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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE FIRST ARTICLE (CONTINUED): "The Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and
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From a consideration of all this, one is led to a fivefold benefit. (1) We

are led to a knowledge of the divine majesty. Now, if a maker is greater

than the things he makes, then God is greater than all things which He has

made. "With whose beauty, if they being delighted, took them to be gods,

let them know how much the Lord of them is more beautiful than they. . . .

Or if they admired their power and their effects, let them understand by

them that He that made them, is mightier than they."9 Hence, whatsoever can

even be affirmed or thought of is less than God. "Behold: God is great,

exceeding our knowledge."10


(2) We are led to give thanks to God. Because God is the Creator of all

things, it is certain that what we are and what we have is from God: "What

hast thou that thou hast not received."11 "The earth is the Lord's and the

fullness thereof; the world and all they that dwell therein.12 "We,

therefore, must render thanks to God: What shall I render to the Lord for

all the things that He hath rendered to me?"13


(3) We are led to bear our troubles in patience. Although every created

thing is from God and is good according to its nature, yet, if something

harms us or brings us pain, we believe that such comes from God, not as a

fault in Him, but because God permits no evil that is not for good.

Affliction purifies from sin, brings low the guilty, and urges on the good

to a love of God: "If we have received good things from the hand of God,

why should we not receive evil?"14


(4) We are led to a right use of created things. Thus, we ought to use

created things as having been made by God for two purposes: for His glory,

"since all things are made for Himself"15 (that is, for the glory of God),

and finally for our profit: "Which the Lord thy God created for the service

of all the nations."16 Thus, we ought to use things for God's glory in

order to please Him no less than for our own profit, that is, so as to

avoid sin in using them: All things are Thine, and we have given Thee what

we received of Thy hand."17 Whatever we have, be it learning or beauty, we

must revere all and use all for the glory of God.


(5) We are led also to acknowledge the great dignity of man. God made all

things for man: "Thou hast subjected all things under is feet,"18 and man

is more like to God than all other creatures save the Angels: "Let us make

man to Our image and likeness."19 God does not say this of the heavens or

of the stars, but of man; and this likeness of God in man does not refer to

the body but to the human soul, which has free will and is incorruptible,

and therein man resembles God more than other creatures do. We ought,

therefore, to consider the nobleness of man as less than the Angels but

greater than all other creatures. Let us not, therefore, diminish his

dignity by sin and by an inordinate desire for earthly things which are

beneath us and are made for our service. Accordingly, we must rule over

things of the earth and use them, and be subject to God by obeying and

serving Him. And thus we shall come to he enjoyment of God forever.





9. "Ibid.," xiii. 3-4.


10. Job, xxxvi. 26.


11. I Cor., iv. 7.


12. Ps. xxiii. 1.


13. Ps, cxv. 12.


14. Job, ii. 10.


15. Prov., xvi. 4.


16 Deut., iv. 19.


17. I Paral., xxix. 14.


18. Ps. viii. 8.


19. Gen., i. 26.

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