The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz) - Day 42: The Work of Creation (2024)Episode Date: February 11, 2024
Why did God create? The Catechism today gives us a glimpse into the reason for our existence as we learn about God’s marvelous work of creation. Fr. Mike emphasizes that creation is ultimately a wor...k of the Holy Trinity and a work of love that reveals the glory of God. He also reminds us that creation is not a work of the past; God is constantly forming and breathing new life into our lives and hearts. Today we read Catechism paragraphs 290-298. This episode has been found to be in conformity with the Catechism by the Institute on the Catechism, under the Subcommittee on the Catechism, USCCB. For the complete reading plan, visit ascensionpress.com/ciy Please note: The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains adult themes that may not be suitable for children - parental discretion is advised.
Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz and you're listening to the Catechism in a Year podcast where we encounter God's plan of shared goodness for us, revealed in Scripture and passed down through the tradition of the Catholic faith. The Catechism in a Year is brought to you by Ascension. In 365 days, we'll read through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, discovering our identity in God's family as we journey together toward our heavenly home. This is day 42, reading from paragraphs 290 to 298. That is nine deep paragraphs.
But before we get started, I just want to remind you, I'm using the Ascension Edition of the Catechism, which includes the Foundation's Faith Approach. But you can follow along, obviously, with any recent version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Also, you can download your Catechism and your reading plan by visiting ascensionpress.com slash C- Y and lastly you can click follow or subscribe and your podcast app for daily updates and daily notifications as I said it is day 42 we're reading paragraphs 290 to 298 which is you guys
I don't know if you're loving this I'm loving this we talked about God's power Almighty that the fact that creation is vastly unique because it's the question everyone wants to know What's our origin? What is our destiny? Are we accidents? Where's God involved in all this and and why do I exist? You know in the original balthamore catechism when I say original balthamore catechism I mean in the catechism that was written Somewhere like I don't know balthamore in the last century the first question of the catechism was who made you Now we are getting really deep into that question, who made you? And the answer, of course, is God
made me. And the second question is, why did God make you? And the answer is, God made me to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this life so as to be happy with him forever in the next. We're going to talk about that a little bit. We're just going to get a little glimpse of that question and that answer in today's paragraphs. Again, there's more to come on this, but here's the incredible universal Catechism that was promulgated in the 1990s, given to us today that dives deeply into the fact that A, creation is the work of the Trinity. In fact, Baruch paragraph 290 right from the gate, it says that the very first words of Genesis, I mean, Genesis chapter one, verse one,
in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It says this, it says, there are three things affirmed in these first words of scripture. First, the eternal God gave a beginning to all that exists outside of himself. Two, he alone is creator. And three, the totality, basically everything
of what exists depends on the one who gives a being. And it's incredible. That's the first line of the entire Bible and tells us these three clear and distinct things. We're also going to talk about how everything emanates from, ah, emanates might be the wrong word, because the church actually clarifies that creation is not some kind of divine emanation. It is a choice. It is the decision that God himself wills creation to exist outside of himself.
It didn't just kind of like spontaneously erupt from him. He actually chose that there would be a creation and that comes from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That's really important. But also, why? Why did God create the world? The answer here is the world was created for the glory of God. God didn't need anything. He didn't do it to increase his own glory,
but to show it forth and to communicate it. And that is what we're gonna dive deeply into today. And then lastly, the mystery of creation is, God creates by what? He creates by his wisdom and he creates by his love. This is so important. God does not create out of anything other than his goodness, right?
His wisdom and his love. And he creates, and this is very important, we talk, we hinted at this a little while ago, he creates out of nothing, that it is vitally important. Some philosophies of creation have said that here's the gods or whoever, you know, the creator or creators of the universe
shaped the creation, maybe out of themselves. There's some Middle Eastern creation stories that talk about how, you know, the gods created out of battle, or gods created out of some kind of fertility right, but it's unique. The Judeo-Christian origin of the universe is that God created outside of himself, the Hebrew word is bara, B-A-R-A, and that God creates out of himself. And then also we'd say ex nihilo, it would the the Latin out of nothing out of nothing God creates outside of himself Something that reveals his glory not to add to his glory, but to reveal his glory and to communicate it to us
Right, so let's say prayers we begin this day father in heaven. We thank you and give you praise Thank you for revealing yourself to us in these first words of the book of Genesis and revealing yourself to us What we need to know about you and what we can know about you by your revelation and by the book of Genesis and revealing yourself to us, what we need to know about you and what we can know about you by your revelation and by the unfolding of your revelation and our understanding in the history of the church. Thank you so much. Thank you for those who have gone ahead of us
and have figured this out and are passing it on to us today. In Jesus' name, we praise you. In the name of the Father and of the Son of the Holy Spirit. As I said, it's day 42, reading paragraphs 290 to 298. Creation, work of the Holy Spirit. As I said, it's day 42, reading paragraphs 290 to 298. Creation, work of the Holy Trinity. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 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, Barah, 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. As the prologue of the Gospel of John states, 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. The New Testament reveals that God created everything by the eternal word, His beloved Son. As St. Paul wrote to the Colossians, "...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." The Church's faith likewise confesses the creative action of the Holy Spirit, the giver of life, the Creator Spirit, Feny Kreator Spiritus, the source of every good.
The Old Testament suggests, and the New Covenant reveals, the creative action of the Son and the Spirit, inseparably one with that of the Father. This creative cooperation is clearly affirmed in the Church's rule of faith articulated by St. Irenaeus. 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.
Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity. The world was created for the glory of God. Scripture and tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth. The world was made for the glory of God. St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things not to increase His glory, but to short forth and to communicate it. For God has no other reason for creating than His love and goodness, as St. Thomas Aquinas stated, creatures came into existence when the key of love opened His hand.
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. nothing, both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal. 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, as St. Paul writes to the Ephesians, to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace.
For, as St. Irenaeus stated, 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 words manifestation of the Father obtain life for those who see God? 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.
The mystery of creation. God creates by wisdom and love. We believe that God created the world according to His wisdom. 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. As the book of Revelation states, For you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. 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." God creates out of nothing. 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. God creates freely out of nothing. As Saint Theophilus of Antioch said, 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. Scripture bears witness to faith and creation out of nothing as a truth full of promise and hope. Thus, the mother of seven sons encourages them for martyrdom in the second book of Maccabees, 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.
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 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. And since God was able to make light shine in the darkness by his word, he can also give the light of faith to those who do not yet know him. Okay, you guys, that is incredible. I mean, it's one of those things where I read this today and I was just moved like, oh my gosh, as I mentioned before we read this, these first words of Genesis chapter one, verse one,
in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, these three things that are affirmed. Number one, the eternal God gave a beginning to all that exists and it's outside of himself. Number two, he alone is the Creator. Remember that word, bara, to create outside ex nihilo, right, out of out of nothing. And thirdly, the totality of what exists depends on the one who gives it being. Now this is so important. I just, I love the fact that then the next two paragraphs highlight the fact that here's paragraph 292.
The Old Testament suggests, and the new covenant reveals the creative action of the Son and the Spirit in separately one with that of the Father. That this creative cooperation, right? The Father, Son and the Spirit in separately one with that of the Father, that this creative cooperation, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together in the creation of the world. We can even see this, and I think we might have mentioned
this in Genesis chapter one where it talks about, here's the Father who's creating and his word goes out and the Spirit hovers over the waters. And we also have not only in the beginning of John's gospel, the prologue of John's gospel that we read in paragraph 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.
Also, St. Paul's letter to the Colossians says, 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. This is just so powerful. The hymn here is Jesus Christ Himself, the Lord. Right? The word made flesh that John's prologue talks about makes very, very clearly. In the
beginning was the word, the word was with God, the word was God. This is so important. Why? Because we realize that the work of creation, yes, we talk about God the Father is the Creator, but the work of creation is the work of the Holy Trinity. Which is to say what? Remember the deepest identity of God? His innermost secret is that he is an eternal exchange of love? Which means if all of... I mean, there's so many ramifications of this. Here's one to walk away with.
That means the entire creation was not just the work of the Father. It's the work of the Holy Trinity. Which is love. Who is love? We should say all of creation is the work of love. Does that make sense? And why? The next paragraph, talk about this.
The next section is the world was created for the glory of God. And it makes a massive point that the document, Dei Philius says, the world was made for the glory of God. Also, St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things not to increase his glory, but to short forth and to communicate it. Again, God didn't have any reason to communicate other than his love and goodness. And that's just so massively important. Why?
Because it reveals God doesn't need anything. You know, so often people will say, well, why does God need us to worship Him? You know, we read the Old Testament and it's all about worship of God. I mean, I maintain that almost all of the Bible is about how do we give God the worship that He deserves and the worship that He desires?
The question people say, ask is, why would God want us to worship Him in the first place? Is He just that delicate? Is He just that much of an attention hog? The answer here very, very clearly is absolutely not. God gains nothing from our worship. God gains nothing from revealing His glory to us. The only thing He gains is He gets to share His glory.
He gets to share His divine life with us. Again, as St. Bonaventure explains, God created all things not to increase His glory, he gets to share his divine life with us. Again, as Saint Bonaventure explains, God created all things not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it. And yeah, that's incredible. So let's keep moving on. There's two more points, at least two more points I just want to make here. And the last little section here, the mystery of creation, the reason why we already said this, we believe that God created the world according to his wisdom. He created this world out of love, not because it emanated, there was no necessity for it.
It proceeds from his free will. He wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom and goodness, not because he needed anything, because he loves us, because he loves you. And so, again, as we look at all creation, let this be a sign of God's love for you, that the Lord is good to all
and his compassion is over all he has made. The last couple notes that are made in this section we were reading today is that God creates out of nothing, that he did not need any pre-existent material or anything or any help whatsoever in order to create. And it's, again, it's not sort of any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance. God creates freely and out of nothing.
Again, he didn't need to do this, this is free, and he didn't get any help. It is out of nothing. And that is not only affirmed in scripture, it's also affirmed in the history of the church. I love this last paragraph, paragraph 298, before we go to the next part. And again, we're going to keep talking about what kind of world God creates. That's tomorrow and how he continues to uphold and sustain creation. But this last paragraph today, paragraph 298, brings it home for us and talks about, okay, if God creates freely,
right, no one's coercing him, no one's manipulating him into doing this, he didn't need it. And God creates out of nothing that he says this in paragraph 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 and bodily life to the dead through the resurrection. Keep this in mind. This is why this is so vitally important for us, because creation is not a thing of the past Creation and recreation is a thing that's happening right to now right that sense of okay this god who didn't need any help to create this universe Does not lack anything when it comes to recreating a new heart in you
He does not lack anything the god who who can make everything out of nothing He can raise up your dry bones and my dry bones. He can raise up dust from the earth He can bring us back to life and he will because he promises to bring us back to life It says this God gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist Of course that comes from Romans chapter 4 Since God was able to make the light shine in the darkness by his word, right when he said, let there be light, he can also give the light of faith to those who do not yet know him.
And this is one of the words of hope for us. I can give the light of faith to those who do not know him. When there's darkness in our minds, we just say, God, God, you created all things out of nothing. God, you who invented light simply by your word, give that light to me. Give that light to my friends, my family. And tonight, I think it should be really important. Let's pray for those people we love
who don't have the light of faith, but we know that God is so good. He can bestow that light of faith, even on those who have hardened their hearts and hardened their minds to Him. Even us, when we've hardened our hearts, or the areas we've hardened our minds to Him, because we know this,
we can be listening to this Catechism in the air, we can still struggle, we can still struggle with faith, we can still struggle with certain teachings we're gonna get to. And so we need God's help. But the crazy thing is we have God's help. So let's keep praying, I'm praying for you. Please pray for me.
My name's Father Mike, I cannot wait to see you tomorrow. God bless.