MY CATHOLIC FAITH
|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).
3. God the Supreme Being
(First Article of the
Who is God? -- God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect,
Who made all things and keeps them in existence.
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.
- 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 conviction of 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.
"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.
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 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 infinitely
perfect? -- When we say that God is infinitely perfect, we mean that He
has all perfections without limit.
- 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
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.
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)
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 is so great and wonderful that He needs nothing to make Him greater or
more wonderful. He possesses all perfections, countless, innumerable,
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
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
- 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
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.