Image of God in CreationAugust 6, 2012 No Comments
August 6, 2012 / MariaNews.com
Image of God in Creation
By Deacon Antonio Sandoval
When I was introduced to the idea that we, humans, were created in the image and likeness of God, I found it difficult to accept it. I questioned how finite imperfect creatures could image the infinite all-perfect Creator.
My first step in understanding this truth came when I considered the saying of Jesus, “I am the Way, the Truth, and Life” (John 14: 6). Now there is no question, that Love is the Way of Jesus, who is True God and True Man. His entire teaching can be summarized in loving God and loving neighbor. God, then, is the personal Trinity of Love, and Truth, and Life, and the source of all love, truth, and life. God is a Trinity of persons, but one single being. In what God does, all three persons participate, however, sometimes we attribute Love to the Holy Spirit, the love between the Father and the Son; we attribute Truth to the Son, the Logos, the Eternal Word; and we attribute creation to the Father as we assert in the creed.
I then made the connection: We are the image and likeness of God because we are persons with a heart that loves, a mind that knows truth, and we are a living body. Later I would consider this connection inadequate.
My next preoccupation was the image of God in all of his creatures. An artist usually paints reality as it is perceived in his mind, and for that reason it can be said, that to some extent, he reveals himself in his painting. It seemed logical, since all creation begins as an idea in the mind of the Creator, that creatures should be an image of the Creator, even if a very vague image.
In the 1960s while teaching a class of physical chemistry, I realized that in the mathematical description of the simplest element of matter, the hydrogen atom, there are three principles involved: The principle of unity, in this case, the attraction between the positively charged nucleus consisting of one proton and the “orbital” electron with a negative charge; the principle of identity which specifies the properties of the atom that identify it as hydrogen, and the principle of action which specifies what the atom can do.
In God the principle of unity is his Love, the principle of identity is the Logos, the Word who reveals the truth of who God is, and the principle of action is what God does (as creator and sustainer of all creatures). These three principles form the template on which all created entities can be cast and related to God as his image.
Non rational creatures always behave according to what God has programed in their nature. They have no choice. However, we, rational creatures have been given the freedom to reject or obey the desires of God for us. That’s why it is not sufficient to say that we are an image and likeness of God because we have a heart that loves, a mind that knows truth and that we are living bodies. We are an image of God only when we are in conformity with God’s will.
For example, a marriage can be an image of God only if the principle of unity is the exclusive life-long nuptial love of the spouses for each other and their unconditional love for their children. The principle of identity is that the spouses must be a man and a woman who have made a vow of life-long fidelity with openness to life. The principle of action (what the spouses are to do in the marriage) is the procreation and education of children. In this way the marriage is an image of God.
It is clear, then, that same sex unions cannot be marriages that image God’s likeness. They cannot have children and, even if one member pretends to be of the opposite gender, no amount of pretention will make it true. Nuptial love between same sex partners is not possible.
Read more by Deacon Antonio here
Antonio is a retired deacon in the Archdiocese of Denver. Last September his wife, Maud, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer. They were told that she didn’t have long to live. Since she is 83 years old, they decided to refuse the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Last October they were sent to Hospice. They have now been there for 8 months. Antonio’s wife is not experiencing the symptoms of multiple myeloma other than the fact that she cannot move and has to stay in bed all the time. She is also in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. You prayers will be appreciated. Antonio spends the entire day with his wife.
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