Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 369-373, 383 – Male and Female He Created Them

clock November 23, 2012 01:02 by author John |

The Catechism sections for today discuss the unity of men and women in God’s plan for creation. Supplemental material comes from Blessed John Paul II’s “Letter to Women”.


Equality and difference willed by God

369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. "Being man" or "being woman" is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity "in the image of God". In their "being-man" and "being-woman", they reflect the Creator's wisdom and goodness.

370 In no way is God in man's image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective "perfections" of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.241

"Each for the other" - "A unity in two"

371 God created man and woman together and willed each for the other. The Word of God gives us to understand this through various features of the sacred text. "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him."242 None of the animals can be man's partner.243 The woman God "fashions" from the man's rib and brings to him elicits on the man's part a cry of wonder, an exclamation of love and communion: "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh."244 Man discovers woman as another "I", sharing the same humanity.

372 Man and woman were made "for each other" - not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be "helpmate" to the other, for they are equal as persons ("bone of my bones. . .") and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming "one flesh",245 they can transmit human life: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth."246 By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents co-operate in a unique way in the Creator's work.247

373 In God's plan man and woman have the vocation of "subduing" the earth248 as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator "who loves everything that exists",249 to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.


383 "God did not create man a solitary being. From the beginning, "male and female he created them" (⇒ Gen 1:27). This partnership of man and woman constitutes the first form of communion between persons" (GS 12 # 4).

In his “Letter to Women”, Blessed John Paul II describes the cooperation, complementarity, and unity of men and women:

The Book of Genesis speaks of creation in summary fashion, in language which is poetic and symbolic, yet profoundly true: "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen 1:27). The creative act of God takes place according to a precise plan. First of all, we are told that the human being is created "in the image and likeness of God" (cf. Gen 1:26). This expression immediately makes clear what is distinct about the human being with regard to the rest of creation.

We are then told that, from the very beginning, man has been created "male and female" (Gen 1:27). Scripture itself provides the interpretation of this fact: even though man is surrounded by the innumerable creatures of the created world, he realizes that he is alone (cf. Gen 2:20). God intervenes in order to help him escape from this situation of solitude: "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him" (Gen 2:18). The creation of woman is thus marked from the outset by the principle of help: a help which is not one-sided but mutual. Woman complements man, just as man complements woman: men and women are complementary. Womanhood expresses the "human" as much as manhood does, but in a different and complementary way.

When the Book of Genesis speaks of "help", it is not referring merely to acting, but also to being. Womanhood and manhood are complementary not only from the physical and psychological points of view, but also from the ontological. It is only through the duality of the "masculine" and the "feminine" that the "human" finds full realization.

8. After creating man male and female, God says to both: "Fill the earth and subdue it" (Gen 1:28). Not only does he give them the power to procreate as a means of perpetuating the human species throughout time, he also gives them the earth, charging them with the responsible use of its resources. As a rational and free being, man is called to transform the face of the earth. In this task, which is essentially that of culture, man and woman alike share equal responsibility from the start. In their fruitful relationship as husband and wife, in their common task of exercising dominion over the earth, woman and man are marked neither by a static and undifferentiated equality nor by an irreconcilable and inexorably conflictual difference. Their most natural relationship, which corresponds to the plan of God, is the "unity of the two", a relational "uni-duality", which enables each to experience their interpersonal and reciprocal relationship as a gift which enriches and which confers responsibility.


240 Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:7, ⇒ 22.
241 Cf. ⇒ Is 49:14-15; ⇒ 66: 13; ⇒ Ps 131:2-3; ⇒ Hos 11:1-4; ⇒ Jer 3:4- 19.
242 ⇒ Gen 2:18.
243 ⇒ Gen 2:19-20.
244 ⇒ Gen 2:23
245 ⇒ Gen 2:24
246 ⇒ Gen 1:28.
247 Cf. GS 50 # 1.
248 ⇒ Gen 1:28.
249 Wis 11:24.

The Catholic Meaning of Thanksgiving

clock November 22, 2012 04:17 by author John |

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is a day set apart to offer our gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. We often become focused on the task at hand – work, family responsibilities, chores, expenses, and the like. With our head down, we plow through our engagements, infrequently stopping to consider the things which bring joy or comfort to our lives. We cannot rightly give thanks without directing our gratitude towards something, or more appropriately, Someone.

It is customary and lauded in our culture to recognize and give thanks for our blessings. That is where the logic quite often ends. This is fundamentally illogical. We hear people “giving thanks”, but we do not hear them directing their thanks toward anyone or anything in particular. The day of Thanksgiving, and the act of gratitude in general has devolved into a kind of empty optimism. Without a subject to direct our gratitude towards, the act of thanksgiving is rendered shallow and useless. A blessing requires a source. Anyone who is able to follow the logic through to its reasonable end must realize that God is the source of our blessings.

Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday. It began in that way and remains so, even if the meaning is lost on much of the population. As a Christian, Thanksgiving serves as a reminder of the necessity of thankfulness to the Almighty for our blessings. We are fallen creatures, plagued from the start with sin and rejection of God. Despite our rebelliousness, God has been merciful to us, extending graces and blessings upon us, His undeserving children.

The ultimate gift we have received is our life and redemption through Jesus’ death on the Cross. Both of these are gifts from God without which true happiness would not have been possible for us. Many people recognize the small blessings like a house, a car, a pet. These are indeed good things and worthy of our gratitude, but they are trivial in relation to the salvation of our immortal soul. We need to make an effort to step back and look at the bigger picture.

One day is not enough to show our gratitude. Thanksgiving is a reminder of the duty we owe God every day of our lives. If we really understood the magnitude of our blessings, of our place in the world, of our existence, and our inability to operate without the aid of Divine assistance, the emanations of our praise would never cease to be heard.

Our prayer should always begin with sincere gratitude. I do not think I am exaggerating with the assumption that most people who pray only ask for God’s help in whatever challenge they face in their life at the moment. It is a blessing for us that God’s unlimited power is accompanied by his endless patience and mercy! Can you imagine how you would react if an acquaintance of yours who has never assisted you in any meaningful way were to begin every conversation by asking you for money? God is not a vending machine! You cannot simply think it reasonable to put in a prayer and expect a blessing to appear before you. We should pray each day and each prayer should start with an authentic recognition that God has blessed us.

Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 362-368, 382 – The Unity of Body and Soul

clock November 22, 2012 01:01 by author John |

The Catechism sections for today discuss the unity of human body and soul. Supplemental material comes from St. Gregory Thaumaturgus’ “On the Soul”.


362 The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. The biblical account expresses this reality in symbolic language when it affirms that "then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."229 Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.

363 In Sacred Scripture the term "soul" often refers to human life or the entire human person.230 But "soul" also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him,231 that by which he is most especially in God's image: "soul" signifies the spiritual principle in man.

364 The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:232

Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day 233

365 The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the "form" of the body:234 i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.

366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not "produced" by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.235

367 Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people "wholly", with "spirit and soul and body" kept sound and blameless at the Lord's coming.236 The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul.237 "Spirit" signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.238

368 The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one's being, where the person decides for or against God.239


382 "Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity" (GS 14 # 1). the doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God.

St. Gregory Thaumaturgus’ treatise, “On the Soul” has an excellent discussion of the immortality of the soul:

6. Whether Our Soul is Immortal

It follows, in my opinion, as a necessary consequence, that what is simple is immortal. And as to how that follows, hear my explanation: Nothing that exists is its own corrupter, else it could never have had any thorough consistency, even from the beginning. For things that are subject to corruption are corrupted by contraries: wherefore everything that is corrupted is subject to dissolution; and what is subject to dissolution is compound; and what is compound is of many parts; and what is made up of parts manifestly is made up of diverse parts; and the diverse is not the identical: consequently the soul, being simple, and not being made up of diverse parts, but being uncompound and indissoluble, must be, in virtue of that, incorruptible and immortal.

Besides, everything that is put in action by something else, and does not possess the principle of life in itself, but gets it from that which puts it in action, endures just so long as it is held by the power that operates in it; and whenever the operative power ceases, that also comes to a stand which has its capacity of action from it. But the soul, being self-acting, has no cessation of its being. For it follows, that what is self-acting is ever-acting; and what is ever-acting is unceasing; and what is unceasing is without end; and what is without end is incorruptible; and what is incorruptible is immortal. Consequently, if the soul is self-acting, as has been shown above, it follows that it is incorruptible and immortal, in accordance with the mode of reasoning already expressed.

And further, everything that is not corrupted by the evil proper to itself, is incorruptible; and the evil is opposed to the good, and is consequently its corrupter. For the evil of the body is nothing else than suffering, and disease, and death; just as, on the other hand, its excellency is beauty, life, health, and vigour. If, therefore, the soul is not corrupted by the evil proper to itself, and the evil of the soul is cowardice, intemperance, envy, and the like, and all these things do not despoil it of its powers of life and action, it follows that it is immortal.


229 ⇒ Gen 2:7.
230 Cf. ⇒ Mt 16:25-26; ⇒ Jn 15:13; ⇒ Acts 2:41
231 Cf. ⇒ Mt 10:28; ⇒ 26:38; ⇒ Jn 12:27; ⇒ 2 Macc 6 30.
232 Cf. ⇒ I Cor 6:19-20; ⇒ 15:44-45.
233 GS 14 # 1; cf. ⇒ Dan 3:57-80.
234 Cf. Council of Vienne (1312): DS 902.
235 Cf. Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3896; Paul VI, CPC # 8; Lateran Council V (1513): DS 1440.
236 1 Th 5:23.
237 Cf. Council of Constantinople IV (870): DS 657.
238 Cf. Vatican Council I, Dei Filius: DS 3005; GS 22 # 5; Humani generis: DS 3891.
239 Cf. ⇒ Jer 31:33; Dt 6:5; 29:3; ⇒ Is 29:13; ⇒ Ezek 36:26; ⇒ Mt 6:21; ⇒ Lk 8:15; ⇒ Rom 5:5.

Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC355-361, 380-381: Man, Made in the Image of God

clock November 21, 2012 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss human beings as made in the image of God. Supporting material comes from the Pastoral Constitution, “Guadium et Spes”.

Paragraph 6. MAN

355 "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them."218 Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is "in the image of God"; (II) in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; (III) he is created "male and female"; (IV) God established him in his friendship.


356 of all visible creatures only man is "able to know and love his creator".219 He is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake",220 and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity:

What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good.221

357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.

358 God created everything for man,222 but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him:

What is it that is about to be created, that enjoys such honor? It is man that great and wonderful living creature, more precious in the eyes of God than all other creatures! For him the heavens and the earth, the sea and all the rest of creation exist. God attached so much importance to his salvation that he did not spare his own Son for the sake of man. Nor does he ever cease to work, trying every possible means, until he has raised man up to himself and made him sit at his right hand.223

359 "In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear."224

St. Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men: Adam and Christ. . . the first man, Adam, he says, became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit. The first Adam was made by the last Adam, from whom he also received his soul, to give him life... the second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when he created him. That is why he took on himself the role and the name of the first Adam, in order that he might not lose what he had made in his own image. The first Adam, the last Adam: the first had a beginning, the last knows no end. The last Adam is indeed the first; as he himself says: "I am the first and the last."225

360 Because of its common origin the human race forms a unity, for "from one ancestor (God) made all nations to inhabit the whole earth":226

O wondrous vision, which makes us contemplate the human race in the unity of its origin in God. . . in the unity of its nature, composed equally in all men of a material body and a spiritual soul; in the unity of its immediate end and its mission in the world; in the unity of its dwelling, the earth, whose benefits all men, by right of nature, may use to sustain and develop life; in the unity of its supernatural end: God himself, to whom all ought to tend; in the unity of the means for attaining this end;. . . in the unity of the redemption wrought by Christ for all.227

361 "This law of human solidarity and charity",228 without excluding the rich variety of persons, cultures and peoples, assures us that all men are truly brethren.


380 "Father,. . . you formed man in your own likeness and set him over the whole world to serve you, his creator, and to rule over all creatures" (Roman Missal, EP IV, 118).

381 Man is predestined to reproduce the image of God's Son made man, the "image of the invisible God" (⇒ Col 1:15), so that Christ shall be the first-born of a multitude of brothers and sisters (cf ⇒ Eph 1:3-6; ⇒ Rom 8:29).

The Pastoral Constitution “Guadium et Spes” (12) describes the special place man occupies among creation:

But what is man? About himself he has expressed, and continues to express, many divergent and even contradictory opinions. In these he often exalts himself as the absolute measure of all things or debases himself to the point of despair. The result is doubt and anxiety. The Church certainly understands these problems. Endowed with light from God, she can offer solutions to them, so that man's true situation can be portrayed and his defects explained, while at the same time his dignity and destiny are justly acknowledged.

For Sacred Scripture teaches that man was created "to the image of God," is capable of knowing and loving his Creator, and was appointed by Him as master of all earthly creatures(1) that he might subdue them and use them to God's glory.(2) "What is man that you should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet" (Ps. 8:5-7).


218 ⇒ Gen 1:27.
219 GS 12 # 3.
220 GS 24 # 3.
221 St. Catherine of Siena, Dialogue IV, 13 "On Divine Providence": LH, Sunday, week 19, OR.
222 Cf. GS 12 # 1; 24 # 3; 39 # 1.
223 St. John Chrysostom, In Gen. sermo 2, 1: PG 54, 587D-588A.
224 GS 22 # 1.
225 St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 117: PL 52, 520-521.
226 ⇒ Acts 17:26; cf. ⇒ Tob 8:6.
227 Pius XII. Enc. Summi pontificatus 3; cf. NA 1.
228 Pius XII Summi pontificatus 3.

Tuesday Ear Tickler: Terence Clarke Pens an Arrogant Hit Piece on the Catholic Church

clock November 20, 2012 01:02 by author John |

The Tuesday Ear Tickler award is Solemn Charge’s weekly recognition of teachers who “Tickle the Ears” of those who “no longer endure sound doctrine”. In the spirit of 2 Timothy 4 2-4, this award serves to identify theological or doctrinal errors, dissent or hostility toward the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, or writing that undermines the purpose of each human soul – to know love and serve God so as to enjoy eternal happiness with Him in Heaven. I make no judgment of the writer’s intentions. Usually the winner of this award was raised in the 60’s so that right there is a mitigating factor toward their culpability for their actions. I do judge concrete actions and the quality of ideas, however…

Today’s winner is Terence Clarke, who contributed a vapid and vitriolic piece over at the Huffington Post entitled “Women vs. the Drowned Hulk”. It is incredible how poorly catechized Clarke is (or was before he left the Church). His article is very repetitive and serves no other purpose than to bash the Church, yet conveys his ignorance of the topic he writes about, namely the Catholic Church. (Clarke’s comments in the red quote boxes, my comments in black.)

Seventy-seven percent of the Irish population is in favor of allowing women to become priests. Democratic ideals, though, are not quite what the Church has in mind in its dealings with its flock. Indeed, the flock has no authority at all. So those Irish will just have to live with the continuing top-down male rigidity with which Catholics world-wide have had to contend for the last 2,000 years.

Like so many liberals, Clarke seems to think that truth is contingent upon the approval of the majority. He is right to recognize that “what the Church has in mind” is not a democracy. He is missing the actual objective of the Church, which is the salvation of souls. Confusing the teaching of the Church’s shepherds, who are speaking the truth taught by Christ Himself for “male rigidity”, he exposes both his ignorance of the Catholic faith and his malicious objective with this hit piece on Catholicism.

Archbishop Brown, who is an American, is no doubt aware of a similar upsurge in support for women in the priesthood in his own country. He is, one would imagine, as recalcitrant on the matter on the Lower East Side, where he was born, as he is in Dublin.

I’m not sure where he finds the “upsurge in support for women in the priesthood” in the United States. There were a handful of nuns riding around on a bus with an abundance of empty seats campaigning for Obama and a couple of women who simulated ordinations in the same manner that children simulate playing pirates or cops and robbers. Pretending to be a priest doesn’t make you one, and pretending to know what is best for the Church doesn’t make it so. Clarke pretends to understand the needs of the Church better than Christ and the successors to the apostles.

Traditions change, and faith changes, as has been made abundantly clear over the many centuries of The Church's history. The priesthood may not approve, but large social changes and important thinking have brought about tectonic shifts over the centuries, which the Church has resisted at almost every turn. Galileo, for example. Christopher Columbus. Science. Voltaire. Non-religious art (and in some case, religious art that, for whatever reason, the Church thinks comes from the devil in disguise). The French Revolution. Democratically elected governments. The Pill. Just to name a few. In response, an undemocratic bureaucracy elected by no one, with no accountability to the vast majority of the members of the organization, renders iron-clad restrictions that are based on centuries-old received wisdom and unexamined assumptions about what tradition calls for and faith would require.

Clarke apparently was reading the comment section on any one of the other articles at Huffington Post about the Catholic faith in order to find material for this poor excuse for an article. If he holds up the French Revolution as a positive movement, he will have an uphill go of it. He apparently is in favor of the looting of Churches, the forcible stripping of God from society, and the execution of priests. Nice guy, this Clarke. Don’t worry; he doesn’t give any explanation for his madness.

I will spare you the tedious whining of the rest of his hit piece, but I assure you that it is equally as bad as his drivel that I have dissected here. Clarke at least had the honesty to leave the Church that he so disagrees with. The problem is that that Church he left is not the Catholic Church. He left the Church of his imagination. His lack of understanding of the basic teachings of the Church is a clear sign that he didn’t take the time to actually learn the faith. As the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen famously said,

There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church. Which is, of course, quite a different thing.

I hereby award the Tuesday Ear Tickler Award for Tuesday, November 20, 2012 to Terence Clarke.

Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 345-349, 354 – Creation of the Visible World (Part 2)

clock November 20, 2012 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections continue the discussion of the creation of the visible world. Supplemental material comes from St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologica”.

345 The sabbath - the end of the work of the six days. The sacred text says that "on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done", that the "heavens and the earth were finished", and that God "rested" on this day and sanctified and blessed it.213 These inspired words are rich in profitable instruction:

346 In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God's covenant.214 For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation, and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it.

347 Creation was fashioned with a view to the sabbath and therefore for the worship and adoration of God. Worship is inscribed in the order of creation.215 As the rule of St. Benedict says, nothing should take precedence over "the work of God", that is, solemn worship.216 This indicates the right order of human concerns.

348 The sabbath is at the heart of Israel's law. To keep the commandments is to correspond to the wisdom and the will of God as expressed in his work of creation.

349 The eighth day. But for us a new day has dawned: the day of Christ's Resurrection. The seventh day completes the first creation. The eighth day begins the new creation. Thus, the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption. The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendor of which surpasses that of the first creation.217


354 Respect for laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality.

St. Thomas Aquinas explains the blessings and sanctifying that are due to the seventh day of creation in the “Summa Theologica” (1, 73):

Article 3. Whether blessing and sanctifying are due to the seventh day?

Objection 1. It would seem that blessing and sanctifying are not due to the seventh day. For it is usual to call a time blessed or holy for that some good thing has happened in it, or some evil been avoided. But whether God works or ceases from work nothing accrues to Him or is lost to Him. Therefore no special blessing or sanctifying are due to the seventh day.

Objection 2. Further, the Latin "benedictio" [blessing] is derived from "bonitas" [goodness]. But it is the nature of good to spread and communicate itself, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). The days, therefore, in which God produced creatures deserved a blessing rather than the day on which He ceased producing them.

Objection 3. Further, over each creature a blessing was pronounced, as upon each work it was said, "God saw that it was good." Therefore it was not necessary that after all had been produced, the seventh day should be blessed.

On the contrary, It is written (Genesis 2:3), "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He had rested from all His work."

I answer that, As said above (Article 2), God's rest on the seventh day is understood in two ways.

First, in that He ceased from producing new works, though He still preserves and provides for the creatures He has made.

Secondly, in that after all His works He rested in Himself. According to the first meaning, then, a blessing befits the seventh day, since, as we explained (72, ad 4), the blessing referred to the increase by multiplication; for which reason God said to the creatures which He blessed: "Increase and multiply." Now, this increase is effected through God's Providence over His creatures, securing the generation of like from like. And according to the second meaning, it is right that the seventh day should have been sanctified, since the special sanctification of every creature consists in resting in God. For this reason things dedicated to God are said to be sanctified.

Reply to Objection 1. The seventh day is said to be sanctified not because anything can accrue to God, or be taken from Him, but because something is added to creatures by their multiplying, and by their resting in God.

Reply to Objection 2. In the first six days creatures were produced in their first causes, but after being thus produced, they are multiplied and preserved, and this work also belongs to the Divine goodness. And the perfection of this goodness is made most clear by the knowledge that in it alone God finds His own rest, and we may find ours in its fruition.

Reply to Objection 3. The good mentioned in the works of each day belongs to the first institution of nature; but the blessing attached to the seventh day, to its propagation.


213 ⇒ Gen 2:1-3.
214 Cf. ⇒ Heb 4:3-4; ⇒ Jer 31:35-37; ⇒ 33:19-26.
215 Cf. ⇒ Gen 1:14.
216 St. Benedict, Regula 43, 3: PL 66, 675-676.
217 Cf. Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 24, prayer after the first reading.

Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 337-344, 353 – Creation of the Visible World (Part 1)

clock November 19, 2012 01:01 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections deal with the creation of the visible world. Supplemental material is from St. Victorinus’ “On the Creation of the World”.


337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine "work", concluded by the "rest" of the seventh day.204 On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation,205 permitting us to "recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God."206

338 Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. The world began when God's word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun.207

339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the "six days" it is said: "and God saw that it was good." "By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws."208 Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God's infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.

340 God wills the interdependence of creatures. The sun and the moon, the cedar and the little flower, the eagle and the sparrow: the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient. Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other.

341 The beauty of the universe: the order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them. Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature. They call forth the admiration of scholars. The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man's intellect and will.

342 The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the "six days", from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures209 and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: "You are of more value than many sparrows", or again: "of how much more value is a man than a sheep!"210

343 Man is the summit of the Creator's work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.211

344 There is a solidarity among all creatures arising from the fact that all have the same Creator and are all ordered to his glory: May you be praised, O Lord, in all your creatures, especially brother sun, by whom you give us light for the day; he is beautiful, radiating great splendor, and offering us a symbol of you, the Most High. . .

May you be praised, my Lord, for sister water, who is very useful and humble, precious and chaste.
May you be praised, my Lord, for sister earth, our mother, who bears and feeds us, and produces the variety of fruits and dappled flowers and grasses. . .
Praise and bless my Lord, give thanks and serve him in all humility.212


353 God willed the diversity of his creatures and their own particular goodness, their interdependence and their order. He destined all material creatures for the good of the human race. Man, and through him all creation, is destined for the glory of God.

St. Victorinus describes the relationship of created things to man and man’s relationship to God in his letter, “On the Creation of the World”:

On the fifth day the land and water brought forth their progenies. On the sixth day the things that were wanting were created; and thus God raised up man from the soil, as lord of all the things which He created upon the earth and the water. Yet He created angels and archangels before He created man, placing spiritual beings before earthly ones. For light was made before sky and the earth. This sixth day is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. For He perfected Adam, whom He made after His image and likeness. But for this reason He completed His works before He created angels and fashioned man, lest perchance they should falsely assert that they had been His helpers. On this day also, on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God, or a fast. On the seventh day He rested from all His works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord's day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews, which Christ Himself, the Lord of the Sabbath, says by His prophets that His soul hates; (Isaiah 1:13-14) which Sabbath He in His body abolished, although, nevertheless, He had formerly Himself commanded Moses that circumcision should not pass over the eighth day, which day very frequently happens on the Sabbath, as we read written in the Gospel. (John 7:22) Moses, foreseeing the hardness of that people, on the Sabbath raised up his hands, therefore, and thus figuratively fastened himself to a cross. (Exodus 22:9, 12) And in the battle they were sought for by the foreigners on the Sabbath day, that they might be taken captive, and, as if by the very strictness of the law, might be fashioned to the avoidance of its teaching. (1 Maccabbees 2:31-41)


204 ⇒ Gen 1:l - ⇒ 2:4.
205 Cf. DV 11.
206 LG 36 # 2.
207 Cf. St. Augustine, De Genesi adv. Man 1, 2, 4: PL 34, 175.
208 GS 36 # 1.
209 Cf. ⇒ Ps 145:9.
210 ⇒ Lk 12:6-7; ⇒ Mt 12:12.
211 Cf. ⇒ Gen 1-26.
212 St. Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Creatures.

Do Human Beings Have an Inherent Dignity and Worth? (The Catholic View)

clock November 18, 2012 02:29 by author John |

Human DignityIn previous articles, we discussed when human life begins and whether human life constitutes a human being. Today, we will explore the dignity and worth inherent in human beings. This is an important consideration given the pressure recently to legalize “assisted suicide”, abortion, and various other practices that exist based on the assumption that human life only has value under certain conditions. Peter Singer and others have even gone so far as to admit that if abortion is a legitimate practice, so too must be infanticide, since there is no significant difference between two people just because one of them resides in the womb. You would think that with an argument like that, he would be against abortion and infanticide, but that is not so.

Dignity and Worth Based on Physical or Mental Attributes

Many if not most of the secular culture assumes that the value of life is determined by the degree of perfection of the physical and mental abilities of a person. This is clearly evidenced by the abortion rate of about 90% for children with Down Syndrome. One fundamental problem with this view is that everyone has some physical or mental shortcoming. We are imperfect creatures, aspiring toward the imitation of God’s perfection, but constantly falling short. Any attempt to assign lower dignity or worth to a certain imperfection is necessarily arbitrary. Some of us can run a mile in under 4 minutes. Some of us have an IQ off the charts. Some are more physically appealing.

Which of these attributes is desirable? Clearly some attributes are more desirable to some that to others. There are obviously gradations in these attributes among the human populace. At which point is a life worth living? Which combination of imperfections is acceptable and which are not? If God deigned it necessary to create someone, why do we have the arrogance to reject that gift of life? In creating the world, we know that God looked upon His creation and called it “Good”. Why would we doubt the goodness of one of His highest creations – man?

Dignity and Worth Based on “Quality of Life”

The other criteria frequently held up as a standard for assisted suicide and abortion are related to the attributes of a person, though distinct: the quality of life of the person. Imperfections make life more difficult for some. Of course as Catholics, we know that there is value in pain, suffering, and trials in our life. For the uncatechized, however there is significant confusion about the value of life lived in a trying way. They tend to ignore the blessings found in every life, looking at the difficulties instead and failing to see the beauty of life itself – the experiences, emotions, ups and downs. As much as humans try to minimize difficulties, (and rightfully so), a life lived without challenges will rarely if ever result in happiness. The fundamental question is whether it is the ease of living that produces a higher quality of life, or the experiences and choices of life itself that lead to a higher quality of life. Regardless of the criteria used to determine the quality of life, we can clearly identify the arbitrary nature of assigning a point at which a life is not worth living. The concerns invariably should become insurmountable when this decision is made by one person for another, as is the case in abortion.

The Catholic View of Human Dignity

Catholics believe that every human being has inherent dignity and worth. We believe that every human being is created “in the image and likeness” of God. This is not the case with animals, plants, or the other components of the created universe. Humans occupy a special place of distinction among the other creatures. There are certain attributes that set us above the animals and plants, such as an intellect and will, and the subordination of the impulses to the intellect and will.

In Genesis 1:28, we see an important distinction made between man and the rest of creation,

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

God gives us the authority to have dominion over the fish, birds, and every other living thing. We also are given the command to “subdue” the earth. This is a critical passage to help us understand our place in the physical world. We are above the other animals and plants.

Not only are we a higher order of being than the animals and plants, but we occupy a special place in God’s affection. The whole earth was created for us, but beyond that, we know that God loves us in a special way, promising eternity in the midst of His glory if we can only love Him with our whole heart. Throughout history, God has bestowed blessings on us, correcting us when necessary, and extending His grace to aid us in our journey toward him. In Matthew 10:29-31, Jesus tells us our value to God, expressing how much he cares for us, holding us in existence and providing for our needs,

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

God loves us beyond comprehension. He created everything to be “good”, and we know that God is perfect love, mercy, justice, wisdom and power. The only thing that is outside of His power is to do something in a less than perfect way. “God doesn’t create junk”, the common saying goes, and there is incredible truth in it. If God created it, as He did with all of us and the world around us, then we can only know that it has a purpose and its existence is of value. We all have inherent dignity and worth – God wouldn’t have created us otherwise. It may be difficult for us to grasp, but every human life is worth living. There are no exceptions.


Other Articles You May Like

When Does Human Life Begin? (The argument from Catholic Faith and Science)

Human Life Vs. Human Being (Is a Fetus a Human Being?)

Is That Really What You Believe

Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 331-336, 351-352 – Christ with His Angels, Angels in the Life of the Church

clock November 18, 2012 01:02 by author John |

Today we continue learning about the angels, particularly how they aid Christ and the Church. Supplemental material comes from St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologica”.

Christ "with all his angels"

331 Christ is the center of the angelic world. They are his angels: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him… "191 They belong to him because they were created through and for him: "for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through him and for him."192 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?"193

332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham's hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples.194 Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.195

333 From the Incarnation to the Ascension, the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels. When God "brings the firstborn into the world, he says: 'Let all God's angels worship him.'"196 Their song of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church's praise: "Glory to God in the highest!"197 They protect Jesus in his infancy, serve him in the desert, strengthen him in his agony in the garden, when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel had been.198 Again, it is the angels who "evangelize" by proclaiming the Good News of Christ's Incarnation and Resurrection.199 They will be present at Christ's return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgement.200

The angels in the life of the Church

334 In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.201

335 In her liturgy, the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice-holy God. She invokes their assistance (in the Roman Canon's Supplices te rogamus. . .["Almighty God, we pray that your angel..."]; in the funeral liturgy's In Paradisum deducant te angeli. . .["May the angels lead you into Paradise. . ."]). Moreover, in the "Cherubic Hymn" of the Byzantine Liturgy, she celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and the guardian angels).

336 From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life."203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.


351 The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men.

352 The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.

St. Thomas Aquinas explains the power of the angels to govern the created world in the “Summa Theologica” (1, 110):

Article 1. Whether the corporeal creature is governed by the angels?

Objection 1. It would seem that the corporeal creature is not governed by angels. For whatever possesses a determinate mode ofaction, needs not to be governed by any superior power; for we require to be governed lest we do what we ought not. But corporeal things have their actions determined by the nature divinely bestowed upon them. Therefore they do not need the government of angels.

Objection 2. Further, the lowest things are ruled by the superior. But some corporeal things are inferior, and others are superior. Therefore they need not be governed by the angels.

Objection 3. Further, the different orders of the angels are distinguished by different offices. But if corporeal creatures were ruled by the angels, there would be as many angelic offices as there are species of things. So also there would be as many orders ofangels as there are species of things; which is against what is laid down above (Question 108, Article 2). Therefore the corporeal creature is not governed by angels.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 4) that "all bodies are ruled by the rational spirit of life"; and Gregory says (Dial. iv, 6), that "in this visible world nothing takes place without the agency of the invisible creature."

I answer that, It is generally found both in human affairs and in natural things that every particular power is governed and ruled by the universal power; as, for example, the bailiff's power is governed by the power of the king. Among the angels also, as explained above (55, 3; 108, 1), the superior angels who preside over the inferior possess a more universal knowledge. Now it is manifest that the power of any individual body is more particular than the power of any spiritual substance; for every corporealform is a form individualized by matter, and determined to the "here and now"; whereas immaterial forms are absolute and intelligible. Therefore, as the inferior angels who have the less universal forms, are ruled by the superior; so are all corporeal things ruled by the angels. This is not only laid down by the holy doctors, but also by all philosophers who admit the existence ofincorporeal substances.

Reply to Objection 1. Corporeal things have determinate actions; but they exercise such actions only according as they are moved; because it belongs to a body not to act unless moved. Hence a corporeal creature must be moved by a spiritual creature.

Reply to Objection 2. The reason alleged is according to the opinion of Aristotle who laid down (Metaph. xi, 8) that the heavenly bodies are moved by spiritual substances; the number of which he endeavored to assign according to the number of motions apparent in the heavenly bodies. But he did not say that there were any spiritual substances with immediate rule over the inferior bodies, except perhaps human souls; and this was because he did not consider that any operations were exercised in the inferior bodies except the natural ones for which the movement of the heavenly bodies sufficed. But because we assert that many things are done in the inferior bodies besides the natural corporeal actions, for which the movements of the heavenly bodies are not sufficient; therefore in our opinion we must assert that the angels possess an immediate presidency not only over the heavenly bodies, but also over the inferior bodies.

Reply to Objection 3. Philosophers have held different opinions about immaterial substances. For Plato laid down that immaterialsubstances were types and species of sensible bodies; and that some were more universal than others; and so he held that immaterial substances preside immediately over all sensible bodies, and different ones over different bodies. But Aristotle held that immaterial substances are not the species of sensible bodies, but something higher and more universal; and so he did notattribute to them any immediate presiding over single bodies, but only over the universal agents, the heavenly bodies. Avicennafollowed a middle course. For he agreed with Plato in supposing some spiritual substance to preside immediately in the sphere of active and passive elements; because, as Plato also said, he held that the forms of these sensible things are derived from immaterial substances. But he differed from Plato because he supposed only one immaterial substance to preside over all inferior bodies, which he called the "active intelligence."

The holy doctors held with the Platonists that different spiritual substances were placed over corporeal things. For Augustine says (QQ. 83, qu. 79): "Every visible thing in this world has an angelic power placed over it"; and Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 4): "The devil was one of the angelic powers who presided over the terrestrial order"; and Origen says on the text, "When the ass saw the angel" (Numbers 22:23), that "the world has need of angels who preside over beasts, and over the birth of animals, and trees, and plants, and over the increase of all other things" (Hom. xiv in Num.). The reason of this, however, is not that an angelis more fitted by his nature to preside over animals than over plants; because each angel, even the least, has a higher and moreuniversal power than any kind of corporeal things: the reason is to be sought in the order of Divine wisdom, Who places different rulers over different things. Nor does it follow that there are more than nine orders of angels, because, as above expounded (108, 2), the orders are distinguished by their general offices. Hence as according to Gregory all the angels whose proper office it is to preside over the demons are of the order of the "powers"; so to the order of the "virtues" do those angels seem to belong who preside over purely corporeal creatures; for by their ministration miracles are sometimes performed.


191 ⇒ Mt 25:31.
192 ⇒ Col 1:16.
193 ⇒ Heb 1:14.
194 Cf. ⇒ Job 38:7 (where angels are called "sons of God"); ⇒ Gen 3:24; ⇒ 19; ⇒ 21: 17; ⇒ 22:11; ⇒ Acts 7:53; Ex 23:20-23; ⇒ Judg 13; ⇒ 6:11-24; ⇒ Is 6:6; ⇒ 1 Kings 19:5.
195 Cf. ⇒ Lk 1:11, 26.
196 ⇒ Heb 1:6.
197 ⇒ Lk 2:14.
198 Cf. ⇒ Mt 1:20; ⇒ 2:13,⇒ 19; ⇒ 4:11; ⇒ 26:53; ⇒ Mk 1:13; ⇒ Lk 22:43; ⇒ Macc 10:29-30; ⇒ 11:8.
199 Cf. ⇒ Lk 2:8-14; ⇒ Mk 16:5-7.
200 Cf. ⇒ Acts 1:10-11; ⇒ Mt 13:41; ⇒ 24:31; ⇒ Lk 12:8-9. the angels in the life of the Church
201 Cf. ⇒ Acts 5:18-20; ⇒ 8:26-29; ⇒ 10:3-8; ⇒ 12:6-11; ⇒ 27:23-25.
202 Cf. ⇒ Mt 18:10; ⇒ Lk 16:22; ⇒ Pss 34:7; ⇒ 91:10-13; ⇒ Job 33:23-24; ⇒ Zech 1:12; ⇒ Tob 12:12.
203 St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III, I: PG 29, 656B.

Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 325-330, 350 – Heaven, Earth, and the Angels

clock November 17, 2012 01:04 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the created universe, specifically focusing on the angels. Supplemental material comes from St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologica”.


325 The Apostles' Creed professes that God is "creator of heaven and earth". The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes "all that is, seen and unseen".

326 The Scriptural expression "heaven and earth" means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: "the earth" is the world of men, while "heaven" or "the heavens" can designate both the firmament and God's own "place" - "our Father in heaven" and consequently the "heaven" too which is eschatological glory. Finally, "heaven" refers to the saints and the "place" of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God.186

327 The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) affirms that God "from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then (deinde) the human creature, who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body."187


The existence of angels - a truth of faith

328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith. the witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.

Who are they?

329 St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'"188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word".189

330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.190


350 Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: "The angels work together for the benefit of us all" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3).

St. Thomas Aquinas discusses the angels in the “Summa Theologica” (1, 50):

Article 1. Whether an angel is altogether incorporeal?

Objection 1. It would seem that an angel is not entirely incorporeal. For what is incorporeal only as regards ourselves, and not in relation to God, is not absolutely incorporeal. But Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii) that "an angel is said to be incorporeal and immaterial as regards us; but compared to God it is corporeal and material. Therefore he is not simply incorporeal."

Objection 2. Further, nothing is moved except a body, as the Philosopher says (Phys. vi, text 32). But Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii) that "an angel is an ever movable intellectual substance." Therefore an angel is a corporeal substance.

Objection 3. Further, Ambrose says (De Spir. Sanct. i, 7): "Every creature is limited within its own nature." But to be limited belongs to bodies. Therefore, every creature is corporeal. Now angels are God's creatures, as appears from Psalm 148:2: "Praise ye" the Lord, "all His angels"; and, farther on (verse 4), "For He spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created." Therefore angels are corporeal.

On the contrary, It is said (Psalm 103:4): "Who makes His angels spirits."

I answer that, There must be some incorporeal creatures. For what is principally intended by God in creatures is good, and this consists in assimilation to God Himself. And the perfect assimilation of an effect to a cause is accomplished when the effect imitates the cause according to that whereby the cause produces the effect; as heat makes heat. Now, Godproduces the creature by His intellect and will (14, 8; 19, 4). Hence the perfection of the universe requires that there should be intellectual creatures. Now intelligence cannot be the action of a body, nor of any corporeal faculty; for every body is limited to "here" and "now." Hence the perfection of the universe requires the existence of an incorporeal creature.

The ancients, however, not properly realizing the force of intelligence, and failing to make a proper distinction between sense and intellect, thought that nothing existed in the world but what could be apprehended by sense and imagination. And because bodies alone fall under imagination, they supposed that no being existed except bodies, as the Philosopherobserves (Phys. iv, text 52,57). Thence came the error of the Sadducees, who said there was no spirit (Acts 23:8).

But the very fact that intellect is above sense is a reasonable proof that there are some incorporeal things comprehensible by the intellect alone.

Reply to Objection 1. Incorporeal substances rank between God and corporeal creatures. Now the medium compared to one extreme appears to be the other extreme, as what is tepid compared to heat seems to be cold; and thus it is said thatangels, compared to God, are material and corporeal, not, however, as if anything corporeal existed in them.

Reply to Objection 2. Movement is there taken in the sense in which it is applied to intelligence and will. Therefore anangel is called an ever mobile substance, because he is ever actually intelligent, and not as if he were sometimes actually and sometimes potentially, as we are. Hence it is clear that the objection rests on an equivocation.

Reply to Objection 3. To be circumscribed by local limits belongs to bodies only; whereas to be circumscribed by essentiallimits belongs to all creatures, both corporeal and spiritual. Hence Ambrose says (De Spir. Sanct. i, 7) that "although some things are not contained in corporeal place, still they are none the less circumscribed by their substance."


186 ⇒ Pss 115:16; ⇒ 19:2; ⇒ Mt 5:16.
187 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800; cf. DS 3002 and Paul VI, CPG # 8.
188 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 103, 1, 15: PL 37, 1348.
189 ⇒ Mt 18:10; ⇒ Ps 103:20.
190 Cf. Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3891; ⇒ Lk 20:36; ⇒ Dan 10:9- 12.