefore is virtue ascribed to God as a habit, but only as His essence.
 Now since it is by human virtues that human life is regulated, and since human life is twofold, contemplative and active, those virtues which belong to the active life, as perfecting it, cannot be becoming to God.
 For the active life of man consists in the use of bodily goods: wherefore those virtues regulate the active life, by which we use these goods aright. But these goods cannot be befitting God. Therefore neither can these virtues, in so far as they regulate this life.
Notes This isn’t the place for a detailed look, but Aquinas is again drawing (indirectly) from The Philosopher and his Nicomachean Ethics, where human goodness is defined, in a way, as habit. Aquinas is assuming the reader knows this work. See the link.
 Again. The like virtues perfect man’s conduct in his civil life, wherefore they do not seem very applicable to those who have nothing to do with the civil life. Much less therefore can they be applied to God, whose conduct and life are far removed from the manner of human life.
 Moreover. Some of the virtues that are concerned with the active life regulate us in regard to the passions. These we cannot ascribe to God. For those virtues which are concerned with the passions take their species from those very passions as from their proper objects: wherefore temperance differs from fortitude because the former is about desires, while the latter is about fear and daring. But in God there are no passions, as we have proved. Neither therefore can these virtues be in God.
 Again. These same virtues are not in the intellective part of the soul, but in the sensitive part, wherein alone can the passions be, as is proved in 7 Phys. But there is no sensitive faculty in God, but only intellect. It follows, therefore, that these virtues cannot be in God, even according to their proper signification.
Notes Once more, never forget we humans are a mixture of the spiritual and physical. The passions are, if you like, animal spirits, the animal part of our souls. The intellect, on the other hand, is not material. It is not made of stuff, though it surely interacts with it. And what effect do the passions have? Our saint is glad you asked:
 Some of the passions about which these virtues are concerned result from an inclination of the appetite to some bodily good that is pleasant to the senses, for instance, meat, drink, and sexual matters, and in respect of the desires for these things there are sobriety, chastity, and speaking in a general way, temperance and contingency. Wherefore, since bodily pleasures are utterly removed from God, the aforesaid virtues neither apply to God properly, since they are about the passions, nor even are they applied to God metaphorically in the Scriptures, because no likeness to them is to be found in God, as regards a likeness in their effects.
 And there are some passions resulting from an inclination of the appetite to a spiritual good, such as honour, dominion, victory, revenge, and so forth; and about our hopes, darings, and any acts whatsoever of the appetite in respect of these things, there are fortitude, magnanimity, meekness, and other like virtues. These cannot be in God properly, because they are about the passions; but they are applied metaphorically to God in Scripture, on account of a likeness of effect: for instance (1 Kings ii. 2): There is none strong like our God; and (Mich. vi.): Seek the meek, seek the good.
Notes We met this metaphorical usage last week. Do not fall prey to the fallacies which arise from strictly literal interpretations of all of scripture. Likewise, don’t fall prey to the fallacies which arise from everywhere metaphorical interpretations of all of scripture, either. Nobody would make these mistakes reading, say, a book of history, but they’re very seductive in theology.