Catechism of the Catholic Church

104 Part One IV. “Y ou D id N ot A bandon H im to the D omain of D eath ” 410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall. 304 This passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium (“first gospel”): the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers. 411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an an­ nouncement of the “NewAdam” who, because he “became obedi­ ent unto death, even death on a cross,” makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience of Adam. 305 Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the Protoevangelium as Mary, the mother of Christ, the “new Eve.” Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ’s victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life. 306 412 But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, “Christ’s inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon’s envy had taken away.” 307 And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “There is nothing to prevent human nature’s being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says, ‘Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more’; and the Exsultet sings, ‘O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!’” 308 IN BRIEF 413 “God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . . It was through the devil’s envy that death entered the world” ( Wis 1:13; 2:24). 414 Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his 304 Cf. Gen 3:9, 15. 305 Cf. 1 Cor 15:21-22, 45 ; Phil 2:8; Rom 5:19-20. 306 Cf. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus: DS 2803; Council of Trent: DS 1573. 307 St. Leo the Great, Sermo 73, 4: PL 54, 396. 308 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 1, 3, ad 3; cf. Rom 5:20. 55, 705 1609, 2568 675 359, 615 491 310, 395 272