The Mystery of Redemption
Theology II 1st Semester Exam
In the Beginning
The Original State of ManGod created the first humans to share in his love and friendship. The original humans, Adam and Eve, possessed a clear awareness of God's presence. They were exceedingly happy, and were destined for a perfect life in heaven.
Adam and Eve were granted complete freedom in their paradise, the Garden of Eden. They only had one limitation: they were not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. At one point, the fallen angel, Lucifer, entered the garden. He then tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, which Eve then shared with Adam. This was the original sin, or disobedience, and the belief that humanity knew better than God.
Consequences of Original Sin
After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve became aware of their nudity, and hid from God. Therefore, God knew that they had eaten of the fruit and removed them from the garden. As a punishment for committing original sin, God made it so that women would experience pain in childbirth, work would require toil and often end in futility, humanity would experience sickness and death, and upon death, the body and soul will be separated.
God sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to become man, live among us, and die to save us from our sins. Their are four primary reasons for the sacrifices of Christ:
- 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.
The Paschal Mystery
Jesus began his ministry, and started down the path to the cross, around the age of thirty. He began, with his baptism in the River Jordan, performed by John the Baptist. Although Jesus was without original sin, and had no need to be baptized, he did so to set an example for all of us.
The Wedding at Cana
Christ performed his first miracle when a wedding party ran out of wine. At the request of his mother, Mary, he transmuted water into wine, saving the wedding.
Christ Manifests His Divinity
In order to convince his disciples of the necessity of his death, Christ worked an unprecedented miracle to manifest directly his divine nature. In doing this, Christ was seen in his glorified state. This is called the Transfiguration.
The Last Supper
Before Christ's death, he had a final Passover meal with his disciples. This has become know as the last supper. During the last supper, Christ broke bread, and instituted the Eucharist.
The Agony in the Garden
After the last supper, Christ brought the of his closest disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. There, he prayed to his father for the strength to go through with his death. Although he was tempted to give up, and resist his fate, he was strong, and accepted his death.
Jesus was sentenced to death by Pilate, and was forced to carry his own heavy cross from Pilate's Praetorium to Golgotha. Christ fell three times, and was eventually assisted by St. St. Simon of Cyrene. He was fixed to the cross with nails, and eventually died of asphyxiation. With his last dying breath, he uttered the words "It is finished."
After remaining dead for three days, Christ came back from the dead in his new glorified body. He was not subject to the suffering or the strictures of faith and time.
Forty days after the resurrection, Christ was assumed, body and soul, into heaven. Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
The Theological Virtues
Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God, and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that the Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. (CCC 1814)
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.
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. (CCC 1822)
Prayer is means of conversation with God. Although it may seem one sided, God always responds. The answer may come in a way that you were not expecting, and sometimes, the answer is simply no.
Forms of Prayer
Vocal prayer is prayer that uses words, contemplative prayer keeps a person in God's presence as they abide in his love, and meditative prayer is used to gain a greater understanding of a particular mystery of faith, as well as how this mystery can be applied to our lives.
The Four Marks of the Church
The Church is one, in it's uniqueness, it was the single Church instituted by Christ. Also, we worship only one God, in three persons. Lastly, the Church is unified as one body.
The Church receives her holiness from Christ, her founder. Christ sanctifies the Church, and fills it with grace. Therefore, those who receive the sacraments through the church, can receive her grace.
The Church is catholic in the sense that she is universal. The Church is whole and complete, and holds universal authority to fulfill Christ's mission.
The Church is apostolic, because she is founded on Jesus's Twelve Apostles. She was founded by the apostles, transmits the teachings of the apostles, and continues to be directed by the successors of the apostles in the pastoral ministry.
The Last Things
At death, the soul leaves the body and is judged immediately by God. From there, the soul will proceed to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory as deserved.
After death, each man receives his eternal retribution. He immediately refers his life to Christ, going through a period of purification, directly to his definitive state in heaven, or to eternal condemnation.
Purgatory is a state of purification from venial sins so that souls may achieve the purity required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Purgatory is not a permanent state, but will last until every trace of attachment to evil is eliminated.
Hell is a state of complete and total separation from God, for those who have freely chosen to deny God's love. Souls in Hell dies unrepentant of mortal sins, and refused God's love and mercy to the end.
Heaven is a state of everlasting life, in which we can see God, become like him in Glory, and enjoy eternal happiness. All souls on earth have made up for their sins either on earth or in Purgatory, and are in the light of glory, with an immediate vision of God.