The 4 Pillars of Our Faith: the Moral Life

A Well-Built FaithThis week, I’m featuring short excerpts from my book, A Well-Built Faith, focusing on the 4 pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here’s a brief look at the third pillar: the Moral Life.

Country and Western songs tend to be filled with heart ache, telling tales of good loving gone bad. Two people in love are supposed to treat each other in a certain way and when that doesn’t happen, relationships faith. Just as certain actions express that love, other actions express rejection of that love.

God is in love with us and he is inviting us to love him and one another in return. If we say that we love God, then we are supposed to act in ways that express that love and avoid actions that show rejection of that love. It’s that simple.

Then why is it so hard?

Living a moral life seems like it should be so easy. There are only 10 rules to follow (the Commandments) and, God is so wonderful and loving, who would ever dream of doing wrong by him? The painful truth is, we human beings are never satisfied. We always want more. Our hungry hearts seek satisfaction in places and things other than God. Like a married person who seems to “have it all” but still goes off to have an affair, we can all too easily forget how good God is to us and instead, go off to seek fulfillment elsewhere.

Living the moral life is not a matter of simply avoiding bad things. It is a matter of recognizing how loved we are and then responding to that love in the way our beloved – God – asks us to: by seeking fulfillment only in him and by loving our neighbors. God is faithful to us and we cannot hurt God through our immoral actions. The only hearts that risk becoming “achey-breaky” are our own.

About Joe Paprocki 2741 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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