GUIDED EXERCISE - St. Mary Lake Leelanau High School Parent

Report
The Basis for Morality and Moral
Theology
OUR MORAL LIFE IN CHRIST
Introductory Lesson (for first day of class)
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Syllabus
Cycle of instructional lessons
Instructional policy
Materials
Homework:
 Reading
 Read Chapter 1 through Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp.
1-8).
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
ANTICIPATORY SET
Opening Prayer: The story of the rich young man (Mt 19:16–
26).
Discussion:
What is Christ is saying in this parable?
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
BASIC QUESTIONS
❏ Are sexual ethics the primary concern of the moral law?
❏ What is the essence of the moral law?
❏ What are the cardinal virtues?
❏ What is the relationship between the moral law and happiness?
KEY IDEAS
❏ The moral law includes all moral matters, not just sexual ethics.
❏ The moral law is not simply about rules but, more importantly, about
how best to love God and our neighbor in thought, word, and deed.
❏ The moral life is guided by the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice,
fortitude, and temperance—the foundation of all human virtues.
❏ The moral law sets us on the way to true happiness because it is rooted
in love.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
❏ What is the purpose of life?
The purpose of life is to live the present in such a way as to enjoy
eternal life with God.
❏ Why did Christ become man, suffer, die, and rise from the
dead?
This allowed us to attain eternal life.
❏ What do we need besides faith to accept God’s invitation?
We must use our free will to make good moral decisions.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
GUIDED EXERCISE
In your group, answer your assigned “For Discussion” question.
 Moderator
 Recorder
 Presenter
 Share results
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
❏ What is morality and moral law?
Morality refers to the standards by which we judge actions to be good or evil. Moral law
refers to the standards of human behavior that were established by God and are taught by
the Catholic Church.
❏ What do the controversies between abortion proponents and pro-life advocates
reveal?
The controversies reveal that, even though the two sides completely disagree, each believes
that some kind of moral standard must exist. For example, one side speaks of the right of
the unborn child to life. The other speaks of the woman’s right to an abortion.
❏ What do some people assume morality is basically about?
Many people assume morality is all about issues pertaining to sexuality and marriage. They
then conclude morality is nothing but an unnecessary restriction on human freedom.
❏ Besides matters of sexual morality, what else does the Moral Law include?
It includes all human behavior that has a moral dimension, including war, health care,
economics, poverty, discrimination, calumny, and criminal justice.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
Guided Exercise
Complete the
following graphic
to clarify the
analogy between
playing on an
athletic team and
living in union
with Christ.
Supernatural Sports
Playing on an Athletic Team
Living in union with Christ
Study the playbook.
Practice the plays till they are second
nature. Work out to build strength and
endurance.
Know the rules of the game and avoid
penalties.
Good use of time and awareness of the
clock.
Keep eyes on the prize: winning!
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
Supernatural Sports
Playing on an Athletic Team
Living in union with Christ
Study the playbook.
Study the Bible and Catholic doctrine.
Practice the plays till they are second
nature. Work out to build strength and
endurance.
Know the rules of the game and avoid
penalties.
Practice the faith through prayer, the
sacraments, growth in virtue, and
service to others.
Know the behavior Christ expects of us
and have the self‐control to carry it out.
Good use of time and awareness of the
clock.
Use our time well on earth and keep in
mind that the end is coming.
Keep eyes on the prize: winning!
Keep our eyes on the goal of eternal life
and happiness in heaven!
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
❏ With what is subjective morality synonymous?
Moral relativism.
❏ What is the difference between an objective and a
subjective morality?
Objective morality claims that our actions are good or evil
independently of what we think about them, whereas subjective
morality claims that the moral value of our actions depends on the
situation and one’s opinion.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
GUIDED EXERCISE
 Provide examples of moral and moralistic people from The Scarlet
Letter and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (or other) novels.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
GUIDED EXERCISE - mini-lecture
Why do people tend to equate morality and the Catholic Church with
“repressive teachings” on morality?
❏ Since the latter half of the twentieth century, much of the secular culture has been
obsessed with sex.
❏ In 1950, only a tiny minority of people would have said that premarital sex,
adultery, divorce, contraception, pornography, abortion, or homosexual behavior
were morally acceptable.
❏ In 1950, ideas such as in vitro fertilization (test tube babies), cloning, same-sex
“marriage” and adoption of children, and partial-birth abortion would have been
considered morally unacceptable.
❏ While much of our culture has changed, the Catholic Church has maintained her
perennial teachings and applied them to new situations that have arisen.
❏ These teachings have sometimes been scorned and ridiculed by the media, which
accuse the Church of trying to impose its values on others, or to legislate morality.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
❏ What is the purpose of this first chapter?
It presents an overview of the basic principles of Christian
morality and clarifies some common misconceptions about it.
❏ What basic question does Catholic moral teaching
answer?
How can we best reflect our love for God and other people in
our thoughts, words, and deeds?
❏ Where can one find the official presentation of Catholic
beliefs and teachings on the moral law?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to come up with one example of how, in
some moral issue, one can be moral (in the good sense) or
moralistic (in a bad sense).
Example:
A moral teenager follows the speed limit because he respects
the law, does not want to drive unsafely, and wants to avoid a
ticket. A moralistic teenager observes the speed limit and
then considers himself or herself superior to other teenagers
who drive recklessly.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
❏ What is the relationship between a morality of rules and a morality that
includes rules?
Christ’s morality is not a morality of just rules as if following rules would save you.
Rather, it is a morality that includes rules. Moral laws and precepts show us the
difference between good and evil and the path we need to follow if we want to please
God, achieve true perfection, and obtain salvation.
❏ What makes people moralistic?
When people reduce the Faith to a checklist of rules and when they consider
themselves superior to others because they follow them, they become “moralistic” in
a bad sense.
❏ Why is being moralistic wrong?
Acting “holier than thou” and appearing as a cold and judgmental moralizer makes
one a poor witness to the Faith and not someone others would like to emulate.
Extension: Besides this, we are all sinners and should be humble.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
❏ Why was Christ critical of many of the ideas preached by the
religious leaders of his time?
He criticized the Pharisees for reducing the Old Testament to a narrow,
legalistic, and sometimes hypocritical model of morality.
❏ What is the origin of both the physical and moral laws of the
universe?
Both kinds of laws were created by God and are discovered, not invented, by
human beings.
❏ What is the natural law?
The natural law is the moral law written in the human heart.
Extension: It is the intuitive sense of right and wrong we have. If we use our
reason to examine our human nature, we can discover and articulate the
entire moral law.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
❏ Why is the moral law objective?
The standards of Christian morality are God’s plan for us. They are not determined
by one’s preference or even by the will of the majority.
❏ What is the first step in living the Christian life?
Living according to the moral law.
❏ What is the relationship between the morality of the Old and New
Testaments?
The Commandments given by God to the Jewish people were perfected and
explained by Christ.
❏ How does the Great Commandment relate to the Ten Commandments?
The Great Commandment to love God above all else and to love your neighbor as
yourself puts all the Commandments into context and describes the interior spirit
with which we are to embrace the moral law. Love is both the context and spirit.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Seven groups.
Matthew 5:17–48.
How does your passage present a New Law that perfects the Old Law?
N.B. “The law and the prophets” refers to what we call the Old Testament:
1. The Law in general: vv. 17–20
2. Anger: vv. 21–26
3. Adultery: vv. 27–30
4. Divorce: vv. 31–32
5. Oaths: vv. 33–37
6. Retaliation: vv. 38–42
7. Love of enemies: vv. 43–48
Three minutes to analyze passages, then share findings with class.
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
CLOSURE
Free write for five minutes on the following question:
What is, to you, the most important reason that you should obey
the moral law?
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
❏ Study Questions 1–16 (p. 34)
❏ Practical Exercises 1–3 (p. 36)
❏ Workbook Questions 1–10
❏ Read “Moral Law and Grace” through “Vocation and
Discipleship” (pp. 9–13)
Characteristics of the Moral Law (pp. 1–8)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Complete Practical Exercise 1.
 Pray silently about things that take precedence over God and
things you might change in your own life to give God center
stage.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
ANTICIPATORY SET
Opening Prayer on the story of Cain and Abel (cf. Gn 4:1–16).
How can the murder of Abel be seen as a consequence of the
sin of Adam and Eve?
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
BASIC QUESTIONS
❏ What effect does Original Sin have on our free will?
❏ What is the difference between sanctifying and actual grace?
❏ What is the universal call to holiness?
❏ What is the role of freedom and self-mastery in our vocation?
KEY IDEAS
❏ Original Sin weakens our free will and inclines us toward sin.
❏ Sanctifying grace is a permanent presence of God in our souls. We receive
it in Baptism. Actual graces are temporary infusions of God’s grace to help
us live according to God’s will.
❏ Every human being is called to holiness and therefore to living the moral
law.
❏ We need both freedom and self-mastery to respond to our vocation to
holiness.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
❏ What are human virtues?
They are stable dispositions of the intellect and the will that govern our
acts, order our passions, and guide our conduct in accordance with reason
and faith.
❏ What specific virtues are received at Baptism?
The four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance
are received, along with the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.
❏ How does the moral law provide the way to true happiness?
Living by the moral law helps us get closer to God, who is the true source
of happiness.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
GUIDED EXERCISE
A think / pair / share on the following question:
❏ According to Veritatis Splendor 102, what is the relationship between
the temptation Adam faced and the temptations each one of us faces?
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
❏ If one is not Catholic, a Christian, or even a deist, is the moral
law necessary?
The moral law applies to every human being because every person is called
to holiness.
❏ Despite possessing the natural law, why do we need God’s help to
make good moral decisions on our own?
Our tendency to sin, a consequence of Original Sin, makes it more
difficult for us to distinguish good from evil.
❏ What vocation does Baptism give every Christian?
Every baptized person has the vocation to become completely centered on
Christ. This is the holiness proclaimed by the Gospels and found
throughout the New Testament.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
GUIDED EXERCISE
A mini-lecture on the Catholic understanding of the effects of Original Sin.
❏ Original Sin is transmitted to every human being as part of his or her human
nature.
❏ It is not a moral guilt as if the person has committed a personal sin; rather, it is a wound
that leads to sin.
❏ Due to Original Sin, the intellect is darkened, so it is harder to recognize the
truth. The will is weakened, so it is harder to do good. The passions often
overwhelm the reason and will rather than being ruled by them. This is called
concupiscence, and it leads us to sin.
❏ Because of Original Sin, we experience pain, sickness, and eventually death.
❏ The most important consequence of Original Sin is the privation of
sanctifying grace we experience as a consequence of the sin of Adam. Privation
means being denied something we were created to possess. We were made to be in
relationship with God and to have God’s own life within us. However, Original Sin
alienates us from God.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
❏ Although Baptism restores sanctifying grace, it does not remove the
wounding effects of Original Sin.
❏ There are two principal errors in regard to Original Sin. On the one
hand, some people have exaggerated the definition of Original Sin. For
example, the Manichaeans claimed that everything physical is evil. Later,
Calvin said our human natures are totally depraved. On the other hand
are those who deny Original Sin altogether. For example, Rousseau and
the Romantics claimed people are all originally good but are corrupted
by society.
❏ Which reading of Original Sin seems to best explain human history:
man as totally corrupt, man as naturally perfectible, or man as possessing
a basically good but wounded nature?
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to answer the following question.
❏ Based on what you have learned in this chapter, how would you
respond to someone who says he or she would never become
Catholic because of the clergy sexual abuse scandal?
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
❏ What is grace?
Grace is a free gift that God gives us so we can share in his life and
conform ourselves to his will.
❏ What is sanctifying grace?
It is the abiding grace that we receive at Baptism through which God
himself dwells in our souls and we share in his life.
❏ What is actual grace?
It is a temporary grace that gives us the knowledge and strength to do what
is good and right.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
❏ Why is actual grace necessary for every person who has
reached the age of reason?
Without it we would not have the strength to resist temptation and
could not be faithful to the Commandments.
❏ What is the relationship between vocation and freedom?
It is completely up to us whether we respond to our vocation.
❏ Whose way of life and discipline are we called to adopt?
We are called to imitate Christ.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
GUIDED EXERCISE
A think / pair / write / share:
❏ How does a person who is transformed by Christ see the world
differently?
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 14 on the
relationship between freedom and sin.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
CLOSURE
Free write for five minutes on the relationship between Original
Sin, grace, and free will.
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
❏ Study Questions 17–21 (p. 34)
❏ Practical Exercises 4–5 (p. 36)
❏ Workbook Questions 11–23
❏ Read “Christian Morality in Action” through “What is Moral
Theology?” (pp. 13–19)
Free Will, Grace, and Vocation (pp. 9–13)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
A silent time of prayer in which you complete Practical Exercise 4
on the meaning of discipleship in your own life.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
ANTICIPATORY SET: Opening Prayer on 1 John 4:7–11
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who
loves is born of God and knows God.
He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God
sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through
him.
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and
sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
BASIC QUESTIONS
❏ What do our actions reveal about us?
❏ What effect does Christian morality have on human dignity?
❏ What effect does Christian morality have on free will?
❏ How does Christian morality relate to love?
❏ What are the fruits of keeping the moral law?
KEY IDEAS
❏ Our words and actions reveal our interior moral dispositions, whether good
or evil.
❏ Christian morality safeguards human dignity because it recognizes the dignity
of each person and requires us to treat ourselves and others accordingly.
❏ Christian morality makes us freer by overcoming slavery to sin.
❏ Christian morality begins and ends with love.
❏ Keeping the moral law leads to holiness, happiness, and a more just world.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 7 on the
practical ramifications of Matthew 15:10–20.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
❏ How do we commit good acts?
We commit good acts by using our free will to make good choices under
the influence of grace.
❏ Why does even a person committed to Christ have a tendency to
sin?
A tendency toward sin is a consequence of our wounded human nature,
so we can never presume ourselves to be invulnerable to temptation and
sin.
❏ Which Sacraments are especially helpful in living a moral life in
Christ?
Reconciliation and Eucharist constantly supply us with graces.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GRAPHIC ORGANIZER
This lesson examines “how morality, free will, our actions, and our
interior dispositions are all inextricably interrelated.”
Write one-sentence explanations for each of the following terms:
morality
free will
actions
interior
dispositions
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
Morality refers to the standards by which we judge actions to be
good or evil.
Free will is our power to make decisions and act on our own.
Our actions are our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Interior dispositions are the things that are in our hearts, our
attitudes, and values, which determine our actions.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Think / pair / share on the following question:
How can the idea of “little by little” apply to our moral life in
Christ?
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
❏ What do our actions reveal?
They reveal our interior values or moral dispositions.
❏ Why does Christ speak of good and bad fruit trees?
He is making an analogy between fruit trees and men. Good or
bad fruit grows from good or bad trees. Good or bad actions
indicate whether we are good or bad people.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 10 on the
importance of sins of omission in our moral life in Christ.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Class discussion on the following question:
Can one follow Christ and at the same time decide for oneself
which moral laws to follow and which not to follow?
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
❏ What is the difference between positive and negative morality?
A positive morality prescribes what a person, motivated by the love of God,
should do to imitate the life of Christ. A negative morality consists of “thou
shalt nots,” obedience to which is motivated primarily by fear of punishment.
❏ Which is better, to be motivated by love of God and neighbor or to
be motivated by fear of punishment?
To be motivated by love is superior, since this motivation both includes not
doing evil and goes beyond it. For example, “Thou shalt not kill,” forbids
killing the innocent, whereas loving my neighbor means more than just not
murdering him but positively loving him and considering his welfare above my
own.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
❏ Is Christian morality completely positive or negative?
While it is a positive morality, it does include negative commands.
Christian morality goes beyond telling us what we should do and should
not do and reveals what type of persons we should be to find fulfillment.
❏ What is the risk that God took in creating us with a free will?
God took the risk that we would say no to him and abuse our freedom.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
❏ How do we attain the highest degree of freedom?
We practice the message preached by Christ.
❏ What is the freedom that a moral life in Christ gives us?
It gives freedom from sin.
❏ How do our actions either increase or decrease our freedom?
Good actions make us freer, whereas bad actions diminish our freedom
and make us slaves to sin.
Extension: For example, generosity in giving money to charity makes it
easier to give the next time I can help someone. Giving into my stinginess
and spending the money on myself will make it harder to donate to
charity the next time I have an opportunity.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GUIDED EXERCISE
A think / pair / share on the following question:
Even though fear is an imperfect motive, is it useful in our moral
life?
Provide at least two examples of how fear of punishment can be
positive.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
❏ What does it mean to say Christian morality is at the service of love?
The Christian moral message begins with God offering his love to us and ends
with the New Commandment that we should love one another as Christ loved
us. The entire moral law consists of examples of how to love God and neighbor.
❏ What is the natural result of keeping the moral law?
It brings holiness, happiness, and justice.
❏ What does a saintly life modeled on Christ reveal?
It reveals the beauty of truth, the liberating force of God’s love, and the value
of unconditional fidelity to all the demands of God’s Law.
❏ How does keeping the moral law lead to happiness on earth and in
Heaven?
Keeping the moral law gives a foretaste on earth of the perfect happiness that
awaits us in Heaven.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Brainstorm examples of moral practices that today’s society
demands to be tolerated, and identify Catholic positions that are
sometimes labeled as intolerant.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Read the selections from Genesis that begins this chapter.
Discuss the following question:
What passages in Genesis 1–2 indicate that man has dignity and that life is
sacred?
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
❏ How can Catholics have assurance that the moral teachings of the Church
are correct?
God guarantees that the teachings of the Church are correct. The Church’s moral
teachings are revealed through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition and
communicated through the Magisterium.
❏ What often happens to societies that reject the moral law revealed by God?
They reach erroneous conclusions and end up creating cultures of death, hatred, and
falsehood. Nazi Germany and Soviet Communism are two notable examples from the
twentieth century.
❏ What are two extreme views that destroy the moral law’s call to justice?
One extreme view is to see moral behavior exclusively in terms of social justice. The
other is to limit the scope of morality to individual actions only. The former might
justify injustice to individuals in the name of the common good. The latter might
justify ignoring the common good and focusing only on one’s own spiritual life.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
❏ What is the correct balance between social justice and individual morality?
The moral law calls us to try to establish a more just and peaceful society on earth and to
ensure that our personal behavior is in accord with the moral law.
❏ What is an unfortunately common attitude regarding moral issues in Western
society today?
At present, a secularizing trend, which views morality and truth as subjective, is prevalent.
Oftentimes, people who publicly hold a moral position on public policy issues are accused
of imposing their personal moral views—or the moral views of their particular
churches—on others. This view rejects the objective nature of the natural law.
❏ How is God the origin and end of all good moral actions?
The origin of moral theology is Divine Revelation. The end of moral theology is attaining
God in Heaven through a life of holiness on earth.
❏ What is the purpose of moral theology?
The purpose of moral theology is to lead the human person to a life of holiness and to
eternal salvation with God in Heaven.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
GUIDED EXERCISE
A think / pair / share on the following question:
What does it mean to say moral theology “is concerned with the good and
the evil of human actions and of the individual person who performs these
actions”?
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
CLOSURE
Work with a partner to list as many positive aspects of Christian
morality as you can find in this chapter.
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
❏ Study Questions 22–31 (pp. 34–35)
❏ Practical Exercises 6–10 (p. 36)
❏ Workbook Questions 24–40
❏ Read “The Christian Concept of Mankind” through
“Conclusion” (pp. 20–29)
Fruits of Life in Christ (pp. 13–19)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Free write for five minutes on what your life and our society
would be like if the Fourth Commandment were completely
rejected by all people.
Share responses.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
ANTICIPATORY SET
Read the first two paragraphs of “Our Sources of Moral
Theology” (p. 24).
Write a one-sentence statement of how history is studied and a
one-sentence statement of how the applied sciences are
interrelated.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
BASIC QUESTIONS
❏ What makes us human?
❏ Do Christians have a greater moral responsibility than non-Christians?
❏ What is the relationship between the sciences and Catholic moral law?
KEY IDEAS
❏ Our immortal souls make us human, separating us from animals, which
cannot know God or consciously and freely love.
❏ Due to their Baptism, Christians have a greater moral responsibility in
God’s eyes.
❏ The sciences can supplement Catholic moral teaching in important ways
but can never replace it.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ What are some characteristics that differentiate humans from
the rest of creation?
Humans search for truth and are morally responsible for their actions.
Humans can also fashion things that express and evaluate the human
spirit, e.g., art, music, science, literature, film, and humor.
❏ What is the difference between humans and animals regarding
moral actions?
We have immortal souls that give us the ability to know and love God
and our neighbor. Animals do not have souls. They, therefore, do not
have to know and love God and cannot perform moral actions.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Free write for a few minutes on what is false about the claim that
if something cannot be directly experienced, measured, or
observed, then it cannot be known with certainty.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to come up with another example of why
sociobiology can err.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ Why can human reason on its own not determine moral truths
without error?
Human reason can discover moral truths on its own, but it is prone to
error. If the existence of God is denied, then many people will erroneously
be led to follow their own desires rather than an objective moral law.
❏ Why will “scientism” always fail to answer the basic problems of
mankind?
Scientism is a philosophy in which the only truths that exist are those that
can be scientifically demonstrated. Science can discover how the world
works and, through technology, it can give us new powers over the natural
world. Science, however, cannot tell us what to do with the knowledge and
power we gain. Thus, scientism cannot offer a reason why we should not
use knowledge and power in selfish and evil ways.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ What is secular humanism?
Secular humanism is a materialistic view that exalts humanity but leaves
God out of the picture.
❏ What is a “materialistic view” of the world?
It is one that recognizes only the existence of physical matter and
ignores or rejects the immaterial or supernatural.
❏ What is Christian humanism?
It is the view that God has created us with an inherent dignity and given
us marvelous gifts that reflect his own wisdom and goodness.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Write for a few minutes on the implications of an ancient belief that the
soul, which was considered good, was imprisoned in the body, which
was considered bad.
The following conclusions have actually been drawn by adherents of this
view:
• Physical earthly life is bad or not important.
• It does not matter if the body sins.
• It is good to die, or even to commit suicide, to “escape” the
body.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ What is a soul?
The human soul is the spiritual part of a person, which has the power to think and
will. The soul is immortal, i.e., it survives beyond the death of the body.
❏ What is the function of the soul in the human person?
The soul gives the body the capacity for spiritual operations such as knowledge, acts
of faith and love, and supernatural life.
❏ What is the ultimate end of the soul?
The soul does not have a temporal end because it is immortal. Death is the
separation of the body, which decomposes, from the soul, which continues to exist.
❏ What is the error of a “purely spiritual” viewpoint?
Excessive spiritualism denies the inherent goodness of matter and thus of the
human body. The Christian view is that our moral actions are acts of both body and
soul and that creation is good.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ What is a human body?
The body is an incredibly sophisticated biological form that is enlivened by an
immortal and rational soul.
❏ Why does a human person have dignity?
The person’s soul is created directly by God at the moment of conception, and
we are made in his image and dignity.
❏ How did Christ recognize the reality of body and soul in instituting the
Sacraments?
By bestowing spiritual grace through physical signs, Christ united the spiritual and
the material in the Sacraments.
❏ Why is a Christian held to a higher standard of conduct?
Through Baptism, a Christian becomes a child of God and part of the Mystical
Body of Christ, the Church.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ Where can these higher standards revealed by Christ be found?
They are found in the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, and in the New
Commandment of Love.
❏ How did Christ perfect the Commandments in Matthew 5:18–48?
Christ taught that it was not sufficient for Christians just to avoid murder,
but they should not even give in to anger. Likewise, it was not sufficient just
to avoid adultery, but a man should not even look at a woman with lust. In a
like manner, Christ perfected the Commandments of the Old Law.
❏ What is the “moral” taught by Christ in the Parable of the Good
Samaritan?
We are to love even the unlovable.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 9, identifying some of the higher
standards that a follower of Christ is called to live.
GUIDED EXERCISE
Brainstorm ideas to complete Practical Exercise 10 on concrete things teens can do
to increase God’s presence in their souls.
GUIDED EXERCISE
Visit the following Web site to get an overview of the seven “themes” of Catholic
social teaching:
www.usccb.org/sdwp/projects/socialteaching/excerpt.shtml
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ What does it mean to say man is a social being?
It means man is made to live with others and relate to them.
❏ How do Baptism and the Eucharist have both individual and
communal characteristics?
Baptism takes away Original Sin and actual sins and makes the recipient a
child of God. The Eucharist nourishes the one who receives it with the
very life of Christ. At the same time, Baptism makes one a member of the
Church, and the Eucharist unites all the members of the Church.
❏ Why is the “social teaching” of the Church important?
It is important because every person has social obligations, and people
have the tendency to let their individual interests overshadow their social
duties.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
GUIDED EXERCISE
How important it is to live as a social being? Consider the following
questions:
❏ What would happen to a baby if left completely on his or her own?
❏ In our society, how old does a person have to be before he or she can care
for him or herself completely?
❏ What would happen to a baby if he or she was materially cared for but
not picked up, hugged, or spoken to?
❏ To what extent does even the richest and most powerful person in the
world depend on other people?
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ From what source is Christian morality especially drawn?
The teachings of Christ as found in the New Testament.
❏ What are the principal sources of Christian morality in the New Testament?
The Gospels.
❏ What are the two principal sources for Christian morality in the Gospels?
The life of Christ and the teachings of Christ.
❏ How can one be sure that the Bible is without error?
God inspired the sacred writers to record what he wanted them to record so that
every person could find salvation.
❏ What is the role of the Magisterium in moral theology?
The Magisterium interprets and teaches from the Deposit of Faith.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to formulate responses to the following questions
about tradition:
❏ How would you explain the difference between Sacred Tradition,
from which moral theology is derived, and traditions, such as priests
wearing a white collar, which can be changed?
❏ How might a Catholic have difficulties if he or she does not
adequately understand the difference?
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to summarize the ideas in the selection from Dignitatis Humanae
(Supplementary Reading 3).
Then free write for two minutes on the following questions and briefly discuss responses:
Why do we have an obligation to seek and live by the truth?
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 7 to compare the ideas of Pope Benedict
XVI and Cicero in Supplementary Readings 1 and 2.
GUIDED EXERCISE
Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 5 on differences between philosophical
ethics and Christian moral theology.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ What does tradition mean?
It means “to pass on.”
❏ What is Sacred Tradition?
Sacred Tradition transmits the entire Word of God to the successors of the
Apostles so they may preserve, expound, and spread it.
❏ Where are the contents of Sacred Tradition found?
Sacred Tradition can especially be found in the record of liturgical practice, in
personal piety, and in interpretations and clarifications of the apostolic teachings
that the early Church Fathers left us.
❏ Are all the precepts in the Bible meant to be binding forever? Explain.
Give an example.
Not all biblical precepts were meant to be binding forever. For example, Moses
permitted divorce, but Christ restored marriage to its original meaning.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ What is the ongoing work of Catholic moral theology?
The Church applies the moral truths revealed by God to specific situations
that need moral evaluation or clarification.
Extension: For example, in the early 1960s the oral contraceptive pill was
sold to the public for the first time. Some Catholics were unclear whether
the use of this contraceptive product was moral or immoral. In 1968, Pope
Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, which, in dealing with the entire question of
the transmission of human life, answered that all contraception is wrong.
❏ What is the meaning of Magisterium?
Magisterium comes from the Latin magister, which means teacher. The
Magisterium is the doctrinal and moral teaching authority of the Pope and
the bishops united to him.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ Why cannot Catholics just read the Bible and figure out
doctrines for themselves?
Christ founded a Church and entrusted it to St. Peter and the
Apostles and their successors, the Pope and bishops united to him.
The Scriptures were compiled and selected by the Church, and
their authentic interpretation is entrusted to the Magisterium
alone.
❏ Why can the natural sciences never replace moral
theology as a source of truth?
Science is based on reason. Revelation goes beyond human reason
alone. Human sciences cannot substitute for or diminish the
authority of Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
❏ How might the sciences be useful in aiding moral theology in
finding the truth?
Philosophical ethics analyzes and explains good human behavior. Rational
psychology explains how people form ideas and make choices.
Anthropology, biology, and medicine can also corroborate and support the
moral teachings of the Church.
❏ Why is it a responsibility of Catholics to have a good
understanding of the Catholic Faith?
There are many reasons. Because the Holy Spirit guides the Church in
developing and safeguarding her teachings, believers enjoy a certainty that
they possess objective moral truth without the possibility of error. This truth
should then guide their lives and be a help to those around them who need
moral guidance.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
CLOSURE
Write a concise statement of the relationship among Scripture,
Tradition, and the Magisterium in moral theology.
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
❏ Study Questions 32–47 (p. 35)
❏ Practical Exercises 11–15 (p. 36)
❏ Workbook Questions 41–59
Moral Expectations (pp. 20–29)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT
Work in assigned groups of three or four to develop a moral
argument against lying based on the principle that man is a social
being.
The End

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