And it can never be emphasized more strongly and more frequently enough - that every creature and making act of God is just that: an absolutely transcendent, a-temporal Act – involving no process at all, but instantaneously causing the appearance, rather, the real existence of the substantial form in the case of the plants and animals, just as narrated in Genesis One, and the proper parts on Day Four, just as narrated in Genesis One. (Please see this writer’s previous works on the “work” of God for each of the Six Days.)
Oh, that God would raise up an Apostle of Creation! What needs to be emphasized here, I think, is that only God can perform miracles, or those to whom He gives the power to be His instrument. Contrary to what some Protestants say, Creation is not a miracle. Nothing recorded in Genesis I is a miracle. It is rather the very establishment of all the natural, physical laws which miracles suspend temporarily or permanently speed up, as in the cases of healing. To put it more succinctly, every miraculous event presupposes Creation. In fact, everything – every form, function, natural act and process, presupposes Creation – what God has revealed to us in Genesis.
2. Following the hierarchical order indicated by the narrative of Genesis One, on Day Three of Creation Week, God began the work of “Adornment”, but He also created the substantial forms of the plant/kinds: animal and human kinds on the specified day. The herbs or grasses; those that go to seed and the trees bearing fruit. These constituting the first living forms, appear when God said: “Let the earth bring forth..” (Gen.1:11-13). This is tremendously significant, because it indicates transference of certain elements from their inanimate state as part of the earth, to constitute the accidental forms of the newly-created plant kinds that are living forms. Some of the Protestant creationists think of the elements that today constitute the structural identity or form (accidental forms in themselves, but now and on Day Three, as by their specific arrangement identifying the plant kind) – some consider these elements to be dead things. But I must contest this idea for this reason: in their first state, as the elements of the periodic table, let us think of the elements simply as inanimate – as created on Day One. When these precious elements enter into the living forms of plants, animals and humans, as they do by the process of nutrition, they become subservient to – and obedient servants of the specific substantial form, whether plant, animal or man, into which they have entered! They thus become – I suggest – not necessarily living – but at least animate, (we may say they participate in some way with the life-giving principle,) - for they are destined by the various physical cycles, to return to the inanimate state until the cycle begins again. All this was initiated and established by God, the Most Blessed Trinity, on Days Three, Five and Six of Creation Week. The substantial forms created during Creation Week, constitute and establish for all time, the natural laws that govern the functioning, that is the processes flowing from the nature of the form specified. The Protestants have yet to learn to distinguish clearly between the natural order of things and the supernatural order of Divine Grace.
This is where Taxonomy must begin – with the substantial form. And great changes must be acknowledged as having happened at and after the great chastisement and catastrophic event of the Universal Flood. But did any substantial changes occur? I do not think so. As great as they were, the changes were climatologically and geographically, that is geologically topographical. The Protestant creationists have done exceedingly valuable work in this area of Flood Geology. That Catholic theologians and scientists have wholly neglected these evidences as demonstrated by Flood Geology, is certainly one of those major crimes for which the modernists and those complicit, will one day have to answer. And even now, as reported in Acts and Facts, the scientists of ICR are doing most valuable work in predation and parasitism, - putting Catholics to shame.
The earth was quite a different place – perhaps even the entire universe was – but not substantially, only accidentally. This is clearly evidenced by the Fossil Record. All plants and animals today find their pre-flood relatives in the Fossil Record. This is clear evidence that the substantial forms of all the kinds created in the first Six Days of the World, have been faithfully transmitted through generation –despite many accidental variations, even through so catastrophic a change in the earth and even the cosmos as that caused by the Universal Flood. This is because the substantial form is the primary governing and limiting principle in every composite being. Even in the Angels, the existential, substantial form limits, determines, governs each Angel’s sphere of operations. And so it is with the natural order as a whole – and even in the supernatural order – grace builds on nature and so, in a very real sense, grace is limited by nature. A human being will never become an angel, even though some human beings, by a special mission given them by God, may be as pure as the purest angel, as in the ever-Virgin Mary, Queen of the Angels, by Her divine vocation as God’s Mother. And some saints such as St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Bernadette. St. Gabriel of the Seven Sorrows, edify us by their exceptional purity. But no human being, even Our Blessed Lady and Christi in His Human Nature – ever even aspired to be an angel – let alone become such by any natural law. The hierarchy of being is static, vertical, immutable, both in the natural and supernatural orders. That any kind of being should ever become another kind of being, is metaphysically and theologically impossible - because of the created – established laws of Act and Potency ruling every finite, created being from the Body of the Universe composed of Prime Matter and Spherical-Hierarchical form up to the highest seraphim. All finite creatures are a composite of two principles, each limiting the other by immutable laws which Theologians and the Natural Scientists should cooperate in explaining to us.
The two principles governing every finite being are: 1. Existence and Essence….2. Act and Potency….. 3. Form and Matter ….and 4. Substance and accidents. The angels are composed only of act and potency – presupposing existence and essence! Even in these two principles – there is the principle of hierarchy, because there is no essence without a first existence. Rather we should say, nothing (no thing) –possesses an essence without first existing or being. Thus, a man or woman wishing to compose a poem or write a novel or paint a picture or carve a statue or build a church or a house - must first himself exist. Then his plans to make something beautiful or simply useful, require that he have certain materials at hand with which to make the object he has in mind. If we desire to compose a poem, or a sonata, or a picture – whatever we desire to make, we are limited by the potentialities of language in the case of a literary construct, or by the potentialities of the musical octave in the case of a musical composition, or by the potentialities of line and color in the case of painting, and so on. It is the principle of matter – which is that of potency –defined by the essence that allows both for virtually – innumerable variations on a theme, the “theme” being analogous to the immutable – substantial form, and the stability of the substantial form – the Genesis kind, throughout time. Thus the Order of Generation, because of the laws of nature, preserves the Order of Creation – wherein all such laws were first established. How true it is that everything presupposes Creation!