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  #11  
Old 8th February 2010, 07:43 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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16. "The answer he receives about the commandments does not satisfy the young man, who asks Jesus a further question. "I have kept all these; what do I still lack? " (Mt 19:20). It is not easy to say with a clear conscience "I have kept all these", if one has any understanding of the real meaning of the demands contained in God's Law. And yet, even though he is able to make this reply, even though he has followed the moral ideal seriously and generously from childhood, the rich young man knows that he is still far from the goal: before the person of Jesus he realizes that he is still lacking something."

This young man followed all the commandments, and yet he was still lacking before Jesus. The human race has always had the moral law, by the light of reason, and the Jews had an even better understanding of the moral law, through Divine Revelation. But when Jesus arrives, the understanding that He offers is even more profound.

"...the Good Teacher invites him to enter upon the path of perfection: "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me" (Mt 19:21)."

The positive precepts have no upper limit; you can always do more to fulfill the precepts to love God and neighbor.

The Beatitudes "are a sort of self- portrait of Christ, and for this very reason are invitations to discipleship and to communion of life with Christ"

---

The encyclical Veritatis Splendor is a profound meditation on, and a clear exposition of, the basic moral principles of the Catholic Faith. And yet this document is utterly ignored by most of the faithful and by many theologians. There is a serious problem in the Church today, very widespread, reaching even to religous men and women, deacons, priests, and Bishops; it is a substantial misunderstanding and even at times an outright rejection of the moral teachings of the Church. Meanwhile, this balm for that wound sits on a shelf and is ignored.
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  #12  
Old 11th February 2010, 12:18 PM
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17. "Jesus points out to the young man that the commandments are the first and indispensable condition for having eternal life; on the other hand, for the young man to give up all he possesses and to follow the Lord is presented as an invitation:"

Perfection is not necessary to obtain eternal life. Following the commandments is necessary to obtain eternal life. The young man followed all the commandments from his youth, but he turned away from Jesus' call to be perfect. His failure was not a mortal sin, but an imperfection.

"On the contrary, the latter [the commandments] are at the service of the practice of love: "For he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the Law."

The commandments are each and all particular fulfillments of the command to love God and neighbor. But the full love of God and neighbor goes beyond avoiding sin, and extends even unto perfection.
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  #13  
Old 25th February 2010, 03:43 PM
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18. "Those who live "by the flesh" experience God's law as a burden, and indeed as a denial or at least a restriction of their own freedom."

The soul in a state of grace is ordered toward the love of God above all else, and toward the love of neighbor as self. That is the definition of the state of grace. Acts in cooperation with actual grace are also ordered toward the love of God and neighbor, and so these acts are easy and light for persons in a state of grace; the acts are in accord with the state.

Persons who are not in a state of sanctifying grace can still cooperate with actual grace, but it is difficult for them. Their soul is not ordered toward the love of God above all else, and toward the love of neighbor as self. Cooperation with actual grace is always by acts that are ordered toward the love of God above all else, and toward the love of neighbor as self. Persons not in a state of grace who cooperate with actual grace are acting contrary to the state of their own soul, and so it is burdensome.

"Both the commandments and Jesus' invitation to the rich young man stand at the service of a single and indivisible charity, which spontaneously tends towards that perfection whose measure is God alone: "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48)."

All the commandments of the moral law are a particular expression of the love of God and neighbor. But this same love also calls us to love God and neighbor beyond what is required to avoid sin.
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  #14  
Old 28th February 2010, 03:47 PM
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19. "Following Christ is thus the essential and primordial foundation of Christian morality"

In one sense, morality is recognizing and avoiding sin. But in another sense, the fullness of morality is more than avoiding sin; it is following and imitating Christ.

"This is not a matter only of disposing oneself to hear a teaching and obediently accepting a commandment. More radically, it involves holding fast to the very person of Jesus, partaking of his life and his destiny, sharing in his free and loving obedience to the will of the Father."

The Phaisaical approach to Catholicism says to belief the explicit teachings of the Magisterium, and to follow all the rules. But the true Catholic Faith calls us to so much more, to imitate Christ in all that we do, to seek the truth in Tradition and Scripture and Magisterium, even beyond what is explicitly taught in written documents. To imitate the Saints in their imitation of Christ. And to live a life of true spiritual love.
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  #15  
Old 6th March 2010, 02:25 PM
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20. "Jesus asks us to follow him and to imitate him along the path of love, a love which gives itself completely to the brethren out of love for God: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 15:12). The word "as" requires imitation of Jesus and of his love...."

Love is the basis of all the commandments, and of the whole moral law. But this is not a worldly love, nor an emotional love, but a true spiritual love of God and neighbor. It is the same love shown by Jesus in His sacrificial death on the Cross.

"Jesus' way of acting and his words, his deeds and his precepts constitute the moral rule of Christian life."

The words and deeds are Scripture and Tradition. All of Sacred Scripture is Christ speaking to us. All of Sacred Tradition is the deeds of God for our salvation. And Christ is God.
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  #16  
Old 2nd January 2011, 02:22 AM
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21. "Following Christ is not an outward imitation, since it touches man at the very depths of his being. Being a follower of Christ means becoming conformed to him who became a servant even to giving himself on the Cross (cf. Phil 2:5-8)."

In order to follow Christ, we must choose to live a moral life. Each of our acts must be good, and this goodness is always of God, the source of all goodness.

The entire moral law is implicit in the single act of Christ dying for our salvation on the Cross.

"Having died to sin, those who are baptized receive new life...."

All of the Sacraments, especially Baptism (which gives us sanctifying grace), enable us and assist us in acting according to the moral law. For although we may know that one act is good and another act is evil, we cannot live a life filled with good acts while avoiding evil acts without grace. Grace is before, during, and after every supernaturally good act.
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  #17  
Old 17th January 2011, 12:08 AM
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22. "The conclusion of Jesus' conversation with the rich young man is very poignant: "When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions" (Mt 19:22)."

In this encyclical on morality, the Pontiff points out that Jesus calls us to perfection. We are not merely called to avoid actual mortal sin, so that we can avoid Hell. We are called to be as much like Jesus as we are able, mere weak and mortal creatures that we are.

"And Jesus, referring specifically to the charism of celibacy "for the Kingdom of Heaven" (Mt 19:12), but stating a general rule, indicates the new and surprising possibility opened up to man by God's grace. "He said to them: 'Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those to whom it is given' " (Mt 19:11)."

Marriage is holy; divorce is not permitted, except for a grave cause; divorce and remarriage is adultery. But some persons are called to a higher state: virginity and celibacy. Marriage is good, but celibacy is better.

"To imitate and live out the love of Christ is not possible for man by his own strength alone. He becomes capable of this love only by virtue of a gift received. As the Lord Jesus receives the love of his Father, so he in turn freely communicates that love to his disciples: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love" (Jn 15:9)."

Grace is given to all persons so that they will be able to live a life of love if they freely choose to do so. This teaching is incompatible with the claims of the semi-Calvinists, who think that those who are not predestined are denied even the possibility of remaining in the love of Christ until death, so as to have eternal life.
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  #18  
Old 19th January 2011, 08:08 PM
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23. "Once again it is Saint Augustine who admirably sums up this Pauline dialectic of law and grace: "The law was given that grace might be sought; and grace was given, that the law might be fulfilled"."

The OT law expresses the moral law in the ten commandments and in the other laws and teachings that pertain to immutable moral truth. Although the OT disciplines are no longer in force, all that the OT teaches on morality is still in force.

The law of grace gives us, not a new understanding that is contradictory to the old, but a renewed and deeper understanding, that builds upon and is in complete harmony with the old.

"Love and life according to the Gospel cannot be thought of first and foremost as a kind of precept...."

In other words, the precepts of the moral law, as expressed in either Testament, are only able to be fully lived by cooperation with grace. If they are approached in a Pharisaical manner, as if we need merely fulfill exterior requirements, then like many Pharisees, we shall not have eternal life.
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  #19  
Old 20th January 2011, 11:52 AM
VKallin VKallin is offline
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Default The Law of Grace

I understand the concept of Grace in general, but I am not familiar with the term "The Law of Grace". Would you explain this in a little more detail?
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  #20  
Old 20th January 2011, 12:46 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VKallin View Post
I understand the concept of Grace in general, but I am not familiar with the term "The Law of Grace". Would you explain this in a little more detail?

It is just a figure of speech. There is no written law of grace. What is means is that, under the New Covenant, we are free from the exterior precepts of the Old Covenant. The OT Law of Moses has been replaced by the law of cooperating with the grace of God. There is a greater freedom under the New Covenant, not to permit sin, but to call us to a greater perfection, one that can only occur with the grace of God.
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