Our Catholic Faith
Living What We Believe
CHAPTER 8
The Basics of Catholic Morality
 Modeling Christ
 Humans Are Made in God’s Image
 Conscience and Moral Decisions
 Virtues and Other Helps to Live a Moral Life
 Sin, Justification, and Grace
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Modeling Christ
The building blocks of Catholic morality:
1. Be who you are.
2. Form and follow your conscience.
3. Respond to God’s call to holiness by using
the helps he gives us to live
virtuous lives, to avoid sin, and
to do good.
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Humans Are Made in God’s Image
Because we are made in God’s image:
 We have dignity – our worth does not have
to be earned
 We can think – we are able to
distinguish good from evil
 We have freedom – free will
helps us desire what is good
and then choose it
 We are responsible – we are
blameworthy for our actions
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Humans Are Made in God’s Image
Because we are made in God’s image:
 We are wounded by sin – though we are
fundamentally good, we have inherited the
effects of Original Sin
 We are children of God – Christ’s Paschal
Mystery of Salvation has forgiven our sins
and rescued us from Satan
 We are friends of the
Lord – we must love him
above all and our
neighbors as ourselves
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Humans Are Made in God’s Image
Humans and society
By nature, humans live with and for others,
belonging to many societies
Each society must treat people as ends and not
as means – promoting virtue and love
We act morally when we:
 Responsibly use our God-given
intellects and wills
 Choose good and avoid evil
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Humans Are Made in God’s Image
Humans and society
We act morally when we:
 Act as persons of incomparable worth who
respect the essential dignity of others
 Allow the Holy Spirit to live in us
 Are Christlike and act as true sons
and daughters of a loving Father
 Act like true friends of Jesus –
showing love for God and
neighbor
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Conscience and Moral Decisions
Conscience
 GodConscience
gave each is
ofaus
a conscience
to help us
judgment
of reason
live
like Christ
whereby
the human person recognizes the
of a concrete
act
that
is
 It moral
helps quality
us determine
if what
we
arehedoing
is
going towith
perform,
in the
of
in accord
God’sisplan
orprocess
goes against
it
performing, or has already completed.
 It helps us judge whether we did right after
CCC, 1778
we act
 It calls us to repent if we have
sinned by going against it
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Conscience and Moral Decisions
How to form a good conscience:
 Use our God-given ability to think to discover God’s
goodness and truth
 Listen to Jesus Christ who teaches us how to be
loving and virtuous
 Look to his Death on the cross as the perfect
example of how to love and obey God
the Father
 Obey the teaching of the Magisterium and
the example of other wise and holy people
 Use the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit
that help us live virtuous lives
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Conscience and Moral Decisions
Sources of Morality
Circumstances
►Secondary factors: who, where, when, how, consequences
►Can increase or reduce the evil or goodness of an action
The intention
►One’s motive or purpose for acting - the why I do it
►It looks to the “end,” that is, the reason or goal of an action
►A good intention cannot make an intrinsically evil action a just one
The moral object
►The matter of our actions – the what we do
►Moral norms can be discovered by human reason and conscience
►This is the most important element for judging morality
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Conscience and Moral Decisions
The Right Course of Action
 For actions to be morally good, all three
elements must all be good
 Jesus is our best guide for forming a
sensitive and loving conscience
 We must look to the Magisterium for guidance
 Follow your conscience
 If we violate our conscience, then
we have sinned
 It is possible to have a conscience
that is in error due to ignorance or emotions
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Virtues and Other Helps to Live a Moral Life
Virtues – help us control our
passions and guide our actions
according to faith and reason
Vices – bad habits that
incline us to do evil
envy
charity
anger
sloth
prudence
justice
temperance fortitude
faith
lust
hope
pride
gluttony
greed
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Virtues and Other Helps to Live a Moral Life
Moral Law – “a reasonable regulation issued by
the proper authority for the common good”
Expressions of the moral law:
1. the natural law – the light of understanding
placed in us by God
2. revealed law – the Old Testament Law and
the Law of the Gospel
3. civil and Church laws – these
flow from natural law
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Virtues and Other Helps to Live a Moral Life
Jesus Christ makes God’s law perfect
 Most perfectly revealed in the Sermon on the Mount
 Christ’s new law is a law of love, a law of grace, a law of
freedom
 Speaks to the attitudes and
motives behind our actions
The New Law has several
special virtues called the
evangelical counsels:
poverty, chastity, and
obedience
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Virtues and Other Helps to Live a Moral Life
Precepts of the Church
1. Attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of
obligation and rest from servile labor
2. Confess your sins at least once a year
3. Receive the Sacrament of Eucharist at least
during the Easter season
4. Observe the days of fasting and abstinence
established by the Church
5. Help to provide for the needs of
the Church
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Sin, Justification, and Grace
Justification
 God’s mercy
 The grace of the Holy Spirit that cleanses us
from our sins through faith in Jesus Christ
and Baptism
 Jesus’ Death on the cross brings about our
justification
 We do not earn, nor do we deserve, the gift of
grace
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Sin, Justification, and Grace
Types of Grace
Sanctifying
Actual
Grace
Grace
permanently
Sacramental
disposes usGod’s
to special helpGraces
Charisms
to turn from sin or
live like God
gifts that flow
Special gifts the Graces
help us act like
from particular
Holy Spirit bestowsof State
Christ once
sacraments on individual
God’s special help for
we have
Christians to special
help theministers in
Church grow the Church
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Sin, Justification, and Grace
Merit and Holiness
 Merit is something we are owed because of good deeds
 God will reward us with Heaven, but we must cooperate
with the Holy Spirit’s graces to live holy lives
 It is impossible to “earn Salvation”
 We must let Christ live in us by the power
of the Holy Spirit and sanctifying grace
 All of us are called to be holy by loving and
imitating Jesus Christ
 The saints have taught us that works of
self-denial and penance lead to holiness
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
VOCABULARY
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
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Cardinal virtues (213)
Passions (213)
Society (214)
Subsidiarity (214)
Common good (215)
Social justice doctrine
(216)
Solidarity (217)
Sources of morality
(218)
Christian morality (222)
Natural law (224)
 Precepts of the Church




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
(225)
Justification (227)
Sanctifying grace (227)
Habitual grace (227)
Actual grace (227)
Sacramental graces
(227)
Charisms (227)
Graces of state (227)
A Prayer for Human Rights
Chapter 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality
Lord, lead us from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead us from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Let peace fill our hearts,
our world and our universe.
Let us dream together, pray together
and work together to build a world
of peace and justice for all.
Merciful God, listen to us as we pray
for a world that will respect
the God-given rights of all.
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CHAPTER 8 The Basics of Catholic Morality