One of the greatest privileges as human beings made in the image and likeness of God is our participation in His creativity. God, creator of the universe and all that lies within it – the heavens and earth, the sky, the land, the sea, every plant, animal, and being, allows us the privilege of co-creating with Him.
This awesome creativity is most evident in our ability to procreate, to participate with God by bringing another human life into the world. Mothers and fathers marvel at the life of their own flesh and blood growing and moving in the womb. They listen to the baby’s heartbeat, feel its kicks against Mom’s belly, and ultimately hold that new life in their arms. But there are many more subtle ways God allows us to participate in His creativity regardless of our present circumstances. Even if you are not called to parenthood at this time, you can still participate in God’s creation.
The arts are another obvious way that people share in God’s creative nature. Whether drawing, painting, sculpting, or writing, we are creating something from nothing.
In his 1999 Letter to Artists, St. John Paul II said (emphasis added):
“Dear artists, you well know that there are many impulses which, either from within or from without, can inspire your talent. Every genuine inspiration, however, contains some tremor of that ‘breath’ with which the Creator Spirit suffused the work of creation from the very beginning. Overseeing the mysterious laws governing the universe, the divine breath of the Creator Spirit reaches out to human genius and stirs its creative power. He touches it with a kind of inner illumination which brings together the sense of the good and the beautiful, and he awakens energies of mind and heart which enable it to conceive an idea and give it form in a work of art. It is right then to speak, even if only analogically, of ‘moments of grace’, because the human being is able to experience in some way the Absolute who is utterly beyond.”
(Read the whole letter here: https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1999/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_23041999_artists.html)
Maybe you have little interest in those types of arts. But maybe you sew, knit, crochet, bake, build furniture, code, program, arrange flowers, design games, sing, play an instrument—the list is nearly endless! These are active ways we participate in creativity, but there are passive means too.
Appreciating the wonder and beauty of God’s creation in nature, in our beloved family pet, and in others gives us glimpses of God’s majesty. We can see God’s hand and His life in those closest to us---our immediately family and closest friends, but also in those we know little or even dislike.
We can discover that beauty in books, in which we share some creativity with the author, imagining the characters and scenarios they’ve devised and looking at the world in a different way, either through those characters, a well-crafted simile, or rich vocabulary. As a writer, I’m humbled by creating whole worlds for characters to inhabit.
How will you participate in God’s creativity today?
You can see characters to who participate in God’s creativity in these and other Catholic Teen Books novels:
· In Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk, Rachel creates a beautiful summer wildflower garden.
· In I Am Margaret by Corinna Turner, Margo writes a politically explosive novel.
· In The Boy Who Knew (Carlo Acutis) by Corinna Turner, Daniel loves creating 3D art on his computer.
· In Someday, Teresa is a keen violinist who earns money busking but also loves to play for the joy of it.