DOCAT contents for At-Home Lesson#1

DOCAT# 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 [1]

DOCAT#1 Did God act according to a plan when he created the world and us?

Yes, God created the whole world according to his idea and plan. Just as a human being can devise a game, for instance checkers or chess, and with the rules for playing it creates the entire logic of the game, so God created the world and mankind. The red thread running through God’s creation is love. God’s plan, therefore, is that human beings should love and respond to God’s love and thus think, speak, and act in love themselves. (Cf. Eph 3:9)

DOCAT#2 Who is God in the first place?

God, we can say, is the origin of all that exists. He is the final reason for and the ultimate cause of all things, who also keeps them in existence. With reference to contemporary science, we can say: He is before the Big Bang and is the origin of all the laws of nature. Without God, everything that exists would collapse. God is also the goal of everything that exists.

DOCAT#3 What significance does God have for our actions?

If God is the originator of the whole cosmos, then he is also the standard for everything that ought to be. All actions are measured against him and his plan. This is how we can recognize what good actions are. To put it intuitively: God wrote the DNA of our lives; it is in freely choosing to follow the instructions he has made part of us that we fulfill our God-given potential. What God wants for us and of us is the norm and the rule of a good, righteous life. Christians act with solidarity because God first treated them lovingly.

DOCAT#4 Can we experience God?

If you reflect on yourself, you soon recognize that you did not make yourself. No one asked you whether you actually wanted to exist or would rather not. You were suddenly there. The next thing that you recognize is that you are finite. Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow your life will be over. And everything around you will no longer exist someday. Nevertheless, you can think about the infinite: something that exists but will not pass away. Therefore, although you are surrounded exclusively by transitory things, you long for what is infinite and does not pass away. You would like something of yourself to last. How sad it would be, too, if the whole beautiful world were only a snapshot, a meaningless flash that sinks again into nothingness. Only if God really exists are you in safekeeping with him. And all of creation is kept in being, too. Having an idea of God and longing for him are part of being human. Yearning for the infinite and absolute is found in all cultures.

DOCAT#5 Why did God create man and the world?

God created the world out of his overflowing love. He would like us to love him as he loves us. He wants to gather us into the great family of his Church.

References / Citations

[1] DOCAT: What to do? The Social Teaching of the Catholic Church. San Francisco, Calif: Ignatius Press, 2016.

[2] BibleGateway (online bible).