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81. Human Beings as the Cause of Sin

1. The first sin of the first man is transmitted to hisdescendants by way of origin, and therefore is called original sin.In a sense, all men are one; they are one in nature; they are onein origin. In Adam's sin, human nature sinned; that naturesinned in which all men are one. As a murder committed by the handwould not be the hand's fault, yet would be imputed to the handas part of the murderer's person, so Adam's sin appears inhis descendants as members of the human nature thatsinned. Adam's sin is imputed to his descendants as the murderis imputed to the "guilty hand" of the murderer.

2. As the original justice of Adam was to be transmittedto his descendants, so was the disordering of that justice to betransmitted. Original sin is transmitted, but no other actual sinof the first parent, or of any parent, is transmitted todescendants.

3. The original sin is transmitted to all men except toChrist, who is God-made-man, and to those whom God, through Christ,exempts from the common human heritage of sin. {-TheImmaculate Mother of God was never infected with original sin. Thisdoctrine of the faith had not been defined in the day of St. ThomasAquinas; it was defined in 1854.-}

4. If God were to make a man miraculously from humanflesh, but not by the normal process of generation, that man wouldnot contract the original sin. For original sin is "the sin ofnature," and is transmitted only by way of nature, that is, bygeneration.

5. If Eve alone had sinned, her sin would not have beentransmitted to descendants. For in the order of nature the activeprinciple of propagation is the male principle. Hence, it isAdam's sin, not Eve's, that is transmitted.

"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"It is well to choose some one good devotion, and to stick to it, and never to abandon it."
St Philip Neri

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