Summer 2007

Restlessness as an Image of God

D. C. Schindler

“God, in Jesus, assumes the world’s restless desire for God, so that the world can come to share in God’s restless desire for the world.”

I. Lessing’s choice


According to Aquinas, the creature desires God implicitly in everything that it desires.1 Desire, moreover, is not simply one among the variety of the creature’s operations, but represents the essence of the creature, for, as Aristotle affirms, nature is a principle of motion,2 and motion—understood here in the broadest sense as including all varieties of change—is intelligible only as ordered to an end, which means, as an analogous appetite. If nature founds the intelligibility of things, if it is what identifies them as the things they are, then all things are ultimately defined by their desire: on the one hand, explicite, by that which specifically actualizes them as the beings they are, and on the other hand, implicite, by the God who is the perfection of all their perfections, and the end of all their ends.


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1. Aquinas, De verit., 22.2: “All things tend to God implicitly, but not explicitly . . . . ecause God is the last end, He is sought in every end.”

2. Aristotle Physics, 2.1.192b10–25.