March 7, 2000
volume 11, no. 47

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    Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

    It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices and from Old Testament Confraternity Edition and New Testament Confraternity Edition of the Saint Joseph New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life. For points covered thus far, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

installment 125:
Original Sin part one

    God punished Adam and Eve for the sin they committed. "And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken" (Genesis 3:23). All the calamities in the world today, war, disease, poverty, etc., are consequences of Adam's sin. We inherited all the weaknesses that were part of his punishment.

    On account of their sin Adam and Eve lost sanctifying grace, the right to Heaven, and their special gifts; they became subject to death, to suffering, and to a strong inclination to evil, and were driven from the Garden of Paradise.

    Adam and Eve immediately lost God's abiding grace and frienship, their holiness and innocence: they lost sanctifying grace. This was the worst punishment. Having lost sanctifying grace, they lost the right to Heaven, to see God.

    They lost their special gifts: they became subject to suffering and death. Their minds and wills were so weakened that they became inclined to evil, subjected to temptation. "In the sweat of they face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return" (Genesis 3:16-19).

    God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of paradise. "And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure" (Genesis 3:23, 24).

    Some wonder how the eating of one fruit could have been so grievous a crime. We must remember that God gave Adam and Eve every blessing. He only required them, as proof of their faithfulness, to abstain from eating the fruit of one tree. Doubtless Paradise was filled with trees having more delicious fruit than the forbidden tree. Pride and disobedience and ingratitude caused them to sin. They defied God, and despised His threats. They wanted to be as powerful and great as God.

    On account of the sin of Adam, we, his descendants, come into the world deprived of sanctifying grace and inherit his punishment, as we would have inherited his gifts had he been obedient to God. "Therefore as through one man sin entered into the world and through sin death, and thus death has passed into all men" (Romans 5:12).

    This sin in us is called original sin. It is the state in which every descendant of Adam comes into the world, totally deprived of grace, through inheriting the punishment, not of Adam's personal sin, but of his sin as head of the human race. This sin is called original because it comes down to us through our origin, from Adam.

    Thus all men are born in sin, that is, they are born without the friendship of God, and with no right to heaven. Original sin does not come to us from Eve, but from Adam alone, since God made him representative and head of the whole human race. Eve was punished for her disobedience, as Adam was, but did not pass on her guilt to all mankind. Our original sin comes from our first father.

    A person after baptism is in the state of grace and free from sin. If he dies immediately after baptism, even if he had committed sins, he goes straight to Heaven. His sins and their punishment are all forgiven him. The chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin are: death, suffering, ignorance, and a strong inclination to sin.

    By original sin we became subject to disease and death. This was part of the punishment God laid on Adam. "In what day soever you shall eat of it, you shall die the death" (Genesis 2:17).


Tomorrow: Original Sin part two


March 7, 2000
volume 11, no. 47

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