Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Not Just Something, but Someone"

My weekly schedule includes a post about studying the Bible and Catechism each Wednesday. That's a good way for me to keep learning about what I believe.

"Following Catholic beliefs and practices in America: One man's experience" is this blog's descriptions, and my experience includes studying my faith.

That's partly because of the sort of person I am. One of my daughters told me that I'm a scholar and philosopher by nature, and I see her point. No bragging involved: it's just the kit I was issued.

Besides, as an adult convert to Catholicism, I feel like I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Next: Man; "In the Image of God;" "Body and Soul but Truly One;" and More

I'm skipping over a section summary after the Catechism's discussion of Heaven and Earth, the angels, and the visible world. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 325-349, summarized in 350-354) The next part of the Catechism is about the sort of creature I am, and starts with a quote from Genesis.

In the Image of God

" 'God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.'218 Man occupies 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. "
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 355)
If that's not exactly the way you remember that verse, I'm not surprised. Here's how it goes in the New American Bible:
"God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them."
(Genesis 1:27)
There's a pretty good introduction to the Pentateuch in that translation, and that's another topic.

"Man," Language, and Me

I posted about this yesterday:
Partly because I like big words, partly for the sake of communication without crisis, I generally write things like "humanity" or "human beings" when I mean "man" or "all creatures of my variety."

As I've said before, I've got the full authority of "some guy with a blog." I don't speak for the Church. Which is why I've got those links. The Catechism, and the Bible, are free online resources. Just a thought.

I'm a Man: I'm Also part of "Man"

I'm a male human being. In my language, my sort of individual human being is called a "man."

I'm also part of "man," all human beings. About half of us are male, the other half female. We're a package deal. Again:
"God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them."
(Genesis 1:27)
On a related topic, I've run into men who read Ephesians 5:22, and decided that God wants wives to conform to the old 'fetch my beer' mores. Astonishingly, quite a few women seem to have bought into that idea.

My mother had the iron will of the vikings packed in her five-feet-nothing, black-haired frame; I married a woman who's named after a doctor of the Church; and I've opined about Ephesians 5:21-30 before. (September 24, 2009)

Top of the Visible World

After that introduction to this part of "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth," the Catechism discusses "in the image of God." (Catechism, 356-361)
"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...."
(Catechism, 356)
"Of all visible creatures?" I've posted about angels before. (March 7, 2012) I like the way this next paragraph starts out:
"Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone...."
(Catechism, 357) [emphasis mine]
We've been given "dominion" over the visible world. (Genesis 1:26) Some folks seem to have assumed that what God meant was that we could pillage creation. Sort of like a shopping-crazed adolescent with his parents' credit card: and no appreciation of consequences.

"Dominion" doesn't work that way:
"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...."
(Catechism, 358)
And that's - what else? - another topic.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.