Bishop Barron gives some comments on the question of why beliefs matter and how doctrines and ethics compliment one another. I’ll omit my own comments till some people have watched. Enjoy
He said that what is dangerous is the separation of doctrine and practice. Love is willing the good of the other - a participation in God’s way of being.
In regards to the Real Presence:
It matters because it is the central reality of faith. It is more than material acceptance of a doctrine, more than simply grasping that Jesus is wholly there in that little round piece of bread.
The Real Presence opens up the mystery of God’s salvific action with us through Christ. It is Jesus among us without constraint of time. It is complete self gift; God condescending with humanity to the point of being the new manna in the desert. It is God asking us to lay aside our demands for big glorious signs, and give our attention to the seemingly ordinary sacrament.
Anything you can say is inadequate. Belief is response to God’s grace. I believe because Christ is the only way. And all I know is what he has shown me through the Church, personally and corporately. The Church has transmitted the words and the body down through the ages. I try to give my assent.
He does a good job of explaining how ethics come from the doctrines that describe God. It’s a well done explanation of ethics/spirituality/virtue being the reality of a participation in God’s way of being.
Then he places E. Kant’s philosophy as a starting point for the wedge that is now dividing doctrine from ethics/spirituality. I would be interested to hear Bp. Barron talk about why so many people are buying into the “just be a good person” school of ethics.
I think if one can subscribe to “just be a good person” that is sufficiently vague enough to avoid some of the pricklier subjects that many don’t want to follow.
I think it’s just a contemporary, politically correct way to more or less say, “Leave me alone”.
It also helps if we don’t overthink it.
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