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Yet the Holy Spirit bestows gifts which are, in many cases, a partial renewal of our original powers. The gift of tongues as described in Acts hearkens back to the original language Adam used to name the animals, which was universally comprehensible. The gift of understanding allows insight and wisdom which goes beyond the merely natural faculties of the intellect, just as the gift of infused knowledge did in Eden.

Some of the saints were given extraordinary gifts of fortitude that allowed them joyfully to bear pains that mere nature could not have endured. The Gospel tells us that after the Crucifixion, many were raised from the dead cf. Mt , and the early martyrologies are full of accounts in which mortality is briefly suspended so the watching crowds could see that the God of the Galileans is capable of literally overcoming death.

Eden is lost, but we are occasionally given some reminder of our former glory, along with the promise of what we will be when we are fully restored, perfected, and divinized in the beatific vision. The Serpent and the Beast The Garden of Eden is not simply a small patch of ground near the headwaters of the Euphrates: It is all of Creation in microcosm.

It is cosmic in scale. Everything is present in the beginning.

Is Catholicism Christian or Not? (vs. James White): Pt. 5 | Dave Armstrong

The full grandeur of Creation is not fully revealed until the end, until the "new heaven and the new earth" which Genesis anticipates and foreshadows. In Revelation, many of the themes and ideas in the Genesis account are revisited, but on a more mythological scale. Take, for example, the serpent.

In images of the Genesis story, he is often depicted as a large snake, the size of a boa constrictor, or even a little innocent-looking grass snake sitting prettily on the branch of a tree. It seems unlikely that Eve could have been deceived into thinking that she was speaking with a harmless creature. But if Mary is the second Eve, Eve is also the first Mary, so the same serpent who would make war on Christ and the Church was there in the beginning to make war on the woman and on her children.

What Eve saw was the tempter, at once terrifying and seductive, a being sufficiently awe-inspiring that it seemed to speak with the authority to challenge God. The book of Revelation describes this creature as, "the great dragon. When Eve assents to be deceived by this serpent, she brings down on the world the series of curses that are consummated in Revelation.

War, famine, pestilence, death, the disruption of the natural order, and the collapse of the world are not just harbingers of the end times: They are also the immediate consequences of the first sin. Death entered the world, not only for individuals but for all of humankind. Once sin has wreaked havoc on the battlefields of history, the world will die. Only through the creation of a new heaven and a new earth will it be possible to eradicate the effects of Adam's fall. The Two Trees The recreation of the world is a long way off when Adam and Eve trudge sadly out of the Garden, but already, in the final lines of Genesis 3, salvation is being prepared.

There are two trees growing in Eden: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. Adam and Eve eat from the first, but are prevented from eating from the second. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is one of the most mysterious symbols in the Eden narrative. We are told that "when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate" Gn It is important to note here that the tree really is genuinely good.

Eve had a perfectly ordered and rational human soul which found evil totally repugnant and unappealing. The temptation was to seek an objective good for disordered reasons, which is what happened. The temptation changes the way Eve perceived the forbidden fruit: She no longer sees its goodness in an ordered and disinterested way, but in a way that foreshadows the threefold concupiscence: The fruit is desirable to the flesh, it holds a sort of worldly glamour, and it appeals to pride.

It is interesting to note that there is no tree of death or tree of evil within the garden, only the tree of the possibility of evil. When Adam and Eve eat they interiorize that potential and make it real. This creates a new relationship between man and Creation. Suddenly, all of the things that were "good" in the beginning have potential for evil. That makes the image of a tree particularly apt because of the countless branches of knowledge which in our fallen condition represent a genuine danger:.

Every field of human endeavor is poisoned because humanity now knows not only how to use knowledge for the greater glory of God, but also how to use it in disordered and damaging ways. The second tree is the antidote to this problem, but it is also dangerous. When God banishes Adam and Eve from the garden and the tree of life, bodily immortality is no longer possible. It was an act of mercy that he did so.

Those who choose to love and serve God could hardly find endless life in a valley of sorrows desirable; those who reject God must not be allowed to grow in their evil indefinitely or to continually inflict harm on others without ever being subjected to justice. God posts at Eden's gates "the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way" Gn Eden is permanently closed to man. At the same time, however, the tree of life is being prepared and the fruit of salvation is ripening in its branches, for its hour has not yet come.

It is not by accident that the tree of life appears constantly in world mythology. The tree spreads out her branches across the galaxies, and stars spin like apples from her boughs. All life, all Creation, springs from the root of this tree, and its sap is the water of life. The tree is an image of the entire created order, a single, unified organism in which all things are reconciled and made one. It is, of course, the cross, and its fruit is Christ crucified. We eat of its fruit each time we participate in the mystery of the Eucharist. It is the pillar on which the world is made, the source of all life, ordained from the beginning, the sacrifice which God had prepared to redeem and renew his Creation.

She converted to Catholicism 12 years ago from a lesbian, atheist background. She now writes for the Catholic press and engages in guerrilla apologetics from her home. Description The Christian account of Creation is so deeply woven into our culture that we may scarcely think of it at all. Stay in Touch! Subscribe to Insights. Stay on top of the latest Catholic news and analysis from CatholicCulture.

Straightforward and to-the-point, she is never condescending or preachy.

How to Confront Anti-Catholicism

The book thus becomes a powerful tool to help counter the myths Brown has presented in his original work. The up-coming movie release makes this book an important and timely choice for adults and older teens to read. Here are two great resources for Catholic bookshelves everywhere.

Written by a homeschooling dad named Paul E. Nowak, Guerilla Apologetics for Catholics and Guerilla Apologetics for Life Issues are wonderful resources for educated debates on Catholicism and pro-life concerns. I first heard about these books because my brother, Paul A. Nowak, did the cartoons in the Life Issues book. So, I do have a bit of bias on these books. But I really like the clean, direct apologetics contained in both of these slim volumes.

The slim paperback, Guerilla Apologetics for Catholics , is packed with fabulous information that is easy to read and important for all Catholics to understand. Guerilla Apologetics for Catholics starts with the Bible -- refutes that the Bible is the only source of revelation and that it doesn't say faith or personal acceptance of Jesus is enough -- then goes on to talk about who founded the Church, teachings with the authority of Christ, leadership traceable back to Christ, uses certain individuals as examples of how we should live, forgiveness of sins, Purgatory, sanctity and inviolability of marriage, and the sacrament of the Eucharist.

All of these are discussed within a three-four page analysis that is direct and irrefutable. The conclusion of the book includes recommendations for further reading and almost a dozen lined pages for notes. The Guerilla Apologetics for Life Issues is much the same in format except that it states each argument in the form of a question rather than a statement. When does life begin, can choices be wrong, and does legality mean right-ness are just the first three questions.

The safety and life issues for the mom are the next concerns. The book continues with asking questions about the veracity of population control statistics, benefits of embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia. The final question is the traditional ultimate apologetics question -- "what if you're wrong" -- attributed to Pascal's famous "wager". As with Nowak's earlier volume, Life Issues does not have many wasted words or pages. And, "ya gotta" love the cartoons done by my brother although I do wish the prints had been a bit clearer!

It's rather lovely, I think that the Pope uses in his own book a phrase which he applies to the parables of Jesus which aptly describes this fascinating book: " In Jesus of Nazareth , Our Holy Father presents a vision of primary events of the Gospels this volume covers significant stories chronologically from the Baptism of Our Lord through the Transfiguration - a second volume is expected in the future.

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He delves into these Gospel stories many of which are commonly taken for granted - both because we've heard these stories since we were young and because we're missing some of the background details that add depth and additional significance to these stories to help bring Our Lord to life for modern readers.

Here's a sampling of the style and content of the book, taken from the chapter on the Our Father in which the Pope discusses what we mean by "Hallowed be Thy Name". God establishes a relationship between himself and us. He puts himself within reach of our invocation. He enters into relationship with us and enables us to be in relationship with him.

Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics

Yet this means that in some sense he hands himself over to our human world. He has made himself accessible and, therefore, vulnerable as well. He assumes the risk of relationship, of communion, with us. The process that was brought to completion in the Incarnation had begun with the giving of the divine name God has now truly made himself accessible in his incarnate Son.

Hunter and Hunted

He has become a part of our world: he has, as it were, put himself into our hands. This enables us to understand what the petition for the sanctification of the divine name means. The name of God can now be misused and so God himself can be sullied. The name of God can be co-opted for our purposes and so the image of God can also be distorted.