Saw this classic on a preview for a TV sitcom:
“If God made Adam and Eve and they had Cain and Abel, then where did Cain and Abel’s wives come from?”
The little girl preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation seems to have bewildered and flustered her “very Catholic” mother with this question. But, any “very Catholic” person should know the answer…
The Book of Genesis does not contain a literal explanation of how God created everything.
It’s a poetic and, if you will, mythological account of the beginning of earth, life on earth, and human beings. Remember, the Bible is not a science book. You don’t go to the Bible to find out precisely how the first humans were formed – but you definitely do go to the Bible to find out why we are here. If you don’t approach the inspired Word of God with this question in your heart, then you will miss the point on practically every page.
The gist of the narrative of the seven days of creation, for example, is repeated like a poetic refrain: “God looked upon what he had created and saw that it was good.”
That’s the important true thing to remember. And to not only remember, like a memorized fact, but to truly absorb and digest and live with your whole life.
This doesn’t mean that it’s a sin to ask scientific-based questions. After all, the very first recorded words of the Blessed Virgin Mary are in the form of a question, and the question is an honest one, stemming from her innocent human curiosity: “How shall this be…?” Now, the answer that the angel Gabriel gave to her may not satisfy someone with a microscope and a lab coat, but there are workings of God that are beyond our limited understanding – as is God Godself.
Thankfully, the most important answer to “How was that made” is certainly found in Sacred Scripture at every turn: by God. That’s how. If you’d like to know more about the specific details, then you are encouraged to explore the physical sciences and the material wonders of our planet, green and blue and beautiful – and billions of years old – brought into being by the Uncaused Cause, the Uncreated Creator, the Unmoved Mover. God. After all, God created us with intellect and curiosity. Be not afraid!
© 2016 Christina Chase
Image: Painting by Roelandt Savery (1576-1639)