What is the soul?
The soul is what makes every individual person a man: his spiritual life-principle and inmost being. The soul causes the material body to be a living human body. Through his soul, man is a creature who can say “I” and stand before God as an irreplaceable individual.
Men are bodily and spiritual creatures. A man’s spirit is more than a function of his body and cannot be explained in terms of man’s material composition. Reason tells us that there must be a spiritual principle that is united with the body but not identical to it. We call it the “soul”. Although the soul’s existence cannot be “proved” scientifically, man cannot be understood as a spiritual or intellectual being without accepting this spiritual principle that transcends matter.
From where does man get his soul?
The human soul is created directly by God and is not “produced” by the parents.
Man’s soul cannot be the product of an evolutionary development out of matter or the result of a generative union of the father and mother. With every man, a unique, spiritual person comes into the world; the Church expresses this mystery by saying that God gives him a soul, which cannot die; even if the person loses his body in death, he will find it again in the resurrection. To say, “I have a soul”, means that God created me not only as a creature but as a person and has called me to a never-ending relationship with him. (YOUCAT questions 62-63)
Source: Catechism in a Year, Day 49, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) and other sources.
Contributed by PV Beley, BCBP Greenhills
Dig Deeper: CCC section (362-368).