2Four aspects of religious faith from less to more important / interior: Emotional faith;Intellectual faith;Volitional faith;Heart faith.
3Outside religion as well as inside it, faith AND reason are Reason is relative to truth; it is a way of knowing truth: understanding it, discovering it or proving it. Faith is also relative to truth; it is a way of discovering truth. No human being ever existed without some faith. We all know most of what we know by faith, that is, by belief in what others – parents, teachers, friends, writers, society – tell us.Outside religion as well as inside it, faith AND reason areroads to truth.
4Why Revelation?Aquinas: “the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man’s whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth.Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation”.
5Christ Jesus: Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son” (Heb 1:1-2).“In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word – and he has no more to say… because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son.” (St. John of the Cross)
6Jesus = Yahweh saves, Yahweh is salvation. Salvation from what? From EVIL / SUFFERING / SIN.We must reflect first of all on the truth about sin, in order to give due meaning to the truth about the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ.
7GENESIS 2: ORIGINAL PERFECTION “The LORD God formed the man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made grow every tree that was delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”.
8The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.
9Original perfection: the friendship with God through the bond of sanctifying grace, harmony with the world and interior equilibrium. The man was not worried about the prospect of decay and death.The “dominion” over the world, which God gave man, was realized first of all in man himself, as dominion over himself. In this self-dominion and equilibrium he had the integrity of existence, in the sense that man was intact and well-ordered in all his being.He was free from disordered desires that inclines him to the pleasures of the senses, to coveting earthly goods, and to assert himself against the dictates of reason.
10The tree of knowledge and the prohibition: rational limits to human freedom, all for their good. God addresses human freedom in a rational way, making them aware of the essential order of existence.
12Genesis 3: The Temptation “Now the snake was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden’?” The woman answered the snake: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, or else you will die.’” But the snake said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil.” The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
13When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. The LORD God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you? He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.” Then God asked: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat? The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” The LORD God then asked the woman: What is this you have done? The woman answered, “The snake tricked me, so I ate it.”
15Sin: deformation of good John Paul II: Sin contains the rejection of God’s will, of the truth and holiness of God and of his fatherly goodness, as they are already revealed in the work of creation, and above all in the creation of the rational and free beings who are made “in the image and likeness” of the Creator. It is precisely this “image and likeness” that is used against God, when the rational being of his own free will rejects the finality which God has established for the existence and life of the creature. Sin therefore contains a particularly deep deformation of the created good, especially in a being that, like man, is the image and likeness of God.
17Sin: To be like God without God St. Augustine: “love of self to the point of contempt of God”.Sin as disobedience and disbelief. Every sin is an expression of the “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thess 2:7).
18Vatican II about the effects of sin “What divine revelation makes known to us agrees with experience. Examining his heart, man finds that he has inclinations toward evil too, and is engulfed by manifold ills which cannot come from his good Creator.Often refusing to acknowledge God as his beginning, man has disrupted also his proper relationship to his own ultimate goal as well as his whole relationship toward himself and others and all created things. Therefore man is split within himself.As a result, all of human life, whether individual or collective, shows itself to be a dramatic struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. Indeed, man finds that by himself he is incapable of battling the assaults of evil successfully, so that everyone feels as though he is bound by chains.”
19But there’s hope!St. Paul: where sin increased, grace abounded all the more (Rom 5:20).Proto-gospel in Genesis: God said to the snake, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel” (Gen 3:15).
20Promise of redemptionIV Eucharistic prayer: “We give you praise, Father most holy, for you are great and you have fashioned all your works in wisdom and in love. You formed man in your own image and entrusted the whole world to his care, so that in serving you alone, the Creator, he might have dominion over all the creatures. And when through disobedience he had lost your friendship, you did not abandon him to the domain of death. For you came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find you.”