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Catechism of the Catholic Church

IV. MAN IN PARADISE

374 The first man was not only created good, but was also established in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ.

375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice". 250 This grace of original holiness was "to share in. . .divine life". 251

376 By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man's life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die. 252 The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman, 253 and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called "original justice".

377 The "mastery" over the world that God offered man from the beginning was realized above all within man himself: mastery of self. The first man was unimpaired and ordered in his whole being because he was free from the triple concupiscence 254 that subjugates him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness for earthly goods, and self-assertion, contrary to the dictates of reason.

378 The sign of man's familiarity with God is that God places him in the garden. 255 There he lives "to till it and keep it". Work is not yet a burden, 256 but rather the collaboration of man and woman with God in perfecting the visible creation.

379 This entire harmony of original justice, foreseen for man in God's plan, will be lost by the sin of our first parents.

IN BRIEF:

380 "Father,. . . you formed man in your own likeness and set him over the whole world to serve you, his creator, and to rule over all creatures" (Roman Missal, EP IV, 118).

381 Man is predestined to reproduce the image of God's Son made man, the "image of the invisible God" (Col 1:15), so that Christ shall be the first-born of a multitude of brothers and sisters (cf. Eph 1:3-6; Rom 8:29).

382 "Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity" (GS 14 # 1). The doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God.

383 "God did not create man a solitary being. From the beginning, "male and female he created them" (Gen 1:27). This partnership of man and woman constitutes the first form of communion between persons" (GS 12 # 4).

384 Revelation makes known to us the state of original holiness and justice of man and woman before sin: from their friendship with God flowed the happiness of their existence in paradise.

Notes:

250 Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1511.

251 Cf. LG 2.

252 Cf. Gen 2:17; 3:16, 19.

253 Cf. Gen 2:25.

254 Cf. I Jn 2:16.

255 Cf. Gen 2:8.

256 Gen 2:15; cf. 3:17-19

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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