Unit One - What Does it Mean to be Human?

Unit One - What Does it Mean to be Human?

Unit One What Does it Mean to be Human? What does it mean to be human? Why do we need one another? Are we good? Define the word Human as if you were describing it to an alien who had never

encountered humans before. What makes human beings unique? -Sciences such as biology and anthropology give us significant information that we can use to describe what it means to be human. But both science and the liberal arts will always fall just short of explaining what

it is to be truly human. -Humans are spiritual beings made by God and are made in the image of God. Therefore we need to look to God and spirituality to define what it is to be human. Great advancements in science compliment (and do not conflict) the Church in its search for truth.

Different truths require different tools to examine them. Can you use science to empirically test love? No. Do you still believe that love exists? Yes. To aid us in our understanding of what it means to be human and later in our human sexuality unit we will use the

Theology of the Body (TOB). This is the working title John Paul II gave to 129 talks he delivered between September 1979 and November 1984. It is a biblical reflection on the meaning of human embodiment as male and female, particularly as it concerns the call of the two to become one flesh. But it is crucial to realize that the TOB is not only meant for married people.

Read A writer called the Yahwist and What does the Bible say about humans? on Pg 9 in Christ and Culture. According to the author of this text, who is the author of Genesis? What do we know about him and the truth he wished to tell? First it is important to realize that since God made us, all we have is

Then the Lord God formed man (adam) from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man(adam) became a living being. Gen. 2:7| Note: The Hebrew word adam means man as in mankind. (Theology of the Body 10/10/79) - This means that humans

are a mix of earth and divine breath. Angels Angels are pure spirit (breath), they cannot reproduce and they make only one freewill choice to be good or bad. Every other action is then made because they know what is right or wrong.

Humans Humans are made in the image of God. They have an eternal soul and can reproduce (create). Humans have freewill and make moral judgments all the time choosing right and wrong. They are both earth

and divine breath. Animals Animals do not have an infinite soul. They will not have eternal life. They can reproduce but do not have the ability to make moral judgements. This makes them just earth. GOD

Angels Animals Humans Read the following passages from Letter to Families (JPII) and The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Underline two phrases that you find interesting and record on your

handout the reason you chose those particular passages. Mankind is a person in the unity of his body and his spirit. The body can never be reduced to mere matter: it is a spiritualized body, just as mans spirit is so closely united to the body that he can be described as an embodied spirit (LF 19)

As a being at once body and spirit, man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols (CCC 1146) The flesh is the hinge of salvation. We believe in God who is creator of the flesh; we believe in the Word made flesh in order to redeem the flesh; we believe in the resurrection of the flesh, the fulfillment of both the creation and the

redemption of the flesh (CCC 1015). Humans being both flesh (of the earth) and spirit (having divine breath within them) have special characteristics. The Catechism is an official exposition of the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is a summary of our principles, often in

question and answer format. Read paragraph #1700 in the Catechism on Pg 10 of Christ and Culture. What characteristics of the human person are described in this passage? 1. Humans are created in the image and likeness of God. Of all the visible creatures, only human beings can know and love the

Creator. Only we are called to share, by knowledge and love, in Gods own life. (CCC 355-356) 2. Humans are called to happiness and holiness. God has placed the desire for happiness in the human heart in order to draw all people to the One, who alone can fulfill this

desire. True happiness, which we can find only in God, is the goal of our existence. God calls us to be holy, so that our desire for happiness may be 3. Humans are rational and free. By reason, we can understand the order of things established by the Creator. By free will, we can direct ourselves

to our true good. (CCC 1704, 1731, 1733, 1734) 4. Humans are moral beings. Freedom is what makes us different from animals. Humans can act with freedom; animals cannot. Because we intend to do certain things, our actions are moral: they are either

good or evil. (CCC 1749, 1750, 1755) 5. Humans have passions or feelings. Feelings or passions incline us to act or not to act. They are part of human nature. They are a sort of passageway between our senses touch, sight, hearing and feeling and our mind. In themselves, feelings are

neither morally good nor morally evil. (CCC 1763-1767) 6. Humans are blessed with a conscience. Moral conscience is present at the heart of every person. It is like a voice that tells us, at the appropriate moment, to do good and to avoid evil.

(CCC 1795-1802) 7. Humans are able to sin. As intelligent and free creatures, we can choose good or evil. When we fail to love God and neighbor, this is what the Scriptures call sin. Sin is an offence against reason, truth and right conscience. It is an offence against God. (CCC 311, 1849, 1850,

1869) Canada sees men and women, infirmed and healthy as persons. However our society still does not see the unborn as humans. Summarize what scripture says about what it means to be human? 1. Humans are a creation of God

Human beings are the outcome of the desire of God. God formed us. God gave us life, our desire for one another, our relation to animals, our moral life, and our ability to speak. At the heart of all reality is the gift of God. Whatever we are is a gift of God. 2. Humans are a mixture of earth and divine breath

See with what care and love the LORD God forms the human being out of the earth. And see how God breathes into the human being the breath of life. Humans are clay and divine breath, earthy and divine, finite and infinite. Part of us is drawn to the earth, and part to what lies beyond us. We are more than our bodily selves: we are an incarnation (embodiment) of the divine.

3. Humans are good Creation is an exchange of goodness. God is good and declares the creature good. There is in the creature an image of God, something of the inner love of God. Of all creatures, only humans enter into dialogue with God. Our goodness lies in our ability to respond to Gods goodness. Humans are at the core responsible. It is no wonder, therefore, that we pray so naturally to

God. 4. Humans are male and female To be human is to be either female or male. Together, as male and female, we are the image of God. The one is not more an image of God than the other is. What the man exclaims in Genesis 2:23, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, is equally true for the woman. As Eve says when she gives birth to Cain, I have produced a man with the help of the Lord. (Gen

4:1) The human is essentially related to the other. In the Genesis story, before their disobedience, the man and the woman feel no shame in their nakedness because they have no barriers between them. They are in communion with each other before their sin causes division. Why do we need one another? Think about this... - Solitary confinement is

considered one of the cruelest punishments for a human. It has a severe negative impact on a prisoner's mental state. Think About This...Continued - Brain development researcher Lise

Eliot of Chicago Medical School says Babies are spending too much time in infant seats. Doctors believe that contact with other humans is crucial for the proper development of children. Data shows that babies born prematurely greatly increase their chance for survival when they have skin to skin touch with their parents.

Think About This...Continued - Canadian Jean Vanier started community homes for people with mental disabilities called LArche. In these homes all of the people live together as a family. Many of these communities have now sprung up all over the world. All the individuals

involved are thriving and feel that they are living a fulfilling life. In groups of 3 or 4 talk about these three circumstances. What do these facts tell us about what it is to be human? On one sheet of paper write down your groups thoughts and prepare to discuss them with the class.

Why do we need one another? - Humans are made for relationship. This is because we are made in the image of God who Himself is a relationship in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all in relationship What kind of relationships do we

have? With who? How much time is spent with that person? What are some very casual relationships we have? i.e. No commitment Then the Lord God said, It is not good for man (adam) to be alone; I will make him a

helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man (adam), and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that he had taken from the man he made into woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called woman (issah), for out of man (is) this one was taken. Gen. 2: 18, 21-23 Note: The Hebrew word is means male and issah

means female. (Theology of the Body 11/7/79) 1) Mankind or adam is made in the image of God Yahweh 2) God separates Mankind or adam into Male (is) and Female (issah) God Yahweh Male

Female is issah Mankind adam - The late Pope John Paul II put it this

way in his teachings on the Theology of the Body: If we admit, more over, the significant difference in vocabulary, we can conclude that man (adam) falls into that sleep in order to wake up male and female. - Humans are male and female; we are made to have relationships with others.

- Proper relationships with others and God are outlined by Jesus in the gospels. Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? He said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang

all the law and the prophets. Matt. 22: 36-40 God Us The first and most important relationship outlined by Jesus is our relationship with

God. This is a vertical relationship where God gives us grace and gifts. We in return offer up to God our prayers. US OTHERS The second relationship that Jesus

talks about is our relationship with others. We also need to conduct this horizontal relationship as Christians. When both relationships are functioning properly they combine to make a balanced Christian lifestyle. My heart is restless until it

rests in you, oh Lord. - St. Augustine - Many times, relationships are not carried out in a Christian, loving manner and they can go bad. Violence among teenage boys and girls has increased in the last 10 years. The number of teens who have seriously considered suicide is on the rise. Most were having difficulty with at least one parent. 85% of homicides are committed by someone the

victim knows. Divorce rate has drastically increased in the last 30 years - These increases in bad relationships should motivate us all the more to work on having good relationships with others. Are we good? With so much violence and

destruction in the world it can be difficult to believe that humans are created good. Humans are created good. Our goodness lies in our ability to respond to

Gods goodness. Read any one of the stories on Pgs 24-26, 28 (Meeting the Leper, Mother Teresa the Wino and Me, By Tempest Torn or Tragedy in Taber). Find a part of the story that speaks to what it means to be good and explain how

you see that goodness. God is giving us constant goodness. This could be symbolized by God sending Skittles down a tube to us. Mmmm. Skittles good. God

We all have the ability to respond to Gods goodness. Simply receive what God has given us and make it our own. This is when we show the world Us However, we are not always good.

God Often we choose not to accept Gods goodness and we sin, which breaks our tube (relationship) with God and wastes the skittle goodness that he wanted to give us. Everyone sins, but we must

make an effort not to sin and to rebuild our relationship with God through the sacrament of reconciliation. This way we will once again be able to receive the goodness that God has for us. Us Listen to the article about the CCO missionary. Write down what happens

in the story concerning the following: Gods goodness (Skittles) are received. Gods goodness is rejected (the tube is broken, Skittles are wasted). The relationship is rebuilt through reconciliation and Gods goodness can be received again (tube is restored and the Skittles flow freely). Sin

- A sin is something that breaks our connection with God. It is a fault or disorder that limits how God can work in our lives. (CCC 1849-1851) Sin is a constant battle for us as humans, since we have freewill we often choose not to show goodness and follow Gods good plan for us. This human tendency to sin was termed by St. Augustine as concupiscence.

Divide a blank sheet of paper in half. On one half you will draw and color a picture representing how a scene could look if Gods goodness is showing through in people. On the other half draw the same scene (or complete the other half of the The World of Gods The World of Sin

Goodness scene)Goodness showing how it would look in a sinful world. Please remember to put your name on the back.

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