2 meditations are presented on God as Creator and His Providence.
God the Creator of Heaven and Earth & His Providence
God is the Creator of all things visible and invisible. To create means to bring something into existence out of nothing. In creating, God begins with nothing, parts with nothing and gains nothing. Creation, therefore, is Almighty Love, because all the benefits of creation are gained by the creatures, and not by the Creator.
There are two kinds of beings whom God has created, the material and the spiritual. Material creatures have space and size, weight and color and quantity. They can be seen and touched and tasted and heard by bodily ears. In a word, they are perceptible by the senses. Spiritual creatures have none of these qualities. They can be perceived only by the mind and experienced only by the will. Thus, the angels are spiritual persons and our souls are spiritual beings, which animate our human bodies.
Immediately we see that the world is not eternal. This is revealed in the Bible. The opening words of the Scriptures declare, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). And Christ tells the heavenly Father, “You loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).
God created the world in order to manifest His perfection through the benefits that He bestows on creatures, not to increase His own happiness nor acquire any perfection.
Needless to say, God was not obliged to create the world. He was not constrained by anything within Himself or by anything outside of Himself. His only motive for creation was to share something of His own perfection.
He preserves the world by the same almighty love that must be ever-present to keep the world in existence. As we read in the Old Testament, “How could anything remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved had it not been called forth by you?” (Wisdom 11:25).
The world is governed by God’s providence. There is an eternal divine plan for the universe. God always knew how He would govern the world and willed to do so. Moreover, He is now putting this eternal world-plan into effect.
By His providence, God watches over and directs all the things He made, for “everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves” (Hebrews 4:13). His wisdom “deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other, ordering all things for good” (Wisdom 8:1).
Divine providence implies two things. God foresees even those things that are going to occur by the free choice of creatures, and He directs all creatures to their proper end or destiny.
Does this mean that we still act freely, even though God has planned everything? Yes, our freedom is part of the divine plan. God wills the final effects of all created actions and has provided that they be achieved. Some of these effects are produced by what we call necessary causes (like gravity) and others by means of truly free choices (like obedience).
God not only created, He is creating.
Each of us, when we came into the world, was conceived and born with a body and soul. The body we received from our parents. The soul for each one of us was individually, distinctively, separately and immediately created by God. It is not only that God created the world, but every time a human being is conceived, God creates the soul and infuses it into the body. That is why the expression “God our Creator” refers not only to the beginning of time. It refers to the beginning of each one of us separately, distinctively, and as we soon find out, uniquely. The most fundamental reason why each of us has such a distinctive personality is because at the moment of conception, God created each one of our souls to be unlike any other soul from the beginning until the end of the world.
-excerpt taken from John Hardon, SJ's essay "God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth." p 1
'In the beginning', long before all worlds
Or flaming stars or whirling galaxies,
Before that first 'big bang', if such it was,
Or earlier contraction; back and back
Beyond all time or co-related space
And all that is and all that ever was
And all that yet will be; Source of the whole,
'In the beginning was the Word' of God
The Word of God; Reason, Design and Form,
Intelligence, Whose workshop spans the stars
Expressed within the cosmos and alike
In what seems chaos; He Who works as much
In randomness as order, Who to make
Man in His image scorns not to create
By patient evolution on a scale
Of craft divine which dwarfs a million years
Who is this God, that bows Himself to see
The puny wonders of this little speck
Of cosmic dust that we have named our Earth,
The toy volcanoes and the restless sea
That splashes from His bucket like a drop
And still captive to the circling Moon
Flows and recedes, purging polluted shores
Or sending tidal torrents up the Severn?
Who is this God, that circles either pole
With fluorescent light - an arctic dawn,
Whose rain makes little sparks and tiny cracks
That we call thunder storms, this God Whose plan
So shapes the atoms that they must combine
To give dust life and then to feed that dust
With inorganic substance to create
By DNA a pattern like its own?
Who is this God and can this God be known
Within the confines of a human skull,
A litre and a half of mortal brain
Whose interlinking neurons must depend
On chemistry and physics in the end
For all that Man can know or comprehend?
Can Man know God eternally enthroned
Throughout all space and in the great beyond?
The mystery of being, still unsolved
By all our science and philosophy,
Fills me with breathless wonder, and the God
From Whom it all continually proceeds
Calls forth my worship and shall worship have.
But love in incarnation draws my soul
In humble adoration of a Babe;
'In this was manifest the love of God'
Still Jesus comes to those who seek for God
And still He answers as He did of old,
'I've been with you so long, how can you say
"I don't know God, Oh show me God today"?
When you've seen Me, you've seen the eternal God
Met Him as Father too, as He Who cares
And loves and longs for men as I myself
I am the Christian message. God has come'
© Prof. Sir Robert L.F. Boyd Kt CBE DSc FRS From Faith and Thought 102(3), 182-183 (1975)