A Saint, Genesis, Animals, Me and Being Human

Today’s Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time.

It’s also Saint Apollonia’s feast day.

She’s one of several folks killed in 249, during an Alexandrian effort to stamp out Christian influences. Emperor Decius put imperial clout behind such efforts, and that’s another topic.

St. Apollonia isn’t on my diocesan or national liturgical calendar. Not that I’ve seen, at any rate.

That’s not, or shouldn’t be, a big surprise. The Catholic Church is literally catholic, καθολικός, katholikos, universal. Some things we do, like reading the Bible, are universal. Some aspects of our worship are regional or local.1 (September 30, 2018)

I figure devotion to St. Apollonia hasn’t been part of my place and time’s life. Which is okay.

Today’s reading — right! That’s what got me started.

The first reading is Genesis 1:202:4a. Let’s see what’s there.

It starts with living creatures, and birds flying under the “dome of the sky.” And no, I do not see a conflict between Sumerian poetry, being Catholic and NASA.

Moving on.

“God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of crawling living creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw that it was good,
“and God blessed them, saying: Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
(Genesis 1:2122)

Okay. That’s familiar enough. God created critters and wants them to “multiply on the earth.”

(Optionally) Rational Animals

Skipping ahead:

“God created mankind in his image;
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
“God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.”
(Genesis1:2728)

I’ve talked about God, Genesis and getting a grip fairly often.

But maybe a recap won’t hurt.

I noticed that God told assorted critters and humanity to “be fertile and multiply.”

If it was just ‘me and the Bible,’ I might question that my perception that God didn’t make a horrible mistake by creating the visible world.

After all, I grew up in an era just simply drenched in Satanic science and socialist influences. According to rabid radio preachers, and that’s yet another topic. Topics.

But I became a Catholic, so I’m obliged to think that God doesn’t make junk.

And that humans are rational animals. We’ve also got free will. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1730, 1951)

I figure that using my brain, thinking, takes more effort than following whatever impulse pops into my head. But I also figure that thinking before I act is a good idea.

I’ve talked about this before. Often.

Wait! — Animals?!

I’m human, so thinking is an option. I can decide what I do. So can angels, but I’m not an angel and never will be. I’m a spiritual being with a body made from the stuff of this world. (Catechism, 311, 325348, 1704, 17301731)

I don’t have a problem with that.

Even if I did, it wouldn’t matter. And that’s yet again another topic.

Okay. Humanity is made in the image of God — something obviously went wrong. But the problem isn’t having bodies. God makes us, and this universe, and God doesn’t make junk. (Genesis 1:31; Catechism, 31, 299, 355)

The problem is consequences of a really bad decision. We call it “original sin.”

The Catholic view of original sin is that we’re still made “in the divine image.” We started out in harmony with ourselves, with the world, and with God: but that harmony is broken. (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 3:53:13)

Human nature has been wounded: but not corrupted. (Catechism, 31, 299, 355361, 374379, 398, 400406, 405, 17011707, 1949)

I’ve talked about that before. Rather often:


1 Worship, Calendars, Saints and history:

About Brian H. Gill

I'm a sixty-something married guy with six kids, four surviving, in a small central Minnesota town. I mostly write and make digital art. I'm only interested in three things: that which exists within the universe; that which exists beyond; and that which might exist.
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