CCC 407 The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man’s situation and activity in the world. By our first parents’ sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails “captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil”.1 Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action2 and morals.
CCC 609 By embracing in his human heart the Father’s love for men, Jesus “loved them to the end”, for “greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”3 In suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men.4 Indeed, out of love for his Father and for men, whom the Father wants to save, Jesus freely accepted his Passion and death: “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”5 Hence the sovereign freedom of God’s Son as he went out to his death.6
CCC 635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”7 Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying destroyed “him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.”8 Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”9
Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. .. He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him – He who is both their God and the son of Eve. .. “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. .. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.”10
CCC 827 “Christ, ‘holy, innocent, and undefiled,’ knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.”11 All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners.12 In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time.13 Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ’s salvation but still on the way to holiness:
The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.14
CCC 1520 A particular gift of the Holy Spirit. The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death.15 This assistance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God’s will.16 Furthermore, “if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”17
CCC 2602 Jesus often draws apart to pray in solitude, on a mountain, preferably at night.18 He includes all men in his prayer, for he has taken on humanity in his incarnation, and he offers them to the Father when he offers himself. Jesus, the Word who has become flesh, shares by his human prayer in all that “his brethren” experience; he sympathizes with their weaknesses in order to free them.19 It was for this that the Father sent him. His words and works are the visible manifestation of his prayer in secret.
1 Council of Trent (1546): DS 1511; cf. Heb 2:14.
2 Cf. John Paul II, CA 25.
3 Jn 13:1; 15:13.
4 Cf. Heb 2:10,17-18; 4:15; 5:7-9.
5 Jn 10:18.
6 Cf. Jn 18:4-6; Mt 26:53.
7 Jn 5:25; cf. Mt 12:40; Rom 10:7; Eph 4:9.
8 Heb 2:14-15; cf. Acts 3:15.
9 Rev 1:18; Phil 2:10.
10 Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday: PG 43, 440A, 452C; LH, Holy Saturday, OR.
11 LG 8 § 3; Cf. UR 3; 6; Heb 2:17; 726; 2 Cor 5:21.
12 Cf. 1 Jn 1:8-10.
13 Cf. Mt 13:24-30.
14 Paul VI, CPG § 19.
15 Cf. Heb 2:15.
16 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1325.
17 Jas 515; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1717.
18 Cf. Mk 1:35; 6:46; Lk 5:16.
19 Cf. Heb 2:12, 15; 4:15.