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Catechism Project, #50-53

In the last sections we talked about the ability of man to know God through his own reason and external evidence.  But let’s be honest – for a God who created everything out of nothing, who desires each and every one of us from the very beginning, leaving us to our own devices just wasn’t going to be good enough.  The God who loved us enough to create us was not about to sit back on his proverbial hands and see whether we could dig ourselves out of the hole we’d put ourselves in.

Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. … God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. (CCC #50)

God didn’t send us an antiseptic set of rules to follow.  He didn’t send us just brief messages and leave us to figure it out on our own.  He didn’t even just whisper in the ear of His chosen prophets words meant for all men and all time. He sent us His Son.  He didn’t do this all at once, humanity had to be prepared over time to hear, understand and believe – “God communicates himself to man gradually.” (CCC #53)  After sending the Law and the Prophets God provided the keystone of His saving plan in sending His Son.

In his short meditations on the Way of the Cross Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote the following reflection for the twelfth station, in which we reflect on Jesus dying on the Cross:

The Eternal Father determined not to pardon us without a price, in order to show us especial favour. He condescended to make us valuable to Him. What we buy we put a value on. He might have saved us without a price—by the mere fiat of His will. But to show His love for us He took a price, which, if there was to be a price set upon us at all, if there was any ransom at all to be taken for the guilt of our sins, could be nothing short of the death of His Son in our nature. O my God and Father, Thou hast valued us so much as to pay the highest of all possible prices for our sinful souls—and shall we not love and choose Thee above all things as the one necessary and one only good?

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