What Catholics Believe A Pocket Catechism for the Year of Faith December 21, 2012 Pittsburgh Catholic Belief in God is natural and can be reasoned Who is God? God is love. Out of love, he made the world and everything in it. Out of love, he made me and watches over me constantly. Why did God make you? God made me to know him, to love him and to serve him here on earth, and so that I may live with him forever in heaven. Meditation At some point in our lives -- maybe a lot of points -- we have to revisit what it means when we say, "I believe in God." The entire question of our Catholic faith, our entire understanding of ourselves and others, and our place in the universe rises and falls on that very simple question: Do we believe that God exists? The church points out that belief in God is natural to mankind. It can be reasoned. There is the logic of the first cause: nothing in the world exists without being caused by something else. People exist because of their parents, their parents because of their grandparents, and on and on through the generations. The same holds true for everything living, and even every inanimate object. But at some point there has to be a first cause, or a prime mover that is uncreated creation. Or, the Creator. Then there is the logic of the Great Designer. We believe in God because of the beauty we see around us in the natural order -- a sunset, the magic of a thumb that can comfort a child or allow Shakespeare to grasp a pen to write "King Lear." The beauty of creation sings to a Great Designer with a purpose, and our longing for this goodness and beauty never perfectly met in this life tells us of something more. It is found in God, and our lives are a pilgrimage toward that perfection. But in the end, these seem more like word games. Nice for an argument, but not to build upon for a life's understanding. God is God, not some philosophical construct. He is living and he has revealed himself to us. The Nicene Creed said at Mass puts it simply: "I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible." It is that first and essential acknowledgment, that first and essential act of faith, that makes all the difference. Once we accept that we believe in God, nothing can ever be the same. Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila Let nothing trouble you. Let nothing frighten you. Everything passes. God never changes. Patience Obtains all. Whoever has God Wants for nothing. God alone is enough. Based on the book "What Catholics Believe: A Pocket Catechism," by Father Kris Stubna and Mike Aquilina. The questions and answers are excerpted with permission from Our Sunday Visitor, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, Ind. 46750. The book is available from Our Sunday Visitor at 800-348-2440, or by visiting its website at www.osv.com. Unless otherwise noted, the meditations at the end of each question-and-answer series are written by Robert P. Lockwood, general manager of the Pittsburgh Catholic, developed from his book "A Faith for Grown-Ups" (Loyola Press).