Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

God created man for immortality

Atheists and Marxists not only deny the existence of God, but also that humans have an immortal soul and are merely thinking animals. We know from Revelation that at the moment of creation a person is endowed by God with an extraordinary dignity. God creates the person in His image and likeness and, therefore, radiates a reflection of the reality of God Himself. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).

A person is a material body and a unique, immaterial, immortal soul, endowed with spiritual powers, such as: reason, a conscience allowing the discernment of good and evil, free will, and is capable of love. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read that “it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter in man are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature” (CCC 365).

God created man for immortality

God, creating humans, “endowed them with strength like his own, and made them in his own image” (Ecclesiastes, 17:3). Thanks to the immortal human soul, as St. John Paul II writes: a person “is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory (cf. Gen 1:26-27; Ps 8:6). [. . .] The life which God bestows upon man is much more than mere existence in time. It is a drive towards fullness of life; it is the seed of an existence which transcends the very limits of time: ‘For God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity’ (Wis 2:23)” (EV 34). Jesus speaks clearly about it, that man has an immortal soul: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt 18:28).

While, Saint Paul, writing about the person, points to the mortal body as well as the immortal soul, in which he uses the terms “psyche” and “pneuma” – as principles of supernatural life: “your spirit and soul and body” (1 Thes 5:23). And in the second letter to Corinthians (5:1-10) St. Paul calls death “destruction of the body”. The indestructible spiritual “I”, that is the soul, leaves the body and lives in Christ. The Nobel Laureate in the field of philosophy and medicine (from 1963), one of the greatest experts in the area of investigating the human brain, the Australian neurophysiologist Sir John C. Eccles (1903-1997) claimed that we all have a personal “I”: that is the immaterial mind which operates through the material brain. And this is precisely the immortal human soul. The scientist writes: “Explaining it in theological terms: every soul is a new creation of God implanted in the human embryo” (Evolution of the Brain, Creation of the Self, 1991, p.237).

So, according to this scientist, the claim that a human person has no immortal soul, and that his thinking is merely effect of material processes, is simply a prejudice held by dogmatic materialists (cf How the Self Controls its Brain, 1994, p.38). Sir John thought that we should “look at death of the body and the brain as the disintegration of our dualist existence. We hope that the liberated soul finds a new future of deeper meaning and more delightful experience in accordance with traditional Christian teaching” (Evolution of the Brain . . . p.242).

In human parenthood God Himself is present

The Lord God “he who made them from the beginning made them male and female” (Mt 19:4), and enabled them to participate in His work of creation, He blessed the man and woman saying: “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28).

Saint John Paull II confirmed that a man and woman as parents are co-workers of the God-Creator in the conception and birth of a new person.

God himself is present in human fatherhood and motherhood […] Indeed, God alone is the source of that ‘image and likeness’ which is proper to the human being, as it was received at Creation. Begetting is the continuation of Creation. […]

In procreation therefore, through the communication of life from parents to child, God’s own image and likeness is transmitted, thanks to the creation of the immortal soul […]

It is precisely in their role as co-workers with God who transmits his image to the new creature that we see the greatness of couples who are ready “to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Saviour, who through them will enlarge and enrich his own family (EV 43).

Every person created in the image and likeness of God has never ending dignity and value in the eyes of God. St. Paul reminds us: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are” (1 Cor 3:16-17).

This is why you cannot treat the human body as an object. You have to love the other person and not use them as an object of sexual pleasure.

The Lord God in blessing men and women, unites them in the sacrament of matrimony, an indissoluble relationship which makes it possible to take part in His Divine love and life through sexual intercourse. This is why sexual intercourse in marriage should above all be a deep spiritual experience of mutual love in the love of Christ. It is to be experienced in the state of sanctifying grace, since only then will it be a holy sign of the sacrament of marriage as well the source of mutual sanctification of the couple. The greatest human tragedy is to remain in grave sin as well as forgetting we have an immortal soul and we are called to learn to love and mature into eternal life in heaven. “For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?” (Matthew 16:26).