CREATION AND PROVIDENCE
As I have written before, I am taking a wonderful theology class at the University of Notre Dame
. My alma mater
has been under the gun the last few years from some of the more traditional wings of American Catholicism. Perhaps the criticism is justified with such notable dissidents as Fr. Richard McBrien on the faculty. I just want to demonstrate that the Body of Christ is still functioning relatively well at ND. Besides, today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
, so a defense of Our Lady's University seems appropriate.
In my class we are writing "In Brief" papers that summarize some central concepts as presented by the Church. Here is a paper that I submitted for my class about God and Providence according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
. (I received a check+ for it.)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. (§279) This is how God first reveals Himself to us in Sacred Scripture. Included in the creation stories from a Christian perspective, is our need for Christ.
•“From the beginning, God envisaged the glory of the new creation in Christ.” (§280)
The revelation of God as Creator of the Universe is of ultimate importance to our faith.
•Catechesis on creation is important because it addresses the universal questions of our origin and our end. (§282)
•Many cultures and philosophies have offered differing opinions on the origin of the world, but they illustrate the universality of the question of origin. (§285)
•Discoveries about the origins of the world invite us to a greater admiration of the Creator and inspire us to give Him thanks. (§283)
Creation is not only the work of the First Person of the Trinity, however. It results from the shared love of the Holy Trinity.
•God created everything through the eternal Word. (§291)
•“Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity.” (§292)
Looking into the Sacred Scriptures for our origin reveals that we must rely on faith to understand that origin.
•The existence of God can be inferred from creation. Faith confirms this truth. (§286)
•The first three chapters of Genesis address creation from a faith perspective, not as scientific explanation. (§289)
We do not look to the Bible for scientific evidence. We cannot have true observation of creation because no human observer was present. Besides the limitation of pre-observer stories, the Bible addresses unobservable traits of goodness and holiness. This indicates that we can not replace the Bible with Science texts or vice versa.
Creation reveals to us the power of God.
•The world was made out of nothing. (§293)
•Creation from nothing is confirmed in Holy Scripture. (§297)
It also reveals to us the nature of the world.
•God created the world according to his wisdom and compassion. (§295)
•The world is ordered and good because it was created through wisdom and from God’s goodness. (§299)
This revelation unveils God’s glory.
•“The world was made for the glory of God.” Dei Filius, can. §5: DS 3025. (§293)
•“God is infinitely greater than all His works.” (§300)
•Because God can create from nothing, he can make sinners clean and give life to the dead. (§298)
The flourishing of creation assures God’s own glory. (§294)
•God does not abandon His creatures but upholds and sustains His creation. (§301)
•Divine providence is the way in which God guides His creation toward perfection in Him. (§302)
•God is at work in all actions. (§308)
The Christian message gives answers to the question of evil. (§309) God reveals greater power in the freedom He gives to His creations. While God did not create evil, evil occurs so that the greater good of freely loving beings may exist.
•God did not create evil, but He allows evil to respect the freedom He gave His creatures. (§311)
•Evil never becomes good, but God can cause good to result from of the existence of evil. (§312)
So it is through the power that God allows humanity to freely choose good over evil in which we can observe the great power of God.
•God created the world and its creatures in a state of journeying. (§310)
At the end of the journey, God wants his creatures to choose the good and be with Him, but it is dependent on the free choice, not forced goodness.
Anyway, It is neither too academically in depth nor too light. I think it is an adequate summary of what the Church teaches, however.
Let us pray,
Dear Lord, God of all Creation, please look with favor upon your people. Give us the Spirit to guide us through life while we still are blinded by sinfulness. Give us the strength to endure hardships without losing faith in You.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us.
Notre Dame, our Mother, pray for us.