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September 8, 1961     The Observer
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September 8, 1961

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PAGE 10 THE OBSERVER THEOLOGY FOR EVERY MAN Religious people are sometimes troubled by the :fact that car-[ IT MUST BE ADMITTED THAT THE EFFORTS of non fain individuals profess, and often practice, highly devel-]religious men to perfect themselves are not without vaiue. Most opedmoraL standards, while at the sa~e time maLntaininglsach men have an attitude of respect towards religion if they inaiy;erence or even nostidty to religion. ~nis seeming a~mcn-I~w f,n, ,~r~h~ ~d h,~n~ 'rh~, ~,~ ~]]i,~ +, ,~c~,c~ ~h, ronism, and other questions related to the general ~otm fJ n'- i~i f ~h~ ir w li e Only -- f n men po~slule mea ln~ u~ ~el ~, on or ~ e o n v s me ew, ~noral responsibility, are dealt wffh vn the following co ~ - " ~. tary. It was prepared at St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Mass However. can oe conslszenuy moral WitHOUt zne assistance of and is reprinted from The (Boston) Pilot. Q. WHAT IS MEANT BY MORAL RESPONSIBILITY? A. The word responsibility derives its meaning from the meaning of the more fundamental word response. To respond means to answer to one who has spoken; to say or do some- thing which will be in correspondence with a communication from someone else. Response is thus an essential element in reli- gion. The person who is religious thinks of God as an all pow- erful being, Who advances towards him and to Whom he can direct his own activity in return. Religion implies essentially the orientation of one's life towards God. It is for this reason that religion and morality are closely related. If religiorl consists in response to God's advances, as evident in the fact of creation, morality can be truly religious, and not merely a manifestation of propriety on a human level, if it consists in man's response to God, his answer to the summons of an absolute being Who is all perfect and all holy, A NON-RELIGIOUS MORALITY, is self-centered. A religious morality consists in man's response, in his free activity, to one whom he recognizes to be superior to all created things. Simi- larly, the laws by which human activity is governed should have their center and their meaning not in man but in man's i, ela- tions with God. The laws of morality are thus means by which men respond to God's invitation to seek the perfection of their being in union with Him. Responsibility becomes a quality of men's efforts to conform to the laws of God. And since the rela- tion between man and God has been established by God and do not depend on man's own election, responsibility to God includes the notion of obligation. In saying that men are morally re- sponsible, we mean that they are bound to realize, in their free activity, the conformity with God's law by which the essen- tial tendencies of their human nature will find proper direc- tion. religious motivation. Ultimately morality must have its be- ginning and its end in God. It is dangerous to make man him- self the center of his moral life. Those who do so are only too likely to subject moral striving to the demands of human sel- fishness. The danger i~ all the greater because prayer, so pow- erful in its influence on our moral life, can have no place in a system of morality which is self-centered. Hence it is important even for those who believe in God not to keep God separated from their moral life. Sometimes we may attach too much significance to the axiom that virtue is its own reward. We must not think of our religious life as some- thing accessory to our effort to be virtuous. Nor must we think of religion as merely a means of promoting moral growth. Any system of morality that attaches ultimate value to self-perfection, or to the experience of happiness cannot be brought into corres- pondence with the fundamental principles of Christian morality. Morality that is sound and comprehensive must be founded on the relatmnship between man and God that is likewise the foun- dation of religion. Man cannot be in himself and for himself the center of his moral life. Q. HOW DO WE DEFINE THE TERMS COMMANDMENT AND LAW IN RELATION TO MORAL RESPONSIBILITY? A. The notion of commandment, for Christian morality, is founded on the relationship between man and God. Only thus can the commandment, as an expression of moral obligation, re- main in relation with religion. The commandments of God are words of divine love addressed to us and summarizqd in the first and greatest commandment. Fulfillment of the command- ments is man's response of obedient love to God's desire for the realization of man's too. is religious. It was St. Augustine who :raised the Concept of natural law as found in the Stoics, to the higher dignity of an appeal addressed by God to every man. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP THESE POINTS in mind as we think of commandments as mere expressions of God's Will and laws as synthetic formulae demanding observance for no other reason than that they have been promulgated by divine Q. HOW DOES THE NOTION OF RESPONSIBILITY ENTER INTO OUR RELIGIOUS LIFE? A. For the Christian, religion means a union of friendship authority. This point of view is often erroneously implied in ser- with God. It is wrong to think of religion merely in terms of mons and instructions. We lose the essential meaning of cam- human reactions. Religion is not'mere sentiment. Nor is it merely mandments and laws if we do not look more deeply into their in- the human experience for striving for happiness or for the sal-trinsic foundation in the infinite Being of God and the nature vation of one's soul. We come to the heart of religion only at of the human soul. While it is not wrong to stress the value of the point where the word of God meets with the response of blind obedience, it is important to note that blind obedience man: The two essential pillars of religion are God, in the glory lacks the perfection of virtue unless it is motivated by loving of His infinite Being, and man in the favor of God's grace. God friendship with God. Obedience to the law arising in respect speaks to man; God has shown His love for man in the mystery for God's authority, is the beginning but not the end of progress of the Redemption. In turn, man must speak to God and must in virtue. Only when obedience proceeds from a sense of moral bring the direction of his free activity into conformity with God's and religious responsibility can it be truly virtuous. Will. ' Again, obedience to law which is motivated merely by the majesty of God as the author of the law must fall short of vir- RELIGION THUS LIES WITHIN THE INFINITE DISTANCE tuous perfection. The law is universal and abstract; it cannot between man and God. There can be no true religion for men who fail to look beyond the limits of their pergonal experience reach into detailed relation with the richness of the concrete situations to which it will apply. It would be wrong to minimize to find God Who is their Lord and Master in His infinite Being. the validity of the law for this reason, as do those who make Nor can there be any true religion for men who lose awareness morality consist entirely in a subjective attitude of good wilt of their moral responsibility to God. Religion and morality thus towards God. It would be still more wrong, however, to think of belong tobether. In the exercise of religious activity the soul morality as nothing more than legalistic observance of universal meets God, and in meeting Him reflects the splendor of His laws, or as mere logical application of the universal principles holiness. In the exercise of religious activity, moreover, the of law to particular situations. soul becomes aware of its own worth, and rejoices in the evi- dence of the Love of God, Who for us men and for our salvation IN GENUINE PERSONAL RELIGIOUS MORALITY, man descended from heaven, looks beyond the universal law, even while recognizing that he Responsibility, which grows out of our relationship with God, is bound by it. For the religious man, to be moral means to live enters into our moral life through the medium of prayer. To in accordance with one's greatest possibilities for doing good. pray means to listen to God's word and to attempt to respondwe must not bury or hide our talents; we must use them. Roll- to it. Religion becomes more and more perfect as we strive for gious morality demands more than knowledge of the law and perfection in union with the loving will of God. We pray only Casuistical understanding of the limits of its obligations. Beyond imperfectly, or not at all, when our prayer reflects 0nly concern what we discover in the law, prudence must enable us to dis- for our own needs. Prayer must not be an outgrowth of the cover particular directions for our free activity which the law, cult of one's own personality. It must discern more and more )recisely because it is universal, could not reveal. It is wrong, to think of the law as an impersonal power which and eventually culminate in, the relationship between God and the soul whom God calls to salvation. The more intimate the union between man and God, the more does the human per- sonality become enriched and perfected by sharing in the life of God. HERE TOO IS THE REASON WHY WE MUST PRAY TO- GETHER and not merely as individuals. Because we are united with God in the exercise of religion, we are united with one another in human society. Religion, which is sustained by pray- er, is likewise the support of our social relationships. It is thus completely wrong to assert, as have some philosophers, that religious life looses the bonds of society and places the individual naked and alone before God. It is true that prayer lifts us up above the selfishness of human striving and frees us from the slavery of self-indulgence. By thus turning away from the more fleeting and less fruitful sides of human companionship, we find the way to the higher relationships with our fellow men that is the image of our relationship with God. To be one with God means to be one with all whom God loves as He loves ourselves True religion, far from separating us from one another, unites us with one another on the level of creatures of God. Religion will thus bring divine order into those relations with our fellow men which are determined by our free activity. The religious man, morally responsible before God, will be morally responsi- ble towards 'his fellow men. Q. WHAT IS TO BE THOUGHT OF THOSE WHO LIVE MORALLY UPRIGHT LIVES, BUT WHO ARE RELIGIOUSLY INDIFFERENT? A. We have shown that the only foundation for morality is true religion. Nevertheless, we do find people who seem to be morally upright, but who are completely indifferent to religious between God and the human conscience. We must not become so estranged from God in our daily living that we see only the law and lose sight of its divine origin. To be reli- giously moral means more than to observe the "law in all its details. It means to live in intimacy with God. It means to know the Will of God and to will to accomplish God's Will out of love for God. The state or original sin tends to keep man apart from God. For those who have no religion this estrangement becomes wider and wider. Eventually the law, which can have no justifi- cation apart from God, must become for those who are irre- ligious a promulgation of human authority. At this point the law, which should lead men to God, has the opposite effects of strengthening human pride. IN THE TERM RESPONSIBILITY, therefore, we find the fo- cal center of Catholic moral teaching. It expresses the personal relationship between man and God--God's word calling and man accepting God's invitation. Because of this community between men and God, man is bound to act as a free agent in conformity with the law of God. To be responsible, therefore, means to follow up the impli- cations of one's human nature as discovered by reason and clarified and extended by faith. Religion is not identical with morality, nor does the responsibility implied in religion coincide entirely with the responsibility Which characterizes our atti- tude towards the moral law. IT REMAINS TRUE, NEVERTHELESS, that responsibility, as we have defined it, affords the meeting point between reli- gion and morality, and that the responsibility which brings or- der into our moral life is closely related with the responsibility which brings us into union with God. influences, both in their personal lives and in their relations Cuban Catholics Will Be Stronger with others. For such people the first principle of morality is self-perfection. To be truly noble and never to forget one's dig- MIAMA, Fla.--An exiled Cu- suarez now publishes here a laity is the highest expression of human perfection, they assert, ban Catholic Action leader said s e m i-monthly bulletin called Man must never sacrifice his personal worth to anything which that when Cuba becomes free i,Cuban Catholic Information" is inferior to himself again, Catholics will be strong- er in their Faith than ever be- whose chief objective is to de- Evergreens-- Bulbs fore. tail persecution of the Church Miguel A. Suarez, 67 year old and of its people by the Castro Grass Seeds---Fertilizers former president of the men's regime. division of the Catholic Action Sponsored by the Committee We are experts in landscaping i movement, cited as evidence of Cuban Catholics. in Exile, the ond Nursery Problems the fact that "people are going bulletin is distributed not only to church and receiving Holy in the United States, b u t in "Our Business is Growing" Communion in Miami who nov- Mexico and Central and South ALPINE NURSERIES er assisted at Mass in Cuba." America. sllg sto,eS Churches Reported Destroyed Rockford WO 9-0941 CAPE TOWN, South Africa--lhave been destroyed by African Radio South Africa reported nationalist in the Kasama dis- here that two Catholic churches trier of Northern Rhodesia. Let us help you. Purchase. Program For Everyoner. Pagel's Rental Purchase Plan Pagel's FHA New Home Plan Pagel's Trade In Plan Pogel's 10% Down Plan Pagel's Work Credit Plan Almost Anyone Can Buy a Home New Homes and Apartments Now Available to Compare! Construction Co 536 Windsor Rd. Rockford, III. Call TR 7-7804 Today HEADS MARIST FA- THERS -- Father Joseph W. Buekley, S.M a former U. S. Army chaplain during World War II, has been elected Su- perior General of the Marist Fathers. The second Ameri- can to fill the office, Father Buckley was elected during the general chapter in Rome of the Society of Mary. A na- tive of St. Paul, Minn he was ordained in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome in 1931. He now heads a re- ligious community of about 2,250 m e m b e rs founded in France by the Van. Jean Claud Colin in 1816. Peru Missioner Finds That Time Makes DiHerence l PUNO, Peru- A missioner here, unlike many priests in the U. S has no difficulty recruit- ing altar boys to serve the 6:30 a.m. Mass. In fact, the boys in Maryknoll's San Juan's parish vie for it. "The reason," explains Fath- er Robert V. Tobin, M.M of Marion, Ohio, "is that with the honor of serving early Masses for a week goes my new, shiny i alarm clock with illuminated! hands. And since few families l here have clocks, the boys con-i sider it a mark of prestige to1 have my Baby Ben around the house for a week. VATICAN CITY--(NC)-- His Holiness Pope John XXIII is celebrating a special M a s s here for world peace and also addressing a message to the entire Catholic world Sept. 10. The Mass is being offered Sunday afternoon at 5:30 in the audience hall at the papal sum- mer villa at Castelgandolfo. The Pope's talk is scheduled to follow the Mass. TRY-DAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1961 Offers Catholics of the Diocese of Albano -- in which Castelgan-' dolfo is located -- are partici- pating in the Mass. According to L'Osservatore Romano, Va- tican City daily newspaper, it is the wish of the people of A1- bano to "represent the entire Christian family in honoring the teachings of h a r m o n y, charity and peace according to the spirit of the Gospel of the i Lord." Couple Observes 50th Anniversary With Open House AURORA--Mr. and Mrs. Wil- liam J. Berg, Marywood, cele- brated their 50th wedding an- niversary at an open h o u s e Sept. 3 at Our Lady of Good Counsel hall. The couple was married at Annunciation Church Aug. 30, 1911. 17hey have six children, Mrs. Susan Heins, William, Jr Clem, Edward, Mrs. Marie Feltes and Lucille, and 18 grandchildren. Prayers Asked for East Germans OSNABRUECK, Germany, --, all of us severely and burdened Forty Hours The German Hierarchy's dole-us with fear and sorrow that gate for press relations has call- mankind could be led into a new Nativity of the Blessed Virgin war." He asked all to pray that the people of East Germany be relieved of their distress, that peace be secured and the na tion reunited, and that God en Mary, Menominee -- Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Vir- gin Mary, Sept 8. St. Joseph, Harvard ~ Six- teenth Sunday after Pentecost. St. John, Somonauk- Six- teenth Sunday after Pentecost. ed on Catholic families to re- cite at least one decade of tbe Rosary daily for the people of East Germany. .Bishop Helmut Wittier at Os- nabrueck said that the recer, t events in Berlin "have shocked lighten the statesmen in respon- sible positions. "MEADOWDALE" Choice Locations Streets- Curbs- Gas- Water- Sewer ALL LOTS FULLY IMPROVED HOME PRICES START AT $11,300, INCLUDES LOT Payments As Low As $80.00 Per Month Including Taxes and Insurance Plus Painting NAME YOUR OWN DOWN PAYMENT Route 173 To Alpine Rd. ~ Turn North & Follow Signs These are conventionally built homes Material Purchased Locally Labor Done by Local People CONVENIENT TO ST. BRIDGET'S CHURCH & SCHOOL TELEPHONE TR 7-2549 YOU In ii TO A STRANGE CITY? House hunting will be eas- ier this time, thanks to a nation wide organization that finds the house you wont ~t the price you want to pay. No cost or obliga- tion either. INTER-CITY REAL ESTATE REFERRAL SERVICE INCORPORATED ' BOB CALL: REALTY REALTORS WO 8.5791 EX 9-1860 HOME OWNERS are better citizens and more wisely participate in aiding the welfare of their city, state, and country. HOME OWNERSHIP is easy in any of the follow- ing: 2907 Ridge Ave. (N. West) 3 bedrooms and utility room; large living room and kitchen. Just under the teens. 2012 Leigh St. 3 bedroom Colonlal---- about 1 acre of land--- Owner transferred--must sell. High teens and good Donn Anderson WO 5-1918 Ruth Cohill IX 9-4464 Russ Brown WO 8.0408 RUSSELL F. BROWN & ASSOCIATES 618'Rockford Trust Bldg. WO 8-0408 Watch for this seal. It is proudly displayed by Realtors as your assur- ance of competent and dependable real estate service. For Family Homes in the $15,000 to $30 000 category-- Club Plan, with club house, swimming pool, picnic grounds, Marina on river. .t 100' fronts among 10 Minutes or 6 miles from t,t~l.#ook and hickory. Rockford on South Main Rd. ~'~r~ from $18~5-- CARRICO & WILGUS INC NEWS TOWFR - /v'O 4.7829 Peter's 2 Family Brick Gas Heat. Each opt. 5 rooms & Bath. 10% Return on income. Close in to Shopping Church School. Priced in middle teens. Call Mabel Haynes Evenings WO 4-5413 ST. ANGEL AGENCY Reoltor WO 8-980S GOOD BUYS NEAR SCHOOLS Overdene St.: 3 Bedroom Rancher. Carpeted. Rec. Room Bar. 21/2 car gar- age. Real Sharp. See this. 1204 Bedford Lane: l 8 x 22 Living room. 3 large bed- rooms. Built-ins. Attach- ed garage. A Real Value. Top location. It's Gatto Go: SE. New gas heat. 1 ~/2 baths. Needs no repairs. Only $10,950. Easy terms. Skylark Drive: Sharp 3-bed- room. Attached garage. Rec room. 11/2 baths. $18,900. Must sell. Own- er leaving town. Knowlwaad Rd.: 3 Bedroom, oil brick. New carpeting. Fireplace. 11/~ tile baths. Built-ins. 2-car garage. Easy terms. EVES: RAY PEARSON EX 9-3060 DALE BURTON WO 8-6650 HELENE BURD WO 8-7089 MaNTlE SMITH WO 3-5626 N REALTOR WO 5-0964 St. Bernadette's Here is one-floor con- venience ~ two'twin- sized bedrooms, separ- ate dining room, utility room, fireplace, porch -- just a few years old, yet in an established neighborhood and close to schools and bus. What more could you want? It is priced in the teens ~ why don't you let us show it to you? Me REALTOR Dial WO 3-4828 Build Near Boylan! IN BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS HILLS (West at 3900 No. Main St.) Fully improved lots surrounding magnificent 8OYLAN HIGH SCHOOL. Lots range from 60 to 120 ft. frontage, with depths of 120 to 176 ~t. ALL IMPROVEMENTS IN! Including: streets, curbs, gutters, sewer, water, ond gos. Homesites restricted and properly zoned . Avoid transportation worries when your children are ~'oeady for high school!{ -- CONVENIENTLY LOCATED NEAR: Boy- n High; St. Bernadetles; North Towne Shopping Center--we can ,orronge TERMS for your! (ond also assist you in a building pro- gram--if you wish) DRIVE OUT TODAY!! EDW. ZIENER REALTOR ROCKFORD TRUST BLDG. WO S-8781 Eves. WO 2-3813 Rockford Realtors Assure You i i