Throughout the ages, Man* has sought answers to primordial questions of existence. Who am I? Why was I born? What is my purpose? Each culture and each faith (or lack of faith) tradition has pondered some form of these questions.
Over the last few days on a social media platform, I have had an interesting discussion with a friend posing an even more difficult question: Why did God create human beings?
If we are intellectually honest, we should admit that it would be impossible for the Created to define with any degree of certainty why the Creator began the human race. To accomplish this task would require omniscience (getting inside God’s head for intentions) and omnipresence (traveling back to the beginning of time to get His perspective in this process.) Since humans do not possess either of these attributes, it’s a no-go.
However, I will attempt to give my take on the subject, which in no way should be construed as an official stand of the Catholic Church.
I think the bottom line is that God is God and we are not. He created us in his infinite wisdom. He had a Godly reason and initiative. Taking Sacred Scripture out of context, anyone can come up with his own version of what he believes God’s divine reason to be. But it is pure speculation. Who can truly know the heart and mind of God? I find the ongoing reasoning of the Catholic Church (that we are meant to know, love and serve God) to be both a comforting and a purpose-filled possibility. It is part of what the Catechism teaches and has been referenced by great men of faith, like St. Thomas Aquinas.
It has to start with knowing God, because it is impossible to love something we don’t know. Remember, we are made in His image. That makes the Church’s reasoning (know, love, serve) even more compelling. It is an excellent method for the Created to find their way home to their Creator.
Some might say that God made us in His image, and that was His reason to create us. To believe His main purpose was to create beings who looked like Him (that is to say created in His likeness and image) is rather short-sighted. That would be like saying I, as a parent, had children simply because I wanted some little people who were in my image running around.
Instead, the reasons given by the Church (know, love, serve) motivate me to be close to Him and seek deeper understanding in my limited human capacity. That exercise causes me to love Him more. From that perspective, I find ways to serve Him with my life.
Ultimately, it seems that the love of God is so great that the outpouring of that love resulted in the creation of mankind. This seems in line with how children come (or should come) into our own families. In its purest sense, procreation occurs through the love of man and wife. God is the origin of all love; through His love, mankind was created.
Then built within us, we have a driving Spiritual force to find God. We seek to know, which prompts us to love Him, which then produces our good works to serve Him, as we imitate Him as best we can.
We could discuss the segment of Mankind that appears oblivious to this quest. Instead, they try in vain to satisfy this need through temporal means, which eventually disappoint. This is the outcome for some of the free will given by Creator God, and might be a good topic for further discussion. But for those who seek, they will find.
For what it’s worth, that is my perspective and how I understand the teachings of my faith. With this as my foundation, I am confident that primordial questions for me have found their answers.
*In this post, the term ‘man’ or ‘mankind’ is not intended to disrespect those who refuse to believe in the scientifically proven fact of two genders. Instead, the terms conform to their long-time use to describe homo sapiens as a group.