Session 1   God and Creation

 

 God creating Adam as depicted on the Sistine Chapel ceiling in the Vatican

 

  • We can know of the existence of God through our own reason.  Humankind has a natural desire to search for a creator.  This search should lead to a love of God and the desire to know more about God which we learn through God’s own Revelation to us.

 

  • St. Thomas Aquinas (1170 – 1221)

Influenced by the philosopher Aristotle, he formulated 5 proofs for the existence of God e.g.  Order in nature and Causality (acorn from an oak tree which grew from an acorn from an oak tree …….    

 

  • Creation

Theory of Evolution does not conflict with the Bible story which was never intended to be taken literally.  The story is a way of conveying the message that God created the world in some way.  Somewhere along the process of evolution, a creature is infused with a soul and from that moment onwards, he and she (Adam and Eve) become human.  This human being now has integrity, free will and is in control of his own self.  He chose to do evil rather than good.  (Read story of The Fall in Genesis Chapter 3.  Also, the story of Cain and Abel in Chapter 4 illustrates what uncontrolled human nature can result in)

 

The theory of the Big Bang leads us to ask the question “Where did the material in the cosmos come from in the first place?”

 

  • The Environment

We have a duty to look after our environment as it can be said that we are stewards of the earth which we will pass on to the next generation.  God gave plants, animals and other natural resources to our first parents for their own use but that does not mean that we should misuse them.  One of the main themes of modern living is one of stewardship in as much as we all try to reduce our carbon footprint and to be economical with all our resources.  The Church strongly endorses this idea. Pope Benedict XVI in his recent encyclical on the Church's social teaching: Caritas in Veritate, says:

  "Today the subject of development is also closely related to the duties arising from our relationship to the natural environment.  The environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole."

 

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html

 

  • God’s Salvation Plan

After the Fall, God reveals himself to his Chosen People, the Jews.

Covenant with Noah and Abraham.

Promise of a Messiah.

God became man – Incarnation – fulfilment of God’s promise – the New Covenant:

            Jesus Christ took on human flesh.

            Emmanuel, God among us.

            He redeems us through his passion and death.

            He conquers death by his Resurrection.

            The Church is established.

 

  • God’s attributes.

Omnipotent     -   all powerful

Omniscient      -   knows all things

Omnipresent    -   he is everywhere

Immutable       -  unchangeable

Eternal

Truth

Beauty

Love