Thursday, May 25, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 295 – Part I.



YOUCAT Question n. 295 - Part I. What is conscience?


(Youcat answer) Conscience is the inner voice in a man that moves him to do good under any circumstances and to avoid evil by all means. At the same time it is the ability to distinguish the one from the other. In the conscience God speaks to man.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1776) "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment.... For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God.... His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths" (GS 16). (CCC 1786) Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

   Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Conscience is compared with an inner voice in which God manifests himself in a man. God is the one who becomes apparent in the conscience. When we say, “I cannot reconcile that with my conscience”, this means for a Christian, “I cannot do that in the sight of my Creator!” Many people have gone to jail or been executed because they were true to their conscience.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1777) Moral conscience (Cf. Rom 2:14-16), present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil (Cf. Rom 1:32). It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.

(This question: What is conscience? is continued)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 294 – Part II.



YOUCAT Question n. 294 - Part II. Is someone a sinner if he experiences strong passions within himself?


(Youcat answer - repeated) No, passions can be very valuable. They are designed to lead to and reinforce good actions; only when they are disordered do the passions contribute to evil.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1769) In the Christian life, the Holy Spirit himself accomplishes his work by mobilizing the whole being, with all its sorrows, fears and sadness, as is visible in the Lord's agony and passion. In Christ human feelings are able to reach their consummation in charity and divine beatitude. (CCC 1770) Moral perfection consists in man's being moved to the good not by his will alone, but also by his sensitive appetite, as in the words of the psalm: "My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God" (Ps 84:2).     

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Passions that are ordered to the good become virtues. They then become the motive force of a life of fighting for love and justice. Passions that overpower a person, rob him of his freedom and entice him to evil, we call vice.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1773) In the passions, as movements of the sensitive appetite, there is neither moral good nor evil. But insofar as they engage reason and will, there is moral good or evil in them. (CCC 1774) Emotions and feelings can be taken up in the virtues or perverted by the vices. (CCC 1775) The perfection of the moral good consists in man's being moved to the good not only by his will but also by his "heart."    

(The next question is: What is conscience?)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 294 – Part I.



YOUCAT Question n. 294 - Part I. Is someone a sinner if he experiences strong passions within himself?


(Youcat answer) No, passions can be very valuable. They are designed to lead to and reinforce good actions; only when they are disordered do the passions contribute to evil.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1767) In themselves passions are neither good nor evil. They are morally qualified only to the extent that they effectively engage reason and will. Passions are said to be voluntary, "either because they are commanded by the will or because the will does not place obstacles in their way" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 24, 1 corp. art.). It belongs to the perfection of the moral or human good that the passions be governed by reason (Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 24, 3).

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Passions that are ordered to the good become virtues. They then become the motive force of a life of fighting for love and justice. Passions that overpower a person, rob him of his freedom and entice him to evil, we call vice.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1768) Strong feelings are not decisive for the morality or the holiness of persons; they are simply the inexhaustible reservoir of images and affections in which the moral life is expressed. Passions are morally good when they contribute to a good action, evil in the opposite case. The upright will orders the movements of the senses it appropriates to the good and to beatitude; an evil will succumbs to disordered passions and exacerbates them. Emotions and feelings can be taken up into the virtues or perverted by the vices.

(This question: Is someone a sinner if he experiences strong passions within himself? is continued)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 293 – Part II.



YOUCAT Question n. 293 - Part II. Why did God give us “passions” or emotions?


(Youcat answer - repeated) We have passions so that through strong emotions and distinct feelings we might be attracted to what is right and good and repelled from what is evil and bad.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1765) There are many passions. The most fundamental passion is love, aroused by the attraction of the good. Love causes a desire for the absent good and the hope of obtaining it; this movement finds completion in the pleasure and joy of the good possessed. The apprehension of evil causes hatred, aversion, and fear of the impending evil; this movement ends in sadness at some present evil, or in the anger that resists it. 

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) God made man in such a way that he can love and hate, desire or despise something, be attracted by some things and afraid of others, be full of joy, sorrow, or anger. In the depths of his heart man always loves good and hates evilor what he considers to be such.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1766) "To love is to will the good of another" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 26, 4, corp. art.). All other affections have their source in this first movement of the human heart toward the good. Only the good can be loved (Cf. St. Augustine, De Trin., 8, 3, 4: PL 42, 949-950). Passions "are evil if love is evil and good if it is good" (St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 14, 7, 2: PL 41, 410).

(The next question is: Is someone a sinner if he experiences strong passions within himself?)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 293 – Part I.



YOUCAT Question n. 293 - Part I. Why did God give us “passions” or emotions?


(Youcat answer) We have passions so that through strong emotions and distinct feelings we might be attracted to what is right and good and repelled from what is evil and bad.

A deepening through CCC

 (CCC 1762) The human person is ordered to beatitude by his deliberate acts: the passions or feelings he experiences can dispose him to it and contribute to it. (CCC 1771) The term "passions" refers to the affections or the feelings. By his emotions man intuits the good and suspects evil. (CCC 1763) The term "passions" belongs to the Christian patrimony. Feelings or passions are emotions or movements of the sensitive appetite that incline us to act or not to act in regard to something felt or imagined to be good or evil.

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) God made man in such a way that he can love and hate, desire or despise something, be attracted by some things and afraid of others, be full of joy, sorrow, or anger. In the depths of his heart man always loves good and hates evilor what he considers to be such.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1764) The passions are natural components of the human psyche; they form the passageway and ensure the connection between the life of the senses and the life of the mind. Our Lord called man's heart the source from which the passions spring (Cf. Mk 7:21). (CCC 1772) The principal passions are love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger. 

(This question: Why did God give us “passions” or emotions? is continued)