Saturday, September 30, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 348 – Part I.

YOUCAT Question n. 348 – Part I. “Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt 19:16)

(Youcat answer) Jesus says, “If you would enter life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17). Then he adds, and come, follow me” (Mt 19:21).

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2052) "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" To the young man who asked this question, Jesus answers first by invoking the necessity to recognize God as the "One there is who is good," as the supreme Good and the source of all good. Then Jesus tells him: "If you would enter life, keep the commandments." And he cites for his questioner the precepts that concern love of neighbor: "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother." Finally Jesus sums up these commandments positively: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt 19:16-19).

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Christianity is more than a correct life and keeping the commandments. Being a Christian is a living relationship to Jesus. A Christian unites himself deeply and personally with the Lord and with him sets out on the way that leads to true life.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2053) To this first reply Jesus adds a second: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (Mt 19:21). This reply does not do away with the first: following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments. The Law has not been abolished (Cf. Mt 5:17), but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is its perfect fulfillment. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus' call to the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple and in the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call to poverty and chastity (Cf. Mt 19:6-12, 21, 23-29). The evangelical counsels are inseparable from the Commandments.

(This question: “Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt 19:16) is continued)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 347.

YOUCAT Question n. 347 - Why is “not practicing what you preach” such a serious deficiency in a Christian?

(Youcat answer) Agreement between one’s life and one’s witness is the first requirement for proclaiming the Gospel. Not practicing what you profess is therefore hypocrisy, a betrayal of the Christian duty to be “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”.  

 A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2044) The fidelity of the baptized is a primordial condition for the proclamation of the Gospel and for the Church's mission in the world. In order that the message of salvation can show the power of its truth and radiance before men, it must be authenticated by the witness of the life of Christians. "The witness of a Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great power to draw men to the faith and to God" (AA 6 § 2).       

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Paul was the one who reminded the Church in Corinth: “You show that you are a letter from Christ… written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor 3:3). Christians themselves, not the things they say, are Christ’s “letters of recommendation” (2 Cor 3:2) to the world. It is all the more devastating, therefore, when there are even priests and religious who abuse children. They not only commit unspeakable crimes against their victims. They deprive many people of hope in God and extinguish the light of faith in quite a few souls.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2045) Because they are members of the Body whose Head is Christ  (Cf. Eph 1:22), Christians contribute to building up the Church by the constancy of their convictions and their moral lives. The Church increases, grows, and develops through the holiness of her faithful, until "we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13; cf. LG 39). (CCC 2046) By living with the mind of Christ, Christians hasten the coming of the Reign of God, "a kingdom of justice, love, and peace" (Roman Missal, Preface of Christ the King). They do not, for all that, abandon their earthly tasks; faithful to their master, they fulfill them with uprightness, patience, and love.   

(The next question is:  “Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt 19:16)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 346.

YOUCAT Question n. 346 - What is the purpose of the precepts of the Church, and how binding are they?

(Youcat answer) The “Five Precepts of the Church” with their minimum requirements are supposed to remind us that one cannot be a Christian without making a moral effort, without participating personally in the sacramental life of the Church, and without union with her in solidarity. They are obligatory for every Catholic Christian.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2041) The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor. 

Reflecting and meditating 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2048) The precepts of the Church concern the moral and Christian life united with the liturgy and nourished by it.

(The next question is: Why is “not practicing what you preach” such a serious deficiency in a Christian?)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 345.

YOUCAT Question n. 345 - What are the “Five Precepts of the Church”?

(Youcat answer) (1) You shall attend Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligation and abstain from work or activities that offend against the character of the day. (2) You shall receive the sacrament of Penance at least once a year. (3) You shall receive the Eucharist at least during the Easter season. (4) You shall observe the prescribed seasons of fasting and days of abstinence (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday). (5) You shall contribute to the material support of the Church.     

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2042) The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor") requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts  honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days (Cf. CIC, cann. 1246-1248; CCEO, cann. 880 § 3, 881 §§ 1, 2, 4). The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year.") ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism's work of conversion and forgiveness (Cf. CIC, can. 989; CCEO, can. 719). The third precept (“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord's Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy (Cf. CIC, can. 920; CCEO, cann. 708; 881 § 3).   

Reflecting and meditating 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2043) The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart (Cf. CIC, can. 1249-1251: CCEO, can. 882). The fifth precept (“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church”) means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability (Cf. CIC, can. 222; CCEO, can. 25; Furthermore, episcopal conferences can establish ecclesiastical precepts for their own territories (Cf. CIC, can. 455).
(The next question is: What is the purpose of the precepts of the Church, and how binding are they?)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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

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

(Youcat answer - repeated) 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 2050) The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, as authentic teachers, preach to the People of God the faith which is to be believed and applied in moral life. It is also encumbent on them to pronounce on moral questions that fall within the natural law and reason.

 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 2038) In the work of teaching and applying Christian morality, the Church needs the dedication of pastors, the knowledge of theologians, and the contribution of all Christians and men of good will. Faith and the practice of the Gospel provide each person with an experience of life "in Christ," who enlightens him and makes him able to evaluate the divine and human realities according to the Spirit of God (Cf. 1 Cor 2:10-15). Thus the Holy Spirit can use the humblest to enlighten the learned and those in the highest positions.

(The next question is: What are the “Five Precepts of the Church”?)