Theme 1: What does it really mean to forgive?
- examine the ways Jesus models forgiveness
- define forgiveness
- express the Christian call to forgiveness
- identify areas in their life where they are called to forgive
- name and appreciate the fruits of forgiveness
- “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Matthew 5.7).
- To forgive another human being is to respect that person’s dignity, not to condone the evil action, and to let go of our desire for revenge.
- We are called to forgive people always and in everything. Our respect for the dignity of others and our desire for the good of others must be uncondItional.
- God’s grace enables us to forgive.
- Jesus is our model of forgiveness.
- In forgiving others we are restored to wholeness.
- We need to receive forgiveness.
- We need to forgive ourselves.
- Forgiveness is a decision, not an emotion.
Theme 2: Can all broken relationships be healed?
- define reconciliation
- understand the conditions for reconciliation
- give examples of how reconciliation restores people to the community and heals relationships
- distinguish between reconciliation and forgiveness
- explain how the Church enables and facilitates reconciliation
Note: Reconciliation means there will be a positive future relationship. Forgiveness means letting go of the desire for vengeance; it does not necessarily guarantee a future relationship.
- Forgiveness precedes reconciliation.
- Reconciliation heals relationships and restores people to the community.
- Reconciliation is conditional.
- Conversion is essential to reconciliation.
- The conditions for reconciliation are conversion, confession, contrition, correction (also called satisfaction).
- Conversion is a radical reorientation of life. A person who has experienced conversion will stop sinning, will show abhorrence toward the evil acts, and will demonstrate a desire and resolution to change his or her life.
- Christians are called to be open to reconciliation.
- The church community enables and facilitates reconciliation.
- Reconciliation may not mean restoring the relationship to “the way it was.”
Over the centuries, the Catholic Church has developed a teaching on peace and just war.
Peace: CCC 2304
Peace, it states, is the result of justice and charity. One must always be a creator of peace and reconciliation.
Just War: CCC 2309
If relationships between peoples become so tense that war threatens, certain clear conditions for a legitimate defensive war must be maintained. For example, all other means to resolve conflict must have been exhausted before resorting to military force as a way to defend oneself.
Take a closer look at a current conflict in the world. Write about the conflict as an advocate of Peace or Just War.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the Catholic responds to the Doctrine of Discovery.
The text considers and repudiates illegitimate concepts and principles used by Europeans to justify the seizure of land previously held by Indigenous Peoples and often identified by the terms Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius.
Both documents appeal to all Catholics — laity, members of institutes of consecrated life and of societies of apostolic life, deacons, priests, and Bishops — to make seven commitments in order to “continue to walk together with Indigenous Peoples in building a more just society where their gifts and those of all people are nurtured and honoured.” These commitments include:
- Working with Catholic educational institutions and formation programs in telling the history and experience of Indigenous Peoples
- Working with seminaries and other formation centres to promote a “culture of encounter” by including the history of the Indian Residential Schools and of Canadian missionary work with its “weaknesses and strengths”
- Encouraging partnerships between Indigenous groups and health care facilities
- Encouraging a restorative justice model within the criminal justice system
- Supporting the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women
- Deepening relationships, dialogue and collaboration with Indigenous People
- Inviting Catholic parishes and institutions to become better acquainted with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
March 31, 2016
In partnership with the entire community, the Catholic school has a value and importance that are fundamental to the integral human formation of children. In virtue of its mission, the Catholic school constantly and carefully attends to the cultivation in children of the intellectual, creative and aesthetic gifts of the human person. Catholic schools foster in children an appreciation of their God-given dignity; the ability to make correct use of their judgement, will and affectivity; promote in them a sense of values; encourage just attitudes and prudent behaviour; introduce to them the cultural heritage handed down from past generations; prepare them for professional life; and encourage the friendly interchange of diverse cultures and backgrounds that will lead to mutual understanding.
In short, Catholic schools contribute to integral human formation. Catholic schools strive to form strong and responsible persons who are capable of making free and correct choices and are able to form in themselves a clear idea of the meaning of life.
Strategies to develop the Human Dimension of Catholic Schools:
- Give appropriate emphasis to academic excellence
- Support art, music, drama, dance and other fine arts and performing arts
- Create a healthy respect for physical education and manual arts
- Recognize the importance of fun and humour
- Exercise forgiveness and reconciliation
- Create discipline policies that are firm, fair, and flexible and that respect the dignity of persons and invite forgiveness and reconciliation
How does Catholic education respect the dignity of human persons?