Creation to Salvation/Damnation

Theology Semester Project

The Original State of Man

"Man was created for greatness-for God himself; he was created to be filled by God" ~Spe Salvi, 33

In the beginning, God created the world. Along with it, he created both man and woman. They alone were created to know and love God, and had a profound and loving relationship with him. God's only requirement was for them not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, the devil, disguised as a serpent, deceived them into eating its fruits, thus disobeying God. But, instead of abandoning them completely, God formed a plan of redemption for them.

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Original Sin and It's Consequences

Original Sin is when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and turn away from Him. They were banished from the Garden of Eden, and their original state of justice and holiness was removed. They were now no longer immune to sickness or death, and will over bodily passions was destroyed. Adam and Eve's perfect relationship with God had been tainted because of Original Sin.
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The Word Became Flesh

Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Word through which everything was created. God's plan to restore his relationship involved sending His Son, Jesus, to Earth and become man. There are four reasons why Jesus became flesh. The first is to make expiation for sins, reconcile man with God, and restore human nature lost by sin. The second is to manifest the infinite depth of God's love. The third, to offer a model of holiness. The fourth was to allow people to share in his divine life.
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The Paschal Mystery

The Paschal Mystery is defined as Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Through Christ's death, God's plan for our salvation was completed. Jesus was arrested, beaten and scourged, condemned, and died on a cross: all to atone for our sins and redeem us. When he died, he descended into hell to retrieve all the souls of the righteous and took them into the kingdom of Heaven, which had been closed until his redemptive death opened its gates. Christ then resurrected from the dead, defeating both death and sin. He stayed on Earth for 40 days, and then ascended into Heaven, body and soul.
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The Theological Virtues

There are three theological virtues: Faith, hope, and charity. Faith elevates natural intellect and moves the will so a person can access truths revealed by God and practice them. Hope gives mind and will power to trust that God will give you all the means to achieve eternal life. Charity enables a person to love God above all else and to love your neighbor as Christ. The greatest among these three is charity because without it, faith and hope are ineffective in achieving holiness.

Prayer

Prayer is dialogue between you and God, and involves you raising both your heart and mind to Him. There are three types of prayer, vocal, meditative, and contemplative. Vocal prayer is prayer that uses words spoken aloud, and can be pre-established or from your heart in your own words. Meditative prayer is used to gain understanding of Christ's life or a mystery of the faith on a deeper level. Contemplative prayer is focusing completely on God, with both heart and mind entirely. Other forms of prayer include Blessing & Adoration, Petition, Intercession Thanksgiving, Praise, and Contrition.
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The Four Marks of the Church

There are four Marks of the Church. The Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. To say that the Church is One is to acknowledge its uniqueness and singularity. It is unique because its origin is directly from Christ, and singular because it is the only Church that has its origin from Christ. One also means it's members are united under it. The second mark, holy, means that since the Church is Christ's mystical body, is Holy like Christ and without sin. The third mark, Catholic, means the church is "universal" or "pertaining to the whole".

The last mark, Apostolic, means three things. First, that the Church was built upon the foundation of the Apostles. Second, that the Church guards and transmits the teachings of the Apostles. Third, that the Pope and the bishops are direct successors of the Apostles.

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The Last Things

When we die, our soul leaves our body and is immediately judged by God. This is called particular judgement, and depending on how we lived our life, we will go to one of three places. The first of these is Purgatory, a state of purification from sins, which is necessary to get into Heaven. The second of these is Hell, a state of eternal self-exclusion from God. The souls in Hell have rejected God and His love completely, and will suffer forever in eternal fire. The last place is Heaven, the state of everlasting life and happiness that we share with God.

Parousia

The Parousia is the second coming of Jesus. When he comes, he will judge and establish his Kingdom in all of his power and majesty. The Parousia will mark the definite triumph of Christ over sin and death, and the Church will reach her perfection and plenitude in the final moment of history.
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