Skip to comments.Fragments of Catholic Truth: I am made in the image of God: What does...mean and what...involve?
Posted on 12/20/2012 8:51:46 PM PST by Salvation
What are the sources or inspiration for these subjects?Basically they are inspired by the documents of the Holy See, and in particular by the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium. This was a deliberate choice so as to create an awareness of the vast richness, completeness and beauty of these documents which are, in some circles, hardly known at all. In this way, it is possible to present the essential and fundamental contents of the faith which are professed, not just by the individual Catholic, but by the Catholic Church throughout the world as it adheres to the Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops. It is this teaching that was willed by Christ himself in order to confirm the faith of individual believers, so that, through the centuries and in various different parts of the world, everyone should profess the one true Catholic and Apostolic Faith.
Why are the topics treated in this work presented in a dialogical way?From an editorial point of view, the arguments are presented in a dialogical manner, that is to say with questions, each of which is followed by a brief response. This dialogical format, while inviting us to continue reading, is born of and remains faithful to a constant and noble catechetical tradition in the history of the Church. It is well known that many catechisms responsible for the faith formation of entire generations used and in a very fruitful way this kind of pedagogical tool. It should not be forgotten that the same Christian faith, a special gift of God, can itself also be described as a continuous dialogue between God with man, and between man and God.
I am also convinced that this approach can help to meet the needs of the todays world, which certainly has an appetite for interviews of a journalistic type, let alone a taste for synthetic sound bites and catchphrases. This may be due in part to the fact that many people nowadays have little time and, even though they say they are Catholics, need to deepen their faith. This lack of time, unfortunately, often leads to religious ignorance, which in turn, results in a widespread relativism, an arbitrary subjectivism and, last but not least, an impressive reduction in mnemonic capacity regarding the contents of faith. This is not only the case in children and young people but also in adults, both in their catechetical journey and in their various and demanding activities and profession.
Why was the sub-title Fragments of Catholic Truth chosen?
The word Fragments was inserted as a sub-title in order to underline the fact that only some of the contents which form the rich and mysterious tapestry of the Catholic Faith, as well some of the challenges that grip the present world, were being presented in this volume. At the same time I would like to stress that, in dealing with each single topic, I do not intend to present all its aspects and contents. For this reason I do not wish due to a lack of space and time to give each subject a comprehensive and complete treatment but merely to offer some suggestions, fragments of reflections.
What is the purpose of this work?It is hoped that it may help people to know the beauty and the importance of the Christian faith that is offered to all in a better way by discussing certain of the issues that characterize our society at this point in time.
For this reason it is aimed at Christians in order to give them the opportunity to know and to deepen certain contents of their faith, and to every person who wishes to know what the Catholic Church, through some of her official documents, believes and lives, with the Lords help.
Rome, 8 April 2009
Anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood
of the Basilica of Saints Ambrose and Charles in Rome
Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli
I am made in the image of God: What does this mean and what does it involve?
Where do we find the basis for the assertion that
I am created in the image of God (Imago Dei)? We find it in the Bible. In fact, in the very first pages we read: God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen 1:27).
When does man begin to exist in the image of God?From the first moment of conception. Such a dignity is therefore present in every phase of human life. The Church proclaims this truth not only with the authority of the Gospel, but also with the force of reason; because of this the Church feels able to appeal to every human being of good will in the certainty that the realisation of this truth might benefit each individual and the whole of society.
From where does our being in the image of God come?
What does it mean to say: God created us in his own image?
In what sense is man created in the Image of God? The human person is created in the image of God in the sense that he or she is capable of knowing and of loving their Creator in freedom. Human beings are the only creatures on earth that God has willed for their own sake and has called to share, through knowledge and love, in his own divine life. All human beings, in as much as they are created in the image of God, have the dignity of a person. A person is not something but someone, capable of self-knowledge and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with God and with other persons (Compendium of the CCC, 66).
What dimensions of the person are involved in being created in the image of God?
In what way does being in the image of God involve human dignity?
What is the relationship between mans being made in the image of God and his communion with God?
Does the body also form part of this image of God?
Why does the image of God manifest itself also in the difference between the sexes?
Why does being in the image of God also involve our relationships with other people?
How does being in the image of God also involve our relationship with created things?
In what way does man share in Gods sovereignty over the world?
What is the relationship between being in the image of God and the natural law?Creating man in his own image, God placed in the depths of human conscience a law, which the tradition calls the natural law. This law is of divine origin, and mans awareness of it is itself a participation in the divine law (CTI, 60).
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church also affirms in this regard: The natural law which is inscribed by the Creator on the heart of every person consists in a participation in the wisdom and the goodness of God. It expresses that original moral sense which enables one to discern by reason the good and the bad. It is universal and immutable and determines the basis of the duties and fundamental rights of the person as well as those of the human community and civil law (416).
Is this law perceived by everyone? Because of sin the natural law is not always perceived nor is it recognized by everyone with equal clarity and immediacy (op.cit. 417).
For this reason God wrote on the tables of the Law what men did not read in their hearts. (Saint Augustine).
What consequences for mans being in the image of God were and are provoked by sin?
What model does man have in actualising his being in the image of God?
In what way is Christ the model for every man in living in the image of God? Christ is the model for man in living in the image of God in the sense that:
of the Basilica of Saints Ambrose and Charles Borromeo
Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli
Advent Series Ping!
What about the accepted theory of evolution? Is the Creator still in the process of evolving?
The article doesn’t even mention the E word. This is about being created in the image of God. You did read it, right?
Accepted by whom?
I’ve always taken ‘in His image’ to mean “self-aware intelligence”.
That’s the only way it ever made sense to me.
My Catholic in-laws have told me for years that Genesis and the Old Testament are considered 'stories' for the purposes of allegorical interpretation. And they tell me according to this allegory, that the Scripture allows for the probability of evolution. Now made in the image of God is not a process evolving over eons of time.
Sometimes I get the idea that the right hand of the church has no clue what the left hand teaches.
Many will probably reject this, but sometimes the simplest of things elude the most brilliant of mind. (Another concept in the Bible)
‘image’ is not the original word. It is the English word. The original ‘translators’ could have used many words.
Perhaps their understanding of ‘image’ was different from our modern day vernacular.
What if the original ‘word’ was not ‘image’, but ‘imagination’ ?
God made us in his own ‘mind, his own ‘view’, his ‘imagination’. That is where he created us. It is where we create that which we manifest. Everything we have ‘created’ here on Earth was originally an idea, a thought, a picture, AN IMAGE.... in someone’s mind.
As above so below. A statement from the Bible that many often miss the full implications of.
That’s not what I believe — and I have taught a Bible Study on Genesis.
I like your explanation.
Because we weren't made in the XEROX IMAGE of God. We cannot photograph God, and everyone had a different 'drawing' of what he looks like. Even in the Bible he has been a column of lightning, of smoke, of light. He is described as unseeable, unviewable. Those who 'look' at God directly are vaporized from the intense 'glow' or radiation. Dozens of different descriptions in the Bible, and yet there are none in the Bible that describe him as a white male, 6'2", blue eyes, etc. Neither are there any descriptions of God as a nubian warrior, at least in the Bible.
How can we assume that 'image' means what we want it to mean? Especially when God is the creator and must be (logically, if nothing else) way beyond the understanding of that which he creates.
We even admit God works in mysterious ways, but we insist he looks like Santa Claus without the red outfit. Maybe he even 'appears' to us as what we want to see. But the point is that I just don't believe that the authors of that section of the Bible intended us to believe that the God of our entire Universe was limited to the physical form of an Earth dwelling creature who depends on water, earth, and a combination of gases to exist, and for only very, very short periods of time.
Think of the word 'image' and 'mind', or 'view', and see how much more sense that entire paragraph makes. And it changes not a thing about the word of God, it only changes our INTERPRETATION (or the one GIVEN to us by others).
Use the word 'mind', or 'imagination' , instead of image. See if the whole thing not only makes sense, but is obvious, and quite simple.
It might well surprise you then what is taught in some Catholic schools from the youngest to the well noted halls of prestigious Catholic universities. I know personally an undergraduate of Notre Dame that rejects Genesis as anything more than an allegory. This person graduated the year that President Reagan spoke to the graduating class. I know by the language used in rejecting the Words used in Genesis this person was taught differently in childhood than what they now accept as truth.
Evolution is the total and complete opposite doctrine of I am made in the image of God. Because the philosophy of evolution means God is ever evolving.
John 14:8 Phillip saith unto Him, “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”
9 Jesus saith unto him, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Phillip? he that hast seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, ‘Shew us the Father’?
~~What about the accepted theory of evolution?~~*** Accepted by whom? ***
Ah, good ole evolution. Well here's one thing about that, to wit; .i/e.: When I see something as beautiful as this: Cheetahs on the Edge Director's Cut [YouTube 7:07], I have a hard time believing they came from ('evolved') some 'salamander that crawled out of the sea x? millions of years ago.
Genesis: The Beginning, 24-25:When I watch that I see God's work in every part of that beautiful animal, not Darwin's theory. Oh, and Man came next:
And God said, Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind. And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 26-28:Note: I'm not some Luddite. I believe in 'Science', it was and is my career. I also believe that the 'Big Bang' happened. It's just that 'someone' (God) had to do the initial 'banging', even with String, or Membrane Theory. And that Big Bang doesn't contradict with Genesis either - 'Let There Be Light'. ('Science' and God are not mutually exclusive)
Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
The Archdiocese of Washington is also running a series, based on the Catechism, for this Year of Faith. They too have posted a tract on this topic, that might assist in viewing it through a different set of lenses.
The book of Genesis is a fruitful place to start our reflection. It recounts Gods creation of man in two stages. It says that, then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7). This account portrays man as having two essential principles. He is formed from the dust of the ground, made of stuff like all animals are. But theres more he also has the breath of life blown into his nostrils. There is something higher in man than mere matter. Man also has a soul.
It is finally here that we see our likeness to God. Because of our soul we have the power to know and to love. Rocks and stones, trees and plants are only things. But because of our soul, the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something but someone (CCC 357). For, of all visible creatures only man is able to know and love his creator (CCC 356). This grounds all of the awesome abilities which human beings have of entering into communion with other persons, of responding to God in grace, and responding to God in faith and love (CCC 357). No other animal tells jokes, prays, gets married or writes poems. No other animal searches for happiness and meaning in life.
Do you think Jesus was trying to say God LOOKED like him, or that he meant Phillip should regard Jesus as the conveyor of the ‘word’ of God?
God had Isaiah to write a prophecy, long time before the event took place. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
This name/word Immanuel means 'God with us'. So I take Christ at His word in telling Phillip that to have seen Him, Jesus, was to have seen the Father. These flesh bodies house the soul/spirit intellect, and upon that Mount of Transfiguration Moses and Elijah looked the same in a transfigured body. Christ still looked the same after the Resurrection and yet His Spirit body could pass though a literal wall.
It is also Written that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;... even the children of Israel knew that much when they Exodus 20:19 And they said unto Moses, "Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die."
Breath of life actually means soul. Note that fresh formed flesh body was not alive until the 'breath of life' was breathed into the man's nostrils. And yet there is no account given by Moses of the formation/creation of the soul, only that it existed. And we can know the soul/spirit intellect exists before conception as by what we are told about the conception of Christ. That is why we know when 'life' begins in this flesh journey, at conception.
So.... assuming God looked like Jesus, would you say that your ‘image’ of God is the same as mine, or your neighbor’s, or John the Baptist’s , or the Pope’s ?
Through the years I have 'evolved' my thinking as to who are really the Luddites. The evolution community are in absolute opposition to the allowance of God inside their houses of worship, public education. They jeer and sneer at the literal WORD Written.
Now having said the above, It is also Written that when the children of God obey and follow Him, He will not leave or forsake them. So how did it come to be that 'young' earth creationists got the boot out of the public square IF they were following the WORD?
I do not believe the WORD or the literal evidence discovered all across this earth demonstrates this earth is a mere 6,000 years old. I can find no issue or contradiction from the WORD and what unbiased science demonstrates.
God had Peter tell us how God keeps time. A day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. Sure seem simple enough to me. Yet by the days of Noah, flesh man had turned their backs so much so that God told Moses to write Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.
Up to the days of Noah, Moses wrote that Methuselah lived 969 years, not quite one day with the LORD. Then because of the ways of man God placed a time limit on the length of time flesh would live to max 120 years.
Now as to the so called 'Big Bang'. I do not know IF that aptly describes Genesis 1:1. I do read Genesis 1:2 as having several different sources causing a 'big bang', as it is describing the casting down - overthrow of the first rebel. And all flesh life ceased to exist and this earth was for all practical purposes 'dead'. But the sons of God as called in Genesis 6 were still alive because they were not in flesh bodies, but, as described 'breath of life' which means soul.
I do not believe there is a soul/spirit intellect manufacturing plant in heaven where in at the fertilization of every human egg a new soul gets made. I believe that all souls were created at the same time. And because of the first rebel this 'flesh' age was set in motion to give each and every individual soul created the opportunity to take this flesh journey. The reason why Christ told Nicodemus in John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, :Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born *from above* (yes I know the word 'again' got place here but is is not correct) he cannot see the kingdom of God."
All those in the evolution community rightfully admit they cannot see let alone test or replicate the soul, but, at the same time they pretend the soul/spirit intellect has no relationship to the flesh body that returns to the dust.
Add a dabb of religious acceptance in the mythology of TOE and next thing these evolutionists are claiming is TOE is from God because the church said so.
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