Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Reading the Catechism: week 2

Below, you are reading my notes/comments/extensions to the second week reading of the Catechism, mostly about knowing God.

                                          Knowing God

God never ceases to draw man to himself. He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. The desire of God is written in the human heart.  As St Augustine says: "our heart is restless until it rests on you" [#27,30]

Church teaching
"As the sacred synod has affirmed, God, the beginning and end of all things, can be known with certainty from created reality by the light of human reason (see Rom. 1:20)" [Dei Verbum 6]
This is, the existence of God, as beginning and end of all things, can be know by reasoning from the created reality. There are other truths about God, that should be know though revelation.

Ways of knowing God's existence: Informal explanation

Ways of knowing about the existence of God: starting from the world (contingency, change, existence, beauty) or starting from the human person (morality, introspection of the soul).

I like how Rowan Willams explains this to the 6 years old Lulu, that was asking who invented God:

[...] I think God might reply a bit like this –
‘Dear Lulu – Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.[...]

Ways of knowing God's existence, formal explanation

One can use here Aquinas proofs, only summarised in the Summa Theologica. Some points better explained in Contra Gentiles. One could start by reading the Summa of the Summa, by Peter Kreeft.

Language of God

Our language of God is limited, since our knowledge of his is limited too, and always will be because we cannot exhaust God.

Analogical language, is the regular way to talk about God: Between Creator and creature no similitude can be expressed without implying a greater similitude. [Lateran Council IV, DS 806]

Even if we can only talk positively about God in analogical way it does not mean that anything is proper, the language may be analogical but it is not indifferent.

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