world hiss ivisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, 6~~
clearly perceived in the things that have been made.7
And St Augustine issues this challenge: Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky... question all these realities. All respond: See, we are beautiful. Their beauty is a profession [confrssio]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One [Pulcher] who is not subject to change?8 2500 33 The human person: with his openness to truth and beauty, his 1730, 1776 sense of moral goodness, his freedom and the voice of his con- 1703 science, with his longings for the infinite and for happiness, man questions himself about Gods existence. In all this he discerns signs 366 of his spiritual soul. The soul, the seed of eternity we bear in ourselves, irreducible to the merely material,9 can have its origin only in God. 34 The world, and man, attest that they contain within themselves neither their first principle nor their final end, but rather that they participate in Being itself, which alone is without origin or end. Thus, in different ways, man can come to know that there exists a reality which is the first cause and final end of all things, a 199 reality that everyone calls God .° 35 Mans faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God. But for man to be able to enter 50 into real intimacy with him, God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith. The proofs of Gods existence, however, can 159 predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.
III. The Knowledge of God According to the Church
36 Our holy mother, the Church, holds and teaches that God, the first principle and last end of all things, can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason. Without this capacity, man would not be able to welcome Gods revelation. Man has this capacity because he is created
~55 in the image of God.2
37 In the historical conditions in which he finds himself, however,