Posts tagged ‘dignity’

Saint Paul wrote that the difference between what we will know in heaven is as great as the difference between what we know now and what we knew when we were children:

When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am a man, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete – as complete as God’s knowledge of me.

Meanwhile these three remain: faith hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

As a child gradually emerges into adulthood during the period of adolescence, more and more opportunities arise to form – and test – a personally validated self. Deep within our human consciousness, God has implanted a hunger for the truth, for goodness, for love – all of which are at holy war with the unevolved beast in us, the Id. Human dignity lies in conquering that beast and discovering God’s law, written right into the way God made things and people.

All creatures deserve proper treatment simply because of the way our Creator made them. According to Vatican Council II:

By conscience, in a wonderful way, the law is made known which is fulfilled in the love of God and one’s neighbour. Through loyalty to conscience, Christians are joined to other [persons] in the search for truth and for the right solution to so many moral problems which arise both in the life of individuals and from social relationships. Hence the more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by the objective standards or moral conduct. The Church in the Modern World, 16.

What guides you in making important choices, such as the way you deal with your family, friends, and strangers? With animals, food, the environment? Do you treat each consistently or haphazardly: as the mood strikes you or by what you can gain or lose? Are you, honestly, more of an altruist or a utilitarian?

Consider the following excerpt from Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis:

Love rejoices with others
109. The expression chaírei epì te adikía[“rejoice over wrongdoing”] (1 Cor 13:6) has to do with a negativity lurking deep within a person’s heart. It is the toxic attitude of those who rejoice at seeing an injustice done to others. The following phrase expresses its opposite: sygchaírei te aletheía: “it rejoices in the right”. In other words, we rejoice at the good of others when we see their dignity and value their abilities and good works. This is impossible for those who must always be comparing and competing, even with their spouse, so that they secretly rejoice in their failures.

110. When a loving person can do good for others, or sees that others are happy, they themselves live happily and in this way give glory to God, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). Our Lord especially appreciates those who find joy in the happiness of others. If we fail to learn how to rejoice in the well-being of others, and focus primarily on our own needs, we condemn ourselves to a joyless existence, for, as Jesus said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The family must always be a place where, when something good happens to one of its members, they know that others will be there to celebrate it with them.

  • What are some joys we have experienced in our family? Are there ways to build upon these joys to create a more joyful home?
  • In what ways could we add more joy to our family? Could we be more cheerful in giving and complain less? Could we focus less on our own needs and more on the happiness of a family member? Could we rejoice in our family’s love by affirming each other more with compliments? Could we smile more at our family members?
  • Do we base our lives on the joyful awareness that we are beloved sons and daughters of God, or do we let something rob us of the joy of the Gospel? What is it that robs us? Is it anxiety, fear, or impatience? How might prayer help with these things?
Theme 1: Do I have a heart of gold?

Outcomes
Students will

  • examine and evaluate their attitudes towards other people
  • express the meaning of “pure of heart”
  • identify ways they can be more generous in their attitudes
  • understand how Jesus models a generous attitude toward others
  • outline strategies for readjusting their attitudes when necessary

Key Concepts

  • “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5.8).
  • We are called to be pure of heart – to desire what God desires.
  • When we are “pure in heart” we are able to love and give generously, even as God does.
  • When we are pure in heart we are able to see according to God. We are able to have a generous attitude toward others, to recognize their goodness and to forgive their faults.
  • Modesty is an appreciation of our dignity and of the dignity of all other people.

Theme 2: How do I get satisfaction?

Outcomes
Students will

  • define envy and understand why envy is a sin
  • compare and contrast common attitudes in our society with the ninth and tenth commandments
  • use the ninth and tenth commandments as a tool for critical reflection on career and life skills planning
  • identify and evaluate criteria for achieving satisfaction

Key Concepts

  • Envy is a resentment towards another’s well-being. It is a refusal to love fully.
  • The ninth and tenth commandments forbid reducing relationships to opportunities for carnal, personal or commercial gain.
  • God desires and enables us to rejoice in our own and in others’ good fortune, happiness and blessing.
  • Our ardent desires are satisfied when they are directed toward the love of God and neighbour.
Theme 1: What does it really mean to forgive?

Outcomes
Students will

  • examine the ways Jesus models forgiveness
  • define forgiveness
  • express the Christian call to forgiveness
  • identify areas in their life where they are called to forgive
  • name and appreciate the fruits of forgiveness

Key Concepts

  • “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Matthew 5.7).
  • To forgive another human being is to respect that person’s dignity, not to condone the evil action, and to let go of our desire for revenge.
  • We are called to forgive people always and in everything. Our respect for the dignity of others and our desire for the good of others must be uncondItional.
  • God’s grace enables us to forgive.
  • Jesus is our model of forgiveness.
  • In forgiving others we are restored to wholeness.
  • We need to receive forgiveness.
  • We need to forgive ourselves.
  • Forgiveness is a decision, not an emotion.

Theme 2: Can all broken relationships be healed?

Outcomes
Students will

  • define reconciliation
  • understand the conditions for reconciliation
  • give examples of how reconciliation restores people to the community and heals relationships
  • distinguish between reconciliation and forgiveness
  • explain how the Church enables and facilitates reconciliation

Key Concepts
Note: Reconciliation means there will be a positive future relationship. Forgiveness means letting go of the desire for vengeance; it does not necessarily guarantee a future relationship.

  • Forgiveness precedes reconciliation.
  • Reconciliation heals relationships and restores people to the community.
  • Reconciliation is conditional.
  • Conversion is essential to reconciliation.
  • The conditions for reconciliation are conversion, confession, contrition, correction (also called satisfaction).
  • Conversion is a radical reorientation of life. A person who has experienced conversion will stop sinning, will show abhorrence toward the evil acts, and will demonstrate a desire and resolution to change his or her life.
  • Christians are called to be open to reconciliation.
  • The church community enables and facilitates reconciliation.
  • Reconciliation may not mean restoring the relationship to “the way it was.”
Theme 1: Why should I obey my parents or anyone else in my family?

Outcomes
Students will

  • explain and interpret the fourth commandment as it applies to families
  • express the value of obedience and name the challenge of and limits to the Christian call to obedience
  • identify duties, roles and responsibilities that are shared within Christian families
  • explain how family life is the original cell of social life

Key Concepts

  • A Christian family is a communion of faith, hope and charity. It is the domestic Church.
  • The fourth commandment calls us to live in charity, starting with honour and respect for our parents, and for all whom God, for our good, has vested with authority.
  • Jesus himself recognized the authority vested in his parents, and was obedient to them (see Luke 2.51).
  • “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right…” (Ephesians 6.1; Colossians 3.20).
  • Family life is the original cell of social life.

Theme 2: Whom should I obey in society?

Outcomes
Students will

  • recognize legitimate authority within various sectors of society: school, civic community, Church
  • explain what makes authority legitimate (i.e., the common good)
  • identify, explain and affirm the duties they have as subjects of legitimate authority

Key Concepts

  • Human society requires that some of its people be vested with legitimate authority to work and care for the good of all.
  • The authority required by the moral order derives from God.
  • The duty of obedience requires all to give due honour and respect to legitimate authority.
  • The fourth commandment calls us to hon- our not only our par- ents, but also those who for our good have received authority in society from God.
  • The dignity of the human person requires the pursuit of the common good. Everyone should be concerned to create and support institu- tions that improve the conditions of human life.
  • Christ himself is the source of authority within the Church.
https://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia_en.pdf

 

Paragraph 286 from Amoris Laetitia

 

286. Nor can we ignore the fact that the configuration of our own mode of being, whether as male or female, is not simply the result of biological or genetic factors, but of multiple elements having to do with temperament, family history, culture, experience, education, the influence of friends, family members and respected persons, as well as other formative situations. It is true that we cannot separate the masculine and the feminine from God’s work of creation, which is prior to all our decisions and experiences, and where biological elements exist which are impossible to ignore. But it is also true that masculinity and femininity are not rigid categories. It is possible, for example, that a husband’s way of being masculine can be flexibly adapted to the wife’s work schedule. Taking on domestic chores or some aspects of raising children does not make him any less masculine or imply failure, irresponsibility or cause for shame. Children have to be helped to accept as normal such healthy “exchanges” which do not diminish the dignity of the father figure. A rigid approach turns into an overaccentuation of the masculine or feminine, and does not help children and young people to appreciate the genuine reciprocity incarnate in the real conditions of matrimony. Such rigidity, in turn, can hinder the development of an individual’s abilities, to the point of leading him or her to think, for example, that it is not really masculine to cultivate art or dance, or not very feminine to exercise leadership. This, thank God, has 216 changed, but in some places deficient notions still condition the legitimate freedom and hamper the authentic development of children’s specific identity and potential.

Humanity holds a special place in this work for the world. We humans are not just statistics, we are creatures with an infinite dignity conferred on us by the Creator.

So much of the discussion of climate change and how our responsibility to the planet involves dry statistics that are easy to ignore. Less easy is ignoring statistics with faces: the poor at our doorstep, the workers in farms, fields, and factories whose standard of living is low because ours is high. Pope Francis calls on us all to remember the human part of this equation – we are all important in God’s eyes, and it is our responsibility to care for one another in new and more intentional ways.

 

Ponder

What does my local homeless shelter need for its guests? What can I provide?

 

Pray

God of creation, when riches for one mean poverty for another, help me seek the welfare of all.

Survey:

[polldaddy type=”iframe” survey=”6D15FDCCC3F1EF7C” height=”auto” domain=”dsader” id=”whose-truth”]

Bible Readings:

Skim these Scripture passages. Pick one that appeals to you and

  1. summarize its main point,
  2. tell how it relates to the theme “Understanding Epistemology”,
  3. list one or two thoughts that entered your mind when you read it.

The Wealth of Wisdom Proverbs 8:1-10

Nature and Gods Will Job 38:1-7

Solomon 1 Kings 3:6-14

Balaam Numbers 22:22-35

God’s Will Everywhere Acts 17:22-28

Reflect:

Most likely you’ve been in an argument with your parents – or with somebody – when suddenly it all became clear: They’re right.

But you keep arguing. When that happens, you’re not honestly looking for the truth. What are you looking for? Why?

Quotable Quotes:

“Truth is to be sought in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and our social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching … and a dialogue. In the course of these, we explain to one another the truth we have discovered, or think we have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth.” Vatican Council II, Declaration on Religious Freedom, 3

Activity:

Bring to class some object whose purpose you are betting no one else in the class can guess. Whoever in the class stumps everybody else, including the teacher, wins a prize.

Not an option, justice is a mandate of Catholic faith. From the beginning, the educational mission of the church has been seem as participation in God’s saving mission. The divine edict of justice requires education for personal and social transformation.

The Catholic school, since it is motivated by the gospel message of Jesus Christ to proclaim liberty to the oppressed, is particularly sensitive to the call from every part of the world for a more just society, and it tries to make its own contribution towards it. It does not stop at the courageous teaching of the demands into practice, first in its own community in the daily life of the school, and then in the wider community.

Catholic schools aim towards a synthesis of faith and culture, of faith and life, syntheses that characterize mature faith. A mature faith will be able to recognize and reject cultural counter-values which threaten human dignity and are therefore contrary to the gospel.

Although all the problems of religion and faith will not be completely solved by academic studies, nevertheless, the Catholic school should be a privileged place for finding adequate ways to deal with these problems.

Strategies to incorporate the Justice Dimension of Catholic schools:

In partnership with the entire community, the Catholic school has a value and importance that are fundamental to the integral human formation of children. In virtue of its mission, the Catholic school constantly and carefully attends to the cultivation in children of the intellectual, creative and aesthetic gifts of the human person. Catholic schools foster in children an appreciation of their God-given dignity; the ability to make correct use of their judgement, will and affectivity; promote in them a sense of values; encourage just attitudes and prudent behaviour; introduce to them the cultural heritage handed down from past generations; prepare them for professional life; and encourage the friendly interchange of diverse cultures and backgrounds that will lead to mutual understanding.

In short, Catholic schools contribute to integral human formation. Catholic schools strive to form strong and responsible persons who are capable of making free and correct choices and are able to form in themselves a clear idea of the meaning of life.

Strategies to develop the Human Dimension of Catholic Schools:

  • Give appropriate emphasis to academic excellence
  • Support art, music, drama, dance and other fine arts and performing arts
  • Create a healthy respect for physical education and manual arts
  • Recognize the importance of fun and humour
  • Exercise forgiveness and reconciliation
  • Create discipline policies that are firm, fair, and flexible and that respect the dignity of persons and invite forgiveness and reconciliation

How does Catholic education respect the dignity of human persons?

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