Catechism of the Catholic Church

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