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Moral Life


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Moral Life

  1. 1. Full Life in the Kingdom An introduction to a formation process as envisioned by Disciples of the Lamb, Apostles of the King
  2. 4. The Moral Life How do I live as a disciple in the Kingdom?
  3. 5. More than me <ul><li>The beginning of the moral life is to acknowledge that there is more than me </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you grateful for this truth or do you accept it grudgingly? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you have to give up to embrace this truth? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Once I realize that there is something other than myself I can ask the question and what should I do about that? </li></ul>
  4. 6. God and the Moral Life <ul><li>The first relationship to acknowledge is my relationship to God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I am here because he has created me </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We are also in relationship to God as the Giver of the Law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deut. 6:1-7 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>God is also our Father </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He sends Jesus to Redeem us (Gal. 4:4-5) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 7. Jesus Our Redeemer <ul><li>Jesus himself fulfills the Law perfectly </li></ul><ul><li>We now live under the New Law: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Law of the Gospel fulfills the commandments of the Law. The Lord's Sermon on the Mount, far from abolishing or devaluing the moral prescriptions of the Old Law, releases their hidden potential and has new demands arise from them: it reveals their entire divine and human truth. It does not add new external precepts, but proceeds to reform the heart, the root of human acts, where man chooses between the pure and the impure, where faith, hope, and charity are formed and with them the other virtues. (CCC 1968) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 8. The New Law <ul><li>The New Law is called a law of love because it makes us act out of the love infused by the Holy Spirit, rather than from fear; a law of grace , because it confers the strength of grace to act, by means of faith and the sacraments; a law of freedom , because it sets us free from the ritual and juridical observances of the Old Law, inclines us to act spontaneously by the prompting of charity . . . . (CCC 1972) </li></ul>
  7. 9. The Holy Spirit <ul><li>The New Law is the grace of the Holy Spirit given to the faithful through faith in Christ. It works through charity; it uses the Sermon on the Mount to teach us what must be done and makes use of the sacraments to give us the grace to do it: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If anyone should meditate with devotion and perspicacity on the sermon our Lord gave on the mount, as we read in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, he will doubtless find there . . . the perfect way of the Christian life. . . . This sermon contains . . . all the precepts needed to shape one's life. (St. Augustine, CCC 1966) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 10. Our Moral Capacity <ul><li>Our dignity comes from the fact that we are created in the image of God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By virtue of his soul and his spiritual powers of intellect and will, man is endowed with freedom, an “outstanding manifestation of the divine image.” (CCC 1705, Gaudium et Spes 17) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 11. Our Moral Capacity <ul><li>Freedom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude. (CCC 1731) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 12. Our Moral Capacity <ul><li>Intellect and Will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Endowed with a spiritual soul, with intellect and with free will, the human person is from his very conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude. He pursues his perfection in &quot;seeking and loving what is true and good&quot; (CCC 1711, GS 15 § 2). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Intellect is our ability to understand God’s wisdom </li></ul>
  11. 13. Our Moral Capacity <ul><li>The Will is where we make choices. We could also speak of the heart. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place &quot;to which I withdraw.&quot; The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant. (CCC 2563) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 14. Conscience <ul><li>“ 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.” (CCC 1776, GS 16) </li></ul>
  13. 15. Conscience <ul><li>Moral conscience, 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. 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. (CCC 1777, Cf. Rom 1:32; 2:14-16) </li></ul>
  14. 16. Passions <ul><li>The passions are the feelings, the emotions or the movements of the sensible appetite - natural components of human psychology - which incline a person to act or not to act in view of what is perceived as good or evil. The principal passions are love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger. The chief passion is love which is drawn by the attraction of the good. One can only love what is good, real or apparent. (Compendium 370) </li></ul>
  15. 17. Virtues and Vices <ul><li>Virtue: A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. “The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God” (Saint Gregory of Nyssa). (Compendium 377) </li></ul><ul><li>Vices are the opposite of virtues. They are perverse habits which darken the conscience and incline one to evil. The vices can be linked to the seven, so-called, capital sins which are: pride, avarice, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia. (Compendium 398) </li></ul>
  16. 18. John Paul II <ul><li>John Paul II’s whole pontificate was about reexamining the truth about man. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Our spirit is set in one direction, the only direction for our intellect, will and heart is-towards Christ our Redeemer, towards Christ, the Redeemer of man.” (Redemptor Hominis 7) </li></ul>
  17. 19. John Paul II <ul><li>Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer &quot;fully reveals man to himself&quot;. If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption. In this dimension man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity. (RH 10) </li></ul>
  18. 20. Sin <ul><li>Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness. (CCC 397) </li></ul>
  19. 21. The Effects of Sin <ul><li>Sin has affected our relationships to God and others. </li></ul><ul><li>It has also affected our capacity to live a moral life. </li></ul><ul><li>When we sin we become slaves to sin. </li></ul><ul><li>Our will is weakened and our intellect is darkened. </li></ul>
  20. 22. Goal of the Moral Life <ul><li>Holiness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.&quot; All are called to holiness: &quot;Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.“ (CCC 2013) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beatitude </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith. (CCC 1719) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 23. The Goal of the Moral Life <ul><li>The New Testament uses several expressions to characterize the beatitude to which God calls man: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- the coming of the Kingdom of God; (Mt 4:17) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- the vision of God: &quot;Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God“ ( Mt 5:8; cf. 1 Jn 2; 1 Cor 13:12) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- entering into the joy of the Lord; ( Mt 25:21-23) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- entering into God's rest: ( Heb 4:7-11). (CCC 1720) </li></ul></ul>
  22. 24. Moral Acts <ul><li>To make a proper moral judgment we need to know three things: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Object (something outside of me) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Determines the morality of the act </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A good or apparent good </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intention (the movement of my will) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Possible to have more than 1 intention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary: increase the moral goodness or evil </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 25. An Example <ul><li>Moral choices are complex </li></ul><ul><li>Sarah buys clothes for her children </li></ul><ul><li>What is the object? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Her children </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is her intention? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good: caring for her children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad: they can’t afford the clothes she’s buying </li></ul></ul>
  24. 26. An Example <ul><li>What are the circumstances? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stephen and Sarah are maxed out in credit card debt and Stephen has been told that he may lose his job </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are Sarah’s feelings? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>She’s shopping because she’s anxious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>She was ridiculed for her poverty as a child </li></ul></ul>
  25. 27. An Example <ul><li>What are Sarah’s virtues and vices? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When she began earning her own money she spent too much </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>She was also generous and was often in debt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The death of a parent and some money from the will allowed her to cover her debts before she was married </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At the beginning of her married life she was happy to be a good wife and was careful with money </li></ul></ul>
  26. 28. An Example <ul><ul><li>As the pressures in the family grew Sarah fell back into old habits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>She worries continually </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does Sarah clearly understand what she is doing, or is her thinking clouded by sin? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Her powerful emotions in this area make it hard to think clearly </li></ul></ul>
  27. 29. An Example <ul><li>Is Sarah able to use her will or has it been weakened by disuse? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Because she was denied so much in her childhood she rarely denies herself anything. Her will is not very strong. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 30. WRAP UP <ul><li>EVALUATION - Please make a notes. </li></ul><ul><li>7:00 pm – Fellowship & Dinner, how did that work? </li></ul><ul><li>CALENDAR – Reminder - not meeting on February 14th AND March 14 th . Week #7 is March 21 st </li></ul><ul><li>ATTENDANCE – gentle reminder, when you are not able to attend please call us. 281-450-5272 </li></ul><ul><li>WAITING LIST – if you must miss more than 2 nights we need to give someone on the waiting list your spot </li></ul><ul><li>SMALL GROUPS – New group each week </li></ul>