ASH WEDNESDAY
March 8, 2000
volume 11, no. 48

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APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH Series         INTRODUCTION

    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 126:
Original Sin part two

    Because of Original Sin our whole nature became inclined to evil. Our reason is in perpetual conflict with our passions. Even after our souls are cleansed of original sin by bpatism, the corruption of our nature and other punishments, such as sickness, evil inclinations, etc., remain. "The imagination and thought of man's heart are prone to evil" (Genesis 8:21). "The flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh" (Galatians 5:17).

    God is not unjust in punishing us on account of the sin of Adam, because original sin does not take away from us anything to which we have a strict right as human beings, but only the free gifts which God in His goodness would have bestowed on us if Adam had not sinned.

    All mankind must suffer for the sin of Adam because he was the head and representative of the whole human family. In much the same way, the ruler of a country represents the whole people. He declares war or makes peace, and the people are affected by his acts. When Alfonso XIII of Spain was dethroned, his children lost their right to the throne through no fault of their own. So also the children of a rich man who goes bankrupt lose all the inheritance they hoped for, through no fault of theirs.

    We should have shared in Adam's blessings of soul and body without any merit of our own, if he had not sinned. In the same way we share in his guilt. If Adam had not sinned, we would have been born in the state of holiness and grace that had been his.

    The Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from original sin in view of the merits of her Divine Son Jesus, and this privilege is called her Immaculate Conception. "And when the angel had come to her, he said, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women'" (Luke 1:28).

    From the very first moment of her conception the Blessed Virgin was preserved from all stain of original sin. She was conceived and born without original sin. God, having ordained that Mary was to be the Mother of His Son, could not permit her soul to lack for a single instant all those graces that would make her most pleasing to Him.

    Our Blessed Mother's soul was created as pure and spotless as the soul of Eve. Where Eve committed sin and lost her spotlessness, our Mother Mary kept herself pure and spotless to the end of her life. We commemorate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 8th.

    Saint John the Baptist was cleansed from original sin while he was still in the womb of his mother. He was born free from sin, but he was, like us, conceived in sin.

   

Tomorrow: Actual Sin part one

          

March 8, 2000
volume 11, no. 48
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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