MOSAIC Spring 2014 - Page 7

take off; it is not an ‘extra’ or just another moment in life. Instead, it is something I cannot uproot from my being without destroying my very self. “I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world.” This mission spirit, Francis explains, is “the spirit of the new evangelization.” sent us into spiritual combat—to engage for Christ’s sake in the renewal of the whole of life, including the spectrum of culture. “What is at stake in this spiritual warfare?,” Francis asks. At stake is nothing less, he answers, than “war waged against the enemy of human nature”­ which is — sin, separating us from God—by Christ, “the Friend of human nature.” To be fit for spiritual warfare, we need to put on the whole armor of God, says St. Paul, in order to resist temptation and stand our ground in the Lord (Eph 6:10-13). “And God’s most powerful weapon is the Cross.” It is with the Cross of Jesus Christ that sin, death, and the Devil suffered defeat once and for all. “True joy is forged,” concludes Francis, “in the cross.” U “I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world.” Am I Fit for Spiritual Warfare? Do we know who we are? Have we responded to the challenge of a missionary spirituality? Are we actively engaged in evangelization? When we respond in faith to the calling that we have received in Christ, we come to understand that the Lord has Secret of the Moral Life The Church’s moral teaching is an integral part of her evangelizing mission. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the way of Christ ‘leads to life’; a contrary way ‘leads to destruction.’” This is the context in which we should see “the importance of moral decisions for our salvation.” Authentic self-fulfillment is not opposed to the demands of the moral life—moral precepts to respect our parents, prohibiting adultery, lying, and much more; practicing virtues such as justice, temperance, and fortitude; and affirming the objective goods of life, marriage, truth. Such precepts, virtues, and goods are inherent to realizing the purpose of human life. In sum, we are called by the gospel to make moral choices that are worthy of the calling that we have received in Christ. We cannot separate moral choices from knowing and loving God. Pope Francis puts it this way. We must relate the Church’s moral teaching to the “harmonious totality of the Christian message; in this context all of the [moral] truths illumine one another. When preaching is faithful to the Gospel, the centrality of certain truths is evident and it becomes clear that Christian morality is not a form of stoicism, or self-denial, or . . . a catalogue of sins and faults.” The moral life isn’t a straightjacket constricting us from realizing a meaningful life; rather, it is about authentic self-fulfillment. It also isn’t merely about “cataloging sins”—although it is important Through self-giving, we know our true selves. to know what actions are sinful, preventing us from fulfilling the central commandment of love: loving the Lord above all things, with our whole mind, soul, and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Spring 2014 n Sacred Heart Major Seminary 5