Why Do We Exist in the Natural Order?

The Remarkable Creativity of God Involves Humans!

Why We Exist

Have you ever wondered why we exist in the natural order? Deacon Jim Sinacore of St. John Vianney Parish, Northlake, Illinois, offers some thoughts in his June 27, 2021, homily.


Have you ever wondered why we exist in the natural order?

This might sound like a silly question but I’m serious about asking it. We all believe that God created us to be with Him in heaven.

Heaven is the supernatural order. That is our destiny. So if that’s the case, why are we here?

How does life on earth fit into God’s plan for us?

I want to share my thoughts about this with you but before I do let’s first reflect on God.

What would you say to someone if he were to ask you: “What is the nature of God?”

I would imagine that people could answer this in different ways. St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, tells us that the nature of God is to be.

Theologians have a fancy word for this when they refer to the Aseity of God. This means that God is uncreated. He has no beginning, no end, and is in need of nothing.

This seems intuitively right to us. And we see it reflected in the Book of Exodus.

When Moses encounters God in the burning bush Moses asks: “Who shall I say sent me to the Egyptians?”

The response comes back: “I am who am.” Tell them “I am” sends you. We recognize that it is God’s nature to be.

For reasons that can only be explained by love, God wants to share existence. And thus, he creates living and nonliving things.

If we were to articulate a word that describes the nature of God’s creative action it would have to be the word: “Abundance.”

God is not stingy. When He creates, He creates in abundance.

In the supernatural order, for example, God has created the angels.

How many angels are there? Well, we don’t know but St. Thomas Aquinas, along with other doctors of the Church, tells us that there are 3 hierarchies of angels … each containing 3 choirs. Hence, there are 9 levels of angels altogether.

The guardian angels come from the lowest choir of the lowest hierarchy. And if every person who has ever lived has a guardian angel, this implies that there is a ton of angels. Keep in mind that there are 8 other levels to account for.

The reality of God’s creative abundance is also seen in the natural order.

Have you ever looked into the cosmos at night to see all the stars? Granted, in this part of the world, it’s hard to see into outer space because of light pollution. But astronomers tell us that there are a billion-trillion stars in the observable universe!

Did you hear what I just said? A billion-trillion stars. That number is so big that it completely eludes us. I can’t find a way to help us appreciate its magnitude. It’s beyond our comprehension.

But it certainly helps us appreciate the reality of God’s propensity to create in abundance.

Now, let me go back to my opening question.

Why do we live in the natural order when we are destined for the supernatural order?

We live on the earth but we are destined to live with God in heaven.

I don’t presume to know the mind of God but as I reflect on the question, I honestly think that God has placed us in the natural order so that He can share with us His creative effort.

I call this serial creation. In other words, God creates the first humans.

Then they have children. And their children have children and so on.

This doesn’t happen in the supernatural order.

The only creatures that were fashioned in the supernatural order were angels and St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that they were created all at once. There were no angels and then boom – there were angels and lots of them.

But as beautiful and as powerful as angels are, they do not reproduce. God has not shared with them His penchant to create. He shares that power with us. You and me!

We can cooperate with God’s creative effort while we are in the natural order. This is an unbelievable aspect of our lives and I suspect that many people think that there is nothing more mundane than to get married and have children.

Most people do it. And because it happens all over, we don’t even stop to think about what an awesome power has been given to us.

I imagine that most people see themselves as just living their lives. But through all of what might seem to be a ho-hum existence, God is allowing us: to-populate-the-kingdom-of-heaven.

We cooperate with God’s power to create eternal souls that is not shared by any other creatures … not even the holy angels.

In fact, doctors of the church tell us that our sharing in God’s creative power is what divided the good and the bad angels. They tell us that before witnessing the Beatific Vision, God tested the angels by telling them His plan for us to share in His creative power.

A third of the angels rejected this. And in doing so, they instantly condemned themselves to hell. These are the demons.

And this is why they consistently goad people to attack life by way of abortion, euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide, gender ideology, and the redefinition of marriage and the family.

All of these sins are direct attacks on our cooperation with God’s life-giving power of love.

If you look at the miracles of Jesus during his time on earth … you will see that most of what He did was to support life.

Not only did He make it possible for us to have eternal life. He also nurtured life in the natural order.

The two are connected.

Granted, there were a few miracles that pointed to His power over the created world.

For example, He changed water into wine. He walked on water. He calmed the ferocious wind and waves as we heard about in last week’s Gospel reading.

But most of His miracles were life-affirming:

He gave sight to the man born blind.

He gave the ability to walk to the man who was paralyzed.

He cured leprosy.

He resuscitated Lazarus from the dead.

He resuscitated the daughter of Jairus.

He cured the woman afflicted with hemorrhages … and so on … and so on.

The original sin committed by our first parents derailed God’s plan for us but our Lord came to restore all things.

And despite the fact that the natural order is rife with hardships, God works through all of this to carry forward His plan for abundance in creation using us and our procreative faculties.

Scholars from the Population Reference Bureau estimated that 107 billion people have ever lived on this earth.

That number falls short of the number of stars in the observable universe but it is staggering to consider.

It reinforces what we heard in our first reading from the Book of Wisdom:

God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living.  For He fashioned all things that they might have being … and the creatures of the world are wholesome.