To emphasize the “thisworldly” aspects of the reign of God and of Christian living does not at all suggest that in our daily lives we must become social activists. Many of us can identify important moral obligations arising from our relationships as parents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends, workers, etc. Some of us are healthy; some of us are ill and homebound. Some of us have positions of enormous influence in public life; many of us do not. So the ways in which we actively participate in God’s work of fashioning a reign of justice, love, and peace are likely to vary greatly from person to person.
We must all care about our neighbor and, in the ways that are open to us, we must do what we can to contribute to God’s work. We must tend the garden we are in.
—From chapter 2
Is it difficult to follow Christ? Is it a challenge to be faithful to the Gospel? Can it be exhausting to devote oneself to building up God’s reign of love and justice on this earth? Of course! But that is a far cry from “the dark side of the Good News.” Whatever else it involves, the Christian moral life begins with the experience that we are loved by God in an unimaginable, unfathomable way. The Christian moral life is our attempt to respond to the gift of that love. The primary aim of this book is to convey that conviction as we look at some of the important themes and dimensions of Christian morality.
Catholic Basics: A Pastoral Ministry Series offers an indepth yet accessible understanding of the fundamentals of the Catholic faith for adults, both those preparing for lay ministry and those interested in the topics for their own personal growth. The series helps readers explore the Catholic tradition and apply what they have learned to their lives and ministry situations. Each title offers a reliable introduction to a specific topic and provides a foundational understanding of the concepts.
Each book in the series presents a Catholic understanding of
its topic as found in Scripture and the teachings of the Church. Each of the authors has paid special attention to the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, so that further learning can be guided by these core resources.
Chapters conclude with study questions that may be used for small group review or for individual reflection. Additionally, suggestions for further reading offer dependable guides for extra study.
The initiative of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership led to the development of an earlier version of this series. The indispensable contribution of the series editor, Dr. Thomas Walters, helped ensure that the concepts and ideas presented here are easily accessible to a wide audience.