man to perceive God and to accustom God to dwell in man, according to the Father’s pleasure.3

II. The Stages of Revelation In the beginning God makes himself known

54 ‘God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, pro- 32 vides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities. And furthermore, wishing to open up the way to heavenly salvation, he manifested himself to our first parents from the very beginning.’6 He invited them to intimate communion with him- 374 self and clothed them with resplendent grace and justice. 397, 410 ~ This revelation was not broken off by our first parents’ sin. ‘After the fall, [God] buoyed them up with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption; and he has never ceased to show his solicitude for the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing.’7

Even when he disobeyed you and lost your friendship

761 you did not abandon him to the power of death... Again and again you offered a covenant to man.8

The covenant with Noah


~6 After the unity of the human race was shattered by sin God at

once sought to save humanity part by part. The covenant with


Noah after the flood gives expression to the principle of the divine

economy toward the ‘nations’, in other words, towards men grouped ‘in their lands, each with [itsi own language, by their families, in their nations’.9 ~7 This state of division into many nations is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity,’° united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel.” But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.’2

~8 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of 674 the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel.’3 The