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Chapter 6. Man and Woman in the Beginning • 71


In recent times the comment frequently arises, What’s happened to sin?

Where has sin gone? There is a perceptible discomfort in our culture

with the notion of sin as an evil for which we must give an account to

God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Judge. This tendency applies not just

to everyday evil acts, but even more so to Original Sin, something that

seems to have little to do with us. The origin of this attitude may be

found in an underdeveloped sense of Revelation: “Without the knowl-

edge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are

tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological

weakness, a mistake. . . . Only in the knowledge of God’s plan . . . can

1. What are some implications of being made in the image

of God?

Of all visible creatures only man is “able to know and love

his creator” (GS, no. 12). He is “the only creature on earth

that God has willed for its own sake” (GS, no. 24), and he

alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s

own life. (CCC, no. 356)

2. What is the main result of Original Sin?

By his sin, Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness

and justice he had received from God, not only for himself

but for all human beings. (CCC, no. 416)

3. Why didn’t God prevent the first man from sinning?

God gave us free will and would not interfere with the use of our

free will:

Christ’s inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than

those the demon’s envy had taken away. (CCC, no. 412, cit-

ing St. Leo the Great,


73, no. 4)