First Semester Exam For Theology II

The Story of the Word Becoming Flesh

Chapter 1- The Original State of Man; Original Sin and its Consequences

The Original State of Man

In the beginning, after God created the universe and before man committed Original Sin, the world was in perfect harmony with itself. Man had a perfect loving relationship with God, and preternatural virtues and his supernatural grace that he bestowed upon them in order for them to share in his divine life and love. Our first parents did not endure suffering, sickness, and pain nor physical death. The had total control over their minds and wills until they decided to disobey God.

Original Sin and its Consequences

Original Sin is the first act of disobedience to God by humanity, and is considered the sin of pride. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to oversee the garden and gave them one rule that they should not break. Adam and Eve could eat from any tree in the garden except the Tree the of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They enjoyed a life without sin and its consequences until the Devil took the form of a serpent and tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When Eve listened to the serpent, and ate the fruit which she later gave to Adam, she brought pain, suffering, and death into the world. She destroyed humanity's perfect relationship with God. Not only did our first parents (Adam and Eve) endure the consequences of Original Sin, but so did every human being after them. Humans could die physically as well as their soul dying by sinning. The human mind and will were damaged, human intellect became clouded and incapable fully discerning God's Laws, and they experienced concupiscence (the inclination to sin).

Chapter 3 - The Word Became Flesh

The Word is the Son of God through whom all things were created. The Word became flesh when he was incarnated and became man when he was born of the Virgin Mary to die for our sins. There are four reasons the Word became Flesh:

  1. The Son of God wanted to make expiation for our sins, reconcile man with God, and restore human nature lost by sin. When we sin, we are augmenting the rift between God and ourselves. The seriousness of sin is infinite, therefore reparation could not have been made by any finite being (anyone who is not God) which is why Jesus who is infinite had to make reparation for our sins with his eternal sacrifice of dying on the Cross for us.
  2. He wanted to manifest the infinite depth of God's love. God wanted to show us how much he loves us by becoming man, experiencing life like us, and dying for us. He wants us to serve him out of love not fear. God does not need us to love him, yet he created us to share in his goodness and eternal happiness.
  3. The Word wanted to offer a model of holiness. He became incarnate to offer an example of holiness and show forth the dignity of the human person. He wanted to show that with grace, a person can overcome the temptations of the world, the Devil, and the flesh.
  4. God wanted to allow people to share in his divine life. God became man because he wanted to experience his own divine life and share it with us. Through the sacraments we are called to share in his divine life through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. (And God)
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Chapter 4 - The Paschal Mystery

The Paschal Mystery is Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection. He was crucified, and he died for our sins so that we may live eternal life with him in Heaven. He conquered death and the Original Sin that our first parents committed when he died and resurrected from the dead.

Chapter 6 - The Theological Virtues

The theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity (love). Faith allows us to believe in God as well as his truths, and put this into practice. Hope allows us to trust God and give all the means necessary to achieve eternal life with him. Charity allows us to love God above all things and love our neighbor as Christ loves them. Charity drives us to want to serve others.

Chapter 7 - Prayer: How We Communicate With God

Praying enables us to have a relationship with God and grow closer to him. There are three expressions of prayer: Vocal prayer which is using traditional prayers or one's own words to have a conversation with God; meditative prayer which is focusing on some element of divine wisdom in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, or a spiritual writing in order to understand God's will as well as applying it to one's life; and contemplative prayer which consists in abiding and resting in God's presence.

There are many forms of prayer: blessing and adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, praise, and contrition. In scripture, we are asked to praise and thank God first before presenting our needs. (petitions) The more we talk to God, the closer we grow to him and the more we know him.

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Chapter 5 - The Four Marks of the Church

The four marks of the Church are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. The Church is One because of her uniqueness and singularity, and the fact that Jesus instituted One Church not many. She is also One because her members are united together by one belief. The Church is Holy because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within in her. She is Holy also because her goal is the glory of God. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ and like him is without sin. Because of this, her holiness is not defiled by sinners, rather her holiness transforms sinners into saints. The Church is Catholic because she whole and complete as well as universal. Her mission to save is not limited to one specific group of people but rather to all people. The Church is Apostolic because she was built and remains on the foundation of the Apostles (Apostolic Foundation); guards and transmits, with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in her, the teachings of the Apostles (Apostolic Faith); continues being taught, sanctified, and directed by the Apostles in the persons of their successors in the pastoral ministry: the college of bishops, presided over by St. Peter's successor, the Pope (Apostolic Succession).
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Chapter 7 - The Last Things

The Last Things are death, judgement, Heaven, Hell as well as Purgatory and the Parousia. Death is the separation of the soul from the body. Judgement takes place after we die and is the determination of where our soul will go by God. Heaven is eternal life and happiness with God while Hell is eternal separation from God that we choose ourselves. Purgatory is where a soul goes before it enters Heaven in order to be purged of sin so it can enter Heaven. The Parousia is the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgement Day.