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Chapter 7: Sin and Conversion OUR MORAL LIFE IN CHRIST.

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1 Chapter 7: Sin and Conversion OUR MORAL LIFE IN CHRIST

2 ANTICIPATORY SET Write a five ‑ minute response to Bernard Nathanson’s conversion story. 1. Introduction (pp )

3 BASIC QUESTIONS  What is the origin and character of Original Sin?  What are the origin and nature of physical and moral evil? KEY IDEAS  Through Original Sin, the human race lost many of the privileges that Adam and Eve enjoyed, and, instead, each person inherits at conception a wounded nature inclined to sin.  Physical evil and moral evil both entered the world through Original Sin. Physical evil is the physical and mental suffering man experiences, sometimes because of natural causes. Moral evil is a deliberate infraction of God’s Law or a rejection of his will. Most of the suffering of the world is caused by moral evil. 1. Introduction (pp )

4 FOCUS QUESTIONS What does Nathanson mean by the “hour of the wolf”? He means the early morning, four or five a.m., when he would awaken in despair. What did he wish for during that time? To be acquitted by some invisible jury of his crimes. How is despising oneself the beginning of the quest for human dignity? Perhaps this means that if you despise yourself, you must have some standard, some sense of what you should be but are not. Despising self is the opposite of appreciating one’s dignity, but if one exists, so must the other. 1. Introduction (pp )

5 FOCUS QUESTIONS What does Nathanson mean when he says, “There had been no concrete cost to my corrupt actions”? Nathanson was sorry he had committed so many murders. Nonetheless, he made a lot of money, had not been punished, and the law actually protected him. What made Nathanson begin to believe God might exist? Nathanson began to believe that God might exist when he witnessed the peace and confidence of prolife demonstrators, even though the government, the police, foul ‑ mouthed prochoice demonstrators, and even the weather were against them. He wondered what “Force” could be directing them. 1. Introduction (pp )

6 FOCUS QUESTIONS What does Original Sin mean for an innocent, newborn baby? The baby has committed no actual sin but inherits a wounded nature. What is concupiscence? It is the condition of man’s wounded nature that is inclined to sin. What is physical evil? Physical evil is a natural and often catastrophic hardship that causes physical harm to man. Examples include tornadoes, tidal waves, and epidemics. Physical evil includes all physical and mental sufferings man experiences. 1. Introduction (pp )

7 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is moral evil? Moral evil is a deliberate infraction of God’s Law or a rejection of God’s will that harms both the acting subject and those individuals who are the objects of that act. What is the source of most of the suffering in the world? Moral evil is the source of most of the misery people suffer. 1. Introduction (pp )

8 GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share on the following question:  What is some evidence that each of us possesses a wounded nature inclined to sin? 1. Introduction (pp )

9 GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Complete the following table to list the privileges Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall and the corresponding consequences of their sin for all their descendents. 1. Introduction (pp )

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11 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the relationship between both kinds of evils and Original Sin? Both physical and moral evil entered the world with Original Sin, and much physical evil is directly caused by moral evil. Outside of physical evil that is the result of natural forces, does moral evil sometimes result in physical evil? Grinding poverty, famine, and starvation can be caused by evil regimes. Pollution, contamination, and infectious diseases can be caused by man’s failure to act as a good steward of creation. Assault causes physical harm to the victim. Extension: If one chooses to commit the moral evil of getting drunk, he or she can expect to suffer the physical evil of a hangover. 1. Introduction (pp )

12 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 1-10 (p. 174)  Workbook Questions 1-3  Read “What Is Sin?” (pp ) 1. Introduction (pp )

13 CLOSURE Write a well ‑ organized paragraph on the state of mankind before and after the fall of Adam and Eve. 1. Introduction (pp )

14 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Assume that someone rejects the existence of Original Sin. What evidence can you offer to show that Original Sin is, nevertheless, a very sensible doctrine that accounts for the state of the world today? 1. Introduction (pp )

15 ANTICIPATORY SET Incorporate the Parable of the Prodigal Son into the Opening Prayer and then complete Practical Exercise 1 on “God, freedom, sin, and repentance.” 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

16 BASIC QUESTION  What is sin? KEY IDEA  There are three classic definitions of sin: anything that violates eternal law, anything that violates the moral law, and any disordered love for created things over God. 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

17 FOCUS QUESTIONS How is all sin a form of idolatry? The sinner places the good he expects to receive before God’s will. How do sins of the flesh especially reflect inordinate attachment to created goods or selfish goals, which take precedence over the will of God? Under the influence of sensual desire, a person rejects God’s will to satisfy his or her desire. 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

18 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the effect of sin on the human heart? While sin poses as something that will satisfy the heart, in fact, it leaves the person feeling empty. Why is sin the only real evil on earth? Only sin can harm the soul. 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

19 GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Complete the following table to summarize the three classic definitions of sin. 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

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21 GUIDED EXERCISE Work with a partner to analyze Christ’s advice from the Gospel of St. Matthew in light of St. Thomas Aquinas’s definition of sin as an inordinate love for creatures:  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Mt 6:19-21) 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

22 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is dignity? Dignity is worthiness, or that which makes man deserving of respect. How does sin rob man of dignity? It lessens man’s high standing to some degree, reduces his freedom and self ‑ control, and distances him from God. Why is it an error to see sin only as a direct, malicious affront against God? Direct malice toward God is not necessary to sin. 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

23 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions (p. 174)  Practical Exercise 1 (p. 177)  Workbook Questions 4-5  Read “Sin in Sacred Scriptures” (pp ) 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

24 CLOSURE Write a well ‑ organized paragraph on the three definitions of sin using the Graphic Organizer: “Three Classic Definitions of Sin presented in this lesson.” 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

25 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Work with a partner to identify the relationship between evil and sin. 2. What Is Sin? (pp )

26 ANTICIPATORY SET Brainstorming session of examples of people sinning in the Old Testament. 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

27 BASIC QUESTION  How is sin presented in the Old and New Testaments? KEY IDEAS  The Old Testament likens sin to a child’s disobedience to a loving father and to an adulterous wife’s unfaithfulness to a loving husband.  In the New Testament, sin is divinely personalized in Christ, who underwent suffering to redeem fallen man. 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

28 FOCUS QUESTION What is the overriding notion of sin in the Old Testament? The overriding notion of sin is infidelity to a loving Father who lavishes his blessings on his people. Obedience to God’s Law demonstrates love of God and results in protection and generous assistance. Disobedience or rejection of his Law is infidelity to God’s covenant and ingratitude for his unmitigated love. 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

29 FOCUS QUESTIONS How do Isaiah and Hosea represent sin? As marital infidelity. What are the expected and the actual results of Israel’s infidelity? The expected penalty for Israel's infidelity would be cancellation of the benefits of the covenant, banishment, and death. The actual result is a merciful offer of reconciliation. 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

30 GUIDED EXERCISE Paragraph shrink on the paragraph beginning, “The reparation and Redemption...” (p. 148). 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

31 FOCUS QUESTIONS What does it mean to say that, in the New Testament, sin is more divinely personalized than in the Old Testament? Sin is divinely personalized in the New Testament in that human sin is the reason for the Incarnation and the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. What do both Testaments reveal about sin? They both reveal how sin damages man and how God ardently wants to forgive the sinner. The analogy that began as an offended lover culminates with the love of Jesus Christ, demonstrated by his Death on the Cross. 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

32 GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share on the following prompt:  Relate the Old Testament sense of sin as an action that abuses God’s love and prevents his sons and daughters from receiving his loving care to one of the classic definitions of sin. 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

33 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions (p. 174)  Practical Exercise 2 (p. 177)  Workbook Question 6  Read “Mortal and Venial Sins,” “Mortal, Grave, or Venial?” and “The Many Faces of Sin” (pp , ) 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

34 CLOSURE Write a paragraph summarizing how each of the two Testaments view sin. 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

35 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Watch the clip from the film “The Passion of the Christ” in which Christ is nailed to the Cross, and then individually complete Practical Exercise 2 in writing. 3. Sin in Sacred Scriptures (pp )

36 ANTICIPATORY SET Discuss Practical Exercise 4, whether we have an obligation to make up for evils done by our ancestors. 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

37 BASIC QUESTIONS  What is mortal sin?  What is venial sin?  In what other ways can sins be classified? KEY IDEAS  Mortal sin is a grave matter, carried out with full knowledge and with complete consent of the will. It separates one from God.  Venial sin is a lesser offense against God that does not definitively separate one from him.  Besides mortal and venial, sins may also be classified according to whether they are Original or actual, formal or material, of commission or omission, social or structural, or external or internal. 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

38 GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share:  Since it is not possible to commit a mortal sin by accident, does it follow that one cannot commit a mortal sin without a desire to offend God directly or explicitly? 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

39 GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Complete the following table to help understand the various ways of classifying sin. 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

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41 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is a venial sin? It is a less serious act that offends the love of God without separating us from him. What is mortal sin? It is a grave offense against God that destroys our relationship with him. 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

42 FOCUS QUESTIONS At what moment is a sin committed? At the moment that the person makes the act of the will directly or indirectly rejecting God’s will. Why should we confess venial sin? Because venial sin weakens our relationship with God, we should confess venial sins frequently in order to avoid mortal sin. Why should we worry about venial sins? Besides the fact that they offend God, they can lead to mortal sin and a life of vice. 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

43 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the usual means of restoring our relationship to God after committing a mortal sin? The Sacrament of Reconciliation. What are the three conditions that must be met for a sin to be mortal? It must be a grave matter carried out with full knowledge with complete consent of the will. What is the effect on the gravity of the sin if one of the three conditions for mortal sin is not met? It is a venial sin. 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

44 GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Write/Share on the following question using “Mortal, Grave, or Venial?” (p. 170):  Based on your knowledge of erroneous ethical systems such as situation ethics, consequentialism, proportionalism, and the fundamental option, why might some want to create a new class of “grave” sin, in addition to mortal and venial sin? 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

45 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions (pp )  Practical Exercises 3-7 (p. 177)  Workbook Questions 7-9  Read “Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin” (pp ) 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

46 CLOSURE Write a paragraph defining and explaining the distinction between mortal and venial sins. 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

47 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Work in groups of three or four to complete Practical Exercise 6 on the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats and sins of omission. 4. Mortal and Venial Sins (pp )

48 ANTICIPATORY SET Work with a partner to write a bullet ‑ point summary of Supplementary Reading 3 from “In the Beginning” by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger on the loss of the sense of sin. (See Supplementary Reading for a sample summary.) 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

49 BASIC QUESTIONS  What is the loss of the sense of sin?  What factors contribute to this loss? KEY IDEAS  The loss of the sense of sin is the decline of people’s belief in the reality of the evil of sin.  The general loss of the sense of sin in Western society has been influenced by moral relativism, faulty psychology, confusion between what is legal and what is moral, and secular humanism. 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

50 FOCUS QUESTIONS What do “the loss of the meaning of sin” and “the loss of sense of sin” mean? “The loss of the meaning of sin” refers to the idea that sin does not have any real importance; for example, the word “sin” is just a label to describe arbitrary norms of moral conduct. “The loss of the sense of sin” is acceptance of behavior that was once universally rejected. Why is the recovery of the sense of sin the first step in establishing the Kingdom of God? If you do not know you are a sinner and do not realize you are capable of committing any sin, you will not see your need for help or your need for God. 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

51 FOCUS QUESTION What is meant by faulty psychology contributing to the loss of the sense of sin? Psychology contributes to the loss of the sense of sin when psychological arguments are used to attack Christian morality. For example, some people claim that self ‑ control is unhealthy repression or that guilt and shame are evils, rather than reliable indicators of a healthy conscience reacting to sin. 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

52 GUIDED EXERCISE Imagine you are an African ‑ American moral relativist who was suddenly transported back to the United States during the 1830s. Runaway ‑ slave hunters capture you and sell you to a plantation owner who puts you to work.  On what basis would you argue that slavery is wrong and all of the slaves should be released? 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

53 FOCUS QUESTIONS How does confusion between what is moral and what is legal decrease the sense of sin? People falsely conclude that, if something is legal, it must be moral, whereas, in fact, an immoral law must be opposed by conscience. What is secular humanism? It is a philosophy that rejects any reference to God or religion and seeks the improvement of human society through purely human means. 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

54 FOCUS QUESTION How does secular humanism contribute to the loss of the sense of sin? While there is no inherent reason a philosophy based on reason should increase immorality, secular humanism has adopted positions opposed to the traditional understanding of the moral law. It is anti ‑ religious, rejects the idea of a universal moral law, and leaves moral decisions up to the individual seeking happiness during this life. 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

55 GUIDED EXERCISE The following is a quote from the Humanist Manifesto II (1973):  In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to contraception, abortion, and divorce should be recognized. While we do not approve of exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression, neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults. The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered “evil.” Without countenancing mindless permissiveness or unbridled promiscuity, a civilized society should be a tolerant one. Short of harming others or compelling them to do likewise, individuals should be permitted to express their sexual proclivities and pursue their lifestyles as they desire. We wish to cultivate the development of a responsible attitude toward sexuality, in which humans are not exploited as sexual objects, and in which intimacy, sensitivity, respect, and honesty in interpersonal relations are encouraged. Moral education for children and adults is an important way of developing awareness and sexual maturity.  Discuss how following this belief about human sexuality will result in a lessening of the sense of sin. 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

56 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions (p. 175)  Workbook Questions  Read “Cooperation in Evil” through “Effects of Sin,” and “God Forgives, So Why Confess?” (pp ) 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

57 CLOSURE Write a paragraph about the causes of a loss of the sense of sin examined in this lesson you consider to be most important. 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

58 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Free write on ideas of how to help young people develop a healthy fear of committing sin and a healthy loathing of sin. 5. Causes of the Loss of the Sense of Sin (pp )

59 ANTICIPATORY SET Discuss the following question to introduce the idea of cooperation with evil. What degree of responsibility does each of the following persons have in the 9/11 bombings?  The hijacker who flew one of the planes into the building.  A person who bankrolled the hijacking but was not on one of the planes.  A cleric who preached the Koran authorizes jihad against infidels.  A flight instructor who trained one of the hijackers.  A person on the street who cheered when he or she learned of the attacks. 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

60 BASIC QUESTIONS  What are formal, implicit formal, and material forms of cooperation in evil?  What are the effects of mortal and venial sins on our souls?  Under what circumstances is the Sacrament of Reconciliation necessary? KEY IDEAS  One may never explicitly or implicitly cooperate in the sin of another, but material cooperation in evil may be permitted under certain conditions.  Mortal sin destroys charity in the soul and if not confessed will result in eternal damnation. Venial sin does not destroy charity but can lead to greater sins if not checked.  Confession of mortal sins is necessary because it is part of God’s economy of salvation. 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

61 GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Complete the following table listing all the effects you can identify of mortal and venial sins on the soul. 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

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63 GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share on the following prompt: In the example of someone who stocks shelves in a store that sells contraceptives, how would the clerk’s moral responsibility change under the following conditions?  He works in a kiosk that only sells contraceptives.  He is the owner of a store that sells contraceptives. 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

64 GUIDED EXERCISE Read “God Forgives, So Why Confess?” (p. 156). Complete Practical Exercise 9 about the need for Confession. 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

65 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why may one never cooperate in the sin of another? If you do, you sin also. Define formal cooperation, and provide an example. Formal cooperation, or explicit formal cooperation, is a willing cooperation in an evil act, such as a doctor who assists another doctor in performing an abortion. What is implicit formal cooperation, and what is an example of it? Implicit formal cooperation means not directly taking part in the act but making the act easier or possible to be performed. It is consent and cooperation in the evil act. An example is voting for a law allowing same ‑ sex “marriage.” 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

66 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is material cooperation in evil? It is when one plays a role in an evil act but does not deliberately consent to it. For example, a clerk in a large department store has to stock any shelves that need stocking, including the contraceptives. Under certain conditions, a person who materially cooperates in evil is not morally responsible. What are the three conditions that allow material cooperation in an evil? (1) The evil must not be a direct result of the cooperator’s act. (2) The cooperator must not intend the evil that occurs. (3) There must be no possibility of scandal. Extension: According to St. Thomas Aquinas, scandal is a word or evil action that occasions another’s spiritual ruin. 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

67 CLOSURE Write a paragraph summarizing one of the three Basic Questions of this lesson. 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

68 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Revisit the Anticipatory Set of this lesson and reevaluate your assessments of the moral responsibility of some of the persons involved in the 9/11 attacks using the categories of formal, implicit, and material cooperation in evil.  A hijacker who flew one of the planes into the building.  A person who bankrolled the hijacking but was not on one of the planes.  A cleric who preached the Koran authorizes jihad against infidels.  A flight instructor who trained one of the hijackers.  A person on the street who cheered when he or she learned of the attacks. 6. Cooperation in Evil and Effects of Sin (pp )

69 ANTICIPATORY SET Incorporate Luke 19:1-10, the story of Zacchaeus, into the Opening Prayer. This lesson will focus on the change God wants to happen inside each person. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

70 BASIC QUESTIONS  In what sense are our sins offensive to God?  In God’s economy of salvation, how are sins forgiven?  What is man’s part in the forgiveness of sins? KEY IDEAS  The Lord is offended by sin not because he incurs a certain pain, but rather because of the damage brought upon ourselves, damage he will heal with our repentance.  Although God can forgive sins any way he wishes, his forgiveness is especially channeled through the Sacraments of Baptism and Reconciliation. All sins committed after Baptism can be forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Real contrition requires sorrow for sin and purpose of amendment. Contrition can be perfect or imperfect. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

71 GUIDED EXERCISE Mini ‑ lecture on God’s forgiveness and our freedom. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

72 GUIDED EXERCISE Work with a partner to think of three situations that a high school or college student ought to avoid if he or she really wants to follow Christ. For each situation, think of a positive alternative. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

73 FOCUS QUESTIONS What theme did St. John the Baptist and Christ share in their public preaching? The need to repent or turn away from sin is a prerequisite to accepting the Gospel. What are the apparent and real meanings of the expression that God is “offended” by our sins? The apparent meaning is that God gets upset at our offenses, just like we would. The actual meaning, however, is that he sees the injury we inflict on ourselves, something against his will. What is the mystery of God’s love? God is like the lover who suffers when his beloved is injured in any way. God is “hurt” by our self ‑ inflicted sins to the point that he was willing to undergo an infinity of suffering in his Passion and Death on the Cross. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

74 FOCUS QUESTIONS What sins cannot be forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Every sin can be forgiven. What are the two main channels of God’s forgiveness? The Sacraments of Baptism and Reconciliation. Why is it necessary to confess mortal sins in kind and number? The minister of the Sacrament has to make a judgment and needs to know the specific nature of the sin and how habitual it has become. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

75 FOCUS QUESTION Why is confession of venial sins not necessary but recommended? Venial sins do not sever one’s friendship with Christ. Nevertheless, it is good to confess them in the Sacrament of Reconciliation because it does forgive those sins and gives one grace to avoid them in the future. Extension: Frequent Confession also helps form the habit of going to Confession, so that if one unfortunately does commit a mortal sin, it is easier to confess it. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

76 GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Write/Share on the following question:  Why must contrition include the intention to never commit the sin again? 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

77 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is contrition? Contrition is sorrow for having offended God and firm purpose of avoiding sin in the future. What is the difference between perfect and imperfect contrition? Perfect contrition is sorrow that springs from love of God. Imperfect contrition is sorrow that comes from fear of bad consequences, such as punishment. If perfect contrition forgives sin, why is it necessary to go to Confession? One never knows if his or her own contrition is really perfect. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

78 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions (p. 176)  Workbook Questions  Read “The Last Things” through “Conclusion” (pp ) 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

79 CLOSURE Write a paragraph explaining conversion. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

80 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Discuss the story of the conversion of Zacchaeus in terms of repentance, perfect or imperfect contrition, and purpose of amendment. 7. Conversion and Forgiveness, The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Contrition (pp )

81 ANTICIPATORY SET Free write for a few minutes using the following question:  Why does the pilgrim Church simply not free all the souls from Purgatory as an act of mercy? 8. The Last Things (pp )

82 BASIC QUESTIONS  What is the Particular Judgment?  Can we help the souls in Purgatory?  What are Hell, Heaven, and the Parousia? KEY IDEAS  The Particular Judgment is when each soul is judged by Christ immediately upon death and then enters either Heaven (either directly or after purification) or Hell.  We can aid the souls in Purgatory through our prayers, Masses, indulgences, alms, and sacrifices.  Hell is the state of self ‑ chosen eternal separation from God, who is the only source of life and happiness. Heaven is the state of complete happiness with the rest of the blessed souls in enjoying the vision of God. The Parousia is the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgment at the end of time. 8. The Last Things (pp )

83 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why is death the end of one’s opportunity to shape his or her supernatural destiny? At death, the possibility of merit, demerit, or conversion ceases. What are the three states awaiting the souls at their judgments? The three states are Heaven, Purgatory (followed by Heaven), and Hell. 8. The Last Things (pp )

84 FOCUS QUESTIONS What are the two judgments spoken of in the New Testament? There is (1) the final meeting with Christ when he comes again, which is the Last or General Judgment, and (2) the judgment immediately after each one’s death as a consequence of one’s faith and deeds, which is the Particular Judgment. What is the Particular Judgment? Each person, in his immortal soul, stands before the judgment seat of Christ and receives his eternal reward: Heaven, a period of purification before Heaven, or eternal condemnation. 8. The Last Things (pp )

85 GUIDED EXERCISE Work with a partner to perform a focused reading of the paragraph, “Sin has a double...” (p. 163) using the following question:  Why is sin, something that does not particularly bother many souls before death, suddenly become painful in Purgatory? 8. The Last Things (pp )

86 GUIDED EXERCISE The principal happiness of Heaven consists in the vision of God. Guided meditation on the vision of God based on the ideas of goodness, truth, and beauty. 8. The Last Things (pp )

87 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is Heaven? It is the state of everlasting life in which the blessed see God, become like him in glory, and enjoy eternal happiness. Are there different degrees of happiness in Heaven? Yes. The souls in Heaven enjoy various degrees of happiness according to their degree of love and friendship with God during their earthly life. However, each person receives the full measure of happiness he or she can possess. Of what does the happiness of Heaven consist? It consists of the immediate vision of God, the full and perfect satisfaction of every desire, and in the happy society of all the blessed. 8. The Last Things (pp )

88 GUIDED EXERCISE Complete a paragraph shrink on the paragraph “Those who die...” (p. 163) in order to see how there is nothing cruel or vindictive about the “fire” of Purgatory. 8. The Last Things (pp )

89 FOCUS QUESTIONS How can one help the holy souls in Purgatory? The holy souls in Purgatory are helped both by the prayers and suffrages of the pilgrim Church, as well as by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. Why are prayers for the dead a work of piety? Piety is the fulfillment of obligation toward family members. We should pray for those in our own natural and supernatural families. 8. The Last Things (pp )

90 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why is prayer for the dead a work of mercy? The souls in Purgatory cannot merit anything for themselves; therefore, one shows mercy by asking their “time” be shortened. Why is prayer for the dead an act of charity? One is wishing for the good of others. 8. The Last Things (pp )

91 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why does Purgatory exist? The soul must be completely purified and perfected before entering Heaven. Who is in Purgatory? The souls of those who have died in grace, but having not fully paid the punishment for their sins, are in Purgatory. How long will Purgatory be in existence? It will exist until the Final Judgment. 8. The Last Things (pp )

92 FOCUS QUESTIONS Is Purgatory a place? No. It is a state of existence. The separated souls, being spirits, do not properly occupy space, although in common language we refer to Purgatory as a “place” for these souls. What does the Old Testament teach us about Purgatory? In the Second Book of Maccabees, Judas Maccabeus took up a collection among his soldiers to have a sacrifice made to atone for the dead soldiers whom, he discovered, had committed idolatry. 8. The Last Things (pp )

93 GUIDED EXERCISE Discuss Hell using the following questions:  Does God’s goodness preclude the existence of Hell?  Can God save someone who refuses to be saved?  Is it possible that someone would freely choose Hell, including freely staying there? 8. The Last Things (pp )

94 FOCUS QUESTIONS How is Purgatory reflected in the practice of the Jews of the time of Christ and today? The Jews in his time prayed for the dead, and today this traditional Jewish practice is continued in the praying of the Kaddish, prayers to reduce the time spent in Gehenna for those who have died. Why is praying for the dead an obligation of justice? Some souls may be detained in Purgatory partly through a Christian’s own fault, e.g., sins of commission or omission. 8. The Last Things (pp )

95 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the best way to help souls in Purgatory? Offer the sacrifice of the Mass for them. What are other ways to help the souls in Purgatory? Indulgences can be applied to the dead, alms given in their memory, and sacrifices offered up and penance done on their behalf. 8. The Last Things (pp )

96 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the Parousia? It is the Second Coming of Christ, at which time he will appear in power and majesty as judge and establish his Kingdom in all its fullness. What does parousia mean? It is Greek for apparition or presence. 8. The Last Things (pp )

97 FOCUS QUESTIONS What will happen at the General (Universal or Last) Judgment? Christ will personally and publicly judge every human being and their souls will be reunited to their glorified bodies. What will happen to the universe after the Final Judgment? The universe itself will be renewed as all things are perfectly re ‑ created in Christ. 8. The Last Things (pp )

98 FOCUS QUESTION What will people learn at the Final Judgment? They will understand the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation. The Last Judgment will reveal God’s justice and love. They will learn why God sometimes allowed the good to suffer and the wicked to prosper, and they will see all the good and bad effects of human actions. 8. The Last Things (pp )

99 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is Hell? It is the eternal self ‑ exclusion from communion with God and the blessed in Heaven. What are some images Christ used to describe Hell? He spoke often of Hell as “fire” and “darkness” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” as condemned souls are tormented “where their work does not die.” What is the chief punishment of Hell according to CCC 1035? The chief punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs. 8. The Last Things (pp )

100 CLOSURE Write a paragraph summarizing the Church’s doctrine on Purgatory. 8. The Last Things (pp )

101 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Work with a partner to develop at least three apologetic arguments in favor of the Church’s teachings on Purgatory. 8. The Last Things (pp )

102 THE END


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