So there we have it!!
SECTION ONE: MAN’S VOCATION-LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
CHAPTER ONE: THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
ARTICLE 1-MAN: THE IMAGE OF GOD
Paragraph 1700 says, “The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.”
Paragraph 1701 says, “‘Christ,...in the very revelation to the mystery of the Father and of his love, makes man fully manifest to himself and brings to light his exalted vocation.’”
Jesus reveals to us who we are, what we are, where we come from, where we are going, why we are here
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you did not know that God existed?
If you did not know that He made you on purpose?
If you did not know why He made you?
Remember the very first day of CIY?
IN A PLAN OF SHEER GOODNESS…
Because God wants us to share His divine life
Think about how Jesus reveals man fully to himself
Jesus reveals YOU fully to YOURSELF
You know who you are in Jesus Christ
That means made in God’s image and likeness
You know WHY you are
He made YOU so that you can share in His divine life
You know WHERE you come from
You know WHERE you are going
Paragraph 1701 continues, “It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.”
If someone asks you what you believe, you could recite the Nicene Creed
You could recite the Apostles’ Creed
You could tell them to read Paragraphs 1701 to 1709 in the Catechism
This is the story of the Gospel
Paragraph 1701 says, “It is in Christ, ‘the image of the invisible God,’ that man has been created ‘in the image and likeness’ of the Creator.”
God, who is good, made us good
This image got broken by sin
Paragraph 1702 says, “The divine image is present in every man. It shines forth in the communion of persons, in the likeness of the unity of the divine persons among themselves (cf. chapter two).”
Paragraph 1703 says, “Endowed with ‘a spiritual and immortal’ soul, the human person is ‘the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake.’ From his conception, he is destined for eternal beatitude.”
You are a BODY
You are a SOUL
God did not make us for another purpose other than to share in God’s divine beatitude
God did not make us because He needed us
God did not make us for some other purpose
Because YOU are the only kind of creature that God has willed for your own sake, that means that human beings can never merely be used
WE HAVE TO BE LOVED!!
If something is for some OTHER sake, then it can be used
Here’s a hammer that is for the sake of driving nails in
The hammer does not exist for its own sake
You can USE a hammer
A person exists for THEIR OWN SAKE
Therefore we may never merely use a person
We may never use a person as a tool
The person is made for their own sake
From the very beginning of their existence, from the very moment of their conception, they are destined for eternal beatitude
This is called the universal call to holiness
God has destined every person who has ever lived for eternal beatitude
What is it to be destined?
Destined does not mean that this is your fate
It just means you have a DESTINATION
We believe in destiny only in the sense that we believe you have a destination that you are made for
God made every person for Heaven
Even if we DO NOT CHOOSE Heaven, that is what we are made for
Paragraph 1704 says, “The human person participates in the light and power of the divine Spirit. By his reason, he is capable of understanding the order of things established by the Creator. By free will, he is capable of directing himself toward his true good. He finds his perfection ‘in seeking and loving what is true and good.’”
We have REASON, so we are capable of understanding the order of things
We have an INTELLECT, so we can understand the order of things
We also have FREE WILL, so we can direct ourselves to the true good
If God has given you an intellect, YOU HAVE TO USE IT
We have to strive after grasping THE TRUTH
We have to strive after grasping WHAT IS GOOD
We have to strive after grasping WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL
Then we have to use free will to CHOOSE THE GOOD
We have to use free will to CHOOSE THE BEAUTIFUL
We have to use free will to CHOOSE THE TRUTH
THIS IS THE HIGH CALL!!
It is the BLESSING
It is also the BURDEN
Because we could also choose the opposite
There is good and evil in front of every single one of us
We can choose evil
Paragraph 1706 says, “By his reason, man recognizes the voice of God which urges him ‘to do what is good and avoid what is evil.’ Everyone is obliged to follow this law, which makes itself heard in conscience and is fulfilled in the love of God and of neighbor. Living a moral life bears witness to the dignity of the person.”
Paragraph 1707 says, “‘Man, enticed by the Evil One, abused his freedom at the very beginning of history.’ He succumbed to temptation and did what was evil. He still desires the good, but his nature bears the wound of original sin. He is now inclined to evil and subject to error: Man is divided in himself. As a result, the whole life of men, both individual and social, shows itself to be a struggle, and a dramatic one, between good and evil, between light and darkness.”
In Genesis Ch 3 human beings succumbed to temptation and did what was evil
In our nature we are still good
We still desire the good
Our nature bears the wound of original sin
Now we are inclined to evil and subject to error
Yes, we have intellect
BUT INTELLECT HAS BEEN DARKENED
Yes, we have free will that we can choose the good
BUT WE CAN ALSO FAIL TO CHOOSE THE GOOD
We still have these innate gifts God has given to us, being in His image and likeness
Those gifts have been DISTORTED BY SIN
Paragraph 1708 says, “By his Passion, Christ delivered us from Satan and from sin. He merited for us the new life in the Holy Spirit. His grace restores what sin had damaged in us.”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, “The dividing line between good and evil passes straight through the human heart.”
Paragraph 1709 says, “He who believes in Christ becomes a son of God. This filial adoption transforms him by giving him the ability to follow the example of Christ. It makes him capable of acting rightly and doing good. In union with his Savior, the disciple attains the perfection of charity which is holiness. Having matured in grace, the moral life blossoms into eternal life in the glory of heaven.”
Let’s strap in
It’s going to be really tough
At the same time, let’s be real
Sin is difficult to live in
It is depressing
It is saddening
It is painful
Yes, it is a challenge
Because it takes effort to choose the good
With God’s grace we can choose the good
That is a life of JOY
That is a life of FREEDOM
GOD IS GOOD!!
GOD MADE US GOOD!!
With our free will and intellect that He gave us, we said NO to Him
And now we live in this place of brokenness
We have an intellect, but it has been DARKENED
We have a will, but it has been WEAKENED
We are made for love, but we simply choose to USE
Jesus delivered us from Satan and from sin
Jesus merited for us the new gift of life in the Holy Spirit
His grace restores what sin had damaged in us
Now we can say YES to that
We can live a life of POWER
We can live a life of FREEDOM AND JOY
It is going to be BEAUTIFUL
It is going to be an incredible call
If you and I are willing to hear the voice of God in all of this and say, “Ok, God. Meet me with your grace. Meet me with your power, so I can walk this walk, so I can live this life.”
It will be a SEASON OF JOY that leads you to an ETERNITY OF JOY
DO NOT BE AFRAID!!
GOD HAS YOUR BACK!!
God has fought for YOU
God continues to fight for YOU
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!