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Our Social Nature


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  1. What did Pope Benedict XVI mean when he said, “Charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine”?

  2. According to Benedict XVI, what is God’s greatest gift to us?

  3. What does it mean to be a social being?

  4. Critical Thinking: From your own experience, how does living in society help you to find human fulfillment? How would this be impossible without some contact or interaction with other people?

  5. Does playing a video game alone evidence the social structure built into human nature or exemplify each person being independent of everyone else, and why?

  6. Into what kinds of social structures do people organize themselves?

  7. Why are common values and laws necessary to govern social structures?

  8. Who created human nature, and what does this mean for human relations?

  9. What is Catholic social doctrine, and from where is this teaching derived? Who assists the Church in her teaching?

  10. What are some of the major themes, or topics, with which Catholic social doctrine deals?

  11. Critical Thinking: List some of the major social problems in today’s society in light of your ordinary encounters and exchanges.

  12. Can the conditions for human fulfillment be found within oneself? Explain.

  13. To what does “Original Sin” refer, and what are its consequences for us?

  14. How was Original Sin manifested in the lives of Adam and Eve’s children? What social vices did Cain demonstrate?

  15. Critical Thinking: How might God have responded to Cain’s question, “Am I my brother’s keeper”?

  16. What are some of the consequences of Original Sin for us?

  17. Critical Thinking: What are some of the effects of Original Sin, for example, anger, jealousy, greed, etc., that you see in your own communities? Hypothesize what society would be like if these effects of Original Sin did not exist.

  18. What is the Protoevangelium? By whom was this promise fulfilled

  19. Why did God permit human society to suffer the consequences of sin?

  20. What was the purpose of the covenant into which God entered with Noah?

  21. What did God promise in the covenant into which he entered with Abraham?

  22. What was the purpose of the Law that God gave to Moses?

  23. What groups of people did the prophets single out as deserving special care, and why?

  24. Why did God’s plan of redemption have to have a social dimension?

  25. What glorious future did the prophets foretell, and who would accomplish it?

  26. Why did God the Father send his Son to earth?

  27. What society did Christ establish as an essential part of his plan of redemption?

  28. What are the social dimensions of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist?

  29. How does the New Testament present the Church?

  30. How has the Church developed her social doctrine?

  31. What does the Church’s social doctrine do for every human person?

  32. What is the oldest Christian document we possess outside of Scripture, and what does its title mean?

  33. Simply stated, according to the Didache, what are the “two ways”?

  34. What view did the early Church have on abortion and infanticide?

  35. According to the Didache, what sins can lead to murder? Which of these led Cain primarily to murder Abel?

  36. According to the Didache, what sins can lead to theft? Give examples.

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