Catechism of the Catholic Church

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. 2501 299 266 1937 283 2500 310 355