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 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 (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.