God's mercy and original Sin


#1

Disclaimer: I am a cradle catholic struggling to get back to God. I have been a terrible sinner and am having issues ...

However, I have been researching eastern orthodoxy as well. In terms of the concept of original sin and our inheritance of Adam's sin, how does that not interefer with God's mercy? if we have to debate what happens to unbaptized babies, are we not at least suggesting that God might not have mercy on these most innocent souls because we didn't perform a ceremony cleansing them of someone else's sin?

I'm certain that there is a good explanation, or that I am (more likely) misunderstanding something here, but I don't know what it is...


#2

Hi,

The really short version is that it doesn't interfere with God's mercy, but we cannot be absolutely certain what that means for the children involved. It may mean that God saves them all in a blanket act. It may be that God saves each one, but in an individual case by case determination. Or it may be that He doesn't.

My attempt to explain my understanding:

By his sin, Adam damaged his nature which we inherit. We do not inherit guilt for his sin in the same way that we are guilty of our own sin - babies are not guilty of eating the fruit.

But part of the damage that was done to human nature is a removal from our natural state of grace - we are no longer born in a state of friendship with God.

This is why the idea of limbo came up - babies committed no sin, so they suffer no punishment in hell, but they are not in a state of grace so they do not enter the beatific vision. This idea came about because there must be justice and mercy: no one deserves heaven, and the children experience perfect natural happiness because there is nothing they need to be punished for.

And I think that idea would be just. That is what I, personally, would expect to happen in the absence of extraordinary action by God. However, because we know that God is merciful, and because we know that God loves us all, especially children, we can have a reasonable hope that He will take such extraordinary action and save such children before they die.

Key points - we cannot expect extraordinary mercy from God, as something that these people deserve to receive. No one deserves anything from God, aside from what God has decided to give him. So in this way we cannot say that God somehow must save infants, or definitely will. Mercy is by definition undeserved, if we knew that the infants deserved special treatment and would certainly receive it, it'd be a matter of justice not mercy.

But on the other hand we know that God is merciful and does dispense His mercy liberally, and so we can have a very real hope - a hope that borders on expectation - that God will save infants. We just cannot say that He is required to.

Or in short - Children will not be punished for their fathers' sin, though they will suffer effects of it. Thus even if a child dies and if God does not take him to heaven, the child will not suffer punishments because he did not do anything to be punished for. However, I hope and almost expect that God will mercifully save unbaptized infants, and this is a reasonable hope to have. But however reasonable such a hope appears, we cannot count on God to save people outside of the ways He has said He will, and so we cannot say that we know that He will save unbaptized infants.


#3

[quote="RKO, post:1, topic:307044"]
Disclaimer: I am a cradle catholic struggling to get back to God. I have been a terrible sinner and am having issues ...

However, I have been researching eastern orthodoxy as well. In terms of the concept of original sin and our inheritance of Adam's sin, how does that not interefer with God's mercy? if we have to debate what happens to unbaptized babies, are we not at least suggesting that God might not have mercy on these most innocent souls because we didn't perform a ceremony cleansing them of someone else's sin?

I'm certain that there is a good explanation, or that I am (more likely) misunderstanding something here, but I don't know what it is...

[/quote]

To begin with we are taught by Jesus that we are all to be baptised in order to erase Original Sin.

The RCC cannot teach that we can be baptised or not to enter heaven, they are teaching the words given to us by Christ.

Now look at this another way, do you feel the Church should or could teach that you do not have to be baptised to enter heaven? Think about that for a minute and answer a simple yes or no.

Then ask yourself what does the RCC teach. The RCC teaches that all must be Baptised in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in order to enter heaven.

Now the RCC teaches Baptism is the ordinary means given to us by Christ to have Original Sin removed.

Next does the RCC teach that you will go to hell if you are not baptised in ordinary means? No they do not. The RCC teaches that all must be baptised in order to enter heaven. Where did they get this from? Christ!

Now with that said the Church teaches they know of no other Ordinary means of being cleansed from Original Sin but Baptism, But they also state God is not held to his commands, only the Priest's are. Do you see what I am saying?

Anotherwards the Church cannot and willnot say anyone who is NOT baptised cannot go to heaven, God answers to no one. But they can only teach what they know.

IF someone can enter into heaven without Baptism it was not revealed to the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit yet, Or never will be revealed. Just because its not revealed does not mean its not possible.

That is why the CHurch teaches All is possible by the mercy of Christ. SO we can choose to rely on that mercy.

BUt the point is the Church cannot teach something that is not revealed.


#4

First.
God’s mercy to Adam was that God mercifully did not consider Adam’s sin as beyond any reparation. This was extremely merciful to us since all future humanity was in Adam "as one body of one man. We know by revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. When Adam ceased to live in free submission to his Creator, he lost his original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. (Sources: St. Thomas Aquinas, DeMalo 4,1 and paragraph 404 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.)

Adam, being the creature, had no way of offering retribution for his extremely serious sin of preferring himself over his Creator. He was not on the level of the Creator. Neither could his descendants. Thus, we contracted Original Sin through the transmission of Adam’s wounded human nature.

God, in His Divine mercy, did not abandon humankind. He promised victory over death and the restoration of humankind. In Chapter 3 of Genesis, this is known as the Protoevangelium (“first gospel”). This is the first announcement of our Messiah and Redeemer. It points to a battle between the serpent (devil) and the Woman and her descendant’s final victory of overcoming death on the cross. Jesus Christ, True Man as He assumed our human nature, could by His obedience repair the damage caused by Adam’s disobedience. Jesus Christ, True God, met the criteria for reconciliation between a creature and his Creator. (Sources: CCC 410-411; Genesis 3: 9, 15; and Romans 5: 12-21) Jesus obediently hung bleeding on a cross in order to make amends for the disobedience of our original human ancestor.

Second.
Individual Catholics can debate anything about everything, including unbaptized babies. The key is to check the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.

CCC 1261 specifically entrusts children who have died without Baptism to the great mercy of God. It cites Jesus’s tenderness toward children which caused Him to say: “Let the children come to Me, do not hinder them,” (Mark 10: 13-16) If only we could be as pure as tiny children.


#5

[quote="rinnie, post:3, topic:307044"]
To begin with we are taught by Jesus that we are all to be baptised in order to erase Original Sin.

The RCC cannot teach that we can be baptised or not to enter heaven, they are teaching the words given to us by Christ.

Now look at this another way, do you feel the Church should or could teach that you do not have to be baptised to enter heaven? Think about that for a minute and answer a simple yes or no.

Then ask yourself what does the RCC teach. The RCC teaches that all must be Baptised in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in order to enter heaven.

Now the RCC teaches Baptism is the ordinary means given to us by Christ to have Original Sin removed.

Next does the RCC teach that you will go to hell if you are not baptised in ordinary means? No they do not. The RCC teaches that all must be baptised in order to enter heaven. Where did they get this from? Christ!

Now with that said the Church teaches they know of no other Ordinary means of being cleansed from Original Sin but Baptism, But they also state God is not held to his commands, only the Priest's are. Do you see what I am saying?

Anotherwards the Church cannot and willnot say anyone who is NOT baptised cannot go to heaven, God answers to no one. But they can only teach what they know.

IF someone can enter into heaven without Baptism it was not revealed to the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit yet, Or never will be revealed. Just because its not revealed does not mean its not possible.

That is why the CHurch teaches All is possible by the mercy of Christ. SO we can choose to rely on that mercy.

BUt the point is the Church cannot teach something that is not revealed.

[/quote]

Note:

The idea of Limbo was a speculation, never a doctrine of the Catholic Church.
It was a human idea of guessing God's actions without considering that God instituted the Sacrament of Baptism. It is common sense that the Creator is not under the jurisdiction of His created creatures. (Source: last line of CCC 1257)


#6

[quote="Iron_Donkey, post:2, topic:307044"]
Hi,

The really short version is that it doesn't interfere with God's mercy, but we cannot be absolutely certain what that means for the children involved. It may mean that God saves them all in a blanket act. It may be that God saves each one, but in an individual case by case determination. Or it may be that He doesn't.

My attempt to explain my understanding:

By his sin, Adam damaged his nature which we inherit. We do not inherit guilt for his sin in the same way that we are guilty of our own sin - babies are not guilty of eating the fruit.

But part of the damage that was done to human nature is a removal from our natural state of grace - we are no longer born in a state of friendship with God.

This is why the idea of limbo came up - babies committed no sin, so they suffer no punishment in hell, but they are not in a state of grace so they do not enter the beatific vision. This idea came about because there must be justice and mercy: no one deserves heaven, and the children experience perfect natural happiness because there is nothing they need to be punished for.

And I think that idea would be just. That is what I, personally, would expect to happen in the absence of extraordinary action by God. However, because we know that God is merciful, and because we know that God loves us all, especially children, we can have a reasonable hope that He will take such extraordinary action and save such children before they die.

Key points - we cannot expect extraordinary mercy from God, as something that these people deserve to receive. No one deserves anything from God, aside from what God has decided to give him. So in this way we cannot say that God somehow must save infants, or definitely will. Mercy is by definition undeserved, if we knew that the infants deserved special treatment and would certainly receive it, it'd be a matter of justice not mercy.

But on the other hand we know that God is merciful and does dispense His mercy liberally, and so we can have a very real hope - a hope that borders on expectation - that God will save infants. We just cannot say that He is required to.

Or in short - Children will not be punished for their fathers' sin, though they will suffer effects of it. Thus even if a child dies and if God does not take him to heaven, the child will not suffer punishments because he did not do anything to be punished for. However, I hope and almost expect that God will mercifully save unbaptized infants, and this is a reasonable hope to have. But however reasonable such a hope appears, we cannot count on God to save people outside of the ways He has said He will, and so we cannot say that we know that He will save unbaptized infants.

[/quote]

Note:
The idea of Limbo was a speculation, never a doctrine of the Catholic Church.
It was a human idea of guessing God's actions without considering that God instituted the Sacrament of Baptism. It is common sense that the Creator is not under the jurisdiction of His creation. (Source: last line of CCC 1257 & CCC 1261)


#7

I am trying to come to terms with it. But I can’t help thinking that Adam made a conscious choice to commit a sin, the same choice that I have made so many times. It sure seems to me that man has this predilection to sin, and Adam is no different than me.

The possibility that the most innocent of all, except for Jesus and Mary, should not enjoy the beatific vision because of Adam’s sin seems to imply a lack of Mercy on God’s part. Not because it seems “mean to babies,” but because I don’t understand why one man’s sin damns the rest.

And if the argument is that man didn’t have a predilection to sin prior to Adam’s sin seems to be a non-starter. He faced a temptation and a choice and made the wrong decision. How is his particular sin so horrendous as to damn all of humanity? Seems to me that there have been much worse sins committed since.

Again, PLEASE don’t take this as me trying to incite something on this forum, I promise you I am not. I am trying to understand these things that I hadn’t ever considered before.

Also, this is not in my mind a “Catholic versus Orthodoxy” thing. I don’t think my thinking on it is congruent with orthodoxy either…


#8

From the Catholic Answers Library:

"Now, it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the teaching authority of the Church proposed with regard to original sin which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam in which through generation is passed onto all and is in everyone as his own" (Humani Generis 37).

"The story of the creation and fall of man is a true one, even if not written entirely according to modern literary techniques. The Catechism states, "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" (CCC 390)."

bible.cc/acts/17-30.htm
bible.cc/acts/17-31.htm

Hope this helps,
Ed


#9

[quote="RKO, post:7, topic:307044"]
The possibility that the most innocent of all, except for Jesus and Mary, should not enjoy the beatific vision because of Adam's sin seems to imply a lack of Mercy on God's part.

[/quote]

It might. If it does, then they will be saved, because there is no lack of mercy. The Catholic Church is hopeful that God's mercy will extend to these children, it just does not know that it does and cannot claim that it knows for certain that it should. (Though if it should, it will.)

You can think of this as being extra careful if you like. Common thought at the moment is that God probably saves them, but as this is not explicitly revealed, or a direct deduction from anything that is explicitly revealed, we have to be careful.

The thing is, despite how it may seem, and how strongly it may seem, that this should happen, we just don't know. We cannot claim to perfectly understand God's mercy or His justice, and from what we've been told we cannot be certain, and we cannot claim that we know that God must save them.

But we can hope that He will, and very nearly expect it. I would be surprised to learn that God does not do so - but again, there is no sure reason to know that I won't simply be surprised later on.

Very true, and I meant to mention this explicitly but forgot. I brought limbo up only because it was a guess that was commonly favored for some time and would (I personally think) be a reasonable guess as to what would happen should God not save unbaptized infants. The theory of limbo as a sort of default "this is what happens if God does not intervene in ways we have no way of knowing about," with of course the option of God doing His own thing and directly saving infants or whatever, seems like an... elegant, in the mathematical sense, solution. It just makes sense, and seems to work well and simply with everything we know.

But it is certainly true that 1) limbo was only ever a theory and could be entirely wrong, and 2) even if the limbo would be the default destination for unbaptized infants, God could simply act in ways we are not aware of to save all infants and leave us a theoretically possible but empty state of limbo.

I favor option 2 (limbo is possible but likely and hopefully empty), but again this sort of thing is all guesswork. As the Catechism says, we entrust these infants to the mercy of God.


#10

[quote="RKO, post:7, topic:307044"]
I am trying to come to terms with it. But I can't help thinking that Adam made a conscious choice to commit a sin, the same choice that I have made so many times. It sure seems to me that man has this predilection to sin, and Adam is no different than me.

[/quote]

Post 4 explains that you and I do not have the same choice to sin as did Adam. It refers to an essential point which has somehow been lost in current Catholic education. Another lost point is that before Adam sinned, he did not have an inherent predilection to sin.

The possibility that the most innocent of all, except for Jesus and Mary, should not enjoy the beatific vision because of Adam's sin seems to imply a lack of Mercy on God's part.

Please see note in post 5 and explanation in post 4.

Not because it seems "mean to babies," but because I don't understand why one man's sin damns the rest.

Paragraphs 402 - 409 offer a good catechesis on this point. One can enter the Catechism at this link to CCC 402.

And if the argument is that man didn't have a predilection to sin prior to Adam's sin seems to be a non-starter.

Actually, that argument is the real starter because it explains human nature as it was originally created by God.

He faced a temptation and a choice and made the wrong decision. How is his particular sin so horrendous as to damn all of humanity? Seems to me that there have been much worse sins committed since.

The difference is that we are not the first human being and thus parent of all humanity.
Also, all humanity was not damned.

Again, PLEASE don't take this as me trying to incite something on this forum, I promise you I am not. I am trying to understand these things that I hadn't ever considered before.

You are trying to understand things which many, not all, Catholics have never considered, judging by the type of questions on CAF. You are to be commended for your courage. :D

Keep questioning. You may phrase it differently so as to get a clearer answer. Or your wording may trigger in me a different way to explain Catholic doctrine.


#11

[quote="RKO, post:7, topic:307044"]
I am trying to come to terms with it. But I can't help thinking that Adam made a conscious choice to commit a sin, the same choice that I have made so many times. It sure seems to me that man has this predilection to sin, and Adam is no different than me.

The possibility that the most innocent of all, except for Jesus and Mary, should not enjoy the beatific vision because of Adam's sin seems to imply a lack of Mercy on God's part. Not because it seems "mean to babies," but because I don't understand why one man's sin damns the rest.

And if the argument is that man didn't have a predilection to sin prior to Adam's sin seems to be a non-starter. He faced a temptation and a choice and made the wrong decision. How is his particular sin so horrendous as to damn all of humanity? Seems to me that there have been much worse sins committed since.

Again, PLEASE don't take this as me trying to incite something on this forum, I promise you I am not. I am trying to understand these things that I hadn't ever considered before.

Also, this is not in my mind a "Catholic versus Orthodoxy" thing. I don't think my thinking on it is congruent with orthodoxy either...

[/quote]

I think I am seeing where your problem with this is, it took me years to truly understand the meaning of the sin of Adam and Eve myself.

See there is a True lesson here that people seem to miss.

Adam and Eve were told by God DO NOT eat from the forbidden tree. As you yourself stated they had free will, and they choose to turn away from God.

Here is the part I believe you are missing. They were thrown out of the Garden of Eden not for the SIN, but for refusing to REPENT!!

Go back and read it again, Eve first said the devil made me do it,. Now lets go to Adam what did he do when God came? He went and hid? Why? Guilt! Even Eve knew better she said to the Devil God told me not to. The devil said do it anyway. Just like life, who are we going to follow the devil or God. She choose the devil.

Then after Adam hid, he said EVE made me do it, then when that did not work he tried to blame his sin on God, He said you gave her to me.

Now rewind to today, God took away original sin by the cross. But not actual sin, And if we refuse to repent we will be just like Adam and Eve. We will REFUSE to repent our sin.

But Original sin is wiped away by Baptism, Christ made that possible. It is a lesson to us all to not let history repeat itself.

If Eve and Adam would have said Please forgive me Lord I have sinned. But they did not. They refused to repent the sin.

God came back and forgave us for that sin, Lets learn the lesson lets not let History repeat itself. Lets not let the O.T. become the N.T. and leave this world with un-repented sin. We want Back IN the heaven.


#12

[quote="RKO, post:7, topic:307044"]
I am trying to come to terms with it. But I can't help thinking that Adam made a conscious choice to commit a sin, the same choice that I have made so many times. It sure seems to me that man has this predilection to sin, and Adam is no different than me.

The possibility that the most innocent of all, except for Jesus and Mary, should not enjoy the beatific vision because of Adam's sin seems to imply a lack of Mercy on God's part. Not because it seems "mean to babies," but because I don't understand why one man's sin damns the rest.

And if the argument is that man didn't have a predilection to sin prior to Adam's sin seems to be a non-starter. He faced a temptation and a choice and made the wrong decision. How is his particular sin so horrendous as to damn all of humanity? Seems to me that there have been much worse sins committed since.

Again, PLEASE don't take this as me trying to incite something on this forum, I promise you I am not. I am trying to understand these things that I hadn't ever considered before.

Also, this is not in my mind a "Catholic versus Orthodoxy" thing. I don't think my thinking on it is congruent with orthodoxy either...

[/quote]

Also go back and really read that Chapter now. I promise you will see it.

Look how many chances Adam had to repent.

God said why are you hiding? Now we both know God knew EXACTLY why they we hiding. He gave them tons of chances to repent, but they refused.

God said you can have everything here but the Tree. They both knew the rules.

If God never told them they could NOT eat from the tree, then they could be off the hook, but he did. He told them.

Just like if you steal, or I tell you to take something, You know God said do not steal. No matter how I try to trick you, your heart knows you should not do it. It was the same with Adam and Eve. They made a choice.


#13

Not only am I occasionally a cranky (feminine of snarky) granny, but I am also stubborn. I cannot see limbo as a possibility since we are created in the image of God which means that our human nature can share in God’s divine life. Of course, we have the freedom to refuse God’s invitation to eternal joy.

A baby is not humanly mature enough to make an informed judgment to freely and knowingly reject the presence of God. This does not mean that God is not present to the baby. CCC 1260 says: “Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.” (See footnote 63 for citation) I do realize that the “all” in CCC 1260 refers mainly to adults. However, the baby has the same nature, body and soul, as an adult; thus, it is easy to picture God bringing the baby to Himself.

As I have often advised – Never underestimate the power of God to touch a soul and never underestimate the power of the soul to reach out to God.


#14

[quote="grannymh, post:10, topic:307044"]
Post 4 explains that you and I do not have the same choice to sin as did Adam. It refers to an essential point which has somehow been lost in current Catholic education. Another lost point is that before Adam sinned, he did not have an inherent predilection to sin.

Please see note in post 5 and explanation in post 4.

[/quote]

I guess by my term "predilection to sin" I meant the "option and temptation" to sin. Wouldn't that be inherent in "free will?" If you are put on earth, and there are temptations everywhere AND you have the free will to do it or not do it, and millions of people all with the temptations and the free will to choose them, how can it be even considered that no one will succumb to temptation? Assuming God KNEW that man would succumb, why is a concept like original sin even necessary? In order to create someone with free will, they have to be free to do right or wrong.
God is omnipotent, he knew we would fail him. He knew that he would send his Son to be a sacrifice for our sins. So in my mind we had original sin even before God created Adam because He knew he was creating a species of sinful people who would each and every one fail him.

So to me, "Original Sin" is a metaphor for the fact that God created us, knowing we would all sin and need redemption. we were marked for sin before we were created, and god's Mercy is in our asking for forgiveness.

I think we may all be close to the same page now, no?


#15

[quote="RKO, post:1, topic:307044"]
However, I have been researching eastern orthodoxy as well. In terms of the concept of original sin and our inheritance of Adam's sin, how does that not interefer with God's mercy? if we have to debate what happens to unbaptized babies, are we not at least suggesting that God might not have mercy on these most innocent souls because we didn't perform a ceremony cleansing them of someone else's sin?

[/quote]

Original sin isn't actual sin, so it's not a thing you're "guilty" of and therefore not a thing you're "punished" for.

I think it's easier to understand original sin in martial terms rather than medical ones (as, I understand, the Orthodox prefer). Through original sin, Adam and Eve declared war on God. Or, more appropriately, they joined the ongoing war against God as co-belligerents of Satan.

So when we are born, it is just a given that we are born into the enemy camp. That's all. Baptism is the white flag of surrender whereby we are "reclaimed for Christ," i.e., we defect from the army of darkness and are conscripted into the army of light -- of Him who is Light Itself. This is why baptism is necessary for Heaven, and those who unbaptized cannot enter it: because they serve the Enemy.

Now, baptism of some form is necessary to enter Heaven. Water is the normative form but not the only form. We know of at least two other forms, blood and desire. There may be others, and it is reasonable, I think, to suppose that angels may be able to baptize. Whether or not God intercedes on their behalf with the sacraments they lack through no fault of their own, we don't know. This is why parents sin so grievously who deliberately deny their children baptism.

But since, as I said, original sin isn't actual sin, you don't go to Hell just for original sin, except in the loose sense that Hell means not-Heaven. Worst case, something like Limbo. Best case, baptism in spirit.


#16

[quote="rinnie, post:11, topic:307044"]
I think I am seeing where your problem with this is, it took me years to truly understand the meaning of the sin of Adam and Eve myself.

See there is a True lesson here that people seem to miss.

Adam and Eve were told by God DO NOT eat from the forbidden tree. As you yourself stated they had free will, and they choose to turn away from God.

Here is the part I believe you are missing. They were thrown out of the Garden of Eden not for the SIN, but for refusing to REPENT!!

[/quote]

According to Catholicism, the issue is not "refusing to repent" per se. The issue is that Adam had a specific relationship with God. Which relationship had a specific requirement. Which requirement Adam ignored which permanently shattered man's original relationship with God. Repenting was too late because the effects of Adam's action had already occurred.

Apparently, some Catholics have not been taught that according to the Catholic Church, Genesis 3: 4 refers to the requirement that the only way for Adam as creature, could remain in relationship with God was to live in free submission to God as his Creator. Notice that the devil temps Adam, through Eve, with the possibility of being like gods........

Being like God is certainly a big step up from living in submission to God. Adam's choice of that "big step up" was serious enough to take away Adam's original state of holiness. While Adam did need personal forgiveness, his human nature had been wounded. It is this wounded human nature which is transmitted by propagation. (Source: CCC 396-409)

"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." (CCC 389)


#17

Please note that the Catholic Church has never declared that Original Sin is a metaphor.


#18

[quote="RKO, post:14, topic:307044"]
I guess by my term "predilection to sin" I meant the "option and temptation" to sin.

[/quote]

The "predilection to sin" is also known as "concupiscence" of wounded human nature. Before the Fall, Adam, because of his original holiness and justice, had mastery of self. He was free from the triple concupiscence that would subjugate him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness of earthly goods, and self-assertion contrary to the dictates of reason. This harmony of Adam's nature was lost when he preferred himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status, and therefore against his own good. (Sources: CCC 377; CCC 379; and CCC 398)

If you are put on earth, and there are temptations everywhere AND you have the free will to do it or not do it, and millions of people all with the temptations and the free will to choose them, how can it be even considered that no one will succumb to temptation?

The Catholic Church figures that people will succumb to temptation. That is why it has the Sacrament of Reconciliation which not only provides forgiveness for sins, but it also provides graces to help us avoid sin in the future. People need the graces of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in order to give up major disasters as well as those somewhat small, but very annoying sins.

God's mercy continues.

Assuming God KNEW that man would succumb, why is a concept like original sin even necessary? In order to create someone with free will, they have to be free to do right or wrong.

Original Sin is not a concept. It is real.

God is omnipotent, he knew we would fail him. He knew that he would send his Son to be a sacrifice for our sins. So in my mind we had original sin even before God created Adam because He knew he was creating a species of sinful people who would each and every one fail him.

Original Sin is a real action of a real individual. Therefore, Original Sin could not have existed independently before Adam existed.

A species of sinful people is a misinterpretation of human nature.

So to me, "Original Sin" is a metaphor for the fact that God created us, knowing we would all sin and need redemption. we were marked for sin before we were created, and god's Mercy is in our asking for forgiveness.

There are three kinds of sin: The one and only Original Sin plus the two kinds of personal sins, some of which are mortal and some of which are not mortal. People are not predestined.


#19

[/quote]

[quote="grannymh, post:18, topic:307044"]
The "predilection to sin" is also known as "concupiscence" of wounded human nature. Before the Fall, Adam, because of his original holiness and justice, had mastery of self. He was free from the triple concupiscence that would subjugate him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness of earthly goods, and self-assertion contrary to the dictates of reason. This harmony of Adam's nature was lost when he preferred himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status, and therefore against his own good. (Sources: CCC 377; CCC 379; and CCC 398)

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#20

[quote="grannymh, post:16, topic:307044"]
According to Catholicism, the issue is not "refusing to repent" per se. The issue is that Adam had a specific relationship with God. Which relationship had a specific requirement. Which requirement Adam ignored which permanently shattered man's original relationship with God. Repenting was too late because the effects of Adam's action had already occurred.

Apparently, some Catholics have not been taught that according to the Catholic Church, Genesis 3: 4 refers to the requirement that the only way for Adam as creature, could remain in relationship with God was to live in free submission to God as his Creator. Notice that the devil temps Adam, through Eve, with the possibility of being like gods........

Being like God is certainly a big step up from living in submission to God. Adam's choice of that "big step up" was serious enough to take away Adam's original state of holiness. While Adam did need personal forgiveness, his human nature had been wounded. It is this wounded human nature which is transmitted by propagation. (Source: CCC 396-409)

"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." (CCC 389)

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While I agree with everything you said, I was still taught that it was not only his sin, but his unwillingness to repent.

I do agree it was his sin that separated him from God, Because as we are taught God tells him you eat, you will die, The devil says no you will not. But he did die, Not a physical death, but as you stated his relationship with God,

It is Jesus who re-united us with the divine Grace of God that we were not worthy of in the first place.

Human Reason is uncapable of understanding this, Simply because as you stated because of the sin of Adam and Eve we do not have the divine gift of understanding God.

But as I stated iI was taught yes it was the sin that separated us from God, but it was also the unwillinginess of Adam and Eve to repent also.

The reason I was told this was because when God asked them why they were hiding, (that was him giving them every opportunity to admit thier sin and repent). Because of course God would not have to ask them why they were hiding, he knew perfectly well why. But I could also be wrong on that.


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