By: Flora Patteson
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15
In the Beginning...
Consequences of Original Sin: Separation from God
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
The Word became Flesh
- To make expiation for sins, reconcile man with God, and restore human nature lost by sin.
- To manifest the infinite depth of God's love.
- To offer a model of holiness.
- To allow people to share in his divine life.
- Once Adam and Eve sinned, we needed a Savior who was able to atone for our sins because of God's justice. No human would be able to fully pay for these sins, thus the savior would have to be man and God, Jesus Christ.
- God became man to show how much he loves us. He wanted man to serve him out of love, not fear. God chose to suffer and die for man among the other possible redemptive plans. This, by human standards, shows the intensity of God's love for us.
- God incarnate offers us an example of holiness and human dignity. He shows us the potential greatness for a person, and in the beatitudes, he gives is a type of spiritual manual. His Passion can teach us charity, prayer, obedience, and humility.
- God became man to offer us a share in divine life, so that if we believe in Him as savior, we can be with him for eternity. He cannot become Christ like on our own, but only through grace.
"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:30
The Paschal Mystery
The Last Supper
The Last supper is the final episode if Christ's life before his Passion and death. It is the setting for the legacy of the Eucharist and creates an intimate union with Christ. During the Last Supper, Christ gives the New Commandment: to love one another as Christ loves us. The Eucharist provides the grace to live the New Commandment of Love. This "first mass" was an anticipation of his redemptive sacrifice. Christ offered himself in an unbloody manner.
The Agony in the Garden
Christ had come to pray for strength to endure his Passion. He knew that his loving gift would be rejected by many, but he carried out His plan nonetheless. His sorrow caused him agony, and he even had "sweat like drops of blood." He demonstrates solidarity with all who suffer.
The Final Temptation
Satan tempted Christ to give up and to save himself from the cross. He could have used His powers to save himself and demonstrate that he was God, but he would have forfeited his salvific mission.
The Passion, Death, and Resurrection
After the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ was betrayed by Judas and hand over to the Jewish Pharisees. He was brought before the Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate, King Herod, and Pilate again before he was finally condemned to death. After torturing and mocking Christ, he was forced to carry His own cross to the hill of Calvary, where he was to be crucified. While nailed to the cross, he took the penalty of the sons of everyone who had and will live. Three days after he died, Christ resurrected from the dead which showed his complete victory over Satan. His Resurrection also shows the salvific power of God; He was the ultimate Good News. 40 Days after Christ's Resurrection, He ascended into Heaven. 10 days after his Ascension, the apostles received the Holy Spirit who helped them go out and spread the Good News.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
The Theological Virtues
The most notable supernatural virtues are faith hope and love. This means that we get these through the grace of God.
Faith elevates the natural knowledge and helps a person understand supernatural truths revealed by God. For example, we may not be able to observe God in the sense of analytical terms, but we have faith that God is there and he reveals himself to us through divine ways. Faith is necessary for salvation, so all who believe in Christ have faith and must strengthen and maintain it.
Sins against faith:
Voluntary doubt - ignoring an aspect of divine revelation.
Schism - refusing to submit to the Pope and opposing the unity of the church.
Heresy - decisive denial of one or more principles of faith.
Apostasy: Total rejection of the Christian faith.
Atheism - denies the existence of God.
Hope is the confident expectation that God will give you the capacity to respond to his love. IT enables a person to rely on God's grace and trust in his promise of heaven. Through hope, we know that God will provide us with the necessary items to live according to his plan.
Sins against hope:
Despair - the loss of trust in God because of doubt in His plan for you.
Presumption- Trusting solely in human effort without the Holy Spirit.
Charity enables a person to love God above all things. God loves all his creatures freely and unconditionally. The greatest gift of redemption is to be able to have the capacity to love. To foster this virtue, it is helpful to recall God's goodness. We were created to love and be loved by God. He loved us so much that He gave us His only begotten son to die for our sins.
Sins against Charity:
Indifference - the refusal to reflect on the prior goodness and power of divine charity.
Ingratitude - the refusal to acknowledge divine charity or try to respond to God's love.
Acedia - refusal of the joy God gives.
Lukewarmness - failure to respond to divine love.
Hatred of God - the opposition to the love of God. It is a result of pride.
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2Chronicles 7:14
The friendship and union with God rests on communication through personal prayer with God. Prayer can be defined as raising one's heart and mind to God. Therefore, prayer is a person's response to God's call, and God answers all of our prayers. Sacred scripture has been a valuable source of prayer throughout the church, and has given us model prayers like the Lord's Prayer.
The Lord's prayer
- Our Father - One of the blessings of Christ's redemption is being able to call God our Father. It emphasizes that Christians are members of a community and live as a part of the communion of saints that embraces heaven earth and purgatory.
- Hallowed be thy name - God's name is holy.
- Thy kingdom come - asking for the kingdom to spread throughout the world.
- Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven . We should come to know and follow in God's plan. By doing this, the Kingdom of Heaven can be established on earth.
- Give us this day our daily bread - asking for assistance in daily needs as well as making a humble request for the Eucharist.
- Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil - Help us to not give into temptations
- Amen - Expresses faith in God and that the things we prayed about will come to pass, one way or another.
Lectio - reading
Meditatio - Meditation
Oratio - prayer
Contemplatio - Contemplation
Expressions and Forms of prayer:
Vocal prayer - prayer that uses words.
Meditative prayer - requires choosing a particular topic and disciplined focus and concentration.
Contemplative Prayer - Keeps a person in God's presence as he or she abides in his love.
Adoration and Blessing - Veneration of God.
Petition - requests favors and blessings from God.
Intercession - prays on behalf of another or asks others to pray on one's behalf.
Thanksgiving - Gratitude for God.
Praise - Gives glory to God because he is God.
Contrition - shows sorrow for sins committed against God.
Difficulties in Prayer
Lack of time
"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:22-23
The Four Marks of the Church
The Church is one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church.
We are acknowledging the uniqueness and singularity of the Church. There is only one true Church that is in agreement with God's will. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, which can be expressed in a number of different ways or attributes:
- Unity of Faith
- Unity of worship
- Unity of Leadership
Wounds to unity:
Heresies were a large problem in the early days of the church. Some of the biggest heresies included Gnosticism, Arianism, apollinarianism, nestorianism, and monophysitism.
The church receives her holiness through Christ her founder by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which every believer obtains at salvation. Christ fills her with his grace so completely that she becomes sanctifying herself. Although we ourselves are sinners and make up the Church, the church remains holy because she is the Mystical Body of Christ which has no sin. It is through the sacraments that the pilgrim Church participates in the glory of heaven.
The church is Catholic because she is whole and complete, united by Christ. She is also Catholic because she has received universal authority from Christ to fulfill her mission. We see an example of the Church's universality in many places in the New Testament.
Because the church is in many different nations and cultures, her expressions of faith and worship often vary.
This relates primarily to Christ's selection of the 12 Apostles as the foundation of the Church. The Church is founded on:
- Apostolic Foundation
- Apostolic Faith
- Apostolic Succession
The Church's Apostolic nature is manifested through the Apostles' successors, the bishops of the church. Aided by the Holy Spirit, the Pope and bishops are responsible for preserving and proclaiming the teachings of Christ.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
"Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" Matthew 25:41
The Last Things
DeathThe surest way to die a happy death is to live a good Christian life. At death, the soul leaves the body and is judged by God. The soul will go to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory.
The New Testament speaks of the judgement from the perspective of a final meeting with Christ when he comes again. Each man after dying receives his mortal soul and eternal retribution in a Particular Judgement. The person judged either goes to heaven, hell, or purgatory according to what he has done. It makes the soul see with all clarity. Purgatory is a state of purification from venial sins so that the souls can enter heaven. Praying for them can help their time in Purgatory.
We cannot be united to God unless we freely choose to love him. To die without accepting Christ as your savior and rejecting the love of God means going to hell and remaining separated from God forever. One goes to hell because of his or her own choice by refusing God and all he has to offer; God doesn't want us to go to hell, it is our choice.
Heaven is the state of everlasting life in which we see God and enjoy eternal joy. We will be with God for all eternity and receive various rewards. We do not know what heaven looks like, but we do know that we will be in an eternal happy state. Those who are in communion with God surpass all understanding or representation.
The Second Coming of the Lord. IT marks a definitive triumph of Christ over son and death. This triumph was manifested at Christ's Resurrection and Ascension. It is the culmination of the history of salvation. The Church will reach her perfection and plenitude at the final moment of history.