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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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HOLINESS, MORAL

Also called ethical holiness, it consists in the practice of virtue. Although closely related to essential holiness, it is nevertheless not the same. It is a person's goodness manifested in action, as distinct from his or her goodness as a person in the state of divine friendship. Sometimes God permits people to be more holy than they seem to be, morally, either to themselves or others. But insofar as holiness is shown in practice, it is moral or ethical. And the practice of virtue is, of course, necessary even to remain in God's grace, let alone to grow in sanctity.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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