Catechism of the Catholic Church

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