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  #11  
Old 9th November 2018, 08:20 PM
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IV. How Can We Speak about God?

39 In defending the ability of human reason to know God, the Church is expressing her confidence in the possibility of speaking about him to all men and with all men, and therefore of dialogue with other religions, with philosophy and science, as well as with unbelievers and atheists.


"In defending", we are called to defend the faith against those who attack it in any sort of way. It is not true that our faith is not meant for any "fighting". St. Paul defended the faith:

[Acts of the Apostles 17]
{17:1} Now when they had walked through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they arrived at Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
{17:2} Then Paul, according to custom, entered to them. And for three Sabbaths he disputed with them about the Scriptures,...
...
{17:17} And so, he was disputing with the Jews in the synagogue, and with the worshipers, and in public places, throughout each day, with whomever was there.

40 Since our knowledge of God is limited, our language about him is equally so. We can name God only by taking creatures as our starting point, and in accordance with our limited human ways of knowing and thinking.

We judge according to our knowledge. See this post:
https://ronconte.wordpress.com/2018/...-not-judge-me/

41 All creatures bear a certain resemblance to God, most especially man, created in the image and likeness of God. the manifold perfections of creatures - their truth, their goodness, their beauty all reflect the infinite perfection of God. Consequently we can name God by taking his creatures" perfections as our starting point, "for from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator".15

We humans (man and woman) are created in the image and likeness of God. We have free will, have abstract reason so we have the ability to be creatives as well. Lower animals do not. For example, we can teach a dog manners, the dog can learn those manners, but that dog does not have the ability to teach those learned manners to other dogs.

42 God transcends all creatures. We must therefore continually purify our language of everything in it that is limited, imagebound or imperfect, if we are not to confuse our image of God --"the inexpressible, the incomprehensible, the invisible, the ungraspable"-- with our human representations.16 Our human words always fall short of the mystery of God.

We call the First person of the Holy Trinity, Father, but He transcends all fatherhood. We call God in a masculine way, but God transcends sexuality and all creation. God is not a "male" or a "female".

We need to watch or purify our language in order to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is Perfect (Matt 5:48 ).

[Matthew 12]
{12:36} But I say to you, that for every idle word which men will have spoken, they shall render an account in the day of judgment.

Here are some other Bible verses regarding watching our language: (Ephesians 4:29), (Ephesians 5:4), (James 3:10), (Prov 18:21), (2 Tim 2:16), (Psalm 34:13 - Against lies as well).


43 Admittedly, in speaking about God like this, our language is using human modes of expression; nevertheless it really does attain to God himself, though unable to express him in his infinite simplicity. Likewise, we must recall that "between Creator and creature no similitude can be expressed without implying an even greater dissimilitude";17 and that "concerning God, we cannot grasp what he is, but only what he is not, and how other beings stand in relation to him."18

A true Christian is the one who shows it by words and deeds, by example, by being the salt, the light, of the earth (Matt 5:13-16); otherwise, there is no difference among the pagans or sinful secular society. We are not of this world though we live in this world (John 17:16).
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  #12  
Old 12th December 2018, 09:31 PM
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IN BRIEF

44 Man is by nature and vocation a religious being. Coming from God, going toward God, man lives a fully human life only if he freely lives by his bond with God.


We all have a natural religiosity, but this needs to be polished by God's revelation through His Church.

A natural religiosity can be found in ancient civilizations which worshiped gods, also the native populations in the Americas such as the Aztecs.

45 Man is made to live in communion with God in whom he finds happiness: When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrow or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete (St. Augustine, Conf. 10, 28, 39: PL 32, 795}.

A man can go crazy looking around for happiness and never able to find it without God. However a man is happy anywhere he goes by having God in his life, being one with God (John 17:21), even in the midst of tribulations.

46 When he listens to the message of creation and to the voice of conscience, man can arrive at certainty about the existence of God, the cause and the end of everything.

Man is able to attain salvation by loving God (even implicitly by loving neighbor) with a sincere conscience, looking for truth thus attaining a mystical but non-formal baptism of desire or blood. It is quite different, though, for a man who avoids following the truth, in this case he becomes guilty of not looking the truth, preferring darkness instead of light. The easiest, most helpful and most rewarding path to Heaven is by being a faithful Catholic.

47 The Church teaches that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty from his works, by the natural light of human reason (cf. Vatican Council I, can. 2 # 1: DS 3026),

We can reach at the reasonably conclusion of the existence of God by witnessing His "prints", creation. Nothing can do nothing, but "Something" can do something.

48 We really can name God, starting from the manifold perfections of his creatures, which are likenesses of the infinitely perfect God, even if our limited language cannot exhaust the mystery.

We can reasonably understand God to a limited extent, but never completely, not even in Heaven. God is God, we are limited creatures including the greatest of Angels and God's most marvelous creation after the human nature of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

49 Without the Creator, the creature vanishes (GS 36). This is the reason why believers know that the love of Christ urges them to bring the light of the living God to those who do not know him or who reject him.

It is our obligation and duty to spread the Good News to this sinful world that there is a better way of living by being immersed in His love, and of having hope in eternal life by being witnesses of our resurrected Lord acting in our lives.
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  #13  
Old 11th January 2019, 09:33 PM
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CHAPTER TWO

GOD COMES TO MEET MAN

50 By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. But there is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers: the order of divine Revelation.1 Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.


By natural reason we can certainly know that there must be a God for the marbles of the universe, the material world, its works, its orderly laws cannot have existed from nothing to something by a mere senseless or unsound act. So man is able to worship God with his natural religiosity. However, this knowledge is not enough in order to worship the one true God correctly, for man creates his own gods or have his own opinion of how God is or of how He is to be worshiped. Therefore, in His infinite wisdom, God has decided to reveal Himself to men (this is what we call "Divine Revelation") so that we can worship Him correctly and be in the right path to salvation. Divine Revelation is Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture (the Sacred Deposit of Faith) which the Magisterium of Jesus' Church, the Catholic Church, has the gift to interpret and teach correctly.

Article 1

THE REVELATION OF GOD

I. God Reveals His "Plan of Loving Goodness"

51 "It pleased God, in his goodness and wisdom, to reveal himself and to make known the mystery of his will. His will was that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit, and thus become sharers in the divine nature."2


We can only go to the Father through Jesus (John 14:6); He is our only Mediator (1 Tim 2:5) for He is the only One who redeemed us on the Cross (1 Tim 2:6), no one else. A man (Adam) sinned thus breaking that initial close relationship, which is an offense against God who is infinite; therefore, the only way for us to be redeemed had to be done by another truly and fully man, but also, someone whose reparation be eternal, so this Person also had to also be truly and fully God. And that only One who was able to atone for this great damage was our Lord Jesus Christ. But we, as members of the Body of Christ, can intercede for each other (1 Tim 2:1-4) in the Holy Spirit towards this Redeemer, Jesus. The members of the Body of Christ do not cease to live at our corporal deaths; for we have been made in the image and likeness of God who is Spirit, thus we have an spiritual soul who is immortal. This soul continues to live for we don't have a God of the death but of the living (Mark 12:27). Therefore, we can also pray to the Saints and Angels in Heaven in order to intercede for us before Jesus. The role of an Angel is to be a "Messenger" (this is what the word Angel means) and we have some Angels at our service (Matt 18:10), so, just as God sends messages to us through His Angels, we can send back messages from us to God through His Angels ("Messengers"). We can pray directly to God (in Jesus' name), of course we can and we must do!, but we can also use the help of these close friends of God in order to intercede for us.

52 God, who "dwells in unapproachable light", wants to communicate his own divine life to the men he freely created, in order to adopt them as his sons in his only-begotten Son.3 By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity.

We become sons and daughter of God at Baptism, with this Sacrament, we eliminate Original Sin (and personal sin if the person has it) and the due punishment for sin up to that point and acquire sanctifying grace which allows us to access Heaven. A person who dies without the state of grace goes straight to Hell.

53 The divine plan of Revelation is realized simultaneously "by deeds and words which are intrinsically bound up with each other"4 and shed light on each another. It involves a specific divine pedagogy: God communicates himself to man gradually. He prepares him to welcome by stages the supernatural Revelation that is to culminate in the person and mission of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.

God treats us like a good Father to His children. When we are little, soft food, but when we start to get stronger, another king of food is given us. This is the reason why God had to treat and teach the people of the O.T. with a different approach; but once God became man, the fullness of His revelation has come manifest.

St. Irenaeus of Lyons repeatedly speaks of this divine pedagogy using the image of God and man becoming accustomed to one another: the Word of God dwelt in man and became the Son of man in order to accustom man to perceive God and to accustom God to dwell in man, according to the Father's pleasure.5

Now that God has become man, we can know and understand God even better, even like a Friend (John 15:15).
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  #14  
Old 19th March 2019, 03:13 PM
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II. The Stages of Revelation

In the beginning God makes himself known

54 "God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities. and furthermore, wishing to open up the way to heavenly salvation - he manifested himself to our first parents from the very beginning."6 He invited them to intimate communion with himself and clothed them with resplendent grace and justice.


God creates all things from nothing; therefore, He is the One who sustains (or conserves) all things for if He takes out 'His Hands' out of things (including us), we all go back to nothing.

God provides us with evidence of His existence through creation, through Providence, through signal graces.

God manifested to our first parents, Adam and Eve, to show us that He wants to have a personal relationship with us. He doesn't need us. God doesn't need anything, but He wants to share His Majesty with us out of Love.

55 This revelation was not broken off by our first parents' sin. "After the fall, (God) buoyed them up with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption; and he has never ceased to show his solicitude for the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing."7

The Love of God is so great that even though we have failed; He still was able to suffer for our redemption so that we can be co-heirs of His Glory in His Kingdom.

Even when he disobeyed you and lost your friendship you did not abandon him to the power of death. . . Again and again you offered a covenant to man.8

After human failings, God insisted in sharing His glory with us by having covenants with our patriarchs. Despite human failings in braking up with His covenants, God insisted with other covenants. That's the way He did it with Noah, Abraham, Moses (different covenants) until the last and permanent Covenant between Jesus and His Church.

The covenant with Noah

56 After the unity of the human race was shattered by sin God at once sought to save humanity part by part. the covenant with Noah after the flood gives expression to the principle of the divine economy toward the "nations", in other words, towards men grouped "in their lands, each with (its) own language, by their families, in their nations".9


Since the beginning, we were meant to be One Family, but men divided himself because of pride (recall the Tower of Babel). Because of this division, God's family was not Catholic (Universal) anymore so God had to choose, out of the divided people, one group of people, Abraham descendants, the Israelites.

57 This state of division into many nations, each entrusted by divine providence to the guardianship of angels, is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity10 united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel.11 But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.12

Men became polytheists, worshipers of many gods, so God had to choose one group of people in order to instruct them the correct worship to the One trough God, and then arrive at the Universal Church as our relationship with God was meant to be from the beginning. This process was long and patient, like the way a father educates a son through his growing process, from infancy to adulthood.

58 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel.13 The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek - a figure of Christ - and the upright "Noah, Daniel, and Job".14 Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to "gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad".15

At the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus, God gathers into one group all His scattered children into one Universal Church.

[Mathew]
{28:19} Therefore, go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
{28:20} teaching them to observe all that I have ever commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the consummation of the age.”

[Mark]
{16:15} And he said to them: “Go forth to the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature.

That's why Jesus' Church is Catholic, for it is the teaching of Jesus Christ to go to the whole world, to preach the Gospel, to every creature. No more divisions or separated groups.
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