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Chapter 23. Life in Christ—Part One • 319


1. What is the source of the love needed for moral life? Some cur-

rent understandings of the word


refer to behavior that is actu-

ally contrary to the true meaning of love. What are some examples

of this?

2. Why are the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and other rules

needed for us to be moral? What happens when we rely on the Ten

Commandments and other rules without love? Can you name some-

one who models living the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and

other rules in real life in a loving way?

3. What are ways or means by which a person forms his or her con-

science? What is the role of the Church in conscience formation?


• Every person bears the dignity of being made in the image of God.

The Creator has given us an immortal soul and enables us to under-

stand the order of things established by him. God has given us a free

will to seek and love what is true, good, and beautiful.

• Because of the Fall, we also suffer the impact of Original Sin, which

darkens our minds, weakens our wills, and inclines us to sin. Baptism

delivers us from Original Sin, but not from its effects—especially the

inclination to sin, concupiscence.

• Jesus calls us to be happy and shows us how to attain this. The desire

for happiness is a principal motivation for the moral life. Our sin-

ful inclinations, attitudes, and actions prevent us from being totally

happy on earth. In heaven, we will have perfect joy.

• God gives us intelligence and the capacity to act freely. We can initi-

ate and control our acts. Social pressures and inner drives may affect

our acts and limit our freedom. Normally we are free in our actions.

• “The imputability or responsibility for an action can be diminished

or nullified by ignorance, duress, fear, and other psychological and

social factors” (CCC, no. 1746).