Scott Hahn talks of restoration of divine life lost through original sin

Photo by Mary-Grace Byers

Theresa Balick

Staff Writer

Scott Hahn lectured on the difference between physical and spiritual death and the importance of the preservation of divine life through the Eucharist Friday at 8 p.m. in the Finnegan Fieldhouse.

Hahn, who holds a doctorate in biblical theology, addressed the nearly full fieldhouse on the body and soul and the importance of preserving the soul before the body.

Hahn used examples like society’s current obsession over COVID-19 to illustrate the disordered fear of death and why, as Catholics, death of the body should not cause fear. Instead, Hahn said, Catholics should concern themselves with the preservation of the divine life that can be lost through mortal sin.

“To lose divine life by giving consent to mortal sin is far more of a death than a bullet to the brain,” Hahn said.

Hahn distinguished the two words for life from the Bible, “bios” and “zoe,” to show the difference between mortal life and divine life. Hahn defined “bios” as bodily life whereas “zoe,” he said, is the divine life that God breathed into Adam when Adam was created.

“(Jesus) says, ‘He who wants to save his life,’ in that case it’s ‘bios’ … ‘will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find eternal life,’ and that’s ‘zoe,’” Hahn said.

Hahn also spoke about the connection between the divine life and the Eucharist and how the Eucharist can restore the divine life lost through mortal sin.

“The Holy Spirit transformed bread and wine in order to transform sinners into saints,” Hahn said. “When we receive the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit has made Christ’s sacred humanity communicable, edible, so to set into motion yet one more transformation that exceeds transubstantiation.”

Despite the emphasis on the preservation of the soul, Hahn stressed the importance of treating the body with reverence.

“This body was never intended to be a temporary carton. … The body is like a visible sign that expresses the invisible soul of the very person,” Hahn said.

Junior Elizabeth Williams particularly loved the way Hahn’s topic connected to the current pandemic crisis.

“It was all very relevant to the crazy times we live in,” Williams said.