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“The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Mark 12:29-31
Understanding The Catechism: Morality • This book derives its inspiration from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was published in October 1992. • The Catechism presents the essential teachings of our Catholic faith. • The two sources of the teaching of our Catholic faith is Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition., both of which pass on to us divine Revelation. • Our official church teachers, which we call the Magisterium of the Church, authentically interpret and pass this revelation on to us. • Understanding the Catechism: Morality will introduce you to the major content of the third part of the Catechism—Life in Christ. It will introduce you to or review for you the moral teachings of the Church that guide us in living our life in Christ.
This course is divided in four pillars or foundation, of the Catechism: • The Profession of Faith (The Creed) • The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (Worship: Liturgy and Sacraments) • Life in Christ (Moral Living) • Christian Prayer
Chapter One: Basics of Catholic Morality: Be who you are! “If you remain in my word, You will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, And the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 Goals: • This chapter discusses the Christian understanding of the human person, as it is articulated in the Beatitudes and the teachings of the Catholic Church. • Students will be encouraged to accept their personal responsibilities to do good and avoid evil, and to become the kind of person God has created them to be.
The first half of the chapter examines seven key Christian truths regarding the human person • We are made in God’s image and likeness– Each of us has a value and dignity that has been bestowed on us by God. • We can think -Each of us has an intellect that is capable of knowing right from wrong. • We can choose: Each of us has been created with a will that enables us to desire and to choose what is good. • We are free: God has given us the power to perform actions for which we are personally responsible. • We are wounded by sin: Because the first humans freely chose sin, we are divided within ourselves, inclined to do evil, and prone to making mistakes. • We are children of God: Through the gift of grace and the gifts of faith and Baptism, we became children of God. • We are friends of the Lord: Accepting Jesus’ friendship, we show our love for him and his loving Father by loving one another. This is the very heart of Christian morality.
The second half of the chapter explores the meaning of the Beatitudes as a summary of true Christian morality. • In the section entitled “The Beatitudes and your Christian Journey,” each of the eight Beatitudes is stated and explained. • These eight Beatitudes exemplify moral Christian behavior; • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We are poor in spirit when we recognize that everything we are and everything we have (intelligence, health, talents, possessions, and so on) are pure gifts from God 2. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. We mourn when we are sorrowful over a sinful world and over our own sins. 3. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. We are meek when we accept others with compassion and gentility. • Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. We hunger and thirst for righteousness when we desire and work for God’s will and seek God’s ways above all else.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. We are merciful when we image God’s merciful love to others—and to ourselves. We forgive others, especially our enemies. • Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. We are clean [pure] of heart when we are undivided in our loyalties toward God. • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. We are peacemakers when we do not cause or seek violence and conflict. • Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We are willing to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness when we do the right thing—even when others ridicule us. Jesus suffered for his convictions and told us we must be willing to pick up the cross of rejection, abuse, and even martyrdom for his sake. Matthew 5:3-10
Beatitudes —the heart of Jesus’ preaching; they teach us the actions and attitudes that are foundational to the Christian life. Magisterium: the official teaching authority in the Church, consisting of the pope and the bishops in communion with him. Morality - responsible living guided by true human behavior in conformity with God’s command to love God and neighbor Free will: the power to choose the good over the evil Freedom: the power rooted in reason and will to act or not to act, to do this or do that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own What does the Beatitudes teaches us proper Christian attitudes and actions, showing us how to act as the daughters and sons of the loving Triune God who invites us to share his life.
The chapter ends with a prayer from Psalm 8 that reflects on the honor that God has bestowed upon all people.