The World Was Created for the Glory of God
293 Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: “The world was made for the glory of God.”1 St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things “not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it,”2 for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness: “Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand.”3 The First Vatican Council explains:
This one, true God, of his own goodness and “almighty power,” not for increasing his own beatitude, nor for attaining his perfection, but in order to manifest this perfection through the benefits which he bestows on creatures, with absolute freedom of counsel “and from the beginning of time, made out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal….”4
God creates by wisdom and love
295 We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom.5 It is not the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God’s free will; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom, and goodness: “For you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”6 Therefore the Psalmist exclaims: “O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all”; and “The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.”7
God creates “out of nothing”
296 We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance.8 God creates freely “out of nothing”… 9
298 Since God could create everything out of nothing, he can also, through the Holy Spirit, give spiritual life to sinners by creating a pure heart in them10 and bodily life to the dead through the Resurrection. God “gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.”11 And since God was able to make light shine in darkness by his Word, he can also give the light of faith to those who do not yet know him.12
For more, read paragraphs 279-354 here.
1. Dei Filius, can §5: DS 3025
2. St.Bonaventure, In II Sent. I, 2, 2, 1.
3. St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent 2, Prol.
4. Dei Filius, 1: DS 3002; cf. Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800.
6. Rev 4:11
7. Ps 104:24, 145:9
8. Dei Filius, can 2-4: DS 3022-3024
9. Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800, cf DS 3025
10 Cf Ps 51:12
11. Rom 4:17
12. Cf Gen 1:3, 2 Cor 4:6
Excerpts from the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for use in the United States of America Copyright © 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc. – Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with Permission.