Article 2: Who is God?

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.
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.
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 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).