GDC 85c: Moral Formation

Morality: taking upon the attitude of Christ. That definition keeps moral conduct in the sphere of grace, not personal determination or even, as some conservatives might like us to believe, in one’s ideology:

Conversion to Jesus Christ implies walking in his footsteps. Catechesis must, therefore, transmit to the disciples the attitudes of the Master himself. The disciples thus undertake a journey of interior transformation, in which, by participating in the paschal mystery of the Lord, “they pass from the old man to the new man who has been made perfect in Christ”. (Ad Gentes 13) The Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus takes up the Decalogue, and impresses upon it the spirit of the beatitudes, (Cf. Lumen Gentium 62; Catechism 1965-1986. The Catechism 1697 specifies in particular the characteristics which catechesis must assume in moral formation) is an indispensable point of reference for the moral formation which is most necessary today. Evangelization which “involves the proclamation and presentation of morality”, (Veritatis Splendor 107) displays all the force of its appeal where it offers not only the proclaimed word but the lived word too. This moral testimony, which is prepared for by catechesis, must always demonstrate the social consequences of the demands of the Gospel. (Cf. Catechesi Tradendae 29f)

Note that this “journey of interior transformation” is implied to be a lifelong pilgrimage. A believer must always be prepared to look within, to adjust interior motivations, and to alter one’s conduct to bring it closer to that of Christ.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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