The Sixth Day of Christmas!

Genesis 1:31

And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

Ancient pagan myths often looked to the hatching of a gigantic cosmic egg for the beginning of the universe.  Six cosmic geese-a-laying seemed as reasonable as anything else when confronted by the gigantic spectacle of a universe that was both here and yet incredibly strange and impossible-looking.  But, of course, as charming as a cosmic egg is, sooner or later, annoying questions intrude on such folk stories.  Questions like "Which came first the cosmic goose or the egg?" start to needle us.  If the universe comes from an egg where did the egg come from?  And if the egg came from a cosmic goose, where did the goose come from?"  All such attempts to just propel merely natural cause and effect relations into infinity are doomed by this.  Sooner or later, one has to look, not for a natural cause (which always requires another natural cause) but a supernatural cause which requires nothing in nature for it to exist.  The author of Genesis saw this.  And remarkably, he was virtually the only person in antiquity to have done so.  In the elegant, spare words of Genesis, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  Such creation from nothing seems not to have occurred to most people in the ancient world.  Nearly always, the gods begin their work of creation by molding some primordial goo into various creatures.  Here alone do we see God bringing everything into being from nothing.  Instead of six cosmic geese, we have six days in which God begins with nothing but Himself and, by day's end, is wiping His hands on His apron with all the satisfaction of a great artist pleased at work well done.  He is still pleased.  That's why creation still exists.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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