Man is created in the image and likeness of God in that God gave man an immortal soul. Man’s soul, like God, has the faculties of consciousness, intellect, and free will. Man’s body shares in the dignity of the image of God: “it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 364). Moreover, our bodies remind us of the power, wisdom, and greatness of God in the perfection of their intricate organization and unity.
The body’s higher faculties of physical consciousness, memory, imagination, and emotions combine with the faculties of the soul, especially free will, to produce authentically human acts. Man is able to be conscious and to truly know, understand, and remember truth. He is thus free to voluntarily and responsibly choose to do good and avoid evil.
God created man to live in society with his fellow men. Living in society, man resembles the union of the Trinity of divine persons. In order to fulfill its purpose, society must foster the exercise of virtue in its members. It must remove, as much as possible, obstacles to this exercise. Such a society must avoid whatever blocks or undermines virtue.