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The Christian vocation 37 CARAVAGGIO The Calling of Saint Matthew 1599-1600 Oil on canvas, 322 x 340 cm Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome.

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Presentation on theme: "The Christian vocation 37 CARAVAGGIO The Calling of Saint Matthew 1599-1600 Oil on canvas, 322 x 340 cm Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Christian vocation 37 CARAVAGGIO The Calling of Saint Matthew Oil on canvas, 322 x 340 cm Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome

2 Compendium of the Catechism 362. What is eternal happiness? It is the vision of God in eternal life in which we are fully partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), of the glory of Christ and of the joy of the trinitarian life. This happiness surpasses human capabilities. It is a supernatural and gratuitous gift of God just as is the grace which leads to it. This promised happiness confronts us with decisive moral choices concerning earthly goods and urges us to love God above all things.

3 Introduction The Catechism of the Catholic Church, when teaching about the commandments, opens with the beautiful title: Life in Christ. When teaching about the Creed (first part), it describes the gifts given to man by God in creation and – more abundantly still – in his redemption. When teaching about the sacraments (second part) it shows how in the celebration of the mystery of Christ we receive Gods grace, which through baptism makes us participants in the divine nature and sons of God. After baptism a new life begins within us, life in Christ. CARAVAGGIO The Calling of Saint Matthew (detail)

4 Main ideas

5 1. Christ reveals who man is The Second Vatican Council teaches that Christ fully reveals man to man himself and shows him the greatness of his vocation (Gaudium et Spes, 22). Christ, the Son of God made man –perfect man–, sent by God the Father to save us and give us example, is like a mirror in which man can know who he is and what his divine vocation is. Caravaggio ( ) The Raising of Lazarus Oil on canvas, /2 x 108 1/4 inches (380 x 275 cm) Museo Nazionale, Messina

6 2. The meaning of life and the vocation of man Man has been created by God and is the only creature on earth that God has loved for his own sake. The human person from the first instant of his conception, has been ordained to eternal beatitude. Man attains perfection, seeking and loving truth and goodness. We have been created by God, and the meaning of life consists in walking towards God so as to live forever with Him: this is mans vocation. LAURENT DE LA HIRE Moses and the Tablets of the Law Private collection

7 3. To live in accordance with ones vocation Man has to live according to the vocation to which he has been called by God; he has to follow the moral law inscribed by God himself in the innermost part of his being, urging him to do good and to avoid evil. Everybody should follow this law, which speaks to his conscience, because this law is universal and immutable. Christians know the way to obtain eternal beatitude: keep the commandments. TERBRUGGHEN, Hendrick The Calling of St Matthew 1621 Oil on canvas, 102 x 137 cm Centraal Museum, Utrecht

8 4. Mans freedom But man is free and, since our freedom is weak, man may obey or disobey Gods calling. Freedom is at the root of human acts, and that makes man responsible for his freely taken decisions. Although man by nature desires the good, because of original sin, human nature, in the exercise of freedom, is subject to error and inclined towards evil. So while we have to love and defend freedom, we also have to guide it so that it becomes the freedom that Christ won for us. REGNAULT, Jean Baptiste Freedom or death Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany

9 5. Mans vocation The death of Christ on the Cross has freed man from the devil and sin, and has won for all men new life in the Holy Spirit. By his grace, Christ has restored what sin had destroyed. He has traced the path that has to be followed by his disciples, so as to be united and identified with him. There is no other way. Through union with Christ one reaches the perfection of charity, the sanctity to which all men have been called. FETI, Domenico ( ) Moses before the Burning Bush Oil on canvas, /8 x 44 inches (168 x 112 cm) Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

10 6. The vocation of man to happiness Besides wanting us to be holy, God wants us to be happy; even if, while as pilgrims in this world, we have to carry the cross, which is the condition of Christian existence. This paradox can be seen in the beatitudes, where Jesus teaches what the real goods are. We are heirs to the kingdom of God, and our true and complete happiness will be fulfilled in seeing God, and resting with Him. MEYER, Conrad The Last Judgement Private Collection

11 7. Christ, beginning and goal of all life Christ, Lord of the cosmos and of history, is for men, the way, the truth and the life (John 14, 6). Being God, he is the creator of the universe and sustains it with his powerful word. As man, he is the only redeemer of the world, because there is no other through whom we may be saved. If you know Christ you know everything, if you ignore Christ you know nothing In our times man has a special need to seek and find Christ: "Christ is the hope of all men, because Christ is the love that loves, the path to walk on, the light to be kindled, the love worth been loved " (Mother Teresa of Calcutta). DA FORLI, Merlozzo ( ) Triumphant Christ Fresco transferred to canvas, Private collection

12 Resolutions for Christian life

13 Resolutions to move forward Meditate on the words of Saint Leo the Great: Christian, acknowledge your dignity…, and draw out its consequences for you personally. Study eagerly this course on catechesis, not just to know what living in Christ means, but also to put it into practice. Since most people ignore Christ, make a resolution to seek Christ, so as to know and love him.


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