Christian Morality - Human Nature and Dignity Catholic Beliefs

Christian Morality - Human Nature and Dignity
Catholic Beliefs
-Because all people are made to be like God, and God is both in and with each person,
all people are sacred and valuable.
-Every human life has meaning and is graced.
- For Catholics, the best way to describe God is perfectly loving. Therefore, God’s grace
is freely given to us by God.
- Human Dignity is not something that has to be earned by
good behavior or that can be lost with sinful choices.
-It is not given in different amounts. God cares for everyone the same, perfectly, 100%.
- Human dignity involves seeing and treating all human beings as if they are in a sense
part of a family or community.
- Because we are all sacred and have dignity, the Church says that we all have certain
human rights.
1) We have certain freedoms from
2) We have certain freedoms to do
The Creation Stories and the Incarnation
This is the belief that God has chosen to become a human being instead or remaining in the
form of God. In a sense this can be considered the greatest compliment to being a human, that
God wanted to become one of us.
In the Fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis Ch. 3) there is a very important line about evil. In the
story, the serpent says to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge to be like God. The temptation
simply isn’t to disobey God. The serpent is saying that we as humans are actually not like God
at all, that God is great, powerful and wise but we are not.
The real origin of evil and sin is to reject the goodness of being human, that we are not
really made in God’s image. It is to disagree with God’s statement about the goodness of
creation and to think that nothing has any worth or is any good.
The Incarnation is the revelation of the goodness of being human.
According to Scripture, Catholics believe that Jesus became human like us in all things but sin.
What truly unites us with God and makes us like him is to be a better human being.
Anything that makes us truly a better person and makes us more authentically human also makes
us more like God. Anything that causes us to turn away from the goodness of humanity or treat
others as if they are undignified is an obstacle to relationship with God.
Pope John Paul II even defined Christianity as “an attitude of deep
amazement at the human person’s worth and dignity."
Explicit Christians - People who believe and accept the teachings of Jesus and the Church.
Implicit Christians - People who live out the teachings of Jesus in their lives.
Ultimately both are important. Your explicit beliefs should help you to live implicitly like
Christ. It’s more important to live (implicitly) as a good person, although your beliefs should
help inspire you to be moral.