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Moral Life in Christ Chapter Ten

The First Commandment

J.W. Lane

on 10 April 2014

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Transcript of Moral Life in Christ Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten:
An Active Participant
What do you love most in life?
Responding to Revelation
Sins Against Religion Continued
To answer this question, you might try asking yourself, "What do I look forward to most in life?"
The First Commandment
The first commandment asks us to love God above all else:
"I am the LORD your God, you shall not have other gods besides Me."
- Exodus 20:2-3
The Old Testament
In the Old Testament, this commandment was explicitly stated in the "shema" or "hear" of Deuteronomy 6:4-5:
Love for one's neighbor necessarily follows from the love one has for God. So, love for God and love for neighbor summarize all of our moral obligations.
God: Our Foundation
We depend on God for our very existence. The first commandment obliges us to acknowledge and worship Him.
Our God is distinguished from other con-ceptions of God because He reveals Himself as being very involved in our lives. God isn't a spectator!
God reveals to us that He is neither distant nor impassive. He loves us deeply and intervenes in human history in order to save us!
The First Commandment
Our Response
We respond to God's love with belief in Him, trust in His aid, and heartfelt love. These responses correspond to the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.
What's It Do?
Faith enables us to believe in God and assent to the truths He reveals.
Faith & Reason
Faith and reason represent ways of knowing the truth. Since they both come from God, faith and reason are not opposed to one another.
There are two key attitudes that we need to adopt when approaching God's revelation:
1. Humility. We need to come to God acknowledging the fact that He is greater than we are.
2. Cultivation. We need to come to God by putting forth an effort to strengthen our understanding of Who He is and what He reveals.
The Virtue of Faith
Faith is the theological virtue, or excellence, by which we believe in God, all He has revealed, and all His Church proposes to us.
Having received God's revelation, we have an obligation to transmit, or share the faith with others.
Sins Against the
2. Superstition: The attribution of supernatural powers to objects or ritual actions. This may take many different forms, including worshiping God in non-Christian religious ceremonies, trusting in the alleged powers of created things, and avoiding certain numbers or objects thought to cause harm.
Divination tries to unveil life's mysteries using horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, and tarot cards. It's wrong because it detracts from God and the trust that we owe to Him alone.
sins against religion
4. Magic: This is the desire to know and control occult or supernatural forces so as to influence the world.
Magic can take many forms, but witchcraft is the most common (wicca, paganism, druidism, etc.).
Christianity has always condemned superstitious practices. Both the Old and New Testaments prohibit us from being superstitious.
Why's It Wrong?
As with divination, magic attempts to control the world without reference to God. It is indicative of a lack of trust.
All interpersonal relationships are based on belief, trust, and love. The same holds true for our relationships with God.
Communicating the Faith
Sins Against Faith
There are many different ways in which we can sin against the virtue of faith:
1. Voluntary Doubt: Refusing to hold to the truth that God reveals.
2. Involuntary Doubt: Hesitating to believe in the more difficult aspects of the faith.
3. Atheism: Refusal to accept God's existence.
Love is the theological virtue by which we adore God above all things for His own sake, and we love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Why should We
There are three initial reasons for loving God:
1. He created us.
2. He cares for us.
3. He saves us.
Sins Against Love
As with the other theological virtues, there are many ways in which we can sin again love:
1. Indifference: Refusal to reflect on God's loving goodness.
2. Ingratitude: Refusal to return God's love.
3. Lukewarmness: Hesitation in responding to God's love.
More Sins Against Love
4. Acedia: Refusal of the joy that God gives (this is like spiritual depression).
5. Hatred: Denial of God's goodness. It is the result of pride.
Why Should We Love Our
God & Neighbor
Which is more significant: love of God, or love of neighbor? It's impossible to separate the two! We love God first, and our love for Him leads us to love our neighbors.
the virtue of
The virtue of religion requires us to render to God worship, devotion, honor, and service.
how do we live it?
We primarily live out the virtue of religion by prayer, acts of devotion, and active participation in the Mass.
There are many ways in which one may sin against the virtue of religion:
1. Idolatry: Divinizing anything that isn't God. This includes other gods, demons, power, pleasure, money, etc.
Why's it Wrong?
5. Irreligion: This involves tempting God, showing disrespect to sacred things (sacrilege), and buying or selling spiritual goods (simony).
sins against religion continued
We owe God our love for all the good things that He's done for us. We can best respond to God's love by giving our hearts and lives to Him.
advanced concepts
I want you to read the Advanced Concepts #2 on the New Age Movement. I have a worksheet that I want you to complete after you've read the text.
study questions
Please do the study questions on p 186.
Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises.
What's It Involve?
3. Divination: The prediction of the future or revelation of the unknown through supernatural means.
Your answer to that question will tell you something about your main priorities.
If God doesn't fit anywhere in your answer, then you may need to reevaluate your priorities.
Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.
Marks of Distinction
Not God!
More Sins
4. Heresy: Denial by a baptized person of some truth of the faith.
5. Apostasy: Total rejection of the faith.
6. Schism: Refusal to submit to the Pope or to be united to the Church.
Hope involves trusting in God and being reasonably confident in eternal life.
There are two sins against hope to avoid:
Loss of trust
in God
Too much trust
Either in oneself without God's help, or in God without personal effort.
1. Everyone has dignity in virtue of being made in God's image.
2. God is Love, and we should try our best to imitate Him.
3. Jesus commands us to love (John 13:34).
There's a natural progression to all of these acts:
We acknowledge God's greatness (adoration).
We realize that we fail to measure up (atonement).
We ask God for
aid (petition).
We're grateful to God for His greatness and forgiveness (thanksgiving).
A summary of the acts associated with the virtue of religion are found in the Mass:
1. Adoration.
2. Atonement.
3. Petition.
4. Thanksgiving.
more sins against
modern druids
Aquinas taught that we can know the truth of a given belief - whether theological or scientific - only to the extent that it is evident to us.
However, evidence, and therefore knowledge, can take different forms. Some truths are self-evident, others are deducible from premises, and still others are accepted on the basis of authority.
Catholic religious beliefs are accepted on the basis of Divine authority. As such, they are certain and infallible.
Notice that in Catholicism, religious belief is knowledge based on authority. It is not the same as blind faith.
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