This lesson is based on the text, Life in Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults, by Rev. Gerard Weber and Rev. James Killgallon (Acta Publications, 1995). The question in bold type is followed by a short answer taken from the text. The text in italics is another answer from the RCIA teacher, Jim Collins. Hyperlinks in red will direct you to documents or websites related to the topic. The entire sequence of lessons forms a comprehensive approach to basic RCIA instruction.
Preparation: Opening Prayer
Proclamation: 2 Corinthians 4:7; see footnote p. 1256: terracotta lamp
Song: Earthen Vessels: Chorus: Behold a treasure not made of gold in earthen vessels wealth untold; one treasure only the Lord, the Christ, in earthen vessels. Verse 1: Light has shown in our darkness. God has shown in our hearts with the light in the glory of Jesus the Lord. Verse 2: He has chosen the lowly who are small in this world in his weakness his glory in Jesus the Lord.
Questions: Papal Infallibility; Apostolic Succession; Church Authority
Section 6: The Creation of the World
What does this biblical account of creation teach? (a) There is only one God; (b) God is the creator of everything; (c) God created everything effortlessly, merely by his word; (d) All things created by God are good and are independent; (e) All that exists depends on God; (f) The world was created for the glory of God; (g) Humanity is the summit of God’s work in the visible world.
Does the biblical account of creation teach us that the world was made in six days? “These six days are meant to indicate the orderliness with which God went about his work, and to show a rhythm of work and rest.” Navarre Bible, p. 38.
Why did the author of Genesis use literary devices? The author did not intend this to be a scientific account but a way to express the truths about creation (CCC 289)
Does this biblical account rule out evolution? See “Why do Catholics believe in Evolution”
How did God create the world? God freely created everything out of nothing and chooses to keep everything in existence.
Was it necessary that God create? God is absolutely free, so he it was not necessary for him to create.
Why, then, did God create the world? To show forth his glory and to share his goodness with the beings he created.
What are the angels? Spiritual beings created by God.
How do angels differ from God? They were created (had a beginning) and are finite (limited).
What is the story of the elevation and fall of the angels? God crated angels with free will. They had to prove their fidelity to God. Those who rebelled became the evil spirits we call devils. Those who remained faithful enjoy the vision of God in heaven.
Do angels play any part in our lives? Our guardian angels guide and protect us. The devils tempt us and try to lead us into sin.
Section 7: The Creation of Humans
What are the main points which God teaches us in the Genesis account of the creation of the human race? (1) God has a special love and care for human beings, above all the beings he created; (2) Both women and men share the same human nature; (3) the soul of each individual is created directly by God; (4) Because of our common origin there is fundamental equality among all the peoples of the human family.
Could the origin of human beings be explained by the theory of evolution? See Evolution reference above. Consider distinction between theistic and atheistic evolution.
What is a human being? A human person made up of a body and a soul.
Has the soul a life of its own? The soul is created by God and can exist outside the body. After death it is separated until it will be reunited at the final resurrection.
What was the greatest gift God gave our first parents? The gift of divine life.
How are we to interpret the “fall” as described in the Genesis account? A freely chosen fault was committed that has marked all of human history.
How can we understand the sin of Adam and Eve in the story of creation? We do not know what the exact sin was except in general terms: a sin of disobedience and a refusal to trust in God’s goodness.
How were Adam and Eve affected by their sin? The human loss of the divine life. They also lost the special gift by which all the powers of their souls were oriented to God. They became subject to sickness, suffering, and death.
How are we affected by the sin of our first parents? We come into the world deprived of the divine life (Original Sin) and subject to death, sickness, and the inclination to sin.
What was God’s response to the sin of Adam and Eve? He promised that his own Son would become human in order to redeem us and restore the divine life in us.
What did Jesus mean when he said that he came that we might have life more abundantly? Since God has become human we have been honored and exalted more than the angels. We have the sacraments in which we receive the divine life, especially in the Eucharist. Jesus shared his mother with us. Jesus came to redeem us from the losses incurred by Adam and Eve’s sin.
Prayer: Act of Faith: O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths that the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.