Catechism of the Catholic Church / Part Three: Life In Christ
Section One - Man’s Vocation Life In The Spirit
1699 Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man (chapter one).
This life is made up of divine charity and human solidarity (chapter two).
It is graciously offered as salvation (chapter three).
Chapter One - The Dignity Of The Human
The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness
of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude
(article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this
fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human
person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by
moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their
interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means
of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article
7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal
son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they
attain to the perfection of charity.
MAN: THE IMAGE OF GOD
"Christ, . . . in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of
his love, makes man fully manifest to himself and brings to light his exalted
vocation."2 It is in Christ, "the image of the invisible
God,"3 that man has been created "in the image and
likeness" of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the
divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its
original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.4
The divine image is present in every man. It shines forth in the communion of
persons, in the likeness of the union of the divine persons among themselves
(cf chapter two).
Endowed with "a spiritual and immortal" soul,5 The human
person is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own
sake."6 From his conception, he is destined for eternal beatitude.
The human person participates in the light and power of the divine Spirit. By
his reason, he is capable of understanding the order of things established by
the Creator. By free will, he is capable of directing himself toward his true
good. He finds his perfection "in seeking and loving what is true and
By virtue of his soul and his spiritual powers of intellect and will, man is
endowed with freedom, an "outstanding manifestation of the divine
By his reason, man recognizes the voice of God which urges him "to do what
is good and avoid what is evil."9 Everyone is obliged to follow
this law, which makes itself heard in conscience and is fulfilled in the love
of God and of neighbor. Living a moral life bears witness to the dignity of the
"Man, enticed by the Evil One, abused his freedom at the very beginning of
history."10 He succumbed to temptation and did what was evil. He
still desires the good, but his nature bears the wound of original sin. He is
now inclined to evil and subject to error:
Man is divided in himself. As a result, the whole life of men, both individual
and social, shows itself to be a struggle, and a dramatic one, between good and
evil, between light and darkness.11
By his Passion, Christ delivered us from Satan and from sin. He merited for us
the new life in the Holy Spirit. His grace restores what sin had damaged in us.
He who believes in Christ becomes a son of God. This filial adoption transforms
him by giving him the ability to follow the example of Christ. It makes him
capable of acting rightly and doing good. In union with his Savior, the
disciple attains the perfection of charity which is holiness. Having matured in
grace, the moral life blossoms into eternal life in the glory of heaven.
1710 "Christ . . . makes
man fully manifest to man himself and brings to light his exalted
vocation" (GS 22 # 1).
1711 Endowed with a spiritual
soul, with intellect and with free will, the human person is from his very
conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude. He pursues his
perfection in "seeking and loving what is true and good" (GS 15 # 2).
1712 In man, true freedom is
an "outstanding manifestation of the divine image" (GS 17).
1713 Man is obliged to follow
the moral law, which urges him "to do what is good and avoid what is
evil" (cf GS 16). This law makes itself heard in his conscience.
1714 Man, having been wounded
in his nature by original sin, is subject to error and inclined to evil in
exercising his freedom.
1715 He who believes in
Christ has new life in the Holy Spirit. the moral life, increased and brought
to maturity in grace, is to reach its fulfillment in the glory of heaven.
OUR VOCATION TO BEATITUDE
I. The Beatitudes
The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching. They take up the promises
made to the chosen people since Abraham. the Beatitudes fulfill the promises by
ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of
evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.12
The Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity.
They express the vocation of the faithful associated with the glory of his
Passion and Resurrection; they shed light on the actions and attitudes
characteristic of the Christian life; they are the paradoxical promises that
sustain hope in the midst of tribulations; they proclaim the blessings and
rewards already secured, however dimly, for Christ's disciples; they have begun
in the lives of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.
II. The Desire for Happiness
The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of
divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the
One who alone can fulfill it:
We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one
who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.13
How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God,
I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my
body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you.14
God alone satisfies.15
The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human
acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each
individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made
up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith.
III. Christian Beatitude
The New Testament uses several expressions to characterize the beatitude to
which God calls man:
- the coming of the Kingdom of God;16
- the vision of God: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see
- entering into the joy of the Lord;18
- entering into God's rest:19
There we shall rest and see,
we shall see and love, we shall love and praise. Behold what will be at the end
without end. For what other end do we have, if not to reach the kingdom which
has no end?20
God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to
paradise. Beatitude makes us "partakers of the divine nature" and of
eternal life.21 With beatitude, man enters into the glory of
Christ22 and into the joy of the Trinitarian life.
Such beatitude surpasses the understanding and powers of man. It comes from an
entirely free gift of God: whence it is called supernatural, as is the grace
that disposes man to enter into the divine joy.
"Blessed are the pure in
heart, for they shall see God."
It is true, because of the
greatness and inexpressible glory of God, that "man shall not see me and
live," for the Father cannot be grasped. But because of God's love and
goodness toward us, and because he can do all things, he goes so far as to
grant those who love him the privilege of seeing him.... For "what is
impossible for men is possible for God."23
The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It
invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God
above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or
well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement - however
beneficial it may be - such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any
creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love:
All bow down before wealth.
Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They
measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability.... It
is a homage resulting from a profound faith ... that with wealth he may do all
things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second.... Notoriety,
or the making of a noise in the world - it may be called "newspaper
fame" - has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of
The Decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and the apostolic catechesis describe
for us the paths that lead to the Kingdom of heaven. Sustained by the grace of
the Holy Spirit, we tread them, step by step, by everyday acts. By the working
of the Word of Christ, we slowly bear fruit in the Church to the glory of
1725 The Beatitudes take up
and fulfill God's promises from Abraham on by ordering them to the Kingdom of
heaven. They respond to the desire for happiness that God has placed in the
1726 The Beatitudes teach us
the final end to which God calls us: the Kingdom, the vision of God,
participation in the divine nature, eternal life, filiation, rest in God.
1727 The beatitude of eternal
life is a gratuitous gift of God. It is supernatural, as is the grace that
leads us there.
1728 The Beatitudes confront
us with decisive choices concerning earthly goods; they purify our hearts in
order to teach us to love God above all things.
1729 The beatitude of heaven
sets the standards for discernment in the use of earthly goods in keeping with
the law of God.
God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who
can initiate and control his own actions. "God willed that man should be
'left in the hand of his own counsel,' so that he might of his own accord seek
his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to
Man is rational and therefore
like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.27
I. Freedom and Responsibility
Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do
this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility.
By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and
maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward
God, our beatitude.
As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which
is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of
growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes
properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.
The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom
except in the service of what is good and just. the choice to disobey and do
evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of
Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are
voluntary. Progress in virtue, knowledge of the good, and ascesis enhance the
mastery of the will over its acts.
Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even
nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate
attachments, and other psychological or social factors.
Every act directly willed is imputable to its author:
Thus the Lord asked Eve after
the sin in the garden: "What is this that you have done?"29
He asked Cain the same question.30 The prophet Nathan questioned David
in the same way after he committed adultery with the wife of Uriah and had him
An action can be indirectly voluntary when it results from negligence regarding
something one should have known or done: for example, an accident arising from
ignorance of traffic laws.
effect can be tolerated without being willed by its agent; for instance, a
mother's exhaustion from tending her sick child. A bad effect is not imputable
if it was not willed either as an end or as a means of an action, e.g., a death
a person incurs in aiding someone in danger. For a bad effect to be imputable
it must be foreseeable and the agent must have the possibility of avoiding it,
as in the case of manslaughter caused by a drunken driver.
Freedom is exercised in relationships between human beings. Every human person,
created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free
and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. the right to
the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an
inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be
recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common
good and public order.32
II. Human Freedom in the Economy of Salvation
Freedom and sin. Man's freedom is limited and fallible. In fact, man failed. He
freely sinned. By refusing God's plan of love, he deceived himself and became a
slave to sin. This first alienation engendered a multitude of others. From its
outset, human history attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human
heart in consequence of the abuse of freedom.
Threats to freedom. the exercise of freedom does not imply a right to say or do
everything. It is false to maintain that man, "the subject of this
freedom," is "an individual who is fully self-sufficient and whose
finality is the satisfaction of his own interests in the enjoyment of earthly
goods."33 Moreover, the economic, social, political, and cultural
conditions that are needed for a just exercise of freedom are too often
disregarded or violated. Such situations of blindness and injustice injure the
moral life and involve the strong as well as the weak in the temptation to sin
against charity. By deviating from the moral law man violates his own freedom, becomes
imprisoned within himself, disrupts neighborly fellowship, and rebels against
Liberation and salvation. By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for
all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. "For
freedom Christ has set us free."34 In him we have communion with
the "truth that makes us free."35 The Holy Spirit has been
given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom."36 Already we glory in the "liberty of the
children of God."37
Freedom and grace. the grace of Christ is not in the slightest way a rival of
our freedom when this freedom accords with the sense of the true and the good
that God has put in the human heart. On the contrary, as Christian experience
attests especially in prayer, the more docile we are to the promptings of
grace, the more we grow in inner freedom and confidence during trials, such as
those we face in the pressures and constraints of the outer world. By the
working of grace the Holy Spirit educates us in spiritual freedom in order to
make us free collaborators in his work in the Church and in the world:
Almighty and merciful God,
in your goodness take away
from us all that is harmful,
so that, made ready both in
mind and body,
we may freely accomplish your
1743 "God willed that man
should be left in the hand of his own counsel (cf ⇒ Sir
15:14), so that he might of his own accord seek his creator and
freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him" (GS 17 #
1744 Freedom is the power to
act or not to act, and so to perform deliberate acts of one's own. Freedom
attains perfection in its acts when directed toward God, the sovereign Good.
1745 Freedom characterizes
properly human acts. It makes the human being responsible for acts of which he
is the voluntary agent. His deliberate acts properly belong to him.
1746 The imputability or
responsibility for an action can be diminished or nullified by ignorance,
duress, fear, and other psychological or social factors.
1747 The right to the
exercise of freedom, especially in religious and moral matters, is an
inalienable requirement of the dignity of man. But the exercise of freedom does
not entail the putative right to say or do anything.
1748 "For freedom Christ
has set us free" (⇒ Gal 5:1).
THE MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS
Freedom makes man a moral subject. When he acts deliberately, man is, so to
speak, the father of his acts. Human acts, that is, acts that are freely chosen
in consequence of a judgment of conscience, can be morally evaluated. They are
either good or evil.
I. The Sources of Morality
The morality of human acts depends on:
- the object chosen;
- the end in view or the intention;
- the circumstances of the action.
The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the
"sources," or constitutive elements, of the morality of human acts.
The object chosen is a good toward which the will deliberately directs itself.
It is the matter of a human act. the object chosen morally specifies the act of
the will, insofar as reason recognizes and judges it to be or not to be in
conformity with the true good. Objective norms of morality express the rational
order of good and evil, attested to by conscience.
In contrast to the object, the intention resides in the acting subject. Because
it lies at the voluntary source of an action and determines it by its end,
intention is an element essential to the moral evaluation of an action. the end
is the first goal of the intention and indicates the purpose pursued in the
action. the intention is a movement of the will toward the end: it is concerned
with the goal of the activity. It aims at the good anticipated from the action
undertaken. Intention is not limited to directing individual actions, but can
guide several actions toward one and the same purpose; it can orient one's
whole life toward its ultimate end. For example, a service done with the end of
helping one's neighbor can at the same time be inspired by the love of God as
the ultimate end of all our actions. One and the same action can also be
inspired by several intentions, such as performing a service in order to obtain
a favor or to boast about it.
A good intention (for example, that of helping one's neighbor) does not make
behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or
just. the end does not justify the means. Thus the condemnation of an innocent
person cannot be justified as a legitimate means of saving the nation. On the
other hand, an added bad intention (such as vainglory) makes an act evil that,
in and of itself, can be good (such as almsgiving).39
The circumstances, including the consequences, are secondary elements of a
moral act. They contribute to increasing or diminishing the moral goodness or
evil of human acts (for example, the amount of a theft). They can also diminish
or increase the agent's responsibility (such as acting out of a fear of death).
Circumstances of themselves cannot change the moral quality of acts themselves;
they can make neither good nor right an action that is in itself evil.
II. Good Acts and Evil Acts
A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the
circumstances together. An evil end corrupts the action, even if the object is
good in itself (such as praying and fasting "in order to be seen by
The object of the choice can by itself vitiate an act in its entirety. There
are some concrete acts - such as fornication - that it is always wrong to
choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral
It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering
only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social
pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts
which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are
always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury,
murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.
1757 The object, the
intention, and the circumstances make up the three "sources" of the
morality of human acts.
1758 The object chosen
morally specifies the act of willing accordingly as reason recognizes and
judges it good or evil.
1759 "An evil action
cannot be justified by reference to a good intention" (cf St. Thomas
Aquinas, Dec. praec. 6). the end does not justify the means.
1760 A morally good act
requires the goodness of its object, of its end, and of its circumstances
1761 There are concrete acts
that it is always wrong to choose, because their choice entails a disorder of
the will, i.e., a moral evil. One may not do evil so that good may result from
THE MORALITY OF THE PASSIONS
The human person is ordered to beatitude by his deliberate acts: the passions
or feelings he experiences can dispose him to it and contribute to it.
The term "passions" belongs to the Christian patrimony. Feelings or
passions are emotions or movements of the sensitive appetite that incline us to
act or not to act in regard to something felt or imagined to be good or evil.
The passions are natural components of the human psyche; they form the
passageway and ensure the connection between the life of the senses and the
life of the mind. Our Lord called man's heart the source from which the
There are many passions. the most fundamental passion is love, aroused by the
attraction of the good. Love causes a desire for the absent good and the hope
of obtaining it; this movement finds completion in the pleasure and joy of the
good possessed. the apprehension of evil causes hatred, aversion, and fear of
the impending evil; this movement ends in sadness at some present evil, or in
the anger that resists it.
"To love is to will the good of another."41 All other
affections have their source in this first movement of the human heart toward
the good. Only the good can be loved.42 Passions "are evil if love
is evil and good if it is good."43
II. Passions and Moral Life
In themselves passions are neither good nor evil. They are morally qualified
only to the extent that they effectively engage reason and will. Passions are
said to be voluntary, "either because they are commanded by the will or
because the will does not place obstacles in their way."44 It
belongs to the perfection of the moral or human good that the passions be
governed by reason.45
Strong feelings are not decisive for the morality or the holiness of persons;
they are simply the inexhaustible reservoir of images and affections in which
the moral life is expressed. Passions are morally good when they contribute to
a good action, evil in the opposite case. the upright will orders the movements
of the senses it appropriates to the good and to beatitude; an evil will
succumbs to disordered passions and exacerbates them. Emotions and feelings can
be taken up into the virtues or perverted by the vices.
In the Christian life, the Holy Spirit himself accomplishes his work by
mobilizing the whole being, with all its sorrows, fears and sadness, as is
visible in the Lord's agony and passion. In Christ human feelings are able to
reach their consummation in charity and divine beatitude.
Moral perfection consists in man's being moved to the good not by his will
alone, but also by his sensitive appetite, as in the words of the psalm:
"My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God."46
1771 The term
"passions" refers to the affections or the feelings. By his emotions
man intuits the good and suspects evil.
1772 The principal passions
are love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger.
1773 In the passions, as
movements of the sensitive appetite, there is neither moral good nor evil. But
insofar as they engage reason and will, there is moral good or evil in them.
1774 Emotions and feelings
can be taken up in the virtues or perverted by the vices.
1775 The perfection of the
moral good consists in man's being moved to the good not only by his will but
also by his "heart."
"Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon
himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do
what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment.... For
man has in his heart a law inscribed by God.... His conscience is man's most
secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in
I. The Judgment of Conscience
Moral conscience,48 present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at
the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular
choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are
evil.49 It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the
supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the
commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God
Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the
moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process
of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is
obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment
of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the
Conscience is a law of the
mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it
was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a
threat and a promise.... [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in
nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by
his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.50
It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order
to hear and follow the voice of his conscience. This requirement of interiority
is all the more necessary as life often distracts us from any reflection,
self-examination or introspection:
Return to your conscience,
question it.... Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, see God as
The dignity of the human person implies and requires uprightness of moral
conscience. Conscience includes the perception of the principles of morality
(synderesis); their application in the given circumstances by practical
discernment of reasons and goods; and finally judgment about concrete acts yet
to be performed or already performed. the truth about the moral good, stated in
the law of reason, is recognized practically and concretely by the prudent
judgment of conscience. We call that man prudent who chooses in conformity with
Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed. If man
commits evil, the just judgment of conscience can remain within him as the
witness to the universal truth of the good, at the same time as the evil of his
particular choice. the verdict of the judgment of conscience remains a pledge
of hope and mercy. In attesting to the fault committed, it calls to mind the
forgiveness that must be asked, the good that must still be practiced, and the
virtue that must be constantly cultivated with the grace of God:
We shall . . . reassure our
hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our
hearts, and he knows everything.52
Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make
moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience.
Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in
II. The Formation of Conscience
Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed
conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to
reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.
the education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected
to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to
reject authoritative teachings.
The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it
awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized
by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear,
selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency,
born of human weakness and faults. the education of the conscience guarantees
freedom and engenders peace of heart.
In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our
path,54 we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into
practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord's Cross. We are
assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of
others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.55
III. To Choose in Accord With Conscience
Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in
accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous
judgment that departs from them.
Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral judgments less
assured and decision difficult. But he must always seriously seek what is right
and good and discern the will of God expressed in divine law.
To this purpose, man strives to interpret the data of experience and the signs
of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence, by the advice of competent
people, and by the help of the Holy Spirit and his gifts.
Some rules apply in every case:
- One may never do evil so that good may result from it;
- the Golden Rule: "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to
- charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's neighbor and his
conscience: "Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their
conscience . . . you sin against Christ."57 Therefore "it is
right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble."58
IV. Erroneous Judgment
A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he
were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can
happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments
about acts to be performed or already committed.
This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the
case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good,
or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing
sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he
Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to
one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience,
rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of
charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.
If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not
responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot
be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One
must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.
A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds
at the same time "from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere
The more a correct conscience
prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try
to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.61
1795 "Conscience is
man's most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose
voice echoes in his depths" (GS 16).
1796 Conscience is a judgment
of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete
1797 For the man who has committed
evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.
1798 A well-formed conscience
is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in
conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. Everyone
must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.
1799 Faced with a moral
choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason
and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from
1800 A human being must
always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.
1801 Conscience can remain in
ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always
free of guilt.
1802 The Word of God is a
light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into
practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if
there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."62
A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the
person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. the
virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual
powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
The goal of a virtuous life is
to become like God.63
I. The Human Virtues
Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of
intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our
conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery,
and joy in leading a morally good life. the virtuous man is he who freely
practices the good.
The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of
morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion
with divine love.
Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called
"cardinal"; all the others are grouped around them. They are:
prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. "If anyone loves
righteousness, [Wisdom's] labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and
prudence, justice, and courage."64 These virtues are praised under
other names in many passages of Scripture.
Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good
in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; "the
prudent man looks where he is going."65 "Keep sane and sober
for your prayers."66 Prudence is "right reason in
action," writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.67 It is
not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation.
It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the
other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately
guides the judgment of conscience. the prudent man determines and directs his
conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply
moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about
the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.
Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give
their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of
religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each
and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with
regard to persons and to the common good. the just man, often mentioned in the
Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the
uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. "You shall not be partial
to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your
neighbor."68 "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly,
knowing that you also have a Master in heaven."69
Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy
in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations
and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. the virtue of fortitude enables
one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions.
It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just
cause. "The Lord is my strength and my song."70 "In the
world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the
Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and
provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery
over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. the
temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and
maintains a healthy discretion: "Do not follow your inclination and
strength, walking according to the desires of your heart."72
Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: "Do not follow your base
desires, but restrain your appetites."73 In the New Testament it
is called "moderation" or "sobriety." We ought "to
live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world."74
To live well is nothing other
than to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul and with all one's
efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted
(through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It
obeys only (God) (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so
as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).75
Human virtues acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance
ever-renewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace.
With God's help, they forge character and give facility in the practice of the
good. the virtuous man is happy to practice them.
It is not easy for man, wounded by sin, to maintain moral balance. Christ's
gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of
the virtues. Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength,
frequent the sacraments, cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and follow his calls
to love what is good and shun evil.
II. The Theological Virtues
The human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues, which adapt man's
faculties for participation in the divine nature:76 for the theological
virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a
relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their
origin, motive, and object.
The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they
animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all
the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to
make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They
are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties
of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and
Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that
he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief,
because he is truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self
to God."78 For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's
will. "The righteous shall live by faith." Living faith "work(s)
The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it.80 But
"faith apart from works is dead":81 when it is deprived of
hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not
make him a living member of his Body.
The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also
profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: "All however
must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way
of the Cross, amidst the persecutions which the Church never
lacks."82 Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for
salvation: "So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will
acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before
men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."83
Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and
eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and
relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who
promised is faithful."84 "The Holy Spirit . . . he poured out
upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified
by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life."85
The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed
in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men's activities
and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man
from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up
his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is
preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.
Christian hope takes up and fulfills the hope of the chosen people which has
its origin and model in the hope of Abraham, who was blessed abundantly by the
promises of God fulfilled in Isaac, and who was purified by the test of the
sacrifice.86 "Hoping against hope, he believed, and thus became
the father of many nations."87
Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus' preaching in the
proclamation of the beatitudes. the beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as
the new Promised Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that
await the disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his
Passion, God keeps us in the "hope that does not disappoint."88
Hope is the "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul . . . that enters . . .
where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf."89 Hope is
also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation: "Let us . . .
put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of
salvation."90 It affords us joy even under trial: "Rejoice in
your hope, be patient in tribulation."91 Hope is expressed and
nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything
that hope leads us to desire.
We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love
him and do his will.92 In every circumstance, each one of us should
hope, with the grace of God, to persevere "to the end"93 and
to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works
accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all
men to be saved."94 She longs to be united with Christ, her
Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:
Hope, O my soul, hope. You
know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes
quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns
a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more
you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one
day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.95
Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his
own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
Jesus makes charity the new commandment.96 By loving his own "to
the end,"97 he makes manifest the Father's love which he receives.
By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which they
themselves receive. Whence Jesus says: "As the Father has loved me, so
have I loved you; abide in my love." and again: "This is my
commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."98
Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of
God and his Christ: "Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you
will abide in my love."99
Christ died out of love for us, while we were still
"enemies."100 The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our
enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love
children and the poor as Christ himself.101
The Apostle Paul has given an
incomparable depiction of charity: "charity is patient and kind, charity
is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist
on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong,
but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes
all things, endures all things."102
"If I . . . have not charity," says the Apostle, "I am
nothing." Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, "if I . . .
have not charity, I gain nothing."103 Charity is superior to all
the virtues. It is the first of the theological virtues: "So faith, hope,
charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity."104
The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which
"binds everything together in perfect harmony";105 it is the
form of the virtues; it articulates and orders them among themselves; it is the
source and the goal of their Christian practice. Charity upholds and purifies
our human ability to love, and raises it to the supernatural perfection of
The practice of the moral life animated by charity gives to the Christian the
spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no longer stands before God as a
slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking for wages, but as a son
responding to the love of him who "first loved us":106
If we turn away from evil out
of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the
enticement of wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the
sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands . . . we are in
the position of children.107
The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence
and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains
disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion:
Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why
we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find
III. The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the
promptings of the Holy Spirit.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude,
knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to
Christ, Son of David.109 They complete and perfect the virtues of those
who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine
Let your good spirit lead me
on a level path.110
For all who are led by the
Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and
fellow heirs with Christ.111
The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as
the first fruits of eternal glory. the tradition of the Church lists twelve of
them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity,
gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."112
1833 Virtue is a habitual and
firm disposition to do good.
1834 The human virtues are
stable dispositions of the intellect and the will that govern our acts, order
our passions, and guide our conduct in accordance with reason and faith. They
can be grouped around the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude,
1835 Prudence disposes the
practical reason to discern, in every circumstance, our true good and to choose
the right means for achieving it.
1836 Justice consists in the
firm and constant will to give God and neighbor their due.
1837 Fortitude ensures
firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.
1838 Temperance moderates the
attraction of the pleasures of the senses and provides balance in the use of
1839 The moral virtues grow
through education, deliberate acts, and perseverance in struggle. Divine grace
purifies and elevates them.
1840 The theological virtues
dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have
God for their origin, their motive, and their object - God known by faith, God
hoped in and loved for his own sake.
1841 There are three
theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. They inform all the moral
virtues and give life to them.
1842 By faith, we believe in
God and believe all that he has revealed to us and that Holy Church proposes
for our belief.
1843 By hope we desire, and
with steadfast trust await from God, eternal life and the graces to merit it.
1844 By charity, we love God
above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for love of God. Charity, the
form of all the virtues, "binds everything together in perfect
harmony" (⇒ Col 3:14).
1845 The seven gifts of the
Holy Spirit bestowed upon Christians are wisdom, understanding, counsel,
fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
Article 8 SIN
I. Mercy and Sin
The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God's mercy to
sinners.113 The angel announced to Joseph: "You shall call his
name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."114 The
same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: "This is my
blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of
"God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without
us."116 To receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. "If
we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we
confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and
cleanse us from all unrighteousness."117
As St. Paul affirms, "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the
more."118 But to do its work grace must uncover sin so as to
convert our hearts and bestow on us "righteousness to eternal life through
Jesus Christ ourLord."119 Like a physician who probes the wound
before treating it, God, by his Word and by his Spirit, casts a living light on
Conversion requires convincing
of sin; it includes the interior judgment of conscience, and this, being a
proof of the action of the Spirit of truth in man's inmost being, becomes at the
same time the start of a new grant of grace and love: "Receive the Holy
Spirit." Thus in this "convincing concerning sin" we discover a
double gift: the gift of the truth of conscience and the gift of the certainty
of redemption. the Spirit of truth is the Consoler.120
II. The Definition of Sin
Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in
genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain
goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been
defined as "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal
Sin is an offense against God: "Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and
done that which is evil in your sight."122 Sin sets itself against
God's love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is
disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become "like
gods,"123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus
"love of oneself even to contempt of God."124 In this proud
self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which
achieves our salvation.125
It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish
it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief,
murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate's
cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas' betrayal - so bitter to
Jesus, Peter's denial and the disciples' flight. However, at the very hour of
darkness, the hour of the prince of this world,126 The sacrifice of
Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will
pour forth inexhaustibly.
III. The Different Kinds of Sins
There are a great many kinds of sins. Scripture provides several lists of them.
the Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of
the Spirit: "Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity,
licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger,
selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.
I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not
inherit the Kingdom of God."127
can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or
according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the
commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they
concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and
carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. the root of
sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the
Lord: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery,
fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man."128
But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works,
which sin wounds.
IV. The Gravity of Sin: Mortal and Venial Sin
Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. the distinction between
mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,129 became part of
the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.
Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's
law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by
preferring an inferior good to him.
Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.
Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity -
necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is
normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:
When the will sets itself upon
something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man
toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . .
whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the
love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery.... But when the sinner's will
is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not
opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or
immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.130
For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin
is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full
knowledge and deliberate consent."131
Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer
of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do
not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and
your mother."132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder
is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence
against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes
knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law.
It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice.
Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather
increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave
offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral
law, which are written in the conscience of every man. the promptings of
feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the
offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed
through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It
results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is,
of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's
forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of
hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning
back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense,
we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the
standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a
grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.
Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created
goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the
practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and
unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin.
However venial sin does not set us in direct opposition to the will and
friendship of God; it does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it
is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of
sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal
While he is in the flesh, man
cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins
which we call "light": if you take them for light when you weigh
them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great
mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What
then is our hope? Above all, confession.135
"Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is
guilty of an eternal sin."136 There are no limits to the mercy of
God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting,
rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy
Spirit.137 Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and
V. The Proliferation of Sin
Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same
acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt
the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and
reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root.
Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked
to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St.
John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital"
because they engender other sins, other vices.138 They are pride,
avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.
The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to
heaven": the blood of Abel,139 The sin of the
Sodomites,140 The cry of the people oppressed in Egypt,141 The
cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan,142 injustice to the
Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins
committed by others when we cooperate in them:
- by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
- by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
- by protecting evil-doers.
Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence,
violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social
situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness.
"Structures of sin" are the expression and effect of personal sins.
They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they
constitute a "social sin."144
1870 "God has consigned
all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all"
(⇒ Rom 11:32).
1871 Sin is an utterance, a deed,
or a desire contrary to the eternal law (St. Augustine, Faust 22: PL 42, 418).
It is an offense against God. It rises up against God in a disobedience
contrary to the obedience of Christ.
1872 Sin is an act contrary
to reason. It wounds man's nature and injures human solidarity.
1873 The root of all sins
lies in man's heart. the kinds and the gravity of sins are determined
principally by their objects.
1874 To choose deliberately -
that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the
divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This
destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible.
Unrepented, it brings eternal death.
1875 Venial sin constitutes a
moral disorder that is reparable by charity, which it allows to subsist in us.
1876 The repetition of sins -
even venial ones - engenders vices, among which are the capital sins.
1 ⇒ Lk 15:11-32.
2 GS 22.
3 ⇒ 2 Cor 4:4.
4 Cf. GS 22.
5 GS 14 # 2.
6 GS 24 # 3.
7 GS 15 # 2.
8 GS 17.
9 GS 16.
10 GS 13 # 1.
11 GS 13 # 2.
12 ⇒ Mt 5:3-12.
13 St. Augustine, De moribus eccl. 1, 3, 4: PL 32,1312.
14 St. Augustine, Conf. 10, 20: PL 32, 791.
15 St. Thomas Aquinas, Expos. in symb. apost. I.
16 Cf. ⇒ Mt 4:17.
17 ⇒ Mt 5:8; cf.
⇒ Mt 25:21-23.
19 Cf. ⇒ Heb 4:7-11.
20 St. Augustine,
De civ. Dei 22, 30, 5: PL 41,804.
21 ⇒ Jn
⇒ Rom 8:18.
Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4,20,5: PG 7/1, 1034-1035.
John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Saintliness the Standard of Christian
Principle," in Discourses to Mixed Congregations (London:
Longmans, Green and Co., 1906) V, 89-90.
25 Cf. the parable of the sower: ⇒ Mt
26 GS 17; ⇒ Sir 15:14.
27 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 4, 3: PG 7/1, 983.
28 Cf. ⇒ Rom
⇒ Gen 3:13.
30 Cf. ⇒ Gen 4:10.
31 Cf. ⇒ 2 Sam 12:7-15.
32 Cf. DH 2 # 7.
33 CDF, instruction, Libertatis conscientia 13.
⇒ Gal 5: 1.
35 Cf. In 8:32.
36 2 Cor 17.
37 ⇒ Rom 8:21.
Roman Missal, 32nd Sunday, Opening Prayer: Omnipotens et misericors
Deus, universa nobis adversantia propitiatus exclude, ut, mente et corpore
pariter expediti, quae tua sunt liberis mentibus exsequamur.
39 Cf. ⇒ Mt 6:24.
40 Cf. ⇒ Mk 7:21.
41 St. Thomas
Aquinas, STh I-II, 26, 4, corp. art.
42 Cf. St.
Augustine, De Trin., 8, 3, 4: PL 42, 949-950.
43 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 14, 7, 2: PL 41, 410.
44 St. Thomas
Aquinas, STh I-II, 24, 1 corp. art.
45 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 24, 3.
⇒ Ps 84:2.
47 GS 16.
48 Cf. ⇒ Rom 2:14-16.
49 Cf. ⇒ Rom 1:32.
John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk,"
V, in Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching II (London: Longmans Green, 1885), 248.
51 St. Augustine, In ep Jo. 8, 9: PL 35, 2041.
52 1 ⇒ Jn 3:19-20.
53 DH 3 # 2.
54 Cf. ⇒ Ps 119:105.
55 Cf. DH 14.
56 ⇒ Mt 7:12; cf.
⇒ Tob 4:15.
57 ⇒ 1 Cor 8:12.
58 ⇒ Rom 14:21.
59 GS 16.
60 ⇒ 1 Tim 5; cf.
8:9; ⇒ 2 Tim
3; ⇒ 1 Pet 3:21;
⇒ Acts 24:16.
61 GS 16.
62 ⇒ Phil 4:8.
63 St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus, 1: PG 44, 1200D.
64 ⇒ Wis 8:7.
65 ⇒ Prov 14:15.
66 ⇒ 1 Pet 4:7.
67 St. Thomas
Aquinas, STh II-II, 47, 2.
68 ⇒ Lev 19:15.
69 ⇒ Col 4:1.
⇒ Ps 118:14.
71 ⇒ Jn 16:33.
72 ⇒ Sir 5:2; cf. 37:27-31.
73 ⇒ Sir 18:30.
74 ⇒ Titus 2:12.
75 St. Augustine, De moribus eccl. 1, 25, 46: PL 32, 1330-1331.
76 Cf. ⇒ 2 Pet 1:4.
77 Cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 13:13.
78 DV 5.
79 ⇒ Gal
Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545.
81 ⇒ Jas 2:26.
82 LG 42; cf. DH 14.
⇒ Mt 10:32-33.
84 ⇒ Heb 10:23.
⇒ Titus 3:6-7.
⇒ Rom 4:18.
88 ⇒ Rom 5:5.
⇒ Heb 6:19-20.
⇒ 1 Thess 5:8.
⇒ Rom 12:12.
92 Cf. ⇒ Rom 8:28-30;
⇒ Mt 7:21.
⇒ Mt 10:22; cf. Council of Trent DS 1541.
94 ⇒ 1 Tim 2:4.
95 St. Teresa of Avila, Excl. 15:3.
96 Cf. ⇒ Jn 13:34.
97 ⇒ Jn 13:1.
98 ⇒ Jn 15:9,
99 ⇒ Jn 15:9-10; cf.
⇒ Rom 5:10.
101 Cf. ⇒ Mt 5:44;
9:37; ⇒ Mt 25:40,
102 ⇒ 1 Cor 13:4-7.
103 ⇒ 1 Cor 13:1-4.
104 ⇒ 1 Cor 13:13.
105 ⇒ Col 3:14.
106 Cf. 1 ⇒ Jn 4:19.
107 St. Basil, Reg. fus. tract., prol. 3 PG 31, 896 B.
108 St. Augustine, In ep. Jo. 10, 4: PL 35, 2057.
109 Cf. ⇒ Isa 11:1-2.
110 ⇒ PS 143:10.
111 ⇒ Rom 8:14
112 Gal 5:22-23 (Vulg.).
113 Cf. ⇒ Lk 15.
114 ⇒ Mt 1:21.
⇒ Mt 26:28.
116 St. Augustine, Sermo 169, 11, 13: PL 38, 923.
117 1 Jn 8-9.
118 ⇒ Rom 5:20.
⇒ Rom 5:21.
120 John Paul II, DeV 31 # 2.
St. Augustine, Contra Faustum 22: PL 42, 418; St. Thomas Aquinas, STh
I-II, 71, 6.
⇒ Ps 51:4.
123 ⇒ Gen
124 St. Augustine,
De civ. Dei 14, 28: PL 41, 436.
125 Cf. ⇒ Phil 2:6-9.
126 Cf. ⇒ Jn 14:30.
127 ⇒ Gal 5:19-21; CE
Cor 9-10; ⇒ Eph 5:3-5;
⇒ Col 3:5-8; 1 Tim
9-10; ⇒ 2 Tim 2-5.
⇒ Mt 15:19-20.
129 Cf. 1 ⇒ Jn 16-17.
Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 88, 2, corp. art.
131 RP 17 # 12.
132 ⇒ Mk 10:19.
133 Cf. ⇒ Mk 3:5-6;
⇒ Lk 16:19-31.
134 John Paul II, RP 17 # 9.
135 St. Augustine, In ep. Jo. 1, 6: PL 35, 1982.
136 ⇒ Mk 3:29; cf.
137 Cf. John Paul
II, DeV 46.
138 Cf. St.
Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, 31, 45: PL 76, 621A.
⇒ Gen 4:10.
140 Cf. ⇒ Gen 18:20;
⇒ Ex 3:7-10.
142 Cf. ⇒ Ex 20:20-22.
143 Cf. ⇒ Deut 24:14-15; ⇒ Jas 5:4.
144 John Paul II, RP 16.
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