- Meaning - The word vocation means calling. Christians believe they have a calling from God to be followers of Jesus, to be members of the Church and to live their lives in the Christian way so that they enter heaven after death.
- Christians often describe vocation as a call to discipleship. This means that all Christians are called for a special purpose in the same way that the Apostles were.
- Vocation also means that all Christians must do what God calls them to do in the same way that Jesus did his Father's will. Therefore, all Christians must show their vocation by showing others the love of God, their faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
- Importance - It shows all Christians are called to live a life of discipleship, just as the Apostles were.
- It shows that all Christians must do what God calls them to do if they want to achieve salvation. Vocation is a call from God and obeying it is doing God's will.
- By following a vocation, Christians are not only doing what God wants them to do, they are bringing more people to God by their example.
- By serving God through following a vocation a Christian will lead a holy life and work towards salvation.
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How/Why Christians show Vocation
- How - By choosing a caring profession such as being a doctor, nurse, carer, teacher, counsellor or a person working for equal opportunities, they can show God's love.
- By marrying and bringing up children in a Christian family, which means the parents act as disciples through teaching the faith.
- By showing Christian love of neighbour in the way they treat other people.
- By being honest at work, giving a fair day's work to their employer, being fair to employees and standing up for justice in the workplace.
- Why - Vocation is about the whole of life and Christians need to serve God in all that they do.
- Christians believe that Jesus' final command to his disciples to go and 'baptise all nations' meant they should show their faith in all their actions and in wha they say to others.
- Christian vocation is the call to love God and love one's neighbour in the whole of life as Jesus commanded his disciples in the greatest commandment.
- Christian vocation cannot be restricted to church or Sundays. The call to be a Christian but involve everything a Christian does.
- Against showing vocation - Showing your vocation in your daily life and work can involve making a display of your religion which Jesus said is wrong. You can love God by praying and worshipping without showing your vocation at work. You can love your neighbour without anyone knowing it is because of your Christian vocation.
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Vocation Shown by Holy Orders
- How - By taking holy orders Christian men copy the work of the Apostles by giving up everything to follow Jesus.
- When men take holy orders they promise to serve just as Jesus served people.
- By taking holy orders men witness their faith to other people and show God's love to those who suffer.
- By taking holy orders men try to build the Kingdom of God by running parish communities.
- Why - They have a special calling from God to devote their lives to his service through becoming priests.
- It is a calling that most priests could not ignore. If they tried to ignore God's call, it was so persistent that they had to accept it.
- It is the way in which they can 'share in the mission that Christ entrusted the apostles'.
- They want to serve God in the Church by celebrating the sacraments that give spiritual food and strength to the people.
- Against it being the most important vocation - The most important vocation must be open to everyone and women cannot take holy orders.
- Jesus said loving God and loving your neighbour were the most important calls from God.
- Marrying and raising a Christian family are the most important vocations as they guarantee the survival of Christianity.
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Christians Working for Social and Community Cohesi
- How - Many Christians work for social and community cohesion as individuals by having friends from different faiths and ethnic groups, supporting community cohesion and opposing any racist or religious discrimination they meet.
- The Catholic Education Service (CES) works for social and community cohesion by making sure Catholic schools are open to all ethnic groups and teach about non-Christian faiths.
- Churches Together promotes community cohesion by bringing different ethnic groups together and setting up the Churches' Racial Justice Network.
- Some Christians form their own groups to take part in local activities with other faiths and minority groups to improve the quality of life in communities.
- Why - In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that Christians should love their neighbours of all races.
- St Peter was given a vision by God showing him that God accepts the worship of anyone who does right whatever their race.
- St Paul taught that as all humans come from Adam, all ethnic groups are equal to each other.
- The Catechism teaches that it is the duty of Catholics to work for social and community cohesion.
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- 1. You shall worship God alone. 2. You shall not make idols nor worship them. 3. You shall not take God's name in vain. 4. Keep the Sabbath day holy by doing no work on it. 5. Honour your parents. 6. Do not kill. 7. Do not commit adultery. 8. Do not steal. 9. Do not tell lies. 10. Do not covet other people's possessions.
- How - Through their prayers and worship, Christians show that they are following the first three commandments.
- Many Christians do not swear; especially they do not swear using God's name.
- Catholics use the command to honour the Sabbath day as a reason for attending Mass every Sunday.
- Christians use: do not steal, do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not lie, do not desire other people's things, to help them make moral decisions.
- Why - The Ten Commandments are a precise list of rules from God on how Christians should behave.
- If Christians follow the first three commandments they will be worshipping the one God.
- Following the last seven commandments will give Christians a good relationship with their neighbours.
- The commandments promote marriage and family life (respect for parents, no adultery, not desiring other people's partners).
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Christians Use of Sermon on the Mount
- The main teachings of Jesus on how to live the Christian life are contained in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel. Jesus teaches his followers about the Law of Moses and the commandments and how they should interpret them.
- How - Christians can be guided against anger by Jesus' teaching that to be angry with someone can lead to murder. Therefore, you must seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
- Married Christians may be guided by Jesus' teaching that lustful thoughts about someone other than your marriage partner are as bad as committing adultery.
- They may also be guided by his teaching that, although the Law of Moses allows divorce, if you re-marry after divorce you are committing adultery.
- Many Christians use Jesus' teachings about an eye for an eye to become pacifists.
- Why - This is the teaching of Jesus and has a lot more detail than the Ten Commandments so Christians know exactly what to do.
- The Sermon on the Mount shows that the old Jewish ways have been fulfilled by the new law of Jesus.
- The Sermon on the Mount explains that the thoughts and feelings that people have are as important as their actions.
- If Jesus thought his disciples needed this teaching, it must also be needed by Christians today.
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Sermon on the Mount as Guide for Living (Displayin
- In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that if almsgiving, prayer and fasting are done in public deliberately to attract attention, the person will not receive reward from God.
- How - Christians use the teachings as a guide for how to worship. They do not worship so that other people think they are holy, but to improve their relationship with God.
- Christians use the teachings as a guide for how to behave when they are fasting or giving to charity. They should not make a display of what they are doing.
- Christians use the teachings as a guide for their prayer life. They use short prayers like the 'Our Father' and pray privately rather than on street corners for others to see.
- Christians use the teachings to avoid being a hypocrite by showing off how much they go to church, but not actually treating people in a Christian way.
- Why - Not making a display of religion is the teaching of Jesus who, as God's son, is the best person to show Christians how to worship his father.
- It explains how Christians should show love of God, rather than love of public praise.
- It explains how displaying religion will receive no reward from God because it is done for public praise rather than out of love of God.
- It gives good guidance on prayer - the 'Our Father' unites all Christian denominations.
- Against - Church displays public religion. Processions and pilgrimages organised by the church. Almost impossible to fulfil Christian vocation without making display or religion.
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SOTM as Guide for Living (money)
- How - Christians use these teachings to guide them about the relationship between their attitude to money and their relationship with God. They learn that it is more important to gain spiritually than financially.
- They also use the teachings to see what they should do with their money (use it to help others)
- Christians use the teachings to see that they should not make money their God.
- A few Christians do not save or have insurance policies because the Sermon teaches that Christians should trust God rather than worrying about what will happen in the future.
- Why - Jesus is the best person to show Christians the relationship between money and God.
- The teachings show Christians that possessions and money do not last forever, but by concentrating on the eternal God rather than money, Christians can gain eternal life.
- The teaching remind Christians how easily they can be possessed by wealth&forget about God
- The teachings are a very useful guide to show Christians that using money to love God and their neighbour is the way to eternal life.
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SOTM as Guide for Living (judgement/golden rule)
- The Golden Rule is, 'So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets' (Matthew 7:12).
- How - Jesus taught that if people judge someone, they must expect to be judged in the same way. So, before Christians criticise other people, they should think about whether they could also be criticised.
- Christians use the teaching on judgement to concentrate on trying to improve themselves rather than picking on the things that other people do wrong.
- Lots of rules are difficult to follow, so many Christians find it easy to follow the simple rule, 'treat other people as you would like to be treated'.
- Christians also use the Golden Rule to decide on major issues by trying to work out how they would want to be treated if they were involved in the issue.
- Why - Jesus, as God's son, is the best person to show Christians when to judge.
- If Jesus gives a Golden Rule, it must be a rule worth using as a guide for living.
- If Christians are going to be judged by God, the teachings of Jesus on judgement must be worth using as a guide for living.
- The Catechism says that the Golden Rule helps Christians to work out how to behave in difficult situations.
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SVP Relieving Poverty and Suffering
Many parishes, schools, universities and hospitals have a St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) group which relieves poverty and suffering by:
- Regular visiting and personal care by the same people to help families with difficulties, the lonely and/or bereaved, the depressed and the housebound.
- Organising holiday schemes for children from poor or broken homes, family carers, poor families, people with disabilities, etc. These lead to increased self-esteem and confidence.
- Organising furniture stores for unwanted furniture, which can help house the homeless, etc.
- Organising housing associations to provide affordable housing for the homeless, overcrowded families, etc.
- Providing drop-in centres for lonely people to have an opportunity to socialise.
Against whether Catholics are doing enough to relieve poverty and suffering in the UK:
- Not all Catholics are involved in working to relieve poverty and suffering.
- Not all Catholic parishes have an SVP conference.
- There is a lot of poverty and suffering which is not tackled by the SVP.
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Why Charities Relieve Poverty and Suffering
- Jesus said riches must be used for the help of others, especially the poor.
- Christianity teaches that all humans are equal, and that all the good things of the Earth have been given by God for people to use to help each other.
- In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats people are sent to heaven because they fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked and visited those in prison.
- Jesus did all he could to help the suffering and Christians should follow his example.
- Helping to relieve poverty and suffering is a way of loving your neighbour.
- The Church teaches that Catholics should relieve poverty and suffering, and Catholics should follow the teachings and advice of the Church.
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