Category Archives: Catechism

God the Supreme Being

​God created the world in six days. On the first day He made light and darkness, day and night. On the second day He made the sky and divided the waters. On the third day of Creation, God caused dry land to appear out of the waters, and bade plants to spring forth from the land. On the fourth day God made the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the fifth day He made creeping things, birds and fishes. On the sixth day God made beasts, and finally, man. Then on the seventh day God stopped working: He rested. “The heavens show forth the glory of God.” (Ps. 18:2).

Who is God? — God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, Who made all things and keeps them in existence.
God made everything — men, beasts, plants, planets, stars, everything. Not only that; God keeps everything in existence. Were He to take away His hand from what He created, everything would disappear into nothingness quicker than thought. Without a cause, there could be no effects. Without God, could there be anything at all?
“In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). “In him were created all things” (Col. 1:16). “It is he who gives to all men life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:25).
The traditions of all nations and races support the idea of the existence of God. All nations and peoples have an inner convictionof God’s existence; their intellect supports their instinctive trust.
Even among the wildest, most remote, and most degraded pagans there is invariably found the worship of some deity recognized as supreme, on whom man depends. There are savage peoples without ruler, laws, or even settlements, but never without some god that they worship with prayer and sacrifice

What do we mean when we say that God is the Supreme Being? — When we say that God is the Supreme Being, we mean that He is above all creatures, the self-existing and infinitely perfect Spirit.
“I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no god” (Is. 44:6). “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end,’ says the Lord God. ‘who is and who was and who is coming'” (Apoc. 1:8)

What is a spirit? — A spirit is a being that has understanding and free will, but no body, and will never die.
God is a pure spirit. As God has no body, when we speak of His eyes and His hands we only speak in a figurative manner, in order to make ourselves more understandable according to our human way of speaking.
Our Lord said to the Samaritan woman at the well: “God is spirit; and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Yet God has often taken on visible forms, in order to be seen by men. Thus he showed Himself in the form of a dove at the baptism of Jesus, and in the form of tongues of fire on Pentecost. God is neither a dove nor tongues of fire; He merely assumed those forms in order to be seen by mortal eyes.
Angels and devils are pure spirits. Men are only partly spiritual, because they have a body. Man’s soul is a spirit, absolutely independent of matter, and by creatures indestructible.
As spirits, God and men have this in common, though in different degrees: all have understanding, intellect, and free will. By his free will man can even defy his Creator, God.

What do we mean when we say that God is self-existing? — When we say that God is self-existing we mean that He does not owe His existence to any other being.
God made us, but who made God? God said to Moses, “I am who am” (Exod. 3:14). He exists of Himself, deriving His Being from no other. God is the First Cause.
All other beings and things owe their existence to God. In comparison to Him, we are nothing.

Man can never have a complete knowledge of God. Man is finite and cannot fully understand the infinite. A cup can contain the immensity of the ocean more easily than man can fully understand the Infinite God.

We know God only partly, from the order, harmony, and existence of things, from our conscience, and from God’s revelations to man.

What do we mean when we say that God is infinitely perfect? — When we say that God is infinitely perfect, we mean that He has all perfections without limit.
God is immense and eternal, “an ocean without shore or bottom,” the unchangeable Being that only Himself can fully understand: “Of his greatness there is no end” (Ps. 144:3)
God is so great and wonderful that He needs nothing to make Him greater or more wonderful. He possesses all perfections, countless, innumerable, illimitable, boundless.
God cannot be better, holier, or more perfect than He already is. He is at the acme of perfection, the uncreated, the Infinite. “Heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee” (3 Kings 8:27).
So perfect is God that He is infinitely incomprehensible, incapable of being completely understood. Reason can verify the revelation that God made of Himself. But when we make our reason or our emotions the final authority, we make ourselves our own god, and shut the road to the supernatural, the Infinite.
God alone can bridge the chasm that yawns between the finite and the infinite. When we take advantage of His grace to seek Him in loving trust, He holds out His hand, a Father calling to children, to cross the chasm safely to Him.
The Creator is above all the created, though something of Him, some likeness of His Being, may be found in every creature. But even were all creatures, from the most glorious seraphim to the lowliest of moss, to combine their powers and perfections, theirs would be a faint shadow of God’s all-encompassing supremacy.

What are some of the perfections of God? — Some of the perfections of God are: God is eternal, all-good, all-knowing, all-present, and almighty.
God’s perfections do not exist separately in Him, but are one and identical with Himself. They are only various manifestations of His one nature and perfection. In God, for example, His goodness is one with His wisdom and power. His perfections, besides being one and the same in Him, are also identical with Him: that is, God Himself is infinity, wisdom, goodness, power.

Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.
God Bless BJS!!

The Apostles Creed

​The Apostles, before they parted, gathered together in Jerusalem in the first Council of the Church. There they decided to put down in a brief statement their principal doctrines, so that their teachings might be uniform wherever they preached. This statement of the articles of faith we call today “The Apostles’ Creed.” It was formulated in order to put into fruition the command of Our Lord:  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days” (Matt. 28:19-20).

Where do we find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church?
— We find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church in the Apostles’ Creed.
A creed is a summary or statement of what one believes. “Creed” comes from the Latin credo, which means I believe; that is, I accept or hold true something on the word of another.
“I believe,” with relation to the Apostles’ Creed, means that I firmly assent to everything contained in it. I believe it exactly as if I had seen those truths with my own eyes. I believe it on the authority or word of God, Who cannot deceive or be deceived.
The Apostles Creed is so called because it has come down to us from apostolic times, and contains a summary of the principal truths taught by the Apostles.
The Apostles’ Creed is repeated at Baptism, as a declaration of faith. In ancient times it was required before Baptism, as a sign of fitness for reception into the Church.
The Apostles’ Creed has come down to us intact, except for a few clauses added by the Church later, in order to counteract various heresies. These additions, however, are not new doctrines, but a clarification of what the Creed already contained.
Thus the words “Creator of heaven and earth” were added to counteract the Manichaean heresy that the world was created by the principle of evil; and the word “Catholic” was added, to distinguish the True Church from churches springing up around it. As our Lord said, “And you also bear witness, because from the beginning you are with me” (John 15:27).
There are several other creeds used by the Church, in substance identical with the Apostles’ Creed.
The Nicene Creed, which is said in the Mass, was mainly drawn up at the Council of Nicea, in the year 325. The Athanasian Creedis said by priests in the Divine Office for Sunday.

Into how many articles may the Apostles’ Creed be divided?
— The Apostles Creed may be divided into twelve articles.
All the articles are absolutely necessary to faith: if even one article is omitted or changed, faith would be destroyed. It is symbolical to divide the Apostles’ Creed into twelve articles, because the Apostles numbered twelve; thus we are reminded that the Creed comes to us and was taught by the Apostles of Our Lord.

The following are the articles:

1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;
2. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord;
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead;
6. He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
7. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost;
9. The Holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints;
10. The forgiveness of sins;
11. The resurrection of the body;
12. And life everlasting. Amen
The twelve articles of the Apostles’ Creed contain the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, one God in three distinct Divine Persons, — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, — with the particular operations attributed to each Person. The Creed contains three distinct parts. The first part treats of God the Father and creation. The second part treats of God the Son and our redemption. And the third part treats of God the Holy Ghost and our sanctification.

What act of religion do we make when we say the Apostles’ Creed?
— When we say the Apostles’ Creed we make an act of faith.
Christian faith is a supernatural gift of God which enables us to believe firmly whatever God has revealed, on the testimony of His word. By it we believe in the truth of many things which we cannot grasp with our understanding
For example, we believe in God, although we cannot see Him. We believe in the Trinity, although it is beyond our understanding. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (He. 11:6).
Faith does not require us to believe in anything contrary to reason. When we believe what we cannot perceive or understand, we act according to reason, which tells us that God cannot err, lie, or deceive us. We therefore put our trust in God’s word.
In many natural things we often believe what we do not see, as sound waves and atoms, on the testimony of scientists who have studied them. Thus we act within reason; but how much more reasonable it is to believe on the word of God!
A great reward in heaven awaits those who suffer persecution or die for the faith or some Christian virtue. The number of martyrs who have died for the Catholic faith is estimated at more than sixteen millions.
All the Apostles suffered persecution, and all except St. John suffered death by martyrdom, for their faith. St. John the Baptist was beheaded because he censured Herod for violating the law of marriage. St. John Nepomucene was put to death because he refused to violate the seal of confession. “Therefore, everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge him before my Father in heaven” (Matt. 10:32)
Neglect of the study of the truths of our religion is frequently the cause of lukewarmness, a bad life, and final apostasy and impenitence. We should be zealous in studying the Christian doctrine, in the catechism and religion lessons, in sermons, missions, and retreats.
If we have any doubts, we should consult our priests; God will not forgive ignorance if we voluntarily neglect the means He has granted to dissipate it.

Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.

God Bless BJS!!

Religion & The Purpose (End) of Man

​In creating us, God gave us the power and right to choose which path we should follow in life: either the path of obedience, or the path of disobedience to His commandments. The first seems wearisome and full of thorns, but reward comes in the end: happiness with God. The second seems full of pleasures and roses, but punishment awaits the traveler at the end: eternal damnation in hell.

Each must choose for himself. We may find the choice a hard struggle. We shall be strengthened in the choice of the difficult path if we remember that we belong to God, that He loves us, that He will help us and is waiting for us at the end of the road — of obedience.

What is the destiny of man? — Man’s high destiny is to go to God, because man comes from God, and belongs entirely to God.

Our reason tells us that Someone made us. That Someone is God.
Nothing can proceed from nothing. If there had ever been a moment when nothing existed, nothing would ever have existed. Therefore, because we exist, we know Someone who made us also exists; that Someone is God. “He made us, and not we ourselves” (Ps. 99:3). “All things have been created through and unto Him” (Col. 1:16).

Our reason also tells us that God must have made us for some purpose. God made man to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy forever with Him in the next. God made us for Himself. The end of man, as of all creation, is the glory of God; to manifest the divine perfections, to proclaim the goodness, majesty, and power of God.

“The Lord hath made all things for Himself”
(Prov. 16:4). Whether he wishes to or not, man must manifest God’s perfections, dominion, and glory. Man’s very existence does this; even his sins will in the end show forth God’s infinite holiness and justice.
Through glorifying God, man is destined to share His everlasting happiness in heaven. Man was created chiefly for the life beyond the grave; this present one is merely a preparation for the eternal life.
In this life we are exiles, wanderers, pilgrims. Heaven, the Home of God, is our true country, our true Home. There God wants to share with us His own unmeasured bliss. “For here we have no permanent city, but we seek for the city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14)

We belong to God. Since we are His creatures, we have certain duties towards God which we must fulfill. Religion teaches us what these duties are.

What is Religion?
— Religion is the virtue by which we give to God the honor and service due to Him alone as our Creator, Master, and Supreme Lord. It is by religion that we know, love, and serve God as He commands us to know, love and serve Him.
It is by religion, then, that we fulfill the end for which we were made, and so save our soul. In order to practice this virtue, we must:
Believe all the truths revealed by God.
In religion we learn about God and His perfections. We learn something about His great love for us. We learn what is right and what is wrong. We learn what God commands us to do. We learn about the future that He has prepared for us.
Carry Out in our lives what we learn about the duties we owe to God, about His commands and wishes. Mere knowledge is not religion, and will avail us nothing. The devil has knowledge, but he has no religion. Religion includes the service of God in fulfilling what we have learned of our duties towards Him. Religion is not a matter of feeling; it is a matter of will and of action.
Our Lord says: “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28).The Apostle St. James said: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jas. 1).

How can we prove that all men are obliged to practice religion?
— We can prove that all men are obliged to practice religion, because all men are entirely dependent on God, and must recognize that dependence by honoring Him and praying to Him.
It is absolutely necessary for us to practice religion. God gives us no choice in the matter. Our chief business in life, the business which God commands us to attend to, is to go to God. And this depends on our practice of religion.
It is by religion that we fulfill the purpose for which we were created. By believing what God has revealed, we know God. By knowing God, we cannot help but love Him. By practicing what we learn and obeying God’s commands, we serve Him. “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me” (John 14:21).
Many people spend their lives in a vain pursuit of riches, honors, and pleasures. But these never satisfy the heart of man even on earth. Besides, they have to be left behind when the hour of death comes.

From whom do we learn to know, love, and serve God?
— Men learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who teaches us through the Catholic Church.
The study in which Jesus Christ teaches us about God and how to know, love, and serve Him, is the study of Religion. It is the most important study anyone can undertake. The neglect of this study is the root cause of crime in the world at present. Without a knowledge of God men give way to their basest passions.
Our salvation is much more important than a knowledge of physics, poetry, or history. All our science and knowledge, with our wealth and honors, will be profitless if we do not save our soul. “What does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26).
This study needs thought and attention. We need to listen to a good teacher. We cannot study it well by ourselves alone.
The deacon Philip asked the Ethiopian reading Holy Scripture, “Dost thou then understand what thou art reading?” But he said, “Why, how can I, unless someone shows me?” (Acts 8:31).
Who are those who advocate no study of religion?— Those that advocate no study of religion are generally termed free-thinkers, agnostics, skeptics, and rationalists.
These thinkers claim that all problems can be solved by the use of the intellect alone, without necessity of any principle, law, dogma or authority.
“Freedom of thought” has a pleasant sound, but it is against reason; by it the mind is fettered by error. We submit our minds freely to natural and scientific truths; that is true freedom. If there is no freedom of thought in mathematics, why in religion?
“Freedom of thought” is evidently a contradiction; we are not free to think what is not the truth. There are fundamental laws that bind the intellect.
For instance, are we free to believe that the sun revolves around the earth, even if it appears to do so?
The intelligent man, in order to attain the kind of freedom humanly possible, should find out to which authority he must submit; he must discover which is the Law. And this is why the rational man studies Religion, to find out this fundamental Law.

Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.

God Bless BJS!!

Creationism and the Production of the World

I wanted to include a chapter from a book of Apologetics on the Catholic Faith concerning Creationism. As Christians we are constantly on the defense against many false theories of science, and in fact these theories (that are not even supported by complete scientific evidence), are crammed down our throats and that of our children in the education of the public schools (and even private), the curriculum of which our Godless nation gets to decide. A word about evolution,  I do not know a Christian out there that denies that evolution is a process that happens in our lifetime constantly. However, it does not explain the start of the universe at all and merely supports the change of things over time. If evolution was such a complete process we wouldn’t be worried about extinction, monkeys would be asking to be let out of their cages and trying to find jobs,  etc. but this is not the case. In fact all these “missing links” are fraudulent and lead scientists in circles along with the inaccuracies of radio carbon dating and so forth. I am hoping by presenting this chapter it will help one understand that Creationism is in fact the beginning and one true source of everything that we can perceive with our senses.

False Theories About The Production of the World:

Here we discuss Materialism and Pantheism. Materialism teaches that nothing exists but bodily being or matter, and that the world, as we see it, is but a development of an original mass of matter. Pantheism (from the Greek words pan, “all,” and theos, “God”) teaches that the divine substance alone exists, and that the world and all things in it are outpourings or manifestations of this substance.

1. Materialism – Nothing exists but bodily matter. There is no spirit, no soul, no God. Matter is eternal and uncaused. Matter is composed of tiny particles (atoms) which have an indwelling force of motion. The motion of atoms goes on exerting itself according to changeless physical laws. As a result of this motion, the atoms are variously grouped and united, and thus different “kinds” of bodies emerge-minerals, plants, brutes, men. But there is no real diversity among these things; there is only apparent diversity,  which is accounted for by atomic motion. All things in the world are as truly one in kind, and the product of an original and eternal mass of homogeneous matter, as a variety of differently shaped and differently cooked biscuits is the product of one original mass of dough.

Materialism cannot be true. If matter alone existed, then it would have to be self-existing.  Now, as we have seen, a self-existing being must be necessary and not contingent;  it must be infinite and not finite; it must be simple and not composed; it must be immutable and not full of change. But, as a fact, the world is contingent,  finite, composed, and full of change. Therefore,  matter cannot be self-existent, and it requires an efficient cause to account for its existence-a cause that is ultimately the First Cause, which is necessary,  simple,  infinite,  and immutable. No one can doubt that the world is contingent, else it would have to exist, and there could be no change in it; it would have to be always just what it is unchanged and unchangeable. No one can doubt that the world is finite, for it is made up of mensurable, limited objects, and the sum of limited things is finite and cannot be infinite.  No one can question the fact that the world is composed, for the world and things in it are made up of parts. No one can deny that the world is full of change, for it is clearly in motion (as the atomists themselves assert), and is full of births, deaths, renewals, physical change, chemical change, mechanical change.

If materialism were true, then mind and matter would be the same; or rather, mind would be but a phase or development of matter. But matter always has extension; and mind has no extension. Besides, mind can deal with things that transcend the limits of matter, things like unity, truth, goodness, honor, ideals, appreciation of poetry, music, art, etc. Further, if materialism were true, there could be no accounting for intellectual knowledge or free-will. Material objects are essentially individual, and intellectual knowledge is essentially founded upon universal ideas or concepts. Free-will is self-direction following intellectual judgement, and matter is essentially inert and not self-directive.

If materialism were true, then every one of the particles of matter (atoms) would be necessary, eternal,  infinite!  A thing made up of parts, as matter is made up of atoms,  can only amount to the sum of its parts, and if these be finite (as parts must be!) then the whole sum of parts is finite. Yet matter is infinite, says the materialists, for it is eternal and uncaused. Therefore, infinity must belong to each and every particle of matter. This conclusion is obviously absurd and self-contradictory. Hence materialism cannot be true.

Finally, if materialism were true, each atom of matter would be necessarily endowed with force of motion. Yet, as we have seen, motion is essentially a thing given, communicated, received. Motion is not self-originating, but must be traced to a first mover, itself unmoved. How, then, does the atom get its necessary motion?  If nothing but matter exists, motion in matter becomes an utter impossibility.  For all these reasons we reject materialism as a theory wholly incapable of explaining the production of the world.

2. Pantheism – There is but one substance; this is God. The world and all things in the world are either outpourings (emanations) of the divine substance, or manifestations of God. In other words, the world is to God what inlets are to the sea, what sparks are to the fire from which they spring; or the world is a manifestation of God as a smile is a manifestation of mind, or as a ripple on a lake is a manifestation of a condition affecting water, or as wind is a manifestation of atmospheric disturbance. Pantheism of the first type is called Emanationism; pantheism of the second type is called Phenomenalism. There is a third type of pantheism called Idealistic, of which we need only say that it is a very vague and abstract doctrine of God as a kind of idea (called The Absolute) which comes gradually out of its abstract state into concreteness by realizing itself in things.

Pantheism, in whatever form presented, identifies the world with God. This doctrine cannot be true. Pantheism contradicts reason. Reason demonstrates the impossibility of a cause producing itself as its own effect;  yet pantheism makes the First Cause and Necessary Being one with the world, which is a caused and contingent being. Further, pantheism teaches a kind of evolution in God (for He emits emanations, manifestations,  or develops concrete realization of Himself), and thus posits change in the Necessary Being, growth in the Perfect Being, improvement in the Infinite Being!

Pantheism contradicts consciousness. Each of us recognize himself as an individual being distinct from all others. This consciousness must be altogether deceiving if pantheism be true, for then we are nothing but emanations, manifestations, or “parts” of God! And if consciousness so deceives us, we must not trust it at all; so we cannot be sure of anything that we perceive or reason out: hence all doctrines, including pantheism, become utterly uncertain and futile; there is nothing left but the absurd self-contradiction of universal scepticism.

Pantheism would lead to unthinkable consequences in practical life. Pantheism destroys personality in men and makes all men one with one another and one with God. Thus there can be no individual free-will, no individual responsibility. The murderer and his victim, the saint and the sinner, the patriot and the traitor, are all one, are all God! There can be no crime then, for all human action is God’s action, and God cannot commit crime. Thus there is no morality,  and laws and governments become futile inanities. 

For these reasons we are forced to reject pantheism as a theory wholly incapable of explaining the production of the world. Pantheism and Materialism are called monism (from the Greek word monos “one,” “alone”) because they teach that the universe is made of one single kind of substance, viz., either the divine substance,  or matter.

The Fact of Creation:

With materialism amd pantheism rejected as utterly inadequate, we are left but one doctrine on the production of the world. This doctrine, therefore, must, by exclusion, be true. It is called the doctrine of Creationism, and it asserts that the world was produced by an act of God’s infinite will, which called it out of nothingness into real existence.

Creation is the production out of nothing of a thing in its entirety. It is, first of all, an act of production, of efficient causality. Further, creation is an act of efficient causality which produces the entire effect out of nothing. In this we notice that creation is different from all other acts of efficient production. A carpenter builds a house, but he does not create the house; his work is merely an adaptation and use of preexisting materials, and there is nothing preexistent for creation to deal with. A dressmaker may call the product of her art “a creation”; but it is obvious that her work is merely the arrangement and shaping of materials which she did not produce herself. A poet may call his latest sonnet “a creation,” but the poet does not create his thoughts and fancies: they are fundamentally drawn from a material world which the senses perceive,  and which the poet did not produce or help to produce. A creation is a thing produced without preexisting materials. To create is to produce a thing, entirely and completely,  out of nothing.

Now the world is a fact; it is here. In answering the question,  “How did the world get here?” we must not say that it caused itself, for that would be to assert the absurdity that it existed as cause to give itself existence as an effect. Nor can we say that the world is an outpouring,  a manifestation or realization of God, as pantheism teaches. Nor can we say that the world is eternal, uncaused, infinite, and necessary, as materialism asserts. There is only one answer left: the world was created. And thus, even now, we may say that the fact of creation stands proved by exclusion.

We offer also one direct or positive proof of the fact of creation. Whatever is found in a thing belongs to that thing of necessity, or is shared to that thing by another in which it is found of necessity. Thus if a piece of iron is hot, we know that, since iron is not of necessity hot, heat was communicated to the iron by that which is, of its nature, hot, viz., fire. Now, existence belongs of necessity only to that being which must exist and cannot be non-existent; in a word, existence belongs of necessity to God alone. Therefore, when other things are found in possession of existence,  it follows that existence was communicated to them by that which has existence of necessity, i.e. by God. That is to say, the chain of communicated existences  in things must ultimately lead to God, the First and Necessary Cause. Hence, existence in the world points to God as the Cause, the Producer of the world. Now, how did God produce the world? Not out of His own substance, for He is infinite and immutable. Not out of some other substance, for no substance exists which has not its existence from God, and if we say that God made the world out of pre-existing substance,  our question merely shifts to this substance,  and we ask, “How did God produce that?” Ultimately, we must reach the conclusion that God made substances out of no pre-existing substances at all. In other words, God made substances out of nothing, that is to say, He created substances. And whether the world were developed out of other substances into its present form, or was made just as we behold it, in any case the ultimate answer to the question of the world’s production is this: The world was created.

In Scripture we read that God made the world in six days. The Hebrew word “yom” is rendered by “day” in the English translation of the Bible. But “yom” really means a period of undetermined length. It matters not whether God willed (from eternity) that the world should develop slowly or quickly into its present form. In any case, there were six periods or stages of development in the work. This does not mean that the world “evolved” or that it did not; it merely means that six definite stages of creation are a revealed truth. We add, in passing, that it also means that man’s creation was a separate and distinct creation – a special act by which God breathed upon the face of man and man became a living soul. 

The six days of creation are not solar or sun days, for the sun was not made until the fourth day of creation. Whether they were long or short periods we do not know. Experimental science seems to indicate that they were long, very long. Time, however, has nothing to do with the fact. Time, indeed, comes into existence with creatures, and is a measure affecting creatures only, and not God. The six days of creation are known as the Hexahemeron, a word derived from the Greek hex, “six,” and hemera, “day.”

God freely chooses to create, for, since He is all-perfect, He is utterly free and in no wise necessitated in His acts. God is not moved or motivated to create. Hence God has no motive, in the strict sense of that term. Still, God has an end and purpose in creating, for he is most wise, and to act without purpose would  act unwisely. Hence, we rightly say that God has a purpose, an end in view, in creating, but that He is not stirred to create by any motive.

Now God  cannot have made creatures for themselves; creatures are utterly contingent and cannot be an end to themselves; they have nothing of being, nothing of value, to serve as an end except what God gives them. It must be, then, that God, in creating,  acts toward Himself as toward an end.  Hence God is not only the First Efficient Cause of creatures; He is also the Last End or Final Cause of creatures; He is also the Last End or Final Cause for which creatures exist. Theologians prove the truth that God creates for His external formal and objective glory. In a word, God creates for Himself as the only end worthy of divine action.

In this bodily world the chief of creatures (i.e., of things created) is man. Man alone of worldly creatures has a spiritual and immortal soul and  free will. Other creatures exist to help man maintain life and to achieve a measure of happiness here; they exist to help man to live his life on earth in a manner suitable to win him happiness for eternity. That man has a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will is proved in Rational Pschology, a department of Philosophy. Apologetics can give but the briefest of arguments-albeit the arguments are incontrovertible-for the existence of a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will in man.

1. Man has a spiritual soul. That which exercises spiritual (i.e., real but non-material) functions is itself spiritual,  for the action of a thing manifests its nature, and no effect can exceed its cause in excellence or perfection. Now the soul of man exercises spiritual functions. The soul, thinks, reflects, reasons, is aware of such non-material things as beauty, goodness, truth, unity, honor, glory, ideals. It has self-consciousness by which it can perfectly bend back or reflect upon itself-a thing which no material or bodily thing can do: the eye does not see itself seeing, the ear does not hear itself hearing, but the soul can think of itself thinking, can know itself knowing, can make itself and its acts the object of its own study and inquiry. Therefore the soul, since it exercises spiritual functions, is itself spiritual. 

2. Man has an immortal soul. Whatever is spiritual is simple, i.e., not made up of physical parts. Such parts are essentially the component elements of material things. Now the soul of man is spiritual; hence it is not made up of parts. But whatever is not made up of parts cannot be separated into parts. And whatever cannot be separated into parts cannot die-for death is precisely the breakimg up of a living thing into its essential physical parts. Therefore, man’s soul cannot die. In other words. it is immortal. 

3.  Man has free-will. Man is possessed of an indestructible conviction that he is the author of his own acts, and that he has freely chosen to do what he has done, but could have done otherwise. Man is inevitably conscious of his own proper responsibility for what he does: he reproaches himself for having done some things, he approves of his conduct in other instances. If this consciousness be deceiving,  there is no truth to be had by human means at all, and there is no certainty in anything, no learning, no science.  Again, if man be not free in his choice of individual human acts, then all laws, governments,  courts, are absurdities. All human law is based upon the obvious fact of man’s freedom: laws are made to direct free choice lest it be hurtfully abused. Laws are not made for houses or trees or horses, but for man; for only the agent that can break a law is free to keep a law. The conviction of man’s freedom is  obvious and universal as the conviction of the world’s existence. Deny this conviction,  and you deny all validity in human knowledge. Man, therefore, has free-will.

Since man alone of all worldy creatures has the surpassing excellences of a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will, man is the most perfect, the chief, the most important, of creatures in THIS world.”

This chapter was transcribed by tradcat4christ from the book Apologetics by RT. REV MSGR. PAUL J. GLENN,  Ph.D S.T.D

God Bless BJS!!