353 God willed the diversity of his creatures and their own particular goodness, their interdependence and their order. He destined all material creatures f or the good of the human race. Man, and through him all creation, is destined for the glory of God.

354 Respectfor laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and afoundation for morality.

Paragraph 6. Man

355 ‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God he 1700 created him, male and female he created them.~2I8 Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is ‘in the image of God’; (II) in his 343 own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; (III) he is created ‘male and female’; (IV) God established him in his friendship.

I. ‘In the Image of God’ 356 Of all visible creatures only man is ‘able to know and love his creator’.219 He is ‘the only creature on earth that God has willed 1703, 2258 for its own sake’,22° and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity: 225 What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good.22’ 295 357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is 1935 capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a 1877 response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his ~ stead. 358 God created everything for man,222 but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him: 299, 901 What is it that is about to be created, that enjoys such honour? It is man — that great and wonderful living creature, more precious in the eyes of