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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.

"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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