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Catechism of the Catholic Church

III. MORAL LIFE AND MISSIONARY WITNESS

2044 The fidelity of the baptized is a primordial condition for the proclamation of the Gospel and for the Church's mission in the world. In order that the message of salvation can show the power of its truth and radiance before men, it must be authenticated by the witness of the life of Christians. "The witness of a Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great power to draw men to the faith and to God." 88

2045 Because they are members of the Body whose Head is Christ, 89 Christians contribute to building up the Church by the constancy of their convictions and their moral lives. The Church increases, grows, and develops through the holiness of her faithful, until "we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." 90

2046 By living with the mind of Christ, Christians hasten the coming of the Reign of God, "a kingdom of justice, love, and peace." 91 They do not, for all that, abandon their earthly tasks; faithful to their master, they fulfill them with uprightness, patience, and love.

IN BRIEF:

2047 The moral life is a spiritual worship. Christian activity finds its nourishment in the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments.

2048 The precepts of the Church concern the moral and Christian life united with the liturgy and nourished by it.

2049 The Magisterium of the Pastors of the Church in moral matters is ordinarily exercised in catechesis and preaching, on the basis of the Decalogue which states the principles of moral life valid for every man.

2050 The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, as authentic teachers, preach to the People of God the faith which is to be believed and applied in moral life. It is also encumbent on them to pronounce on moral questions that fall within the natural law and reason.

2051 The infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all the elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed.

NOTES:

1 Phil 2:12-13.

2 Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum: AAS 20 (1887/88), 597; cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 90, 1.

3 Cf. Tertullian, Adv. Marc, 2, 4: PL 2, 288-289.

4 Rom 10:4.

5 Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, 597.

6 GS 89 § 1.

7 St. Augustine, De Trin. 14, 15, 21: PL 42,1052.

8 St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. I.

9 Cicero, Rep. III, 22, 33.

10 Cf. GS 10.

11 St. Augustine, Conf. 2, 4, 9: PL 32, 678.

12 Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3876; cf. Dei Filius 2: DS 3005.

13 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 57, 1: PL 36, 673.

14 Cf. Rom 7:12, 14, 16.

15 Cf. Gal 3:24.

16 Cf. Rom 7.

17 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 15, 1: PG 7/1, 1012.

18 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 107, 1 ad 2; cf. Rom 5:5.

19 Heb 8:8, 10; cf. Jer 31:31-34.

20 St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. 1, 1: PL 34,1229-1230.

21 Cf. Mt 5:17-19.

22 Cf. Mt 15:18-19.

23 Cf. Mt 5:44, 48.

24 Cf. Mt 6:1-6; 16-18.

25 Cf. Mt 6:9-13; Lk 11:2-4.

26 Cf. Mt 7:13-14, 21-27.

27 Mt 7:12; cf. Lk 6:31.

28 Cf. Jn 15:12; 13:34.

29 Rom 12:9-13.

30 Cf. Rom 14; I Cor 5-10.

31 Jn 15:15; cf. Jas 1:25; 2:12; Gal 4:1-7.21-31; Rom 8:15.

32 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 184, 3.

33 St. Francis de Sales, Love of God 8, 6.

34 Rom 3:22; cf. 6:3-4.

35 Rom 6:8-11.

36 Cf. I Cor 12; Jn 15:1 4.

37 St. Athanasius, Ep. Serap. 1, 24: PG 26, 585 and 588.

38 Mt 4:17.

39 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1528.

40 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1529.

41 Rom 3:21-26.

42 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1525.

43 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 72, 3: PL 35, 1823.

44 Cf. Rom 7:22; Eph 3:16.

45 Rom 6:19, 22.

46 Cf. Jn 1:12-18; 17:3; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Pet 1:3-4.

47 Cf. I Cor 2:7-9.

48 Cf. Jn 4:14; 7:38-39.

49 2 Cor 5:17-18.

50 St. Augustine, De gratia et libero arbitrio, 17: PL 44, 901.

51 St. Augustine, De natura et gratia, 31: PL 44, 264.

52 St. Augustine, Conf. 13, 36, 51: PL 32, 868; cf. Gen 1:31.

53 Cf. LG 12.

54 Cf. I Cor 12.

55 Rom 12:6-8.

56 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1533-1534.

57 Mt 7:20.

58 Acts of the trial of St. Joan of Arc.

59 Roman Missal, Prefatio I de sanctis; Qui in Sanctorum concilio celebraris, et eorum coronando merita tua dona coronas, citing the "Doctor of grace," St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 102, 7: PL 37, 1321-1322.

60 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1546.

61 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1548.

62 St. Augustine, Sermo 298, 4-5: PL 38, 1367.

63 St. Therese of Lisieux, "Act of Offering" in Story of a Soul, tr. John Clarke (Washington Dc: ICS, 1981), 277.

64 Rom 8:28-30.

65 LG 40 § 2.

66 Mt 5:48.

67 LG 40 § 2.

68 Cf. 2 Tim 4.

69 St. Gregory of Nyssa, Hom. in Cant. 8: PG 44, 941C.

70 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1576.

71 Rev 21:2.

72 Gal 6:2.

73 Rom 12:1.

74 I Tim 3:15; LG 17.

75 CIC, can. 747 § 2.

76 LG 25.

77 Cf. LG 25; CDF, declaration, Mysterium Ecclesiae 3.

78 Cf. DH 14.

79 Cf. CIC, can. 213.

80 Cf. I Cor 2:10-15.

81 Cf. Rom 12:8, 11.

82 Cf. CIC, cann. 1246-1248; CCEO, cann. 880 § 3, 881 §§ 1, 2, 4.

83 Cf. CIC, can. 989; CCEO, can. 719.

84 Cf. CIC, can. 920; CCEO, cann. 708; 881 § 3.

85 Cf. CIC, cann. 1249-1251: CCEO can. 882.

86 Cf. CIC, can. 222; CCEO can. 25; Furthermore, episcopal conferences can establish other ecclesiastical precepts for their own territories. (Cf. CIC, can. 455).

87 Cf. CIC, can. 222.

88 AA 6 § 2.

89 Cf. Eph 1:22.

90 Eph 4:13; cf. LG 39.

91 Roman Missal, Preface of Christ the King.

Notes:

88 AA 6 § 2.

89 Cf. Eph 1:22.

90 Eph 4:13; cf. LG 39.

91 Roman Missal, Preface of Christ the King.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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