Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2232-2237, 2254 – The Family and Authorities in Civil Society

clock July 7, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the family and the Kingdom as well as authorities in civil society. Supporting material comes from the encyclical, “Centesimus Annus”.

IV. The Family and the Kingdom

2232 Family ties are important but not absolute. Just as the child grows to maturity and human and spiritual autonomy, so his unique vocation which comes from God asserts itself more clearly and forcefully. Parents should respect this call and encourage their children to follow it. They must be convinced that the first vocation of the Christian is to follow Jesus: "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."39

2233 Becoming a disciple of Jesus means accepting the invitation to belong to God's family, to live in conformity with His way of life: "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."40
Parents should welcome and respect with joy and thanksgiving the Lord's call to one of their children to follow him in virginity for the sake of the Kingdom in the consecrated life or in priestly ministry.

V. The Authorities In Civil Society

2234 God's fourth commandment also enjoins us to honor all who for our good have received authority in society from God. It clarifies the duties of those who exercise authority as well as those who benefit from it.

Duties of civil authorities

2235 Those who exercise authority should do so as a service. "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant."41 The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law.

2236 The exercise of authority is meant to give outward expression to a just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of freedom and responsibility by all. Those in authority should practice distributive justice wisely, taking account of the needs and contribution of each, with a view to harmony and peace. They should take care that the regulations and measures they adopt are not a source of temptation by setting personal interest against that of the community.42

2237 Political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person. They will dispense justice humanely by respecting the rights of everyone, especially of families and the disadvantaged.
The political rights attached to citizenship can and should be granted according to the requirements of the common good. They cannot be suspended by public authorities without legitimate and proportionate reasons. Political rights are meant to be exercised for the common good of the nation and the human community.

IN BRIEF

2254 Public authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom.

Pope John Paul II discusses the responsibility of civil authorities to provide for the exercise of freedom in his encyclical, “Centesimus Annus”.

25. The events of 1989 are an example of the success of willingness to negotiate and of the Gospel spirit in the face of an adversary determined not to be bound by moral principles. These events are a warning to those who, in the name of political realism, wish to banish law and morality from the political arena. Undoubtedly, the struggle which led to the changes of 1989 called for clarity, moderation, suffering and sacrifice. In a certain sense, it was a struggle born of prayer, and it would have been unthinkable without immense trust in God, the Lord of history, who carries the human heart in his hands. It is by uniting his own sufferings for the sake of truth and freedom to the sufferings of Christ on the Cross that man is able to accomplish the miracle of peace and is in a position to discern the often narrow path between the cowardice which gives in to evil and the violence which, under the illusion of fighting evil, only makes it worse.

Nevertheless, it cannot be forgotten that the manner in which the individual exercises his freedom is conditioned in innumerable ways. While these certainly have an influence on freedom, they do not determine it; they make the exercise of freedom more difficult or less difficult, but they cannot destroy it. Not only is it wrong from the ethical point of view to disregard human nature, which is made for freedom, but in practice it is impossible to do so. Where society is so organized as to reduce arbitrarily or even suppress the sphere in which freedom is legitimately exercised, the result is that the life of society becomes progressively disorganized and goes into decline.

Footnotes

39 ⇒ Mt 10:37; cf. ⇒ 16:25.
40 ⇒ Mt 12:49.
41 ⇒ Mt 20:26.
42 Cf. CA 25.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2221-2231, 2252-2253 – The Duties of Parents

clock July 6, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the duties of parents. Supporting material comes from the Apostolic Exhortation, “Familiaris Consortio”.

The duties of parents

2221 The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. "The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute."29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.30

2222 Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law.

2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones."31 Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them:

He who loves his son will not spare the rod.... He who disciplines his son will profit by him.32
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.33

2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.

2225 Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the "first heralds" for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church.34 A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one's life.

2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.35 The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.

2227 Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of their parents.36 Each and everyone should be generous and tireless in forgiving one another for offenses, quarrels, injustices, and neglect. Mutual affection suggests this. The charity of Christ demands it.37

2228 Parents' respect and affection are expressed by the care and attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of their reason and freedom.

2229 As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators.38 Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.

2230 When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose their profession and state of life. They should assume their new responsibilities within a trusting relationship with their parents, willingly asking and receiving their advice and counsel. Parents should be careful not to exert pressure on their children either in the choice of a profession or in that of a spouse. This necessary restraint does not prevent them - quite the contrary from giving their children judicious advice, particularly when they are planning to start a family.

2231 Some forgo marriage in order to care for their parents or brothers and sisters, to give themselves more completely to a profession, or to serve other honorable ends. They can contribute greatly to the good of the human family.

IN BRIEF

2252 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They have the duty to provide as far as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their children.

2253 Parents should respect and encourage their children's vocations. They should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to follow Jesus.

Pope John Paul II discusses the mission of parents to educate their children in his Apostolic Exhortation, “Familiaris Consortio”.

The Mission to Educate and the Sacrament of Marriage

38. For Christian parents the mission to educate, a mission rooted, as we have said, in their participation in God's creating activity, has a new specific source in the sacrament of marriage, which consecrates them for the strictly Christian education of their children: that is to say, it calls upon them to share in the very authority and love of God the Father and Christ the Shepherd, and in the motherly love of the Church, and it enriches them with wisdom, counsel, fortitude and all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to help the children in their growth as human beings and as Christians.

The sacrament of marriage gives to the educational role the dignity and vocation of being really and truly a "ministry" of the Church at the service of the building up of her members. So great and splendid is the educational ministry of Christian parents that Saint Thomas has no hesitation in comparing it with the ministry of priests: "Some only propagate and guard spiritual life by a spiritual ministry: this is the role of the sacrament of Orders; others do this for both corporal and spiritual life, and this is brought about by the sacrament of marriage, by which a man and a woman join in order to beget offspring and bring them up to worship God."(101)

A vivid and attentive awareness of the mission that they have received with the sacrament of marriage will help Christian parents to place themselves at the service of their children's education with great serenity and trustfulness, and also with a sense of responsibility before God, who calls them and gives them the mission of building up the Church in their children. Thus in the case of baptized people, the family, called together by word and sacrament as the Church of the home, is both teacher and mother, the same as the worldwide Church.

Footnotes

29 GE 3.
30 Cf. FC 36.
31 CA 36 # 2.
32 ⇒ Sir 30:1-2.
33 ⇒ Eph 6:4.
34 LG 11 # 2.
35 Cf. LG 11.
36 Cf. GS 48 # 4.
37 Cf. ⇒ Mt 18:21-22; ⇒ Lk 17:4.
38 Cf. GE 6.



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 2207 – 2213, 2250 – The Family and Society

clock July 4, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the family and society. Supporting material comes from the Pastoral Constitution, “Gaudium et Spes”.

II. The Family and Society

2207 The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

2208 The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world."12

2209 The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the family's prerogatives or interfere in its life.

2210 The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society13 entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty "to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity."14

2211 The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:
- the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions;
- the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family;
- the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;
- the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate;
- in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits;
- the protection of security and health, especially with respect to dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
- the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have representation before civil authority.15

2212 The fourth commandment illuminates other relationships in society. In our brothers and sisters we see the children of our parents; in our cousins, the descendants of our ancestors; in our fellow citizens, the children of our country; in the baptized, the children of our mother the Church; in every human person, a son or daughter of the One who wants to be called "our Father." In this way our relationships with our neighbors are recognized as personal in character. The neighbor is not a "unit" in the human collective; he is "someone" who by his known origins deserves particular attention and respect.

2213 Human communities are made up of persons. Governing them well is not limited to guaranteeing rights and fulfilling duties such as honoring contracts. Right relations between employers and employees, between those who govern and citizens, presuppose a natural good will in keeping with the dignity of human persons concerned for justice and fraternity.

IN BRIEF

2250 "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life" (GS 47 # 1).

The Pastoral Constitution, “Gaudium et Spes” discusses the nobility of marriage and the Christian Family.

47. The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family. Hence Christians and all men who hold this community in high esteem sincerely rejoice in the various ways by which men today find help in fostering this community of love and perfecting its life, and by which parents are assisted in their lofty calling. Those who rejoice in such aids look for additional benefits from them and labor to bring them about.

Yet the excellence of this institution is not everywhere reflected with equal brilliance, since polygamy, the plague of divorce, so-called free love and other disfigurements have an obscuring effect. In addition, married love is too often profaned by excessive self-love, the worship of pleasure and illicit practices against human generation. Moreover, serious disturbances are caused in families by modern economic conditions, by influences at once social and psychological, and by the demands of civil society. Finally, in certain parts of the world problems resulting from population growth are generating concern.

All these situations have produced anxiety of consciences. Yet, the power and strength of the institution of marriage and family can also be seen in the fact that time and again, despite the difficulties produced, the profound changes in modern society reveal the true character of this institution in one way or another.

Footnotes

12 ⇒ Jas 1:27.
13 Cf. GS 47 # 1.
14 GS 52 # 2.
15 Cf. FC 46.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2201-2206, 2249 – The Family in God’s Plan

clock July 3, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the Christian Family in God’s Plan. Supporting material comes from the Pastoral Constitution, “Gaudium et Spes”.

I. The Family in God's Plan

The nature of the family

2201 The conjugal community is established upon the consent of the spouses. Marriage and the family are ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of children. The love of the spouses and the begetting of children create among members of the same family personal relationships and primordial responsibilities.

2202 A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated.

2203 In creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution. Its members are persons equal in dignity. For the common good of its members and of society, the family necessarily has manifold responsibilities, rights, and duties.

The Christian family

2204 "The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church."9 It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament.10

2205 The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.

2206 The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections and interests, arising above all from the members' respect for one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a "sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in the children's upbringing."11

IN BRIEF

2249 The conjugal community is established upon the covenant and consent of the spouses. Marriage and family are ordered to the good of the spouses, to the procreation and the education of children.

The Pastoral Constitution, “Gaudium et Spes” discusses the Christian family in God’s Plan.

52. The family is a kind of school of deeper humanity. But if it is to achieve the full flowering of its life and mission, it needs the kindly communion of minds and the joint deliberation of spouses, as well as the painstaking cooperation of parents in the education of their children. The active presence of the father is highly beneficial to their formation. The children, especially the younger among them, need the care of their mother at home. This domestic role of hers must be safely preserved, though the legitimate social progress of women should not be underrated on that account.

Footnotes

9 FC 21; cf. LG 11.
10 Cf. ⇒ Eph 5:21b: 4; ⇒ Col 3:18-21; ⇒ 1 Pet 3:1-7.
11 GS 52 # 1.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2196-2200, 2247-2248 – The Fourth Commandment

clock July 2, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the fourth commandment. Supporting material comes from Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Families”.

CHAPTER TWO

YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

Jesus said to his disciples: "Love one another even as I have loved you."1

2196 In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' the second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."2
The apostle St. Paul reminds us of this: "He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."3

ARTICLE 4

THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.4

He was obedient to them.5

The Lord Jesus himself recalled the force of this "commandment of God."6 The Apostle teaches: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' (This is the first commandment with a promise.) 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth."'7

2197 The fourth commandment opens the second table of the Decalogue. It shows us the order of charity. God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents to whom we owe life and who have handed on to us the knowledge of God. We are obliged to honor and respect all those whom God, for our good, has vested with his authority.

2198 This commandment is expressed in positive terms of duties to be fulfilled. It introduces the subsequent commandments which are concerned with particular respect for life, marriage, earthly goods, and speech. It constitutes one of the foundations of the social doctrine of the Church.

2199 The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country, and to those who administer or govern it. This commandment includes and presupposes the duties of parents, instructors, teachers, leaders, magistrates, those who govern, all who exercise authority over others or over a community of persons.

2200 Observing the fourth commandment brings its reward: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you."8 Respecting this commandment provides, along with spiritual fruits, temporal fruits of peace and prosperity. Conversely, failure to observe it brings great harm to communities and to individuals.

IN BRIEF

2247 "Honor your father and your mother" (⇒ Deut 5:16; ⇒ Mk 7:10).

2248 According to the fourth commandment, God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents and those whom he has vested with authority for our good.

Pope John Paul II discusses the fourth commandment in his “Letter to Families”.

"Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives to you" (Ex 20:12). This commandment comes after the three basic precepts which concern the relation of the individual and the people of Israel with God: "Shema, Izrael. . . ", "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord" (Dt 6:4). "You will have no other gods before me" (Ex 20:3). This is the first and greatest commandment, the commandment of love for God "above all else": God is to be loved "with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might" (Dt 6:5; cf. Mt 22:37). It is significant that the fourth commandment is placed in this particular context. "Honour your father and your mother", because for you they are in a certain sense representatives of the Lord; they are the ones who gave you life, who introduced you to human existence in a particular family line, nation and culture. After God, they are your first benefactors. While God alone is good, indeed the Good itself, parents participate in this supreme goodness in a unique way. And so, honour your parents! There is a certain analogy herewith the worship owed to God.

The fourth commandment is closely linked to the commandment of love. The bond between "honour" and "love" is a deep one. Honour, at its very centre, is connected with the virtue of justice, but the latter, for its part, cannot be explained fully without reference to love: the love of God and of one's neighbour. And who is more of a neighbour than one's own family members, parents and children?

Footnotes

1 ⇒ Jn 13:34.
2 ⇒ Mk 12:29-31; cf. ⇒ Deut 6:4-5; ⇒ Lev 19:18; ⇒ Mt 22:34-40; ⇒ Lk 10:25-28.
3 ⇒ Rom 13:8-10.
4 ⇒ Ex 20:12; ⇒ Deut 5:16.
5 ⇒ Lk 2:51.
6 ⇒ Mk 7:8-13.
7 ⇒ Eph 6:1-3; cf. ⇒ Deut 5:16.
8 ⇒ Ex 20:12; ⇒ Deut 5:16.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2180-2188, 2192-2195 – Sunday Obligation and Rest from Servile Work

clock July 1, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the Sunday obligation and resting from servile work on the Lord’s Day. Supporting material comes from the Pastoral Constitution, “Gaudium et Spes”.

The Sunday obligation

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God's holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2183 "If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families."120

A day of grace and rest from work

2184 Just as God "rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,"121 human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord's Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.122

2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.123 Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

The charity of truth seeks holy leisure - the necessity of charity accepts just work.124

2186 Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.

2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.

2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days as legal holidays. They have to give everyone a public example of prayer, respect, and joy and defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society. If a country's legislation or other reasons require work on Sunday, the day should nevertheless be lived as the day of our deliverance which lets us share in this "festal gathering," this "assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven."125

IN BRIEF

2192 "Sunday . . . is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church" (⇒ CIC, can. 1246 # 1). "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass" (⇒ CIC, can. 1247).

2193 "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound . . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body" (⇒ CIC, can. 1247).

2194 The institution of Sunday helps all "to be allowed sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives" (GS 67 # 3).

2195 Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day.

The Pastoral Constitution, “Gaudium et Spes” (67) discusses rest from work.

Since economic activity for the most part implies the associated work of human beings, any way of organizing and directing it which may be detrimental to any working men and women would be wrong and inhuman. It happens too often, however, even in our days, that workers are reduced to the level of being slaves to their own work. This is by no means justified by the so-called economic laws. The entire process of productive work, therefore, must be adapted to the needs of the person and to his way of life, above all to his domestic life, especially in respect to mothers of families, always with due regard for sex and age. The opportunity, moreover, should be granted to workers to unfold their own abilities and personality through the performance of their work. Applying their time and strength to their employment with a due sense of responsibility, they should also all enjoy sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social and religious life. They should also have the opportunity freely to develop the energies and potentialities which perhaps they cannot bring to much fruition in their professional work.

Footnotes

117 ⇒ CIC, can. 1247.
118 ⇒ CIC, can. 1248 # 1.
119 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 1245.
120 ⇒ CIC, can. 1248 # 2.
121 ⇒ Gen 2:2.
122 Cf. GS 67 # 3.
123 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 120.
124 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 19, 19: PL 41, 647.
125 ⇒ Heb 12:22-23.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2174-2179, 2190-2191 – The Lord’s Day

clock June 30, 2013 01:01 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the Lord’s Day. Supporting material comes from “Sacrosanctum Concilium”.

II. The Lord's Day

This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.103

The day of the Resurrection: the new creation

2174 Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week."104 Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath,105 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:

We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.106

Sunday - fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.108

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship "as a sign of his universal beneficence to all."109 Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

The Sunday Eucharist

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life.
"Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."110

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Epiphany,
the Ascension of Christ,
the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi,
the feast of Mary the Mother of God,
her Immaculate Conception,
her Assumption,
the feast of Saint Joseph,
the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."111

2178 This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age.112 The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithful "not to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another."113

Tradition preserves the memory of an ever-timely exhortation: Come to Church early, approach the Lord, and confess your sins, repent in prayer.... Be present at the sacred and divine liturgy, conclude its prayer and do not leave before the dismissal.... We have often said: "This day is given to you for prayer and rest. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."114

2179 "A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop."115 It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love:

You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests.116

IN BRIEF

2190 The sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.

2191 The Church celebrates the day of Christ's Resurrection on the "eighth day," Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord's Day (cf SC 106).

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium” discusses the Lord’s Day.

106. By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ's resurrection, the Church celebrates the paschal mystery every eighth day; with good reason this, then, bears the name of the Lord's Day or Sunday. For on this day Christ's faithful are bound to come together into one place so that; by hearing the word of God and taking part in the Eucharist, they may call to mind the passion, the resurrection and the glorification of the Lord Jesus, and may thank God who "has begotten them again, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto a living hope" (1 Pet. 1:3). Hence the Lord's Day is the original feast day, and it should be proposed to the piety of the faithful and taught to them so that it may become in fact a day of joy and of freedom from work. Other celebrations, unless they be truly of greatest importance, shall not have precedence over the Sunday which is the foundation and kernel of the whole liturgical year.

Footnotes

103 ⇒ Ps 118:24.
104 Cf. ⇒ Mt 28:1; ⇒ Mk 16:2; ⇒ Lk 24:1; ⇒ Jn 20:1.
105 Cf. ⇒ Mk 16:1; ⇒ Mt 28:1.
106 St. Justin, I Apol. 67: PG 6, 429 and 432.
107 Cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 10:11.
108 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9, 1: SCh 10, 88.
109 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II 122, 4.
110 ⇒ CIC, can. 1246 # 1.
111 ⇒ CIC, can. 1246 # 2: "The conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See."
112 Cf. ⇒ Acts 2:42-46; ⇒ 1 Cor 11:17.
113 ⇒ Heb 10:25.
114 Sermo de die dominica 2 et 6: PG 86/1, 416C and 421C.
115 ⇒ CIC, can. 515 # 1.
116 St. John Chrysostom, De incomprehensibili 3, 6: PG 48, 725.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2168-2173, 2189 – The Sabbath Day

clock June 29, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the Sabbath. Supporting material comes from the “Summa Theologica”.

Article 3

THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.90

The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.91

I. The Sabbath Day

2168 The third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the sabbath: "The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD."92

2169 In speaking of the sabbath Scripture recalls creation: "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it."93

2170 Scripture also reveals in the Lord's day a memorial of Israel's liberation from bondage in Egypt: "You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with mighty hand and outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day."94

2171 God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant.95 The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel.

2172 God's action is the model for human action. If God "rested and was refreshed" on the seventh day, man too ought to "rest" and should let others, especially the poor, "be refreshed."96 The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money.97

2173 The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day.98 He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath."99 With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing.100 The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God.101 "The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."102

IN BRIEF

2189 "Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (⇒ Deut 5:12). "The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord" (⇒ Ex 31:15).

In the “Summa Theologica” (Prima Pars, 73, 2), St. Thomas Aquinas discusses the “Rest of God” on the Sabbath.

Article 2. Whether God rested on the seventh day from all His work?

Objection 1. It would seem that God did not rest on the seventh day from all His work. For it is said (John 5:17), "My Father worketh until now, and I work." God, then, did not rest on the seventh day from all His work.

Objection 2. Further, rest is opposed to movement, or to labor, which movement causes. But, as God produced His work without movement and without labor, He cannot be said to have rested on the seventh day from His work.

Objection 3. Further, should it be said that God rested on the seventh day by causing man to rest; against this it may be argued that rest is set down in contradistinction to His work; now the words "God created" or "made" this thing or the other cannot be explained to mean that He made man create or make these things. Therefore the resting of God cannot be explained as His making man to rest.

On the contrary, It is said (Genesis 2:2): "God rested on the seventh day from all the work which He had done."

I answer that, Rest is, properly speaking, opposed to movement, and consequently to the labor that arises from movement. But although movement, strictly speaking, is a quality of bodies, yet the word is applied also to spiritual things, and in a twofold sense. On the one hand, every operation may be called a movement, and thus the Divine goodness is said to move and go forth to its object, in communicating itself to that object, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. ii). On the other hand, the desire that tends to an object outside itself, is said to move towards it. Hence rest is taken in two senses, in one sense meaning a cessation from work, in the other, the satisfying of desire. Now, in either sense God is said to have rested on the seventh day.

First, because He ceased from creating new creatures on that day, for, as said above (1, ad 3), He made nothing afterwards that had not existed previously, in some degree, in the first works; secondly, because He Himself had no need of the things that He had made, but was happy in the fruition of Himself. Hence, when all things were made He is not said to have rested "in" His works, as though needing them for His own happiness, but to have rested "from" them, as in fact resting in Himself, as He suffices for Himself and fulfils His own desire. And even though from all eternity He rested in Himself, yet the rest in Himself, which He took after He had finished His works, is that rest which belongs to the seventh day. And this, saysAugustine, is the meaning of God's resting from His works on that day (Gen. ad lit. iv).

Reply to Objection 1. God indeed "worketh until now" by preserving and providing for the creatures He has made, but not by the making of new ones.

Reply to Objection 2. Rest is here not opposed to labor or to movement, but to the production of new creatures, and to the desire tending to an external object.

Reply to Objection 3. Even as God rests in Himself alone and is happy in the enjoyment of Himself, so our own sole happiness lies in the enjoyment of God. Thus, also, He makes us find rest in Himself, both from His works and our own. It is not, then, unreasonable to say that God rested in giving rest to us. Still, this explanation must not be set down as the only one, and the other is the first and principal explanation.

Footnotes

90 ⇒ Ex 20:8-10; cf. ⇒ Deut 5:12-15.
91 ⇒ Mk 2:27-28.
92 ⇒ Ex 31:15.
93 ⇒ Ex 20:11.
94 ⇒ Deut 5:15.
95 Cf. ⇒ Ex 31:16.
96 ⇒ Ex 31:17; cf. ⇒ 23:12.
97 Cf. ⇒ Neh 13:15-22; ⇒ 2 Chr 36:21.
98 Cf. ⇒ Mk 1:21; ⇒ Jn 9:16.
99 ⇒ Mk 2:27.
100 Cf. ⇒ Mk 3:4[ETML:C/].
101 Cf. ⇒ Mt 12:5; ⇒ Jn 7:23.
102 ⇒ Mk 2:28.



Year of Faith Catechism Study: CCC 2156-2159, 2165-2167 – The Christian Name

clock June 28, 2013 01:02 by author John |

Today’s Catechism sections discuss the “Christian Name”, particularly the name of God. Supporting material comes from the “Summa Theologica”.

III. The Christian Name

2156 The sacrament of Baptism is conferred "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."85 In Baptism, the Lord's name sanctifies man, and the Christian receives his name in the Church. This can be the name of a saint, that is, of a disciple who has lived a life of exemplary fidelity to the Lord. The patron saint provides a model of charity; we are assured of his intercession. The "baptismal name" can also express a Christian mystery or Christian virtue. "Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to see that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment."86

2157 The Christian begins his day, his prayers, and his activities with the Sign of the Cross: "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." The baptized person dedicates the day to the glory of God and calls on the Savior's grace which lets him act in the Spirit as a child of the Father. The sign of the cross strengthens us in temptations and difficulties.

2158 God calls each one by name.87 Everyone's name is sacred. The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it.

2159 The name one receives is a name for eternity. In the kingdom, the mysterious and unique character of each person marked with God's name will shine forth in splendor. "To him who conquers . . . I will give a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it."88 "Then I looked, and Lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads."89

IN BRIEF

2165 In Baptism, the Christian receives his name in the Church. Parents, godparents, and the pastor are to see that he be given a Christian name. The patron saint provides a model of charity and the assurance of his prayer.

2166 The Christian begins his prayers and activities with the Sign of the Cross: "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

2167 God calls each one by name (cf ⇒ Isa 43:1).

In the “Summa Theologica” (Prima Pars, 13, 1), St. Thomas Aquinas discusses the name of God.

Article 1. Whether a name can be given to God?

Objection 1. It seems that no name can be given to God. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i) that, "Of Him there is neither name, nor can one be found of Him;" and it is written: "What is His name, and what is the name of His Son, if thou knowest?" (Proverbs 30:4).

Objection 2. Further, every name is either abstract or concrete. But concrete names do not belong to God, since He is simple, nor do abstract names belong to Him, forasmuch as they do not signify any perfect subsisting thing. Therefore no name can be said of God.

Objection 3. Further, nouns are taken to signify substance with quality; verbs and participles signify substance with time; pronouns the same with demonstration or relation. But none of these can be applied to God, for He has no quality, nor accident, nor time; moreover, He cannot be felt, so as to be pointed out; nor can He be described by relation, inasmuch as relations serve to recall a thing mentioned before by nouns, participles, or demonstrative pronouns. Therefore God cannot in any way be named by us.

On the contrary, It is written (Exodus 15:3): "The Lord is a man of war, Almighty is His name."

I answer that, Since according to the Philosopher (Peri Herm. i), words are signs of ideas, and ideas the similitude of things, it is evident that words relate to the meaning of things signified through the medium of the intellectual conception. It follows therefore that we can give a name to anything in as far as we can understand it. Now it was shown above (12, 11, 12) that in this life we cannot see the essence of God; but we know God from creatures as their principle, and also by way of excellence and remotion. In this way therefore He can be named by us from creatures, yet not so that the name which signifies Him expresses the divine essence in itself. Thus the name "man" expresses the essence of man in himself, since it signifies the definition of man by manifesting his essence; for the idea expressed by the name is the definition.

Reply to Objection 1. The reason why God has no name, or is said to be above being named, is because His essence is above all that we understand about God, and signify in word.

Reply to Objection 2. Because we know and name God from creatures, the names we attribute to God signify what belongs to material creatures, of which the knowledge is natural to us. And because in creatures of this kind what is perfect and subsistent is compound; whereas their form is not a complete subsisting thing, but rather is that whereby a thing is; hence it follows that all names used by us to signify a complete subsisting thing must have a concrete meaning as applicable to compound things; whereas names given to signify simple forms, signify a thing not as subsisting, but as that whereby a thing is; as, for instance, whiteness signifies that whereby a thing is white. And as God is simple, and subsisting, we attribute to Him abstract names to signify His simplicity, and concrete names to signify His substance and perfection, although both these kinds of names fail to express His mode of being, forasmuch as our intellect does not know Him in this life as He is.

Reply to Objection 3. To signify substance with quality is to signify the "suppositum" with a nature or determined form in which it subsists. Hence, as some things are said of God in a concrete sense, to signify His subsistence and perfection, so likewise nouns are applied to God signifying substance with quality. Further, verbs and participles which signify time, are applied to Him because His eternity includes all time. For as we can apprehend and signify simple subsistences only by way of compound things, so we can understand and express simple eternity only by way of temporal things, because our intellect has a natural affinity to compound and temporal things. But demonstrative pronouns are applied to God as describing what is understood, not what is sensed. For we can only describe Him as far as we understand Him. Thus, according as nouns, participles and demonstrative pronouns are applicable to God, so far can He be signified by relative pronouns.

Footnotes

85 ⇒ Mt 28:19.
86 ⇒ CIC, Can. 855.
87 Cf. ⇒ Isa 43:1; ⇒ Jn 10:3.
88 ⇒ Rev 2:17.
89 ⇒ Rev 14:1.