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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve captive with him He who is both their God and the son of Eve I am your God who for your sake have become your son I order you O sleeper to awake I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell Rise from the dead for I am the life of the dead 487 IN BRIEF 636 By the expression He descended into hell the Apostles Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil who has the power of death Heb 2 14 637 In his human soul united to his divine person the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead He opened heaven s gates for the just who had gone before him Paragraph 2 On the Third Day He Rose from the Dead 638 We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus 488 The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community handed on as fundamental by Tradition established by the documents of the New Testament and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross Christ is risen from the dead Dying he conquered death To the dead he has given life 489 I THE HISTORICAL AND TRANSCENDENT EVENT 639 The mystery of Christ s resurrection is a real event with manifestations that were historically verified as the New Testament bears witness In about A D 56 St Paul could already write to the Corinthians I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures and that he was buried that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures and that he appeared to Cephas then to the Twelve 490 The Apostle speaks here of the living tradition of the Resurrection which he had learned after his conversion at the gates of Damascus 491 The empty tomb 640 Why do you seek the living among the dead He is not here but has risen 492 The first element we encounter in the framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb In itself it is not a direct proof of Resurrection the absence of Christ s body from the tomb could be explained otherwise 493 Nonetheless the empty tomb was still an essential sign for all Its discovery by the disciples was the first step toward recognizing the very fact of the Resurrection This was the case first with the holy women and then with Peter 494 The disciple whom Jesus loved affirmed that when he entered the empty tomb and discovered the linen cloths lying there he saw and believed 495 This suggests that he realized from the empty tomb s condition that the absence of Jesus body could not have been of human doing and that Jesus had not simply returned to earthly life as had been the case with Lazarus 496 The appearances of the Risen One 641 Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday were the first to encounter the Risen One 497 Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ s Resurrection for the apostles themselves 498 They were the next to whom Jesus appears first Peter then the Twelve Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers 499 and so sees the Risen One before them it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims The Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon 500 642 Everything that happened during those Paschal days involves each of the apostles and Peter in particular in the building of the new era begun on Easter morning As witnesses of the Risen One they remain the foundation stones of his Church The faith of the first community of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians and for the most part still living among them Peter and the Twelve are the primary witnesses to his Resurrection but they are not the only ones Paul speaks clearly of more than five hundred persons to whom Jesus appeared on a single occasion and also of James and of all the apostles 501 643 Given all these testimonies Christ s Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact It is clear from the facts that the disciples faith was drastically put to the test by their master s Passion and death on the cross which he had foretold 502 The shock provoked by the Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized looking sad 503 and frightened For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an idle tale 504 When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen 505 644 Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful so impossible did the thing seem they thought they were seeing a ghost In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering 506 Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St Matthew relates that during the risen Lord s last appearance in Galilee some doubted 507 Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles faith or credulity will not hold up On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born under the action of divine grace from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus The condition of Christ s risen humanity 645 By means of touch and the sharing of a meal the risen Jesus establishes direct contact with his disciples He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and above all to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified for it still bears the traces of his Passion 508 Yet at the same time this authentic real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body not limited by space and time but able to be present how and when he wills for Christ s humanity can no longer be confined to earth and belongs henceforth only to the Father s divine realm 509 For this reason too the risen Jesus enjoys the sovereign freedom of appearing as he wishes in the guise of a gardener or in other forms familiar to his disciples precisely to awaken their faith 510 646 Christ s Resurrection was not a return to earthly life as was the case with the raisings from the dead that he had performed before Easter Jairus daughter the young man of Naim Lazarus These actions were miraculous events but the persons miraculously raised returned by Jesus power to ordinary earthly life At some particular moment they would die again Christ s Resurrection is essentially different In his risen body he passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space At Jesus Resurrection his body is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit he shares the divine life in his glorious state so that St Paul can say that Christ is the man of heaven 511 The Resurrection as transcendent event 647 O truly blessed Night sings the Exsultet of the Easter Vigil which alone deserved to know the time and the hour when Christ rose from the realm of the dead 512 But no one was an eyewitness to Christ s Resurrection and no evangelist describes it No one can say how it came about physically Still less was its innermost essence his passing over to another life perceptible to the senses Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the apostles encounters with the risen Christ still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith as something that transcends and surpasses history This is why the risen Christ does not reveal himself to the world but to his disciples to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem who are now his witnesses to the people 513 II THE RESURRECTION A WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY 648 Christ s Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history In it the three divine persons act together as one and manifest their own proper characteristics The Father s power raised up Christ his Son and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son s humanity including his body into the Trinity Jesus is conclusively revealed as Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead 514 St Paul insists on the manifestation of God s power 515 through the working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus dead humanity and called it to the glorious state of Lordship 649 As for the Son he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power Jesus announces that the Son of man will have to suffer much die and then rise 516 Elsewhere he affirms explicitly I lay down my life that I may take it again I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again 517 We believe that Jesus died and rose again 518 650 The Fathers contemplate the Resurrection from the perspective of the divine person of Christ who remained united to his soul and body even when these were separated from each other by death By the unity of the divine nature which remains present in each of the two components of man these are reunited For as death is produced by the separation of the human components so Resurrection is achieved by the union of the two 519 III THE MEANING AND SAVING SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESURRECTION 651 If Christ has not been raised then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain 520 The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ s works and teachings All truths even those most inaccessible to human reason find their justification if Christ by his Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority which he had promised 652 Christ s Resurrection is the fulfilment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life 521 The phrase in accordance with the Scriptures 522 indicates that Christ s Resurrection fulfilled these predictions 653 The truth of Jesus divinity is confirmed by his Resurrection He had said When you have lifted up the Son of man then you will know that I am he 523 The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that he was truly I AM the Son of God and God himself So St Paul could declare to the Jews What God promised to the fathers this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus as also it is written in the second psalm You are my Son today I have begotten you 524 Christ s Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God s Son and is its fulfilment in accordance with God s eternal plan 654 The Paschal mystery has two aspects by his death Christ liberates us from sin by his Resurrection he opens for us the way to a new life This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God s grace so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father we too might walk in newness of life 525 Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace 526 It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ s brethren as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection Go and tell my brethren 527 We are brethren not by nature but by the gift of grace because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son which was fully revealed in his Resurrection 655 Finally Christ s Resurrection and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection Christ has been raised from the dead the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep For as in Adam all die so also in Christ shall all be made alive 528 The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfilment In Christ Christians have tasted the powers of the age to come 529 and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life so that they may live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised 530 IN BRIEF 656 Faith in the Resurrection has as its object an event which as historically attested to by the disciples who really encountered the Risen One At the same time this event is mysteriously transcendent insofar as it is the entry of Christ s humanity into the glory of God 657 The empty tomb and the linen cloths lying there signify in themselves that by God s power Christ s body had escaped the bonds of death and corruption They prepared the disciples to encounter the Risen Lord 658 Christ the first born from the dead Col 1 18 is the principle of our own resurrection even now by the justification of our souls cf Rom 6 4 and one day by the new life he will impart to our bodies cf Rom 8 11 ARTICLE 6 HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN AND IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER 659 So then the Lord Jesus after he had spoken to them was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God 531 Christ s body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys 532 But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity 533 Jesus final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory symbolized by the cloud and by heaven where he is seated from that time forward at God s right hand 534 Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul as to one untimely born in a last apparition that established him as an apostle 535 660 The veiled character of the glory of the Risen One during this time is intimated in his mysterious words to Mary Magdalene I have not yet ascended to the Father but go to my brethren and say to them I am ascending to my Father and your Father to my God and your God 536 This indicates a difference in manifestation between the glory of the risen Christ and that of the Christ exalted to the Father s right hand a transition marked by the historical and transcendent event of the Ascension 661 This final stage stays closely linked to the first that is to his descent from heaven in the Incarnation Only the one who came from the Father can return to the Father Christ Jesus 537 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven the Son of man 538 Left to its own natural powers humanity does not have access to the Father s house to God s life and happiness 539 Only Christ can open to man such access that we his members might have confidence that we too shall go where he our Head and our Source has preceded us 540 662 And I when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men to myself 541 The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his Ascension into heaven and indeed begins it Jesus Christ the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant entered not into a sanctuary made by human hands but into heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf 542 There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood for he always lives to make intercession for those who draw near to God through him 543 As high priest of the good things to come he is the centre and the principal actor of the liturgy that honours the Father in heaven 544 663 Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father By the Father s right hand we understand the glory and honour of divinity where he who exists as Son of God before all ages indeed as God of one being with the Father is seated bodily after he became incarnate and his flesh was glorified 545 664 Being seated at the Father s right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiah s kingdom the fulfilment of the prophet Daniel s vision concerning the Son of man To him was given dominion and glory and kingdom that all peoples nations and languages should serve him his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed 546 After this event the apostles became witnesses of the kingdom that will have no end 547 IN BRIEF 665 Christ s Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus humanity into God s heavenly domain whence he will come again cf Acts 1 11 this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men cf Col 3 3 666 Jesus Christ the head of the Church precedes us into the Father s glorious kingdom so that we the members of his Body may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever 667 Jesus Christ having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit ARTICLE 7 FROM THENCE HE WILL COME AGAlN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD I HE WILL COME AGAIN IN GLORY Christ already reigns through the Church 668 Christ died and lived again that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living 548 Christ s Ascension into heaven signifies his participation in his humanity in God s power and authority Jesus Christ is Lord he possesses all power in heaven and on earth He is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion for the Father has put all things under his feet 549 Christ is Lord of the cosmos and of history In him human history and indeed all creation are set forth and transcendently fulfilled 550 669 As Lord Christ is also head of the Church which is his Body 551 Taken up to heaven and glorified after he had thus fully accomplished his mission Christ dwells on earth in his Church The redemption is the source of the authority that Christ by virtue of the Holy Spirit exercises over the Church The kingdom of Christ is already present in mystery on earth the seed and the beginning of the kingdom 552 670 Since the Ascension God s plan has entered into its fulfilment We are already at the last hour 553 Already the final age of the world is with us and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way it is even now anticipated in a certain real way for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect 554 Christ s kingdom already manifests its presence through the miraculous signs that attend its proclamation by the Church 555 until all things are subjected to him 671 Though already present in his Church Christ s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled with power and great glory by the King s return to earth 556 This reign is still under attack by the evil powers even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ s Passover 557 Until everything is subject to him until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells the pilgrim Church in her sacraments and institutions which belong to this present age carries the mark of this world which will pass and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God 558 That is why Christians pray above all in the Eucharist to hasten Christ s return by saying to him 559 Marana tha Our Lord come 560 672 Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel 561 which according to the prophets was to bring all men the definitive order of justice love and peace 562 According to the Lord the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness but also a time still marked by distress and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church 563 and ushers in the struggles of the last days It is a time of waiting and watching 564 The glorious advent of Christ the hope of Israel 673 Since the Ascension Christ s coming in glory has been imminent 565 even though it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority 566 This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are delayed 567 674 The glorious Messiah s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by all Israel for a hardening has come upon part of Israel in their unbelief toward Jesus 568 St Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost Repent therefore and turn again that your sins may be blotted out that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and that he may send the Christ appointed for you Jesus whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old 569 St Paul echoes him For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead 570 The full inclusion of the Jews in the Messiah s salvation in the wake of the full number of the Gentiles 571 will enable the People of God to achieve the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ in which God may be all in all 572 The Church s ultimate trial 675 Before Christ s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers 573 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth 574 will unveil the mystery of iniquity in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist a pseudo messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh 575 676 The Antichrist s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism 576 especially the intrinsically perverse political form of a secular messianism 577 677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection 578 The kingdom will be fulfilled then not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy but only by God s victory over the final unleashing of evil which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven 579 God s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world 580 II TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD 678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist Jesus announced the judgement of the Last Day in his preaching 581 Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light 582 Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God s grace as nothing be condemned 583 Our attitude to our neighbour will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love 584 On the Last Day Jesus will say Truly I say to you as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren you did it to me 585 679 Christ is Lord of eternal life Full right to pass definitive judgement on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world He acquired this right by his cross The Father has given all judgement to the Son 586 Yet the Son did not come to judge but to save and to give the life he has in himself 587 By rejecting grace in this life one already judges oneself receives according to one s works and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love 588 IN BRIEF 680 Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church but all the things of this world are not yet subjected to him The triumph of Christ s kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil 681 On Judgement Day at the end of the world Christ will come in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil which like the wheat and the tares have grown up together in the course of history 682 When he comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace NOTES 1 Gal 4 4 5 2 Mk 1 1 3 Mk 1 11 cf Lk 1 5 68 4 Jn 13 3 5 Jn 3 13 6 33 6 I Jn 4 2 7 Jn 1 14 16 8 Mt 16 16 9 Cf Mt 16 18 St Leo the Great Sermo 4 3 PL 54 150 152 51 1 PL 54 309B 62 2 PL 54 350 351 83 3 PL 54 431 432 10 Eph 3 8 11 Acts 4 20 12 I Jn 1 1 4 13 CT 5 14 CT 5 15 CT 5 16 CT 6 cf Jn 7 16 17 Phil 3 8 11 18 Cf Lk 1 31 19 Mt 1 21 cf 2 7 20 Deut 5 6 21 Cf Ps 51 4 12 22 Cf Ps 79 9 23 Cf Jn 3 18 Acts 2 21 5 41 3 Jn 7 Rom 10 6 13 24 Acts 4 12 cf 9 14 Jas 2 7 25 Cf Ex 25 22 Lev 16 2 15 16 Num 7 89 Sir 50 20 Heb 9 5 7 26 Rom 3 25 2 Cor 5 19 27 Phil 2 9 10 cf Jn 12 28 28 Cf Acts 16 16 18 19 13 16 Mk 16 17 Jn 15 16 29 Cf Ex 29 7 Lev 8 12 I Sam 9 16 10 1 16 1 12 13 I Kings 1 39 19 16 30 Cf Ps 2 2 Acts 4 26 27 31 Cf Isa 11 2 61 1 Zech 4 14 6 13 Lk 4 16 21 32 Lk 2 11 33 Jn 10 36 cf Lk 1 35 34 Mt 1 20 cf 1 16 Rom 1 1 2 Tim 2 8 Rev 22 16 35 St Irenaeus Adv haeres 3 18 3 PG 7 1 934 36 Acts 10 38 Jn 1 31 37 Mk 1 24 Jn 6 69 Acts 3 14 38 Cf Mt 2 2 9 27 12 23 15 22 20 30 21 9 15 39 Cf Jn 4 25 26 6 15 11 27 Mt 22 41 46 Lk 24 21 40 Cf Mt 16 16 23 41 Jn 3 13 Mt 20 28 cf Jn 6 62 Dan 7 13 Isa 53 10 12 42 Cf Jn 19 19 22 Lk 23 39 43 43 Acts 2 36 44 Cf Deut 14 1 LXX 32 8 Job 1 6 Ex 4 22 Hos 2 1 11 1 Jer 3 19 Sir 36 11 Wis 18 13 2 Sam 7 14 Ps 82 6 45 Cf I Chr 17 13 Ps 2 7 Mt 27 54 Lk 23 47 46 Mt 16 16 17 47 Gal 1 15 16 48 Acts 9 20 49 Cf I Thess 1 10 Jn 20 31 Mt 16 18 50 Lk 22 70 cf Mt 26 64 Mk 14 61 62 51 Cf Mt 11 27 21 34 38 24 36 52 Mt 5 48 6 8 9 7 21 Lk 11 13 Jn 20 17 53 Cf Mt 3 17 cf 17 5 54 Jn 3 16 cf 10 36 55 Jn 3 18 56 Mk 15 39 57 Rom 1 3 cf Acts 13 33 58 Jn 1 14 59 Cf Ex 3 14 60 Cf I Cor 2 8 61 Cf Mt 22 41 46 cf Acts 2 34 36 Heb 1 13 Jn 13 13 62 Cf Mt 8 2 14 30 15 22 et al 63 Cf Lk 1 43 2 11 64 Jn 20 28 21 7 65 Cf Acts 2 34 36 Rom 9 5 Titus 2 13 Rev 5 13 Phil 2 6 66 Cf Rom 10 9 I Cor 12 3 Phil 2 9 11 67 Cf Rev 11 15 Mk 12 17 Acts 5 29 68 GS 10 3 Cf 45 2 69 I Cor 16 22 Rev 22 20 70 I Jn 4 10 4 14 3 5 71 St Gregory of Nyssa Orat catech 15 PG 45 48B 72 I Jn 4 9 73 Jn 3 16 74 Mt 11 29 Jn 14 6 75 Mk 9 7 cf Deut 6 4 5 76 Jn 15 12 77 Cf Mk 8 34 78 2 Pt 1 4 79 St Irenaeus Adv haeres 3 19 1 PG 7 1 939 80 St Athanasius De inc 54 3 PG 25 192B 81 St Thomas Aquinas Opusc 57 1 4 82 Jn 1 14 83 Phil 2 5 8 cf LH Saturday Canticle at Evening Prayer 84 Heb 10 5 7 citing Ps 40 6 8 7 9 LXX 85 I Jn 4 2 86 1 Tim 3 16 87 Cf I Jn 4 2 3 2 Jn 7 88 Council of Nicaea I 325 DS 130 126 89 Council of Ephesus 431 DS 250 90 Council of Ephesus DS 251 91 Council of Chalcedon 451 DS 301 cf Heb 4 15 92 Council of Chalcedon DS 302 93 Council of Constantinople II 553 DS 424 94 Council of Constantinople II 553 DS 432 cf DS 424 Council of Ephesus DS 255 95 LH January 1 Antiphon for Morning Prayer cf St Leo the Great Sermo in nat Dom 1 2 PL 54 191 192 96 Liturgy of St John Chrysostom Troparion O monogenes 97 GS 22 2 98 Cf Jn 14 9 10 99 GS 22 2 100 Cf Damasus 1 DS 149 101 Lk 2 52 102 Cf Mk 6 38 8 27 Jn 11 34 etc 103 Phil 2 7 104 Cf St Gregory the Great Sicut aqua ad Eulogium Epist Lib 10 39 PL 77 1097 Aff DS 475 105 St Maximus the Confessor Qu et dub 66 PG 90 840A 106 Cf Mk 14 36 Mt 11 27 Jn 1 18 8 55 etc 107 Cf Mk 2 8 Jn 2 25 6 61 etc 108 Cf Mk 8 31 9 31 10 33 34 14 18 20 26 30 109 Cf Mk 13 32 Acts 1 7 110 Cf Council of Constantinople III 681 DS 556 559 111 Council of Constantinople III DS 556 112 Cf Council of the Lateran 649 DS 504 113 Cf Gal 3 1 cf Council of Nicaea II 787 DS 600 603 114 Roman Missal Preface of Christmas I 115 Council of Nicaea II DS 601 116 Gal 2 20 117 Cf Jn 19 34 118 Pius XII Enc Haurietis aquas 1956 DS 3924 cf DS 3812 119 Gal 4 4 120 Col 2 9 121 Lk 1 34 35 Greek 122 Cf Jn 16 14 15 123 Cf Mt 1 20 2 1 12 Lk 1 35 2 8 20 Jn 1 3 1 34 2 11 124 Acts 10 38 125 Gal 4 4 Heb 10 5 126 Lk 1 26 27 127 LG 56 cf LG 61 128 Cf Gen 3 15 20 129 Cf Gen 18 10 14 21 1 2 130 Cf I Cor 1 17 I Sam 1 131 LG 55 132 LG 56 133 Lk 1 28 134 Lk 1 28 135 Pius IX Ineffabilis Deus 1854 DS 2803 136 LG 53 56 137 Cf Eph 1 3 4 138 LG 56 139 Lk 1 28 38 cf Rom 1 5 140 Cf LG 56 141 St Irenaeus Adv haeres 3 22 4 PG 7 1 959A 142 St Irenaeus Adv haeres 3 22 4 PG 7 1 959A 143 LG 56 St Epiphanius Panarion 2 78 18 PG 42 728CD 729AB St Jerome Ep 22 21 PL 22 408 144 Lk 1 43 Jn 2 1 19 25 cf Mt 13 55 et al 145 Council of Ephesus 431 DS 251 146 Council of the Lateran 649 DS 503 cf DS 10 64 147 St Ignatius of Antioch Ad Smyrn 1 2 Apostolic Fathers ed J B Lightfoot London Macmillan 1889 11 2 289 293 SCh 10 154 156 cf Rom 1 3 Jn 1 13 148 Mt 1 18 25 Lk 1 26 38 149 Mt 1 20 150 Isa 7 14 in the LXX quoted in Mt 1 23 Gk 151 Cf St Justin Dial 99 7 PG 6 708 709 Origen Contra Celsum 1 32 69 PG 11 720 721 et al 152 Dei Filius 4 DS 3016 153 St Ignatius of Antioch Ad Eph 19 1 AF 11 2 76 80 SCh 10 88 cf I Cor 2 8 154 Cf DS 291 294 427 442 503 571 1880 155 LG 57 156 Cf LG 52 157 Cf Mk 3 31 35 6 3 I Cor 9 5 Gal 1 19 158 Mt 13 55 28 1 cf Mt 27 56 159 Cf Gen 13 8 14 16 29 15 etc 160 LG 63 cf Jn 19 26 27 Rom 8 29 Rev

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    already very early on the Church also wanted to gather the essential elements of her faith into organic and articulated summaries intended especially for candidates for Baptism This synthesis of faith was not made to accord with human opinions but rather what was of the greatest importance was gathered from all the Scriptures to present the one teaching of the faith in its entirety And just as the mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain so too this summary of faith encompassed in a few words the whole knowledge of the true religion contained in the Old and the New Testaments 2 187 Such syntheses are called professions of faith since they summarize the faith that Christians profess They are called creeds on account of what is usually their first word in Latin credo I believe They are also called symbols of faith 188 The Greek word symbolon meant half of a broken object for example a seal presented as a token of recognition The broken parts were placed together to verify the bearer s identity The symbol of faith then is a sign of recognition and communion between believers Symbolon also means a gathering collection or summary A symbol of faith is a summary of the principal truths of the faith and therefore serves as the first and fundamental point of reference for catechesis 189 The first profession of faith is made during Baptism The symbol of faith is first and foremost the baptismal creed Since Baptism is given in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit 3 the truths of faith professed during Baptism are articulated in terms of their reference to the three persons of the Holy Trinity 190 And so the Creed is divided into three parts the first part speaks of the first divine Person and the wonderful work of creation the next speaks of the second divine Person and the mystery of his redemption of men the final part speaks of the third divine Person the origin and source of our sanctification 4 These are the three chapters of our baptismal seal 5 191 These three parts are distinct although connected with one another According to a comparison often used by the Fathers we call them articles Indeed just as in our bodily members there are certain articulations which distinguish and separate them so too in this profession of faith the name articles has justly and rightly been given to the truths we must believe particularly and distinctly 6 In accordance with an ancient tradition already attested to by St Ambrose it is also customary to reckon the articles of the Creed as twelve thus symbolizing the fullness of the apostolic faith by the number of the apostles 7 192 Through the centuries many professions or symbols of faith have been articulated in response to the needs of the different eras the creeds of the different apostolic and ancient Churches 8 e

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    or that the development of the world is the development of God Pantheism Others have said that the world is a necessary emanation arising from God and returning to him Still others have affirmed the existence of two eternal principles Good and Evil Light and Darkness locked in permanent conflict Dualism Manichaeism According to some of these conceptions the world at least the physical world is evil the product of a fall and is thus to be rejected or left behind Gnosticism Some admit that the world was made by God but as by a watch maker who once he has made a watch abandons it to itself Deism Finally others reject any transcendent origin for the world but see it as merely the interplay of matter that has always existed Materialism All these attempts bear witness to the permanence and universality of the question of origins This inquiry is distinctively human 286 Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins The existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works by the light of human reason 122 even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear 123 287 The truth about creation is so important for all of human life that God in his tenderness wanted to reveal to his People everything that is salutary to know on the subject Beyond the natural knowledge that every man can have of the Creator 124 God progressively revealed to Israel the mystery of creation He who chose the patriarchs who brought Israel out of Egypt and who by choosing Israel created and formed it this same God reveals himself as the One to whom belong all the peoples of the earth and the whole earth itself he is the One who alone made heaven and earth 125 288 Thus the revelation of creation is inseparable from the revelation and forging of the covenant of the one God with his People Creation is revealed as the first step towards this covenant the first and universal witness to God s all powerful love 126 And so the truth of creation is also expressed with growing vigour in the message of the prophets the prayer of the psalms and the liturgy and in the wisdom sayings of the Chosen People 127 289 Among all the Scriptural texts about creation the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place From a literary standpoint these texts may have had diverse sources The inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation its origin and its end in God its order and goodness the vocation of man and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation Read in the light of Christ within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the beginning creation fall and promise of salvation II CREATION WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY 290 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth 128 three things are affirmed in these first words of Scripture the eternal God gave a beginning to all that exists outside of himself he alone is Creator the verb create Hebrew bara always has God for its subject The totality of what exists expressed by the formula the heavens and the earth depends on the One who gives it being 291 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made 129 The New Testament reveals that God created everything by the eternal Word his beloved Son In him all things were created in heaven and on earth all things were created through him and for him He is before all things and in him all things hold together 130 The Church s faith likewise confesses the creative action of the Holy Spirit the giver of life the Creator Spirit Veni Creator Spiritus the source of every good 131 292 The Old Testament suggests and the New Covenant reveals the creative action of the Son and the Spirit 132 inseparably one with that of the Father This creative co operation is clearly affirmed in the Church s rule of faith There exists but one God he is the Father God the Creator the author the giver of order He made all things by himself that is by his Word and by his Wisdom by the Son and the Spirit who so to speak are his hands 133 Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity III THE WORLD WAS CREATED FOR THE GLORY OF GOD 293 Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth The world was made for the glory of God 134 St Bonaventure explains that God created all things not to increase his glory but to show it forth and to communicate it 135 for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand 136 The First Vatican Council explains This one true God of his own goodness and almighty power not for increasing his own beatitude nor for attaining his perfection but in order to manifest this perfection through the benefits which he bestows on creatures with absolute freedom of counsel and from the beginning of time made out of nothing both orders of creatures the spiritual and the corporeal 137 294 The glory of God consists in the realization of this manifestation and communication of his goodness for which the world was created God made us to be his sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will to the praise of his glorious grace 138 for the glory of God is man fully alive moreover man s life is the vision of God if God s revelation through creation has already obtained life for all the beings that dwell on earth how much more will the Word s manifestation of the Father obtain life for those who see God 139 The ultimate purpose of creation is that God who is the creator of all things may at last become all in all thus simultaneously assuring his own glory and our beatitude 140 IV THE MYSTERY OF CREATION God creates by wisdom and love 295 We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom 141 It is not the product of any necessity whatever nor of blind fate or chance We believe that it proceeds from God s free will he wanted to make his creatures share in his being wisdom and goodness For you created all things and by your will they existed and were created 142 Therefore the Psalmist exclaims O LORD how manifold are your works In wisdom you have made them all and The LORD is good to all and his compassion is over all that he has made 143 God creates out of nothing 296 We believe that God needs no pre existent thing or any help in order to create nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance 144 God creates freely out of nothing 145 If God had drawn the world from pre existent matter what would be so extraordinary in that A human artisan makes from a given material whatever he wants while God shows his power by starting from nothing to make all he wants 146 297 Scripture bears witness to faith in creation out of nothing as a truth full of promise and hope Thus the mother of seven sons encourages them for martyrdom I do not know how you came into being in my womb It was not I who gave you life and breath nor I who set in order the elements within each of you Therefore the Creator of the world who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws Look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed Thus also mankind comes into being 147 298 Since God could create everything out of nothing he can also through the Holy Spirit give spiritual life to sinners by creating a pure heart in them 148 and bodily life to the dead through the Resurrection God gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist 149 And since God was able to make light shine in darkness by his Word he can also give the light of faith to those who do not yet know him 150 God creates an ordered and good world 299 Because God creates through wisdom his creation is ordered You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight 151 The universe created in and by the eternal Word the image of the invisible God is destined for and addressed to man himself created in the image of God and called to a personal relationship with God 152 Our human understanding which shares in the light of the divine intellect can understand what God tells us by means of his creation though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work 153 Because creation comes forth from God s goodness it shares in that goodness And God saw that it was good very good 154 for God willed creation as a gift addressed to man an inheritance destined for and entrusted to him On many occasions the Church has had to defend the goodness of creation including that of the physical world 155 God transcends creation and is present to it 300 God is infinitely greater than all his works You have set your glory above the heavens 156 Indeed God s greatness is unsearchable 157 But because he is the free and sovereign Creator the first cause of all that exists God is present to his creatures inmost being In him we live and move and have our being 158 In the words of St Augustine God is higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self 159 God upholds and sustains creation 301 With creation God does not abandon his creatures to themselves He not only gives them being and existence but also and at every moment upholds and sustains them in being enables them to act and brings them to their final end Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom of joy and confidence For you love all things that exist and detest none of the things that you have made for you would not have made anything if you had hated it How would anything have endured if you had not willed it Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved You spare all things for they are yours O Lord you who love the living 160 V GOD CARRIES OUT HIS PLAN DIVINE PROVIDENCE 302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator The universe was created in a state of journeying in statu viae toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained to which God has destined it We call divine providence the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other and ordering all things well For all are open and laid bare to his eyes even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures 161 303 The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate God cares for all from the least things to the great events of the world and its history The sacred books powerfully affirm God s absolute sovereignty over the course of events Our God is in the heavens he does whatever he pleases 162 And so it is with Christ who opens and no one shall shut who shuts and no one opens 163 As the book of Proverbs states Many are the plans in the mind of a man but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established 164 304 And so we see the Holy Spirit the principal author of Sacred Scripture often attributing actions to God without mentioning any secondary causes This is not a primitive mode of speech but a profound way of recalling God s primacy and absolute Lordship over history and the world 165 and so of educating his people to trust in him The prayer of the Psalms is the great school of this trust 166 305 Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children s smallest needs Therefore do not be anxious saying What shall we eat or What shall we drink Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well 167 Providence and secondary causes 306 God is the sovereign master of his plan But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures co operation This use is not a sign of weakness but rather a token of almighty God s greatness and goodness For God grants his creatures not only their existence but also the dignity of acting on their own of being causes and principles for each other and thus of co operating in the accomplishment of his plan 307 To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of subduing the earth and having dominion over it 168 God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbours Though often unconscious collaborators with God s will they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions their prayers and their sufferings 169 They then fully become God s fellow workers and co workers for his kingdom 170 308 The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes For God is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure 171 Far from diminishing the creature s dignity this truth enhances it Drawn from nothingness by God s power wisdom and goodness it can do nothing if it is cut off from its origin for without a Creator the creature vanishes 172 Still less can a creature attain its ultimate end without the help of God s grace 173 Providence and the scandal of evil 309 If God the Father almighty the Creator of the ordered and good world cares for all his creatures why does evil exist To this question as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious no quick answer will suffice Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question the goodness of creation the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants the redemptive Incarnation of his Son his gift of the Spirit his gathering of the Church the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance but from which by a terrible mystery they can also turn away in advance There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil 310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it With infinite power God could always create something better 174 But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world in a state of journeying towards its ultimate perfection In God s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect both constructive and destructive forces of nature With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection 175 311 Angels and men as intelligent and free creatures have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love They can therefore go astray Indeed they have sinned Thus has moral evil incommensurably more harmful than physical evil entered the world God is in no way directly or indirectly the cause of moral evil 176 He permits it however because he respects the freedom of his creatures and mysteriously knows how to derive good from it For almighty God because he is supremely good would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself 177 312 In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil even a moral evil caused by his creatures It was not you said Joseph to his brothers who sent me here but God You meant evil against me but God meant it for good to bring it about that many people should be kept alive 178 From the greatest moral evil ever committed the rejection and murder of God s only Son caused by the sins of all men God by his grace that abounded all the more 179 brought the greatest of goods the glorification of Christ and our redemption But for all that evil never becomes a good 313 We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him 180 The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth St Catherine of Siena said to those who are scandalized and rebel against what happens to them Everything comes from love all is ordained for the salvation of man God does nothing without this goal in mind 181 St Thomas More shortly before his martyrdom consoled his daughter Nothing can come but that that God wills And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be seem it never so bad in sight it shall indeed be the best 182 Dame Julian of Norwich Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time that all manner of thing shall be well 183 314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us Only at the end when our partial knowledge ceases when we see God face to face 184 will we fully know the ways by which even through the dramas of evil and sin God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest 185 for which he created heaven and earth IN BRIEF 315 In the creation of the world and of man God gave the first and universal witness to his almighty love and his wisdom the first proclamation of the plan of his loving goodness which finds its goal in the new creation in Christ 316 Though the work of creation is attributed to the Father in particular it is equally a truth of faith that the Father Son and Holy Spirit together are the one indivisible principle of creation 317 God alone created the universe freely directly and without any help 318 No creature has the infinite power necessary to create in the proper sense of the word that is to produce and give being to that which had in no way possessed it to call into existence out of nothing cf DS 3624 319 God created the world to show forth and communicate his glory That his creatures should share in his truth goodness and beauty this is the glory for which God created them 320 God created the universe and keeps it in existence by his Word the Son upholding the universe by his word of power Heb 1 3 and by his Creator Spirit the giver of life 321 Divine providence consists of the dispositions by which God guides all his creatures with wisdom and love to their ultimate end 322 Christ invites us to filial trust in the providence of our heavenly Father cf Mt 6 26 34 and St Peter the apostle repeats Cast all your anxieties on him for he cares about you I Pt 5 7 cf Ps 55 23 323 Divine providence works also through the actions of creatures To human beings God grants the ability to co operate freely with his plans 324 The fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery that God illuminates by his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose to vanquish evil Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil by ways that we shall fully know only in eternal life Paragraph 5 Heaven and Earth 325 The Apostles Creed professes that God is creator of heaven and earth The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes all that is seen and unseen 326 The Scriptural expression heaven and earth means all that exists creation in its entirety It also indicates the bond deep within creation that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other the earth is the world of men while heaven or the heavens can designate both the firmament and God s own place our Father in heaven and consequently the heaven too which is eschatological glory Finally heaven refers to the saints and the place of the spiritual creatures the angels who surround God 186 327 The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council 1215 affirms that God from the beginning of time made at once simul out of nothing both orders of creatures the spiritual and the corporeal that is the angelic and the earthly and then deinde the human creature who as it were shares in both orders being composed of spirit and body 187 I THE ANGELS The existence of angels a truth of faith 328 The existence of the spiritual non corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls angels is a truth of faith The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition Who are they 329 St Augustine says Angel is the name of their office not of their nature If you seek the name of their nature it is spirit if you seek the name of their office it is angel from what they are spirit from what they do angel 188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God Because they always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven they are the mighty ones who do his word hearkening to the voice of his word 189 330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will they are personal and immortal creatures surpassing in perfection all visible creatures as the splendour of their glory bears witness 190 Christ with all his angels 331 Christ is the centre of the angelic world They are his angels When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him 191 They belong to him because they were created through and for him for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities all things were created through him and for him 192 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation 193 332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan they closed the earthly paradise protected Lot saved Hagar and her child stayed Abraham s hand communicated the law by their ministry led the People of God announced births and callings and assisted the prophets just to cite a few examples 194 Finally the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself 195 333 From the Incarnation to the Ascension the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels When God brings the firstborn into the world he says Let all God s angels worship him 196 Their song of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church s praise Glory to God in the highest 197 They protect Jesus in his infancy serve him in the desert strengthen him in his agony in the garden when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel had been 198 Again it is the angels who evangelize by proclaiming the Good News of Christ s Incarnation and Resurrection 199 They will be present at Christ s return which they will announce to serve at his judgement 200 The angels in the life of the Church 334 In the meantime the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels 201 335 In her liturgy the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice holy God She invokes their assistance in the funeral liturgy s In Paradisum deducant te angeli May the angels lead you into Paradise Moreover in the Cherubic Hymn of the Byzantine Liturgy she celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly St Michael St Gabriel St Raphael and the guardian angels 336 From its beginning until death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession 202 Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life 203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God II THE VISIBLE WORLD 337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness diversity and order Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine work concluded by the rest of the seventh day 204 On the subject of creation the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation 205 permitting us to recognize the inner nature the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God 206 338 Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator The world began when God s word drew it out of nothingness all existent beings all of nature and all human history are rooted in this primordial event the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun 207 339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection For each one of the works of the six days it is said And God saw that it was good By the very nature of creation material being is endowed with its own stability truth and excellence its own order and laws 208 Each of the various creatures willed in its own being reflects in its own way a ray of God s infinite wisdom and goodness Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment 340 God wills the interdependence of creatures The sun and the moon the cedar and the little flower the eagle and the sparrow the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self sufficient Creatures exist only in dependence on each other to complete each other in the service of each other 341 The beauty of the universe The order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature They call forth the admiration of scholars The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man s intellect and will 342 The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the six days from the less perfect to the more perfect God loves all his creatures 209 and takes care of each one even the sparrow Nevertheless Jesus said You are of more value than many sparrows or again Of how much more value is a man than a sheep 210 343 Man is the summit of the Creator s work as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures 211 344 There is a solidarity among all creatures arising from the fact that all have the same Creator and are all ordered to his glory May you be praised O Lord in all your creatures especially brother sun by whom you give us light for the day he is beautiful radiating great splendour and offering us a symbol of you the Most High May you be praised my Lord for sister water who is very useful and humble precious and chaste May you be praised my Lord for sister earth our mother who bears and feeds us and produces the variety of fruits and dappled flowers and grasses Praise and bless my Lord give thanks and serve him in all humility 212 345 The sabbath the end of the work of the six days The sacred text says that on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done that the heavens and the earth were finished and that God rested on this day and sanctified and blessed it 213 These inspired words are rich in profitable instruction 346 In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm on which the believer can rely with confidence for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God s covenant 214 For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it 347 Creation was fashioned with a view to the sabbath and therefore for the worship and adoration of God Worship is inscribed in the order of creation 215 As the rule of St Benedict says nothing should take precedence over the work of God that is solemn worship 216 This indicates the right order of human concerns 348 The sabbath is at the heart of Israel s law To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation 349 The eighth day But for us a new day has dawned the day of Christ s Resurrection The seventh day completes the first creation The eighth day begins the new creation Thus the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ the splendour of which surpasses that of the first creation 217 IN BRIEF 350 Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures The angels work together for the benefit of us all St Thomas Aquinas STh I 114 3 ad 3 351 The angels surround Christ their Lord They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men 352 The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being 353 God willed the diversity of his creatures and their own particular goodness their interdependence and their order He destined all material creatures for the good of the human race Man and through him all creation is destined for the glory of God 354 Respect for laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality Paragraph 6 Man 355 God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him male and female he created them 218 Man occupies a unique place in creation I he is in the image of God II in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds III he is created male and female IV God established him in his friendship I IN THE IMAGE OF GOD 356 Of all visible creatures only man is able to know and love his creator 219 He is the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake 220 and he alone is called to share by knowledge and love in God s own life It was for this end that he was created and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity What made you establish man in so great a dignity Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself You are taken with love for her for by love indeed you created her by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good 221 357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person who is not just something but someone He is capable of self knowledge of self possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead 358 God created everything for man 222 but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him What is it that is about to be created that enjoys such honour It is man that great and wonderful living creature more precious in the eyes of God than all other creatures For him the heavens and the earth the sea and all the rest of creation exist God attached so much importance to his salvation that he did not spare his own Son for the sake of man Nor does he ever cease to work trying every possible means until he has raised man up to himself and made him sit at his right hand 223 359 In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear 224 St Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men Adam and Christ The first man Adam he says became a living soul the last

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    arising from God and returning to him Still others have affirmed the existence of two eternal principles Good and Evil Light and Darkness locked in permanent conflict Dualism Manichaeism According to some of these conceptions the world at least the physical world is evil the product of a fall and is thus to be rejected or left behind Gnosticism Some admit that the world was made by God but as by a watch maker who once he has made a watch abandons it to itself Deism Finally others reject any transcendent origin for the world but see it as merely the interplay of matter that has always existed Materialism All these attempts bear witness to the permanence and universality of the question of origins This inquiry is distinctively human 286 Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins The existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works by the light of human reason 122 even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear 123 287 The truth about creation is so important for all of human life that God in his tenderness wanted to reveal to his People everything that is salutary to know on the subject Beyond the natural knowledge that every man can have of the Creator 124 God progressively revealed to Israel the mystery of creation He who chose the patriarchs who brought Israel out of Egypt and who by choosing Israel created and formed it this same God reveals himself as the One to whom belong all the peoples of the earth and the whole earth itself he is the One who alone made heaven and earth 125 288 Thus the revelation of creation is inseparable from the revelation and forging of the covenant of the one God with his People Creation is revealed as the first step towards this covenant the first and universal witness to God s all powerful love 126 And so the truth of creation is also expressed with growing vigour in the message of the prophets the prayer of the psalms and the liturgy and in the wisdom sayings of the Chosen People 127 289 Among all the Scriptural texts about creation the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place From a literary standpoint these texts may have had diverse sources The inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation its origin and its end in God its order and goodness the vocation of man and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation Read in the light of Christ within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the beginning creation fall and promise of salvation II CREATION WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY 290 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth 128 three things are affirmed in these first words of Scripture the eternal God gave a beginning to all that exists outside of himself he alone is Creator the verb create Hebrew bara always has God for its subject The totality of what exists expressed by the formula the heavens and the earth depends on the One who gives it being 291 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made 129 The New Testament reveals that God created everything by the eternal Word his beloved Son In him all things were created in heaven and on earth all things were created through him and for him He is before all things and in him all things hold together 130 The Church s faith likewise confesses the creative action of the Holy Spirit the giver of life the Creator Spirit Veni Creator Spiritus the source of every good 131 292 The Old Testament suggests and the New Covenant reveals the creative action of the Son and the Spirit 132 inseparably one with that of the Father This creative co operation is clearly affirmed in the Church s rule of faith There exists but one God he is the Father God the Creator the author the giver of order He made all things by himself that is by his Word and by his Wisdom by the Son and the Spirit who so to speak are his hands 133 Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity III THE WORLD WAS CREATED FOR THE GLORY OF GOD 293 Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth The world was made for the glory of God 134 St Bonaventure explains that God created all things not to increase his glory but to show it forth and to communicate it 135 for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand 136 The First Vatican Council explains This one true God of his own goodness and almighty power not for increasing his own beatitude nor for attaining his perfection but in order to manifest this perfection through the benefits which he bestows on creatures with absolute freedom of counsel and from the beginning of time made out of nothing both orders of creatures the spiritual and the corporeal 137 294 The glory of God consists in the realization of this manifestation and communication of his goodness for which the world was created God made us to be his sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will to the praise of his glorious grace 138 for the glory of God is man fully alive moreover man s life is the vision of God if God s revelation through creation has already obtained life for all the beings that dwell on earth how much more will the Word s manifestation of the Father obtain life for those who see God 139 The ultimate purpose of creation is that God who is the creator of all things may at last become all in all thus simultaneously assuring his own glory and our beatitude 140 IV THE MYSTERY OF CREATION God creates by wisdom and love 295 We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom 141 It is not the product of any necessity whatever nor of blind fate or chance We believe that it proceeds from God s free will he wanted to make his creatures share in his being wisdom and goodness For you created all things and by your will they existed and were created 142 Therefore the Psalmist exclaims O LORD how manifold are your works In wisdom you have made them all and The LORD is good to all and his compassion is over all that he has made 143 God creates out of nothing 296 We believe that God needs no pre existent thing or any help in order to create nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance 144 God creates freely out of nothing 145 If God had drawn the world from pre existent matter what would be so extraordinary in that A human artisan makes from a given material whatever he wants while God shows his power by starting from nothing to make all he wants 146 297 Scripture bears witness to faith in creation out of nothing as a truth full of promise and hope Thus the mother of seven sons encourages them for martyrdom I do not know how you came into being in my womb It was not I who gave you life and breath nor I who set in order the elements within each of you Therefore the Creator of the world who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws Look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed Thus also mankind comes into being 147 298 Since God could create everything out of nothing he can also through the Holy Spirit give spiritual life to sinners by creating a pure heart in them 148 and bodily life to the dead through the Resurrection God gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist 149 And since God was able to make light shine in darkness by his Word he can also give the light of faith to those who do not yet know him 150 God creates an ordered and good world 299 Because God creates through wisdom his creation is ordered You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight 151 The universe created in and by the eternal Word the image of the invisible God is destined for and addressed to man himself created in the image of God and called to a personal relationship with God 152 Our human understanding which shares in the light of the divine intellect can understand what God tells us by means of his creation though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work 153 Because creation comes forth from God s goodness it shares in that goodness And God saw that it was good very good 154 for God willed creation as a gift addressed to man an inheritance destined for and entrusted to him On many occasions the Church has had to defend the goodness of creation including that of the physical world 155 God transcends creation and is present to it 300 God is infinitely greater than all his works You have set your glory above the heavens 156 Indeed God s greatness is unsearchable 157 But because he is the free and sovereign Creator the first cause of all that exists God is present to his creatures inmost being In him we live and move and have our being 158 In the words of St Augustine God is higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self 159 God upholds and sustains creation 301 With creation God does not abandon his creatures to themselves He not only gives them being and existence but also and at every moment upholds and sustains them in being enables them to act and brings them to their final end Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom of joy and confidence For you love all things that exist and detest none of the things that you have made for you would not have made anything if you had hated it How would anything have endured if you had not willed it Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved You spare all things for they are yours O Lord you who love the living 160 V GOD CARRIES OUT HIS PLAN DIVINE PROVIDENCE 302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator The universe was created in a state of journeying in statu viae toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained to which God has destined it We call divine providence the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other and ordering all things well For all are open and laid bare to his eyes even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures 161 303 The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate God cares for all from the least things to the great events of the world and its history The sacred books powerfully affirm God s absolute sovereignty over the course of events Our God is in the heavens he does whatever he pleases 162 And so it is with Christ who opens and no one shall shut who shuts and no one opens 163 As the book of Proverbs states Many are the plans in the mind of a man but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established 164 304 And so we see the Holy Spirit the principal author of Sacred Scripture often attributing actions to God without mentioning any secondary causes This is not a primitive mode of speech but a profound way of recalling God s primacy and absolute Lordship over history and the world 165 and so of educating his people to trust in him The prayer of the Psalms is the great school of this trust 166 305 Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children s smallest needs Therefore do not be anxious saying What shall we eat or What shall we drink Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well 167 Providence and secondary causes 306 God is the sovereign master of his plan But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures co operation This use is not a sign of weakness but rather a token of almighty God s greatness and goodness For God grants his creatures not only their existence but also the dignity of acting on their own of being causes and principles for each other and thus of co operating in the accomplishment of his plan 307 To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of subduing the earth and having dominion over it 168 God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbours Though often unconscious collaborators with God s will they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions their prayers and their sufferings 169 They then fully become God s fellow workers and co workers for his kingdom 170 308 The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes For God is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure 171 Far from diminishing the creature s dignity this truth enhances it Drawn from nothingness by God s power wisdom and goodness it can do nothing if it is cut off from its origin for without a Creator the creature vanishes 172 Still less can a creature attain its ultimate end without the help of God s grace 173 Providence and the scandal of evil 309 If God the Father almighty the Creator of the ordered and good world cares for all his creatures why does evil exist To this question as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious no quick answer will suffice Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question the goodness of creation the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants the redemptive Incarnation of his Son his gift of the Spirit his gathering of the Church the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance but from which by a terrible mystery they can also turn away in advance There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil 310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it With infinite power God could always create something better 174 But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world in a state of journeying towards its ultimate perfection In God s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect both constructive and destructive forces of nature With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection 175 311 Angels and men as intelligent and free creatures have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love They can therefore go astray Indeed they have sinned Thus has moral evil incommensurably more harmful than physical evil entered the world God is in no way directly or indirectly the cause of moral evil 176 He permits it however because he respects the freedom of his creatures and mysteriously knows how to derive good from it For almighty God because he is supremely good would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself 177 312 In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil even a moral evil caused by his creatures It was not you said Joseph to his brothers who sent me here but God You meant evil against me but God meant it for good to bring it about that many people should be kept alive 178 From the greatest moral evil ever committed the rejection and murder of God s only Son caused by the sins of all men God by his grace that abounded all the more 179 brought the greatest of goods the glorification of Christ and our redemption But for all that evil never becomes a good 313 We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him 180 The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth St Catherine of Siena said to those who are scandalized and rebel against what happens to them Everything comes from love all is ordained for the salvation of man God does nothing without this goal in mind 181 St Thomas More shortly before his martyrdom consoled his daughter Nothing can come but that that God wills And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be seem it never so bad in sight it shall indeed be the best 182 Dame Julian of Norwich Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time that all manner of thing shall be well 183 314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us Only at the end when our partial knowledge ceases when we see God face to face 184 will we fully know the ways by which even through the dramas of evil and sin God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest 185 for which he created heaven and earth IN BRIEF 315 In the creation of the world and of man God gave the first and universal witness to his almighty love and his wisdom the first proclamation of the plan of his loving goodness which finds its goal in the new creation in Christ 316 Though the work of creation is attributed to the Father in particular it is equally a truth of faith that the Father Son and Holy Spirit together are the one indivisible principle of creation 317 God alone created the universe freely directly and without any help 318 No creature has the infinite power necessary to create in the proper sense of the word that is to produce and give being to that which had in no way possessed it to call into existence out of nothing cf DS 3624 319 God created the world to show forth and communicate his glory That his creatures should share in his truth goodness and beauty this is the glory for which God created them 320 God created the universe and keeps it in existence by his Word the Son upholding the universe by his word of power Heb 1 3 and by his Creator Spirit the giver of life 321 Divine providence consists of the dispositions by which God guides all his creatures with wisdom and love to their ultimate end 322 Christ invites us to filial trust in the providence of our heavenly Father cf Mt 6 26 34 and St Peter the apostle repeats Cast all your anxieties on him for he cares about you I Pt 5 7 cf Ps 55 23 323 Divine providence works also through the actions of creatures To human beings God grants the ability to co operate freely with his plans 324 The fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery that God illuminates by his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose to vanquish evil Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil by ways that we shall fully know only in eternal life Paragraph 5 Heaven and Earth 325 The Apostles Creed professes that God is creator of heaven and earth The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes all that is seen and unseen 326 The Scriptural expression heaven and earth means all that exists creation in its entirety It also indicates the bond deep within creation that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other the earth is the world of men while heaven or the heavens can designate both the firmament and God s own place our Father in heaven and consequently the heaven too which is eschatological glory Finally heaven refers to the saints and the place of the spiritual creatures the angels who surround God 186 327 The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council 1215 affirms that God from the beginning of time made at once simul out of nothing both orders of creatures the spiritual and the corporeal that is the angelic and the earthly and then deinde the human creature who as it were shares in both orders being composed of spirit and body 187 I THE ANGELS The existence of angels a truth of faith 328 The existence of the spiritual non corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls angels is a truth of faith The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition Who are they 329 St Augustine says Angel is the name of their office not of their nature If you seek the name of their nature it is spirit if you seek the name of their office it is angel from what they are spirit from what they do angel 188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God Because they always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven they are the mighty ones who do his word hearkening to the voice of his word 189 330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will they are personal and immortal creatures surpassing in perfection all visible creatures as the splendour of their glory bears witness 190 Christ with all his angels 331 Christ is the centre of the angelic world They are his angels When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him 191 They belong to him because they were created through and for him for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities all things were created through him and for him 192 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation 193 332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan they closed the earthly paradise protected Lot saved Hagar and her child stayed Abraham s hand communicated the law by their ministry led the People of God announced births and callings and assisted the prophets just to cite a few examples 194 Finally the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself 195 333 From the Incarnation to the Ascension the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels When God brings the firstborn into the world he says Let all God s angels worship him 196 Their song of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church s praise Glory to God in the highest 197 They protect Jesus in his infancy serve him in the desert strengthen him in his agony in the garden when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel had been 198 Again it is the angels who evangelize by proclaiming the Good News of Christ s Incarnation and Resurrection 199 They will be present at Christ s return which they will announce to serve at his judgement 200 The angels in the life of the Church 334 In the meantime the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels 201 335 In her liturgy the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice holy God She invokes their assistance in the funeral liturgy s In Paradisum deducant te angeli May the angels lead you into Paradise Moreover in the Cherubic Hymn of the Byzantine Liturgy she celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly St Michael St Gabriel St Raphael and the guardian angels 336 From its beginning until death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession 202 Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life 203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God II THE VISIBLE WORLD 337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness diversity and order Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine work concluded by the rest of the seventh day 204 On the subject of creation the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation 205 permitting us to recognize the inner nature the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God 206 338 Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator The world began when God s word drew it out of nothingness all existent beings all of nature and all human history are rooted in this primordial event the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun 207 339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection For each one of the works of the six days it is said And God saw that it was good By the very nature of creation material being is endowed with its own stability truth and excellence its own order and laws 208 Each of the various creatures willed in its own being reflects in its own way a ray of God s infinite wisdom and goodness Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment 340 God wills the interdependence of creatures The sun and the moon the cedar and the little flower the eagle and the sparrow the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self sufficient Creatures exist only in dependence on each other to complete each other in the service of each other 341 The beauty of the universe The order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature They call forth the admiration of scholars The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man s intellect and will 342 The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the six days from the less perfect to the more perfect God loves all his creatures 209 and takes care of each one even the sparrow Nevertheless Jesus said You are of more value than many sparrows or again Of how much more value is a man than a sheep 210 343 Man is the summit of the Creator s work as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures 211 344 There is a solidarity among all creatures arising from the fact that all have the same Creator and are all ordered to his glory May you be praised O Lord in all your creatures especially brother sun by whom you give us light for the day he is beautiful radiating great splendour and offering us a symbol of you the Most High May you be praised my Lord for sister water who is very useful and humble precious and chaste May you be praised my Lord for sister earth our mother who bears and feeds us and produces the variety of fruits and dappled flowers and grasses Praise and bless my Lord give thanks and serve him in all humility 212 345 The sabbath the end of the work of the six days The sacred text says that on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done that the heavens and the earth were finished and that God rested on this day and sanctified and blessed it 213 These inspired words are rich in profitable instruction 346 In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm on which the believer can rely with confidence for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God s covenant 214 For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it 347 Creation was fashioned with a view to the sabbath and therefore for the worship and adoration of God Worship is inscribed in the order of creation 215 As the rule of St Benedict says nothing should take precedence over the work of God that is solemn worship 216 This indicates the right order of human concerns 348 The sabbath is at the heart of Israel s law To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation 349 The eighth day But for us a new day has dawned the day of Christ s Resurrection The seventh day completes the first creation The eighth day begins the new creation Thus the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ the splendour of which surpasses that of the first creation 217 IN BRIEF 350 Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures The angels work together for the benefit of us all St Thomas Aquinas STh I 114 3 ad 3 351 The angels surround Christ their Lord They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men 352 The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being 353 God willed the diversity of his creatures and their own particular goodness their interdependence and their order He destined all material creatures for the good of the human race Man and through him all creation is destined for the glory of God 354 Respect for laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality Paragraph 6 Man 355 God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him male and female he created them 218 Man occupies a unique place in creation I he is in the image of God II in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds III he is created male and female IV God established him in his friendship I IN THE IMAGE OF GOD 356 Of all visible creatures only man is able to know and love his creator 219 He is the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake 220 and he alone is called to share by knowledge and love in God s own life It was for this end that he was created and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity What made you establish man in so great a dignity Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself You are taken with love for her for by love indeed you created her by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good 221 357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person who is not just something but someone He is capable of self knowledge of self possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead 358 God created everything for man 222 but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him What is it that is about to be created that enjoys such honour It is man that great and wonderful living creature more precious in the eyes of God than all other creatures For him the heavens and the earth the sea and all the rest of creation exist God attached so much importance to his salvation that he did not spare his own Son for the sake of man Nor does he ever cease to work trying every possible means until he has raised man up to himself and made him sit at his right hand 223 359 In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear 224 St Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men Adam and Christ The first man Adam he says became a living soul the last Adam a life giving spirit The first Adam was made by the last Adam from whom he also received his soul to give

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    man of unclean lips 14 Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus Peter exclaims Depart from me for I am a sinful man O Lord 15 But because God is holy he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him I will not execute my fierce anger for I am God and not man the Holy One in your midst 16 The apostle John says likewise We shall reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us for God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything 17 209 Out of respect for the holiness of God the people of Israel do not pronounce his name In the reading of Sacred Scripture the revealed name YHWH is replaced by the divine title LORD in Hebrew Adonai in Greek Kyrios It is under this title that the divinity of Jesus will be acclaimed Jesus is LORD A God merciful and gracious 210 After Israel s sin when the people had turned away from God to worship the golden calf God hears Moses prayer of intercession and agrees to walk in the midst of an unfaithful people thus demonstrating his love 18 When Moses asks to see his glory God responds I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name the LORD YHWH 19 Then the LORD passes before Moses and proclaims YHWH YHWH a God merciful and gracious slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness Moses then confesses that the LORD is a forgiving God 20 211 The divine name I Am or He Is expresses God s faithfulness despite the faithlessness of men s sin and the punishment it deserves he keeps steadfast love for thousands 21 By going so far as to give up his own Son for us God reveals that he is rich in mercy 22 By giving his life to free us from sin Jesus reveals that he himself bears the divine name When you have lifted up the Son of man then you will realize that I AM 23 God alone IS 212 Over the centuries Israel s faith was able to manifest and deepen realization of the riches contained in the revelation of the divine name God is unique there are no other gods besides him 24 He transcends the world and history He made heaven and earth They will perish but you endure they will all wear out like a garment but you are the same and your years have no end 25 In God there is no variation or shadow due to change 26 God is HE WHO IS from everlasting to everlasting and as such remains ever faithful to himself and to his promises 213 The revelation of the ineffable name I AM WHO AM contains then the truth that God alone IS The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures and following it the Church s Tradition understood the divine name in this

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    Catholic Church I I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD 200 These are the words with which the Niceno Constantinopolitan Creed begins The confession of God s oneness which has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant is inseparable from the profession of God s existence and is equally fundamental God is unique there is only one God The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature substance and essence 3 201 To Israel his chosen God revealed himself as the only One Hear O Israel The LORD our God is one LORD and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might 4 Through the prophets God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him the one and only God Turn to me and be saved all the ends of the earth For I am God and there is no other To me every knee shall bow every tongue shall swear Only in the LORD it shall be said of me are righteousness and strength 5 202 Jesus himself affirms that God is the one Lord whom you must love with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength 6 At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is the Lord 7 To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith This is not contrary to belief in the One God Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as Lord and giver of life introduce any division into the One God We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God eternal infinite immensus and unchangeable incomprehensible almighty and ineffable the Father and the

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    people of Israel I AM has sent me to you this is my name for ever and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations 10 206 In revealing his mysterious name YHWH I AM HE WHO IS I AM WHO AM or I AM WHO I AM God says who he is and by what name he is to be called This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name and hence it better expresses God as what he is infinitely above everything that we can understand or say he is the hidden God his name is ineffable and he is the God who makes himself close to men 11 207 By revealing his name God at the same time reveals his faithfulness which is from everlasting to everlasting valid for the past I am the God of your father as for the future I will be with you 12 God who reveals his name as I AM reveals himself as the God who is always there present to his people in order to save them 208 Faced with God s fascinating and mysterious presence man discovers his own insignificance Before the burning bush Moses takes off his sandals and veils his face in the presence of God s holiness 13 Before the glory of the thrice holy God Isaiah cries out Woe is me I am lost for I am a man of unclean lips 14 Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus Peter exclaims Depart from me for I am a sinful man O Lord 15 But because God is holy he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him I will not execute my fierce anger for I am God and not man the Holy One in your midst 16 The apostle John says likewise We shall reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us for God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything 17 209 Out of respect for the holiness of God the people of Israel do not pronounce his name In the reading of Sacred Scripture the revealed name YHWH is replaced by the divine title LORD in Hebrew Adonai in Greek Kyrios It is under this title that the divinity of Jesus will be acclaimed Jesus is LORD A God merciful and gracious 210 After Israel s sin when the people had turned away from God to worship the golden calf God hears Moses prayer of intercession and agrees to walk in the midst of an unfaithful people thus demonstrating his love 18 When Moses asks to see his glory God responds I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name the LORD YHWH 19 Then the LORD passes before Moses and proclaims YHWH YHWH a God merciful and gracious slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and

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    Catholic Church The living God 205 God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that burns without being consumed I am the God of your father the God of Abraham the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob 9 God is the God of the fathers the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them

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