Dignity of the Human Person

Summary of Catechism paragraphs 355-84:

  • The human person occupies a unique place in creation.
  • Made in God’s image, and composed of both body and soul, we unite in ourselves the spiritual and material worlds; God therefore wills our human nature to be a union of body and soul.
  • Because God has so designed us, we cannot properly view ourselves as spirits who are merely trapped in the flesh; our bodies are integral to who we are as human beings.
  • God chose to create human beings as male and female, in perfect equality as persons; at the same time, the complementarity of male and female serves to reflect God’s perfection.
  • Accordingly, man and woman are created to be a communion of persons, and to collaborate with God in the transmission of life.
  • This collaboration involves the direct action of God, who alone creates each one of our souls; parents contribute their physical substance, but they do not produce their children’s souls.
  • Each of us is called to enter into God’s own life, to give Him a personal response of faith and love that no one else can give in our stead.
  • Since every human being is a child of the Father, we are all truly brothers and sisters; recognizing this profound unity binding the entire human family, we are to show our love for all and our solidarity with all.
  • God’s primordial plan was for us to be in harmony with Him, at peace within ourselves, with each other, and with all of creation.
  • This state of original justice existed in the beginning, but as the account of Genesis reveals, it was destroyed by the sin of our first parents.

Live Your Faith

The truth that each human person – from the microscopic embryo on up – is made in God’s image, and that God in His love has fashioned our souls, should convince us of the dignity of the human person, and the sanctity of human life.

We must dedicate ourselves to building a culture that welcomes and upholds life, while in conscience opposing ideologies that seek to cheapen or destroy life.