Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

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

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

SERVICE

In general, performing one's religious duty as a creature toward God, and fulfilling one's moral responsibility of meeting the needs of others. To serve God is the primary obligation of human beings, personally and socially, to be done in acts of worship and prayer; and in acts of virtue as prescribed by the natural and revealed laws of God. This corresponds to the first three commandments of the Decalogue, and is summarized in the precept to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37). To serve others is the secondary obligation of a person, deriving from the preceding duty and depending on it. This corresponds to the last seven commandments of God and is synthesized in the precept "You must love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39). On these two commandments of service, Christ says, rest the whole law and the Prophets also. (Etym. Latin servus, a slave, servant, subject to the right of others.)

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

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17