THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith

image

CREDO: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith

 

THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE

by ERIKA AHERN

This is the last, glorious line in the Nicene Creed before we turn to the mystery of the Incarnation and our own salvation history. We are still proclaiming the revelation of Christ, the Logos, second person of the Trinity. “He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation…” (Col. 1:15).

 

Through Him

The difficulty I find with this line is a temptation to focus on creation and the beauty of created things. But the structure of the creed actually points back through creation to the Word. The point of proclaiming that all things came to be through Christ is not to tell us more about us, but more about Him: because He is consubstantial, Christ is also co-eternal with the Father.

The Father, we have just professed, created all things—visible and invisible—but He did not act alone. At this point in the Creed, we learn and profess the mystery of the Trinity’s perfect communion of persons: the Father does nothing of Himself, just as the Son does nothing of Himself. The Father never acts alone, but in perfect communion with the Son.

And so, through the Son all things were made. That unfathomable act of creation— that moment when the Father made something from nothing—was an act of more than one person. Creation is, therefore, the fruit of love, perfect togetherness, and communion. Our only response to this doctrine can be worship: we come from the Father, through the Son, and we return to the Godhead through proclaiming Who He is. Simply to say in communion with the Church, “Through Him all things were made,” is to begin true worship.

All Things

When I think of “all things,” I predictably start with myself, my children, mountains, stars, oceans, planets … “The heavens proclaim the greatness of the Lord.” (Psalm 19:1)

But remember that our human experience of creation is in fact very limited, telescoped into 70 or 80 years and stuffed into the limits of one little (and often broken) body. To say, “I know God through creation and nature” is like saying “I know my husband through the fact that once he built a bookshelf.” It’s nice that my husband built me a bookshelf, but it would be a horrible injustice for me to say that this single creative act was the summit of his love for me. In the same way, when we say “all things” we remember that “no eye has seen” the height and breadth and depth of God’s work.

St. Paul detonates our limited conception of “all things” in his great hymn: “… for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:16-17)

Through Christ, both this world and the next world were made. He holds them together so that we small human beings can belong to both, because His blood is more powerful than death. This world—even in its most complex and intricate workings—is a tiny, infinitesimal and passing part of “all things.” We will spend all of eternity discovering things now unseen and in constant praise of the Son.

We can say “through Him all things were made” with a sort of childlike eagerness. We are the children going to bed on Christmas Eve. We know through faith that all things have been prepared by our Father through the Son. We proclaim with confidence that, because of Who Christ is, “all things” shall be well.


What are your thoughts? What else can we learn from “Through him all things were made”?

 

____________________________________________________________________

Erika Ahern is married to Scientist Dad and with him have three girls and are expecting their first boy. She holds her BA from Catholic University and her MA in philosophy from Emory University, but neither degree has offered the sanctification she finds in her vocation as a child of God, a wife, and a mother. She is the campus coordinator for Regina Caeli Academy in Hartford, CT and writes for Catholic magazines and newspapers, including Columbia Magazine, Crisis Magazine, Catholic Exchange, and Catholic Lane. She blogs at The Philosopher Mom.

 

Read all the entries in the Blog Series: Credo: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith.

Editor’s Note:
Yes, We took the month of February off. We hope to be back on track and not to miss too many more weeks. Also, you may note that I got things a bit out of order and this entry in the series should have been before the previous one. Oh well. Such is the life of a mommy with five small children and not very much brain.

10 Responses to THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith

  1. Cathy J March 12, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Lovely toddler toes by Anthony!

    BTW: it took me years to figure out that the yellow thing that blooms this early is in fact witch hazel, not forsythia—my neighbor has one and I always wondered why it was so much earlier than my forsythia. Just a little bit of plant pedant going on.

  2. Celeste March 12, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    What is it about little boys loving on baby sisters that just makes me *melt*?  Ben and Anthony are so precious.  My almost-3yo Xavier dotes on his two baby sisters all the time, and it seriously makes my heart swell every time I see him doing so.  Melt, melt, melt.

    And little Lucia is such a lovely baby.

    I have the same quandary with my 4yo that you have with Sophie.  Next year would be her “preschool” year and I have no designs to give her any formal lessons at all (I’m in the CM camp on that one, for sure!).  But she does so want to be one of the big kids, having her own “copywork,” her own “math lesson,” etc.  For now, tagging along with the bigs is enough for her—she loves watching big sister do her math or drawing along with them in her nature journal.  But I’m wondering whether she’ll be begging for something more once fall hits…

  3. Ann Kubala March 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I really enjoyed these photos, especially the ones of your dad reading to your children. So sweet. I meant to comment a couple of weeks ago when I noticed Anthony was wearing a T-Shirt that said “Texas” on it. Has he been to Texas yet?

    I love the Pogues and L’Angelus so I will have to check out Matisyahu and Beausoleil. Do any of your kids know French yet? If so, could they translate some of L’Angelus’s songs for me? (just kidding)?

    Enjoy the rest of Lent and thanks for sharing these photos. I forgot how cold it still is in Boston.

    Ann

  4. Melanie Bettinelli March 12, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    Ann, Yes he has. The whole family went to Texas in September for my brother’s wedding. I never did get around to posting those pictures because we were so sleep deprived for the first couple of weeks after we came back. Anthony and Ben had a very hard time adjusting to travel. however, the Texas shirt actually was a gift from a blog friend in the DFW area, Mama T of the Summa Mamas. Dom stayed with her when he went to the CNMC last year and she gave him a shirt for each of the kids.

    We’re starting the girls with a bit of French. Sophie got a couple of First Words in French books for her birthday after she’d been bugging me about how to say things in French. We’re not quite up to translating song lyrics though. If you like L’Angelus, I’m sure you’ll love Beausoleil. Matisyahu is awesome, though Dom does poke fun at me for my Jewish hip hop.

    Cathy, Really? I could have sworn it was forsythia! I feel cheated.

    Celeste, It’s definitely a side of Ben I hadn’t imagined. So melting.

    For me I think as long as they are asking for formal lessons it doesn’t hurt to give them something to do as long as I don’t make them do it if they get tired or bored of it. Heck, I try not to push too hard if Bella gets tired or bored. Math is about the only thing I really think of as formal lessons and even that we skip plenty of days. Today we didn’t do math because we got a late start (Thanks, DST) and we had to go to the grocery store. Grocery days are often lessons optional if I don’t get up extra early. I don’t know how other homeschoolers do it, but for now that’s what works for me.

  5. GeekLady March 12, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    Oh, the demise of library lion makes want to cry.  We bought that for our oldest goddaughter last year, and David loved it and cried when it was given away.

    Poor mangled book!

  6. GeekLady March 13, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I make grocery and chore days home economics lesson days, which I can probably only get away with because I only have one eager helper.  This only works if we do it early, though.  Past 11am David is unmanageable.

  7. Melanie Bettinelli March 13, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    On good days its home economics. On bad days it’s them tagging along or doing their own things.

    I’ve been getting better at having a short daily chore time between breakfast and math time when the big kids help me tidy up the kitchen and dining room. And they usually help do a tidy of the living room and bedrooms either before dinner or before bed. But many household chores just go undone until I get fed up and become a whirlwind of getting stuff done as fast as I can before the baby wakes up.

  8. Kyra March 13, 2013 at 6:03 am #

    What did you end up making for dinner?

  9. Katherine March 14, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    #5 – It is neat and interesting the way they can respond better when a sibling helps rather than a parent. This morning Cecilia took over Felicity’s math with her and was helping her out and Felicity seemed to enjoy it more than when I do it with her. Maybe there is a chore I should add to Cecilia’s week. smile

    #6 – I’d never heard of Library Lion. I’ll have to look it up now. But, short of a Dan Brown novel, oh that is painful to see!

  10. Melanie Bettinelli March 13, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Kyra, Today? We went to Chili’s. I absolutely had no space in my brain for thinking about cooking dinner. My pulse is still racing over the announcement of our new pope.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes