Catechism References

Catholic Funerals
Catholic Morality
Order Of The Mass
Liturgy and Cycles
Regarding Saints
The Eucharist

540 Jesus' temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him.<244> This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us : "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning."<245>

244. Cf. Mt 16:21-23.
245. Heb 4:15.

880 When Christ instituted the Twelve, "he constituted [them] in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them."<398> Just as "by the Lord's institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another."<399>

881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church, and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.<400> "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head."<401> This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

882 The Pope , Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful."<402> "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."<403>

883 "The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head." As such, this college has "supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff."<404>

884 "The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council."<405> But "there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognised as such by Peter's successor."<406>

885 "This college, in so far as it is composed of many members, is the expression of the variety and universality of the People of God; and of the unity of the flock of Christ, in so far as it is assembled under one head."<407>

886 "The individual bishops are the visible source and foundation of unity in their own particular Churches."<408> As such, they "exercise their pastoral office over the portion of the People of God assigned to them,"<409> assisted by priests and deacons. But, as a member of the episcopal college, each bishop shares in the concern for all the Churches.<410> The bishops exercise this care first "by ruling well their own Churches as portions of the universal Church," and so contributing "to the welfare of the whole Mystical Body, which, from another point of view, is a corporate body of Churches."<411> They extend it especially to the poor,<412> to those persecuted for the faith, as well as to missionaries who are working t

398. LG 19; cf. Lk 6:13; Jn 21:15-17.
399. LG 22; cf. CIC, can. 330.
400. Cf. Mt 16:18-19; Jn 21:15-17.
401. LG 22 2.
402. LG 23.
403. LG 22; cf. CD 2, 9.
404. LG 22; cf. CIC, can. 336.
405. CIC, can. 337 1.
406. LG 22.
407. LG 22.
408. LG 23.
409. LG 23.
410. Cf. CD 3.
411. LG 23.
412. Cf. Gal 2:10.

1434 The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer and almsgiving,<31> which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: efforts at reconciliation with one's neighbour, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one's neighbour, the intercession of the saints and the practice of charity "which covers a multitude of sins."<32>

1435 Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defence of justice and right<33> by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.<3

31. Cf. Tob 12:8; Mt 6:1-18.
32. 1 Pt 4:8; cf. Jas 5:20.
33. Cf. Am 5:24; Is 1:17.
34. Cf. Lk 9:23.

1438 The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice.<36> These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).

36. Cf. SC 109-110; CIC, cann. 1249-1253; CCEO, cann. 880-883.

1694 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, Christians are "dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" and so participate in the life of the Risen Lord.<8> Following Christ and united with him,<9> Christians can strive to be "imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in love"<10> by conforming their thoughts, words and actions to the "mind... which is yours in Christ Jesus,"<11> and by following his example.<12>

8. Rom 6:11 and cf. 6:5; cf. Col 2:12.
9. Cf. Jn 15:5.
10. Eph 5:1-2.
11. Phil 2:5.
12. Cf. Jn 13:12-16.

1701 " 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 Saviour, 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>

1702 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 ).

1703 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.

1704 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 good."<

2. GS 22.
3. Col 1:15; cf. 2 Cor 4:4.
4. Cf. GS 22.
5. GS 14 2.
6. GS 24 3.
7. GS 15 2.

1706 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 neighbour. Living a moral life bears witness to the dignity of the person.

9. GS 16.

1707 "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

10. GS 13 1.
11. GS 13 2.

1708 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.

1709 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 Saviour, 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.

1716 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 of heaven:

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 satisfied.
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>

12. Mt 5:3-10.

1717 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.

1718 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>

1719 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.

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.

1723 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 veneration.<24>

1724 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 God.<25>

24. 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 13:3-23.

1730 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 him."<26>

Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.<27>

1731 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.

26. GS 17; Sir 15:14.
27. St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 4, 3: PG 7/1, 983.

1740 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 neighbourly fellowship, and rebels against divine truth.

1741 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>

1742 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 will.<38>

33. CDF, Instr. Libertatis conscientia 13.
34. Gal 5:1.
35. Cf. Jn 8:32.
36. 2 Cor 3:17.
37. Rom 8:21.
38. Missale Romanum, 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.

1749 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.

1750 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.

1751 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.

1752 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 neighbour 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 favour or to boast about it.

1753 A good intention (for example, that of helping one's neighbour) does not make behaviour 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>

1754 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.

1755 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 men").

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 evil.

1756 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.

39. Cf. Mt 6:2-4.

1762 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.

1763 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.

1764 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 passions spring.<40>

1765 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.

1766 "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>

1767 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>

1768 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 .

1769 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.

1770 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>

40. Cf. Mk 7:21.
41. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 26, 4,
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.
46. Ps 84:2.

1776 "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 his depths."<47>

1777 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 speaking.

1778 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 divine law:

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>

47. GS 16.
48. Cf. Rom 2:14-16.
49. Cf. Rom 1:32.
50. 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.

1791 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 commits.

59. GS 16.

1782 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 religious matters."<53>

53. DH 3 2.

1783 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.

1784 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.

1785 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>

54. Cf. Ps 119:105.
55. Cf. DH 14.

1787 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.

1789 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 them."<56>
-- charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's neighbour 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>

56. Mt 7:12; cf. Lk 6:31; Tob 4:15.
57. 1 Cor 8:12.
58. Rom 14:21.

1793 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.

1803 "Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, 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>

62. Phil 4:8.
63. St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus, 1: PG 44, 1200D.

1804 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.

1805 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] labours are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice and courage."<64> These virtues are praised under other names in many passages of Scripture.

64. Wis 8:7.

1806 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 judgement of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgement. 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.

65. Prov 14:15.
66. 1 Pt 4:7.
67. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 47, 2.

1807 Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbour. 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 neighbour. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbour."<68> "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven." <69>

68. Lev 19:15.
69. Col 4:1.

1808 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 defence 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 world.<71>

70. Ps 118:14.
71. Jn 16:33.

1809 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 honourable. 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>

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.

1812 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.

1813 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 charity.<77>

76. Cf. 2 Pt 1:4.
77. Cf. 1 Cor 13:13.

1814 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] through charity."<79>

78. DV 5.
79. Rom 1:17; Gal 5:6.

1815 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.

80. Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545.
81. Jas 2:26.

1816 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>

82. LG 42; cf. DH 14.
83. Mt 10:32-33.

1817 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 Saviour, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.<85>

84. Heb 10:23.
85. Titus 3:6-7.

1818 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.

1822 Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God.

1823 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>

1824 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>

1825 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 neighbour 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>

1826 "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>

1827 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 divine love.

96. Cf. Jn 13:34.
97. Jn 13:1.
98. Jn 15:9, 12.
99. Jn 15:9-10; cf. Mt 22:40; Rom 13:8-10.
100. Rom 5:10.
101. Cf. Mt 5:44; Lk 10:27-37; Mk 9:37; Mt 25:40, 45.
102. 1 Cor 13:4-7.
103. 1 Cor 13:1-4.
104. 1 Cor 13:13.
105. Col 3:14.

1830 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.

1831 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 inspirations.

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>

109. Cf. Is 11:1-2.
110. Ps 143:10.
111. Rom 8:14, 17.

1832 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>

112. Gal 5:22-23 (VULG.).

1849 Sin is an offence against reason, truth and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbour 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 law."<121>

1850 Sin is an offence 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, <125>

121. St. Augustine, Contra Faustum 22: PL 42, 418; St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 71, 6.
122. Ps 51:4.
123. Gen 3:5.
124. St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 14, 28: PL 41, 436.
125. Cf. Phil 2:6-9.

1854 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.

129. Cf. 1 Jn 5:16-17.

1855 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.

1857 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>

1858 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, Honour 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.

1859 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 heart<133> do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

131. RP 17 12.
132. Mk 10:19.
133. Cf. Mk 3:5-6; Lk 16:19-31.

1859 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 heart<133> do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offence. 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 offence, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

133. Cf. Mk 3:5-6; Lk 16:19-31.

1861 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 offence, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

1862 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.

1863 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 happiness."<134>

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>

134. John Paul II, RP 17 9.
135. St. Augustine, In ep. Jo. 1, 6: PL 35, 1982.

1864 "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 eternal loss.

136. Mk 3:29; cf. Mt 12:32; Lk 12:10.
137. Cf. John Paul II, DeV 46.

1866 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.

138. Cf. St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, 31, 45: PL 76, 621A.

1867 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 wage earner. <143>

139. Cf. Gen 4:10.
140. Cf. Gen 18:20; 19:13.
141. Cf. Ex 3:7-10.
142. Cf. Ex 20:20-22.
143. Cf. Dt 24:14-15; Jas 5:4.

1868 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.

1869 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>

144. John Paul II, RP 16.

1972 The New Law is called a law of love because it makes us act out of the love infused by the Holy Spirit, rather than from fear; a law of grace , because it confers the strength of grace to act, by means of faith and the sacraments; a law of freedom , because it sets us free from the ritual and juridical observances of the Old Law, inclines us to act spontaneously by the prompting of charity and, finally, lets us pass from the condition of a servant who "does not know what his master is doing" to that of a friend of Christ -- "For all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you" -- or even to the status of son and heir.<31>

31. Jn 15:15; cf. Jas 1:25; 2:12; Gal 4:1-7. 21-31; Rom 8:15.

2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbour:

2042 The first precept ("You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation") requires the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian community gathers together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord.<82>

The second precept ("You shall confess your sins at least once a year") ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism's work of conversion and forgiveness.<83>

The third precept ("You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord's Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and centre of the Christian liturgy.<84>

82. Cf. CIC, cann. 1246-1248; CCEO, can. 881 1, 2, 4.
83. Cf. CIC, can. 989; CCEO, can. 719.
84. Cf. CIC, can. 920; CCEO, cann. 708; 881 3.

2043 The fourth precept ("You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation") completes the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honour the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary and the saints.<85>

The fifth precept ("You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.<86>

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.<87>

85. Cf. CIC, can. 1246; CCEO, cann. 881 1, 4; 880 3.
86. Cf. CIC, cann. 1249-1251; CCEO, can. 882.
87. Cf. CIC, can. 222.

2055 When someone asks him, "Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?"<8> Jesus replies: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets."<9> The Decalogue must be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law:

The commandments: "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.<10>

8. Mt 22:36.
9. Mt 22:37-40; cf. Dt 6:5; Lev 19:18.
10. Rom 13:9-10.

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."<110>

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."<111>

110. CIC, can. 1246 1.
111. CIC, can. 1246 2: "The conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See."

                                           Edited: December 29, 2006 - Webmaster: Webmaster
                                            Copyright Sts. Martha and Mary Parish, Mississauga 2005 - 2007
Copyright & Privacy Policy Statements