Put God at the beginning
No matter what scientific explanation you come up with for the origin of the universe, says St. Basil, you’ll go far wrong if you don’t put God at the beginning of it.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
I stop struck with admiration at this thought. What shall I say first? Shall I demonstrate the vanity of the Gentiles? Shall I praise the truth of our faith?
The philosophers of Greece have tried very hard to explain nature, and not one of their systems has remained firm and unshaken. They are enough in themselves to destroy one another. Those who were too ignorant to rise to a knowledge of God could not allow that an intelligent cause presided at the birth of the universe—a primary error that trapped them in sad consequences.
Some fell back on material principles and attributed the origin of the universe to the elements of the world. Others imagined that atoms, and invisible bodies, molecules and tubes, unite to form the nature of the visible world.
It is because they did not know how to say, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Fooled by their inherent atheism, they thought that nothing governed or ruled the universe, and that everything was given up to chance.
To keep us from this error, the writer on creation, from the very first words, enlightens our understanding with the name of God: “In the beginning God created.”
–St. Basil, Hexameron, 1.2
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
In a world where science has made so much progress, what does it mean to put God at the beginning?
Father, you alone are eternal, and you alone live in unapproachable light. I thank you that you have made me in your image; have mercy on my sins, and save me through your Son Jesus Christ.
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