"St. Augustine teaches in On Christian Doctrine that, ‘we used our immortality so badly as to incur the penalty of death; Christ used his mortality so well as to restore us to life’ (I:14). Redemption comes not just from God assuming human form but from his willingness to suffer and die to free humanity from sin’s bondage. His resurrection announces a victory over death for all faithful believers […] The Church, the Mystical body of Christ, functions as God’s intermediary on earth, having the power to forgive sins or to deny forgiveness; he thus holds the key to salvation or damnation. Initially Christians focused on the Last Judgement as the moment that would determine their eternal fate. All of history moves toward this second coming of Christ--the apocalypse--the final reckoning on all aspects of human experience and a permanent sorting of the good from the bad."[1]

 

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[1] Lillian Bisson, Chaucer and the Late Medieval World (Chicago, 1996), p. 156.