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78

Part One

God creates “out of nothing”

296

We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any

help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary ema-

nation from the divine substance.

144

God creates freely “out of

nothing”:

145

If God had drawn the world from pre-existent matter, what

would be so extraordinary in that? A human artisan makes

from a given material whatever he wants, while God shows

his power by starting from nothing to make all he wants.

146

297

Scripture bears witness to faith in creation “out of nothing”

as a truth full of promise and hope. Thus the mother of seven sons

encourages them for martyrdom:

I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was

not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the

elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the

world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the

origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back

to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of

his laws. . . . Look at the heaven and the earth and see

everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not

make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind

comes into being.

147

298

Since God could create everything out of nothing, he can

also, through the Holy Spirit, give spiritual life to sinners by

creating a pure heart in them

148

and bodily life to the dead through

the Resurrection. God “gives life to the dead and calls into existence

the things that do not exist.”

149

And since God was able to make

light shine in darkness by his Word, he can also give the light of

faith to those who do not yet know him.

150

God creates an ordered and good world

299

Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is or-

dered: “You have arranged all things by measure and number and

weight.”

151

The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the

144 Cf.

Dei Filius,

can. 2-4: DS 3022-3024.

145 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800; cf. DS 3025.

146 St. Theophilus of Antioch,

Ad Autolycum

II, 4: PG 6, 1052.

147

2 Macc

7:22-23, 28.

148 Cf.

Ps

51:12.

149

Rom

4:17.

150 Cf.

Gen

1:3;

2 Cor

4:6.

151

Wis

11:20.

285

338

1375

992

339