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Catechism of the Catholic Church

"Apart from me you can do nothing"

2074 Jesus says: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." 33 The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of his mysteries, and keep his commandments, the Savior himself comes to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our Father and our brethren. His person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." 34

IN BRIEF:

2075 "What good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" - "If you would enter into life, keep the commandments" (Mt 19:16-17).

2076 By his life and by his preaching Jesus attested to the permanent validity of the Decalogue.

2077 The gift of the Decalogue is bestowed from within the covenant concluded by God with his people. God's commandments take on their true meaning in and through this covenant.

2078 In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with Jesus' example, the tradition of the Church has always acknowledged the primordial importance and significance of the Decalogue.

2079 The Decalogue forms an organic unity in which each "word" or "commandment" refers to all the others taken together. To transgress one commandment is to infringe the whole Law (cf. Jas 2:10-11).

2080 The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law. It is made known to us by divine revelation and by human reason.

2081 The Ten Commandments, in their fundamental content, state grave obligations. However, obedience to these precepts also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light.

2082 What God commands he makes possible by his grace.

NOTES:

1 Mt 19:16-19.

2 Mt 19:21.

3 Cf. Mt 5:17.

4 Cf. Mt 19:6-12, 21, 23-29.

5 Mt 5:20.

6 Cf. Mt 5:46-47.

7 Mt 5:21-22.

8 Mt 22:36.

9 Mt 22:37-40; cf. Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18.

10 Rom 13:9-10.

11 Ex 34:28; Deut 4:13; 10:4.

12 Ex 31:18; Deut 5:22.

13 Cf. Deut 31:9. 24.

14 Cf. Ex 20:1-17.

15 Cf. Deut 5:6-22.

16 Cf. for example Hos 4:2; Jer 7:9; Ezek 18:5-9.

17 Deut 30:16.

18 Deut 5:15.

19 Deut 5:22.

20 Ex 25:16; 31:18; 32:15; 34:29; 40:1-2.

21 Deut 5:4.

22 Cf. Ex 19.

23 Cf. Ex 24:7.

24 Deut 5:2.

25 Origen, Hom. in Ex. 8,1: PG 12, 350; cf. Ex 20:2; Deut 5:6.

26 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres., 4, 16, 3-4: PG 7/1, 1017-1018.

27 St. Augustine, Sermo 33, 2, 2: PL 38, 208.

28 Cf. DS 1569-1570.

29 LG 24.

30 Cf. Jas 2:10-11.

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

32 St. Bonaventure, Comm. sent. 4, 37, 1, 3.

33 Jn 15:5.

34 Jn 15:12.

Notes:

33 Jn 15:5.

34 Jn 15:12.

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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