Christian Morality Section 1: Foundational Principles for Christian Morality
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Christian MoralitySection 1: Foundational Principles for Christian Morality
Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanGod made us to live in loving communion with Him and with one another so as to experience true happiness and peace.The core of Scriptures tells us that humans were created to be in loving relationship with Him.Humans were not created by gods to feed upon their egos or for their amusement; if so, humans would be at the mercy of the changing whim of the gods, be self-centered, be in competition with each other always, and love would not be freely given.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanThe effects of Original Sin make it difficult for some people to know or understand Gods plan.Idolatry is the primary sin against the First Commandment and the most prevalent in our world.God made us in His image and likeness, bringing us into even deeper communion with who He truly is and calls us to be.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanGod gave us three gifts that allow us to be with Him for all eternity, which are our:SoulIntellectFree WillOur soul is our spiritual principal that is immortal and which makes us most like God.Our soul is created by God, united with our body at conception and is the seat of human consciousness and freedom.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanOur soul and our body form one nature called human nature and are not separate.Intellect is the divine gift that allows us to understand and see the order of Gods creation and understand God through that order.We understand how to be in communion with God by knowing what is truly good and what only appears to be good.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanFree Will is a gift from God that allows us to choose from various actions, for which we are accountable for.Free will is the basis for moral responsibility.Our free will shows God is not manipulative and does not force us to love Him.Our soul, intellect, and free will orient us toward God and a loving relationship with Him; however, intellect and free will can also separate us from God if not used properlyPart 1: Moral Choices and Gods Plan
Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanEvery person who has ever lived is free to accept the will of God and His love or reject it.Adam and Eve chose their freedom to reject God when they disobeyed His command to them not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.Pursuits of popularity, pleasure, and wealth all are evils that can distract us from true happiness.Unlike animals, whose instinct drives their actions, we can analyze an action as wither good or bad before acting.
Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanFreedom and responsibility go hand in hand since we must be responsible for all actions we freely take, whether right or wrong.Some situations, such as fear, side effects of prescription drugs, or social pressures affect our moral choices and do not allow us to make perfectly free choices on our part.Our basic human right of free will is built into us and no one can take it from us, even if it is lessened by outside agents (though they are not excuses for acting badly).Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanOriginal Sin is the sin of Adam and Eve, the first humans, who disobeyed Gods will by choosing their own will, losing holiness and becoming subject to death.Original Sin is also the fallen nature that affects every person born into this world except Jesus Christ and Mary, His Mother.Original holiness is the original state of humans in communion with God, sharing in the divine life in full relationship with Him.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanAdam and Eve sinned not just against themselves, but all human nature, since their state of original holiness was for all their descendants as well.Original sin weakens human nature, making us concupiscent, or the tendency toward sin as a result of Original sin.The most serious loss of all due to Original Sin is that humans now experience death, something God never intended for life.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods Plan
Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanChange can be a very difficult thing to accomplish and we sometimes give up on changing something in our life when it just seems too difficult.God did not give up on humanity after the fall of Adam and Eve; instead, He called humanity to change from sin and turn to Him.God formed covenants with humanity, gave the 10 Commandments, provided leaders for the Israelites, a people He chose as His own.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanAt first, when God allowed for a new leaf to be turned off, the Israelites rejoiced and tried to follow God; however, within one generation, the people God called His own has strayed from His ways again, just as Adam and Eve did.God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to complete salvation history, or the specific events in human history that revealed Gods presence and saving actions.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanThrough Christs Paschal Mystery, which was the work of salvation by His death, Resurrection, and Ascension, we are called to new life in Christ; to turn a new leaf away from the death of the Old Adam to life in the New Adam, who is Christ Himself.When we place our trust in Christ, we are called to live the life of the Beatitudes, which are our vocations as Christians and the goal of our existence. It is truly blessedness and happiness experiences partially on Earth and fully in Heaven.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanThe Beatitudes show us the paradox nature of Gods wisdom in comparison to what we hold true.The Beatitudes teach that by embracing the hardships of life, we gain meaning to our moral choices.We will not experience full happiness in life on Earth when living by the Beatitudes, but will do so only in Heaven.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanThrough Scripture and Tradition, we are given direction to live as disciples.By Baptism, Eucharist, and the Sacraments, we are given Gods grace and strength to follow through on change.We grow closer to the Holy Trinity when we make moral choices when we are called forth by the Father, guided by the Holy Spirit, and taught by Christ the Son.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanGod calls us to enter through the narrow gate, the path less trodden, since the wide open gate leads to destruction and death, pot hole filled and ridden with pain.God never gives up on us; He did not give up on Adam and Eve and their descendants, us men and women, since He sent for us to die His only, beloved Son, Jesus Christ.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods Plan
Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanWe are saved through Gods works, not our own.Our primary goal then is to collaborate with Gods grace and not just try to earn our way to Heaven.Justification is the process by which God frees us from our sins and sanctifies us.Original Justice is the state our first parents, Adam and Eve, had with their inner self, with each other, and with creation.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanIn Baptism we united ourselves with Christ as original sin is washed away, though its effects remain.Justification starts with conversion on our part as we realize we do need God, in both good and bad times.At the end of the justification process, we become sanctified, or holy people, like the saints, by giving praise to God through our lives.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanSaint Ignatius of Loyola wanted to be a nobleman when he was younger; yet these dreams were dashed when he was hit by a cannonball at age 30. During recuperation, Ignatius learned about the saints and read about Christ, thus beginning his conversion. Ignatius was sanctified by Gods grace and achieved true holiness thereafter.
Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanMerit is Gods reward for those who love Him and follow Christs law of love. To have merit means you are justified in the sight of God, freed from sin and sanctified by His graces. We do not earn merit on our own; it is a free gift to us from God due to the grace of Christ in us.Part 1: Moral Choices and Gods PlanMerit is first and foremost Gods free gift to us, then secondly, our acceptance of His gift and participation in His saving plan, for nothing we do can earn merit in Gods sight.So why should we be good?Because that is how God made us to be.We should be good not to impress others or earn our way to Heaven because this puts US at the center of our deeds and not God.God justifies and sanctifies us so that we can live in perfect communion with Him.
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Part 2: The Law of GodGod is the source of all true law.Moral laws govern how people should be in relationships with one another and with God.We are the only creatures that can cause chaos and disaster to the order of the universe God has set in place, as well as support and strengthen the natural order of creation.Part 2: The Law of GodThere is always a price to pay when going against Gods natural order, such as when telling one lie after another.The Eternal Law is the order in creation that reflects Gods will and purpose; it is eternal because it is always true and never changes. All other laws have their basis in the Eternal Law and are only true laws when they reflect the truth of the Eternal law.Part 2: The Law of GodIn general, law is a rule of behavior that is made by a competent authority for the sake of the common good.Moral law is established by God and is a rational expression of the Eternal Law.Moral law reflects Gods wisdom and is the teaching that leads us to the blessed life He wants for us.It is our conscience that allow everyone to know the moral law.Part 2: The Law of God
Part 2: The Law of GodThrough the gift of reason, all people can follow moral laws.Natural law is the moral law that can be understood through the use of reason; it gives our God-given ability to understand what it means to be in right relationship with God, other people, the world, and ourselves.The basis for natural law is our participation in Go