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66. The Order of Bodily Creation

1. God did not make a supply of formless matter out of which bodily creatures were afterwards made. For existing formless matter is a contradiction in terms; existence itself is a form, that is, a determinateness of being. The Scripture phrase about the earth being "void and empty," or, as some translators put it, "without form," does not indicate the utter absence of form, but the incompleteness of the work; for the earth was still covered with water, and was in darkness, and was unadorned with its finished beauty.

2. God created the matter and form of bodies together. Matter considered in itself is formless (the only contradiction in the concept of formless matter is found in the notion of existing formless matter). There can therefore be no interval of time between the creation of primal matter and the substantial forms which gave it existence in the first bodies created.

3. The heaven of the blessed was probably created at the same time as the bodily universe. It is suitable that the glorious heaven should be created with the lower world which looks to it as the hope and promise of its own ultimate renovation.

4. It is the opinion of many wise and holy writers that the first things created were created at the same instant: angels, heaven, the bodily world, and time.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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