The teachings contained in this chapter are based on Holy Scriptures, the Tradition of the Catholic Church [especially the First and Second Vatican Councils, The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), the Fathers of the Church (especially St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine)], the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (especially Saint Pope Paul VI, Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis). All Apostolic Encyclicals and Letters are found on the Vatican Website: Vatican
What did God do before creating the world? God lives outside of time in the eternal present; he has no past or future. Also, God has always been Himself from all eternity with no change or alteration. It is a dilemma when we, who live in space and time, try to understand the reality of God who lives outside of space and time. Many people ask, “What was God doing before He created space, time, and the world?” This question can be wrong because God doesn’t have a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ in his divine life. If God decided to create the world out of nothing, our world did not exist before its creation (CCC, 296-297). But the sequence of time is only in relation to us, not to God. Therefore, even though the world started to exist at the moment of its creation, it has always existed in the ‘mind of God’ since God has no time. In other words, God’s decision to create the world has always been there; it was expressed in time when God created time. One thing we know for sure, the creation of the world is not “the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance…it proceeds from God’s free will…to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom, and goodness.” (CCC, 295)
God created the world out of nothing: God did not need a pre-existing material to create the world. His infinite power freely created the entire universe out of nothing (CCC, 296-297). We read in the book of 2 Maccabees (7:22-23 and 28) when the Jewish mother was encouraging her children to become martyrs and keep God’s commandments: “I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws. . . Look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being.”
No evolution: The Catholic Church rejects the theory of evolution. When Saint Pope John Paul ll issued a teaching on evolution, many people mistakenly thought that the Catholic Church started to believe in evolution, in that humans originate from apes. This Pope, however, was confirming that the Church rejects the theory according to which the spiritual soul started to exist in us as a result of an evolution of previously existent matter. [Read the published Letter of Saint Pope John Paul II on evolution on the Vatican website: Vatican
Correct meaning of evolution: There is no question that our bodies were “original” at the beginning of creation and, as time progressed, they “evolved” to be what we are today. God, however, from the very beginning of humanity has been creating every human soul out of nothing (ex nihilo). In every single human person, God must intervene to create a human soul uniting it to a fetus at the moment of conception.
Using analogy when we relate to God? The only way we can authentically relate to the reality of God is when we use the concept of analogy. In simple terms analogy means that we, living in space and time, can accurately relate to God outside of time without capturing His very essence. Analogy is a parallel established between the created order and the uncreated order. However, as valid as analogy is, God is still the transcendent being beyond any of our limitations. The closer our concept to God is, the more God proves himself to be beyond all concepts. Our concepts, however, are still valid and authentic because we are human, and we are forced to think in human categories. Since God does not lie, He gave us these valid concepts that accurately describe Him without exhausting His very divine reality.
Created to inherit eternal Life: The most fundamental truth about creation is that man and woman were created in the image and likeness of God, as the Book of Genesis relates. Being in the image and likeness of God means that we are created to inherit eternal life. The human person starts to exist in the womb of their mother at the time of conception, but their existence will never end. This makes us transcendental beings by nature, always open to the infinite and longing to be united to God. St. Justin Martyr states in the 2nd century: “We have been taught that God did not make the world for no reason, but for the sake of the human race.” Also, the famous sentence of St. Augustine is very meaningful here: “Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is restless till it finds its rest in Thee.” Also the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God…” (CCC, 27)
God created the world to show and share His glory: The question “What was God doing before He created space, time, and the world?” is valid because it is so intriguing to us that God decided to create the world, a world that did not exist before. Why would God decide to create a world with all the complexity of creatures? The Catechism teaches: “Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: ‘The world was made for the glory of God’”. (CCC, 293) But God’s glory cannot increase because it is infinite. St. Bonaventure gives an answer to that by saying that God created all things “not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it (In II Sent, I, 2, 2, 1).” There is no other reason for creating than God’s love and goodness. God made us “to the praise of his glorious grace.” (see Ephesians 1:6-14)
God created the world for our beatitude: God’s ultimate goal is not only the manifestation of His glory, but also our beatitude when God is ‘all in all’ at the end of time. The glorification of the human person has been in God’s mind forever. Sin and death entered the world not because of God’s plan, but because of us as we will explain further down. Indeed, death was not a part of God’s plan as the prophet Isaiah explains: “For Sheol (hell) cannot thank you, death cannot praise you; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.” (Is 38:18)
Different orders of creation: In the beginning of creation, God created four different orders: angels, human persons, animals, and things. Angels are pure spirits; animals have biological souls; things do not have any souls. We are the only creatures who are made out of spiritual souls and tangible bodies. Therefore, we human beings unite in ourselves the spiritual and the inanimate world.
Creation is good by essence: The Holy Scriptures, the Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church have always and all unanimously confirmed that creation is good by essence. God, being the sole principle of creation, has made us out of nothing and saw that we were “very good” (Genesis, 1:26-31). The entire universe was created for us but we were created for our own sake to inherit eternal life with God. Vatican II confirms this truth by teaching that the human person is “the only creature that God has wanted for its own sake” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 24)
Created in the image and likeness of God: The most fundamental truth of creation is the fact that God made man and woman in his image and likeness. Being in the image and likeness of God means that we have an authentic free will, limited intelligence, and conscious spiritual soul. The free will is truly authentic. The person’s intelligence enables us to be conscious subjects of our actions. We not only act, but also we are aware of our actions. The spiritual soul differentiates us from animals which have only biological souls: we are created to live forever. We start to exist, but our existence will never end.
Both body and soul are in God’s image: The entire human person, as a unity of body and spiritual soul, is in the image and likeness of God. The Catholic Church rejects rationalism that looks at the human body as identical to the bodies of the animals or the matter of things in the world. Since the human body is also in the image and likeness of God, all the actions of the human person in this body involve the spiritual soul. The entire person acts; actions are the experience of the person in a spiritual, conscious, free, and intelligent human nature.
Dominion over the earth: Being in the image and likeness of God also implies that we were created to rule and subdue the Earth. The sovereignty of the human person over all creatures of the earth helps us to perfect our being. As we work to improve the world and shape it according to God’s plan, we keep bringing our very being closer to God. It is very important, however, to exercise our authority over creation only according to the plan of God. The abuse of that power results in creating sin and chaos as we all know and experience on a daily basis.
Where does evil come from if creation is good by essence? If everything is good according to the teachings of Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium of the Church, where does Evil come from? Saint Augustine was puzzled by this dilemma when He said: “I sought an answer for the problem of Evil to no avail.”
Reconciling God’s being all-powerful with the evil’s existence? How can we reconcile the goodness, all-powerful, and transcendence of God with the existence of evil in the world? The simple answer that evil exists because we have a free will, is not sufficient. In fact, since God is still the creator of the free human will, it should logically also be good by essence. And if it is good by essence, where does the very idea of ‘not’ choosing God (which we call evil) come from?
Is it impossible to understand evil’s existence without Christian Revelation of God? The complexity of the evil’s existence cannot be oversimplified because it causes us fear, anxiety, and confusion. Evil shakes the confidence of the human person in God. However, there is an answer: “Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church….There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.” (CCC, 309)
The human person is naturally oriented to God: Combining the theology of Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Fathers of the Church, the Popes, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, here is an attempt to approach the enigma of evil. Since the human person is created in the image and likeness of God, the natural tendency of his will should be God (just as the natural tendency of an object that falls on the ground is the center of the earth because of the law of gravity). We are made by God and for God. Our freedom should be naturally and constantly orienting our actions and our being to God, the Supreme Good. Saint Pope John Paul II calls this natural tendency: “the subordination of man and his activity to God, the One who ‘alone is good’.” (Veritatis Splendor, 28)
The human person’s innate quest for God: Explaining the question of the rich man directed to Jesus “what must I do to inherit eternal life? (Matthew 19:16)”, St. Pope John Paul II comments that it is the question of every person directed to Christ. The Pope sees in this the ultimate direction of the human will to do whatever it takes to follow God’s commandment and to find the full meaning of our human existence: “This is in fact the aspiration at the heart of every human decision and action, the quiet searching and interior prompting which sets freedom in motion. This question is ultimately an appeal to the absolute Good which attracts us and beckons us; it is the echo of a call from God who is the origin and goal of man’s life.” (Veritatis Splendor, 7)
The human person lives in a world of limited goods: Besides being naturally oriented to the Supreme Good, the human person also lives in a world with many limited goods. These limited goods are symbolized in the Book of Genesis by the trees planted in the garden of Eden. God, however, determined how Adam and Even should relate to these goods: they are allowed to eat from the trees of the garden, symbolically indicating a wide range of human freedom (Pope Saint John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor). However, this freedom is still limited because it was created. The limitations of human freedom don’t hinder it from being constantly oriented to the Supreme Good.
The human person must constantly go beyond limited goods to the Supreme Good: When we relate to limited goods, the ultimate goal beyond them should always be God and only God. This does not mean that our relationship with the world and people is not authentic and real. Without approaching creation in a negative way (God created everything good for our use), we always need to use creation in the way God planned for us to use it. In this sense St. Paul admonishes: “use this world as if not using it.” (1Cor 7:31)
Darkness is the absence of light: Allow me to step out of the subject, to explain for a moment the difference between light (as symbol of Good) and darkness (symbol of Evil). When we turn the light on, we become capable of seeing the light. Light is a created entity that could be analyzed in the lab. When we turn the light off, we can’t see darkness because darkness is not an entity; we are only aware of the ‘existence’ of darkness. Darkness starts to ‘exist’ only only when we shut the light off. It ‘exists’ as a result of the absence of light. Darkness has a paradoxical existence: it exists and does not exist at the same time. It exists only because “it is there”; it does not exist because it is not an entity like any other created things (wood or stone). Darkness is a deficiency in the existence of light.
The good, limited, created, intelligent, free, and human will ‘creates’ evil temporarily only in the will: Back to our subject. As all people relate to limited goods, they are constantly invited to go beyond those goods to the Supreme Good, God. If in any circumstance, the human person treats these limited goods as if they were the Supreme Good, at that very moment a temporary deficiency is created in the will of that person. Just like darkness starts to exist only because we shut off the light, this deficiency in the human will starts to exist only because the will is disoriented from the Supreme Good. The human will, when stopping at a limited good without continuing to reach the Supreme Good, makes the limited good as its ultimate goal: it is a false good.
Definition of evil: The will of the person who sins is still good by essence because it is created by God, but that temporary deficiency is what we call ‘evil’. Evil does not exist in the human person as an entity. It exists in a paradoxical way only in the human will: when this will stops going beyond the limited goods. This is the only way we can justify the ‘existence’ of evil with the goodness of all creation: evil is a non-existent entity in existence. God did not create it, even though ‘it is there’ just as an absence of good because of the limitations of the human will.
Who ‘created’ evil? We did. Evil exists only temporarily as a deficiency in our good, limited, intelligent, and created will. This logic is the only way to enable us to reconcile the ‘existence’ of evil and the goodness of creation.
We choose evil because it looks good: The good, free, human will does not choose evil; it chooses a twisted form of good. In other words, the human will does not choose evil because it is evil; it chooses evil because it looks good. It chooses a twisted good, in the sense that it chooses a limited good, making it erroneously its Supreme Good. When we choose the twisted good, we are conscious that is it bad, but the temptation for us to consider it as a true good is so strong that often we fall for it.
Example of how false good looks good: Allow me to illustrate this logic with an example. A married person meets another person and is sexually attracted to them. As time progresses and the married person is tempted to cheat on their spouse. If they decide to cheat, their decision takes place because the idea looks good (not because the idea looks bad). If the married person goes through with the temptation and decides to opt for the limited good (have an affair that looks good but still goes against God’s revelation), at that specific time the deficiency starts to exist in their free will. We see that reflected in the Book of Genesis when God forbids Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. When Eve followed her desire and ate the forbidden fruit, she did it because “the fruit looked good to her mind, to her eyes, and to her taste.” That is really the deepest drama of Evil: it looks good and is tempting even though it is against God’s law.
The Our Father prayer: How can we detect evil as it is disguised under a twisted good? The only way we are capable of doing that is to follow the Divine Revelation. Sacred Scriptures, Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, are the only and exclusive sources of identifying the nature of evil. When we pray the Our Father “lead us not into temptation”, we are really begging our heavenly Father to not allow our minds to look at a limited good and make it as if it were our Supreme Good. In this sense, Psalm 35 says: “In your light we shall see true light.”
Can our natural reason perceive the true good: The natural light of our reason is able to identify the true good because at the moment of our creation God instilled in us the voice of the conscience. God’s voice in us constantly spurs us on to avoid evil and choose good. However, because of the limitations of our condition and the consequences of original sin in us, we are in absolute need of God’s Divine Revelation to detect the true nature of evil. The natural light of our reason have been obscured by the confusion of sin.
Following the Divine Revelation of God: Even though some decisions and things seem to be good for us, God will always help us to discover the true good and avoid twisted good (evil). Scriptures and Tradition as explained and handed down by the authority of the Catholic Church, the Magisterium, are the exclusive criteria of determining what is good and what is evil. God’s Word has the exclusive prerogative of determining what is truly good. That is why God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Once and for all, the securest way of detecting the disguised evil is God’s Divine Revelation in Holy Scriptures communicated through the Tradition of the Catholic Church and interpreted by the Magisterium.
Did God know about our capacity to introduce evil into our history? Did God know about our capacity of ‘creating’ evil? Yes, and God had two choices: either create or not create. God decided to create us because he also knew that he would send Jesus Christ to redeem humanity and elevate us to a state even better than the original state of innocence in the garden of Eden. At the moment of creation, God has already envisioned Christ’s Incarnation. That is why the Church sings on Easter Vigil: “O Happy Fault (Exultet) that brought us such a Redeemer.”
God’s response to our ‘creation’ of evil: God’s response to our initiative of creating evil is this: God would have never allowed evil to exist if He wasn’t capable of drawing greater good out of it. Creation and Salvation go hand and hand in God’s divine dimension because he lives outside of time. In this regard Pope Benedict VI says: “Similarly, the doctrine of faith regarding the unicity of the salvific economy willed by the One and Triune God must be firmly believed, at the source and center of which is the mystery of the incarnation of the Word, mediator of divine grace on the level of creation and redemption (cf. Col 1:15-20)… In fact, the mystery of Christ has its own intrinsic unity, which extends from the eternal choice in God to the parousia: ‘he [the Father] chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love’ (Eph 1:4).” (Dominus Iesus, 11)
Evil as a deficiency in a good will started with Original Sin: At the very beginning of human history, we see an agent at work to tempt Adam and Eve to disobey God. Their decision to choose the limited good (eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil even though forbidden by God) was ultimately prompted by Satan. Saint Pope John Paul II teaches in this regard: “As a result of that mysterious original sin, committed at the prompting of Satan, the one who is ‘a liar and the father of lies’ (Jn 8:44), man is constantly tempted to turn his gaze away from the living and true God in order to direct it towards idols (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:9), exchanging ‘the truth about God for a lie’ (Rom 1:25).” (Veritatis Splendor, 1) This leads us to analyze the nature of angels and their fall.
The nature of angels as a limited pure act of existence: Angels are purely spiritual creatures who don’t need to pass from potentiality to action when they act: they don’t have a physical body. Every time that I decide to act, I pass from potentially being capable to act to actually acting. The angels don’t need that. However, unlike God who is an infinite pure act of existence, they are limited pure act of existence and therefore they are immortal. They cannot encompass, understand, and control the entire creation from beginning to end. Only God can do that. According the their degree of glory, they are responsible for a ‘section’ assigned to them by God.
The nature of angels as personal creatures: Angels are personal beings, not just a ‘substance’ roaming in heaven. They possess intelligence and free will, and are capable of interacting with God, with each other, and with us according to what God allows them to do. Being free subjects capable of relating to others, they do have ’emotions,’ but controlled and perfect because of their eternal union with God.
Angels play a role in the history of salvation: Angels made many appearances since the beginning of creation in both Old Testament and New Testament. Their main mission is to be messengers of God and to deliver his message to a specific people chosen by him for a specific role. In fact, the word angel in Greek (ángelos) means a ‘messenger’ or the one who is ‘being sent’. As an example, the Incarnation, God’s most important act to redeem humanity, was announced by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. St. Thomas Aquinas summarizes the angels mission by saying: “The angels work together for the benefit of us all.” (STH I, 114, 3, ad 3).
Guardian Angels: Besides the facts that angels as a whole work for the salvation of humanity, each person has a personal guardian angel as is evident in the Bible. Jesus warns against scandalizing any of the children because “their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 18:10)
Sin of the fallen angels: What do we say about the sin of the angels who were created good but outside of time? In the same way we have several opportunities to sin since we live in time, angels had a “one shot deal” to choose the Supreme Good at the moment of their creation (they were created outside of time). Angels were destined for glory but only that glory that comes from God, their Creator. Some sinned as they chose to place themselves on God’s level, making themselves “like God” independently from God and in a false way (Genesis 2 and 3:5; 2 Peter 2:4; John 8:44). That is why Christ called Satan the father of lies from the beginning because Satan’s entire mission is to lie about the true Supreme Good (John, 8:44).
Death of the spirit: As a result, the book of Revelation relates, “the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world…” (Rev 12:9) Fallen angels endured the death of their spirit in a parallel way to the death of our body. Their death is the ultimate negation of God’s plan (which is their life and glory) and therefore it has an irrevocable and permanent consequence. Their nature became totally opposed and twisted to what God intended it to be when they were created. The aberration of their nature was expressed in art when we see in the Sistine Chapel that demons have 6 fingers or other parts that are not the normal nature of creatures.
Fallen angels are still personal rational beings: Angels are endowed with intellect and free will since the moment of their creation. The fact that falling angels have lost their prerogative of being in union with God, does not deprive them of continuing to be rational beings with the same knowledge they had before their fall. Unfortunately, they use their talents and power to oppose God’s plan by constantly tempting us and trying to throw confusion and sin into our world. Demons are personal beings who oppose God and are hostel towards us always going about like “a roaring lion seeking whom (they) may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Fallen angels still have some power over us but only if God allows it: Because of their pride, demons and their leader, the Devil called Satan, have been tempting the human person from the beginning: starting from the voice of the serpent with Adam and Eve, continuing with the temptation of Christ, and culminating the temptation of the Church until the end of time. Christ expelled demons showing his ultimate power as God over them and the entire creation. He also gave the Apostles the power to drive them out, in order to prove the presence of God’s kingdom here on earth in the Church.
Why does God allow evil to tempt us?: It is impossible to understand the details of God’s plan when he allows demons to bother us. We just know it is a positive plan and is intended ultimately to serve for our salvation. When we overcome the temptation, we become closer to God: Jesus was served by angels after he was tempted; Moses saw the promised Land after 40 years of temptation wandering in the desert. When we are innocent and we suffer, such a suffering benefits our and others’ salvation as we will analyze in the chapter on suffering. On the other hand, suffering, temptations, and afflictions come from evil when we sin. God allows it in order to purify us. We must accept not only the good but also the bad from God (Job 1).
Do not be afraid of evil: Many people focus on evil much more than they are supposed to. The center of our spiritual life is Jesus Christ. We should be aware of the existence, the temptation, and the limited power of evil; but we should never be afraid because only God has infinite power over the entire creation. Christ has told us 27 times in the Gospels: “Do not be afraid.” God is ultimately in charge and will triumph in the end, as the book of Revelation clearly shows. So, let us “continue to work out (our) salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) and God will always be faithful in his promises.
Reference: Scott Hahn book on Angels and Saints: Angels and Saints
By Fr. Antoine (Anthony) Nachef, STD (Doctorate in Sacred Theology)
Capítulo 2: La Creación y El Problema de La Maldad
By Father Anthony Nachef, STD (Docotrate in Sacred Theology)
Las enseñanzas en este capítulo se basan en las Escrituras Sagradas, la Tradiciones de la Iglesia Católica (especialmente el Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica (CCC)), los Padres de la Iglesia (especialmente San Thomas Aquinas y San Agustín) él Magisterio de la Iglesia Católica (especialmente San Papa Pablo VI, San Papa John Paul II y Papa Benedicto XVI).
Órdenes Diferentes de la Creación: En el principio creación, Dios creó 4 órdenes diferentes: los ángeles, las personas humanas, los animales, y las cosas. Los Ángeles son espíritus puros; los animales tienen alma biológica; las cosas no tienen alma. Nosotros somos las únicas criaturas que son hechas de alma espiritual y cuerpo tangible. Por lo tanto, nosotros nos unimos en el mundo espiritual y el mundo inanimado.
La Creación es Buena por Esencia: La Escrituras Santas, la Tradición de la Iglesia Católica, y el Magisterium de la Iglesia Católica han confirmado unánimemente que la creación es buena por esencia. Dios, siendo el único principio de la creación, nos ha hecho en su imagen y la semejanza y miro que éramos “muy bien” cómo dice el libro de Génesis.
La Persona Humana es Creado en la Imagen y Semejanza de Dios: El aspecto más fundamental de la creación de la persona humana es el hecho que Dio hizo el hombre y la mujer en su imagen y semejanza. Estado en la imagen y semejanza de Dios significa que qué tenemos una voluntad auténtica y libre, inteligencia, y alma espiritual. La voluntad libre es verdaderamente auténtica. La inteligencia de una persona permite ser sujetos consciente de nuestras acciones. El alma espiritual nos hace diferente de los animales que solo tienen alma biológica.
Nota que la persona humana, como una unidad de cuerpo y alma espiritual, es hecho en la imagen y semejanza de Dios. La Iglesia Católica rechaza racionalismo que mira al cuerpo humano como idéntico a los cuerpos de los animales o las cosas inanimadas del mundo. El cuerpo humano es en la imagen y semejanza de Dios y entonces todas las acciones de la persona humana en el cuerpo deben de ser de acuerdo al plan y los mandamientos de Dios.
Estando en la imagen y semejanza de Dios también significa que somos creados para heredar la vida eterna. La persona humana empezó a existir en la matriz al tiempo de la contracepción, pero su existencia nunca terminará. Esto hace una persona humana trascendental por naturaleza, siempre abierto al infinito y anhelo a estar unido con Dios.
Estando en la imagen y semejanza de Dios también implica que fuimos creados para gobernar y someter la Tierra. La soberanía de la persona humana sobre todas las criaturas de la Tierra nos ayuda a perfeccionar nuestro ser. Sin embargo, es muy importante ejercer nuestra autoridad solo de acuerdo con el plan de Dios. El abuso de ese poder resulta en crear pecado y caos en nuestro mundo.
No evolucion: La Iglesia Católica [A1] rechaza la teoría de la evolución. Cuando el Papa Juan Pablo II emitió una enseñanza sobre la evolución, muchas personas pensaron erróneamente que la Iglesia cree en la evolución en cual los humanos se originan de los simios. El Papa, sin embargo, estaba confirmando que la Iglesia rechaza la teoría según la cual el alma espiritual comenzó a existir en nosotros como resultado de una evolución de la materia que exista previamente . No hay duda de que nuestros cuerpos eran “originales” al comienzo de la creación y, cómo pasó el tiempo, “evolucionaron” para ser lo que somos hoy. Dios, sin embargo, desde el comienzo de la creación de la humanidad ha creado el alma humana de la nada (ex nihilo). Desde el principio de los tiempos y en cada persona humana, Dios tuvo que intervenir cuando creando cada alma humana y unirla a cada uno de los fetos en el momento de la concepción.
De Donde viene la Maldad sí la Creación es Buena por Esencia: Sí todo es bueno según las enseñanzas de la Escritura, la Tradición y el Magisterio de la Iglesia (la enseñanza oficial de la autoridad de la Iglesia), ¿de dónde viene el mal? San Agustín estaba confundido por este dilema cuando dijo; “Buscó una respuesta para el problema del mal sin respuesta”. Como uno de los cerebros más inteligentes que se haya creado, tenía una comprensión clara del dilema de la existencia del mal: ¿Cómo podemos reconciliar la bondad, la trascendencia y la potencia de Dios con la existencia del mal en el mundo?
La respuesta simple que la maldad existe porque tenemos voluntad libre, no es suficiente. La razón cae en cuenta que Dios es el creador de la voluntad libre del humano. Sin embargo, el humano debe de ser bueno por esencia (ethos de la creación; la lógica intrínseco de la creación). Entonces, si la voluntad del humano es esencialmente bueno, de donde donde viene la idea de “no” escogiendo Dios (qué es lo que llamamos el mal)
El Mal como una Deficiencia en una Voluntad Bien, Limitado, Creado, Inteligente, y Libre: Combinando la teología de San Agustín, Santo Tomás, los Padres de la Iglesia y el Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, este es un intento de acercarse al enigma del mal. Cómo la persona humana es creada a la imagen y semejanza de Dios, la tendencia natural de su voluntad debería ser Dios (así como la tendencia natural de un objeto que cae al suelo es el centro de la Tierra debido a la ley de la gravedad). Nosotros somos hechos por Dios y para Dios. Nuestra libertad debe ser natural y constantemente guiando nuestras acciones y nuestro ser hacia el Bien Supremo.
Además de estar naturalmente orientados al Bien Supremo, la persona humana también vive en un mundo con muchos bienes limitados. El libro de Génesis dice que el hombre y la mujer pueden comer de los árboles del jardín, indicando simbólicamente la gama amplia de la libertad del humano. Sin embargo, esta libertad todavía es limitada porque fue creada. Las limitaciones de la libertad humana no le impiden estar constantemente unidas al Bien Supremo. Cuando nos relacionamos con bienes limitados, el objetivo más allá de ellos siempre debe ser Dios y solo Dios.
Permítanme salir del tema, para explicar por un momento la diferencia entre la luz (como un símbolo del bien) y la oscuridad (el símbolo del mal). Cuando prendemos la luz, somos capaces de ver la luz. La luz es una entidad que podría ser analizada en un laboratorio. Cuando apagamos la luz, no podemos ver la oscuridad porque la oscuridad no es una entidad. La oscuridad solamente “existe” por la ausencia de luz. La oscuridad tiene una existencia paradójica: existe y no existe al mismo tiempo. Existe solo porque “está ahí”; no existe porque no es una entidad como otras cosas creadas (madera o piedra). La oscuridad es una deficiencia en la existencia de la luz.
Regreso a nuestro tema. Como la persona humana se relaciona con bienes limitados, el/ella es invitada constantemente a ir más allá de ellos al Bien Supremo. Si en algún momento la persona humana trata estos bienes limitados como si fueran el Bien Supremo, en ese momento una deficiencia temporal es creada en la voluntad de esa persona. Así como la oscuridad existe solo por la ausencia de luz, esta deficiencia en la voluntad humana comienza a existir solo porque la voluntad fue desorientada del Bien Supremo. La voluntad de esa persona todavía es buena por esencia, pero esa deficiencia temporal es lo que llamamos maldad. El mal no existe en la voluntad humana como entidad; existe de manera paradójica que el ser humano abusa de su relación con los bienes limitados. El mal es, por lo tanto, una entidad inexistente en existencia.
Quien creo la maldad? Nosotros. La maldad existí temporalmente como una deficiencia en nuestra voluntad buena, limitado, inteligente y creado. Esta lógica es la única manera que nos permite reconciliar la presencia del mal y de la bondad de la creación. La voluntad humana bueno y libre no escoge el mal; escoge una forma retorcida de bien. En otras palabras, la voluntad humana no escoge el mal porque es mal; escoge el mal porque se mira bien. Elige un bien limitado convirtiéndolo erróneamente en su Bien Supremo.
Permíteme ilustrar esta lógica con un empleo. Una persona casada conoce a otra persona y siente una atracción sexual por esa persona. Cómo el tiempo pasa y la persona casada tiene la tentación de engañar a su cónyuge, si deciden ser infiel, su decisión se tomó porque la idea se ve bien (no porque la idea se vea mal). Si la persona casada sufre la tentación y decide optar por el bien limitado (tener una aventura que se ve bien pero que va en contra de la revelación de Dios), en ese momento específico la deficiencia comienza a existir en su voluntad libre. Vemos esto reflejado en el libro de Génesis cuando Dios prohíbe a Adán y Eva comer del árbol del conocimiento del bien y del mal. Cuando Eva siguió su deseo y se comió la fruta prohibida, lo hizo porque “la fruta se veía bien en su mente, en sus ojos y en su gusto”. Ese es realmente el drama más profundo del mal que se ve bien. Hay una línea tan fina entre el bien y el mal.
Cómo Detectar la Maldad: ¿Como podemos detectar el mal debajo de un bien retorcido? La única manera que somos capaces de ser es seguir la Revelaciones Divinas. Las Sagradas Escrituras, la Tradición y el Magisterium son la única y exclusiva fuente para identificar la naturaleza del mal. Cuando rezamos el Padre Nuestro “no nos dejes caer en la tentación”, le rogamos a nuestro Padre celestial que no permita que nuestras mentes miren un bien limitado y lo conviertan a nuestro Bien Supremo. En otras palabras, aunque algunas decisiones y cosas parecen ser buenas para nosotros, el Padre siempre nos ayudará a descubrir el verdadero bien y evitar el bien retorcido (el mal). La Palabra de Dios es el criterio del bien y del mal porque solo Dios tiene la prerrogativa de determinar qué es realmente bueno. Eso es lo que leemos en el libro de Génesis cuando Dios recomendaba a Adán y Eva no comer del árbol del conocimiento del bien y del mal. En consecuencia, para poder dirigir siempre nuestra voluntad al Bien Supremo (Dios), debemos seguir las Escrituras y la Tradición tal como lo explica y comunica la autoridad de la Iglesia Católica, el Magisterio.
¿Sabía Dios sobre nuestra capacidad de “crear” el mal? Sí, y Dios tuvo dos opciones: crear o no crear. Dios decidió crearnos porque también sabía que iba enviar a Jesucristo para redimir a la humanidad y elevarnos a un estado aún mejor que el estado original de inocencia. Eso es lo que cantamos en la Vigilia Pascual: Oh Falla Feliz (Exultet) que nos trajo a ese redentor. La respuesta de Dios a nuestra iniciativa de crear el mal es esta: Dios nunca hubiera permitido que existiera el mal si no fuera capaz de sacar un bien de él.
Pecados de Los Ángeles: ¿Que decimos de los ángeles que fueron creados buenos pero fuera del tiempo (Consejo del Lateran en 1215)? En la misma manera tenemos varias oportunidades para pecar cómo vivimos en tiempo, los ángeles tuvieron “una oportunidad” para elegir el Bien Supremo ya que no hay tiempo fuera del tiempo. Los ángeles estaban destinados a la gloria pero solo esa gloria que viene de Dios, su creador. Algunos pecaron cuando eligieron colocarse en el nivel de Dios haciéndose “como Dios” independientemente de Dios y de una manera falsa (Génesis 2, 2 Pedro 2: 4, Juan 8:44)
Como resultado, los ángeles soportaron la muerte de su espíritu en forma paralela a la muerte de nuestro cuerpo: su muerte es la negación máxima del plan de Dios (que es su vida y gloria) y, por lo tanto, tiene una consecuencia irrevocable. Su naturaleza se volvió totalmente lo opuesto a lo que Dios quería que fuera cuando fueron creados. Debido a su orgullo, han estado tentando a la persona humana desde el principio: la voz de la serpiente con Adán y Eva que culmina con la tentación de Cristo. Cristo llamó a Satanás el Padre de las mentiras porque la misión completa de Satanás es mentir acerca del verdadero Bien Supremo.