Question & Answer
Fr. Bernard Nguyễn Trọng thưởng, CMC Phụ Trách

7. How can sin be sinful if it is from free will?
Did God made man out of clay?

Hey Fr. Bernard!

It's me once again, AC. Remember me from last time? Anyway, I read your Teens Puzzled of the last month's edition and I thought I could give some insights to the teens out there.

First of all, I, too, have difficulties in life that would often urge me to doubt the existence of God. It's OK to feel that way. God has some deep and mysterious ways to reveal his divine love. I doubt God with some complex rationality even though I know He's looking down at me and laughing. Overall, I am deeply rooted and believe in the existence of a Supreme Being and everything in the Catechism of the Church.

Some of the best ways I solve problems concerning faith are the following:

1. Faith is a free gift from God. I do not take the Catholic faith for granted because of the lives of the faithful throughout history have shed their blood to witness this true faith so that later generations would carry on.

2. You must look at the lives of the Saints and holy people, past and present, and comtemplate on how they have lived. They are the best, the true evidence of the Truth.

3. Finally, Our Blessed Virgin Mother is too hot to be a figment of an imagination!!!... haha.

Our Faith is in the one, holy, universal and apostolic Church, far most the strongest Christian faith in the world. The religion of ours has started ever since the beginning of time. It originated from the Hebrew faith through the Jewish tradition and then became Christian with Jesus of the New Testament, the promised Messiah, and now is what we know as Catholicism. Our God is the one true God because He is the only known God that is loving and forgiving. And lastly, Death is the beginning not the end. Sometimes I crave death just to see the beauty of God (maybe just for few minutes... hehe). This life will come and go but eternal life is forever.

But now I have questions. How can sin be sinful if it is from free will? He gave us the power to choose. Why did God put the Tree of Life? What's the whole point of the trial? By what grace people who don't know God are saved? Do they still obtain heaven in anyway? So Did God make man from dirt literally by his divine power or was it by millions of years of evolution did man get here??? Thanks for your time. In God always, (AC)

Hi AC,
Thank you for your contribution of thoughts. How can it be sinful if there is a free will? It is exactly because of free will that there is sin. Animals have no free will so they cannot sin. Infants have no free will so they cannot sin. Free will is the power of an intelligent being. Only persons who are old enough to have free will can sin. Free will is one of the 3 factors that make up a sin:

1/ Material: involving a violation of God's commandments, Church's laws.

2/ Knowledge: the person knows that what he is doing is a violation of God's commandments, Church's law.

3/ Free will: the person carries out the act freely, not being forced. Missing one of the three above factors, there is no sin. Look at the story of Adam and Eve. Both of them were free; they knew that God forbid them to eat the fruit of knowing good and evil; they knew that whenever they'd eat the fruit they would die; they ate it anyway. That was why God held them accountable for their action. You might ask why God also held us accountable for the action of Adam and Eve. We are not accountable for their action. The mark of original sin is the consequence of sin that was passed on to the whole humanity because Adam and Eve were the original ancestors. Original sin was the spiritual state of being without grace whatsoever, being spiritually dead. The state of grace was the gift belongs to Adam and Eve in the beginning. They could have passed it on the their children and descendants. However in eating the forbidden fruit, they violated God's instruction, therefore, lost the state of grace for themselves and for their descendants. They could not passed on what they had lost. Why did God put the tree of knowing good and evil in the garden? The tree of knowing good and evil is more of a symbol than a real tree with fruit. It could have been true that God put such a tree in the Garden of Eden. However the point of the story was that human beings and the creation were created by God, therefore, they must be perfect originally. But in reality both creation and human beings are not perfect, so something must have gone wrong along the line in history. That something wrong could only happen because human beings were free. That tree symbolizes human freedom. The forbidden tree and our freedom are the tests. Freedom in itself is a test. When a person is free, he or she can choose to do good or evil. It is because human beings have freedom that there is good and evil. Evil is the abuse of freedom. God might not have intended to try us but when He gave us freedom we were automatically tested. The point is God loves us and he wants us to be able to love and to be free like him. We are free to accept his invitation to join Him in the eternal happiness or to reject Him.

How would people who didn't know God be saved? By using their freedom to live a good life and they could only do that by the grace of Christ who died for the whole humanity. Did God made man out of clay literally or let them evolve through time? The Bible is not a book of science. Its writers did not intend to draw for us a picture of how God created the world. Creation was a gigantically awsome event. No body was there to witness that but God. So the biblical writer was inspired by God to draw a symbolic picture of creation in which God was the creator. How did God create the world was completely up to him? We could not say that he did this and didn't do that. He could have literally made man out of clay and blow at it. He could let human beings evolve through time. The grave mistake of evolutionism is that it denies God as the origin of creation, denies God completely. The logic of evolutionism has a lot of faulty elements. It is a sloppy product of secularism, aiming to deny God's existence. Without God as the foundation of all existence, we cannot explain any existence. I hope this answers your question. Don't forget to pray and God bless.

8. Is it hard to believe that there is God? 
How could I help my dad to stop smoking?

Dear Father B,

It's hard to believe that there is God, I mean it's like whenever we needed help from God and asked him stuff and it never happenned. It's really hard to think that he's there watching over us and he knows all about us but we don't know all about him.

At my school they keep telling us that we are from monkey, monkey evolving into human. I know that's not true and it's really hard to believe that God really did created us and stuff like that. I do believe all that but something inside tells me that I'm talking to myself and nothing is there. Why doesn't Jesus let us see him at all?

And one more question, my dad is smoking and I want him to stop, my mom tell him to stop already and every one forces him to stop and it never happen can you help? God bless. Sincerly, (Jeni)

Dear Jeni,
We need faith to survive in daily life. When you go to school, your teacher told you a lot of things, for example history. He or she told you about people and events that happenned hundreds or thousands years ago. He told you about places thousands miles away where you have never been. You assumed that he told you the truth and you believe in him. You don't know for sure that there were such people, events, places in the past, but you never question them. You put faith on your teacher. You believe that he told you the truth. You have never seen any of those people in the past, never seen any historical event, yet you believe that they were real. Believing in God is more reasonable than believing in your teacher because we have some signs to start with. We believe in God because we recognize creation as his work. A log of wood cannot split ifself into pieces of wood then form themselves into chairs and table. There must be a carpenter who splits wood then nail them together into a chair or table. So the universe must have its being from God who created it.

When we pray to God, we don't simply treat God as a servant who is waiting there to carry out our request. Praying is not a device controlling God. Praying is a relationship between God and us. We may disclose to God who we are and what are our needs. But it is up to God to give us our wish or not. Some people became angry with God because their prayers were not answered. Those people were acting very childishly. We believe in the God who loves us so much that he gives us his only Son. There should be no doubt about God's love for us. It is because he cares for us that he would not give things could harm us that we asked for unknowingly. So the important thing in praying is to look for God's presence in our life, not fulfilling our own wishes.

We recognize God's presence in our life through all the blessing that we have: a new day to live, our health, family and friends, food, clothings, a home, entertainments, money... Then we also need to see God's presence in all the bad things happen to us so that we can draw some benefit out of that. In seeing God's presence in our lives we get to know God more and more.

God also reveals himself in the Bible, so read the book carefully to know God. In reading the gospels and praying we come to know Jesus and have a loving relationship with Him. Jesus is God in the human face. God shows himself in Jesus who is both God and man. With Jesus we can have a relationship with God as a human being, as a friend, as a father...

Jesus does not appear to most of us because He asks us to have faith in him, to believe in Him freely. If He shows himself to us we are not free to believe; we would not have the choice of not to believe in Him. He wants us to freely believe in Him and love Him.

Evolutionism says that human beings evolve from monkeys. As an intelligent person, which choice would you pick: we, human beings, were created by God or we evolved from apes? God gives us the power to reason so that we can recognize his work in creation. It is an insult to human intelligence to choose evolutionism over God.

Smoking is dangerous to every body's health, smokers' and none-smokers' alike. Your mom and you might want to talk to your dad in a reasonable manner about smoking as a health problem to every one in the family. Take the opportunity of Lent to ask your dad to give up smoking gradually during Lent: reducing by 1 cigarette a week until 0 a day. At the same time your family has to fast and pray for your dad real hard so that he can quit. Good luck and God bless.


<tiểu mục <trang nhà



Chi Dòng Đồng Công Hoa Kỳ
1900 Grand Ave - Carthage, MO 64836
Phone: ( 417) 358-7787 Fax: (417) 358-9508 (văn phòng CD) - (webmaster)