Catholicmorality has always been viewed from a different perspective whencompared to other denominations. There are certain aspects that aredistinctive and unique Catholics moral lives in other words, thereare things that identify them as a family. However, it is not easy tofind one single thing that is typical only among the religion. Allfollowers appreciate the concept of natural law. Paul in his firstletter to the Romans asserts that the Laws are written in everybody’sheart. This has made them believe that what is right for them issupposed to be right to everybody and what is wrong for them iscorrespondingly wrong to all. Keenan text on the Catholic traditionsfocuses on the aspect of mercy as a virtue in the seventh chapter. Hegoes ahead to point out the need for the medieval virtues to betransformed to meet the needs of the contemporary society in theeight chapter.
Mercywithin the Catholic Practice
Mercysits at a central distinctive point in the traditions of theCatholics (Keenan, 2010). In fact, it marks the fundamental virtuesof the church. They draw the concepts from four different instanceswithin the Bible. The first illustration is drawn from Jesus’response on who is a good neighbor using the parable of a GoodSamaritan. In the parable, it is evident that anyone who shows mercyto others is a good neighbor. The second example is taken from thebook of Matthew which declares that mercy will be used as one of theconditions for salvation. Individuals on the judgment day will bejudged in relation to their actions of mercy. Thirdly, the theologyis brought out clearly by the actions of mercy right from creation tothe birth of Jesus Christ. We see attempts of certain powers tryingto bring order in a chaotic environment. Actions of creation,incarnation, the birth of Jesus bring order in the muddled humanlives which are actions of mercy. The fourth instance is taken fromthe ancient definition of Christianity as actions of mercy. Generally, the spread of Christianity is attributed to merciful acts(Kalthoff, 2015).
WhenChristians practice actions of compassion they portray Gods characterand divine mission. Deeds like visiting the sick and prisoners,offering shelter, food, and clothing to the poor are some of thecompassionate activities today.
Reformationof the Cardinal Virtues
Transformationof the ancient cardinal virtues is a subject that has been discussedin the Eighth chapter. Theologians are dissatisfied that the virtuesof Thomas, Augustine, and Cicero are not good for the contemporarysociety (Keenan, 2010). First, they express dissatisfaction on theadequacy of justice. According to them, being just is not enough.They come up with expressions like love-justice to declare that allactions of justice should be in line with love relationships withinthe society. They also note that the dilemma in the moral world isnot only a result of right and wrong but also a result of conflictinggood virtues. Therefore, justice alone cannot be adequate. There mustbe structures in place to raise other virtues to a level that willmake it impossible to conflict with other qualities. The ancientfundamental virtues also do not appreciate the internal characters asfar as they play a key role towards the development of relationshipsin a number of ways.
Theattempt of reformation of the essential virtues has raised debates indifferent denominations. Nonetheless, mercy, as a virtue, hasremained at the focal of Catholicism. It is the unique virtue that isyet to be challenged and conflict with others.
Kalthoff,A. (2015). TheRise of Christianity.Amazon: BiblioLife Publishers.
Keenan,F. (2010). MoralWisdom: Lessons and Texts from the Catholic Tradition 2ndEd.Lanham, Maryland: Row Man & Littlefield.