Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2214-2220, 2251 – The Duties of Children

clock July 5, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the duties of children in the Christian family. Supporting material comes from Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Families”.

III. The Duties of Family Members

The duties of children

2214 The divine fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood;16 this is the foundation of the honor owed to parents. The respect of children, whether minors or adults, for their father and mother17 is nourished by the natural affection born of the bond uniting them. It is required by God's commandment.18

2215 Respect for parents (filial piety) derives from gratitude toward those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought their children into the world and enabled them to grow in stature, wisdom, and grace. "With all your heart honor your father, and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother. Remember that through your parents you were born; what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you?"19

2216 Filial respect is shown by true docility and obedience. "My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching.... When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you."20 "A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke."21

2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."22 Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.
As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them. This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

2218 The fourth commandment reminds grown children of their responsibilities toward their parents. As much as they can, they must give them material and moral support in old age and in times of illness, loneliness, or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude.23

For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure. Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother.24
O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him.... Whoever forsakes his father is like a blasphemer, and whoever angers his mother is cursed by the Lord.25

2219 Filial respect promotes harmony in all of family life; it also concerns relationships between brothers and sisters. Respect toward parents fills the home with light and warmth. "Grandchildren are the crown of the aged."26 "With all humility and meekness, with patience, [support] one another in charity."27

2220 For Christians a special gratitude is due to those from whom they have received the gift of faith, the grace of Baptism, and life in the Church. These may include parents, grandparents, other members of the family, pastors, catechists, and other teachers or friends. "I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you."28

IN BRIEF

2251 Children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just obedience, and assistance. Filial respect fosters harmony in all of family life.

In Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Families”, he discusses the obedience of Christ, the model for obedience within the family.

The family has its origin in that same love with which the Creator embraces the created world, as was already expressed "in the beginning", in the Book of Genesis (1:1). In the Gospel Jesus offers a supreme confirmation: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (Jn 3:16). The only-begotten Son, of one substance with the Father, "God from God and Light from Light", entered into human history through the family: "For by his incarnation the Son of God united himself in a certain way with every man. He laboured with human hands. . . and loved with a human heart. Born of Mary the Virgin, he truly became one of us and, except for sin, was like us in every respect".[3] If in fact Christ "fully discloses man to himself",[4] he does so beginning with the family in which he chose to be born and to grow up. We know that the Redeemer spent most of his life in the obscurity of Nazareth, "obedient" (Lk 2:51) as the "Son of Man" to Mary his Mother, and to Joseph the carpenter. Is this filial "obedience" of Christ not already the first expression of that obedience to the Father "unto death" (Phil 2:8), whereby he redeemed the world?

Footnotes

16 Cf. Eph 314.
17 Cf. ⇒ Prov 1:8; ⇒ Tob 4:3-4.
18 Cf. ⇒ Ex 20:12.
19 ⇒ Sir 7:27-28.
20 ⇒ Prov 6:20-22.
21 ⇒ Prov 13:1.
22 ⇒ Col 3:20; Cf. ⇒ Eph 6:1.
23 Cf. ⇒ Mk 7:10-12.
24 ⇒ Sir 3:2-6.
25 ⇒ Sir 3:12-13, ⇒ 16.
26 ⇒ Prov 17:6.
27 ⇒ Eph 4:2.
28 ⇒ 2 Tim 1:5.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 606-611 – Christ Offered Himself to His Father for Our Sins

clock December 21, 2012 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss Jesus’ Last Supper and redemptive mission. Supporting material comes from St. Augustine’s “Tractates on the Gospel of John”.

III. CHRIST OFFERED HIMSELF TO HIS FATHER FOR OUR SINS

Christ's whole life is an offering to the Father

606 The Son of God, who came down "from heaven, not to do (his) own will, but the will of him who sent (him)",413 said on coming into the world, "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God." "and by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."414 From the first moment of his Incarnation the Son embraces the Father's plan of divine salvation in his redemptive mission: "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work."415 The sacrifice of Jesus "for the sins of the whole world"416 expresses his loving communion with the Father. "The Father loves me, because I lay down my life", said the Lord, "(for) I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father."417

607 The desire to embrace his Father's plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus' whole life,418 for his redemptive passion was the very reason for his Incarnation. And so he asked, "and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour."419 and again, "Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?"420 From the cross, just before "It is finished", he said, "I thirst."421

"The Lamb who takes away the sin of the world"

608 After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world".422 By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel's redemption at the first Passover.423 Christ's whole life expresses his mission: "to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."424

Jesus freely embraced the Father's redeeming love

609 By embracing in his human heart the Father's love for men, Jesus "loved them to the end", for "greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."425 In suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men.426 Indeed, out of love for his Father and for men, whom the Father wants to save, Jesus freely accepted his Passion and death: "No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord."427 Hence the sovereign freedom of God's Son as he went out to his death.428

At the Last Supper Jesus anticipated the free offering of his life

610 Jesus gave the supreme expression of his free offering of himself at the meal shared with the twelve Apostles "on the night he was betrayed".429 On the eve of his Passion, while still free, Jesus transformed this Last Supper with the apostles into the memorial of his voluntary offering to the Father for the salvation of men: "This is my body which is given for you." "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."430

611 The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the memorial of his sacrifice.431 Jesus includes the apostles in his own offering and bids them perpetuate it.432 By doing so, the Lord institutes his apostles as priests of the New Covenant: "For their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth."433

St. Augustine discusses Christ as the Lamb of God in his “Tractates on the Gospel of John” (Tractate 7 John 1:34-51).

5. The next day, John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he says, Behold the Lamb of God! Assuredly, in a special sense, the Lamb; for the disciples were also called lambs: Behold, I send you as lambs in the midst of wolves. Matthew 10:16 They were also called light: You are the light of the world; Matthew 5:14 but in another sense is He called so, concerning whom it was said, That was the true light, which lights every man that comes into the world. John 1:9 In like manner was He called the dove in a special sense, alone without stain, without sin; not one whose sins have been washed away, but One who never had stain. For what? Because John said concerning the Lord, Behold the Lamb of God, was not John himself a lamb? Was he not a holy man? Was he not the friend of the Bridegroom? Wherefore, with a special meaning, said John of Him, This is the Lamb of God; because solely by the blood of this Lamb alone could men be redeemed.

6. My brethren, if we acknowledge our price, that it is the blood of the Lamb, who are they who this day celebrate the festival of the blood of I know not what woman, and how ungrateful are they! The gold was snatched, they say, from the ear of a woman, and the blood ran, and the gold was placed on a pair of scales or on a balance, and the advantage was much on the side of the blood. If the blood of a woman was sufficiently weighty to outweigh the gold, what power to outweigh the world has the blood of the Lamb by whom the world was made? And, indeed, that spirit, I know not who, was pacified by the blood that he should depress the weight. Impure spirits knew that Jesus Christ would come, they had heard of His coming from the angels, they had heard of it from the prophets, and they expected it. For if they were not expecting it, why did they exclaim, What have we to do with You? Are You come before the time to destroy us? We know who You are; the Holy One of God. Mark 1:24 They expected that He would come, but they were ignorant of the time. But what have you heard in the psalm regarding Jerusalem? For Your servants have taken pleasure in her stones, and will pity the dust thereof. You shall arise, says he, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time has come that You will have mercy upon her. When the time came for God to have mercy, the Lamb came. What sort of a Lamb whom wolves fear? What sort of a Lamb is it who, when slain, slew a lion? For the devil is called a lion, going about and roaring, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8 By the blood of the Lamb the lion was vanquished. Behold the spectacles of Christians. And what is more: they with the eyes of the flesh behold vanity, we with the eyes of the heart behold truth. Do not think, brethren, that our Lord God has dismissed us without spectacles; for if there are no spectacles, why have ye come together today? Behold, what we have said you saw, and you exclaimed; you would not have exclaimed if you had not seen. And this is a great thing to see in the whole world, the lion vanquished by the blood of the Lamb: members of Christ delivered from the teeth of the lions, and joined to the body of Christ. Therefore some spirit or other contrived the counterfeit that His image should be bought for blood, because he knew that the human race was at some time to be redeemed by the precious blood. For evil spirits counterfeit certain shadows of honor to themselves, that they may deceive those who follow Christ. So much so, my brethren, that those who seduce by means of amulets, by incantations, by the devices of the enemy, mingle the name of Christ with their incantations: because they are not now able to seduce Christians, so as to give them poison they add some honey, that by means of the sweet the bitter may be concealed, and be drunk to ruin. So much so, that I know that the priest of that Pilleatus was sometimes in the habit of saying, Pilleatus himself also is a Christian. Why so, brethren, unless that they were not able otherwise to seduce Christians?

Footnotes

413 ⇒ Jn 6:38.
414 ⇒ Heb 10:5-10.
415 ⇒ Jn 4:34.
416 1 ⇒ Jn 2:2.
417 ⇒ Jn 10:17; ⇒ 14:31.
418 Cf ⇒ Lk 12:50; ⇒ 22:15; ⇒ Mt 16:21-23.
419 ⇒ Jn 12:27.
420 ⇒ Jn 18:11.
421 ⇒ Jn 19:30; ⇒ 19:28.
422 ⇒ Jn 1:29; cf. ⇒ Lk 3:21; ⇒ Mt 3:14-15; ⇒ Jn 1:36.
423 ⇒ Is 53:7, ⇒ 12; cf. Jer 11:19; ⇒ Ex 12:3-14; ⇒ Jn 19:36; ⇒ 1 Cor 5:7.
424 ⇒ Mk 10:45.
425 ⇒ Jn 13:1; ⇒ 15:13.
426 Cf. ⇒ Heb 2:10, ⇒ 17-18; ⇒ 4:15; ⇒ 5:7-9.
427 ⇒ Jn 10:18.
428 Cf. ⇒ Jn 18:4-6; ⇒ Mt 26:53.
429 Roman Missal, EP III; cf. ⇒ Mt 26:20; ⇒ I Cor 11:23.
430 ⇒ Lk 22:19; ⇒ Mt 26:28; cf. ⇒ I5.7Cor 5:7.
431 ⇒ 1 Cor 11:25.
432 Cf. ⇒ Lk 22:19.
433 ⇒ Jn 17:19; cf. Council of Trent: DS 1752; 1764.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 142-149, 176-177 – Man's Response to God and the Obedience of Faith

clock October 25, 2012 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss faith, Man’s response to God, specifically the obedience of faith. Happy reading!

CHAPTER THREE

MAN'S RESPONSE TO GOD

142 By his Revelation, "the invisible God, from the fullness of his love, addresses men as his friends, and moves among them, in order to invite and receive them into his own company."1 The adequate response to this invitation is faith.

143 By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.2 With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, "the obedience of faith".3

Article 1

I BELIEVE

I. The Obedience of Faith

144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to "hear or listen to") in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.

Abraham - "father of all who believe"

145 The Letter to the Hebrews, in its great eulogy of the faith of Israel's ancestors, lays special emphasis on Abraham's faith: "By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go."4 By faith, he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in the Promised Land.5 By faith, Sarah was given to conceive the son of the promise. And by faith Abraham offered his only son in sacrifice.6

146 Abraham thus fulfills the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen":7 "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."8 Because he was "strong in his faith", Abraham became the "father of all who believe".9

147 The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. The Letter to the Hebrews proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of the ancestors who "received divine approval".10 Yet "God had foreseen something better for us": the grace of believing in his Son Jesus, "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith".11

Mary - "Blessed is she who believed"

148 The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that "with God nothing will be impossible" and so giving her assent: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."12 Elizabeth greeted her: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."13 It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.14

149 Throughout her life and until her last ordeal15 when Jesus her son died on the cross, Mary's faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God's word. And so the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.

IN BRIEF

176 Faith is a personal adherence of the whole man to God who reveals himself. It involves an assent of the intellect and will to the self-revelation God has made through his deeds and words.

177 "To believe" has thus a twofold reference: to the person, and to the truth: to the truth, by trust in the person who bears witness to it.

Here is what the Dogmatic Constitution, Dei Verbum expresses about the “obedience of faith”:

5. "The obedience of faith" (Rom. 13:26; see 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5-6) "is to be given to God who reveals, an obedience by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals," (4) and freely assenting to the truth revealed by Him. To make this act of faith, the grace of God and the interior help of the Holy Spirit must precede and assist, moving the heart and turning it to God, opening the eyes of the mind and giving "joy and ease to everyone in assenting to the truth and believing it." (5) To bring about an ever deeper understanding of revelation the same Holy Spirit constantly brings faith to completion by His gifts.

St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica (2, 2, 4) discusses the relationship between faith and obedience:

Article 2. Whether faith resides in the intellect?

Objection 1. It would seem that faith does not reside in the intellect. For Augustine says (De Praedest. Sanct. v) that "faith resides in the believer's will." Now the will is a power distinct from the intellect. Therefore faith does not reside in the intellect.

Objection 2. Further, the assent of faith to believe anything, proceeds from the will obeying God. Therefore it seems that faith owes all its praise to obedience. Now obedience is in the will. Therefore faith is in the will, and not in the intellect.

Objection 3. Further, the intellect is either speculative or practical. Now faith is not in the speculative intellect, since this is not concerned with things to be sought or avoided, as stated in De Anima iii, 9, so that it is not a principle of operation, whereas "faith . . . worketh by charity" (Galatians 5:6). Likewise, neither is it in the practical intellect, the object of which is some true, contingent thing, that can be made or done. For the object of faith is the Eternal Truth, as was shown above (Question 1, Article 1). Therefore faith does not reside in the intellect.

On the contrary, Faith is succeeded by the heavenly vision, according to 1 Corinthians 13:12: "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face." Now vision is in the intellect. Therefore faith is likewise.

I answer that, Since faith is a virtue, its act must needs be perfect. Now, for the perfection of an act proceeding from two active principles, each of these principles must be perfect: for it is not possible for a thing to be sawn well, unless the sawyer possess the art, and the saw be well fitted for sawing. Now, in a power of the soul, which is related to opposite objects, a disposition to act well is a habit, as stated above (I-II, 49, 4, ad 1,2,3). Wherefore an act that proceeds from two such powers must be perfected by a habit residing in each of them. Again, it has been stated above (2, 1,2) that to believe is an act of the intellect inasmuch as the will moves it to assent. And this act proceeds from the will and the intellect, both of which have a natural aptitude to be perfected in this way. Consequently, if the act of faith is to be perfect, there needs to be a habit in the will as well as in the intellect: even as there needs to be the habit of prudence in the reason, besides the habit of temperance in the concupiscible faculty, in order that the act of that faculty be perfect. Now, to believe is immediately an act of the intellect, because the object of that act is "the true," which pertains properly to the intellect. Consequently faith, which is the proper principle of that act, must needs reside in the intellect.

Reply to Objection 1. Augustine takes faith for the act of faith, which is described as depending on the believer's will, in so far as his intellect assents to matters of faith at the command of the will.

Reply to Objection 2. Not only does the will need to be ready to obey but also the intellect needs to be well disposed to follow the command of the will, even as the concupiscible faculty needs to be well disposed in order to follow the command of reason; hence there needs to be a habit of virtue not only in the commanding will but also in the assenting intellect.

Reply to Objection 3. Faith resides in the speculative intellect, as evidenced by its object. But since this object, which is the First Truth, is the end of all our desires and actions, as Augustine proves (De Trin. i, 8), it follows that faith worketh by charity just as "the speculative intellect becomes practical by extension" (De Anima iii, 10).

Footnotes

1 DV 2; cf. ⇒ Col 1:15; ⇒ I Tim 1:17; ⇒ Ex 33:11; ⇒ Jn 15:14-15; Bar 3:38 (Vulg.).
2 Cf. DV 5.
3 Cf. ⇒ Rom 1:5; ⇒ 16:26
4 ⇒ Heb 11:8; cf. ⇒ Gen 12:1-4.
5 Cf. ⇒ Gen 23:4
6 Cf. ⇒ Heb 11:17
7 ⇒ Heb 11:1
8 ⇒ Rom 4:3; cf. ⇒ Gen 15:6
9 ⇒ Rom 4:11, ⇒ 18; ⇒ 4:20; cf. ⇒ Gen 15:5.
10 ⇒ Heb 11:2, ⇒ 39
11 ⇒ Heb 11:40; ⇒ 12:2
12 ⇒ Lk 1:37-38; cf. ⇒ Gen 18:14
13 ⇒ Lk 1:45
14 Cf. ⇒ Lk 1:48
15 Cf. ⇒ Lk 2:35