St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Living the Moral Life 69

When growing in holiness, forming our minds according to reality is of the utmost importance. This is where making sure what we put into our minds does not hinder the truth. Jesus is the Truth and God is the ultimate source of reality and existence (Ex 1 & 2). Science itself gets its reality and all its conclusions from God in His creation. Continue reading


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Living the Moral Life 61

As Catholics, we have many weapons to protect us from evil, but we also have many tools to help grow in our relationship with God, and therefore, grow in holiness. We already discovered how some of the sacraments help us, but we have a plethora of sacramentals, holy traditions, prayers, devotions, angels, saints and the souls in purgatory. God has given them to us to use and grow closer to. First we will look at the sacramentals. Continue reading


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Living the Moral Life 49

So now we go back to the object of the moral act. The object of the act discerns if the act is good or bad at its foundation. Acts of piety are by nature good. Killing another innocent person is bad. Killing another person is always bad, but acts of piety are not. Why? Continue reading


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Living the Moral Life 48

The Object of the act can only tell you if the act is good or bad at the foundation, but the other principles can also make the act bad. It really is simple, yet complicated when humanity gets in to mess things up.

One of the definitions of “evil” is the “lack of goodness”. Existence is a goodness itself. God told Moses His name was “I AM” (Ex 3:14). God is existence itself and we get our existence from God. So all things that exist share something in common with God. God shares His very self to all things that exist just by that thing existing. But say there is a hole punched in a piece of paper. That hole poses a lack of goodness in that piece of paper because there is a lack of paper in that hole. The being of paper does not exist in the hole. Therefore, there is a lack of goodness in that paper.

So evil is not really a thing, but an absence of a thing. Evil is not an existence, but a lack of existence. There is quite a reflection we could have with this thought. This is why evil has no real power to create. It can only destroy or hide behind partial truths. It is also why you can never be evil itself. It is a contradiction in terms. By your very existence, you are good. By the very fact that God created you, your being is good. Sin is the lack of goodness in our actions which makes a hole in our soul. A lack of goodness enters our souls. With that lack of goodness, there is emptiness and a deep suffering that only God can mend. The good news is that we get our existence from God. Through His mercy, He fills in our lack of goodness and fulfillment and peace can enter our souls once more.

So when we do an examination of conscience, it is not to see how wicked we are. It is a way to find fulfillment. Confession and Mercy bring healing to the soul. It fills in that hole made by the lack of goodness of our moral acts. It allows us to forget the past so that we no longer have to beat ourselves over the head in regret (Is 43:18&19). In Confession, Jesus “makes all things new” (Rev. 21:5). Amen!


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Living a Moral Life 47

The hardest question to answer is, “How do I know if it is a mortal sin?” Human acts are very complicated. We are good at becoming our own politicians in trying to justify ourselves. But going to confession is not about justifying ourselves, but about judging ourselves. It takes rigorous honesty and trust to take such a deep look at ourselves and our actions. Continue reading


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Morality and Politics

The often-debated issue of to what extent politics should be guided by religious faith was the topic addressed late last month by Ireland’s bishop of Elphin, Dr Kevin Doran.

At a meeting sponsored by the Iona Institute he spoke about the topic, ‘’How should a Catholic think about politics?’

At the outset he stressed that he was not giving advice on what a Catholic should think about politics, as he did not consider it his role to tell people what to think. Instead, his talk was focused on the link between ethics and politics. …

Morality and Politics