Freedom and Moral Acts

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Freedomand Moral Acts


Inchapters five and six of the book, Moral Wisdom: Lessons and Textsfrom the Catholic Tradition, various themes can be obtained from itsteachings, one theme is faith. For Christians, the life of Christdoes not end on the cross instead, it is believed that Jesus wasraised from the dead. Meaning that, Christ is living eternally inglory. Christians believe that they too will be raised to glory, whathelps them in this, is faith. Faith is a gift from Christ, andChristians are invited to trust and receive the divine ability tobelieve called grace(Keenan, James &amp Lanham,2010).

Gracepossesses three gifts, the virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Faithis the foundation of Christianity it allows the belief inredemption, creation, the Trinity, eternal life, manifestation, God’skingdom, and the nature of Christ. Hope helps Christians duringtrying times. Charity makes it possible for people to follow God’scommand of love. Faith is accompanied by the Holy Spirit, atPentecost, after the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, it gavethem the ability to believe, hope and love. When these virtues ofChrist work in harmony, it frees human beings to do the will of Godand follow Christ, which is apparent for Peter. He only understoodwho Christ was after attaining the Holy Spirit, after thisunderstanding he was free to follow him (Keenan,James &amp Lanham,2010).

Moralityis another theme. When Penitentials were formulated between the fifthand twelfth centuries, they were only concerned with giving penancein equal forms. It meant that if you confessed to sin, the punishmentyou received should be the same as of those who were with you. Inorder to administer equal penances, confessors were givenPenitentials to assist them. The Penitentials were formulated aroundthe seven deadly sins, pride, lust, sloth, gluttony, anger, envy, andgreed. The punishment was assigned according to the severity andfrequency of sins (Keenan,James &amp Lanham,2010).

Achange occurred in the twelfth century, the perspective on moralitychanged. Questions arose, what if someone did not mean to commit agiven act? What if they were misled, or coerced? These issues ofpurpose, ignorance, and freedom made the sacrament of penancedifficult to minister. This prompted the creation of new texts toaddress the issue (Keenan,James &amp Lanham,2010).

Inthe thirteenth century when Innocent the third imposed the Easterduty, priests needed more comprehensive manuals to administerpenance. The self-understanding of the confessor expanded, he alsohad to be a doctor to the soul, identifying the root causes of sinsand recommending proper remedies, due to these emergent needs, moraltheology arose, probing the consciousness of the human soul. Despitethese innovations, they still focused on the seven deadly sins(Keenan,James &amp Lanham,2010).

Inthe sixteenth century, theologians started questioning the preferenceof the seven deadly sins. John Gerson (2010), turned to the TenCommandments. The primary context of the instructions on theCommandments was the “Catechism,” a book of Christianinstructions. The catechetical instructions rejected the supremacyallocated to the deadly sins. This was because, God’s will, andunlike the deadly sins offered both negative and activeprescriptions. In addition to prohibiting, stealing and killing, itimposes the duty to honor God, God’s name, and our parents.Finally, apart from pride, the deadly sins were offensive to humanlife only the commandments however, provided specifications ofprescriptions and prohibitions, from our relationship with God and toothers(Keenan, James &amp Lanham,2010).


Keenan,James,&nbspF., &amp Lanham. (2010). chapter five and six. In MoralWisdom: Lessons and Texts from the Catholic Tradition(2nd&nbsped., pp.&nbsp89-116). Maryland.

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