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88

Part One

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 perfec­

tion.

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 depend­

ence 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 pro-

gressively 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 creatures

209

and takes care of each one, even the sparrow.

Nevertheless, Jesus said: “You are of more value than many spar-

rows,” 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

207 Cf. St. Augustine,

De Genesi contra 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.

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1937

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2500

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