The sins of Adam, the first parent, have been transcended to us as his descendants including suffering and death. It is not that God has punished us by an addition – but merely withdrew his blessing and left us with our base selves. Is this “Original Justice” for eternity until the end of time anyway for a just God to act? Did it really take 4000 years for God to figure out how to reach mankind by sending his only son, the great Redeemer, Jesus Christ? And why did not the great Redeemer not only lift “Original Sin” but lift and restore us to original mint condition – with eternal life and an end to suffering?
I cannot answer my own critique of this biblical narrative successfully with resounding confidence – no less explain the faith to the unbeliever. Christology has answers within its theological system – which Thomas Aquinas thoughtfully described before he gave up writing all-together, perhaps recognizing the impossibility of truly representing the Holy Trinity with human language.
The take away of this second treatise on Faith is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ (human body, true rational soul, and perfect deity), born of the Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born, suffered and died for our salvation.
Aquinas delves into the heresy’s and errors of his time and painstakingly answers and clarifies the mystery of the faith amid much controversy. The questions raised back than are just as pertinent today. As cradle Catholics we may fall into error in just accepting or taking for granted our beliefs as we have been taught by tradition and scripture. This is a grave error and risk. Our living faith is not meant to remain at the level of an infancy narrative or elementary school rote memory of church history. We are called to progress within our life times as well as from generation to generation. But are we ready for his calling?
“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Never the less, not as I will, but as thou will.”
If you pray what Jesus prayed, with awareness of its potential consequences and full commitment to integrating God’s will as best you can discern, life at once is exponentially more joyful and frightening. Spiritual enlightenment comes with both joy and suffering.
I could answer the questions above – but they would only invite more questions, and the answers to those the same, and so on to eternity. It is unfathomable. That does not mean God and the Holy Trinity do not exist much the same as atoms and particles exist despite that I cannot discern them with the naked eye. It is just as difficult to disbelieve as to believe in God – both require a leap of faith at the end point of human inquiry (after exhausting all scientific, philosophical, theological, and historical artifacts at our disposal). It is an unbearable reality that the more we know, the more we become aware of how much we do not know. Yet, we have a natural calling to pursue and have intimate knowledge of all that is knowable and unknowable.
This “dumb ox” named Thomas Aquinas, was born about 1225 A.D. He is recognized as one of 35 Doctors of the Church. “The whole basis of his thought is this: If it is wrong to give up the Faith for the sake of reason, it is also wrong to give up reason for the sake of the faith.”
In public dialogue it is nearly impossible to dialogue on the essence of our faith as we see it through the eyes of man today and by the sins of our fellow man, sadly our clergy, and our own shortcomings. The volumes of debris we have littered amidst our holy traditions and teachings is strangling the true essence of our faith. So sometimes we have to reach back in time in addition to reading scripture.
The final take away: Thomas Aquinas was known to pray before he wrote and to ask God’s guidance. Whatever your calling in life, this sounds to me like a great take away before you go off to perform your calling each day and as you retire at the end of the day. Knowing your calling requires knowing your faith – both theologically and through a personal relationship with God.
Thanks for visiting.