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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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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.