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Religion and American Foreign Policy: Prophetic, Perilous, Inevitable

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    Theological and Ethical Reflections. By Thomas A. Shannon and James J. A Handbook in Theology and Ecology. Celia Deane-Drummond - Pope Francis. While Jesus had said many times that he and the Father were one, it was not until after they experienced him as their risen Lord that they finally understood that God had been revealed to them in the person of Jesus.

    Teachings of the Catholic Church

    What is distinctive about Christian spirituality is that is it a way of being, seeing and acting that has its source in, and takes its inspiration from, the person and vision of Jesus Christ. It is therefore a spirituality that has its source in our communion with God, and is forged in communion with others and with all of creation. It is a spirituality of relationships. This spirituality has been captured in the Vision of the Archdiocese of Brisbane which calls each Catholic to:.

    See our section on prayer, renewal movements and faith groups for information on joining a contemporary faith group. The Nicene Creed is a statement of belief defined at the Council of Nicea in The Creed reiterates the Christian faith from the Scriptures that:. I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

    God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

    He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Everything done by God is done by the whole Trinity: yet there is something appropriate about attributing the work of creation to the Father, the work of salvation to the Son and the work of sanctification to the Holy Spirit.

    Our Christian profession of faith begins with a radical assertion that God is one! So our belief is in continuity with the faith of the people of the Hebrew Scriptures. Belief in one God challenges us to acknowledge God as the author of all life and existence, the source of everything. Such belief calls forth a response of trust and hope in this one God and an attitude of praise and thanksgiving for the very gift of our own life, and indeed, all life.

    For example, the early Christians were characterised by their refusal to worship any power, including emperor worship, that was not the one God, even if it meant death. God as Father invites us into a profound and personal relationship with God. However through the life death and resurrection of Jesus, Christians have come to experience the loving intimacy of the Father and the Son through the gift of the Spirit. We can but marvel and wonder that an all powerful God chose in generosity to give us such an important role, the better to serve God.

    Creation is an ongoing process and we are still awaiting its perfection in the fullness of time. It is the work of the one God for whenever God is acting, the whole Trinity the Father, the Son and Spirit is involved. Christians believe in a transcendent, personal God, who is one God but three equal persons who are a Trinity or communion of love. Within Jesus everything is contained: God, humanity, creation and salvation. This is the name that was given at the incarnation, pronounced at His birth, crucified on the Cross, risen from the dead and reigns for all eternity.

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    Many people today consider Jesus a great prophet, miracle worker or wise teacher, but cannot accept the Christian belief that Jesus is both divine and human. Jesus has a particular human history. Mary has a special place in the Catholic tradition as the Mother of Jesus.

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    • The Incarnation is the central mystery of the Christian faith and distinguishes Christianity from other religions, since it reveals that God in the fullness of time sent His Son born of a woman to redeem us so that we could be adopted as sons and daughters of God cf Galatians ,5 to share in an eternal destiny with our loving God. It is the same God who makes the universe, who comes among us a man, one like us, and who is continually present to the world. Creation and redemption are a single act, proceeding from a single God. Likewise the same Spirit which is involved in making the world, is also involved in remaking it.

      The Spirit gives life in the first place and also gives new life. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that the Spirit will take what is mine and declare it to you. Jn The Spirit is given to us so that we may not be left orphans. By the power of the Gospel, the Spirit makes the Church keep the freshness of youth. This fourth and final section of the Creed describes the Church as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. The Church is a people gathered together through the Spirit of love, to reconcile the world in Christ and to bring all people into communion with each other and with the Father.

      A human institution, yes, but in its very humanity a God gathered people, the Church is the instrument, indeed the sacrament of God offering the gift of salvation won by Christ for all creation. The Church has an intrinsically missionary orientation as it seeks to serve humanity by proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed, to all people. In the work of reconciliation the Church constantly strives to be a sign of unity and peace among all peoples and a witness of universal salvation in Christ under the one God.

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      The apostolic nature of the Church means that it still participates in the same mission of Christ through the apostles, bishops and laity through their common baptism. We are all charged with the responsibility of being witnesses to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christian Baptism is the gateway or initiation rite that imprints the fundamental pattern of Christian life on the believer and welcomes the believer into the Christian community.

      Each baptised person clothes themselves in Jesus Christ and thus begins a journey from slavery to freedom, from death to life and from self-centredness to a generous loving existence. Baptism is birth into Christian life, incorporation into the life of the Trinity and liberation from sin. However, between our baptism and our death, we discover our human frailty and we know that we make many mistakes. Our life is indeed an ongoing struggle to accept the reality of our baptismal liberation from sin while at the same time very much aware of our propensity to failure and sin.

      Through the Holy Spirit, Christian life on earth is a participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. The ultimate gift of the Incarnation is that God has revealed through Christ, that we will live forever in glory with God, when the Church attains its fulfilment in the communion of saints. Catholics believe that the Bible is the Word of God. We believe that it is inspired — that God influenced the human writers in a special way so that the message contained within the various literary styles and forms eg narrative history, prophesy, poetry, wisdom, letter, apocalyptic etc conveys divine truth.

      The Bible is divided into two parts called the Hebrew Scriptures, commonly known as the Old Testament, 46 books and the New Testament 27 books. A testament or a covenant is an agreement, an understanding between two parties. The Hebrew Scriptures was written by members of the Jewish community of faith who preceded the birth of Jesus and the Christian Church and, to this day, are an important part of its history.

      The New Testament is the story of the early Christian Church. It consists of the reflections of those who knew and accepted Jesus and entered into a renewed relationship with God.

      For Catholics, it reflects the life of a community and takes on its full meaning only in the life of the Catholic community, especially its prayer and liturgy.