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A1XFind groupmate (2003.02.17)
A2XRead 218-23 (2003.02.13)
A3XRevised creed exercise (2003.01.24)
A4XConscience exercise due on Jan 10 (2003.01.10)
A5XAssignment on Catholic Imagination (2002.12.16)
A6Xessay on immaculate conception (2002.12.04)
A7XReview for Th151 test on Wednesday, Dec 4 (2002.12.03)
A8XRevised half sheet, due on Monday - Dec 2 (2002.11.29)
A9XPrepare comments on articles in Chapter 1 - Dec 2 (2002.11.29)
A10XPrepare for Th151 test on Wednesday, Dec 4 (2002.11.29)

Files are at ../school/2002-sem2/th151/

Th151: The Catholic Commitment of Today's Filipino

What I learned from Th151


  1. What? Christian commitment treated theologically. The relationship between faith and reason.
  2. Who? Who makes the commitment? freedom and conscience
  3. Creed - list of things we believe in
  4. Sources. Qualities.

5. Eucharist - God Himself originated.

2003.02.21: The Black Nazarene

relation between sacred scriptures and human experience

The Word is the image of God.

as part of the human race, he undergoes the perfect sacrifice of love on the cross. his resurrection shows that this sacrifice is accepted by God.

we don't convert ourselves.


Difference between the sin and the sinner

Freedom for. Buy me back for something. To be an adopted son or daughter of the Father.

The difference between openness and commitment. We have to work hard to be open. horizon shift. Change in perspectives. Commitment - permanence.

marco campos

"The commission [ECY] said Catholic youths are affected by what is traditionally known as "split-level Christianity" - faith matters little when it comes to their lifestyle." Sandy Araneta, "Pinoy youth not practicing faith" _The Philippine Star_ 9 February 2003, pp. 1 & 8


Gospel exercise or book report due in class on Feb 24 On Wednesday, half-sheet on instructions Group work report

Report on Marian devotion

Inculturate Mary? Why aren't we?

What does this have to do with us?


If we are free, we are moral. If we weren't free, there'd be no such thing as conscience.

Catholic Morality: Christ our Way

  1. Christian Faith provides basic meaning and motivation for following CHrist in moral relationships to ourselves, others, society, and fundamentally, in all these, to God, responding to the condition, nature, characteristic, norm and charter of the Kingdom of God, within the context of the Church as communal support, active formative agent, bearer of moral tradition, and community of moral deliberation.

Christian moral catechesis is grounded in the distinct view of human person in Christ, in community. It spans three distinct levels.


Submit a half-sheet with remarks. Sin - forgiveness

Refusing to follow our own conscience Rejecting God and our own selves Breaking God's loving covenant with us


Group presentation schedule

February 21.

Creed exercise

You don't write out everything. You get the idea of it.

Final reflections on conscience exercise

Main problem is a mixed up understanding of freedom and conscience. 2pts in freedom, conscience
  1. theologic - correct thinking
  2. the reality -- accurate discernment of experience How do freedom and conscience work together? Does not claim to be any insight y me or anyone else, nor even directly produced by Christian faith. It's a question of understanding the thing correctly and understanding our experience of freedom. People talk about freedom. How can we possibly think that we have an ability that is boundless? Human freedom. It's not free. It's always human freedom. If I was born on a desert island, without social company, I would be least free. I would have no language, no culture... Boundlessness is sheer illusion. No attempt to analyze and discern.

Everyone thinks, judges, and uses universal terms. Conscience is not just my particular thing.

because of our awareness and discernment of moral obligation, we are more authentically free. Judge whether an act is morally good or evil.

Wrong idea of freedom - "doing what I want."

because of our awareness of ..., we are directed towards authentic human freedom Must be put into concrete human experience.

All our human commitments are relative, because we're relative. The only way we can make absolute commitment to God is through relative commitments.

It is precisely our understanding of moral obligation that allows us to exercise our human freedom.

Mccabe - trinity, M218-23.

key to chapter 6 is the trinity.


Final exam: written 4-5 theses

Oral defense, groups of 3 Everyone hands in a sheet of 4 or 5 theses that summarizes everything we've done this semester. In the book we have examples. Sharply focused thesis. Revelation and faith in chapter 1, commitment in chapter 2... Groups of 3 make one set of theses. Two days beforehand. Don't hide behind your groupmates. Major change in mindset.


Theological reflections on conscience exercise Everytime you do things is a concrete situation. Bertrand Russell is a good mathematician but a lousy theologian. Warning about "one with". If identified, then no union. commandments are about moral acts.

2003.02.07: Freedom, commitment and the family

We're going to try to clarify some things regarding our misconceptions about freedom. Freedom: self-determination? but this conception solely concerns the self.

Misconceptions about freedom

(note about that: it might be nice to be able to fully commit oneself...)

The Family

Misconception: family as "us", disregarding others
family values under attack

World meeting of families

basic Christian concept of family
a loving, lasting, complementary relationship and covenant between man and woman source of life, ground for procreation
Christian family as light to the people of the world
humanity is learned, experienced through the family.

What does Christian faith have to do with the family? The Christian faith gives us a perfect example of commitment - Jesus to the Church, and Jesus to us. The trouble with that is that it takes an awful jump from Jesus Christ's commitment to his family to his commitment to us.

We are free because that enables us to love.

Family: that's the way that you bring up humans.

{I think that part of what they talked about was very helpful. I realized that the half-hearted love that it seems most people want - all fun without commitment - isn't enough, and that the full commitment to another and to the children that might be born because of this is something that is

I'm a little afraid of it, though. Christian faith tells me to do something scary, especially when you think that marriage and child-bearing asks a lot from women. I might have to give up teaching, which I love doing and through which I also make commitments to other people. To commit to a family means accepting such a great responsibility.}

I know that the complete commitment but I also know

Is my understanding of this correct?

Final encouragement is the gospel exercise in your textbook, p276. Or a book report on a book that must be approved. Due Mon, Feb 24. Got to be relevant to our whole life. Stands a certain amount of exceptional study. Two preliminaries that are not here at all. Intrinsic importance in faith of revelation. The term and the reality. The difference between theology and philosophy. Theology draws directly from revelation as God's living word. What makes the Bible different? Inspiration. The only book we have in the world that is said to be authored by God. Revelation and Biblical inspiration. Changes the nature of the thing produced. Background: John and one synoptic. John and one of either Matthew, Mark or Luke.

All the Gospels are going to be destroyed, and yours will be the only one. What is the aspect or dimension of Christ that is most needed? You read John and a synoptic.

We are editing.

Argument against this exercise... Christology. Borrow "Gospel of Jesus Christ" None of them contradict. 7 or 8 copies at the Theo secretary.

Pick one image of Christ that you think is most needed by the world. 5 - 7 pages.

Two major problems. Passion/_resurrection_, around 20%. You also want to include the Eucharist institution, or the end of Ch6.

Correct references! Parenthetical references. Resurrection. Eucharist.

Good translation. Don't use KJV. It's 1605. We want to be up to the 20th century at least.


Do we understand what is actually being said? Discipleship: Hearing the word of God, and keeping it. c1b. Disagrees with Augustine. You don't enflesh anything with an act of faith. John 2:4 Woman, hour. p201: Disagree again. Not breathing on Mary and the disciple. Strong cultural proof that Mary had no other children. She was given to the other disciple.

Theological reflection on creed exercise

Doctrine / dogma - SS / Tradition / Human Experience
SS / Trad / HE are sources from which we draw doctrine. doctrine - every word has definite meaning. not identified with any particular text.
Creedal structure: trinitarian
Individual doctrines
a. mindset
  1. openness - good soil
  2. unbelief a. rationalism b. secularism b. specifics

Creation - putting into and keeping in existence. Same thing. No difference.

Science doesn't tell us why.

What is sin? What constitutes sin? Therefore, what is forgiveness? Sin is the deprivation of grace, the rejection of love. Forgiveness is love. God's love. The Holy Spirit.

Blessed Virgin Mary - perfect disciple


  1. of darkness 3:19-20 - darkness: sinners love the darkness. [Christ is/you are] the light of the world. Don't let the light be hidden.
  2. for the light 8:12, 9:5, Mt 5:14-16
  3. of the glory of men 12:43 - worldly glory: John 5:44, 12:13 vs glory of God
  4. of one's own life / self / in this world
  5. of the world - 1 Jn 2:15-17
  1. Why does it need to be said that religious commitments are partially conditioned by historical circumstances? All our commitments are partially considered by historical circumstances. Wars of religion. People transfer the absoluteness of God to their religious commitments. "If anyone gets in my way, I can wipe them out." People have abused religion. They have done evil to others because of religion. They think they're doing a good thing for God. Our religious commitments do not have the attributes of God. Real symbols. Not merely symbols.
  2. + 22. We don't make anything God. Doesn't make our relative commitments secondary, but rather we live out our commitment to God through our other commitments. Group report on Wednesday Objective: 2-3 points / 8 minutes presentation Subjective: your classmates Aim: strengthen faith-life


    Every single group has the same problem of trying to relate realistically to the topic they've chosen. Don't do from the book. We have to approach Scripture according to its nature. Sacramental. Some material sign/reality that makes present a spiritual reality. That is why Jesus is the primordial sacrament - he makes present God. Gospels are written for all men for all time. Not just one time. So historical context not extremely important, and full significance and nuances not fixed. meaning continuously developed. world's historicity pushes us to ask questions that christians didn't ask before. One thing Jesus could not do: tell us simply that he is the Messiah. Must teach, work miracles, do things... historical/critical method is atheistic. Continue in Schneider's article pp194-98 Background: page on SS 4 Loves
  3. of darkness 3:19-20
  4. for the light 8:12, 9:5, Mt 5:14-16
  5. of the glory of men 12:43
  6. for God's glory
  7. Literal sense cannot reject literal sense of before. Canonicity. Never contradictory. extraordinary magisterium 1854 1870 1950: immaculate conception, infallibility of the pope, and the assumption of Mary. ordinary magisterium is the way we become Christians. everyday teachings. ordinary teaching of the church. that's what we have to make sense of. What we're after here is to understand why the blue guitar changes our understanding of our own experience. The openness gives you the first absolute necessary condition. You have to be open to it. If you react against it, you cannot have it. Examples: man born blind, Samaritan woman, Martha and Mary. The fundamental openness of heart. It is an act of religious faith to say that someone is the Son of God. Quality. We are trying to raise the quality of our commitment. What norms would you use to judge the quality of a person't faith? Doctrine/moral/worship. We don't believe in God like the way we believe in our friend. Authentic prayer depends on a correct understanding of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit instead of the formula. Christ is the new Temple. Shifted Old Testament ideas. Schneider identifies how Jesus relates to the Father. 195. 189 identifies how Jesus relates to us. Yay! I said something very well in Th. He said very well done three times! I am the bread of life. The Eucharist. Jesus as the new Moses. Feeds us with his teaching. The Eucharist shows us what is going on all the time. Christ helps us think and love and discern and that's how he nourishes us. It's not separated from ordinary life. Sacraments - intensification of something that happens all the time. Existence is love. I am. Friday: BVM 199-203

2003.01.27: Commitment in the Gospel of John p190

There's a difference between Scripture and doctrine. What was he saying? Groupwork: 18 minutes to present what influences does the creed have on the faith-life of your classmates? What influences should it have? How important is the creed? What is it supposed to be doing? I want the group to discuss just that. What is the good and the bad about the creed in the mindset of our classmates? Does the creed have any potential for being significant for living the Christian faith? {{ One of the reasons why the Apostle's Creed is so effective is because it so clearly distills the essential points in our faith. It worked for the early Christians. These were the things that people who wanted to be baptized had to believe in order to call themselves Christian. This was one of the things that defined us as Christians. It was refined over the course of time - some words changed, some clauses added or removed. In order to write a new creed, you would have to carefully examine all the foundations of our faith. What would you remove? What would you add? Can something essential to our faith not have been recognized after all this time? I think that we can improve the Creed - make it more accurately and authentically reflect the beliefs of the Church - only if we feel a pressing, concrete need to say something that we know isn't being adequately expressed in the current Creed. To start working on a Creed just for the sake of revising the Creed is to try to come up with something that may be logically correct, but doesn't have your heart and soul in it. }} What is the question of commitment here? Jews. They are already committed to the Jewish religion. Should they shift into this sect of Jews, which later became a new religion? Jews. Jerusalem officials. Power corrupts. We all need possessions. It's not a matter of throwing out all possessions, but rather of using them correctly. Try to offer use of power up to God.


Gospel of John I. Intro to new SS approach II. One e.g. structure in III. Chap 4 Samaritan Woman
A 5:19A' 5:30
B 5:20 amazedB' 5:28
C 5:21 great lifeC' 5:26
D 5:22 judgeD' 5:27
E 5:24-25 hear the wordE' 5:28-29

Mon. Article of Schneiders. pp190-98


Creed exercises due Friday Theological reflection and John goal: to recognize God's presence in daily life (discern)
  1. recognize God's presence in the event even events in our lives.
  2. relate to previous idea of God
  3. enact theological meaning do something e.g. Jn 2:13-23
  4. Jesus' prophetic action 13-16 acts like the prophets in the Old Testament
  5. John's comment 17
  6. Jews challenge 18
  7. Jesus' prediction 19
  8. Jews' retort
  9. John's 2nd comment
  10. Fuller description of resurrection focusing on belief Prayer used to be tied very closely to the land. 4:20 Moneychangers and commerce needed for sacrifice animals of sacrifice themselves obstacle
  11. reliance on external authority 2:13-22, 5:1-17 Jews' challenge
  12. lack of imagination
  13. self protection 8:1-11 Qualitative work. 12 articles in the Creed. Take out the or in process A pick. Sto. Nino

Jn 1:1-18

page 183: diagram of the prologue.
word with god vv1-2the son at the father's side v18
role in creation v3role in recreation v17
gift to humankind vv4-5gift to humankind v16
testimony of john vv6-8testimony of john v15
the word enters the world vv8-11the incarnation v14

through the word we become children of god vv12-13

marturai - witness, martyr.

summary of what we believe as Christians. Used to be read at every single Mass.

key text for Christology from above.

Jn 1:35-41

Call 1:35-36
Testimony 1:36
Behold the Lamb of God.
Hearing 1:37
Hearing. Discernment. Listening with intention. Discern. Picked out something that made them move. They left John the Baptist and followed Jesus.
Follow 1:38
Seek 1:38
Find 1:38-41
Come and see 1:39
Remain 1:39
Focus on the person you're with, not you. Avoid self-determination. Think of choice. The self is intrinsically relational. We become ourself by reaching out to other selves. In other words, other-oriented love. highest activity open to us is love of others.

why is it that we have a problem with self-determination?

mission 1:40-44
When you encounter Jesus, the first thing you want to do is tell people about it.


2:1 on 3rd day
2:4 woman, hour
2:11 glory

2003.01.17: Gospel of John

Outline p181-82 Prologue 1:1-18 p183 7 signs - 181, 187 JBC - Jerome Biblical Commentary Never used the word "miracle", but "sign". John 6:26 - they didn't see the sign. John 13:30 - outside it is night We don't need a physical Temple any more. We pray through Jesus. Encounters with typical people. There are times when you should get angry. Signs: 1 cana 2:1-11 2 official's son 4:46-54 3 paralytic 5:15 4 feeding 5000 6:1-15 5 man born blind 6 raises lazarus 7 crucifixion ichthus jesus christ, son of god, savior. iesus christus ..? theum ...?

2003.01.15: Continuation of presentation and discussion on conscience

Context and nature

Judging. The second idea being both subjective and objective. subjective means we are the judges. Automatically. Subject. I. Conscience always gives you an objective norm - a good reason.

Difference between an act of conscience vs command. We don't question the 10 commandments. Conscience - particular acts. We use it automatically, not just when there's a conflict of values.

Creative thing.

we have a built-in capacity to make anything seem good. We never do something under the notion of evil.

We know very well what we did wrong. Personal judgment.

Nature: does not determine, just judges. We decide whether to follow our conscience or not.

personal social what if we're not willing to go beyond our private interests? We're less human.

we are dependent on god and on others. we could not be fully human without relating to others.

Gunga Din.

forming our conscience
moral good is based on truth. form conscience when we succeed in acting responsibly. Not just for the pious type.
levels of conscience and morality
fear conscience - not really a moral level. Physical evil, not moral evil, so not moral act. God will understand? instinctive conscience
3 factors in a moral act
nature, intention, circumstances this intention here is motivation. Why did you do what you were doing? Intention in the what, and intention in the why.

What do you intend to do? Why do you intend to do it?

Example: giving alms so that you're thought to be generous

moral object. kindness, generosity, killing, murder... all contained in morality. Intention. Not physical act is wrong, but moral act. God has to support us in existence during our worst sins. Doesn't make God a sinner.

social conscience
We take for granted that we don't start from zero. new formulation, but not created-from-zero moral principle. No original moral values. Words - universal.


Nothing substitutes for the Mass. The Eucharist is a celebration of love. Sin is a rejection of love. Why should we have to go to Mass? The analogy to use is friendship. This is the way we develop our personal relationship with Christ. This is the way that Jesus touches our lives. Why do I have to be with my friend? Wanting to reflect upon the friend. Last Supper - not servants, but friends. Existential practice. What happens to people who do regularly go to Mass? Faith is knowledge. It is knowledge that is constantly seeking more. Mass is not about some new information that you should go after. Do you learn something new from your friend? You celebrate Mass to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Mass is making present the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and nothing else does. Most of the arguments about not going to Mass are not worth the breath used to say it. You actually have to explain to somebody why they need a friend? We are celebrating with the priest Christ's perfect sacrifice for love. Actually, you know, he has a point there.

Introduction to conscience

Personal level
All of us have an idea of conscience, but we often think of it in terms of the adversarial good/bad thing. Images. Ideas of conscience.

Context. Freedom, moral law and sin.

Constant searching and development.

Significance of conscience
- Catholic church is the teacher of truths. Listen to the Church to
find out what the Catholic position is.

Example of opposition to death penalty.

Christ's will for me - not specifying exact actions to take, but rather willing us to become better human beings through our actions and our love.

Social level

Notes on fidelity

because you don't want to hurt the person you have committed yourself to. But what about the idea of an "open marriage"?

paschal mystery fides qua - act of believing fides quae - what we believe in knowledge

There is a limit to the social science approach. It does not cover reality. It is too specific, too particular. It does not tell us what the real act of faith is.

Chap 3: What we believe in

quality sources objectives/goal

Apologetic goal

College theology:

academic study - we could be doing academic study, studying Augustine's approach, or Cardinal Neuman, or whoever... But we're not ready for it, see. This helps people become theologians, but that is not what we're here for.

spiritual life

theology is the ultimate norm to judge philosophy, not the other way around. more: God's revelation.

Two approaches to Jesus Christ

What could be the basis for evaluating them? Which is more holistic? Which grounds Christian commitment more fully?

Who is Jesus?
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec. 24, 2002

Who is this man Jesus whose birthday we celebrate tomorrow? WHo is this man Jesus who is the icon and central figure of Christianity, the world's most numerous religion with about two billion adherents?

The information we have about Jesus comes mainly from the four Gospels, written apparently, according to scholars, between 65 to 125 AD. They are not biographies in the modern sense but contain the early Christian "message of salvation." Other biblical sources of information for Jesus' life and teaching are the epistles of Paul (Romans, Galatians and Corinthians I and II). Attempt to substantiate Gospel through non-Christian means waste of time. Historicity?

"religious social work"

social science approach. "could also be like any man?" Rather, divine anger.

one flew over the cuckoo's nest the nigger boy - flannery o'connor

not supreme irony. - changing our values. king != someone with a golden crown. reality of revelation.

celebration of life, love and selflessness. good and virtuous. What has that got to do with Jesus?

Blue guitar remark.

Pope introduces new mysteries of the rosary
our faith is alive today. does not depend on Jewish idea of messiah. call to conversion

To Follow the Star
weakness of critical historical / social-science thing.


Theological reflections on papers

I: Nativity, cross.
5 Masses Dec 24-25 Distraction, because focus should be on Jesus Christ. Nativity and Cross are different. Liturgical Realism. "We are not waiting for Christ. He has already come." The liturgy is real. It is talking about God's coming for us. We celebrate it precisely because there is a new coming every year. He is already here, but not yet perfectly here. We want to be more aware of his presence.
Christ's first coming, second coming, in between as grace eschatological dimension. bringing out the fact that everything we do today points toward eternity. 1st coming is always related to 2nd. grace in the coming of the Lord, in parousia, and in ourselves
our historicist perspective transcendence: contemplate break out of time and space
2 papers, disagree
Mary - disregard, uneasy? thru him (not follow him!)? - following him main point Most don't know they cannot merit heaven - simple. diff between doing good and evil. Most do know they cannot merit heaven. God loves us as we are, not as we should be?

capacity, but also have moral responsibility

Conscience exercise due Friday, Jan 10

This exercise Not of the opinion of Timothy O'Connell - three levels? Nah. Seeking good always part of this. conscience judges the morality of individual thoughts, words and deeds by applying universal moral norms.

Introduction to Chapter 3


Christmas assignment Quiz on today's discussion

Oral recitation of "Deeper level"

What is the difference bteween focusing on commitment and focusing on transformation?
By focusing on commitment, we focus on human action. By focusing on transformation, we focus on God. When we talk about grace, we always talk about both. Commitment - ourselves responding to God. Transformation - realizing that we need to be transformed.
Why did the blind man believe in Jesus?
All I know is I was blind, and now I see.
The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent.
Kairos. Not a chronological time. The critical moment. KoG. Not a political kingdom. Attitude of mind. How we see things. Repent. Don't think in terms of sin. Metanoia. Meta - beyond. Noia - seeing. Seeing beyond. See beyond what you saw before. Conversion.

Chapter 3, Creed

Too much focused on the subject. Begin with scripture creed on page 109
Creed 109
Very pastoral. Why did the Church have to write up a creed? Some means of judging whether someone is ready to be baptized or not.
113 and following
summary liked very much. spiritual illiteracy We never get to the end of faith. Think critically about our religious beliefs and think religiously about everything else. Blue Guitar. See things as they are. Religious dimension of all reality
Greely 122
Pattern. Salvific element of the creed. Manner of approach. Basic human experiences and basic good news responding to those experiences.
Storm of the Spirit 127: interreligious dialogue
Various interpretations. Word and Spirit Jesus - perfect, complete But those who have received him are always learning more about him We are not waiting for any new revelations to come along.. Who do you say that I am? Nobody knows him perfectly.

Pope's Christmas Homily

Text: Newborn Child Brings Life
"You are my Son, today I have begotten you" (Heb 1:5)
The words of today's Liturgy introduce us into the mystery of the eternal birth, beyond time, of the Son of God, the Son, of one Being with the Father. The Gospel of John says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (Jn 1:1-2). We profess the same truth in the Creed: "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father;" through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man". This is the joyful news of Christmas, as transmitted by the Evangelists and the Church's apostolic tradition. Today we wish to announce it "to the City and to the World", Urbi et Orbi.
  1. Use of Scripture. Living.
  2. Creed. Paragraph 1, three major truths of the Creed. Paragraph 2, incarnation. Creative incarnation. Gives light. Paragraph 3. Sin. Paragraph 4. Mystery. Self-giving. Love.
  3. Mission
  4. Symbol
  5. Beatific vision. beatus - happy. A vision that grounds you in full happiness. Dulles.
    Gorly as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth
    Key word - hesed / agape. emeth / fidelity - truth. Exodus 34:6 John 2:1

    Christmas iconography

    An icon is not designed to tell a moving story, but to unlock powerful concepts. Not interested in anecdotes, but types and antitypes. Type gives us visions of ourselves.

    2002.12.18: Theology of transformation

    Conscience exercise (p274, 275) due Jan 10

    Most of them will not have the vocabulary from your ethics course or your theology course. We have to get into their mindset, not demand that they use our vocabulary. The word conscience may not even appear.

The structure is critical, theological reflection. It will be difficult. You ask the guards or the janitors. )

Do not give examples. Ask them to give examples.

Are you conscious of the role of your Christian faith has? Thinking with faith.

Don't underestimate the influence of religion.

real debate. split-level Christianity? This applies to everyone. Christianity is not natural to anyone. It's a preached religion.

Very hard to separate philosophy and religion when it comes to morality.

Do not summarize.

-- -- -- Conclusion

Growth toward a maturity in faith

intellect presents to my will different possibilities conscience is our reason related to free acts should i

Theology of transformation

Christian faith is about transformation. This is taking it from a different point of view from our course - we look at it at the point of view of commitment. commitment looks at committer and act, and puts him in relationship with others.

Commitment focuses on person and activity. Transformation focuses on the need we all have to be redeemed - to be transformed. This in view not only of our sinfulness but who we are - created in the image of God and ordered toward being with God. The only way we can get through this and be with our destiny is to be transformed by God's love.

Transformation really emphasizes our need for God's action within us in order to achieve the goal that has been set us.

Christian Faith -> seeing (Jn 9: Man born blind)
Our final destiny is the beatific vision. Highest positive activity we could do. Existential phenomenology attacks this. Greek seeing, Hebrew hearing. Fundamental, mythical elements of our reality. No cause and effect here.

We're trying to elaborate the seeing - seeing is not just physical seeing or insight, but requires the totality of the human person in society.

His book is about poets, musicians, philosophers... different disciplines, worlds apart from one another.

Human condition. We are blind and we do not know about it. Have mercy on me.

What do Christians see? Mk 1:15
The time has come. The kingdom of God is at hand. God's action toward us. His hour.

kairos. Our life has its ups and downs. Chance of doing some things.

I was blind and now I see.

Not political kingdom. Way of seeing. Attitude. We see things exactly as they are. An insight we did not have the means to get to before. Repent and believe. metanoia - seeing beyond.

Jesus is the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes. Follow his footsteps. We don't follow his footsteps at all. Jesus himself is the way. He does not show us the way. He is the way. So we have to open ourselves to his grace, his spirit. Thinking with faith.

Luke 1:48

The problem. Spiritual blindness. Mk 4:39,41
Fear? Partly true.

You know we would not sink.

Faith-see Mk 10:48

2002.12.16: Chapter 2, Conscience exercise

Conscience exercise

goal: exercise critical Christian moral reflection on how adult Filipino Christians actually "use" their conscience and its implications in your life.

Structure. A. Survey. You are to ask at least 3 adults (over 25, no students or teachers) of different sexes, socio-economic status: How do you decide between what's good and bad?

Write up the answer of your first respondent. No name, but indicate sex, general age, occupation. Essentials of his or her answer. CRitical evaluation of response, based on explanation of conscience provided by textbook and lectures

treat each repsponse separately

Chapter 2 theses

Conscience exercise pp 275-75

Page 97. Theses statements

Thesis 2A. Human Freedom can refer to the capacity for
self-determination, the context, the choice itself, or (fundamentally) the self formed by these three. For a Christian, becoming authentically free means developing a "freedom of excellence" through stages of moral education from beginners in charity, through progress in virtue toward maturity and perfection of love for God and neighbor. This process takes place within the universal experience of both sin (original and personal) and the liberating grace of Christ in the Spirit.

capacity for self-determination = classic notion of free will the capacity for self-determination is the capacity in the human person to choose.

context. the context itself can be called free if there is some objective ground for it. tension between "free world" and "communist world". - built in bill of rights.

Walter Cizek.

I have my freedom = I have the capacity to choose. I am my freedom = by my free choices I am forming myself.

these things are not built into us. We develop who we are by the choices we make through life. A lot of our choices are the ways we respond to people impinging on us.

Emotions are extraordinarily important for spiritual life.

Freedom of excellence. A bit wary about talking about progress and perfection, because perfection is never attained on Earth. Eschatological dimension of what we do day by day. Meaning for eternity. We're going to end up as this person at the end of our life as a result of our actions day by day.

We're talking about something that simply isn't picked up by social science methodology or stuff like that, but it isn't illusion. Faith.

When Jesus stands before Thomas... He doesn't see. He didn't see his Lord.

Many propose that the Christian idea is up in the air. I'd like to challenge that by saying that the Christian faith is not about the ideal, but about the real. It has as much to do with sin as it does about grace. Being repentant. When people picture the Christian faith as some idea, they're really wrong. Feet planted firmly in the ground of human experience.

Thesis 2b. Conscience is our ultimate and subjective norm of moral
behavior, judging the morality of concrete individual acts by applying universal moral laws, thus involving both objective and creative subjective dimensions. The gradual formation of an informed "Christian conscience" is marked by fundamental stages (instinctive, moral and religious) developing true freedom together with the recognition of moral obligation, and grounded on prayer and the Spirit's prompting daily conversion toward fuller, responsible "new life" in Christ.

"Conscience is our ultimate and subjective norm of moral behavior," - AND. It's ultimate over objective norms. It's higher than the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes or civil law.

We are not judging the Ten Commandments. We judge external acts by using objective norms.

We're using words that have universal application beyond the particular act we're talking about.

Judging the morality of concrete individual acts. We decide by our free will, but we judge with our conscience. Free will - reason - "That is evil, don't do it" - we can still go against our conscience. The act of judgment (good or evil) relative to moral matters is done by our conscience, but the choice of action is done by our free will. Rationalizing.

Sachs out of line making fun of the Immaculate Conception.

Mccabe with remarkable insight into the gift nature of the Immaculate Conception

Basic literature

T. Tradition.

LXX. Septuagint. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Some importance for us because during the 16th Century Reformation, Luther had been going back to the Hebrew Bible. You have books in the Greek Bible that are not part of the Hebrew Bible. That's the origin of it all.

Assignment -> Fri Dec 20

Theology and Art We have to inculturate both.

1. Greely: Catholic Imagination
Take an icon or a picture or a Christmas card or a poem out of the newspaper. Make a comment on it. It tells you why there is whatever. Symbols.
2. McDermott: Apostolic Spirituality.

2002.12.13: Chapter 2 and the act of committing to Christ

starting from page 35. We want to develop chapters two and three together. The Conscience Exercise - back of the book. Point out the significance of individual aspects. Next week we can go into more details. Page 36, the bottom paragraph - how is the author developing the topic of commitment?

Fr. Dennis Hamm outlines a method of prayer that allows us to reflect on our day, and brings back the personal, familial character of our relationship with God. We would like to discuss Fr. Dennis Hamm's article "Rummaging for God: Praying Backward Through Your Day" in light of Sacred Scripture (specifically, the psalms and prayers in the Gospel) as well as Church teaching in order to help our classmates and ourselves arrive at a deeper, more authentic understanding of prayer.


Part of our brain is wired for religious experience. Nothing new about God. Religion comprehends a whole range of acts and insights that acknowledge the transcendent order without requiring the transcendent experience.

Use of reason

Speculative, critical, practical

Being unreasonable

sinning against reason:

2002.11.29: Human freedom and moral obligation


Sources, focus, specific objectives - very concrete Statement of the problem Significance Focus

How do we existentially understand that all human freedom intrinsically involves moral obligation?

My freedom is not limited. It is genuine human freedom - freedom in society.

Corrects a common misconception or integrates it with our everyday life one or two major points

what's the balance there?

focus sharply on specific objectives, but you can also focus on the 'real influence of the spirit in our lives.' pointing out problems.

put the focus in a question form

how is the class going to profit by what we are presenting it?

subtle change from a god of punishment to a god of love better relationship - like talking to your parents

There is nothing we can do to substitute for the Eucharist, so liturgy has a special place. There's nothing wrong with personal prayer.

We have in the sacramental something that we cannot substitute for. We have ways of encountering the risen Christ.

On theses

What's the urgency? What do I want people to reflect on?


Mon: Review of chapter 1

Test on Wed (Dec 4)

Thesis 1A
sustained - not on and off directed - sharply focused, guided by scriptures and church teachings personal thinking - not just about doctrine, but also about our own authentic human experience

thinking in faith, not thinking about faith. thinking about faith - taking up the creed, yadayada. but we need to learn how to think within the faith, how to live the Christian faith.

responding to challenges of today. specific objective, and the idea that faith is larger than that. faith can help you face all your problems from now until death. god is using scriptures now to help me relate to him in both the new and old testaments.

Thesis 1B

doctrine, moral, worship

gift-quality coming from god creation

grace is perfecting this rational nature and lifting people up to be adopted sons and daughters of god

grace is god's self-giving in love

gratuitously - god is god even without creating

we are the only ones who can recognize god's voice as god

we don't have a neumetology - a theology of graceof the rock

Thesis 1C

believing, acting, praying

believing != doing != praying need to distinguish in order to unify

Thesis 1D

Chapter 1 review

A theological study of commitment

Next time, write about the Immaculate Conception as pure gift. Mary was conceived in grace.

Immaculate Conception

Revised Encouragement 3

What? The dogma of the Immaculate Conception proclaims that Mary was conceived without original sin. {statement of dogma}


How? The Immaculate Conception was accomplished simply through God's grace.

For what?

The Immaculate Conception is a pure gift. Before the Immaculate Conception, Mary did not even exist - how could she have done anything to deserve it? At the instance that Mary's soul was created and infused into her body, God was already there. She was preserved in grace-filled relationship with God and never contributed to the sin of the world.

The meaning of the Immaculate Conception for us is that it says something about who we are - humans headed towards a radical holiness and a communion with God. Sin prevents us from doing so right now, because even if we are forgiven for our sins and redeemed by Jesus Christ, we know that we have been sinners and we still sometimes choose the wrong things.

{doctrine vs dogma} dogma - defined doctrine of the church

Quiz 1: 35/50

Oops about 3 major sources of faith/theology. Now I remember! Oops about the opens the eyes of our mind [to God's Revelation]. Each question was worth 12 points.
1a. Why is "commitment" chosen to be the focus of this course? (Th1A)
Because from a philosophical person, commitment is taking the person in action. It puts him in dialogue in which he is committing himself. Commitment is essential to faith. Faith is not a question of information, but about formation. We are committed to a goal and redeemed from obstacles toward that goal.
1b. How does one study anything "theologically"? (Th1D)
Use the theological sources - scripture, tradition, human experience.
2a. What's the value of experiences people call "religious"? (Th1B)
People call "religious" the experiences they value they most - experiences that go beyond the ordinary, experiences they can reflect upon. If it is truly a religious experience, it's a way of getting out of our square box and relating to God.
2b. Why define Revelation as "deeds and words"?
Revelation from a propositional view - doctrine and dogma, syllogistic reasoning... but Vatican II cut through that with Dei Verbum II. Word and deed with an inner unity. Word describes the meaning of the deed and deed concretizes the word. Living word of God.
3a. How does "The Blue Guitar" both link and distinguish reason
and faith? Things are changed on the Blue Guitar. You play your reasonable experiences on the Sacred Scriptures, and you gain insight that you didn't have before into things exactly as they are. Transcendence. We're using reason in grasping more.
3b. How does Faith perfect Reason?
God is revealed through Jesus Christ as a communion of love. Open to abuse, prejudices and hangups...

4a. Why distinguish 3 dimensions of Faith: doctrine, morals, worship? (Th1C)
The exposition of a moral norm fits under morals, not doctrine.

4b. How are the 3 major Sources of the Faith/Theology related to commitment?
The sources are Sacred Scriptures, Tradition/Church Teaching, Human Experience. Commitment is intensely personal.
5a. How does "thinking faith" as "Grammar of the Heart" clarify
Faith knowledge? insight into what type of knowledge is faith. It is not that of a scientific experiment.
5b. Which of the 2 types of "thinking faith" is more important?
Why? thinking with faith more than thinking about faith
6a. Why is "questioning" vs. "doubting" important for maturing in
Faith? doubting puts conditions denial of the nature of faith itself if i see, i don't have to believe we need to be open to faith
6b. What is the role of GRACE in Faith?
7a. How is Faith both a grace (gift) from God and our free doing?
Faith is the gift of God as well as my free, responsible act. God reveals himself and he inspires us from within to receive his revelation. We're still responsible for saying yes or no.
7b. How is Faith both free yet morally obliging?
7c. How is Faith both reasonable yet beyond natural reason?
7d. Why cite friendship as the ordinary example of revelation and
faith among humans?


What is apostolic spirituality?

By Brian O. McDermott, America, November 11, 2002

The fundamental imperatives of the Christian vocation are two in number: love God with all your heart and mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. The twofold commandment involves loving in three distinct directions: love of God, love of neighbor and love of self.

Notes about Fr. Roche