In the natural world, things grow, die, and decay. Is God’s creation imperfect, then? No, says St. Augustine: every created thing has its place in God’s great plan, and even its decay serves the larger purpose.
All natures that exist have a genus and species of their own, and a kind of internal harmony, and because of that they are certainly good. And when they are in the places assigned to them in the order of nature, they preserve the existence they have received.
Those things that have not been given everlasting existence change for better or worse to suit the needs and motions of those things the Creator’s law has made them serve. Thus, in the divine providence, they work toward the ultimate end of the government of the whole universe.
Thus, although the corruption of transitory and perishable things completely destroys them, it does not keep them from producing what was designed to be their result.
Since this is true, we cannot fault God, who supremely is, and who therefore created everything that does not have supreme existence (for what was made of nothing could not be equal to him, and indeed could not exist at all if he had not made it), because of the creature’s faults; but we must praise him for the natures he has made.
–St. Augustine, City of God, 12.5
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Do I have the strength of faith to believe in the goodness of creation even in the face of poison ivy and mosquitoes?
Will looking at the big picture help build up my faith?
Lord, let every mouth give you glory, and every tongue give you thanks, and all creatures give you adoration and exaltation.
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