FIRST SEMESTER THEOLOGY PROJECT
by Lauren Fanning
Chapter 1: Original State of Man, Original Sin, and its Consequences.
- The opening chapters of Genesis, show how man and woman were created out of God's great love and were intended to share in God's intimate friendship for eternity.
- Adam and Eve's disobedience disrupted the perfect harmony of God's creation, exposing sin, suffering, and death into the world.
- The first, or Original Sin harmed not just Adam and Eve but also all of their descendants. They lost their original state of holiness and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
- All humans are left with the stain of Original Sin, and all people have concupiscence or the inclination to sin.
- Because of Adam and Eve's choice to sin and disobey God, we were, doomed to eternal separation from God.
- But because he loves us eternally, he died on the cross for our sins and we can be with him again in Heaven.
Chapter 3: The Word Became Flesh
- To make expiation for sins, reconcile man with God, and restore human nature lost by sin, which is the act of restoring the damaged relationship between God and man that was lost in Original Sin. He wants us to be with him and to do this we needed to restore our human nature and make expiation for sins.
- To manifest the infinite depth of God's love, which shows that God wants us to be with him, so he became man so he can ultimately die on the cross for all of our sins. He loves us so eternally be would die and rise again all for us, and we can never repay him for that.
- To offer a model of holiness, which is to show the world how people should act, and a model for all of us to strive to be like him. Jesus is perfect, and we should strive to be like him in our everyday actions, thoughts, and words to others.
- To allow people to share in his divine life. Our ultimate goal here on earth is to try and get to heaven, and the only way for that to happen is though the Passion of Jesus Christ, who saved us all from eternal separation from him.
Chapter 4: Redemption and the Paschal Mystery
- "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:14)
- From the earliest Christian era, the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ have been called the Paschal Mystery.
- The events of the Paschal Mystery are a manifestation of Christ's infinite love that achieved redemption.
- He has performed many miracles, the wedding at Cana, healing of the lepers, opening the eyes of the blind man, and many more that show his great love for us and that he cares for us and wants to help us through out internal and external struggles.
- We have many temptations in our lives, and Christ teaches us to be like him and avoid it as much as we can, and focus on God in our lives.
- 3 days after he died on the Cross for us, he resurrected and later ascended into Heaven to be with his Father, and we strive to be like him so we can join him when we die.
Chapter 6: Called to be Another Christ
- Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe in all that he has said and revealed to us, and that the Holy Church proposes our belief, because he is truth itself. (CCC 1814) In Baptism, the virtue of faith is infused into the soul by God himself, to assist in accepting the truths he has revealed to his Church. Faith is a true mystery, but we must believe in him and have faith in his teachings.
- Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. (CCC 1817) Hope helps to give us the expectation that God will give us the capacity to respond to his love so as to achieve a life of sanctity. We must have hope in God and his teachings, and that he will always provide and be there for us.
- Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. It enables a person to love God above all other things in this world. People should love God "because he first loved us." We should spread God's goodness by having the virtue of charity, and always loving God above everything else.
Chapter 7: The Call to Evangelization/ Prayer
Through his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ redeemed every person. The magnanimous heart of Christ the Redeemer forgives, purifies, and sanctifies through the super abundance of grace he has merited. Through prayer, spiritual nourishment comes from God, who becomes more and more present in our lives every day. Jesus taught us the Lord's Prayer, sometimes called to perfect prayer, because it sums up the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ and everything he taught us to believe. Prayer can be defined as raising one's heart and mind to God, like a person's response to God's call. He always answers every one of our prayers, but it may not be in the way we wish or expect. The sacraments are also sources of grace in the Christian life, by the Church showing herself as an instrument of God's grace for all people. We are also called to be disciples of Christ, by loving of neighbor as one's self and bearing witness to Christ.
Chapter 5: The Four Marks of the Church
- ONE is a way of acknowledging the uniqueness and singularity of the Church. To show we only believe in ONE God with 3 parts, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is only one true Church of Christ which was established by the will of the Father and the Word made flesh through the Son. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) We are all ONE body as a Church in Christ, and he is one with us through the Father.
- HOLY is a way of acknowledging the Church receives holiness from Christ, her founder, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Christ sanctifies the Church and fills her with his grace so completely that she becomes sanctifying herself. "Christ, 'holy, innocent, and undefiled,' knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal." All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners. In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time." (CCC 827) Christ established the Church and it was holy the minute it was created. We all have a call to holiness that we fulfill through our vocation and participation in the Church.
- CATHOLIC is a word to acknowledge that the Church is "universal" and altogether as a whole. The Church is whole and complete through Jesus Christ, through the fullness of his holiness eternally. She also received a universal authority to fulfill her universal mission from God to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." We are one body in Christ, and a universal "whole" family in God.
- APOSTOLIC is a way of acknowledging that Christ chose 12 Apostles for the foundation of his Church. They were chosen to be witnesses of his resurrection, and sent out after his Ascension to be ambassadors of the entire world. They assisted Christ, in ruling and spreading the word of the Kingdom of God throughout the whole world. We are called to be disciples of Christ, and spread the word of God to everyone who does not know him.
Chapter 7: The Last Things
JUDGEMENT is in which God makes the soul see with all clarity.
HEAVEN is principally a state of utter and absolute fulfillment. It is where we are ultimately joined with God in Heaven in a state of eternal happiness.
HELL is forever separation from God in a state of eternal suffering.