YOUTCAT contents for At-Home Lesson#10

YOUCAT# 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 378, 379, 383, and 395 [1]

YOUCAT#367 To whom does the Fourth Commandment refer, and what does it require of us?

The Fourth Commandment refers in the first place to one’s physical parents, but also to the people to whom we owe our life, our well-being, our security, and our faith. [2196,2197-2200, 2247-2248]

What we owe in the first place to our parents—namely love, gratitude, and respect—should also govern our relations to people who guide us and are there for us. There are many people who represent for us a God-given, natural, and good authority: foster or step-parents, older relatives and ancestors, educators, teachers, employers, superiors. In the spirit of the Fourth Commandment we should do them justice. In the broadest sense, this commandment applies even to our duties as citizens to the State.

YOUCAT#368 What place does the family have in God’s plan of creation?

A man and a woman who are married to each other form, together with their children, a family. God wills that the love of the spouses, if possible, should produce children. These children, who are entrusted to the protection and care of their parents, have the same dignity as their parents. [2201-2206, 2249]

God himself, in the depths of the Trinity, is communion. In the human sphere, the family is the primordial image of communion. The family is the unique school of living in relationships. Nowhere do children grow up as well as in an intact family, in which they experience heartfelt affection, mutual respect, and responsibility for one another. Finally, faith grows in the family, too; the family is, the Church tells us, a miniature church, a “domestic church”, the radiance of which should invite others into this fellowship of faith, charity, and hope.

YOUCAT#369 Why are families irreplaceable?

Every child is descended from one father and one mother and longs for the warmth and safety of a family so that he may grow up secure and happy. [2207-2208]

The family is the basic cell of human society. The values and principles that are lived out in the small circle of the family are what make solidarity in the life of larger society possible in the first place.

YOUCAT#370 Why should the State protect and promote families?

The welfare and future of a State depend on the ability of the smallest unit within it, the family, to live and develop. [2209-2213, 2250]

No State has the right to intrude on the basic cell of society, the family, by its regulations or to question its right to exist. No State has the right to define the family differently, for the family’s commission comes from the Creator. No State has the right to deprive the family of its fundamental functions, especially in the area of education. On the contrary, every State has the duty to support families with its assistance and to ensure that its material needs are met.

YOUCAT#371 How does a child respect his parents?

A child respects and honors his parents by showing them love and gratitude. [2214-2220, 2251]

Children should be grateful to their parents in the first place because they received their life from the love of their parents. This gratitude establishes a lifelong relationship of love, respect, responsibility, and obedience, rightly understood. Especially in times of need, sickness, and old age, children should lovingly be there for their parents and care for them faithfully.

YOUCAT#372 How do parents respect their children?

God entrusted children to parents so that they might be steady, righteous examples for those children, that they might love and respect them and do everything possible so that their children can develop physically and spiritually. [2221-2231]

Children are a gift from God and not the property of the parents. Before they are their parents’ children, they are God’s children. The primary duty of parents is to present to their children the Good News and to communicate the Christian faith to them.

YOUCAT#373 How should a family live its faith together?

A Christian family should be a miniature church. All Christian family members are invited to strengthen one another in faith and to outdo one another in their zeal for God. They should pray for and with each other and collaborate in works of charity. [2226-2227]

Parents stand in for their children with their own faith, have them baptized, and serve as their models of faith. That means that parents should make it possible for their children to experience how valuable and beneficial it is to live in the familiar presence of the loving God. At some time, however, the parents, too, will learn from their children’s faith and hear how God speaks through them, because the faith of young people is often accompanied by greater devotion and generosity and “because the Lord often reveals to a younger person what is better” (St. Benedict of Nursia, Rule, chap. 3, 3).

YOUCAT#378 Why is it not permissible to take one’s own life or the lives of others?

God alone is Lord over life and death. Except in the case of legitimate self-defense of oneself or another, no one may kill another human being. [2258,2259-2262, 2318-2320]

An attack on life is a sacrilege committed against God. Human life is sacred; this means that it belongs to God; it is his property. Even our own life is only entrusted to us. God himself has given us the gift of life; only he may take it back from us. The Book of Exodus, translated literally, says “You shall not murder” (Ex 20:13).

YOUCAT#379 What sorts of attacks on human life are forbidden by the Fifth Commandment?

Murder and acting as an accomplice to murder are forbidden. Killing unarmed civilians during a war is forbidden. The abortion of a human being, from the moment of conception on, is forbidden. Suicide, self-mutilation, and self-destructive behavior are forbidden. Euthanasia— killing the handicapped, the sick, and the dying—is also forbidden. [2268-2283, 2322-2325]

Today people often try to get around the Fifth Commandment with seemingly humane arguments. But neither euthanasia nor abortion is a humane solution. That is why the Church is perfectly clear on these questions. Whoever participates in an abortion, forces a woman to undergo an abortion, or merely advises her to do so is automatically excommunicated—just as with other crimes against human life. If a psychologically ill person commits suicide, responsibility for the act of killing is often diminished and in many cases completely annulled.

YOUCAT#383 Why is abortion unacceptable at any phase in the development of an embryo?

God-given human life is God’s own property; it is sacred from the first moment of its existence and not under the control of any human being. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jer 1:5). [2270-2274, 2322]

God alone is Lord over life and death. Not even “my” life belongs to me. Every child, from the moment of conception on, has a right to life. From his earliest beginnings an unborn human being is a separate person, and no one can infringe upon his rights, not the State, not the doctor, and not even the mother. The Church’s clarity about this is not a lack of compassion; she means, rather, to point out the irreparable harm that is inflicted on the child who is killed in abortion and on his parents and on society as a whole. Protecting innocent human life is one of the noblest tasks of the State. If a State evades this responsibility, it undermines the foundations of a rule of law.

YOUCAT#395 What is peace?

Peace is the consequence of justice and the sign of love put into action. Where there is peace, “every creature can come to rest in good order” (Thomas Aquinas). Earthly peace is the image of the peace of Christ, who reconciled heaven and earth.[2304-2305]

Peace is more than the absence of war, more than a carefully maintained balance of powers (“balance of terror”). In a state of peace, people can live securely with their legitimately earned property and freely exchange goods with one another. In peace the dignity and the right of self-determination of individuals and of peoples are respected. In peace human coexistence is characterized by brotherly solidarity.

References / Citations

[1] Miller, Michael J, and Benedict. Youcat English: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. San Francisco, Calif: Ignatius Press, 2011, pp.202~216.

[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994.

[3] BibleGateway (online bible).