Catholic Morality

What Are Catholic Moral Responsibilities?

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CHRISTIAN MORALITY AND CATHOLIC TEACHING

How We Live Out Our Faith

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Table Of Contents

THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

1. How is the human person "the image and likeness of God"?

2. How do we seek this eternal blessedness?

3. Why is it such a struggle to be good?

4. What is the new life in Christ?

5. Who is a Christian?

6. What is Christian morality?

7. What great commandment is to be lived by all who believe in God?

8. What does Jesus’ commandment of love mean for us?

9. What are the works of mercy?

10. What are the spiritual works of mercy?

11. What are the beatitudes?

12. Are the beatitudes truly practical?

13. What is the challenge of the beatitudes?

14. What is human freedom?

15. Does grace interfere with our freedom?

16. How do we judge the morality of an act?

17. What are the passions?

18. What are the principal passions?

SIN

1. What is sin?

2. What is actual sin?

3. Are there different kinds of personal or actual sin?

4. What is mortal sin?

5. How can we know if a sin is mortal?

6. Can anything lessen or increase our responsibility for mortal sin?

7. What are the effects of mortal sin?

8. Is God responsible for personal sin since God permits certain temptations?

9. What is venial sin?

10. What are the effects of venial sin?

11. Should we avoid venial sins?

12. What are sins of omission?

13. Are sins of omission mortal or venial?

14. What are the chief reasons why people commit sin?

15. What are the seven capital sins?

16. What are the "sins that cry to heaven"?

17. What are the sins against the Holy Spirit?

18. What is an occasion of sin?

19. Do we ever share responsibility for the sin of another?

20. What is social sin?

21. What is the theory called "situation ethics"?

22. What is the "fundamental option" theory?

CONSCIENCE

1. What is conscience?

2. Must we follow our conscience?

3. What is necessary to have a correct conscience?

4. What role do others play in our formation of conscience?

5. Does prayer influence conscience?

6. Are we responsible for our actions?

7. Can we act with a doubtful conscience?

8. What is a scrupulous conscience?

9. What is a lax conscience?

10. If a conscience errs because of invincible ignorance, does the person sin?

11. Is everything that is legal, morally right?

12. Does a good end ever justify the use of evil means?

13. What if "everyone else is doing it"?

OUR ACTIVE ROLE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

1. Does the Catholic Church have the right to make laws?

2. Who exercises the Church’s right to make laws?

3. When else may laws be made which affect the universal Church?

4. What are the precepts of the Church?

5. What is the purpose of these precepts?

6.  Which are these special duties of Catholics, called the precepts of the Church?

7. What are the holy days of obligation?

8. What does Church law say about penance?

9. What is a fast day?

10. Why has the Church instituted fast days?

11. Who are obliged to fast?

12. What does the law of abstinence mean?

13. Which are the days for abstinence from meat?

14. Are fasting and abstinence the only penances required of Catholics?

VIRTUE

1. What is virtue?

2. What are moral virtues?

3. What are the cardinal virtues?

4. What is prudence?

5. What is the virtue of justice?

6. What is the virtue of fortitude?

7. What is the virtue of temperance?

8. What are some other moral virtues?

9. What are the theological virtues?

10. What does the word "theological" mean?

11. What is the virtue of faith?

12. Can we be saved by faith alone?

13. Does faith require anything of us?

14. How can we grow in our faith?

15. How do we put our faith into action?

16. What is the virtue of hope?

17. How do we live by hope?

18. What is the virtue of charity?

19. How do we live by charity?

20. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

21. What is the gift of wisdom?

22. What is the gift of understanding?

23. What is the gift of counsel?

24. What is the gift of fortitude?

25. What is the gift of knowledge?

26. What is the gift of piety?

27. What is the gift of fear of the Lord?

28. What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?

29. For what will God reward us? 

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THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

1. How is the human person "the image and likeness of God"?

In his or her spiritual soul, intellect and free will, the human person is "the image and likeness of God." Our whole being is ordered to seeking truth and goodness in accord with our destiny which is eternal blessedness with God. (1701–1704)

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gn 1:26).

2. How do we seek this eternal blessedness?

We seek to reach eternal blessedness with God by following the dictates of our conscience to do good and avoid evil. This is lived out in our daily efforts to love God and neighbor. (1706)

3. Why is it such a struggle to be good?

Despite our makeup and destiny, our life is a continual struggle because original sin wounded our nature, leaving us attracted to sin. (1707)

For the flesh’s desires are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit is opposed to the flesh. They are opposed to each other so you will not just do whatever you want (Gal 5:17).

4. What is the new life in Christ?

By his passion, death and resurrection Jesus merited a new life for us. He restored to us what was lost by sin and renews us by grace in the Holy Spirit. (1708–1709)

Thus, you too should consider yourselves dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:11).

5. Who is a Christian?

A Christian is a baptized follower of Jesus Christ. (1694)

Be imitators of me, just as I imitate Christ (1 Cor 11:1).

6. What is Christian morality?

Christian morality is living in a way worthy of our dignity as human beings and God’s adopted children.

He who called you is holy, and so you too should be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy because I am holy" (1 Pt 1:15–16).

7. What great commandment is to be lived by all who believe in God?

The great commandment to be lived by all who believe in God is: (2055)

"You shall love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your understanding”; this is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:37–39).

8. What does Jesus’ commandment of love mean for us?

We are to love God with our whole being and to love others as Jesus loves us, because God loves them and wants us to do the same. The spiritual and corporal works of mercy are ways to show this love. (See also Dt 6:4ff.) (1972)

9. What are the works of mercy?

Based on Matthew 25:35–36, the corporal works of mercy are:

  1. to feed the hungry,

  2. to give drink to the thirsty,

  3. to clothe the naked,

  4. to shelter the homeless,

  5. to visit the sick,

  6. to visit the imprisoned,

  7. to bury the dead.

10. What are the spiritual works of mercy?

The spiritual works of mercy are to counsel the doubtful, to instruct the ignorant, to admonish the sinner, to comfort the sorrowful, to forgive injuries, to bear wrongs patiently, to pray for the living and the dead.

11. What are the beatitudes?

The beatitudes are the core of Jesus’ teaching. They describe both our attitude as Disciples of Christ and the promises of the kingdom. (1716–1717)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst to do God’s will, for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing God’s will, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and say every sort of evil thing against you on account of me; rejoice and be glad, because your reward will be great in heaven—they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way (Mt 5:3–12).

12. Are the beatitudes truly practical?

The beatitudes are practical in that they offer us concrete ways to conform our life to the life and teachings of Christ. Just as the commandments express our desire for the true and good, so the beatitudes express our natural desire for happiness. By living the beatitudes we can begin to experience the life to come. (1717–1719)

He has bestowed on us the great and precious promises so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature and escape from the corruption that passion brought into the world (2 Pt 1:4).

13. What is the challenge of the beatitudes?

The beatitudes challenge us to conform all our choices to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Living as his disciples should be our one true concern and the guiding principle in all our actions. (1723–1724)

Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long (Ps 25:5).

14. What is human freedom?

Human freedom is our ability "to initiate and control" our own actions. We choose to do or not to do each action and are responsible for what we have chosen. Freedom does not mean simply doing what we want, but being free to choose the good. (1730–1731)

It was [the Lord] who created man in the beginning, and he left him in the power of his own inclination. If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice (Sir 15:14–15).

15. Does grace interfere with our freedom?

No. When we sin we weaken our freedom and become slaves of our desires, but when we rely on grace our inner freedom is strengthened and enhanced. (1740–1742)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor 3:17).

16. How do we judge the morality of an act?

We judge the morality of an act by asking:

·          Is the action good or evil in itself?

·          What is our intention or end in choosing it?

·          What are the circumstances or consequences of this action?

For an act to be morally good, all three aspects must be good. For example, an act that is evil in itself, such as murder, cannot be made right by a good intention, such as relieving suffering. (1749–1756)

He who walks in integrity walks securely… (Prov 10:9).

17. What are the passions?

Passions are the feelings or emotions we experience, which are neither good nor evil in themselves. Their moral value depends on the way they are used by the mind and will. (1762–1770)

Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal 5:24).

18. What are the principal passions?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists the principal passions as "love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger." (1772)

SIN

1. What is sin?

Sin is disobedience to God, an offense against him. It is also, as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods." (1849–1850)

Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin (Jn 8:34).

2. What is actual sin?

Actual sin is the personal sin which we commit. (1868)

Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight… (Ps 51:4).

3. Are there different kinds of personal or actual sin?

There are two kinds of personal or actual sin, mortal and venial. (1854)

All wrongdoing is sinful, but there are some sins which are not mortal (1 Jn 5:17).

4. What is mortal sin?

Mortal sin is a grave offense against God’s law by which we prefer something created to the Creator. (1855)

Put to death those parts of you which are earthly—fornication, impurity, passion, evil desires, and that greed which is idolatry (Col 3:5).

5. How can we know if a sin is mortal?

A sin is mortal or grave when these three conditions are present:

·          grave matter, that is, a serious wrong or what is thought to be seriously  wrong; 

·          full knowledge, that is, before or while committing it, the person clearly is aware  that it is wrong; 

·          complete consent, that is, the person freely gives full consent to it.  (1857–1859)

6. Can anything lessen or increase our responsibility for mortal sin?

Yes, responsibility for mortal sin can be lessened by "unintentional ignorance," passions, external pressures and pathologies. Greater responsibility is imputed to anyone sinning through malice or hardness of heart, or to one who pretends not to know the seriousness of the sin. (1859–1860) (Refer to Lk 16:19–31)

7. What are the effects of mortal sin?

By mortal sin a person turns away from God and so loses the gift of charity and sanctifying grace. Mortal sin takes away the merit of the person’s previous good actions and deprives one of the right to eternal happiness in heaven. Sincere repentance can reverse these effects. (1861)

8. Is God responsible for personal sin since God permits certain temptations?

God is not responsible for personal sin because he is all good and all holy, and for everyone who prays, God always provides sufficient grace to overcome temptations.

Do not say, "Because of the Lord I left the right way"; for he will not do what he hates. Do not say, "It was he who led me astray" (Sir 15:11–12).

9. What is venial sin?

A sin is venial when one of the conditions for a mortal sin is missing. For example, the thought, desire, word, action or omission is wrong but not seriously so, or it is seriously wrong but a person does not clearly see this, or does not fully consent to it. (1862)

10. What are the effects of venial sin?

Venial sin lessens our charity and weakens our practice of the Catholic faith. It makes us weaker when faced with temptations to serious sin, and hinders our spiritual growth. (1863)

11. Should we avoid venial sins?

Although they do not destroy the life of grace, we should avoid venial sins because they are an offense to God and weaken our friendship with him. They also turn our hearts away from God and toward some created good instead, which makes it easier to commit more serious sins. (1863)

12. What are sins of omission?

Sins of omission are the failure to do something one should have done.

13. Are sins of omission mortal or venial?

Sins of omission may be mortal or venial depending upon what we have failed to do.

14. What are the chief reasons why people commit sin?

The chief reasons why people commit sin may be found in the seven capital sins. (1866)

15. What are the seven capital sins?

The seven capital sins are:

bullet  pride—inordinate or uncontrolled self-esteem;
bullet  avarice (or covetousness)—an excessive desire for created goods;
bullet  envy—sorrow at another’s good fortune;
bullet  lust—uncontrolled sexual desire;
bullet  wrath (or anger)—a strong, uncontrolled passion of displeasure;
bullet  gluttony—excessive indulgence in food and/or drink;
bullet  sloth—spiritual, mental or physical laziness which causes one to neglect one’s duties. (1866)

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you (Jas 4:8).

16. What are the "sins that cry to heaven"?

The sins that cry to heaven are:

bullet  voluntary murder

The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground (Gn 4:10);

bullet  sodomy

The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is grave… (Gn 18:20);

bullet  taking advantage of the poor

And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them (Ex 3:9);

bullet  oppression of foreigners, widows and orphans

You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you do afflict them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry (Ex 22:21–23);

bullet  injustice toward a worker (1867)

Behold, the wages you withheld from the laborers who reaped your fields are crying out (Jas 5:4).

17. What are the sins against the Holy Spirit?

The sins against the Holy Spirit are despair of one’s salvation, presumption of saving oneself without merit or repentance, resisting the known truth, envy of the graces received by others, obstinacy in one’s sins, and final impenitence. (1864)

Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven you, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven (Mt 12:31).

18. What is an occasion of sin?

An occasion of sin is any circumstance (person, place, thing) which leads one to sin.

19. Do we ever share responsibility for the sin of another?

Although sin is a personal act, we share in the responsibility for another person’s sin if we cooperate with them in any of the following ways:

bullet  by directly and freely taking part in the sin;
bullet  by our advice, encouragement or approval;
bullet  by not reporting them or trying to stop them when we are obliged to;
bullet  by protecting or hiding them. (1868)

Their hands are upon what is evil, to do it diligently; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together (Mic 7:3).

20. What is social sin?

Social sin arises when people copy or cooperate with one another in allowing and promoting sin. This is often evident in what becomes socially acceptable or what is institutionalized in the social structure or laws. Some examples would be slavery, child labor, neglect of the poor or marginalized. (1869)

21. What is the theory called "situation ethics"?

Situation ethics teaches that there is no fixed moral code given to human beings by the Creator. It holds that individuals must make moral choices according to a particular situation—that is, what is right or best in this moment for me. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object, such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery." (1756)

22. What is the "fundamental option" theory?

The "fundamental option" theory teaches that a good person can do something considered gravely sinful, and yet that particular action is not gravely sinful for him or her. This is because the person’s basic choice, or fundamental option is for God and the good. The theory holds that one gravely sinful act (a mortal sin) is not enough to separate one from God; a series of gravely forbidden acts would be required to prove that one’s option has changed. This teaching is false. It is not what the Church teaches regarding sin, free will and personal responsibility for each of one’s actions.

CONSCIENCE

1. What is conscience?

Conscience is a practical judgment (decision) as to whether an action, word, thought, desire or omission is good and to be consented to, or evil and to be avoided. It is our most secret core and sanctuary where we are alone with God. (1776–1778)

They show the effect of the law which is written on their hearts. Their consciences also bear witness, their conflicting thoughts accusing or even defending them on the day when, according to my gospel, God judges men’s secrets through Christ Jesus (Rom 2:15–16).

2. Must we follow our conscience?

If we have reflected well and are certain that something is the right thing to do, we must follow our conscience. (1778)

3. What is necessary to have a correct conscience?

To have a correct conscience one first needs to know God’s law (as it is known in the natural law and revealed in the Bible), the laws of the Church and also the particular duties of one’s state in life. Then one’s conscience will better express what is right or wrong in a particular situation. In addition, one needs to be prudent and upright in order to apply these criteria to the matter at hand. (1783)

4. What role do others play in our formation of conscience?

Among those who help in the formation of conscience, parents play the major role by the instruction, example and guidance they give to their children. They are the first and the constant teachers of their children, instructing them about God’s love and his law, the duties of religion and society, virtues and family values. Others who influence the formation of conscience are pastors, teachers, relatives and civil and religious authorities. (1784)

5. Does prayer influence conscience?

Yes, prayer enlightens and strengthens conscience, giving it the direction of God’s Word. We need to examine our intentions and actions in the light of prayer. The grace of the Holy Spirit helps us to recognize and choose what is God’s will. (1785)

6. Are we responsible for our actions?

We are truly responsible for our actions because God gave us an intellect and free will, which we are to use to fulfill the purpose for which he made us. (1730)

The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself (Ezek 18:20).

7. Can we act with a doubtful conscience?

A doubtful conscience is one which cannot decide if an act is good and to be done or evil and to be avoided. When in such a doubt one must either refrain from acting or resolve the doubt. (1787)

8. What is a scrupulous conscience?

A scrupulous conscience is one that is constantly in doubt, in fear of sin when there is none, or in fear of mortal sin when there is only venial sin. A scrupulous conscience can be helped by direction from a wise confessor, humble prayer, and sometimes by professional help.

9. What is a lax conscience?

A lax conscience is one which judges more by convenience than by God’s law and leads a person to easily commit sin, slight or serious. Everything is judged carelessly, without thought of the consequences or the offense to God. (1791)

10. If a conscience errs because of invincible ignorance, does the person sin?

No, if a conscience errs because of invincible (unavoidable) ignorance, the person does not sin. (1793)

Their understanding is clouded and they are alienated from God’s life because of their ignorance... (Eph 4:18).

11. Is everything that is legal, morally right?

Everything that is legal is not necessarily morally right. Civil law cannot contradict the law of God. For example, the legality of abortion does not make it morally right. (1782)

We have to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

12. Does a good end ever justify the use of evil means?

No, we are never permitted to do evil in order that good may result from it. God wants us to have a good end and reach it by doing good deeds. Anyone, especially a Christian, must be ready to make sacrifices and if necessary even to go to death for the sake of one’s salvation. (1789)

13. What if "everyone else is doing it"?

"Everyone else is doing it” cannot excuse our wrongdoing, since God’s law is not based on popularity, but on his divine will and our final end.

I urge you to watch out for those who cause dissension and raise obstacles which are contrary to what you were taught (Rom 16:17).

OUR ACTIVE ROLE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

1. Does the Catholic Church have the right to make laws?

The Catholic Church has the right to make laws from its founder, Jesus Christ, who said to the apostles, his first leaders and bishops:

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven (Mt 16:19).

2. Who exercises the Church’s right to make laws?

The Pope and bishops united with him exercise the Church’s right to make laws. The Pope has complete, supreme, ordinary and immediate jurisdiction over the universal Church. (880, 882, 883, 886)

3. When else may laws be made which affect the universal Church?

Laws which affect the universal Church may be made by a general council of bishops united with the Pope, as at the Second Vatican Council. (884)

4. What are the precepts of the Church?

The precepts of the Church are special duties which Catholics are expected to obey and fulfill. These precepts prescribe certain acts of religion and penance, in order to apply the commandments of God and the teachings of the Gospel to the lives of the faithful. (2041)

5. What is the purpose of these precepts?

These precepts, which are laws made by the Church, guarantee that Catholics practice the minimum amount of prayer and penance to grow in love of God and our neighbor. (2041)

6.  Which are these special duties of Catholics, called the precepts of the Church?

Some duties expected of Catholics today include the following:

bullet

To worship God by participating in Mass every Sunday and holy day of obligation in order to keep holy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, and to rest from servile labor on these days. (2042)  

bullet

To receive the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year; this continues the work of conversion in preparation for reception of the Eucharist. (2042)

bullet

To receive Holy Communion during the Easter Season (in the United States, this duty may be fulfilled between the first Sunday of Lent to Trinity Sunday); this guarantees reception of the Body and Blood of the Lord at the Paschal time, which is the heart of the Church’s liturgy. (2042)

bullet

To observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church. These penitential acts prepare us for the feasts of the liturgical year, as well as strengthen us spiritually. (2043)

bullet

To help to provide for the needs of the Church. This means that the faithful are to assist with the material needs of the Church, according to their ability. (2043)

7. What are the holy days of obligation?

·          All Sundays of the year

·          January 1, The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

·          Easter Sunday

·          December 25, Christmas Day

The universal Church also celebrates these other holy days: Epiphany, Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of the Lord), the feasts of St. Joseph and the Apostles Peter and Paul. (2177) (See also the section on Sunday Mass under the third commandment.)

8. What does Church law say about penance?

All Catholics are bound to do some penance in virtue of divine law. So that all may be joined in a common observance of penance, penitential days are prescribed in which the faithful pray, perform good works, deny themselves by fulfilling their responsibilities more faithfully and observe fast and abstinence. (1434–1435, 1438, 2043)

But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then, on that day, they will fast (Mk 2:20).

9. What is a fast day?

A fast day is a day in which only one full meal is taken; the other two meals together should not equal a full meal. In the United States the only fast days are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are allowed. (1438)

10. Why has the Church instituted fast days?

The Church has instituted fast days so that we Christians may learn to set our sights on God and the goal of our human life by self-denial. This is to follow the example of Jesus. (540, 2043)

Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted by the Devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights he at last became hungry (Mt 4:1–2).

11. Who are obliged to fast?

Catholics are obliged to fast who have reached the age of eighteen but are not yet fifty-nine.

12. What does the law of abstinence mean?

The law of abstinence means refraining from eating meat on certain "days of abstinence" stipulated by the Church, such as Ash Wednesday.

13. Which are the days for abstinence from meat?

The days for abstinence from meat are Ash Wednesday, the Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday. Catholics fourteen years of age and over are obliged to keep this law.

14. Are fasting and abstinence the only penances required of Catholics?

Fasting and abstinence are not the only penances required by Catholics. We are to do more penances of our own choosing especially on Fridays throughout the year, since Jesus gave his life for us on a Friday, and during Lent, when we recall what the Lord suffered for us.

VIRTUE

1. What is virtue?

Virtue is a power to do good or a habit of doing good. The main virtues are the theological (God-centered) virtues and the cardinal (hinge or key) virtues. Although these powers are free gifts of God we must use them, so that they truly become the habits of doing good that God meant them to be. (1803)

2. What are moral virtues?

The moral virtues are human virtues or dispositions, attitudes and habits of conducting oneself in an upright and orderly way. They are strengths of character developed by personal effort which enable a person to live with freedom and self-control. (1804)

3. What are the cardinal virtues?

The cardinal virtues are the key moral virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. The word "cardinal" comes from the Latin word for "hinge." The other moral virtues hinge on these four. (1805)

The wisdom of prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable...than these (Wis 8:7).

4. What is prudence?

Prudence is the virtue which enables us to think carefully before acting, to make wise choices, and to do things well. (1806)

5. What is the virtue of justice?

Justice is the virtue which enables us to give God and neighbor their due, thus safeguarding the rights of God and others. (1807)

6. What is the virtue of fortitude?

Fortitude is the virtue by which we do what is good and right in spite of any difficulty. (1808)

7. What is the virtue of temperance?

Temperance is the virtue by which we exercise self-control with regard to the drives of human nature. (1809)

8. What are some other moral virtues?

Other moral virtues are:

·          Filial piety and patriotism, which help us love, honor and respect our  parents and nation;

·          Obedience, which helps us obey our parents and all authorities who  represent God;

·          Truthfulness, which helps us always tell the truth;

·          Liberality, which helps us use rightly the goods of this world;

·          Patience, which helps us to face trials and difficulties with calmness;

·          Humility, which helps us to know ourselves and be grateful for whatever is  good in us;

·          Chastity, or purity, which helps us to be pure in mind, heart and body.

There are many other moral virtues besides these.

9. What are the theological virtues?

The theological virtues—faith, hope and charity—have God as their origin, motive and object. God gives them to us so that we might direct our whole life to him. (1812–1813)

So these three—faith, hope, and love—remain, but the greatest of them all is love (1 Cor 13:13).

10. What does the word "theological" mean?

"Theological" means that which pertains to God.

11. What is the virtue of faith?

Faith is the supernatural virtue by which we believe all that God has revealed and teaches us through the Catholic Church, because he cannot deceive or be deceived. By faith we commit our whole selves to God. (1814)

12. Can we be saved by faith alone?

We cannot be saved by faith alone; God requires that we give life to our belief through good works which spring from love. (1815)

Faith by itself is dead, unless it is manifested in works (Jas 2:17).

13. Does faith require anything of us?

Besides living our faith and constantly studying it, we must openly profess our faith. (1816)

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I, too, will acknowledge them before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I, too, will deny them before my Father in heaven (Mt 10:32–33).

14. How can we grow in our faith?

We can grow in our faith by making frequent acts of faith, by praying for an increase of faith, by studying the truths of faith, by living according to God’s will, by choosing friends and associates wisely, and by reading or viewing only good things, avoiding anything against the teachings of the Church.

15. How do we put our faith into action?

We put our faith into action by bringing the Gospel spirit into every aspect of our lives, especially in our relations with others. We thus witness to Christ, extend the kingdom of God and build a more human world.

Always be ready with a reply for anyone who demands an explanation for the hope you have within you, but do it humbly and respectfully... (1 Pt 3:15).

16. What is the virtue of hope?

Hope is the supernatural virtue by which we trust that God will give us eternal life and all we need to obtain it, because he is merciful and faithful to his promises. (1817)

17. How do we live by hope?

We live by hope by trusting that God will give us the graces necessary for salvation and fulfill our desire for the blessedness of the kingdom. (1818)

We even rejoice in our afflictions, since we know that affliction produces steadfastness, steadfastness produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. And this hope is no illusion, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us (Rom 5:3–5).

18. What is the virtue of charity?

Charity is the supernatural virtue by which we love God above all, and love all other people  as ourselves for the love of God .(1822)

God is love , and whoever  abides in love abides  in God, and God abides in him...whoever loves God must also love his brother (1Jn 4:16, 21).

19. How do we live by charity?

We live by charity by living the two great commandments: that is, loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, because he is worthy of all our love, and by loving our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. In practice this involves obeying the commandments of God and of the Church and performing the works of mercy. (1823–1827)

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous, does not boast, is not arrogant. Love is not dishonorable, is not selfish, is not irritable, does not keep a record of past wrongs. Love does not rejoice at injustice but rejoices in the truth. Love endures all things; love has complete faith and steadfast hope; love bears with everything (1 Cor 13:4–7).

20. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. These gifts prepare us to receive grace and make it easier to practice the virtues. They permanently dispose us to be receptive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. (1830–1831)

At the same time God bore witness through signs and wonders and all sorts of mighty deeds, and by distributing the gifts of the Holy Spirit according to his will (Heb 2:4).

21. What is the gift of wisdom?

Wisdom is the gift which helps us to love spiritual things, to put God first in our lives, and to judge what will be helpful and what will be an obstacle to reaching heaven.

22. What is the gift of understanding?

The gift of understanding helps us to see more deeply into the truths we already believe by faith.

23. What is the gift of counsel?

The gift of counsel or right judgment helps us to choose what is right, even in difficult circumstances.

24. What is the gift of fortitude?

Fortitude or courage is the gift which helps us to be brave and patient in overcoming difficulties and carrying out our duties.

25. What is the gift of knowledge?

Knowledge is the gift which helps us to evaluate created things in relation to God and to see them as instruments, not as goals.

26. What is the gift of piety?

Piety is the gift which helps us to love and reverence God as our Father and all people as our brothers and sisters, so that our service to both God and others will not be a burden.

27. What is the gift of fear of the Lord?

Fear of the Lord helps us to respect God and to desire to please him in everything. It is not a fear of God, but a fear of offending him.

28. What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are perfections that result from our response to the Holy Spirit’s impulses to do good (actual graces). The twelve fruits are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity. (1832)

The Spirit’s fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. There is no law against these things! If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit! (Gal 5:22, 25).

29. For what will God reward us?

God will reward us for all our victories over temptation and sin, for all our good deeds and sacrifices done out of love for him, and for all our efforts to grow closer to him.

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Edited - 01 December, 2005

 

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