PETER & PAUL This is a holyday of obligation in some countries.
Judges, Chapter 6, Verse 23
Gideon, whom this verse is about, most of us do not have an angel appear from
heaven to tell us that we will not die and to not be afraid. Yet, we have something greater than an angel here; we have
the Lord Jesus Christ telling us-Do not fear.
are blessed because we are the receivers of the apex of God’s graces through Jesus
Christ, His mother and the action of Divine Mercy. If you are afraid to start again or are discouraged
by failure it is because you do not understand you can do nothing without
Christ. Therefore, if you have sinned go to confession and receive His Body and
Blood: being renewed. I remember in 2006 when I and my wife Mary were blessed
with being able to make a trip to Israel. I was reflecting upon the grace I had
received. I was thanking the Lord for I had touched the spot on the earth where
He was born, and I had touched the spot where He had died, and I had touched
the spot where He had ascended into heaven. I was prideful and thought how
lucky I am. Then my Lord reminded me that a greater grace still awaits me and
everyone in the Holy Eucharist. Be honest, humble yourself and make a sincere
effort. Leave all else in His hands-saying: Jesus I Trust in You!
wants immediate success. Be brave as Gideon and renew your intentions, make a
resolution daily to do the will of God and seek to please Him.
Feast of Saint Peter and Paul
Today is the grand rejoicing in the two Princes of the
Apostles and founders of the Church in Rome.
formerly called Simon, was a son of Jonas, of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and a
brother of Andrew, by whom he was brought to Christ, Who at once changed his
name and called him Peter. When, soon after, Jesus said to both of them on the
Sea of Tiberias, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” they both left
their nets and followed Him. From this time forward Jesus was constantly giving
him particular proofs of His love. From the ship of Peter, He taught the
thronging multitude, and to him He promised that on him, as upon a rock, He
would build His Church, against which the gates of hell should not prevail. Our
Lord took Peter with Him at the raising of Jairus daughter from the dead; at
His own transfiguration on Mount Tabor; at the beginning of His passion in the
Garden of Gethsemane. To him He promised the keys of the kingdom of heaven; for
him He specially prayed that his faith might not fail; and him He commanded to
strengthen his brethren. After His resurrection He appeared particularly to
Peter, and three times commanded him to feed His flock. But Peter had, above
all the other apostles, made himself worthy of this preeminence by his living
faith, his humility, his love, and his zeal for the honor of Jesus; for he it
was who, before the other apostles, made the confession, “Thou art Christ, the
Son of the living God.” He showed his humility when, at the miraculous draught
of fishes, he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Out of
love he desired to remain always with Christ on Mount Tabor to prevent Him from
suffering; and out of love he declared himself ready with Christ to live or
die; nay, he even declared most confidently that, though all should be
scandalized in Christ, yet he would not be. When Jesus was taken prisoner, Peter
showed himself to be most courageous by cutting off the ear of one of his master’s
enemies, and by following Him to the house of Caiaphas. Three times, indeed,
did he, as no one else did, deny his Lord out of fear; but the look of
forgiving love which Jesus cast upon him forced from him tears of the deepest
contrition, and three times afterwards, accordingly, he made that confession,
“Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” After he had received the Holy Ghost,
full of courage, he confessed Christ crucified, and preached Him in Pontus,
Galatia, Cappadocia, Ionia, and Bithynia. At Jerusalem he was once already
condemned to death, but was set free by an angel. In the year 54 he went to
Rome, whence, after a nine years residence, he was banished, with many other
Christians. Upon returning thither again he was confined in the Mamertine
prison, and finally, on June 29, in the year A.D. 67, under the Emperor Nero,
he was crucified; his head, by his own desire, hung downwards, because he
thought himself unworthy to die like Christ.
before his conversion called Saul, was of the tribe of Benjamin, a native of
Tarsus, in Cilicia, and a pupil of Gamaliel. Full of zeal for the law, he
bitterly opposed the Christians. As he was travelling to Damascus to persecute them,
he was, on the way, converted by Christ. How indefatigably he thenceforward
worked in the vineyard of the Lord, and what dangers and persecutions he
underwent, no pen can describe. It is almost incredible with what zeal and
perseverance he preached Christ, in chains and fetters, under blows and
scourges, in hunger and thirst, and untold times at the peril of his life. And
yet he was so humble that he counted himself the least of the apostles, and
always praised God that He had thought him worthy to suffer for His name. After
he had at last fought a good fight, and finished his course having everywhere
zealously preached the Gospel, and still more zealously practiced it he
received the crown of justice (n. Tim. iv. 6). The Emperor Nero caused him to
be beheaded on the same day that Peter was crucified.
The Introit of the Mass is
in the words spoken by St. Peter after his delivery from the prison at
Jerusalem: Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His angel and hath
delivered me out of the hands of Herod, and from all the expectation of the
people of the Jews (Acts xii. 11). “Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me;
Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up” (Ps. cxxxviii. 1, 2).
Prayer. O God, Who hast consecrated this
day by the martyrdom of Thy apostles SS. Peter and Paul, grant to Thy Church,
in all things, to follow their doctrines, through whom the true faith was first
Acts xii. 1-11.
those days: Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the
Church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And seeing that
it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days
of the Azymes. And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison,
delivering him to four files of soldiers to be kept, intending after the Pasch
to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But
prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him. And when Herod
would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two
soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the
prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him: and a light shined in
the room: and he striking Peter on the side raised him up, saying: Arise
quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him:
Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast
thy garment about thee, and follow me. And going out he followed him, and he
knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a
vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the
iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them. And going
out, they passed on through one street: and immediately the angel departed from
him. And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed that the Lord
hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from
all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
Matt. xvi. 13-19.
At that time Jesus came
into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and He asked His disciples, saying: Who
do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and
other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to
them: But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art
Christ the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art
thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but
My Father Who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon
this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail
against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And
whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and
whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Why did Christ ask His
disciples, Who do men say that the Son of man is?
give them an opportunity to confess their belief in Him as the true Son of God,
and upon that open confession to ground a promise of the highest importance.
Why does Christ call
Himself the Son of man?
order that, His Godhead being veiled under the form of man, He might thus test
the faith of His disciples, and teach us that He was both true God and true
What did Peter mean to
say by those words,
“Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God?”
thereby confesses that Christ is the Son of God, begotten from all eternity,
and therefore of the same substance with the Father; that by Him all things
were made, and that from Him comes our life in soul and body.
What reward did Peter
receive for his confession?
pronounced him blessed that God had given him such grace, conveyed to him the
highest authority in His Church, and gave him the pre-eminence above all the
What is the meaning of
the expression “to bind and to Loose”?
to Isaias, it signifies to open and to shut heaven, and here consequently
denotes the power, as representative of Jesus Christ, to receive persons into
the Church, and to excommunicate them from it; to forgive sins, or to retain
them; to impose or to remit punishments for them; to establish laws and
prohibitions, to abolish them, to change them, and, in general, to govern and
direct in everything, as shall be necessary for the preservation of unity and
order in the Church, and for the good of the faithful.
the power to bind and to loose given to Peter only?
but to the rest of the apostles also; the power of the keys, however, Jesus
gave only to Peter. Peter, therefore, and his successors, possess this supreme
power, while the other apostles and their successors, the bishops, possess the
authority entrusted to them by Christ, to be exercised by them in unity with
the rock, that is, with Peter and his successors.
Of the Pope
What is the Pope to the Catholic?
representative of Jesus Christ, and the visible head, appointed by Him, for the
government of His Church.
Did Christ actually appoint such a
and that in the person of St. Peter. He gave him the significant name Peter the
rock, distinguished him always above the other apostles, and laid upon him the
charge to feed His lambs, that is, the faithful, and His sheep, that is, the
bishops themselves; and this power Peter uniformly exercised.
Why did Christ appoint a visible
head for the Church?
the Church is an outward, visible society, united together not only by inward
faith in Christ, but also by outward, visible signs. Such a visible head is as
necessary for the Church as for a body, a family, a society, a state, to
prevent disunion, confusion, and the consequent destruction of the whole; this
supreme head is the center of the whole, the final judge, the authoritative
Who is now this supreme head?
Bishop of Rome, or the Pope. It is undeniable that Peter occupied the bishop’s
see at Rome, and that he died there. Equally indisputable is it that the
successor of St. Peter entered upon possession of his rights, and, together
with the episcopal see of Rome, inherited also the office possessed by him.
From the first centuries this has ever been acknowledged by the faithful, who
have accordingly called the Bishop of Rome Pope that is, the father of the
faithful. And how clearly does history show that Peter and his successors are
the rock upon which the Lord has immovably founded His Church! What storms have
not broken upon the Church!
Persecutions from without and
within, heresies and schisms without number, and infidelity in its most hideous
form, have raged against the Church, and what has been the consequence?
have often fallen away from the Church, single bishops have proved betrayers of
their flocks, the sees of the apostles themselves have been subject to the
vicissitudes of time. And amid all these storms Rome alone has, for over
eighteen hundred years, stood firm. She has come out of every contest
victorious, has remained the center of faith and discipline, and has preserved
the unbroken succession of bishops from Peter. Who does not see herein the
assistance of Him Who forever fulfills that promise of His, “Upon this rock I
will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” The
Pope is, therefore, the visible supreme head of the Church, appointed by Christ
for all time; the invisible, all-governing head is Christ Himself.
Things to do
Take a pilgrimage to Rome to visit the burial
places of St. Peter and Paul.
Go fishing in honor of St. Peter. He was a
fisherman before he became Jesus' disciple and is the patron saint of fisherman
and net makers.
Go camping in honor of St. Paul. Before
his conversion to Christianity, Paul was a tent maker. He is the patron
saint of tent makers as well as writers. In addition to being an accomplished
preacher, Paul wrote epistles that are included in the Bible's New Testament.
Attend Mass and learn how both Peter and Paul,
two men with very different visions, formed the early church and how
Christianity rapidly spread.
Insalata Di Tarocci
- 4 blood oranges or other small,
- 1 small red onion, cut into very
- 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. freshly chopped Italian
parsley; stems discarded
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Combine a dozen or so men with large sackes draped over their shoulders; ox-drawn carts bearing the image of San Paolo (himself holding a snake and a book in one hand, a sword pointing to the heavens in the other); squads of flagbearers and swordsmen; a cotillion of old men with black berets playing an indescribable array of instruments (many homemade); a piazza packed with local residents dressed in Sunday finery; and long tables filled with all manner of food and beverage, and you have a beginner's idea of what to expect if you find yourself in Aragona in southern Sicily on June 29, the feast of St. Paul. (If you decide to visit the church however, you no longer have to fear the ritual called La benedizione deglie serpe, whereby residents presented snakes to the priest for benediction. The ritual was done away with a few years ago. If you do venture to Aragona for this festival, the blood orange and red onion salad presented here is one of the many foods you're likely to sample. Although any type of orange can be substituted to following is made with tarocci or blood oranges, which are one of Sicily's most famous products. Exceptionally high in vitamin C, strongly fragrant, and with brilliant red peel and pulp, the tarocci is widely used in salads, frozen ice cream desserts, and sorbets.
Italians have become very
fond of cipolle de tropea a type of sweet red onion that comes from
Calabria and is not yet available in the US. To achieve the same sweetness,
soak the sliced red onion in water for thirty minutes before using.
1. Peel the oranges and
remove the pith. Cut horizontally into thin slices. Put in a bowl and set
2. Separate the onion
slices into individual layers and put in the bowl with the oranges. Add the oil
and half the parsley to the bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss until
all ingredients are well coated.
3. Arrange the orange and
onion slices in a circular pattern on a round platter. Drizzle with the oil
left in the bowl, sprinkle with the remaining parsley, and serve.
The oranges can be tossed with the marinade earlier in the day.
How to Serve: On its own as a midsummer appetizer, followed by a
light pasta, or as a salad course accompanying an especially piquant entree.
Waffle Iron Day
is the perfect time to celebrate this delicious breakfast staple!
Waffle Irons were first found in that area of Northwestern Europe known as the Low Countries, which includes Belgium and the Netherlands as well as other places. Originally, they were made to be used over an open flame and were thus constructed on the end of two long, typically wooden, handles with a clamshell system at one end, which would be held over a fire to bake.
The origin of the waffle iron can be
traced back to the Middle Ages, where they were developed from a device known
as the ‘wafer iron’. These were commonly used in the creation of the
communion wafer, but larger varieties existed, consisting of nothing more than
two flat irons often engraved with elaborate scenes. For the communion
wafer, it was depictions of the crucifixion of Christ. While the larger secular
designs varied widely, often engraved with artistic floral designs,
illumination, or just about any other form of design you could imagine.
Belgians celebrate the feast of St. Michael by eating waffles; perhaps we could
start celebrating Mondays with waffles in honor of the angels; remembering we
too like Michael must be as strong as iron against the enemy and we must not
waffle. Sorry I couldn’t resist.
Catechism of the
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION
TWO-I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER ONE-I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER
Article 1-"I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER
ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH"
Paragraph 7. THE FALL
385 God is infinitely good and all
his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the
evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures:
and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I
sought whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine, and
his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living
God. For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light
of the "mystery of our religion". The revelation of divine love
in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance
of grace. We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by
fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.
I. WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE
ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE
The reality of sin
386 Sin is present in human
history; any attempt to ignore it or to give this dark reality other names
would be futile. To try to understand what sin is, one must first recognize the
profound relation of man to God, for only in this relationship is the evil of
sin unmasked in its true identity as humanity's rejection of God and opposition
to him, even as it continues to weigh heavy on human life and history.
387 Only the light of divine
Revelation clarifies the reality of sin and particularly of the sin committed
at mankind's origins. Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot
recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental
flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an
inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God's plan for man
can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created
persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.
Original sin - an essential truth
of the faith
388 With the progress of
Revelation, the reality of sin is also illuminated. Although to some extent the
People of God in the Old Testament had tried to understand the pathos of the
human condition in the light of the history of the fall narrated in Genesis,
they could not grasp this story's ultimate meaning, which is revealed only in
the light of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must know
Christ as the source of grace in order to know Adam as the source of sin. the
Spirit-Paraclete, sent by the risen Christ, came to "convict the world
concerning sin", by revealing him who is its Redeemer.
389 The doctrine of original sin
is, so to speak, the "reverse side" of the Good News that Jesus is
the Saviour of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered
to all through Christ. the Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows
very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without
undermining the mystery of Christ.
How to read the account of the fall
390 The account of the fall in
Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that
took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the
certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original
fault freely committed by our first parents.
II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS
391 Behind the disobedient choice
of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them
fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in
this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil". The
Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The
devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they
became evil by their own doing."
392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God." The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".
393 It is the irrevocable character
of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the
angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after
their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."
394 Scripture witnesses to the
disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the
beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received
from his Father. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy
the works of the devil." In its consequences the gravest of these
works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.
395 The power of Satan is,
nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that
he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of
God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his
kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of
a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature - to each man and
to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength
and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that
providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in
everything God works for good with those who love him."
III. ORIGINAL SIN
Freedom put to the test
396 God created man in his image
and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this
friendship only in free submission to God. the prohibition against eating
"of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" spells this out: "for
in the day that you eat of it, you shall die." The "tree of the
knowledge of good and evil" symbolically evokes the insurmountable
limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with
trust. Man is dependent on his Creator, and subject to the laws of creation and
to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.
Man's first sin
397 Man, tempted by the devil, let
his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed
God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent
sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.
398 In that sin man preferred
himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and
against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore
against his own good. Created in a state of holiness, man was destined to be
fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to
"be like God", but "without God, before God, and not in
accordance with God".
399 Scripture portrays the tragic
consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the
grace of original holiness. They become afraid of the God of whom they
have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.
400 The harmony in which they had
found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of
the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and
woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust
and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has
become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject
"to its bondage to decay". Finally, the consequence explicitly
foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the
ground", for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into
401 After that first sin, the world
is virtually inundated by sin There is Cain's murder of his brother Abel and
the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin
frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity
to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. and even
after Christ's atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among
Christians. Scripture and the Church's Tradition continually recall the
presence and universality of sin in man's history:
What Revelation makes known to us
is confirmed by our own experience. For when man looks into his own heart he
finds that he is drawn towards what is wrong and sunk in many evils which
cannot come from his good creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his
source, man has also upset the relationship which should link him to his last
end, and at the same time he has broken the right order that should reign
within himself as well as between himself and other men and all creatures.
The consequences of Adam's sin for
402 All men are implicated in
Adam's sin, as St. Paul affirms: "By one man's disobedience many (that is,
all men) were made sinners": "sin came into the world through one man
and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men
sinned." The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with
the universality of salvation in Christ. "Then as one man's trespass led
to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to
acquittal and life for all men."
403 Following St. Paul, the Church
has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their
inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their
connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin
with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the
soul". Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for
the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.
404 How did the sin of Adam become
the sin of all his descendants? the whole human race is in Adam "as one
body of one man". By this "unity of the human race" all men
are implicated in Adam's sin, as all are implicated in Christ's justice. Still,
the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand.
But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and
justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the
tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human
nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which
will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission
of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. and that is why
original sin is called "sin" only in an analogical sense: it is a sin
"contracted" and not "committed" - a state and not an act.
405 Although it is proper to each
individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault
in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and
justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the
natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion
of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called
concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases
original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature,
weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual
406 The Church's teaching on the
transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth
century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against
Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant
Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will
and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he
thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. the first Protestant
reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted
man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with
the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. the
Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin
especially at the second Council of Orange (529) and at the Council of
A hard battle. . .
407 The doctrine of original sin,
closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment
of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents' sin, the
devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free.
Original sin entails "captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had
the power of death, that is, the devil". Ignorance of the fact that
man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the
areas of education, politics, social action and morals.
408 The consequences of original
sin and of all men's personal sins put the world as a whole in the sinful
condition aptly described in St. John's expression, "the sin of the
world". This expression can also refer to the negative influence
exerted on people by communal situations and social structures that are the
fruit of men's sins.
409 This dramatic situation of
"the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one" makes
man's life a battle:
The whole of man's history has been
the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells
us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the
midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at
great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving
his own inner integrity.
IV. "YOU DID NOT ABANDON HIM
TO THE POWER OF DEATH"
410 After his fall, man was not
abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way
heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall. This
passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium ("first gospel"):
the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the
serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.
411 The Christian tradition sees in
this passage an announcement of the "New Adam" who, because he
"became obedient unto death, even death on a cross", makes amends
superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam. Furthermore many Fathers
and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the
"Proto-evangelium" as Mary, the mother of Christ, the "new
Eve". Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ's victory over
sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of
God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.
412 But why did God not prevent the
first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, "Christ's
inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon's envy had
taken away." and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "There is nothing to
prevent human nature's being raised up to something greater, even after sin;
God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says,
'Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more'; and the Exsultet sings, 'O
happy fault,. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!'"
413 "God did not make
death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . It was through
the devil's envy that death entered the world" (Wis 1:13; 2:24).
414 Satan or the devil and the
other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his
plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in
their revolt against God.
415 "Although set by God in
a state of rectitude man, enticed by the evil one, abused his freedom at the
very start of history. He lifted himself up against God, and sought to attain
his goal apart from him" (GS 13 # 1).
416 By his sin Adam, as the
first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not
only for himself but for all human beings.
417 Adam and Eve transmitted to
their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence
deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called
418 As a result of original sin,
human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the
domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called
419 "We therefore hold,
with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature,
"by propagation, not by imitation" and that it is. . . 'proper to
each'" (Paul VI, CPG # 16).
420 The victory that Christ won
over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us:
"where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Rom 5:20).
421 Christians believe that
"the world has been established and kept in being by the Creator's love;
has fallen into slavery to sin but has been set free by Christ, crucified and
risen to break the power of the evil one. . ." (GS 2 # 2).
Litany of the Most Precious
Blood of Jesus
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions,