Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium
51. What is the importance of affirming “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1)?
The significance is that creation is the foundation of all God’s saving plans. It shows forth the almighty and wise love of God, and it is the first step toward the covenant of the one God with his people. It is
the beginning of the history of salvation which culminates in Christ; and it is the first answer to our fundamental questions regarding our very origin and destiny.
Who created the world?
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the one and indivisible principle of creation even though the work of creating
the world is particularly attributed to God the Father.
53. Why was the world created?
The world was created for the glory of God who wished to show forth and communicate his goodness, truth and beauty. The ultimate end of creation is that God, in Christ, might be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28)
for his glory and for our happiness. “The glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man’s life is the vision of God.” (Saint Irenaeus)
How did God create the universe?
God created the universe freely with wisdom and love. The world is not the result of any necessity, nor of blind fate,
nor of chance. God created “out of nothing” (ex nihilo) (2 Maccabees 7:28) a world which is ordered and good and which he infinitely transcends. God preserves his creation in being and sustains it, giving it the capacity to act and leading it toward
its fulfilment through his Son and the Holy Spirit.
55. What is divine providence?
Divine Providence consists in the dispositions with which God leads his creatures toward their ultimate end. God is the sovereign Master of his own plan. To carry it out, however, he also makes use of the cooperation of his
creatures. For God grants his creatures the dignity of acting on their own and of being causes for each other.
56. How do we collaborate with divine Providence?
While respecting our freedom, God asks us to cooperate with him and gives us the ability to do so through actions, prayers and sufferings, thus awakening
in us the desire “to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
57. If God is omnipotent and provident, why then does evil
To this question, as painful and mysterious as it is, only the whole of Christian faith can constitute a response. God is not in any way - directly
or indirectly - the cause of evil. He illuminates the mystery of evil in his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose in order to vanquish that great moral evil, human sin, which is at the root of all other evils.
58. Why does God permit evil?
Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause
a good to come from that very evil. This was realized in a wondrous way by God in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forth the greatest of all goods (the glorification
of Christ and our redemption)