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The Profession of Faith

15

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

person.

32

The

world:

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.

7

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 [

confes­

sio

]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if

not the Beautiful One [

Pulcher

] who is not subject to change?

8

33

The

human person:

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,”

9

can have its

origin only in God.

34

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.’”

10

7

Rom

1:19-20; cf.

Acts

14:15, 17; 17:27-28;

Wis

13:1-9.

8 St. Augustine,

Sermo

241, 2: PL 38, 1134.

9

GS

18 § 1; cf. 14 § 2.

10 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

I, 2, 3.

54, 337

2500, 1730

1776

1703

366

199