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Chapter 27: Life Formed by the Modes of Christian Response


How do the modes of Christian response shape a Christian’s life into an orderly unity? The present chapter will seek to answer that question, but only as it pertains to Christian moral principles. A comprehensive answer must also take up many specific issues, which belonging to the special treatises of moral theology, are not considered here. What is crucial at this point is that the style of Christian life is both distinctive and admits of striking diversity. In the present chapter we shall see why this is so.

Christian life is unified by the principle of the modes of Christian response. This principle is the commitment of faith to share in Jesus’ redemptive life. This commitment thoroughly transforms the common norms of morality, not by negating them but by completing them. This transformation is effected in each Christian’s response to the universal call to perfection and to his or her personal vocation. Because each Christian life is unique, conscience has an important, creative role.