[quote="LittleSoldier, post:17, topic:292443"]
Thank you! I have a problem comprehending most of what is written on NewAdvent but I did get through the entire section and it explained a lot. First, it shows how those in the Church have struggled to understand and explain the Passion of Christ and I appreciate those efforts. I have taken Church teaching for granted. Second, it explains Atonement; a term I admit I had never run across before this thread.
I like the conclusion:
As both Abelard and Bernard remind us, the Atonement is the work of love. It is essentially a sacrifice, the one supreme sacrifice of which the rest were but types and figures. And, as St. Augustine teaches us, the outward rite of Sacrifice is the sacrament, or sacred sign, of the invisible sacrifice of the heart. It was by this inward sacrifice of obedience unto death, by this perfect love with which He laid down his life for His friends, that Christ paid the debt to justice, and taught us by His example, and drew all things to Himself; it was by this that He wrought our Atonement and Reconciliation with God, "making peace through the blood of His Cross".
It is love. It seems that everything goes back to this and that makes sense because God is Love. I now appreciate Jesus' sacrifice even more.
IMO the Atonement can do two main things with the help of the grace that it won, with the grace that it is: 1) it convicts me of sin; it’s hard to go around presuming my own righteousness (which I prefer to do) when someone had to actually die for me because of my un*righteousness-my sin-and, simultaneously, 2) it convinces me of the sheer love and acceptance and forgiveness of God in spite* of my unrighteousness.
He knew all along what we need-which is Himself, the cornerstone the builders rejected, the cornerstone our first parents mistrusted and spurned at the Fall, the One mankind “hated without reason”.
The Atonement proves God’s existence, His trustworthiness, *His *unconditional love. Our part is only to accept the package-to accept Him, reversing the decision, within ourselves, that A&E made, no longer lost but becoming found once again.