Thursday, September 21, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 344 – Part I.



YOUCAT Question n. 344 – Part I. Why does the Church also make declarations about ethical questions and about matters of personal conduct?


(Youcat answer) Believing is a path. One learns how to stay on this path, in other words, how to act rightly and to lead a good life, only by following the instructions in the Gospel. The teaching authority (Magisterium) of the Church must remind people also about the demands of the natural moral law.     

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2032) The Church, the "pillar and bulwark of the truth," "has received this solemn command of Christ from the apostles to announce the saving truth" (1 Tim 3:15; LG 17). "To the Church belongs the right always and everywhere to announce moral principles, including those pertaining to the social order, and to make judgments on any human affairs to the extent that they are required by the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls" (CIC, can. 747 § 2).     

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) There are not two truths. What is humanly right cannot be wrong from the Christian perspective. And what is right according to Christianity cannot be humanly wrong. That is why the Church must teach comprehensively about moral issues.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2033) The Magisterium of the Pastors of the Church in moral matters is ordinarily exercised in catechesis and preaching, with the help of the works of theologians and spiritual authors. Thus from generation to generation, under the aegis and vigilance of the pastors, the "deposit" of Christian moral teaching has been handed on, a deposit composed of a characteristic body of rules, commandments, and virtues proceeding from faith in Christ and animated by charity. Alongside the Creed and the Our Father, the basis for this catechesis has traditionally been the Decalogue which sets out the principles of moral life valid for all men. 

(This question: Why does the Church also make declarations about ethical questions and about matters of personal conduct? is continued)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 343.



YOUCAT Question n. 343 - How does the Church help us to lead a good, responsible life?


(Youcat answer) In the Church we are baptized. In the Church we receive the faith that the Church has preserved intact down through the centuries. In the Church we hear the living Word of God and learn how we must live if we want to please God. Through the sacraments that Jesus entrusted to his disciples, the Church builds us up, strengthens, and consoles us. In the Church there is the blazing fire of the saints, by which our hearts are kindled. In the Church the Holy Eucharist is celebrated, in which Christ’s sacrifice and strength are renewed for us in such a way that, united with him, we become his Body and live by his strength. Despite all her human weaknesses, apart from the Church no one can be a Christian.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2030) It is in the Church, in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation. From the Church he receives the Word of God containing the teachings of "the law of Christ". From the Church he receives the grace of the sacraments that sustains him on the "way." From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary; he discerns it in the authentic witness of those who live it; he discovers it in the spiritual tradition and long history of the saints who have gone before him and whom the liturgy celebrates in the rhythms of the sanctoral cycle.   

Reflecting and meditating 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2031) The moral life is spiritual worship. We "present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God" (Rom 12:1), within the Body of Christ that we form and in communion with the offering of his Eucharist. In the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments, prayer and teaching are conjoined with the grace of Christ to enlighten and nourish Christian activity. As does the whole of the Christian life, the moral life finds its source and summit in the Eucharistic sacrifice. (CCC 2047) The moral life is a spiritual worship. Christian activity finds its nourishment in the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments.    

(The next question is: Why does the Church also make declarations about ethical questions and about matters of personal conduct?)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 342 – Part III.



YOUCAT Question n. 342 – Part III. Are we all supposed to become “saints”?


(Youcat answer - repeated) Yes. The purpose of our life is to be united with God in love and to correspond entirely to God’s wishes. We should allow God “to live his life in us” (Mother Teresa). That is what it means to be holy: a “saint”.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2016) The children of our holy mother the Church rightly hope for the grace of final perseverance and the recompense of God their Father for the good works accomplished with his grace in communion with Jesus (Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1576). Keeping the same rule of life, believers share the "blessed hope" of those whom the divine mercy gathers into the "holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev 21:2).     

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Every man asks himself the question: Who am I and why am I here, how do I find myself? Faith answers: Only in holiness does man become that for which God created him. Only in holiness does man find real harmony between himself and his Creator. Holiness, however, is not some sort of self-made perfection; rather, it is union with the incarnate love that is Christ. Anyone who gains new life in this way finds himself and becomes holy. 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2028) "All Christians… are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity" (LG 40 § 2). "Christian perfection has but one limit, that of having none" (St. Gregory of Nyssa, De vita Mos.: PG 44, 300D). (CCC 2029) "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mt 16:24).   

(The next question is: How does the Church help us to lead a good, responsible life?)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 342 – Part II.



YOUCAT Question n. 342 – Part II. Are we all supposed to become “saints”?


(Youcat answer - repeated) Yes. The purpose of our life is to be united with God in love and to correspond entirely to God’s wishes. We should allow God “to live his life in us” (Mother Teresa). That is what it means to be holy: a “saint”.  

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2014) Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called "mystical" because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments - "the holy mysteries" - and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Every man asks himself the question: Who am I and why am I here, how do I find myself? Faith answers: Only in holiness does man become that for which God created him. Only in holiness does man find real harmony between himself and his Creator. Holiness, however, is not some sort of self-made perfection; rather, it is union with the incarnate love that is Christ. Anyone who gains new life in this way finds himself and becomes holy.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2015) The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle (Cf. 2 Tim 4). Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes: He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows (St. Gregory of Nyssa, Hom. in Cant. 8: PG 44, 941C).      

(This question: Are we all supposed to become “saints”? is continued)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 342 – Part I.



YOUCAT Question n. 342 – Part I. Are we all supposed to become “saints”?


(Youcat answer) Yes. The purpose of our life is to be united with God in love and to correspond entirely to God’s wishes. We should allow God “to live his life in us” (Mother Teresa). That is what it means to be holy: a “saint”.    

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2012) "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him… For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified" (Rom 8:28-30).

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Every man asks himself the question: Who am I and why am I here, how do I find myself? Faith answers: Only in holiness does man become that for which God created him. Only in holiness does man find real harmony between himself and his Creator. Holiness, however, is not some sort of self-made perfection; rather, it is union with the incarnate love that is Christ. Anyone who gains new life in this way finds himself and becomes holy.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2013) "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity" (LG 40 § 2). All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that… doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints  (LG 40 § 2).

(This question: Are we all supposed to become “saints”? is continued)