Daniel Fachting

All Christian morality is based on one thing, namely, the dignity of the human person. We are created in God’s image, are his adopted children and our destiny is to be happy with him forever. Perhaps, the greatest of gifts is the intelligence and grace to make free-will choices. No other creature has the capacity to love and sin, which is directly related to free will. 

At the same time, morality is not about persons only, but about living in community with other persons and the way we treat one another. God has given us his laws and grace, to help us chose well. We are human beings, “called to live a moral life” (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 309).

Page 310 of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults states that the Christian moral life is based on the dignity of the human person, created in his image, given an immortal soul, gifts of intelligence and reason through which we make moral choices.  Humans have the ability through free will to “seek and love what is true, good, and beautiful.” 

Often when we think of morality, we focus only on the fact that each of us is also a sinner and not on the sacred character of each and every human being. The truth is simple. All human beings are created equal, sacred, holy, immeasurable, indelible, worthy, loving and lovable. Do we really know this?

When I encounter another human being, I am encountering someone who is sacred and holy and lovable in the essence of who they are. God created them out of love. When I know this, I cannot be prejudicial. I must treat them with all the respect I give God, because they are created in his image. This not to say that I like everything some people do. I am not called to like what people do, but I am called to love the person. As a priest once told me, “God loves the sinner, but not the sin.”

Examination of conscience: Do I see Jesus in every human being? Do I love others, even when they do awful things? Do I respect the life and dignity of everyone from conception to natural death? Do I love and respect people of differing gender beliefs and behavior? Do I respect people with different religious, or political beliefs? Do I treat every person as God’s child? Do I know and love myself as God’s child?

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”

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