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The Intersection of Human Behavior & Catholicism

Written By: Lisa T. Kornacki, M.S., BCBA

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Part of our everyday lives involves a set of daily routines that we follow.

Our routines provide order and predictability into our work or home lives. When we look at human behaviors, often, who and

what we surround ourselves with over the course of time will impact how we may respond to things and may also affect who we become or how we identify as a person. As Catholics, we identify as members of the one true and universal church, founded by Jesus Christ himself. Incorporating Catholic values into our daily routines may look different from person to person; whether we choose to attend daily mass or pray regularly, the end goal is the same: to know God, practice the church’s teachings, to become saints and to obtain eternal life with God in heaven. Practicing Catholicism and regularly receiving the sacraments of the church strengthens our relationship with God as well as others in our lives, exposes us to many graces, and promotes the development of virtuous behaviors. At the same time, with evolving social norms moving against traditional values, there are also difficulties that interfere with living out the Catholic faith in the modern era.

The Roman Catholic faith is the foundation and basis for which everything can be derived from. God created everything that there is and has given us everything that we have. It is from our faith that we are able to ask questions, seek information, and build our knowledge and understanding across all subject matters. When we put our needs before God, our hearts become wounded; sin darkens our intellect. To worship, to obey, to sacrifice, to trust in God and to put him first is an expression of our love for God. Similarly, the ten commandments provide us with guidelines for how to obtain eternal life. With this said, all human beings have original sin and we must all practice forms of self-control to avoid temptations. Modern social norms have increased acceptance of homosexual marriage, sex changes, euthanasia, abortion, premarital cohabitation and sexual behaviors; however, such social norms as well as scandals within the church are slowly leading people away from practicing the Catholic faith. We must recognize the importance of each of the commandments and the sanctity behind the seven sacraments. It is possible that if more people regularly adhered to the commandments, perhaps the world would be less exposed to pain, suffering, or violence and world peace may be more attainable.

The Holy Family as well as all the Catholic saints provide us with excellent examples of how we can apply virtue, humility, penance, and works of faith and charity into our daily lives. The lives of the saints also remind us of God’s love, mercy and redeeming grace for us. Our pasts do not dictate our future and with the sacrament of Reconciliation, our sins can be forgiven. Regular participation in prayer or consecrations can help us build our relationship with God and also introduce us to larger communities of people dedicated to the same purpose. By practicing regular devotions, such as the rosary, the divine mercy chaplet, novenas and adhering to first Friday or Saturday or Holy day obligations, and scapular requirements, we are provided with the opportunity to receive various graces and indulgences. Many of these resources are included in a subscription to The Complete Catholic.

Faith by itself is a grace that feeds our soul and strengthens positive behaviors that continue to lead us closer to God. As Catholics, such routines involving prayer, reading of scripture, receiving the sacraments and adhering to the ten commandments can ease our suffering in this life and the next. Most importantly, remember that in our darkest moments, with God, nothing is impossible.

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