We must not in our day conceal our faith in creation. We may not conceal it, for only if it is true that the universe comes from freedom, love, and reason, and that these are the real underlying powers, can we trust one another, go forward into the future, and live as human beings. God in the Lord of all things because he is their Creator... freedom and love are not ineffectual ideas but rather they are the sustaining forces of reality.
In the Beginning, 28-9
Reflection – One of the most unfortunate aspects of the culture wars that have raged in the past decades has been the effect it has had on certain necessary conversations. Take this one, for example: these days, as soon as a Christian mentions faith in creation, it is almost automatically assumed to be a faith in the literal-six-day-creation-story-in-Genesis-1. God planted the dinosaur bones as a test of our faith, and all that stuff. You know the drill. None of which has anything to do with authentic Catholic doctrine and reading of Scripture.Meanwhile, the theory of evolution is held up as definitively disproving all that nonsense of a Creator God (hint: it doesn’t). And so all discussions of these matters tend to founder very quickly on mutual misunderstandings, ignorance, and disdain. Especially discussions on the Internet, which are prone to that anyhow.
But the doctrine of creation is at the very heart of our Christian understanding of reality, and Ratzinger in this passage, and indeed in this entire book, describes beautifully just how central it is. That the universe is the product of love, not chance, a Father’s care, not a cosmic accident, a free choice and not a determination of physical laws—it all means that love and freedom are at the very heart of reality.
And so we can, as he says, go forward into the future in that spirit of love and freedom. Creation is the ground of action, mission, service, sacrifice. Without the clear and abiding sense of God as Creator and creation as thus good, we are deeply compromised in our ability to throw ourselves into life with generosity and joy.
And we can throw ourselves into it in such a way because we know that God our Father is meeting us on the other side of that choice, that He will catch us, and that in His love and care for us, his creative work will not be in vain.