Normally as an introduction to our practice of praying the rosary we use the Apostles' Creed.
It begins: "I believe in God,...the Creator of heaven and earth," The Nicene Creed is normally used at Mass on Sundays of Ordinary Time. It begins: "I believe in one God...maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible."
Right now I harbor a hope of publishing hundreds of blogs before I die. As I started thinking of this one dealing with our Catholic theology of creation, I asked myself to imagine having a hope of just ten more rather than hundreds, and then asked: What would those ten blogs have as their concern? ; What in line of importance would their content be? Close to the top of the list would be the blog I am typing now, dealing with the mystery of creation. It may prove a tough one for you to read and get something out of it, but I am so convinced of the place our theology of creation
holds as the foundation and source of the rest of our rich Catholic theology that I am going to give it a try. If you have any comments you think would be helpful to me please do share them with me, even if it is just that you didn't find it as important, exciting, or helpful as I did as we journey along together in writing and reading these blogs. To get the opportunity of sending a comment just sign up on the list of followers and use a fictitious name for yourself if you wish to remain anonymous. .
Why would I think the theology of creation is so important ? Because our notion of what it means to create is the absolutely essential need we have in order to know Who God is and secondly what is our fundamental relationship with God our Creator.
To realize our Catholic theology of creation declares the meaning of the word create is an absolute mystery for us, makes us realize that, consequently, our notion of God our Creator, no matter how well developed this notion might be, also remains an absolute mystery. This is because the strict theological definition of the verb create means to will whatever it is that we are considering as created , to come from non-being to being, from nothing to something. The meaning of that sentence is absolutely beyond our limited human competence to understand. Nothing is the word that gives us the problem. Just try seriously to imagine nothing. It is beyond us, unimaginable. You end up with nothing. What you have done is almost humorous. Nothing strictly speaking is absolutely unimaginable for us. If you have tried and think you have imagined it, you most likely have imagined something rather than nothing. So, consequently, it is with the meaning of the verb create. God alone knows what it means to create, and from this we begin to understand our faith in a single Creator of all that exists.
I think I have shocked some people when I said God does not exist. The word exist comes from two Latin roots, ex, meaning from, and est the third person singular of the verb esse which means to be. Technically then the word implies an existence that is dependent or from another.
This insight throws light upon the response God gave to Moses when Moses asked whom should he say to Pharaoh sent him. God said "I AM". In other words, I am independent; I am always in the present tense; I did not come from somewhere; I am not going anywhere; I am the Creator of all that exists right now, or that has ever existed, or that ever will exist ; I am God. The same eternal living God Who sent Moses to Pharaoh so long ago is the same eternal living God Who loves us and is existing us right now!
There is a logically infinite difference between the meaning of the words make and create, and that is the reason we might be surprised at first when we see both of them used, one in the Apostles' Creed and one in the Nicene Creed. However I am confident in proclaiming as authentic Catholic theology the strict literal definition of create as to will (desire) something to exist from nothing. The verb make normally refers to an act producing one thing from another rather than from nothing as is the case of the verb to create. In the case of its use in the Nicene Creed it is used in an
applied sense, so there is no problem of a contradiction in its use.
Here is an additional essential point in helping us understand something of the literal meaning of the verb create, though it still remains a mystery: although the word exist is listed in our English dictionaries as an intransitive verb, that is a verb that does not take an object, (such as the verb to be), in our Catholic theology, in the unique case of creating, it is used and understood as a transitive verb. In other words, (and here is where our limited competence come in to play) we give it the object clearly revealed by God, that we refer to as 'nothing'. In other words in order to arrive at a correct theological definition of the verb create, we claim for it in the unique case of God's action as Creator the quality of a transitive verb, with this resulting in our theological conviction that everything that exists is being existed ,ALWAYS, in the present tense, as long as it exists, in every aspect of its existence, color, shape, and sound, etc. by God's total creative power. If we ever catch ourselves wondering what God is doing right now we just have to think God is creating, creating billions and billions of stars, the moon, your shadow as you walk down the sidewalk in the sunshine, our mother and our father who may already have gone on before us to Heaven, and at that point we are ready to know and praise and thank God better than we have ever done before.