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Chapter 1: Called to Holiness

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1 Chapter 1: Called to Holiness
INTRODUCTION TO CATHOLICISM

2 Introductory Lesson (for first day of class)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Read Chapter 1 through “Called to Holiness” and the Sidebar: St. Augustine, the Convert (pp. 2–7)

3 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
ANTICIPATORY SET Work with a partner to perform a paragraph shrink on the Catechism, no. 1 (p. 3). God created human beings to share in his life. God came close to his people by becoming a man, and he calls people individually and as a group to live as his children.

4 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
BASIC QUESTION What is the call to holiness? KEY IDEAS Every person’s goal in life should be to be holy, to be a saint. God gives every person grace to grow in holiness; it is the vocation of every person to strive to imitate Christ, which is how he or she lives as his disciple. Every person seeks holiness as part of Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church. The witness of a Christian life forms the basis of what is presented to others about Christ.

5 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
FOCUS QUESTIONS According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, what did Christ mean when he said from the Cross, “I thirst”? He thirsted to return to his Father. Extension: This is one of several correct interpretations of Christ’s words. According to Archbishop Sheen, what is the result of loving God? It is a spiritual thirst for holiness. According to Archbishop Sheen, what is holiness, or sanctity? Sanctity is (1) Christ living in a person’s mind, will, and body, and (2) his loving presence being evident to others.

6 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share using the following question: What is the fallacy of this common notion: “You should accept yourself for who you are and not be so hard on yourself”? Simply to “accept oneself” denies that human beings are called by God to grow in holiness and wisdom as they mature, which is called perfection of life. Were a person to accept him- or herself simply for who he or she is, that person would be more likely to give in to temptations and to develop vices. Such a person could easily rationalize sinful choices with the mentality, “After all, this is who I am.”

7 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
FOCUS QUESTIONS According to the paragraph, “Every Christian, regardless…” what is holiness? It is the fullness of the Christian life and the perfection of charity. Why should Christians seek perfection? Christ exhorted his disciples to seek perfection. Is perfection possible for human beings? Not in this life; nonetheless, Christ called for it. Only in Heaven is perfection possible. How does a person perfect him- or herself? He or she imitates the example of Christ.

8 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
FOCUS QUESTIONS How does Christian holiness go beyond obedience or mimicry? It requires a true relationship with God, knowing him personally and intimately. Why will perfection be possible only in Heaven? To become perfect, a person must fulfill the ultimate purpose for which he or she was created. Because (1) every human person was created to share in God’s divine life and (2) a full sharing in divine life is possible only in the state of heavenly glory, then a person’s perfection will not be complete until he or she is in that state. According to the Catechism, no. 2053, what is the relationship between obeying the Ten Commandments and responding to the invitation to be perfect by following Christ? Following Christ includes following the Commandments.

9 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
GUIDED EXERCISE Mini-lecture on the contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, either using printed copies or an online version such as the following Web site:

10 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
FOCUS QUESTIONS What is an Ecumenical Council? An Ecumenical Council is a meeting of the world’s bishops convened by the Pope to discuss and issue formal statements on matters of Church doctrine, practice, or discipline. How is a council of the Church—whether local or Ecumenical—usually named? It is usually named for the city in which it is held.

11 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
FOCUS QUESTIONS According to Lumen Gentium, what is the universal call to holiness? It is the vocation of every Christian to hold onto and complete in his or her life the holiness received in Baptism. According to Lumen Gentium, what is the nature of the holiness Christians receive in Baptism? “They truly become sons of God and sharers in the divine nature” (no. 40).

12 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
FOCUS QUESTIONS What does it mean to say the Christian meaning of life is a pilgrimage? Life is a journey toward Heaven, and it is filled with many difficulties and tests of faith. It can be completed successfully only with the help of God. How does a Christian grow in holiness? He or she believes what God has revealed and seeks to do his will by loving and serving God and neighbor in response to the perfect love of God.

13 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
FOCUS QUESTIONS On what continent was St. Augustine born? He was born in Africa. During his youth, what did St. Augustine prefer to his mother’s Christianity? He preferred heresy, paganism, and extramarital sex. After his conversion to the Faith, in what areas of Christian theology did St. Augustine have the largest influence? He developed the understanding of Original Sin, the Sacraments, the nature of the Church, the just war theory, and infant Baptism.

14 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
FOCUS QUESTIONS Broadly defined, who is a saint? A saint is a member of the faithful committed to seeking holiness. What is the origin of the word saint? It comes from the Latin sanctus, which means “holy.” How does a person become a saint? He or she follows the example of Christ’s life and teachings, trying to identify completely with him in both word and deed. Extension: This answer is suitable for those whom the Church has declared to be saints in Heaven and those on earth still striving toward the state of heavenly glory.

15 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
CLOSURE Write a paragraph summarizing the universal call to holiness.

16 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 1–3 (p. 23) Practical Exercises 1, 6 (p. 24) Workbook Questions 1–10 Read “Called to Be Saints” through “The Gift of Grace” (pp. 7–12)

17 1. The Call to Holiness (pp. 2–6)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 1.

18 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
ANTICIPATORY SET Free write for two minutes about which “organ” you typify in the Church.

19 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
BASIC QUESTIONS What is the vocation to sanctity? What is the Mystical Body of Christ? What is sanctifying grace? KEY IDEAS Each member of the Church is called to be a saint, following the example of Christ’s life and teaching, even to the point of death. The Mystical Body of Christ is a Pauline image of the Church in which each member of the Church has a vital role to play, just as each part of the human body has its specific role to play in the body’s well being. Sanctifying grace is the participation in the life of the Blessed Trinity first received in Baptism, which makes the baptized adopted children of God.

20 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
FOCUS QUESTIONS How did St. Paul begin his religious career? As a zealous Pharisee and Jew, he persecuted Christians, imprisoning them and overseeing their arrests and executions (martyrdoms). What did Christ mean when he referred to himself in the question, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” When Saul persecuted Christians, he was actually persecuting Christ. Extension: This supports St. Paul’s teaching about the Mystical Body of Christ.

21 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
FOCUS QUESTIONS Why is St. Paul called the “Apostle to the Gentiles”? He brought the Gospel chiefly to Gentiles (non-Jews) in lands far from Judea, where he won many converts and established many local communities. How can a modern-day Christian know St. Paul’s mind? He or she can read and listen to St. Paul’s many Epistles, which cover many topics.

22 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
FOCUS QUESTIONS To what extent did saints in the early Church live their faith? They lived it to the point they were willing to die for their beliefs. According to Christ, what would his followers experience from the world? They would experience rejection. To make up for the world’s rejection, what did Christ promise his followers? He promised his presence: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). To what extent is martyrdom a key component of the history of the Church? Followers of Christ in every age and in large numbers have died for the Faith.

23 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ? It is an image of the Church that compares the relationship between the different parts of the human body with each other and with the head to the relationship between the members of the Church with each other and Christ, the Head of the Church. If each Christian is part of the Body of Christ, how should that influence how to live his or her life? Just as a body has different organs that serve different purposes, each Christian has a different and unique role to play in the Church. If someone fails to fulfill the role Christ has planned for him or her, every member of the Mystical Body is hurt, including Christ the Head.

24 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
FOCUS QUESTION What is the communal dimension of the call to holiness in Baptism? Each of the baptized is called to draw others to Christian perfection.

25 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
GUIDED EXERCISE Work with a partner to write and answer four Focus Questions, one for each paragraph of Apostolicam Actuositatem (pp. 9– 10). Each Focus Question should elucidate the meaning of the paragraph.

26 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
FOCUS QUESTIONS Besides calling the faithful to holiness of life, what does Baptism confer? It gives grace, which is a share in the life of God. What does it mean to say someone is in a state of grace? The life of God is present within him or her. What is the chief task in life for every Christian? It is to have the sanctity given in Baptism grow by developing intimacy with God through the search for holiness and service to God and neighbor. According to the Catechism, no. 1997, what is sanctifying grace? It is a participation in the life of the Blessed Trinity.

27 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
GUIDED EXERCISE Discuss the title of the Sidebar “Is It Not Enough…” (p.12)

28 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 4–7 (p. 23) Practical Exercises 2–4 (p. 24) Workbook Questions 11–21 Read “The Marks of a Disciple” through the sidebar ”How Can We ‘Know’ God Intimately?” (pp. 12–17)

29 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
CLOSURE Write a paragraph exploring the relationship between the Mystical Body of Christ and sanctifying grace.

30 2. Called to Be Saints Through Grace (pp. 7–12)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Work with a partner to complete Practical Exercise 2.

31 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
ANTICIPATORY SET Spend a minute making a list of people you know. Then, classify the list: mark acquaintances with a “B” and friends, family, and people you know well with an “A.” Classify your “A” list further by putting a star next to the three best known. These are not to be your favorite people; simply, those whom you know best. Relate this to the sidebar “How Can We ‘Know’ God Intimately?” (p. 17).

32 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
BASIC QUESTIONS What is Christian discipleship? What is evangelization, and how does one perform it? KEY IDEAS A Christian disciple is one who follows Christ in word and deed, striving to act as Christ would in the same situation. Evangelization is spreading the good news of Christ’s salvation and redemption, first by the witness of the Christian life and then by what is said to others; as St. Francis of Assisi put it, “Preach always―if necessary, use words.”

33 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
FOCUS QUESTIONS How is Christian transformation like making bread? Although not seen, when yeast is added to dough, the dough is changed and grows. Similarly, a living witness to Christ’s presence leads others to respond, change, and grow by his or her example. If one is to be “leaven” in the world, what virtue will be most effective? Charity, or true love of neighbor, yields the greatest effect. Who is the great model of holiness? Christ is the model.

34 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
FOCUS QUESTIONS What is discipleship? It is following Christ by listening to his call to holiness and living accordingly. What is the connection between the Sacraments and discipleship? The Sacraments convey the graces needed to live as Christians in the various circumstances and states in life. Responding to these graces makes it possible for everyone to be a disciple of Christ. How is discipleship a two-way street? God chooses each person, and then the person responds.

35 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
GUIDED EXERCISE Work with a partner to complete the following table about the marks of discipleship.

36 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)

37 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
GUIDED EXERCISE Mini-lecture on martyrdom in the modern era.

38 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
FOCUS QUESTIONS With respect to concrete actions, what question should each Christian ask him- or herself constantly? Does this word or deed draw me and others closer to God or take me and them farther from him? What are the two types of evangelism discussed in the paragraph, “We often think…” (p. 15)? The first is missionaries, who leave their homes to evangelize people in other places. The second is those who evangelize those around them by the example of their lives. How can a Christian fulfill the call to evangelization wherever he or she is? He or she can grow in holiness and live accordingly.

39 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
FOCUS QUESTIONS Who are the first persons everyone should evangelize? Those closest should be evangelized first: friends, family, fellow students, coworkers, neighbors, acquaintances, etc. Is telling others about Christ the first priority when evangelizing? No. Even though talking about Christ is important, the best way to attract others to Christ is through actions and an attitude that reflect love of God and others, a virtuous life, and joy in seeking the will of God.

40 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Share using the following prompt: It is possible for people to feel inadequate when evangelizing others. Everyone recognizes his or her own shortcomings and what he or she does not “have.” Sometimes that may lead to someone believing he or she has nothing to give. What can someone do in such a situation?

41 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
FOCUS QUESTIONS What does the word “gospel” mean? It means “good news.” Who are the authors of the Gospels? Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the authors of the four inspired accounts of Christ’s life; the divine and primary Author of all four Gospels is God the Holy Spirit, who inspired and guided the Evangelists. Why is each of the four Gospels distinct? They were written by four different men, from four particular perspectives, and for particular audiences.

42 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
GUIDED EXERCISE After reading the Sidebar “How Can We ‘Know’ God Intimately?” (p. 17), work with a partner to answer the following questions: What is the difference between knowing about a person and knowing a person? What are some practical ways a person can get to know another person? What are some concrete ways a person can get to know God better?

43 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 8–13 (p. 23) Practical Exercises 5, 7 (p. 24) Workbook Questions 22–34

44 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
CLOSURE Write a paragraph explaining how discipleship and evangelization complement each other.

45 3. Discipleship and Evangelization (pp. 12–17)
ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Write a paragraph summarizing the chapter.

46 THE END


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