Week 13–Human Dignity

This week, our discussion centers on the relationship between God as Creator and the human creatures that He makes, creatures whose existence and whose ability to make decisions with real consequences for themselves and for others is a decision God, and God alone, can make.  If any thing, including you, actually exists, then God has decided that its existence is worthwhile; if any human exists, then God has decided that such a human being is worth creating.

Moreover, the Incarnation, life, death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that God finds humans so worth having, so worth being, and so worth salvaging that He Himself would add our nature to His own to draw us together with Him.  Faced with that, we owe it so ourselves not to destroy with sin what He has thought worth making and saving; and we owe each other the kind of respect that sinners give to those God thinks worth making and worth saving.

This matter of human dignity is the core of all Catholic thought about life, death, and our responsibility for each other’s souls.

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Week 12–Sacrament of Holy Orders

Father Warren leads our discussion of the Sacrament of Holy Orders–the ordination of a bishop as a Successor of the Apostles, and of priests and deacons as participants in the bishop’s work.

Over the next few weeks, we will move from this Sacrament, through a discussion of natural law and human justice and sinfulness, to the Sacrament of Matrimony.  As Holy Orders and Matrimony are together the “Sacraments at the Service of Communion,” each week’s handouts will also reflect on virtuous living and the ways we fully realize our calling as human creatures of God, and as members of the redeemed Body of Christ.  Reading each of the handouts from each of these weeks should prepare us as we move into the “deeper waters” of Catholic faith.

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Handouts:

Week 11–All Saints’ Day Tour of the Church

Father Novak’s tour of the Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi (our parish church) is the feature of the day.  Here is some reading related to the Solemnity of All Saints:

Incidentally, did you know that a “Solemnity” is a day when we are to take very seriously our religious duty to rejoice in what God has done for us, and to share together our gratitude and our hope that He will continue to do great things through us?  Catholics set aside all “servile” work, stop fasting, and gather to worship with great dignity and great joy on these days.  (It totally breaks up the serious/sad vs. happy/silly dichotomy that pretty much ruins so much drama, comedy, and vacation time these days!)

Here are a couple documents I’m trying to make sure everyone has, going forward:

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Weeks 9 and 10–Eucharist

Guided by Father Novak, we delve into the mystery of Christ’s Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist–our prayer of Thanksgiving and our participation in the Sacrifice on Calvary.

This sacrament is truly “source and summit of the Christian life.”

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