DXX Empowered by Jesus

Submitted by rjzaar on April 30, 2017 - 1:48pm

 I could be doing push-ups so I impress others, which is pride and vain glory (vices). I could be doing push-ups so I am fitter and thus more able to help others. In this case it would be to increase in the virtue of charity. The Church has recognised seven virtues which are divided into the theological virtues (faith, hope and love) and the cardinal virtues (temperance, fortitude, justice and prudence). Virtues develop through the help of grace but under the direction of the person though they can be prompted by grace. At baptism God gives the person seven gifts. “Thomas Aquinas says that four of these gifts (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and counsel) direct the intellect, while the other three gifts (fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord) direct the will toward God.”[1]

It is not just about knowing the truth but living the truth that is so important. The two are intimately connected and one leads to the other, as St Thomas says,

The intellect understands that the will wills, and the will wills the intellect to understand. In the same way good is contained in truth, inasmuch as it is an understood truth, and truth in good, inasmuch as it is a desired good.[2]

Because of this intimate connection, morality must not be just understood, but lived and to live it is to better understand it. Hence we have focused on living the truth in this chapter through the sacraments which provides the means of grace to live the moral life. Contained in these sacraments are truths about God, us and our relationship with God. The fundamental truth is that we are loved unconditionally. Through the sacraments we live this unconditional love in a special way.

Families

The more you receive the more you get. The more you give, the more you will receive. “Love one another as I have loved you” is the basis for the Christian moral life. We now see that through the sacraments. From the Bible, the crucifix, the incredible gift of the Eucharist.

As we give to others, we build up a ‘family’. From a wider perspective, families are the place where people are meant to experience unconditional love, since it is based on the unconditional love of the parents who receive their children unconditionally from God as gifts. This is the basis for a truly human society, since it is the place where people learn to love unconditionally. It is the foundation of society. When we from a group of friends and that friendship deepens to unconditional acceptance, it becomes a kind of family. We are all part of the universal family of man. As we love others through Christ we build family of one kind or another. It is through the intimacy of family that we work together to help build God’s kingdom. A youth group should become like a family of unconditional love with God as Father and Mary as mother. It complements the unconditional love of our own families. Together with other ‘families’ this becomes a movement of love which through the Church’s vision for society (Catholic Social Teaching) is able to build the culture of life which ultimately builds God’s kingdom.

Prayer

It all starts with prayer through which we are inspired, by ‘sowing’ our inspiration we act on it and by repeating our acts we develop our virtues. Our virtues are directed to God and others and so we build friendships in Christ and form a ‘family’. By maintaining these places of unconditional love we collaborate with others and form a movement. As our lifestyles change and come closer to God’s plan we help build the culture of life in society and thus build the kingdom of God on earth.

At every step of the way, it is through Christ and in Christ that we act. Therefore we are called to give all of ourselves to God and base in God everything we build, family, movement and culture.

Topic(s): 
grace