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104

Part One

IV.

“Y

ou

D

id

N

ot

A

bandon

H

im

to

the

D

omain

of

D

eath

410

After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the

contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the

coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall.

304

This

passage in Genesis is called the

Protoevangelium

(“first gospel”): the

first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle

between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a

descendant of hers.

411

The Christian tradition sees in this passage an an­

nouncement of the “NewAdam” who, because he “became obedi­

ent unto death, even death on a cross,” makes amends

superabundantly for the disobedience of Adam.

305

Furthermore

many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman

announced in the

Protoevangelium

as Mary, the mother of Christ,

the “new Eve.” Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from

Christ’s victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of

original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any

kind during her whole earthly life.

306

412

But

why did God not prevent the first man from sinning?

St.

Leo the Great responds, “Christ’s inexpressible grace gave us

blessings better than those the demon’s envy had taken away.”

307

And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “There is nothing to prevent

human nature’s being raised up to something greater, even after

sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good.

Thus St. Paul says, ‘Where sin increased, grace abounded all the

more’; and the Exsultet sings, ‘O happy fault that earned so great,

so glorious a Redeemer!’”

308

IN BRIEF

413

“God did not make death, and he does not delight in

the death of the living. . . . It was through the devil’s

envy that death entered the world” (

Wis

1:13; 2:24).

414

Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen

angels who have freely refused to serve God and his

304 Cf.

Gen

3:9, 15.

305 Cf.

1 Cor

15:21-22, 45

; Phil

2:8;

Rom

5:19-20.

306 Cf. Pius IX,

Ineffabilis Deus:

DS 2803; Council of Trent: DS 1573.

307 St. Leo the Great,

Sermo

73, 4: PL 54, 396.

308 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

III, 1, 3,

ad

3; cf.

Rom

5:20.

55, 705

1609, 2568

675

359, 615

491

310, 395

272