Semester 1 theology review

by: Abigail Milawski

Chapter 1- The Original State of Man; Original Sin and it's Consequences

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1: 1)

  • God is the First Cause and Creator of the universe both in its vast immensity and in its detailed components.
  • In a metaphorical image, God created the world in 6 days:
Day 1: Day and Night

Day 2: Sky and Sea

Day 3: Land and Vegetation

Day 4: Sun and Moon

Day 5: Birds and Fish

Day 6: Animals and Man

  • God created the world as a gift to our first parents and their descendants.

"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it." (Genesis 1: 28)

  • When God created our first parents, he placed them in the Garden of Eden as stewards of his creation.
  • As stewards of creation, people must not only be just when dealing with each other but also avoid excessive consumption.
  • As man is called to imitate Christ, it is clear personal wealth can never be an excuse for rampant consumerism.

"Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness..." (Genesis 1: 26-27)

  • Man and woman are the high point of visible creation. Human beings are radically different from and far superior to all other earthly creatures.
  • The body of Adam was created from the dust from the ground, and his soul was created directly by God.
  • Each persons soul is created and infused into the body directly by God at conception.
  • god created our first parents to share in his love and friendship.

"The serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature the the Lord God had made..." (Genesis 3; 1-6)

  • God gave Adam and Eve complete freedom in the Garden of Eden with only one prohibition: they were forbidden to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil."
  • In the case of our first parents, Satan tempted Eve with the promise that she would become like God with the knowledge of good and evil.
  • Eve chose her own desires before God's will and convinced Adam to do the same.
  • The consequences of Original Sin were immediate. Adam and Eve lost their state of original holiness and justice as well as their friendship with God; they were consequently expelled from the Garden of Eden.
  • The wounds of Original Sin stand in opposition with the four cardinal virtues:
  1. Malice inclines the will to sin and weakens it in the face temptation.
  2. Ignorance impedes the ability to discern the truth.
  3. Weakness causes a person to avoid effort or difficulties.
  4. Concupiscence fosters the appetite to escape the domain of reason.
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Chapter 3- The Word Became Flesh

"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus." (Luke 1: 26-31)

  • After the angelic message was delivered to the Blessed Virgin Mary, all of creation, metaphorically speaking, awaited the most important response in the history of salvation.
  • The conception of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary is called the Incarnation.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2: 1-14)

  • The first people to receive the good news of Christ's birth were the shepherds watching their flocks in the fields surrounding Bethlehem.
  • The angels told the shepherds the child had been born in the City of David, thus implying this child was the next Messiah foretold by the prophet Micah.
  • The angels told the shepherds that they would fins Christ "wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Luke 2: 12)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;... all things were made through him."(John 1: 1, 3)

  • Through his suffering, Death, and Resurrection, Christ merited for every person a share in his life and the attainment of everlasting life.
  • There are four particular reasons the Word became flesh:
  1. To make expiation for sins, reconcile man with God, and restore human nature lost by sin.
  2. To manifest the infinite depth of God's love.
  3. To offer a model of holiness.
  4. To allow people to share in his divine life.

Chapter 4- The Paschal Mystery

"If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vein."

(1 Corinthians 15: 14)

  • From the earliest Christian era, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ have been called the Paschal Mystery.
  • The Paschal Mystery cannot be understood outside the first Passover, which occasioned the liberation of the Chosen People from their slavery in Egypt.

The Passion of Christ

  • After the hour in Gethsemane, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
  • The Jewish authorities brought Jesus before Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea.
  • While Pilate struggled with the fateful verdict, his wife sent him word about a disturbing dream that indicated he should not be a party to Christ's condemnation.
  • Pilate did not want any part of it, so he told the crowd of people "I am innocent of this man's blood. Look to it yourselves."
  • In an attempt to escape his predicament, Pilate gave the crowd one last choice: to release Barabbas, a man guilty of murder and sedition, or Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. the crowd chose Barabbas.
  • The image of Christ bathed in blood; crowned with thorns; covered in welts, bruises, and gashes reveals a God of infinite love.

The Crucifixion and Death of the Redeemer

  • After Pilate's sentence of death by Crucifixion, Christ embarked on what tradition calls The Way of the Cross.
  • Christ fell 3 times while trying to summon every once of strength to carry his cross to his place of Crucifixion.
  • Christ's Passion reached its climax in the Crucifixion. He was nailed to the Cross through his hands and feet.

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23: 24)

  • Affixed to the Cross with is arms outstretched in a symbolic embrace of the whole human race, Christ became the icon par excellence of charity and mercy.
  • As Christ slowly suffocated, amid the excruciating pain of the nails and the loss of blood, he spoke with the man on his right, assuring him of God's mercy. This man, traditionally called St. Dismas, begged God for mercy and forgiveness as he admitted to his own sinfulness and Christ's sinlessness; for this reason, he is called the "Good Thief."
  • With the words, "It is finished," Christ died on the Cross.

The Resurrection

  • The greatest sign of Christ's victory is his Resurrection from the dead.
  • In the Gospel accounts, Christ rose from the dead in his own Body 3 days after his Crucifixion.
  • The Apostle's first reaction to Christ's empty tomb was one of incredulity and fear.
  • Christ first appeared to St. Mary Magdalene and other holy women, whom in their grief, never expected to see him again.

"Their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and ha vanished out of their sight." (Luke 24: 31)

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Chapter 6- The Theological Virtues

"Faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

(1 Corinthians 13: 13)

The Theological Virtues

  • Faith- elevates the natural intellect and moves the will so a person can assent to the truths supernaturally revealed by God and put those truths into practice.
  • Hope- gives the mind and will the power to trust God will give all the means necessary to achieve everlasting life.
  • Charity- enables a person to love God above all things and his neighbor as him- or herself with the love of Christ.


  • God infuses the virtue of faith into the soul at Baptism to assist in accepting the truths he has revealed through his Church.
  • To have faith means to accept guaranteed by the authority of God.
  • Because it's based on God's revealed truth, faith cannot contradict human reason human reason; rather, it it enables a person to believe and understand truths beyond the scope of human reason.


  • The virtue of hope is the confident expectation God will give the capacity to respond to his love so as to achieve a life of sanctity.
  • God calls every person to a life of holiness. The response, however, cannot rest solely on human strength; God's help is necessary.
  • Hope, like the other theological virtues, must be nurtured. The virtue of hope can be fostered through life.


  • Charity enables a person to love God above all things.
  • Charity also moves Christians to love their neighbors out of love for God with the heart of Christ.
  • The call to be faithful to Christ's New Commandment of Love is not based on mere emotional sentiment but on generous spirit of sacrifice.

Chapter 7- Prayer; How we communicate with God

  • In St. Matthew's account of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ taught his disciples to pray using these words:

"Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in Heaven, Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6: 9-13)

  • The Lord's prayer begins with the recognition of God as our Father. In his public ministry, Christ called upon God as Abba, a term similar to the English word daddy.
  • The Old English word hallowed means holy or sacred. The Second Commandment teaches God's name is holy, and, in the Lord's Prayer, this truth is proclaimed and praise is given to his name, thereby giving glory to God.
  • God created man in his own image and likeness, giving us a special bond with him.
  • People often assume they can satisfy this inherent need for God through material things or through relationships with other people.
  • Christians recognize this restlessness in the heart for what it truly is: a desire to be in intimate communication with God.

God answers all prayers

  • God answers every prayer , though not always in the way one might wish or expect. This is because petitions do not always conform his plan.
  • When this happens, he responds by offering the grace to accept his will.
  • Given God's infinite love, it is always possible to have firm faith and trust in his plans; they are always what is best.

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Chapter 5- The Four Marks of the Church

  • From the Church's earliest centuries, Christians have identified the four characteristics, called marks, that are essential to the whole Church, both in Heaven and on Earth.
  • These four marks are that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.


  • What do we mean when we say "The Church is One?" First, we are acknowledging the uniqueness and singularity of the Church.
  • The Church founded by Christ is One and unique because of her origin. The uniqueness of the Church means that there is only one true Church of Christ that is constituted exactly in agreement with her divine Founder's will.


  • The Church receives her holiness from Christ her founder through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
  • Christ sanctifies the Church and fills her with grace so completely that she becomes sanctifying herself.


  • Today the term "Catholic" is typically used as a denominational term, much like "Baptist" or "Lutheran," referring to a specific, limited group of Christians.
  • But this common usage communicates exactly the opposite of what the word actually means.
  • The term Catholic comes from the Greek word katholikos, meaning "universal" or "pertaining to the whole world."


  • This mark relates primarily to Christ's selection of the Twelve Apostles as the foundation of his Church.
  • The Church is called Apostolic because she is founded on the Apostles threefold sense:
  1. Apostolic Foundation- she was built and remains on the foundation of the Apostles.
  2. Apostolic Faith- she guards and transmits, with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in her, the teachings of the Apostles.
  3. Apostolic Succession- She continues being taught, sanctified, and directed by the Apostles in the persons of their successors in the pastoral ministry.

Chapter 7- The Last Things

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Revelations 4: 8)

The Last Things

  • The surest way to doe a happy death is to live a good Christian life.
  • At death, the soul leaves the body and is judged immediately by God.
  • The soul will immediately go to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory as deserved.

Particular Judgment

  • Particular Judgment is an act by which God makes the soul see with all clarity.


  • This is a state of purification from venial sins so that souls achieve the purity necessary to enter the joy of Heaven.


  • To die in mortal sin, without repentance and without seeking refuge in the compassionate love of God, implies remaining separated from God forever because of our own free choice.

  • Heaven is the state of everlasting life in which we see God, become like him in glory, and eternal happiness.


  • At the parousia, Christ will appear in power and majesty as judge and establish his kingdom- which was inaugurated and the Incarnation- in all its fullness.