Apologize and Don't Be Sorry!

A site dedicated to thinking through the common objections to the Catholic Faith as well as questions of a general religious nature.

Location: Prague, Oklahoma, United States

Just your basic 21st century priest trying to bring the Gospel to everyone who will give it a fair hearing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

More on the Creed: Seen and Unseen

Dear Father:
In the Nicene Creed: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. What does seen and unseen refer to? Thank you.
Name/city withheld

The phrase “seen and unseen” refers to the belief of the Church that God created not only the material universe (seen) but also the heavenly universe (unseen). In this way, the Church professes that God is the creator of the angels and Heaven itself. Here’s what the Catechism gives us:

The Scriptural expression "heaven and earth" means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: "the earth" is the world of men, while "heaven" or "the heavens" can designate both the firmament and God's own "place" - "our Father in heaven" and consequently the "heaven" too which is eschatological glory. Finally, "heaven" refers to the saints and the "place" of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God. The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) affirms that God "from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then (deinde) the human creature, who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body.” (CCC #326-327)

I’m going to let my science nerd persona hang out for a moment. For the modern person, you can see a definite beauty to this assertion. Step out on your porch tonight and look into the sky. There is more of the universe that you are not seeing rather than what you are seeing. Now, look at your hand. There is more to be seen there that cannot be seen at first look. It is a great comfort to me that He who made the swirling galaxies made the viruses and bacteria living on my skin.


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