Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Therein the Star 

I couldn't have said it better... Lofted Nest:
as much fault as I find in my tiny garland lights, as campy as I find those filthy, plastic-faced nativity scenes, as futile as I find the giving and taking of unneeded gifts... therein is the shining star the wisemen followed -- a bright, white cross in the sky -- announcing the door to salvation has opened and nothing, nothing has the strength to shut it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Study for Christmas 

We hardly made it through the Beatitudes last night at RCIA, leaving sections on Free Will, Morality, Emotions, Conscience, Original Sin, the types of sin and Cardinal and Theological Virtues for our own consideration. This particular chapter (Foundations of Catholic Morality), though not indecently long, contains far too much information. So, I'll study myself through the links below over the Christmas RCIA break. Our teacher did talk for a short period of time on Original Sin, telling us the Apple and the Garden was a myth and we don't know what the original sin was beyond Mankind choosing himself over God. I used the online searchable Catechism and looked up the word "myth" and nothing popped up.

Catholic Foundations (a nice site for more info on these topics).

Pope Leo the Great, Homily XCV: On the Beatitudes.

Thomas Morrow: Forming a Catholic Conscience.

James Likoudis: Contraception and the Catholic Conscience.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Foundations of Catholic Morality 

RCIA tonight is Chapter 17, Foundations of Catholic Morality. The Chapter discusses the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5 through 7), the Eight Beatitudes, the conscience, sin and much more.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: Jesus doesn't praise poverty, but rather an attitude of vulnerability, openness and trust. Humility. A recognition that everything we have in life is a gift from God.

Blessed are the gentle: Jesus wants us to be unassuming, tolerant and patient. Accept everyone with compassion and gentility. Be patient with the sins of others because God is patient with our sins.

Blessed are those who mourn: In a secular society many people believe everything is OK... but Jesus wants us to lament that all is not well in the world, cry out to God about the wrongs in the world...

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: Jesus wants us to ache for justice to be done in the world... to recognize that only God can bring the world to holiness.

Blessed are the merciful: Jesus wants us to forgive others just as we are forgiven, with grace and compassion.

Blessed are the pure in heart: Jesus wants nothing to distract us from God -- not job, not family, not friends, not your own reputation... seeking and doing God's will makes us pure of heart.

Blessed are the peacemakers: Jesus doesn't want us to seek nor cause conflicts. We also should try to end the conflicts of others.

Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: Jesus wants us to stand up for what is right and holy if if that means rejection, abuse or martyrdome.

In short, we should consider what we do, why we do it (intentions), and all matters of when we do it (circumstances). For an act to be good, it should be a good act, for a good reasons at the right time. Emotions are neither good nor bad, only what we do with them can be judged.

The chapter also delves into how to form your conscience, how to follow your conscience and the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. We will discus theological virtues, civic virtues, the different types of sin... but more on this later.

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