The Profession of Faith
know him. These are also called proofs for the existence of God,
not in the sense of proofs in the natural sciences, but rather in the
sense of “converging and convincing arguments,” which allow us
to attain certainty about the truth.
These “ways” of approaching God from creation have a
twofold point of departure: the physical world and the human
starting from movement, becoming, contin-
gency, and the world’s order and beauty, one can come to a
knowledge of God as the origin and the end of the universe.
As St. Paul says of the Gentiles: For what can be known about
God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever
since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely,
his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in
the things that have been made.
And St. Augustine issues this challenge: Question the beauty
of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the
beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question
the beauty of the sky . . . question all these realities.All respond:
“See, we are beautiful.” Their beauty is a profession [
]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if
not the Beautiful One [
] who is not subject to change?
With his openness to truth and beauty,
his sense of moral goodness, his freedom and the voice of his
conscience, with his longings for the infinite and for happiness,
man questions himself about God’s existence. In all this he discerns
signs of his spiritual soul. The soul, the “seed of eternity we bear
in ourselves, irreducible to the merely material,”
can have its
origin only in God.
The world, and man, attest that they contain within them-
selves neither their first principle nor their final end, but rather that
they participate in Being itself, which alone is without origin or
end. Thus, in different ways, man can come to know that there
exists a reality which is the first cause and final end of all things, a
reality “that everyone calls ‘God.’”
14:15, 17; 17:27-28;
8 St. Augustine,
241, 2: PL 38, 1134.
18 § 1; cf. 14 § 2.
10 St. Thomas Aquinas,
I, 2, 3.