Saturday, May 05, 2012

Catholic Q&A: Part 24

This post continues my series of short answers to common questions about Catholicism. For the previous parts in the series, see the "Catholic Q-A Series" blog label.

Does Jesus talk to all of his people or only to certain people?

Jesus talks to whoever will listen. You don’t even have to be one of His people! Keep in mind that Jesus talks to people in a lot of different ways: through the words of the Bible (especially the Gospels), through prayer, through the words or example of a Christian, and in rare cases through a vision or audible voice. Jesus calls all people to be united with Him.

Who are the disciples?

A disciple is a student or follower who emulates the example set by a master and seeks to identify with the master’s teachings. In the New Testament and in reference to Jesus, the word “disciple” can refer to any follower of Jesus, or more specifically to one of the 12 apostles.

How is Isaac a type of Christ?

There are many similarities between Isaac and Jesus.
  • Both of them were miraculously born: Isaac was born of Abraham and Sarah who were at the time too old to conceive children. Jesus was conceived within Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • The covenant promise of God is preserved by them: When God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, the fulfillment of the promise began with the birth of his son, Isaac. Jesus of course instituted the New Covenant promises of grace and salvation through faith in Him.
  • Both were obedient to their fathers unto death: There is no indication that Isaac resisted the sacrifice that his father Abraham intended to perform. Jesus, of course, willfully submitted to the crucifixion that was the plan of the Father for Him (cf. Phil 2:8).
  • Both carried the wood for their sacrifice: Isaac carried the wood up Mt. Moriah that Abraham was to use to make a burnt offering of his son. Jesus carried the wood that became His Cross.
  • Both are called the “only-begotten son”: Isaac is the only-begotten son of Abraham (cf. Gen 22:2), Jesus is the only-begotten son of the Father (cf. Jn 3:16).

Is pre-marital sex a mortal or a venial sin?

Assuming you do it with full knowledge and free consent of the will, engaging in pre-marital sex is a mortal sin. From the Catechism, we read:
2390 The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.

Is abortion a mortal sin?

As with the last question, if you perform an abortion or procure one (or help someone to procure one) with full knowledge that the act is gravely sinful and with full consent of the will, then you commit a mortal sin. Again, from the Catechism:
2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.

Pax Christi,

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