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Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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FALL OF ADAM

First sin of the father of the human race. As a result, he lost for himself and his posterity the supernatural gift of sanctifying grace and the preternatural gifts of integrity, bodily immortality, and impassibility. The fall is commonly referred only to Adam because he was appointed the juridical head of the human race, and his guilt was passed on to his progeny. However, Eve also shared in the fall of the human race because she tempted Adam after she yielded to the temptation of the devil. Adam and Eve, although specially gifted by grace, remained free to choose moral evil. They did not yet enjoy the beatific vision of God and consequently had only faith to tell them that what God forbade was truly wrong and what God threatened would really take place. It is uncertain what sin they committed. Most probably it was the disobedience of pride. They yielded to the devil's suggestion that they would become like God.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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