Some Thoughts on Expanding Our Vocabulary

Do our children understand morality?  Ethics?  Virtue?  The Beatitudes?  If not, why?  Aren’t they supposed to learn about these vital concepts from their parents?  Do we (parents) fully understand, discuss and apply these concepts in our daily lives so we can set the right example for our children?  I pose these challenging questions for all of us after reading a summary of Archbishop Chaput’s recent remarks to a Faith in the Public Square seminar in British Columbia.  The Archbishop said that Catholics are failing to pass along our faith to the next generation and young people are losing their “moral vocabulary.”  To read this summary from CNA, please click here: Losing our Moral Vocabulary.

I would maintain that our culture has accelerated in recent decades towards an “anything goes” tolerance of just about everything.  We are losing our ability to draw lines in the sand and say this is RIGHT and this is WRONG.  Political correctness has seeped in like a disease and we are often remaining silent about moral outrages all around us (abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, stem cell research, etc.) in order to fit in and not offend those around us.  If we adults are not openly discussing and publicly embracing morality, ethics, virtue and living out the Beatitudes, how can we expect our children to do the same?  If we are not living as authentic Catholics, why will our kids be any different?  “If we’re embarrassed about Church teachings, or if we disagree with them, or if we’ve decided that they’re just too hard to live by, or too hard to explain, then we’ve already defeated ourselves.” – Archbishop Chaput

What are your thoughts?  Does this issue resonate with you?  What can we do to fight back?

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  1. Randy,
    I think there has been a tremendous decline in moral intelligence which is no longer allowed to be taught in our schools. Even Catholic schools seem reticent to teach it. We are constantly being indoctrinated by a competing worldview that has a morality which is antagonistic to the Catholic faith. Without strong training in Christian morality that comes from a good knowledge of the Christian worldview we lose our moral vocabulary and from this our moral intelligence.

    I think it’s time to re-examine our faith in contrast to the worldview that is creeping into the church and forced on us through the media and learn how to expose the lies of this worldview in contrast to a Christian worldview. This will help us to maintain fidelity to the biblical worldview we are called to as Catholics.
    In Christ,

  2. Mark,

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with you. We are consistently compromising our Catholic faith with the surrounding culture instead of making the culture conform to the truths of our faith. We are made for Heaven and not this place…and yet our actions don’t support that concept. I think it all starts with parents being courageous. We must be brave enough to set the right example, brave enough to demand more of our schools and brave enough to teach our kids the moral vocabulary Archbishop Chaput discussed.

    I pray that we have the required fortitude for what lies ahead.

    God bless,


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