In less than 2,500 words, considering vocabulary, readings, and key concepts from class, please answer the following questions in paragraph format. You may use references (Luke 1:45) and citations (Seneca), but no direct quotations. All thoughts must be put into your own words:
1.Based on our knowledge of Divine Revelation, and Divine Inspiration, as well as our reading “On Providence” by Seneca, and “Roman Triptych” by John Paul II, what do we understand about the nature and character of God? How does such knowledge impact our everyday lives? (2.5pts)
2.A. Consider what St. Thomas Aquinas teaches about the “virtue of gratitude.” After the Fall of Man, can we still be “intimate” with God? Is it possible for us to know God on an individual level, and if so, how? (2.5 pts)
2B. Regardless of how hard one might try to be in communion with God, the human person will be constantly tempted in the other direction. How, and from what kinds of temptations, can a person suffer that lead them away from God? (2.5pts)
2C. Consider the ways in which the Great Mothers of the Old Testament were tempted. Between Eve, Sarah, Rachel, Judith, and Hannah, select two examples and examine their temptations, both materially and emotionally. Place yourself in their situation, through the reading of Lectio Divina. Overall, which of the two women was the more successful in communing intimately with God? What qualities did she possess, and how did it aid her success? (2.5pts)
Extra Credit (2.5pts): Does Saint Joseph possess any of these promising qualities? Place yourself in his role through rereading Matthew 1:17-2:23. What difference does St. Joseph’s character make inside of Salvation History? Choose three aspects of the miracle of Incarnation Theology and how the character and qualities of St. Joseph supported the mission of God.
3. The “Great Mothers of the Old Testament” each gave examples that lead their people toward the hope of Jesus, the Christ, who restores our Eternal Life with God. Today, in the New Covenant, we see this witness of hope in the lives of the Saints. Each saint has lived their life with a spiritual strength that reminds us what God created us for, from the very beginning. Consider their character in light of our model of faith in the readings from the Book of Wisdom (6:12-16 and 7:22-8:3). Choose a saint from the list below, click the link, and read about their life. What does their example help us focus on in this life? How are they a model for you? (5pts)
4. Centuries, and generations, were spent in anticipation of the coming of Christ, the fulfillment of the Covenant. After the Resurrection, Christ remained on earth, until he Ascended into Heaven. John 21:1-14 gives us an account of the Resurrected Christ on earth. Read this Gospel passage in the New Testament, and consider the actions of Simon Peter. Considering the thoughts of John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), on the first page of our “Mastery of Self” Readings, can Simon Peter’s actions be considered virtuous? If so, how? (5pts)
Extra Credit (2.5pts): Consider the life of Brother Simon Piatkowski by watching this short video. Are there similarities between him and Christ’s disciple, Simon Peter? What is the role of “prayer” for both of them? Could it be the same for all of us? Please also consider the life and character of Saint Joseph in your answer.
For your own interest, you can learn more about Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland, here.
5. In Genesis 3:15, we see the “Promise of Salvation,” through the Protoevangelium. Now, consider Transubstantiation and the gift of “ex opere operato” in light of the theology we learned in Genesis 3:21, and Genesis 3:22. In light of this view, of Transubstantiation, how might we make ourselves a “gift?” (5pts)
Extra Credit (1pt): What did you find most fascinating from this class? Have any of your thoughts about the Catholic faith changed during this semester? How? Could you be interested in learning more in Catholic Theology? If so, what kind of topics would you go after? Would you recommend this course to others?
Saints Zelie and Louis Martin, Spouses
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Saint Therese of Lisieux
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
Saint Jacinta Marto of Fatima
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
Saint Bernadette Soubirous
Saint Maria Goretti
Saint Rose of Lima
Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Josephine Bakhita
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Saint John Paul II
Saint Francesco Marto of Fatima
Saint Maximillian Kolbe
Saints John Fisher and Thomas More
Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos
Saint Padre Pio
Saint Damien de Veuster (Molokai)
Saint Isaac Jogues
Saint Juan Diego
Vocabulary to Consider Incorporating:
Theology, Old Testament, Covenant, New Testament, Revelation, Dei Verbum, Divine, Inspiration, Council of Trent, Scripture & Tradition, Apostolic Succession, Genesis, Cosmogony, Seneca, Providence, BARA, Image & Likeness, Original Experiences, Original Solitude, Original Unity, Body, Materialism, Spiritualism, Dualism, Community, Gift, Dominion, Stewardship, Rest & Leisure, Freedom, Responsibility, Self-Mastery, Angels, Demons, Original Sin, Imagination, Lectio Divina, Love & Intimacy, Gratitude, Virtue, Justice, Aquinas, The Fall, Protoevangelium, Original Holiness, Immaculate Conception, Virgin Birth, Dogma, Vocation, Humility, Gifts, Fiat, Covenant, Salvation History, Jesus, Christ, Israel, Patriarchs, Symbolic Interpretation, Biological Covenant, Matriarchs, Fear, Loyalty, Humility, Reverse Servitude, Hope, Personification of Israel’s Hope, Daughter Zion Theology, New Eve, New Adam, Humility, Nativity, Magnificat, Wisdom, Jesus the Christ, John, Incarnational Theology, Fulfillment of Israel’s Covenant, Logos, The Word, New Covenant, Sacraments, Intimacy, Last Supper, Crucifixion of Christ, Sacrifice, Suffering, Harrowing of Hell, Resurrection, Ascension, Heaven, Eschatology, Holiness, Baptism, Grace, Ex Opere Operato, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick, Communion of Saints.
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