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Galatians 3:22

Introductions

The Original State of Man

The Bible begins with the Book of Genesis stating the creation of the world. According to Scripture God created the universe, the world and everything in it in six days. He even created the first people, our first parents, Adam and Eve. Man and woman are the high point of visible creation. Human beings are different from and far more superior to all other earthly creatures because we were created in the image and likeness of God. He created our first parents to share in his love and friendship. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had a clear awareness of God's presence and enjoyed a deep and loving relationship with Him. They enjoyed living in the paradise God had created for them and were destined to live a blissful life in Heaven. Our first parents were blessed by God because they were created in a "state of holiness and justice." This state included a few gifts that were lost because of Original Sin. These gifts included immunity from sickness, suffering, and death along with freedom from disordered appetites and passions. They also were free to control their minds and wills. God intended that they would have a joyful relationship with Him, each other, and the rest of creation. In the state of original holiness and justice, work was an easy and rewarding activity; Adam and Eve cultivated the earth as stewards of God's creation. Clearly stated in the Book of Genesis, God intended for man and woman to find please and fulfillment in their lives.

Original Sin and its Concequences

God gave Adam and Eve complete freedom in the Garden of Eden with only one prohibition: they were not allowed to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and Evil.God warned them that disobedience would result in death. Both Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree. As a result, they were banished from paradise and Original Sin was presented to the world. Since they were not in paradise, they had to work in order to survive and they would have to experience pain, sorrow, hunger, thirst, sickness, and death.

The Word Became Flesh

The Fall of our first parents created a rift between God and human beings. Humans could never have repaired the damage caused by the sin of Adam and Eve on their own. This means that since man brought sin into the world, then a man should offer the atonement for sin. Because of this there is the need for a savior who possesses the natures of both God and man. God became flesh and was born from the Virgin Mary and became our savior. Jesus Christ, the God-man, is the only one who could fulfill this necessary condition for redemption; only he is a divine Person with a divine nature and a human nature.
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The Paschal Mystery

The Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are called the Paschal Mystery. These events are the culmination of Christ's redemptive mission. The events leading up to and culminating in Christ's Death on the Cross and his glorious Resurrection are a mystery because it can never be fully comprehended by human reason how Christ, being both God and man, could die for sins and rise from the dead.

The Theological Virtues

There are natural virtues and supernatural virtues, but the most notable infused virtues are the theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. They are called theological virtues because their object is union with God. Growth in the theological virtues comes through prayer, reception of the sacraments, and practice of the virtues. As a result, these practices assist growth in holiness through becoming more imbued with the life of Christ. Of the three theological virtues, the most important is charity because without it faith and hope are formless or dead and are ineffective to attain holiness and eternal life.

Prayer: How We Communicate With God

Friendship and union with God rests on communication through personal prayer and sacramental life. Prayer is an inner conversation with God and through prayer, spiritual nourishment comes from God who becomes more and more present.One of the primary ways a person can hear what God is saying is by prayerfully reading his Word in Sacred Scripture. There are three expressions of prayer: vocal prayer, where we can use traditional prayers, meditative prayer, which involves dwelling on some element of divine wisdom found in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, or spiritual writings, and Contemplative prayer, prayer that consists in abiding and resting in God's presence. God always answers our prayers, the results may not be the ones that you wanted but he knows what is best for us.
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The Four Marks of the Church

The Four Marks of the Church are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. The marks are essential and visible signs that allow the true Church founded by Christ to be distinguished from other church, but the Church does not posses them on her own. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ sustains the Church and continues to make her One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. When we say One we are acknowledging the uniqueness and singularity of the Church. We believe that Jesus has instituted One Church and not multiple churches. The second mark of the Church is her holiness, which she receives from Christ her founder through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Church is Holy because her goal is the glory of God. The Church is also Holy because in the means she has been given to bring all men into communion with God.

The Last Things

The last things are death, judgment, purgatory,parousia, heaven and hell. Death is the separation of man's mortal body and immortal soul. It comes to all men as a result of original sin. It is a temporary state, for at the end of the world, all men shall rise again to be judged by Christ. Thus the whole man, body and soul, will be rewarded for the good or evil that he has done, body and soul, in this life. At the moment of death, each human person is judged by God based on his conduct in this life, and goes immediately to his reward or punishment.Moreover, at the end of the world, Jesus Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. At that time, God's whole plan for the world shall be revealed, and his mercy and justice demonstrated. Heaven is the eternal state of perfect happiness resulting from the face to face vision of God, which is the reward of those who have served Him in this life. Hell is the eternal state of torment and despair which awaits those who, in this life, have freely rejected God and the happiness which He offers. Before the end of the world, there will be an intermediate state called purgatory. There, those who are bound for heaven, but whose love for God is still marred by some imperfection, undergo a temporary period of purifying suffering. When this purification is complete, they are fit to enter God's presence and are admitted to the joys of heaven. Parousia is the second coming of Jesus Christ where the Final Judgement will take place.