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The Profession of Faith

91

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 occu-

pies 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.

I.

“I

n

the

I

mage of

G

od

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? Cer-

tainly 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

218

Gen

1:27.

219

GS

12 § 3.

220

GS

24 § 3.

221 St. Catherine of Siena,

Dialogue

4, 13 “On Divine Providence”:

LH,

Sunday,

week 19, OR.

222 Cf.

GS

12 § 1; 24 § 3; 39 § 1.

1700, 343

1703, 2258

225

295

1935

1877

299, 901