Christian Morality

Christian morality is not a compilation of prohibitions or a list of do’s and don’ts, but a living out of a new way of life, a life in Christ Jesus. Clearly this new life in Christ, a gracious gift from God, involves choice. It requires decisions. It demands responsibility for our actions. Our response to Christ’s presence in us can sustain or it can suppress that new life. This interplay between the gift of God and our response is the heart of Christian morality.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church outlines the catechesis, or instruction, that will guide our full, Christian moral life. Think about the great scope of gifts and guidance in the following list that the Catechism offers for our moral growth:

  • “a catechesis of the Holy Spirit, the interior Master of life according to Christ, a gentle guest and friend who inspires, guides, corrects, and strengthens this life”
  • “a catechesis of grace, for it is by grace that we are saved and again it is by grace that our works can bear fruit for eternal life”
  • ” a catechesis of the Beatitudes, for the way of Christ is summed up in the beatitudes, the only path that leads to the eternal beatitude for which the human heart longs”
  • “a catechesis of sin and forgiveness, for unless man acknowledges that he is a sinner he cannot know the truth about himself, which is a condition of acting justly; and without the offer of forgiveness he would not be able to bear this truth”

See the remainder of this description of the source of moral living from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, part 3, Life in Christ

“Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God.”

-St. Leo the Great, Sermons

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