Splendor of Truth - The Moral Life



What is the vocation of man? What and who are we called to be? (CCC 1691-1717)

We were created in the image and likeness of God, which gives us a special and unparalleled dignity among creatures. We are called to union and friendship with God, a sharing in His very life. We are drawn naturally toward the good and love. When we act in goodness and in love, we are fulfilling our natural vocation; we are being what we were created to be. Because we still bear the marks of original sin (concupiscence), our entire lives are a battle between doing the good we were made for and are called to and doing the evil with which we are constantly tempted. Since we were created for good and for love, we only find our fulfillment and happiness when we choose goodness and love in all things.

Does God want us to be happy? (CCC 1718-1724)

Yes. Every man has a natural and deep desire to be happy. Our desires were given to us by God. Therefore, this desire to be happy was also given to us by God. Therefore, if God is truly good as we profess Him to be, then He must be able to fulfill this deep and unending desire in us. From experience, we all know that nothing and no one on earth has the capability to make us perfectly happy. We often believe something or someone has this power, but as soon as we attain the thing or person, we realize that though it brings some pleasure or happiness, it does not fully quench our insatiable desire for perfect happiness. As well, even a very great happiness always comes to an end. In fact, if we just take a moment to reflect, we can see that our desire for happiness is infinitely deep – we want perfect happiness without end. No finite thing can satisfy this desire. What does this tell us? It tells us that only an Infinite Being has the capability to completely fill our desire for infinite and unending happiness. Therefore, yes, God created us to be (and wants us always to be) perfectly happy. But He also tells us and wants us to realize that only He can satisfy this desire in us. If we search for the happiness we all legitimately long for in created things, we will only be left empty and grasping for more. We only find our rest in the Lord. As St. Augustine so eloquently states, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Are all people meant to become holy and perfect, or are only the Saints meant to be holy? (CCC 2012-2016)

“All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (Lumen gentium 40). All are called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). The Saints accepted the call of God to perfection, and they accepted the graces that made them holy. The graces to make us perfect and holy are available to all – it is our choice whether to accept them or not.

Heaven is free of sin, and we will not arrive there until we are perfect. We can be perfected on earth, or in Purgatory if we die in the state of grace but not fully perfected.

The call of Christ to be perfect is not in our reach, but it is within God’s. The ability to make perfect our weak and resistive human nature is truly miraculous. But it is within His power to bring about this great work of sanctification, even despite our constant failings and refusals of His graces. The words of Jesus are not be watered down, but to be trusted. He can make it happen.

We must also prepare ourselves to accept the crosses and sufferings that this work of sanctification entails. It is a difficult road, but one that is possible with constant reliance on His grace. Love will triumph in us if we believe in it.




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