1st Semester Theology Review
By: Michael Pitonak
Book 1: Chapter 1 - The Original State of Man and Original Sin
The original state of man was much different than it is today. When Adam and Eve were put on this Earth, they did not suffer at all. There was no pain, death, sorrow, sadness, etc. Adam and Eve were put into a world of happiness and the whole Earth was theirs to enjoy. This all changed when Eve committed the "first" or so to speak the "original" sin of man when she at from the tree of knowledge after the serpent tempted her. This put the world into a world of suffering. Now humans had to deal with all kinds of suffering such as death, sorrow, pain, sadness, etc. To epitomize, Adam and Eve had a world of happiness and no suffering, but then Eve committed the "first" and the world was eternally set in suffering.
Book 1: Chapter 3 - The Word became Flesh
The Word becoming flesh, in circumspect, means Jesus, or the son of God, was sent to this world to save us from original sin so that we could proceed into heaven after death and live eternally. This all started when Mary was chosen by God to carry this child in the annunciation. Later, the visitation occurred and after that she gave birth to the son of God. There were actually four reason for this happening. The first was to make expiation for sins, reconcile man with God, and restore human nature lost by sin. The second was to manifest the infinite depth of God's love. The third was to offer a model of holiness. The fourth was to allow people to share in his divine life.
Book 1: Chapter 4 - The Paschal Mystery
Since Jesus was teaching his fathers teachings, the High Priests classified him as a blasphemist and he was wanted by them. They offered a reward for turning him and his apostle, Judas, turned him in. Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion. The night before he was to be tried, he held a last supper with his apostles. He held all the traditions of Passover except he added the breaking of the bread, which was turned into his body, and the changing of the wine into his blood. His apostles did not understand this until the crucifixion. After the last supper, Christ went into Gethsemane to begin his passion. He spent his time there praying to his father and he did this with such agony he begins to sweat blood. An hour later, the Romans captured him. He underwent a trial by Pontius Pilate and was sentenced to crucifixion. He underwent scouring, crowning of thorns, and he to carry his own cross. He was then crucified, descended to the dead to redeem all the souls, and 40 days later resurrected and opened the gates of heaven for everyone giving them redemption. After this the Holy spirit descended upon the people giving them salvation.
Book 1: Chapter 6 - The Theological Virues
The Paschal mystery is meant lead everyone to a life of holiness. People can respond to this in many different ways. Some of these ways include: repentance and conversion of heart, conforming themselves to the life of Jesus Christ and allowing the Holy spirit to form them in the image of Christ, etc. To achieve being holy people that God calls us to be, we not only have to have spiritual live but also moral lives. Examples of this are: call or vocation, response, and discipleship. Another thing we need to do is develop virtues. There are 2 different types of virtues: natural and supernatural. Natural virtues are virtues that are good habits formed by people, for example repetition of moral action. Supernatural virtues are imparted on the soul at baptism. The most notable of theses are the theological virtues. The 3 theological virtues are faith, hope, an charity. Faith elevates the natural intellect and moves the will so a person can assent to the truths supernaturally revealed by God and put those to practice. Hope gives the mind and will the power to trust God will give all the means necessary to achieve everlasting life. Finally, charity enables a person to love God above all things and his neighbor as him/ or herself with the love of Christ. These virtues give a sketch of how to live our lives.
Book 1: Chapter 7 - The Call to Evangelization
Prayer is a necessity in the life of christian. Prayer is essentially the way we communicate with God. Jesus actually gave us a prayer to teach us how to pray. It is called the Our Father and it goes through basically everything that prayer is about, this is why it is named the perfect prayer. Every prayer is ended with the word "amen" which is Hebrew for "so be it" and it expresses ratification of what has been said. As I explained earlier, prayer can also be described as a dialogue with God. God made it like this so it would be easy to talk with him about anything. He describes it as raising one's heart and mind to Him. Scripture can also be used as a source of prayer. Since scripture is His Word, a person could understand more of what God is trying to say through His Word. There are 3 types of prayer: meditative, contemplative, and vocal. Meditative is a prayer of understanding that involves dwelling on some element of divine wisdom found in Sacred scripture, tradition, or spiritual writing to discern God's will. Vocal prayer is a simple conversation with God using traditional prayers or one's own words. Contemplative is prayer that consists in abiding and resting in God's presence.
Book 2: Chapter 5 - The Four Marks of the Church
The Catholic Church has four marks which are essential and visible signs that allow the true Church founded by Christ to be distinguished from other churches. The marks are the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Church is one means that everyone in the church is part of one family and community. We are all united as one body. We are united through the unity of faith, unity of worship, and the unity of leadership. It also acknowledges the uniqueness and singularity of the church. The second mark is that the Church is holy. She received this holiness from Christ, the founder, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but, as with her unity, her holiness come solely from God. Christ sanctifies the Church and fills her with his grace so completely that she becomes sanctifying herself. The third mark is that the Church is catholic. This is used in two ways. the first is that the church is whole and complete. The second is the church is catholic because she has received universal authority from Christ to fulfill her universal mission. The fourth mark of the Church is that the church is apostolic. This relates primarily to Christ's selection of the twelve apostles as the foundation of his church.
Book 2: Chapter 7 - The Church as a Communion of Saints
For all this, the Church can more easily be described as the divinely instituted institution that seeks the salvation of all souls. The surest way to die a happy death is to live a good Christian life. At death, the soul leaves the body and is judged immediately by God (the Particular Judgement). The possibility of merit or conversion ceases. The soul will immediately go to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory as deserved. These are known as the last things. The second coming of the is known as Parousia. This is a Greek work meaning apparition or presence. At Parousia, Christ will appear in power and majesty as judge and establish his kingdom in all its fullness. This was inaugurated at the incarnation.