Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the purpose of living? What is the point of living? Why would God create the world? All of these questions have the same answer: Love.
‘God infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life’ – Catechism of the Catholic Church 1. 1 John 4:16 tells us ‘God is love’. His own blessed life is the interplay of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Indeed St. Paul says ‘… if I do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.’ (Cf. 1 Cor 13). Without love, nothing in life makes sense and life has no purpose. There is no reason for anything to exist apart from love. Not only does love explain the reason for existence but it is necessary for our flourishing as St. John Paul II said ‘there is no other acceptable medium in which the human person can live other than love’. How do I know this? God is Trinity, God is Love, God is Perfect.
The Triune Godhead; Father, Son and Holy Spirit love each other with a perfect love. No one person of the Trinity is ever alone – they have each other. In this
What is love? St. Thomas Aquinas would say Love is ‘willing the good of the other’. In the case of creation – it is good to BE. This act of
Catholic teaching says God created ‘from nothing’. That is to say from
When we contemplate ‘what it was like’ at the time of the big bang we use violent imagery and imagine a great violent act. From our perspective, it may seem so. It is a reminder that there are more powerful forces out there than us. To refer back to the volcanic imagery, there is something which is captured in this – passion, the ferocity of God’s love – but volcanoes stop erupting eventually whereas God’s love is relentless. He sustains everything in being by his love. However, God’s work is not laborious, there is no toil on his part because of his perfection.
Creation is a free unmerited, undeserved gift (grace) from God and is good. Where there is God there is Love and there is life. The Father creates with the Son and the Holy Spirit. God’s perfection means he has no lack or need of anything. God rejoices in his creation, which shows forth his glory and he loves when we succeed – he does not seek to dominate. This shows the non-violence nature of God. God’s act of creation and his sustaining of his creation in being is an act of Love which is both powerful and wise. God’s creative act is not toilsome.
Why is there something rather than nothing? Because ‘God is Love’. What is the purpose or meaning of life? Love – because God is love and we were made by Love for Love. By God, For God. Only God will ultimately satisfy and all the finite goods of the world, such as pleasure and delight point to this fundamental reality. In this way, God’s creating love moves us towards unity with himself whilst remaining totally ourselves, in fact, more perfectly ourselves. Creation allows us to become heirs to the Kingdom and true Children of God.
‘By the same love whereby God willed that the creature should come to be, it pleases him that it should remain’ – St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard Book II.