The virtues are honored in the Scriptures as part of a household code of living on earth and were incorporated by the church fathers in their syntheses of Christian life. 3) Put prayer as the most important activity in your daily routine. I will also provide some indications of what the good life might be like for us all. She makes the telling observation that "shopping is the chief cultural activity in the United States.". Living the good life means living a life that sets you free. First, one crucial note: it means more than just being anti-abortion. It disclosed four disturbing trends: loss of frequent, significant contact among family members, less and less unstructured time, mounting clutter in the home and constant flux in daily activity. What does it mean to be Catholic? Love of neighbor helps us grow in virtue and is indispensable. From the beginning of Christianity there has always been error introduced into the Church. As a lay person, the Ora et Labora (prayer and work) of the Benedictine spirit is my path. That means everyone is called to be a saint (some of who will be recognized as such by the Church and raised to the altars). For believers, is the blessed life synonymous with the successful life? What should you do? All over Europe, people from all over the world are awe struck at the grandeur and beauty of the Catholic churches and art. God has given us the graces necessary through the traditional Latin Mass, Rites and prayers to avail ourselves with great power against the devil and his minions. All practising believers will have an answer to that question and many different principles of their faith will inform their response. What are they?" The good life should include also a certain leisure for, as Josef Pieper wrote, leisure is the basis of human culture. Once we have taken that step of salvation, we are declared righteous (Romans 5:1). To see this life in … As Leon Bloy wrote, “The only real sadness, the only real failure, … You are handing over to him what is his. God calls us to live a life of humility and also a life of courage. In his classic work “The Intellectual Life,” the great Thomist A.D. Sertillanges writes: “Intelligence only plays its part fully when it fulfills a religious function, that is, when it worships the supreme Truth, in its minor and scattered appearances. The size of your home is determined by the size of your heart. Good Christians, in sum, believe and love and hope rightly and truly. CARROLL: Well, it means that you live the life of the Catholic community. We are so blessed to have these divine treasures in the traditional Catholic Church. In his 1967 encyclical letter on the development of peoples, Populorum Progressio, Pope Paul VI drew upon St. Ambrose to emphasize the universal purpose of all created things, a purpose not abrogated when certain things become someone's private property. Then come, follow me" (Lk 18:22). A life that satisfies and fulfills you, that adds happiness, joy and a sense of purpose to your life. Money talks, but, as they say, "it has such a squeaky voice and has so little to say." Jesus demands detachment from wealth and prescribes the just use of monetary resources. He does this for us in Psalm 1, where we see that every life fits into one of two categories: the righteous life or the wicked life. Thus, we might benefit from considering: what does it really mean to be pro-life? Being a saint doesn't require spending long hours in prayer, but rather living life open to God in good times and in bad, Pope Francis said. What and how much we consume manifest our conception of who we are and why we exist. The Catholic Church stands for high standards and second chances. We can only live a holy life through the power of the Spirit; thus, the first step to living a holy life is to accept Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 1:13). It is becoming increasingly clear that our obsession with the automobile and our over-dependence upon limited world oil resources is fostering great political and economic instabilities throughout the globe. 4) Be around holy people who support, challenge us and council us on how to be holy. Christians seek to live the teachings of Jesus and of Scripture, yet do so by faith based on love for God and others. So spoke Professor Megan McKenna, whose field is social ethics, alluding to the biblical miracle of the sharing of the loaves and the admonition that the leftover fragments be gathered (Mt 14:20). Next, the virtue of fortitude enables a person to stand firm against and endure the hardships of life and to remain steadfast in pursuing what is good. It certainly does mean that, but cannot be reduced to that, any more than being pro-America means being only anti-terrorist. Christianity begins with what people do with the leftovers." Here are 10 reminders why to be a traditional Catholics, (lest we forget); 1) To adore, love and serve God in the most dignified way possible in this life on earth. A reemphasis on fasting may not only put us in touch again with a gospel ideal but also increase our ecological awareness as we sparingly use scarce earthly resources. Wealth, on the other hand, creates the illusion of independence and self-sufficiency, a dangerous posture. "Yet look at deserts today. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven. 8) Ask God for more faith and a deeper love for Him. Here such steadfastness and endurance reflect the soul's clinging onto what is good. St. The good life should allow people to work at things that are personally satisfying and expressive of themselves. But these are some of the essential ones. The parable takes on a contemporary meaning when Abraham rejects the suggestion that Lazarus return from the dead to warn the rich man's brothers of the fate that awaits them should they not repent. Living the good life means living a life that sets you free. Let us be humbly open to other’s suggestions and constructive criticism, especially from holy priests and religious. We must find a simple way of living. The parable may be read as another illustration of the biblical saying that it is easier for a camel to pass through the needle's eye than for a rich person to enter God's kingdom (Lk 18:25). God has been so good to help us live holy, happy and healthy lives. How can our Catholic faith help us to find a more satisfying life for ourselves and at the same time make us more socially responsible in achieving it? But the truth is, we’re all bad Catholics. Fight the temptation to put it off till later. Fasting in the modern world can have a strong social justice meaning. All practising believers will have an answer to that question and many different principles of their faith will inform their response. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB’s) mission is to encounter the mercy of Christ and to accompany His people with joy. 37)? A day that is not started with prayer does not go that well. That’s the path to a new life in Christ: Put every day to good use for eternity . Living the Christian life does not mean enjoying a life of ease and never experiencing problems. It is wonderful to know that Jesus knows we need Him, and other holy people, to grow spiritually. Love of neighbor helps us grow in virtue and is indispensable. Living the good life can mean something different for everyone. The spiritual and cultural impoverishment that are the natural by-products of consumerism are evident everywhere. There should be opportunities to contribute to the common good as well as to pursue personal happiness. You can get to know God better. Probably thinking of someone like Graham Greene. Having a good life as a Christian can sometimes look a little different than it would if you were a non-believer. Enclosed in his world of wealth and self-sufficiency that wealth brings, he simply failed to notice Lazarus begging at his gate, much less help him. Here is what I replied: 1) Get rid of the Television. The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. Graces and encouragement is available at the Holy Mass everyday. A devout Catholic sees prayer in what they do, not just what they say. It arises from a serenity of spirit within oneself. Being a Catholic means sensing God`s presence and power sacramentally. We always want to put prayer as the most important activity we can do every day. This article provides an overview of basic principles of Catholic morality. Temperance therefore means a lot more than the so-called "temperance movement" regarding the consumption of alcohol! ETA: I see this has already been mentioned, multiple times. Of course the Sacraments of Confession and Eucharist are vital to the life of a Catholic. Virtues are being seen and appreciated anew because their cultivation can provide the inner strength needed to live happily and successfully. We try to keep up with everything that needs to be done everyday. It is not a question of slowing down progress, for there is no human progress when everything conspires to give full reign to the instincts of self-interest, sex and power. Unfortunately, the term practicing Catholic is bit squishy (or vague or ambiguous as lawyers might say) and subject to abuse by all manner of Catholics (in name only) who seek to justify their … The Second Vatican Council stressed the importance of these inspired writings and asked that the homilies given on Sundays be devoted mainly to explaining them, what they meant for Jesus` early disciples and what they might mean for us today. God the Holy Spirit takes the initiative by way of an invitation. He is our life. Therefore the earth's treasures no longer serve to build God's garden for all to live in, but they have been made to serve the powers of exploitation and destruction". Catholics of the United States, and all you citizens of the United States, you have such a tradition of spiritual generosity, industry, simplicity and sacrifice that you cannot fail to heed this call today for a new enthusiasm and a fresh determination. Sin is poison, a virus that kills the body and the soul. But it also means to live a life that is worthwhile – a life that makes a contribution, instead of being solely self-centered. Make sure you attend a Catholic Church. The primary reason we were created was to adore, love and serve God, in this life and in the life to come in heaven. The greatest horror is to be eternally separated from our loving union with God. 1 Peter 5:8 says that there is an enemy who wishes to destroy us: "Be self-controlled and alert. It is a life of meaning and purpose—one that brings joy because of our friendship with Jesus. It`s true that for many years Catholics didn`t emphasize reading Scripture. That life involves far more than simply following a set of rules. Priorities, priorities, priorities. Faces fell. To answer the question involves answering other questions: What does it mean to have meaning and purpose? "There is the desert of poverty, the desert of hunger and thirst, the desert of abandonment...These external deserts are growing", he asserted, "because the internal deserts have become so vast. 2) To defend and preserve the Catholic faith in its Ancient Liturgy and Teachings. They are a wisdom for living that was recognized as far back as the ancient Greeks and beyond. In his encyclical on the subject, Laborum Exercens, Pope John Paul calls this the "subjective" value of work. In her helpful book, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline in Leisure, Juliet Schor documents how American households find themselves locked into an insidious cycle of work and spend. Why are the poor in such an advantageous position? Dec. 28 Holy Innocence, The Catholic Church: The Church of Christ, I Will Put Enmities Between Thee and the Woman, Union Of Our Will With God During Tribulations – St. Francis De Sales, UNION OF THE SOUL WITH HER GOD, WHICH IS PERFECTED IN PRAYER – St. Francis De Sales, 7 Gifts and 12 Fruits Of The Holy Spirit That Sanctify Us And Make Us Into Other Christs, A List Of The Dogmas Of The Catholic Church, Traditional Catholic Morning And Evening Offering, Traditional Catholic Ordination FSSP May 30, Latin Mass, Latin Exorcism, Latin Sacraments Crush The Devil, Traditional Catholic Dedication Of Months. Get three ways to live a holy life below. One basic way we use the word “good” is to express moral approval. We can walk in their foot prints or try to clear the path on our own. 3) To obtain a personal union with God through the practice of this ancient Catholic faith. Genuine fortitude does not entail making sacrifices or risking one's life arbitrarily or foolishly. And the time to begin that is now. Consumption in Light of Church Teaching We were not meant to be lone rangers. Speaking to a congregation gathered in New York City at Yankee Stadium, the Holy Father said: Christians will want to be in the vanguard in favoring ways of life that decisively break with the frenzy of consumerism, exhausting the joyless. At every Holy Mass, every Holy Communion, every confession, every time we go to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, we receive divine graces. There may be as many ways to live for God as there are children of God. Love of God helps us avoid what offends Him. Every day we need to work on loving God and asking Him to help us love our family, our friends, strangers and our enemies. One of the fathers asked me how he could grow spiritually as a good Catholic. There also should be a certain asceticism to include a rediscovery of the benefits of fasting. Included today with the poor and the exploited must be the whole natural world. First it is such a joy to actually talk with families, and especially husbands, who would like to grow in holiness. 8) To avoid separation from God, which means eternal damnation and all of its horror. And it is a life filled with hope—because we expect God to act for our good and to welcome us one day into his heavenly home (2 Timothy 4:7-8). 10) Have a hatred for sin and anything that would in the slightest way offend God. What does it mean? It is not our right to look down on, criticize, judge, condemn, or try to control other people. "Out of the whole Christian tradition," Schumacher concludes, "there is perhaps no body of teaching which is more relevant and appropriate to the modern predicament than the marvelously subtle and realistic doctrines of the Four Cardinal Virtues" and in particular temperance that means knowing when "enough is enough.". When Pope John Paul II paid his first visit to the United States in 1979, he delivered one of his most memorable homilies on the subject of consumption. There are many more reasons why to choose to be traditional Catholics. The daily life of St. Joseph and Mary in Nazareth was ordinary like ours. In living the traditional Catholic life there are many aids to help us on our way to avoid the pits of damnation and to find the spiritual ladders to climb out of the well, if for some terrible reason we may fall into the well of sin. However, there is still a general understanding as what this idea entails to most human beings living in the modern world. And this is why we are giving our lives to defend and preserve what was passed on to us from before our time. The good life is a life that is not primarily wasted with mundane activities. So life as a Christian is “cooperating” with the Holy Spirit in a daily walk; as believers, we are now no longer obligated to live according to the flesh, but free to live according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:2-4). So when we say someone is living well or that they have lived a good life, we may simply mean that they are a good person, someone who is courageous, honest, trustworthy, kind, selfless, generous, helpful, loyal, principled, and so on. Regarding the ever-increasing amounts of clutter, the study observed that the typical American family owns more than most Egyptian pharaohs in their heyday. Faith & baptism give us new life in Christ. St. Ambrose wrote: You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. In his classic study of the cardinal virtues, Josef Pieper is quick to point out that the rich meaning of temperance is not captured by the concept of moderation. If they do not heed Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe if someone be raised from the dead". The pope said that is cannot be a matter of unconcern that so many of our contemporaries are living in the desert. This is precisely our situation: we attend church and hear the scriptures proclaimed and we believe in the teachings of the Risen One. Prayer, then gets put off because it takes discipline and does not come naturally. The good life should allow people to work at things that are personally satisfying and expressive of themselves. In 2005 the University of California, Los Angeles, published the results of a four-year study on how the modern American family lives. The basis of all Catholic Christian morality is our belief in the God who created all things and in Jesus who taught us even better how to live. Jesus said He came so His followers “may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” ().God’s way of living has great benefits for this life and offers “pleasures forevermore” in the next (1 Timothy 4:8; Psalm 16:11).That doesn’t mean that Christian living … It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself” (CCC, no. Love of God helps us avoid what offends Him. Taking time to reflect on what God has done, is doing and will continue to do in the future, helps us in the dry times of our spiritual lives. He says they have become testing grounds for bombs as well as the locations for glittering towns "through whose veins money runs like artificial blood." In living a orthodox life and praying in a manner that pleases God, graces are given to us to obtain our final goal, a loving union with God in this life and in the one to come. Pull out your Bible and read a line or two. So, this being stated, the next question is how do we live this traditional Catholic life every day. By Jess Woodward THE four cardinal virtues of courage, prudence, justice and wisdom were first outlined as necessary for living a good life by Plato in “The Republic” and then explored in the context of Christianity by Sts Ambrose, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Why did God make you? 9) To help as many persons a possible to be saved through Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, temperance gives order and balance to our life. But even as he advocated the cause of development, Pope Paul was careful to give a distinctively Christian interpretation to what desirable development might be: it is, he said, the right not to "have" more but to "be" more. Catholics pay attention to both Scripture and tradition. So, we enjoy each day, loving, adoring, praising and thanking God for His love, protection and goodness. Thomas Merton in his Thoughts in Solitude raises the specter of the desertification of life on this planet. 7) To obtain the graces given by God that we need for the salvation of our eternal souls. What is the Catholic Church? So we want to be extraordinary saints through the ordinary life God has given us. “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. As we run the “race marked out for us,” we lay aside the entangling sin and worldly distractions, “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2). A certain religious complacency was pierced, giving way to a degree of consciousness-raising. There all things were held in common and distributed according to everyone's needs (Acts 2:44-45). How to Live a Good Christian Life. It means loving God’s gift of life, and acting on that love. Lead 7 Secrets of Successful People to Living a Balanced Life Highly successful people measure themselves on seven key elements, Health, Family, Social, Financial, Business, Civic and Spiritual. 2) Put God first in our personal lives, our family and our work. So to grow in the virtue of faith, we need to exercise blind believing that God is behind everything that is happening to us (other than sinful actions). We too need to be reminded every day to put God first. If we can only organize our day so that we can make time for this great help, we will be happier and holier for it. Can you combine what you think is your own purpose with the purpose that someone else might have for you? Good Christians seem to be those who recognize that God is less interested in “Good Christians” than he is in contrite hearts that can be broken in order to be mended and loved into life. I suggest three ways: the cultivation of the natural virtue of temperance; the gospel admonitions about the dangers of over-consumption and the fundamental requirement of love of neighbor; and, finally, the recent social teachings of the Church based upon the order of nature and the higher demands of gospel living. As we see in the Bible, Jesus gathered the apostles, disciples and friends around Him. It is getting worse and worse in it shows and it's advertisements. The rich man's incurable spiritual condition continues into eternity and becomes permanent. Mornings are best, but if it doesn’t work for you find a time that does. 7) Be attentive to the action of God in our ordinary lives as priests, religious and laity. 36). The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines virtue in the following way: A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. We can initiate “prayers.” But there is a difference between “true prayer” and “prayers that are said.” True prayer is when God, by an action of the Holy Spirit, speaks to us and draws us by an interior calling. The devil hates latin and all that is sacred. Yet we recognize our own tendencies toward evil, especially in an excess of our desires. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. Going beyond human virtues like temperance, the Gospel demands a "higher righteousness." Based on this last idea, then, I propose that being truly pro-life means A) believing in and respecting the dignity o… But being pro-life isn’t mainly about being against things. For me as a Benedictine oblate I found a lamp to my feet in how the Benedictines consecrate all time to God and live a life marked by seeking God. Living in this fast pace life, we get caught up in the stream of rushing. If we say or even think we are better than people we consider to be "sinners," we are guilty of the sin of self-righteousness. How do you determine what that is? This great disparity denies social justice, leads to ecological tragedy, and most of all creates a misperception of what the good life really is, which ultimately makes excessive consumption a religious question. Basis of Catholic Christian Moral Teachings. 1) Love God and Neighbor. We live in a constant spiritual battle for our own souls, and those around us, against the forces of evil. What does it mean to live a good Christian life? Good Christians seek daily to live as Jesus taught and modeled during his time on earth. Catholic morality is about life: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). Micah 6:8. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. Do you know what it means to live a holy life? Among our four "cardinal," or "hinge," virtues that humans find essential is the virtue of temperance; with prudence, justice, and fortitude, temperance is regarded as one of the hinges on which hangs the gate to a happy life. We are followers of Jesus Christ, who lived 2000 years ago and taught His disciples to live a life of outstanding care and concern for one another, to uphold the highest standards of sexual morality, and to offer forgiveness and compassion to those who acknowledge their inability to live out these ideals consistently. Living the Christian life does not mean enjoying a life of ease and never experiencing problems. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Pope Benedict XVI in the homily given at his Mass on inauguration as pope also raised the spectre of the deserts that are growing on the planet, deserts that are both spiritual and material. We gradually come to understand that there is more to life than just what meets the eye or enters the ear. Judgment is to be left to God. But it will take discipline to read their writings. Confirmation is a renewal of those Baptismal vows, becoming more full in the Church. You first are welcomed into the Church with the Sacrament of Baptism. The Catholic Church boldly declares that sex is an extremely good thing — a holy thing! An effective moral life demands … A Definition for “Pro-Life” First, one crucial note: it means more than just being anti-abortion. Everything that we do, we do for Christ’s glory. We learn from them that the ordinary life is the ordinary way to heaven. The Lukan Gospel is particularly harsh regarding the hazards of wealth. Do you determine your own meaning? No matter what we may believe and know about our Catholic faith, what is of paramount importance, is that it will effect our daily lives and how we live it in union with God. We all need more faith and love. What I mean is that we can “say prayers” if we like, and this is good. Christus vivit: “living for others”, the secret to a good life One year after the Synod on young people, Catholic youth from around the world engage with "Christus vivit", Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation. Jesus tells the rich young man who says he has observed all the commandments since childhood, "There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. But what does it really mean? Humble Yourself Before God One great way for Catholics to live out their faith is to humbly walk beside God. Meet at Abortion Mill in Phoenix 12:30 Sat. "It is not wrong to want to live better,'' he writes; "what is wrong is a style of life which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards 'having' rather than 'being', and which wants to have more, not in order to be more but in order to spend life in enjoyment as an end in itself' (No. Being pro-life means being for something. The "logic of production" that demands more and more grown in consumption is a formula for disaster, he argues. It is much easier to just go along with the flow, than to put prayer first in our day and our lives. It is hard to live a virtuous life if we don’t first know what virtue it is. "Equally worrying," he goes on, "is the ECOLOGICAL QUESTION which accompanies the problem of consumerism and which is closely connected to it. Part of the background of Pope Paul IV's encyclical Populorum Progressio was a journey he made to India where he saw firsthand its wretched poverty. We traditionalist know who is in charge after all; God. A Christian lives for Christ because of God's love, not in order to earn God's love. Hebrews 13:5 ESV / 54 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. A devout Catholic goes to Mass as often as they can - even when they have a good excuse not to. 10) To make it easy to be holy through the natural grandeur and beauty of the Latin Mass, churches, altars and art. Without these well-established habits we are the mercy of external stimuli, and we become victims of our own disordered needs and passions. It helps us to focus on the nourishment that can only come from God. It is because in the Bible the poor ones have only Yahweh to look to for their help; thus they are able to recognize the radical human dependency that is the condition of every creature before God. Here are five transformative ways to live out your Catholic faith. Could not it rather all be about contemplation, what the pope calls a "disinterested, unselfish and aesthetic attitude that is born of wonder in the presence of being and of the beauty which enable one to see in visible things the message of the invisible God who created them" (No. The Gospel and Wealth Having a good life as a Christian can sometimes look a little different than it would if you were a non-believer. A life that satisfies and fulfills you, that adds happiness, joy and a sense of purpose to your life. "Christianity is not about feeding yourself. 1) Love God and Neighbor. And for that reason we can relax about all that is going on in the Church and in the world. Is it the Christian version of the good life? The basis of all Catholic Christian morality is our belief in the God who created all things and in Jesus who taught us even better how to live. To be creative and contributing members of society we need a structure that allows us to use our gifts in a sustained way; the virtues provide such a structure. Increased energy efficiency and less energy gluttony must become part of our public policy for global survival. But it also means to live a life that is worthwhile – a life that makes a contribution, instead of being solely self-centered. Courage seems to mean standing up to fight any battle with every ounce of self-power we can muster. The reasonable norm allows us to walk gently upon the earth. No Catholic has ever been a good novelist, he said, or if he was, he was a bad Catholic. Lesson focus: God is holy, meaning He is pure and set apart…He wants us to be holy, too, but we can only do that if we let Him live through us. You may have heard it said that Catholics don`t read the Bible. Consider adoption or foster care — or contribute to a fund to help foster or adoptive parents. 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