Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California

This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday 16 October 2011

Giving to God What Belongs to God

    "All men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what
concerns God and his Church, and to embrace it and hold on to it
as they come to know it."  This duty derives from "the very dignity
of the human person."  It does not contradict a "sincere respect"
for different religions which frequently "reflect a ray of that truth
which enlightens all men," nor the requirement of charity, which
urges Christians "to treat with love, prudence and patience those
who are in error or ignorance with regard to the faith."

    The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both
individually and socially.  This is "the traditional Catholic teaching
on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion
and the one Church of Christ." By constantly evangelizing men, the
Church works toward enabling them "to infuse the Christian spirit
into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities
in which [they] live."  The social duty of Christians is to respect and
awaken in each man the love of the true and the good.  It requires
them to make known the worship of the one true religion which
subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church.  Christians are called
to be the light of the world.  Thus, the Church shows forth the
kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human

    "Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor is
anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience
in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association
with others, within due limits."  This right is based on the very nature
of the human person, whose dignity enables him freely to assent to the
divine truth which transcends the temporal order.  For this reason it
"continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation
of seeking the truth and adhering to it."

      -- Catechism of the Catholic Church
         paragraphs 2104 - 2106

    "I die the King's good servant and God's first"

      -- Saint Thomas More,
         on the scaffold, July 6, 1535

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