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Offline Matthew

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Catechism Lessons 7 & 9
« on: March 23, 2008, 08:51:53 PM »
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  • LESSON 7: HUMAN BEINGS AND THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

    "Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth:  where the rust, and moth
    consume, and where thieves break through and steal.  But lay up to
    yourselves treasures in Heaven:  Where neither the rust nor moth doth
    consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.  For where thy
    treasure is, there is thy heart also."   (Matthew 6:19-21)

    1. What is a human being?
        A creature who has a body and soul.
    "Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, thou hast crowned him
    with glory and honor."    (Psalm 8:6)

    2. What is the soul?
        It is the spiritual part of man, that part which will never die.
    "God said, 'Let us make man to our image and likeness.'"    (Genesis 1:26)

    3. Where is your soul?
        In every part of you that is alive.

    4. Is your soul real?
        Yes, just as real as your body.

    5. How do you know you have a soul?
        You can do spiritual things:  You can think, do things without being
    forced, decide not to do things, make things, enjoy a joke or a book or a
    party, talk, work out mathematical problems, etc...  An animal cannot do any
    of these things.  That which makes you able to do them is your soul.

    6. Where did your soul come from?
        God created your soul and joined it to the tiny body in your mother's
    womb.

    "And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth:  and breathed into
    his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul."    (Genesis 2:7)

    7. How long will your soul and body stay together?
        Until death, which is the separation of body and soul.

    "And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the spirit
    return to God Who gave it."    (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
    "Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour."    (Matthew
    28:13)

    8. What will happen to your body when you die?
        It will rot away to the earth from which it came.

    "For dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return."    (Genesis 3:19)

    9. What will happen to your soul when you die?
        It will be judged by God and will go to Heaven, to Purgatory or to Hell.

    "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment."
    (Hebrews 9:27)

    10. Will your soul ever be joined to your body again?
        Yes, on Judgment Day God will call your body back from the earth and
    join it to your soul.  This will be the resurrection of the body at the end
    of the world.

    "Behold, I tell you a mystery.  We shall all indeed rise again:  but we
    shall not all be changed.  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
    last trumpet:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again
    incorruptible."    (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

    11. After the Resurrection, will your soul and body be always together?
        Yes, both body and soul will be together forever, either in Heaven or
    Hell.

    "For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that
    every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath
    done, whether it be good or evil."    (2 Corinthians 5:10)

      12. When will Judgment Day be?
        Nobody but God knows this.

    "But of that day and hour no one knoweth, no not the angels of heaven, but
    the Father alone."    (Matthew 24:36)

    13. How should you prepare for Judgment Day?
        Pray constantly, obey all of God's commandments, and do penance for your
    sins.

    "And take heed to yourselves, lest perhaps your hearts be overcharged with
    surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and that day come
    upon you suddenly.  For as a snare shall it come upon all that sit upon the
    face of the whole earth.  Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that
    you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come, and
    to stand before the Son of man."    (Luke 21:36)

    14. What, then is the true purpose of life?
        To live your life according to God's plan and thus to save your soul.

    "For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the
    loss of his soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
    (Mark 8:36-37)

    "Behold now you that say:  Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city,
    and there we will spend a year, and will traffic, and make our gain.
    Whereas you know not what shall happen tomorrow.  For what is your life?  It
    is a vapor which appears for a little while, and afterwards shall vanish
    away.  For that you should say:  If the Lord will, and if we shall live, we
    will do this or that."    (James 4:13-15)


    LESSON 8: SANCTIFYING GRACE

    "And Jesus addressed them, and spoke to them again in parables, saying,
    "The kingdom of Heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his
    son...  And the marriage was filled with guests.  And the king went in to
    see the guests:  And he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment.
    And he saith to him:  Friend, how camest thou in hither not having on a
    wedding garment?  But he was silent.  Then the king said to the waiters:
    Bind his hands and feet and cast him into the exterior darkness:  There
    shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."  (Matthew 22:1-12)

    1. Why did God make you?
        God made you to know, love and serve Him in this world so that you might
    share in His happiness in Heaven.

    2. Are mere human beings equipped to share God's happiness?
        No, because God has a completely different kind of life.
    To share in the happiness of another, it is necessary to have the same kind
    of life.  A dog, for example, cannot enjoy a book because man has a higher
    kind of life than the dog.

    3. How is God's life a higher kind of life than that of man?
        God's life is unlimited, uncreated and independent, whereas, human life
    is very limited, created by God and absolutely dependent on Him.

    "For in Him we live, and move, and are."    (Acts 17:28)

    4. What, then, is needed to share in God's happiness?
        A new kind of life, called Sanctifying Grace.

    5. What is Sanctifying Grace?
        A sharing in the life of God, which raises you to God's level and gives
    you the power to share in His happiness.

    "By whom He hath given us the most great and precious promises:  that by
    these you may be made partakers of the divine nature."    (2 Peter 1:4)

    6. Does Sanctifying Grace make you the same as God?
        No, only like God, because Sanctifying Grace is a created sharing in the
    life of God.
    You are still a human being, but one that is equipped to live in Heaven.

    7. Can you get to Heaven without Sanctifying Grace?
        No, it is absolutely impossible to live in Heaven without Sanctifying
    Grace.
    The wedding garment in the parable (Matthew 22:10-13) is Sanctifying Grace.
    The banquet hall is Heaven, and the king is God.  The attendants are the
    Angels, and the darkness outside is Hell.

    8. Is there Sanctifying Grace in your soul when you are born?
        No, all human beings are created without Sanctifying Grace.

    "For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.  Being justified freely
    by His grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus."    (Romans
    3:23-24)

    9. How can you get Sanctifying Grace?
        Baptism puts Sanctifying Grace into your soul for the first time.

    "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter
    into the kingdom of God."    (John 3:5)

    10. Can you make Sanctifying Grace grow in your soul?
        Yes, chiefly by receiving Holy Communion and the other Sacraments, and
    by prayer and good works.

    "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus
    Christ."    (2 Peter 3:18)

    11. Can you lose Sanctifying Grace?
        Yes, by committing a serious sin (that is, a mortal sin) -- one that
    destroys God's life in your soul.

    "But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death."    (James 1:15)

    12. Can you feel Sanctifying Grace in your soul?
        No, because Sanctifying Grace is completely spiritual.
    It is impossible to experience something spiritual, such as grace, a soul,
    or an angel, with one of the five senses.

    13. Does a religious feeling indicate Sanctifying Grace in the soul?
        No, nor does the absence of such a feeling indicate the absence of
    Sanctifying Grace.
    A person being baptized may not experience a religious feeling but can be
    morally certain from the promise of Christ that Baptism is putting
    Sanctifying Grace into his soul.

    PRACTICAL POINTS

    1. Adam and Eve were created with Sanctifying Grace in their souls.  After
    them, the only other human being created with Sanctifying Grace was the
    Blessed Virgin, Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
    2. A soul in the state of Grace has two kinds of life:  Human life, and the
    sharing in God's life.  A mortal sin kills (or drives out) only the
    Sanctifying Grace.  Nothing can kill the human life of the soul, which is
    immortal.
    3. Babies who die without being baptized cannot go to Heaven because they
    die without Sanctifying Grace.  The Church has never taught, as an official
    doctrine, what happens to the souls of unbaptized infants.  However,
    Catholic books approved by the Church have consistently taught that
    unbaptized babies probably go to a place of natural happiness in the next
    world called Limbo.  God is not cruel or unjust in not allowing them to
    enter Heaven because Sanctifying Grace is a gift and no one has a right to a
    gift.  Man does not have a natural right to Heaven, which is a supernatural
    end for man.  If a baby dies without Baptism, the parents should put the
    matter in God's hands and trust in His wisdom and goodness.
    4. Adults who neglect to be baptized do not go to Limbo but to Hell.

    ("A Brief Catechism for Adults" is available from www.tanbooks.com)
    Start your Amazon.com session by clicking this link, and my family and I get a commission on your purchase!

     

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