Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Constitution of the Norrisites



The Fr Jim Norris Reflections

The Constitution has specially selected Cannon Laws and Catechism citations to aid the novice in formation and is an additional aid to develop the faith and includes selected; scripture, Canon Law, Catechism, Encyclicals and the teaching of the living Magisterium by live broadcasts from the Vatican.
Our charism is rooted from the Fr Norris diary, these are the reflections taken from the eight handwritten notebooks of Fr Jim Norris which is adapted from the Columban 30 day St Ignatius retreat he did in the 1940’s at Essedon, Australia.
Step before popularility. The approval letter by Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, and Fr. Sebastiano Paciolla, O. Cist., respectively secretary and sub-secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Introduction
The aim of every Christian is to love God with all their heart, mind, body and soul and the neighbor also. This has been the goal of every human being since the beginning. Happiness is the object we all strive for the question is, how do we achieve this state continuously?

The objective of this work is to disseminate the information from the Fr Norris ‘work’, which are his notes on spiritual and doctrinal theories based on the Spiritual Exercise as defined by St Ignatius.  To be truly happy continuously a person needs “to conquer oneself and regulate one’s life without determining oneself through any tendency that is disordered.”

All the virtues lead to a happy life with the good of man being the highest state of pleasure and thus being continual and not a fleeting emotion. Whatever the part of the world, the leading spiritual masters have found that agape is goal of everyone. Aristotle in 347BC, taught that happiness is being in a state that is achieved by virtue, since humans receive the highest form of fulfillment from good works. The state of happiness cannot be achieved by the purchase of objects or is it a possession, it is not a feeling, because this is temporary and happiness is fulfillment, a continuous state where even in moments of trail our heart is in a state of love and peace.  A spiritual journey is something that is often unseen and the smallest ripples in the pond can create a spiritual change in your life and those of your family.     
The grace that Jesus Christ gives us in return for loving him is unquestionable great, often unseen yet powerful and our lives are to learn to hear His voice the Holy Spirit and live like he teaches, “to love one another as I have loved you.”

I have inserted Biblical text and corresponding references to help the reader in their meditations. The work is written for anyone, of any denomination but especially aimed at those who are willing to develop their Catholic faith.  The reader needs to note the 18th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises and also to follow the instructions regarding the ‘Examen’ at the end of the book. Every day keep notes in a diary, pray constantly, and follow the instructions. The bold headings, “thoughts” are Fr Norris’s spiritual thoughts on the past contemplations and are a key to a deeper understanding. The heading “aspirations” is for you to think about your own aspirations I have left the aspirations of Fr Norris for you to contemplate.

[1]Never say that your lives are irrelevant and useless. «Who is weak», says Saint Paul, «and I am not weak?» (Cor. 11: 29). If you have this sensitivity to the physical, moral and social deficiencies of mankind, you will also find in yourselves another sensitivity, that to the potential good which is always to be found in every human being; for a priest, every life is worthy of love. This twofold sensitivity, to evil and to good in man, is the beating of Christ’s heart in that of the faithful priest. It is not without something of the miraculous, a miracle that is psychological, moral and, if you like, mystical, while at the same time being very much a social one. It is a miracle of charity in the heart of a priest.

[2]The grace to learn the true listening, able to put aside their personal priorities being available to the priority of God's grace to be brought up to make his life an act of obedience in faith to God's will is, in other words, to be open to the beneficent power of Truth, which is not subject to what is transitory, emotional, questionable.
[3]The liturgy of the Church, however, guarantees the Word of God by arbitrary reductions, by misinterpretation, handing it in its entirety and truth, so that the whole mystery of Christ there content can be heard and become the beginning of a new way of thinking and live. Only in this way the Christian soul gradually acquires the thought of Christ, relives his feelings, becomes able to look upon himself and the world that is just for the faith of the Church. It 'just that look of a common faith that the liturgy is able to keep with care.
So, the revealed truth of God both requires and stimulates the believer’s reason. On the one hand, the truth of the Word of God must be considered and probed by the believer – thus begins the intellectus fidei, the form taken here below by the believer’s desire to see God.[114] Its aim is not at all to replace faith,[115] rather it unfolds naturally from the believer’s act of faith, and it can indeed assist those whose faith may be wavering in the face of hostility.[116] The fruit of the believer’s rational reflection is an understanding of the truths of faith. By the use of reason, the believer grasps the profound connections between the different stages in the history of salvation and also between the various mysteries of faith which illuminate one another. On the other hand, faith stimulates reason itself and stretches its limits. Reason is stirred to explore paths which of itself it would not even have suspected it could take. This encounter with the Word of God leaves reason enriched, because it discovers new and unsuspected horizons.[117] Fides et Ratio 73.
Justification.

“The ultimate foundation of all proof on which thought rests are never measured they are only perceived. But everyone knows that perception is something unique. It is not separated from the intellectual stance an individual has adopted during their lifetime.” Principles of Catholic Theology. P 73.

ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL FRANCIS TO THE PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE NTERNATIONAL UNION OF THE SUPERIOR GENERAL (UISG)
Paul VI Audience Hall.  
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
  
Your Eminence,
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and dear, dear sisters!
I'm glad to meet you today and I wish to greet each of you, thanking you for what you do so that the consecrated life is always a light in the path of the Church. Dear sisters, first of all I thank the dear brother Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, for the words he addressed to me, I also like the presence of the Secretary of the Congregation. The theme of your conference seems to me particularly important for the task that has been entrusted to: "The Service of Authority according to the Gospel." In the light of this expression would like to propose three simple thoughts, which I leave to your personal and community study.
1. Jesus at the Last Supper, is addressed to the Apostles with these words: "Ye have not chosen me, but I chose you" ( Jn 15:16), reminding everyone, not just to us priests, that a vocation is always an initiative of God is Christ who has called you to follow him in the consecrated life and this means continually make a "exodus" from you was going to center your life on Christ and on his Gospel , on the will of God, spogliandovi of your projects to be able to say with St. Paul: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" ( Gal 2:20). This "exodus" from themselves is to start on a journey of worship and service. An exodus that leads us to a path of worship of the Lord and service to Him in our brothers and sisters. Worship and serve: two attitudes which can not be separated, but must always go together. Worship the Lord and serve others, not taking anything for himself: this is the "stripping" of those who exercise authority. Live and always recalled the centrality of Christ, the evangelical identity of the consecrated life. Help your community to live l '"exodus" by itself on a path of worship and service, primarily through the three cornerstones of your existence.
Obedience as listening to the will of God, in the interior motion of the Holy Spirit by the Church, accepting that obedience even walk through human mediation. Remember that the authority-obedience is placed in the broader context of the mystery of the Church and is a particular implementation of its function as mediator (cf. Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, The Service of Authority and the 'obedience, 12).http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccscrlife/documents/rc_con_ccscrlife_doc_20080511_autorita-obbedienza_it.html
Poverty as the overcoming of selfishness in the logic of the Gospel which teaches them to trust in God's Providence Poverty as an indication to the whole Church that we are not to build the Kingdom of God, not human means that will make him grow, but it is primarily the power, the grace of the Lord, which works through our weakness. " My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made ​​perfect in weakness , "says the Apostle to the Gentiles ( 2 Cor 12:9). Poverty teaches that solidarity, sharing and charity, and that is also expressed in a sobriety and joy of the essential, to warn the idols materials that obscure the true meaning of life. Poverty you learn with the humble, the poor, the sick and all those who are in the suburbs of existential life. The theoretical poverty do not need. Poverty is learned by touching the meat of the poor Christ, the humble, the poor, the sick, the children.
And then chastity as valuable charisma, which enlarges the freedom of the gift to God and to others, with the tenderness, mercy, Christ's closeness. Chastity for the Kingdom of Heaven shows how affectivity has its place in the freedom matures and becomes a sign of the future world, to shine forever But the primacy of God, please, chastity "fruitful", a chastity that generates spiritual children in the Church. The consecrated mother, mother to be and not "spinster"! Excuse me if I talk like this, but it is important that maternity of the consecrated life, this fruitfulness! This joy of the spiritual fruitfulness animate your existence, be mothers, the figure of Mary as Mother and the Mother Church. You can not understand Mary without her motherhood, you can not understand the Church without her motherhood and you're icon of Mary and the Church.
2. A second point I would like to emphasize the exercise of authority is the service : we must never forget that the real power, at whatever level, is the service, which has its bright summit on the Cross. Benedict XVI , with great wisdom, has called several times to the Church at the man authorities is often synonymous with possession, dominion, successful, for God's authority is always synonymous with service, humility, love, means enter into the logic of Jesus stoops to wash the feet of the Apostles (cf. Angelus , January 29, 2012 ), and says to his disciples: "You know that the rulers of the nations dominate over them ... will not be so among you; vostr to the motto of the assembly, 'between you will not be so '- but who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave "( Mt 20:25-27). Think of the damage they cause to the People of God, men and women of the Church who are careerists, climbers, who "use" the people, the Church, our brothers and sisters - those who should serve - as a springboard for their own interests and personal ambitions. But these do a great harm to the Church.http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/angelus/2012/documents/hf_ben-xvi_ang_20120129_it.html
May you always exercise the authority accompanying, understanding, helping, loving, embracing everybody, especially the people who feel alone, except, arid, the suburbs of existence of the human heart. We keep an eye to the Cross: there lies any authority in the Church, where the One who is the Lord became a servant to the total gift of self.
3. Finally, the ' ecclesial nature as one of the constitutive dimensions of consecrated life, a dimension that has to be constantly shooting and depth in life. Your vocation is a fundamental charism for the Church's journey, and it is possible that a consecrated and non-consecrated "feel" with the Church. A "feel" with the Church, that gave us in Baptism, a "feel" with the Church, which finds its expression in filial fidelity to the Magisterium, in communion with the Bishops and the Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, the visible sign the unit. The proclamation and witness to the Gospel, for every Christian, are never an isolated act. This is important, proclamation and witness to the Gospel to every Christian is never an isolated act or group, and any evangelist does not act, as he remembered very well Paul VI , "by virtue of a personal inspiration, but in union with the mission of the Church and in the name of it "(ibid.,  Evangelii nuntiandi , 80). It continued by Paul VI is a dichotomy absurd to think of living with Jesus without the Church, to follow Jesus outside of the Church, to love Jesus without loving the Church (cf. ibid. , 16). Feel the responsibilities you have to take care of your training institutes in the sound doctrine of the Church, in the Church and in the spirit of the Church.http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_p-vi_exh_19751208_evangelii-nuntiandi_it.html
In short, the centrality of Christ and his Gospel, authority as a service of love, "feel" and in with the Mother Church: three suggestions that I wish to leave, which unite once again my gratitude for your work is not always easy. What would the Church be without you? The lack motherhood, affection, tenderness, intuition as a mother!
Dear sisters, be certain that you follow with affection. I pray for you, but you also pray for me.Greet your communities my part, especially the sick and the young sisters. To all I extend my encouragement to follow with frankness and with joy the Gospel of Christ. Be joyful, because it's nice to follow Jesus, it's nice to become a living icon of the Virgin and of our Holy Mother the Church hierarchy. Thank you.© Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

The disciple’s joy serves as remedy for a world fearful of the future and
overwhelmed by violence and hatred. The disciple’s joy is not a feeling of selfish well-being,
but a certainty that springs from faith, that soothes the heart and provides the ability to
proclaim the good news of God’s love. Knowing Jesus is the best gift that any person can
receive; that we have encountered Him is the best thing that has happened I n our lives, and
making him known by our word and deeds is our joy.


Formation rule.
The most important part of formation is the Psalm 22
But I am a worm, not a man, scorned by men, despised by the people
8. All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me:
9. “He relied on the LORD—let him deliver him; if he loves him, let him rescue him.” (Ps 22:7.)
 
Why this Psalm? I believe humility is the greatest asset a missionary has. Fr Jim teaches that you don’t need to aim at doing great things, just open your hearts to God.   



“166. Another aspect of catechesis which has developed in recent decades is mystagogic initiation.[128] This basically has to do with two things: a progressive experience of formation involving the entire community and a renewed appreciation of the liturgical signs of Christian initiation. Many manuals and programmes have not yet taken sufficiently into account the need for a mystagogical renewal, one which would assume very different forms based on each educational community’s discernment. Catechesis is a proclamation of the word and is always centred on that word, yet it also demands a suitable environment and an attractive presentation, the use of eloquent symbols, insertion into a broader growth process and the integration of every dimension of the person within a communal journey of hearing and response.” Apostolic exhortation. Evangelii gaudium. of the holy Father Francis. http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html

Community rule.

L.o.H. Liturgy of hours.  

Prayers.



It is certain that the two main canonical hours (Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer) have been drawn also in relation to the two daily sacrifices of the Temple: the morning one and the evening one. Also the prayers of Terce [Midmorning], Sext [Midday] and None [Midafternoon] correspond to as many moments of prayer of the Judaic practice. On the day of Pentecost, the Apostles were gathered in prayer at the Third Hour (cf. Acts 2:15). Saint Peter had the vision of the sheet descending from heaven, while he was at prayer on a terrace towards the Sixth Hour. On another occasion, Peter and John were going up to the Temple to pray at the Ninth Hour (cf. Acts 3:1). And let us not forget that Paul and Silas, locked in prison, prayed singing hymns to God towards midnight (cf. Acts 16:25).
“In persevering along the path of obedience,” said Pope Francis, “personal and communal wisdom matures, and thus it also becomes possible to adapt rules to the times – for true aggiornamento is the fruit of wisdom forged in docility and obedience.” http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-to-religious-obedience-key-to-joy-cre

A Moderator, assisted by an International Council whose members are elected for a three-year term, which may be renewed for a maximum of two consecutive terms, from among the members of the Community
The novice has a trail period of 6 months work under the guidance of the Paraclete.
Discernment prayer and contemplation are the primary work at this stage.
[4]Our work is God’s will; for us it means He has given us to the grace to sanctify our souls. The work of the House is primarily to sanctify our own souls, secondly to prepare our minds for the work of ‘The Church,’ the mystical Body of Christ.

The separation of gender should not be an issue. Male and female God created them and conflict is a part of human nature, enmity exists. The maturity of Novices is to be trusted when it comes to sex before marriage and modesty. Always appropriate respect and dignity is to be maintained.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God.”  (Romans 12:1-2)
[5]What is our purpose in life? - To praise reverence and serve God and to attain salvation.
[6]We are in sin or about to sin the devil will bring along consolation or attractiveness for the sin, making the sin a pleasure which it is not as you know after you commit the sin. The good spirit plucks your conscience and gives you remorse and severe pangs of conscience after the sin is committed.
[7]The Holy Spirit on the other hand brings consolation, incites in a person a real love of God. We feel this real happiness, humble ourselves and remember this consolation is from God. We must prepare for desolation which will come, nor should we build too much on consolation.
[8]Never miss an opportunity of seeing a death bed a wonderful grace. Imagine yourself on your death bed. You are completely abandoned now by all. Nobody can do anything for you. Death is hard.
The face of your life should come from the tabernacle. If you want to do something big, make a noise before the tabernacle, not before the public in the daily paper. Look into yourself and see whether or not you like your spiritual duties; meditation, exam etc…
Try to obtain great love for prayer, do not pray because a bell rings or everybody else prays.
We are not a counseling service. We recommend prayer.
 No Violence or Drugs or Alcohol in though these doors of St Joseph’s House and on Church property.
[9]Be not hasty to judge one another. [10]Then I say with St Paul. “To me it is a small thing to be judged by you, or by man’s day, but neither do I judge myself. He that judges me is THE LORD! (1 Cor 4:3-4) “Judge not, and you shall not be judged.” (Luke 6:37.)
Romans 14:7-12
Avoid idle curiosity curb eyesight, newspapers, magazines, T.V. looking at other people with curiosity or lust, even from things lawful so that when something sinful comes alone you may not gaze at it. Watch carefully against this.
No answering back to cause arguments.[11] “It is better to leaveeach one in their own opinion than to enter into argument.”
Criticizing or losing temper even interiorly in not good. To acquire humility it is essential to die to self. And you can die to self by being as charitable as possible with others. Think of their happiness and pleasure all the time. Leave yourself out together. Accept all humiliations in the right spirit, no resentment. By becoming charitable and forgetful of your own interests, humility will come. After all too we have not much to be proud and vain about. Nothing of us belongs to us and as it is we are only dust. Vain glory is setting forth our own excellence as though we were responsible for it.
Brethren: Learn to live and move in the spirit then there is no danger of giving way to impulses of corrupt nature…..   those who belong to Christ have crucified nature with all it’s passions, all it’s impulses. (Gal 5:16-24)
[12]I resolve to spend ¼ hour a day reading the Psalms,and reading a commentary upon them.
6:1. [13]Whosoever are servants under the yoke, let them count their masters worthy of all honour; lest the name of the Lord and his doctrine be blasphemed.
6:2. But they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but serve them the rather, because they are faithful and beloved, who are partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
6:3. If any man teach otherwise and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and to that doctrine which is according to godliness,
6:4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions,
6:5. Conflicts of men corrupted in mind and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness.
6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
6:7. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out.
6:8. But having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content.
6:9. For they that will become rich fall into temptation and into the snare of the devil and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.
6:10. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.
6:11. But thou, O man of God, fly these things: and pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness.
6:12. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called and be it confessed a good confession before many witnesses.
Sin.
If we are in sin or about to sin the devil will bring along consolation or attractiveness for the sin, making the sin a pleasure which it is not as you know after you commit the sin. The good spirit plucks your conscience and gives you remorse and severe pangs of conscience after the sin is committed. When a person is seriously trying to do better in the spiritual life the devil is all the time causing anxiety and scrupulosity of conscience, is always putting forward causes and reasons why you can’t and shouldn’t do this or that. He is always placing obstacles in a person’s way and trying to hinder him, trying to make him cut short his spiritual exercises for example.
The Holy Spirit on the other hand brings consolation, incites in a person a real love of God. We feel this real happiness, humble ourselves and remember this consolation is from God. We must prepare for desolation which will come, nor should we build too much on consolation. When you feel your spiritual exercises a pleasure don’t consider yourself a saint. God however often sends us desolation and not without good reason. Desolation is a feeling of complete objectiveness; loneliness and seeming disgust for everything even our spiritual duties. Desolation makes us angry with ourselves and generally irritable with everything. You feel absolutely miserable, tepid in prayer and no attraction whatsoever for the spiritual life. In time of desolation never make a change in our spiritual duties, mortification, penances or anything. In fact if you are tempted to shorten prayer, give up mortifications or penances increase every one of them by so doing defeating the devil and showing God you mean to be faithful to Him. When desolation comes it is time to look carefully into yourself. Have you broken the rule of the house, neglected prayer or have your thoughts been dark and on some creature other than God. e.g. the coming free day or holidays. You’re not doing God’s will in something. Be patience with yourself however.
A confessor or Spiritual director is to be an ordained Priest or Sister.
Make a sacrificial act every morning after communion. “Take and receive, O’ Lord, my memory, my understanding and my will. What have I that I have not received from thee?” Mean what you say.



Be open. Conceal nothing. Once you reeled off all the sins, infidelities, faults, mistakes and inclinations to Father. Forget them. In all your confessions from now on take them as from the last confession. You begin afresh. A clean slate. As the old sailor said after a good confession. “The pilot is aboard now Father, no chance of being bashed on the rocks”.

[14]Mortifications: Breaking of the will, always so ready to impose itself on others, in holding back a reply, in rendering little services with any recognition, in not leaning the back against a support when seated etc

[15]Lukes Gospel presents to us the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. The rich man personifies the wicked use of riches by those who spend them on uncontrolled and selfish luxuries, thinking soley of satisfying themselves without caring at all for the begger at their door. The poor man, on the contrary, represents the person whom God alone cares for… God does not forget those who are forgotten by all; those who are worthless in human eyes are precious in the Lords.

[16]Vocations. St Therese of Lisieux. “Then in excess of my delirous joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my love, my vocation, at last I have found it..MY VOCATION IS LOVE! 
Peace is to be virtue that we cultivate in ourselves and others with the grace of Jesus and the Pentecost Spirit that sheds the light on our common humanity.[17]The theme of the meeting for peace, “Bound to Live Together” reminds us that we human beings are bound to each other. This social dimension is basically a simple aptitude that derives directly from our human condition. It is therefore our task to give it a positive slant. Living together can turn into living in antagonism, it can become hell if we do not learn to accept each other and if no one wants to be anything other than himself. [18]The world will never be the dwelling place of peace, till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every man, till every man preserves in himself the order ordained by God to be preserved. That is why St. Augustine asks the question: "Does your mind desire the strength to gain the mastery over your passions? Let it submit to a greater power, and it will conquer all beneath it. And peace will be in you—true, sure, most ordered peace. What is that order? God as ruler of the mind; the mind as ruler of the body. Nothing could be more orderly." (69)
We must have a desire to preserve the true image of Jesus Christ.[19]We know that in Christianity too there have been real distortions of the image of God that have led to the disruption of peace which is all the more reason to allow the divine God to purify us, to become people of peace. We must never fail in our joint effort for peace. This is why the many initiatives across the world, such as Sant’Egidio’s annual prayer meeting for peace, and other similar projects are so valuable. The field in which the fruit of peace should flourish must always be cultivated We are often unable to do anything more than ceaselessly prepare the ground for peace, within us and around us, taking many small steps, mindful of the great challenges that humanity as a whole — not the individual — must reckon with, such as migration, globalization, economic crises and the safeguard of creation.
Religious freedom is respected in all people no matter what belief and no coercion is to be used to convert to the Catholic faith. [20]A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man,(1) and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty.
[21]We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you" (Matt. 28: 19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.
[22] Human beings have also the right to choose for themselves the kind of life which appeals to them: whether it is to found a family—in the founding of which both the man and the woman enjoy equal rights and duties—or to embrace the priesthood or the religious life.
[23]It is therefore Our earnest wish that the United Nations Organization may be able progressively to adapt its structure and methods of operation to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks. May the day be not long delayed when every human being can find in this organization an effective safeguard of his personal rights; those rights, that is, which derive directly from his dignity as a human person, and which are therefore universal, inviolable and inalienable. This is all the more desirable in that men today are taking an ever more active part in the public life of their own nations, and in doing so they are showing an increased interest in the affairs of all peoples. They are becoming more and more conscious of being living members of the universal family of mankind. 103. [24]This peace, which the world cannot give, has been left as a heritage to His disciples by the Divine Redeemer Himself: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you" (Saint John xiv. 27); and thus following the sublime teaching of Christ, summed up by Himself in the twofold precept of love of God and of the neighbor, millions of souls have reached, are reaching and shall reach peace. History, wisely called by a great Roman "The Teacher of Life," has proved for close on two thousand years how true is the word of Scripture that he will not have peace who resists God (cf. Job ix. 4). For Christ alone is the "Corner Stone" (Ephesians ii. 20) on which man and society can find stability and salvation.
[25]In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely her relationship to non-Christian religions. In her task of promoting unity and love among men, indeed among nations, she considers above all in this declaration what men have in common and what draws them to fellowship.
One is the community of all peoples, one their origin, for God made the whole human race to live over the face of the earth.(1) One also is their final goal, God. His providence, His manifestations of goodness, His saving design extend to all men,(2) until that time when the elect will be united in the Holy City, the city ablaze with the glory of God, where the nations will walk in His light
[26] "Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence." (Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, Ia-Ilae, q. xciii, art. 3, ad 2m.)
(5.) [27]From the widening and deepening of devotion to the Divine Heart of the Redeemer, which had its splendid culmination in the consecration of humanity at the end of the last century, and further in the introduction, by Our immediate predecessor of happy memory, of the Feast of Christ the King, there have sprung up benefits beyond description for numberless souls - as the stream of the river which maketh the City of God joyful (Psalm xlv. 5). What age had greater need than ours of these benefits? What age has been, for all its technical and purely civic progress, more tormented than ours by spiritual emptiness and deep-felt interior poverty? May we not, perhaps, apply to it the prophetic words of the Apocalypse: "Thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (Apocalypse iii. 17.)
[28](3.) It is not difficult to determine what would be the form and character of the State were it governed according to the principles of Christian philosophy. Man's natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if dwelling apart, provide himself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing his mental and moral faculties. Hence, it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life-be it family, or civil-with his fellow men, amongst whom alone his several wants can be adequately supplied. But, as no society can hold together unless some one be over all, directing all to strive earnestly for the common good, every body politic must have a ruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its Author. Hence, it follows that all public power must proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything, without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve him, so that whosoever holds the right to govern holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the sovereign Ruler of all. "There is no power but from God."(1)
[29](8.) For the only-begotten Son of God established on earth a society which is called the Church, and to it He handed over the exalted and divine office which He had received from His Father, to be continued through the ages to come. "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you."' "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."(6) Consequently, as Jesus Christ came into the world that men "might have life and have it more abundantly,"(7) so also has the Church for its aim and end the eternal salvation of souls, and hence it is so constituted as to open wide its arms to all mankind, unhampered by any limit of either time or place. "Preach ye the Gospel to every creature."(8)
Staying faithful in times of doubt and aridity. [30]Holy Father: Let us perhaps begin by identifying what it is that specifically motivates those who feel scandalized by these crimes that have come to light in recent times. In the light of this information, I can well understand, especially if it involves people who are close, that someone might say: “This is no longer my Church. For me the Church was a humanizing and moralizing force. If representatives of the Church do the opposite, I can no longer live with this Church.”
This is a specific situation. There is generally a variety of motives in the context of the secularization of our society. And such departures are usually the final step in a long process of moving away from the Church. In this context, I think it important to ask oneself; “Why am I in the Church? Do I belong to the Church as I would to a sports club, a cultural association, etc., where I have my interests, such that I can leave if those interests are no longer satisfied? Or is being in the Church something deeper?”
I would say it is important to know that being in the Church is not like being in some association, but it is being in the net of the Lord, with which he draws good fish and bad fish from the waters of death to the land of life. It is possible that I might be alongside bad fish in this net and I sense this, but it remains true that I am in it neither for the former nor for the latter but because it is the Lord's net; it is something different from all human associations, a reality that touches the very heart of my being. In speaking to these people I think we must go to the heart of the question: what is the Church? In what does her diversity consist? Why am I in the Church even though there are terrible scandals and terrible forms of human poverty? Therefore, we should renew our awareness of the special nature  of  “being Church”, of being the people made up of all peoples, which is the People of God, and thereby learn to tolerate even scandals and work against these scandals from within, precisely by being present within  the Lord's great net.
[31]Firmly anchored in faith to the cornerstone which is Christ, let us abide in him, like the branch that can bear no fruit unless it remains attached to the vine. The Church, the People of the New Covenant, is built only in him, for him and with him. On this the Servant of God Paul VI wrote: “The first benefit which We trust the Church will reap from a deepened self-awareness, is a renewed discovery of its vital bond of union with Christ. This is something which is perfectly well known, but it is supremely important and absolutely essential. It can never be sufficiently understood, meditated upon and preached” (Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, 6 August 1964: AAS 56 [1964], 622).
[32]The Venerable Servant of God John Paul II made this urgent task a central point of his far-reaching Magisterial teaching, referring to it as the “new evangelization,” which he systematically explored in depth on numerous occasions—a task that still bears upon the Church today, particularly in regions Christianized long ago. Although this task directly concerns the Church’s way of relating ad extra, it nevertheless presupposes first of all a constant interior renewal, a continuous passing, so to speak, from evangelized to evangelizing. It is enough to recall what was affirmed in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici: “Whole countries and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and capable of fostering a viable and working community of faith, are now put to a hard test, and in some cases, are even undergoing a radical transformation, as a result of a constant spreading of an indifference to religion, of secularism and atheism. This particularly concerns countries and nations of the so-called First World, in which economic well-being and consumerism, even if coexistent with a tragic situation of poverty and misery, inspires and sustains a life lived ‘as if God did not exist’. This indifference to religion and the practice of religion devoid of true meaning in the face of life's very serious problems, are not less worrying and upsetting when compared with declared atheism. Sometimes the Christian faith as well, while maintaining some of the externals of its tradition and rituals, tends to be separated from those moments of human existence which have the most significance, such as, birth, suffering and death.

Novices have a period of 2 years training before field mission work away the House Formation Director.

[33]“As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). These words are a warning that must not be forgotten and a perennial invitation to return the love by which he takes care of us. It is faith that enables us to recognize Christ and it is his love that impels us to assist him whenever he becomes our neighbour along the journey of life. Supported by faith, let us look with hope at our commitment in the world, as we await “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13; cf. Rev 21:1). 




Applicable Canon Laws
[34]Listening to the word of God leads us first and foremost to value the need to live in accordance with this law “written on human hearts” (cf. Rom 2:15; 7:23).
[35]Jesus Christ then gives mankind the new law, the law of the Gospel, which takes up and eminently fulfils the natural law, setting us free from the law of sin, as a result of which, as Saint Paul says, “I can will what is right, but I cannot do it” (Rom 7:18). It likewise enables men and women, through grace, to share in the divine life and to overcome their selfishness.
Can. 224 In addition to those obligations and rights which are common to all the Christian faithful and those which are established in other canons, the lay Christian faithful are bound by the obligations and possess the rights which are enumerated in the canons of this title.
Can. 225 §1. Since, like all the Christian faithful, lay persons are designated by God for the apostolate through baptism and confirmation, they are bound by the general obligation and possess the right as individuals, or joined in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation is made known and accepted by all persons everywhere in the world. This obligation is even more compelling in those circumstances in which only through them can people hear the gospel and know Christ.
§2. According to each one’s own condition, they are also bound by a particular duty to imbue and perfect the order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the gospel and thus to give witness to Christ, especially in carrying out these same affairs and in exercising secular functions.
Can. 226 §1. According to their own vocation, those who live in the marital state are bound by a special duty to work through marriage and the family to build up the people of God.
Can. 229 §1. Lay persons are bound by the obligation and possess the right to acquire knowledge of Christian doctrine appropriate to the capacity and condition of each in order for them to be able to live according to this doctrine, announce it themselves, defend it if necessary, and take their part in exercising the apostolate.
§2. They also possess the right to acquire that fuller knowledge of the sacred sciences which are taught in ecclesiastical universities and faculties or in institutes of religious sciences, by attending classes there and pursuing academic degrees.
§3. If the prescripts regarding the requisite suitability have been observed, they are also qualified to receive from legitimate ecclesiastical authority a mandate to teach the sacred sciences.
Can. 230 §1. Lay men who possess the age and qualifications established by decree of the conference of bishops can be admitted on a stable basis through the prescribed liturgical rite to the ministries of lector and acolyte.
Nevertheless, the conferral of these ministries does not grant them the right to obtain support or remuneration from the Church.
§2. Lay persons can fulfill the function of lector in liturgical actions by temporary designation. All lay persons can also perform the functions of commentator or cantor, or other functions, according to the norm of law.
§3. When the need of the Church warrants it and ministers are lacking, lay persons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply certain of their duties, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside offer liturgical prayers, to confer baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion, according to the prescripts of the law.
Can. 231 §1. Lay persons who permanently or temporarily devote themselves to special service of the Church are obliged to acquire the appropriate formation required to fulfill their function properly and to carry out this function conscientiously, eagerly, and diligently.
§2. Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 230, §1 and with the prescripts of civil law having been observed, lay persons have the right to decent remuneration appropriate to their condition so that they are able to provide decently for their own needs and those of their family. They also have a right for their social provision, social security, and health benefits to be duly provided.
Can. 234 §1. Minor seminaries and other similar institutions are to be preserved, where they exist, and fostered; for the sake of fostering vocations, these institutions provide special religious formation together with instruction in the humanities and science. Where the diocesan bishop judges it expedient, he is to erect a minor seminary or similar institution.
Can. 244 The spiritual formation and doctrinal instruction of the students in a seminary are to be arranged harmoniously and so organized that each student, according to his character, acquires the spirit of the gospel and a close relationship with Christ along with appropriate human maturity.
Can. 245 §1. Through their spiritual formation, students are to become equipped to exercise the pastoral ministry fruitfully and are to be formed in a missionary spirit; they are to learn that ministry always carried out in living faith and charity fosters their own sanctification. They also are to learn to cultivate those virtues which are valued highly in human relations so that they are able to achieve an appropriate integration between human and supernatural goods.
§2. Students are so to be formed that, imbued with love of the Church of Christ, they are bound by humble and filial charity to the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, are attached to their own bishop as faithful coworkers, and work together with their brothers. Through common life in the seminary and through relationships of friendship and of association cultivated with others, they are to be prepared for fraternal union with the diocesan presbyterium whose partners they will be in the service of the Church.
Can. 246 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be the center of the entire life of a seminary in such a way that, sharing in the very love of Christ, the students daily draw strength of spirit for apostolic work and for their spiritual life especially from this richest of sources.
§2. They are to be formed in the celebration of the liturgy of the hours by which the ministers of God pray to God in the name of the Church for all the people entrusted to them, and indeed, for the whole world.
§3. The veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, including the marian rosary, mental prayer, and other exercises of piety are to be fostered; through these, students are to acquire a spirit of prayer and gain strength in their vocation.
§4. Students are to become accustomed to approach the sacrament of penance frequently; it is also recommended that each have a director of his spiritual life whom he has freely chosen and to whom he can confidently open his conscience.
§5. Each year students are to make a spiritual retreat
Can. 248 The doctrinal instruction given is to be directed so that students acquire an extensive and solid learning in the sacred disciplines along with a general culture appropriate to the necessities of place and time, in such way that, grounded in their own faith and nourished thereby, they are able to announce in a suitable way the teaching of the gospel to the people of their own time in a manner adapted to their understanding.
Can. 256 §1. Students are to be instructed diligently in those things which in a particular manner pertain to the sacred ministry, especially in catechetical and homiletic skills, in divine worship and particularly the celebration of the sacraments, in relationships with people, even non-Catholics or non-believers, in the administration of a parish, and in the fulfillment of other functions.
§2. Students are to be instructed about the needs of the universal Church in such a way that they have solicitude for the promotion of vocations and for missionary, ecumenical, and other more urgent questions, including social ones.
Can. 260 In carrying out their proper functions, all must obey the rector, to whom it belongs to care for the daily supervision of the seminary according to the norm of the program of priestly formation and of the rule of the seminary.
Can. 294 After the conferences of bishops involved have been heard, the Apostolic See can erect personal prelatures, which consist of presbyters and deacons of the secular clergy, to promote a suitable distribution of presbyters or to accomplish particular pastoral or missionary works for various regions or for different social groups.
Can. 296 Lay persons can dedicate themselves to the apostolic works of a personal prelature by agreements entered into with the prelature. The statutes, however, are to determine suitably the manner of this organic cooperation and the principal duties and rights connected to it.
Can. 298 §1. In the Church there are associations distinct from institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life; in these associations the Christian faithful, whether clerics, lay persons, or clerics and lay persons together, strive in a common endeavor to foster a more perfect life, to promote public worship or Christian doctrine, or to exercise other works of the apostolate such as initiatives of evangelization, works of piety or charity, and those which animate the temporal order with a Christian spirit.
§2. The Christian faithful are to join especially those associations which competent ecclesiastical authority has erected, praised, or commended.
Can. 299 §1. By means of a private agreement made among themselves, the Christian faithful are free to establish associations to pursue the purposes mentioned in can. 298, §1, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 301, §1.
§2. Even if ecclesiastical authority praises or commends them, associations of this type are called private associations.
§3. No private association of the Christian faithful is recognized in the Church unless competent authority reviews its statutes.
Can. 303 Associations whose members share in the spirit of some religious institute while in secular life, lead an apostolic life, and strive for Christian perfection under the higher direction of the same institute are called third orders or some other appropriate name.

Can. 305 §1. All associations of the Christian faithful are subject to the vigilance of competent ecclesiastical authority which is to take care that the integrity of faith and morals is preserved in them and is to watch so that abuse does not creep into ecclesiastical discipline. This authority therefore has the duty and right to inspect them according to the norm of law and the statutes. These associations are also subject to the governance of this same authority according to the prescripts of the canons which follow.
Can. 307 §1. The reception of members is to be done according to the norm of law and the statutes of each association.
§2. The same person can be enrolled in several associations.
§3. Members of religious institutes can join associations according to the norm of their proper law with the consent of their superior.
Can. 308 No one legitimately enrolled is to be dismissed from an association except for a just cause according to the norm of law and the statutes.
Can. 309 According to the norm of law and the statutes, legitimately established associations have the right to issue particular norms respecting the association itself, to hold meetings, and to designate moderators, officials, other officers, and administrators of goods.
Can. 312 §1. The authority competent to erect public associations is:
1/ the Holy See for universal and international associations;
2/ the conference of bishops in its own territory for national associations, that is, those which from their founding are directed toward activity throughout the whole nation;
3/ the diocesan bishop in his own territory, but not a diocesan administrator, for diocesan associations, except, however, for those associations whose right of erection has been reserved to others by apostolic privilege.
§2. Written consent of the diocesan bishop is required for the valid erection of an association or section of an association in a diocese even if it is done by virtue of apostolic privilege. Nevertheless, the consent given by a diocesan bishop for the erection of a house of a religious institute is also valid for the erection in the same house or church attached to it of an association which is proper to that institute.
Can. 313 Through the same decree by which the competent ecclesiastical authority according to the norm of can. 312 erects it, a public association and even a confederation of public associations is constituted a juridic person and, to the extent it is required, receives a mission for the purposes which it proposes to pursue in the name of the Church.
Can. 314 The statutes of each public association and their revision or change need the approval of the ecclesiastical authority competent to erect the association according to the norm of can. 312, §1.
Can. 315 Public associations are able on their own initiative to undertake endeavors in keeping with their own character. These endeavors are governed according to the norm of the statutes, though under the higher direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1.
Can. 316 §1. A person who has publicly rejected the Catholic faith, has defected from ecclesiastical communion, or has been punished by an imposed or declared excommunication cannot be received validly into public associations.
§2. Those enrolled legitimately who fall into the situation mentioned in §1, after being warned, are to be dismissed from the association, with due regard for its statutes and without prejudice to the right of recourse to the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1.
Can. 317 §1. Unless the statutes provide otherwise, it is for the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1 to confirm the moderator of a public association elected by the public association itself, install the one presented, or appoint the moderator in his own right. The same ecclesiastical authority also appoints the chaplain or ecclesiastical assistant, after having heard the major officials of the association, when it is expedient.
§2. The norm stated in §1 is also valid for associations which members of religious institutes erect outside their own churches or houses in virtue of apostolic privilege. In associations which members of religious institutes erect in their own church or house, however, the nomination or confirmation of the moderator and chaplain pertains to the superior of the institute, according to the norm of the statutes.
§3. In associations which are not clerical, lay persons are able to exercise the function of moderator. A chaplain or ecclesiastical assistant is not to assume that function unless the statutes provide otherwise.
Can. 319 §1. Unless other provision has been made, a legitimately erected public association administers the goods which it possesses according to the norm of the statutes under the higher direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1, to which it must render an account of administration each year.
§2. It must also render to the same authority a faithful account of the expenditure of the offerings and alms which it has collected.
Can. 713 §1. Members of these institutes express and exercise their own consecration in apostolic activity, and like leaven they strive to imbue all things with the spirit of the gospel for the strengthening and growth of the Body of Christ
Can. 713§2. In the world and from the world, lay members participate in the evangelizing function of the Church whether through the witness of a Christian life and of fidelity toward their own consecration, or through the assistance they offer to order temporal things according to God and to inform the world by the power of the gospel.
They also cooperate in the service of the ecclesial community according to their own secular way of life
Can. 715§2. Those who are incardinated in an institute according to the norm of can. 266, §3, however, are subject to the bishop like religious if they are appointed to the proper works of the institute or to the governance of the institute.
Can. 718 The administration of the goods of an institute, which must express and foster evangelical poverty, is governed by the norms of Book V, The Temporal Goods of the Church, and by the proper law of the institute.
Likewise, proper law is to define the obligations of the institute, especially Financial ones, towards members who carry on work for it.
Can. 719 §1. For members to respond faithfully to their vocation and for their apostolic action to proceed from their union with Christ, they are to devote themselves diligently to prayer, to give themselves in a Fitting way to the reading of sacred scripture, to observe an annual period of spiritual retreat, and to perform other spiritual exercises according to proper law.
§2. The celebration of the Eucharist, daily if possible, is to be the source and strength of their whole consecrated life.
§3. They are to approach freely the sacrament of penance which they are to receive frequently.
§4. They are to obtain freely necessary direction of conscience and to seek counsel of this kind even from the moderators, if they wish.
Can. 720 The right of admission into the institute, either for probation or for the assumption of sacred bonds, whether temporary or perpetual or definitive, belongs to the major moderators with their council, according to the norm of the constitutions.
Can. 722 §1. Initial probation is to be ordered in a way that the candidates understand more fittingly their own divine vocation, and indeed, the one proper to the institute, and that they are trained in the spirit and way of life of the institute.
§2. Candidates are properly to be formed to lead a life according to the evangelical counsels and are to be taught to transform their whole life into the apostolate, employing those forms of evangelization which better respond to the purpose, spirit, and character of the institute.
Can. 729 A member is dismissed from an institute according to the norm of cann. 694 and 695; moreover, the constitutions are to determine other causes for dismissal provided that they are proportionately grave, external, imputable, and juridically proven, and the method of proceeding established in cann. 697-700 is to be observed. The prescript of can. 701 applies to one dismissed.
Can. 731 §1. Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life; their members, without religious vows, pursue the apostolic purpose proper to the society and, leading a life in common as brothers or sisters according to their proper manner of life, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions.
§2. Among these are societies in which members assume the evangelical counsels by some bond defined in the constitutions.
Can. 735 §1. The proper law of each society determines the admission, probation, incorporation, and formation of members.
Can. 741 §1. Societies and, unless the constitutions determine otherwise, their parts and houses are juridic persons and, as such, capable of acquiring, possessing, administering, and alienating temporal goods according to the norm of the prescripts of Book V, The Temporal Goods of the Church, of cann. 636, 638, and 639, and of proper law.
Can. 744 §1. It is equally reserved to the supreme moderator with the consent of the council to grant permission for a definitively incorporated member to transfer to another society of apostolic life; the rights and obligations proper to the society are suspended in the meantime, without prejudice to the right of returning before definitive incorporation in the new society.
§2. Transfer to an institute of consecrated life or from one to a society of apostolic life requires the permission of the Holy See, whose mandates must be observed.
Can. 746 For the dismissal of a definitively incorporated member, cann. 694-704 are to be observed with appropriate adaptations.
Can. 747 §1. The Church, to which Christ the Lord has entrusted the deposit of faith so that with the assistance of the Holy Spirit it might protect the revealed truth reverently, examine it more closely, and proclaim and expound it faithfully, has the duty and innate right, independent of any human power whatsoever, to preach the gospel to all peoples, also using the means of social communication proper to it.
§2. It belongs to the Church always and everywhere to announce moral principles, even about the social order, and to render judgment concerning any human affairs insofar as the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls requires it.
Can. 748 §1. All persons are bound to seek the truth in those things which regard God and his Church and by virtue of divine law are bound by the obligation and possess the right of embracing and observing the truth which they have come to know.
§2. No one is ever permitted to coerce persons to embrace the Catholic faith against their conscience.
Can. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.
§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.
Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.
Can. 754 All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which the legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscribe erroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops puts forth.
Can. 758 By virtue of their consecration to God, members of institutes of consecrated life give witness to the gospel in a special way and the bishop appropriately calls upon them as a help in proclaiming the gospel.
Can. 759 By virtue of baptism and confirmation, lay members of the Christian faithful are witnesses of the gospel message by word and the example of a Christian life; they can also be called upon to cooperate with the bishop and presbyters in the exercise of the ministry of the word.
Can. 760 The mystery of Christ is to be set forth completely and faithfully in the ministry of the word, which must be based upon sacred scripture, tradition, liturgy, the magisterium, and the life of the Church.
Can. 766 Lay persons can be permitted to preach in a church or oratory, if necessity requires it in certain circumstances or it seems advantageous in particular cases, according to the prescripts of the conference of bishops and without prejudice to can. 767, §1
Can. 768 §1. Those who proclaim the divine word are to propose first of all to the Christian faithful those things which one must believe and do for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity.
Can. 772 §1. In the exercise of preaching, moreover, all are to observe the norms issued by the diocesan bishop.
§2. In giving a radio or television talk on Christian doctrine, the prescripts established by the conference of bishops are to be observed.
Can. 774 §1. Under the direction of legitimate ecclesiastical authority, solicitude for catechesis belongs to all members of the Church according to each one’s role.
§2. Parents above others are obliged to form their children by word and example in faith and in the practice of Christian life; sponsors and those who take the place of parents are bound by an equal obligation.
Can. 777 Attentive to the norms established by the diocesan bishop, a pastor is to take care in a special way:
1/ that suitable catechesis is imparted for the celebration of the sacraments;
2/ that through catechetical instruction imparted for an appropriate period of time children are prepared properly for the first reception of the sacraments of penance and the Most Holy Eucharist and for the sacrament of confirmation;
3/ that having received first communion, these children are enriched more fully and deeply through catechetical formation;
4/ that catechetical instruction is given also to those who are physically or mentally impeded, insofar as their condition permits;
5/ that the faith of youth and adults is strengthened, enlightened, and developed through various means and endeavors.
Can. 778 Religious superiors and superiors of societies of apostolic life are to take care that catechetical instruction is imparted diligently in their churches, schools, and other works entrusted to them in any way.
Can. 779 Catechetical instruction is to be given by using all helps, teaching aids, and instruments of social communication which seem more effective so that the faithful, in a manner adapted to their character, capabilities and age, and conditions of life, are able to learn Catholic doctrine more fully and put it into practice more suitably.
Can. 780 Local ordinaries are to take care that catechists are duly prepared to fulfill their function properly, namely, that continuing formation is made available to them, that they understand the doctrine of the Church appropriately, and that they learn in theory and in practice the methods proper to the teaching disciplines.
Can. 781 Since the whole Church is by its nature missionary and the work of evangelization must be held as a fundamental duty of the people of God, all the Christian faithful, conscious of their responsibility, are to assume their part in missionary work
Can. 782 §1. The Roman Pontiff and the college of bishops have the supreme direction and coordination of endeavors and actions which belong to missionary work and missionary cooperation.
§2. As sponsors of the universal Church and of all the churches, individual bishops are to have special solicitude for missionary work, especially by initiating, fostering, and sustaining missionary endeavors in their own particular churches.
Can. 783 Since by virtue of their consecration members of institutes of consecrated life dedicate themselves to the service of the Church, they are obliged to engage in missionary action in a special way and in a manner proper to their institute.
Can. 784 Missionaries, that is, those whom competent ecclesiastical authority sends to carry out missionary work, can be chosen from among natives or non-natives, whether secular clerics, members of institutes of consecrated life or of societies of apostolic life, or other lay members of the Christian faithful.
Can. 785 §1. Catechists are to be used in carrying out missionary work; catechists are lay members of the Christian faithful, duly instructed and outstanding in Christian life, who devote themselves to setting forth the teaching of the gospel and to organizing liturgies and works of charity under the direction of a missionary.
§2. Catechists are to be formed in schools designated for this purpose or, where such schools are lacking, under the direction of missionaries.
Can. 786 The Church accomplishes the specifically missionary action which implants the Church among peoples or groups where it has not yet taken root especially by sending heralds of the gospel until the young churches are established fully, that is, when they are provided with the proper resources and sufficient means to be able to carry out the work of evangelization themselves.
Can. 787 §1. By the witness of their life and word, missionaries are to establish a sincere dialogue with those who do not believe in Christ so that, in a manner adapted to their own temperament and culture, avenues are opened enabling them to understand the message of the gospel.
§2. Missionaries are to take care that they teach the truths of faith to those whom they consider prepared to receive the gospel message so that they can be admitted to receive baptism when they freely request it.
Can. 788 §1. When the period of the precatechumenate has been completed, those who have made known their intention to embrace faith in Christ are to be admitted to the catechumenate in liturgical ceremonies and their names are to be inscribed in the book designated for this purpose.
§2. Through instruction and the first experience of Christian life, catechumens are to be initiated suitably into the mystery of salvation and introduced into the life of the faith, the liturgy, the charity of the people of God, and the apostolate.
§3. It is for the conference of bishops to issue statutes which regulate the catechumenate by determining what things must be expected of the catechumens and by defining what prerogatives are to be recognized as theirs.
Can. 789 Neophytes are to be formed through suitable instruction to understand the gospel truth more deeply and to fulfill the duties assumed through baptism; they are to be imbued with a sincere love for Christ and his Church.
Can. 790 §1. It is for the diocesan bishop in the territories of a mission:
1/ to promote, direct, and coordinate endeavors and works which pertain to missionary action;
2/ to take care that appropriate agreements are entered into with moderators of institutes which dedicate themselves to missionary work and that relations with them result in the good of the mission.
§2. All missionaries, even religious and their assistants living in his jurisdiction, are subject to the prescripts issued by the diocesan bishop mentioned in §1, n. 1.
Can. 791.  To foster missionary cooperation in individual dioceses:
1/ missionary vocations are to be promoted;
2/ a priest is to be designated to promote effectively endeavors for the missions, especially the Pontifical Missionary Works;
3/ an annual day for the missions is to be celebrated;
4/ a suitable offering for the missions is to be contributed each year and sent to the Holy See.
Can. 792 Conferences of bishops are to establish and promote works by which those who come to their territory from mission lands for the sake of work or study are received as brothers and sisters and assisted with adequate pastoral care.


Catechism citations

Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Learning the Catechism is a life long study, just like the Bible, a daily time should be set for reading and discussion. It is important that the Spirit of God’s love/ grace be implanted in the person by the Sacraments or the Word is only interpreted as Law and not read as a living truth.
Only selected citations have been used as key points are meant to be a vademecum but it is recommended that the complete Catechism is studied and a reference copy is available if any questions arise in the students mind.
 CCC. 50 By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. But there is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers: the order of divine Revelation.1 Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
The covenant with Noah
CCC. 56 After the unity of the human race was shattered by sin God at once sought to save humanity part by part. The covenant with Noah after the flood gives expression to the principle of the divine economy toward the "nations", in other words, towards men grouped "in their lands, each with (its) own language, by their families, in their nations".9
57 This state of division into many nations, each entrusted by divine providence to the guardianship of angels, is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity10 united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel.11 But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.12
58 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel.13 The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek - a figure of Christ - and the upright "Noah, Daniel, and Job".14 Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to "gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad".15
God chooses Abraham
59 In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, his kindred and his father's house,16 and makes him Abraham, that is, "the father of a multitude of nations". "In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."17
60 The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all his children into the unity of the Church.18 They would be the root on to which the Gentiles would be grafted, once they came to believe.19
61 The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honoured as saints in all the Church's liturgical traditions.
God forms his people Israel
62 After the patriarchs, God formed Israel as his people by freeing them from slavery in Egypt. He established with them the covenant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave them his law so that they would recognize him and serve him as the one living and true God, the provident Father and just judge, and so that they would look for the promised Saviour.20
63 Israel is the priestly people of God, "called by the name of the LORD", and "the first to hear the word of God",21 The people of "elder brethren" in the faith of Abraham.
64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts.22 The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations.23 Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel's salvation. The purest figure among them is Mary.24
CCC. III. Christ Jesus -- "Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation"25
God has said everything in his Word
65 "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son."26 Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:
In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behaviour but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.27
There will be no further Revelation
66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ."28 Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.
67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfilment, as is the case in certain nonChristian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such "revelations".
I. The Apostolic Tradition
75 "Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline."32
In the apostolic preaching. . .
76 In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways:
- orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit";
33
- in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing".
34
. . . continued in apostolic succession
77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority."35 Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."36
78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes."37 "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."38
CCC. 79 The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. and the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."39
II. The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred Scripture
One common source. . .
80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal."40 Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".41
. . . two distinct modes of transmission
81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."42
"and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."43
82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."44
Apostolic Tradition and ecclesial traditions
83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. the first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.
Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.
III. The Interpretation of the Heritage of Faith
The heritage of faith entrusted to the whole of the Church
84 The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith (the depositum fidei),45 contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. "By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practising and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful."46
The Magisterium of the Church
85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."48
87 Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me",49 The faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.
The dogmas of the faith
88 The Church's Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes in a definitive way truths having a necessary connection with them.
89 There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith.50
90 The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the Revelation of the mystery of Christ.51 "In Catholic doctrine there exists an order or hierarchy 234 of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith."52
The supernatural sense of faith
91 All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them53 and guides them into all truth.54
92 "The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals."55
93 "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. . . the People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life."56
Growth in understanding the faith
94 Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church:
- "through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts";
57 it is in particular "theological research [which] deepens knowledge of revealed truth".58
- "from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience",
59 The sacred Scriptures "grow with the one who reads them."60
- "from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth".
61
95 "It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls."62
104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God".67 "In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them."68
105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."69
"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."70
106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more."71
107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."72
108 Still, the Christian faith is not a "religion of the book". Christianity is the religion of the "Word" of God, "not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living".73 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures."74
III. The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture
109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.75
110 In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."76
111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written."77
The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.78
112 Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.79
The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.80
113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church"81).
114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.82 By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.
The senses of Scripture
115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. the profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.
116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."83
117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God's plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.
1. the allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ's victory and also of Christian Baptism.
84
2. the moral sense. the events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written "for our instruction".
85
3. the anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.
86
118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:
The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.
87
119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."88
But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.89
IV. The Canon of Scripture
120 It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books.90
This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.91
The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.

The New Testament: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letters of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, and Revelation (the Apocalypse).
The Old Testament
121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value,92 for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.
122 Indeed, "the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately SO oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men."93 "Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional,94 The books of the OldTestament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God's saving love: these writings "are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way."95
123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. the Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).
The New Testament
124 "The Word of God, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, is set forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the New Testament"96 which hand on the ultimate truth of God's Revelation. Their central object is Jesus Christ, God's incarnate Son: his acts, teachings, Passion and glorification, and his Church's beginnings under the Spirit's guidance.97
125 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures "because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Saviour".98
126 We can distinguish three stages in the formation of the Gospels:
1. the life and teaching of Jesus. the Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up."
99
2. the oral tradition. "For, after the ascension of the Lord, the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed."
100
3. the written Gospels. "The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form; others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, the while sustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus."
101
127 The fourfold Gospel holds a unique place in the Church, as is evident both in the veneration which the liturgy accords it and in the surpassing attraction it has exercised on the saints at all times:
There is no doctrine which could be better, more precious and more splendid than the text of the Gospel. Behold and retain what our Lord and Master, Christ, has taught by his words and accomplished by his deeds.102
But above all it's the gospels that occupy my mind when I'm at prayer; my poor soul has so many needs, and yet this is the one thing needful. I'm always finding fresh lights there; hidden meanings which had meant nothing to me hitherto.103
The unity of the Old and New Testaments
128 The Church, as early as apostolic times,104 and then constantly in her Tradition, has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, which discerns in God's works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.
129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself.105 Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament.106 As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.107
130 Typology indicates the dynamic movement toward the fulfilment of the divine plan when "God [will] be everything to everyone."108 Nor do the calling of the patriarchs and the exodus from Egypt, for example, lose their own value in God's plan, from the mere fact that they were intermediate stages.
V. Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church
131 "and such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigour, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life."109 Hence "access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful."110
132 "Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. the ministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture."111
133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful... to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.112
I. The Obedience of Faith
144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to "hear or listen to") in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. the Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.
Abraham - "father of all who believe"
145 The Letter to the Hebrews, in its great eulogy of the faith of Israel's ancestors, lays special emphasis on Abraham's faith: "By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go."4 By faith, he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in the promised land.5 By faith, Sarah was given to conceive the son of the promise. and by faith Abraham offered his only son in sacrifice.6
146 Abraham thus fulfils the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen":7 "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."8 Because he was "strong in his faith", Abraham became the "father of all who believe".9
147 The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. the Letter to the Hebrews proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of the ancestors who "received divine approval".10 Yet "God had foreseen something better for us": the grace of believing in his Son Jesus, "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith".11
Mary - "Blessed is she who believed"
148 The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that "with God nothing will be impossible" and so giving her assent: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."12 Elizabeth greeted her: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."13 It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.14
149 Throughout her life and until her last ordeal15 when Jesus her son died on the cross, Mary's faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfilment of God's word. and so the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.
To believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God
151 For a Christian, believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent, his "beloved Son", in whom the Father is "well pleased"; God tells us to listen to him.18 The Lord himself said to his disciples: "Believe in God, believe also in me."19 We can believe in Jesus Christ because he is himself God, the Word made flesh: "No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known."20 Because he "has seen the Father", Jesus Christ is the only one who knows him and can reveal him.21
To believe in the Holy Spirit
152 One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without sharing in his Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals to men who Jesus is. For "no one can say "Jesus is Lord", except by the Holy Spirit",22 who "searches everything, even the depths of God. . No one comprehends the thoughts of God, except the Spirit of God."23 Only God knows God completely: we believe in the Holy Spirit because he is God.
The Church never ceases to proclaim her faith in one only God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

III. The Characteristics of Faith
Faith is a grace
153 When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come "from flesh and blood", but from "my Father who is in heaven".24 Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. "Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and 'makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.'"25
Faith is a human act
154 Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act. Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths he has revealed is contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason. Even in human relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us about themselves and their intentions, or to trust their promises (for example, when a man and a woman marry) to share a communion of life with one another. If this is so, still less is it contrary to our dignity to "yield by faith the full submission of... intellect and will to God who reveals",26 and to share in an interior communion with him.
155 In faith, the human intellect and will co-operate with divine grace: "Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace."27
Faith and understanding
156 What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe "because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived".28 So "that the submission of our faith might nevertheless be in accordance with reason, God willed that external proofs of his Revelation should be joined to the internal helps of the Holy Spirit."29 Thus the miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Church's growth and holiness, and her fruitfulness and stability "are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all"; they are "motives of credibility" (motiva credibilitatis), which show that the assent of faith is "by no means a blind impulse of the mind".30
157 Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. To be sure, revealed truths can seem obscure to human reason and experience, but "the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that which the light of natural reason gives."31 "Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt."32
158 "Faith seeks understanding":33 it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love. the grace of faith opens "the eyes of your hearts"34 to a lively understanding of the contents of Revelation: that is, of the totality of God's plan and the mysteries of faith, of their connection with each other and with Christ, the centre of the revealed mystery. "The same Holy Spirit constantly perfects faith by his gifts, so that Revelation may be more and more profoundly understood."35 In the words of St. Augustine, "I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe."36
159 Faith and science: "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth."37 "Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. the humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."38
The freedom of faith
160 To be human, "man's response to God by faith must be free, and... therefore nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his will. the act of faith is of its very nature a free act."39 "God calls men to serve him in spirit and in truth. Consequently they are bound to him in conscience, but not coerced. . . This fact received its fullest manifestation in Christ Jesus."40 Indeed, Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them. "For he bore witness to the truth but refused to use force to impose it on those who spoke against it. His kingdom... grows by the love with which Christ, lifted up on the cross, draws men to himself."41
The necessity of faith
161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation.42 "Since "without faith it is impossible to please (God) " and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'"]
Perseverance in faith
162 Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: "Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith."44 To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith;45 it must be "working through charity," abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church.46
Faith - the beginning of eternal life
163 Faith makes us taste in advance the light of the beatific vision, the goal of our journey here below. Then we shall see God "face to face", "as he is".47 So faith is already the beginning of eternal life:
When we contemplate the blessings of faith even now, as if gazing at a reflection in a mirror, it is as if we already possessed the wonderful things which our faith assures us we shall one day enjoy.
48
164 Now, however, "we walk by faith, not by sight";49 we perceive God as "in a mirror, dimly" and only "in part".50 Even though enlightened by him in whom it believes, faith is often lived in darkness and can be put to the test. the world we live in often seems very far from the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death, seem to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation against it.
165 It is then we must turn to the witnesses of faith: to Abraham, who "in hope... believed against hope";51 to the Virgin Mary, who, in "her pilgrimage of faith", walked into the "night of faith"52 in sharing the darkness of her son's suffering and death; and to so many others: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith."53
I. "Lord, Look Upon the Faith of Your Church"
168 It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith. Everywhere, it is the Church that first confesses the Lord: "Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you", as we sing in the hymn Te Deum; with her and in her, we are won over and brought to confess: "I believe", "We believe". It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister of Baptism asks the catechumen: "What do you ask of God's Church?" and the answer is: "Faith." "What does faith offer you?" "Eternal life."54
169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: "We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation."55 Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.
II. The Language of Faith
170 We do not believe in formulae, but in those realities they express, which faith allows us to touch. "The believer's act [of faith] does not terminate in the propositions, but in the realities [which they express]."56 All the same, we do approach these realities with the help of formulations of the faith which permit us to express the faith and to hand it on, to celebrate it in community, to assimilate and live on it more and more.
171 The Church, "the pillar and bulwark of the truth", faithfully guards "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints". She guards the memory of Christ's words; it is she who from generation to generation hands on the apostles' confession of faith.57 As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith.
III. Only One Faith
172 Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one Baptism, and grounded in the conviction that all people have only one God and Father.58 St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:
173 "Indeed, the Church, though scattered throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the apostles and their disciples. . . guards [this preaching and faith] with care, as dwelling in but a single house, and similarly believes as if having but one soul and a single heart, and preaches, teaches and hands on this faith with a unanimous voice, as if possessing only one mouth."59
174 "For though languages differ throughout the world, the content of the Tradition is one and the same. the Churches established in Germany have no other faith or Tradition, nor do those of the Iberians, nor those of the Celts, nor those of the East, of Egypt, of Libya, nor those established at the centre of the world. . ."60 The Church's message "is true and solid, in which one and the same way of salvation appears throughout the whole world."61
175 "We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God's Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to be renewed."62

I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary
Under Pontius Pilate He was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.
201 To Israel, his chosen, God revealed himself as the only One: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."4 Through the prophets, God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him, the one and only God: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.. . To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 'Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength.'"5
202 Jesus himself affirms that God is "the one Lord" whom you must love "with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength".6 At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is "the Lord".7 To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God. Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as "Lord and giver of life" introduce any division into the One God:
The living God
205 God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that bums without being consumed: "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."9 God is the God of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes to free their descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan.
"I Am who I Am"
Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." and he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'. . . this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations."10
206 In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.11
217 God is also truthful when he reveals himself - the teaching that comes from God is "true instruction".35 When he sends his Son into the world it will be "to bear witness to the truth":36 "We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true."37
God is Love
218 In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one reason to reveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among all peoples as his special possession: his sheer gratuitous love.38 and thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.39
236 The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology (theologia) and economy (oikonomia). "Theology" refers to the mystery of God's inmost life within the Blessed Trinity and "economy" to all the works by which God reveals himself and communicates his life. Through the oikonomia the theologia is revealed to us; but conversely, the theologia illuminates the whole oikonomia. God's works reveal who he is in himself; the mystery of his inmost being enlightens our understanding of all his works. So it is, analogously, among human persons. A person discloses himself in his actions, and the better we know a person, the better we understand his actions.
237 The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the "mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God".58 To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel's faith before the Incarnation of God's Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.
241 For this reason the apostles confess Jesus to be the Word: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"; as "the image of the invisible God"; as the "radiance of the glory of God and the very stamp of his nature".65
242 Following this apostolic tradition, the Church confessed at the first ecumenical council at Nicaea (325) that the Son is "consubstantial" with the Father, that is, one only God with him.66 The second ecumenical council, held at Constantinople in 381, kept this expression in its formulation of the Nicene Creed and confessed "the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father".67
The Father and the son revealed by the spirit
(381): "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father."71 By this confession, the Church recognizes the Father as "the source and origin of the whole divinity".72 But the eternal origin of the Spirit is not unconnected with the Son's origin: "The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance and also of the same nature. . . Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father alone,. . . but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son."73 The Creed of the Church from the Council of Constantinople confesses: "With the Father and the Son, he is worshipped and glorified."74
246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque)". the Council of Florence in 1438 explains: "The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration... And, since the Father has through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eternally from the Father, from whom he is eternally born, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son."75
278 If we do not believe that God's love is almighty, how can we believe that the Father could create us, the Son redeem us and the Holy Spirit sanctify us?
305 Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children's smallest needs: "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?". . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."167
329 St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'"188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word".189

342 The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the "six days", from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures209 and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: "You are of more value than many sparrows", or again: "of how much more value is a man than a sheep!"210
359 "In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear."224
St. Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men: Adam and Christ.  The first man, Adam, he says, became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit. the first Adam was made by the last Adam, from whom he also received his soul, to give him life... the second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when he created him. That is why he took on himself the role and the name of the first Adam, in order that he might not lose what he had made in his own image. The first Adam, the last Adam: the first had a beginning, the last knows no end. the last Adam is indeed the first; as he himself says: "I am the first and the last."225
III. "MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM"
Equality and difference willed by God
369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. "Being man" or "being woman" is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity "in the image of God". In their "being-man" and "being-woman", they reflect the Creator's wisdom and goodness.
370 In no way is God in man's image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective "perfections" of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.241
"Each for the other" - "A unity in two"



THE FALL
385 God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine,257 and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion".258 The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace.259 We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.260
I. WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE
406 The Church's teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. the first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. the Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529)296 and at the Council of Trent (1546).297
A hard battle. . .
409 This dramatic situation of "the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one"302 makes man's life a battle:
The whole of man's history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.303
410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall.304 This passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium ("first gospel"): the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.
411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the "New Adam" who, because he "became obedient unto death, even death on a cross", makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.305 Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the "Proto-evangelium" as Mary, the mother of Christ, the "new Eve". Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ's victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.306
423 We believe and confess that Jesus of Nazareth, born a Jew of a daughter of Israel at Bethlehem at the time of King Herod the Great and the emperor Caesar Augustus, a carpenter by trade, who died crucified in Jerusalem under the procurator Pontius Pilate during the reign of the emperor Tiberius, is the eternal Son of God made man. He 'came from God',4 'descended from heaven',5 and 'came in the flesh'.6 For 'the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. . . and from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace.'7
424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'8 On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.9
"To preach. . . the unsearchable riches of Christ"
10
425 The transmission of the Christian faith consists primarily in proclaiming Jesus Christ in order to lead others to faith in him. From the beginning, the first disciples burned with the desire to proclaim Christ: "We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."11 It and they invite people of every era to enter into the joy of their communion with Christ:
427 In catechesis "Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God,. . . is taught - everything else is taught with reference to him - and it is Christ alone who teaches - anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ's spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips. . . Every catechist should be able to apply to himself the mysterious words of Jesus: 'My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.'"16
428 Whoever is called "to teach Christ" must first seek "the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus"; he must suffer "the loss of all things. . ." in order to "gain Christ and be found in him", and "to know him and the power of his resurrection, and (to) share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible (he) may attain the resurrection from the dead".17
435 The name of Jesus is at the heart of Christian prayer. All liturgical prayers conclude with the words "through our Lord Jesus Christ". The Hail Mary reaches its high point in the words "blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." the Eastern prayer of the heart, the Jesus Prayer, says: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Many Christians, such as St. Joan of Arc, have died with the one word "Jesus" on their lips.
437 To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah promised to Israel: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord."32 From the beginning he was "the one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world", conceived as "holy" in Mary's virginal womb.33 God called Joseph to "take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", so that Jesus, "who is called Christ", should be born of Joseph's spouse into the messianic lineage of David.34
438 Jesus' messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, "for the name 'Christ' implies 'he who anointed', 'he who was anointed' and 'the very anointing with which he was anointed'. the one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing.'"35 His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power", "that he might be revealed to Israel"36 as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as "the Holy One of God".37
 440 Jesus accepted Peter's profession of faith, which acknowledged him to be the Messiah, by announcing the imminent Passion of the Son of Man.40 He unveiled the authentic content of his messianic kingship both in the transcendent identity of the Son of Man "who came down from heaven", and in his redemptive mission as the suffering Servant: "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."41 Hence the true meaning of his kingship is revealed only when he is raised high on the cross.42 Only after his Resurrection will Peter be able to proclaim Jesus' messianic kingship to the People of God: "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."43
443 Peter could recognize the transcendent character of the Messiah's divine sonship because Jesus had clearly allowed it to be so understood. To his accusers' question before the Sanhedrin, "Are you the Son of God, then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am."50 Well before this, Jesus referred to himself as "the Son" who knows the Father, as distinct from the "servants" God had earlier sent to his people; he is superior even to the angels.51 He distinguished his sonship from that of his disciples by never saying "our Father", except to command them: "You, then, pray like this: 'Our Father'", and he emphasized this distinction, saying "my Father and your Father".52
459 The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me." "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."74 On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: "Listen to him!"75 Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: "Love one another as I have loved you."76 This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example.77
465 The first heresies denied not so much Christ's divinity as his true humanity (Gnostic Docetism). From apostolic times the Christian faith has insisted on the true incarnation of God's Son "come in the flesh".87 But already in the third century, the Church in a council at Antioch had to affirm against Paul of Samosata that Jesus Christ is Son of God by nature and not by adoption. the first ecumenical council of Nicaea in 325 confessed in its Creed that the Son of God is "begotten, not made, of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father", and condemned Arius, who had affirmed that the Son of God "came to be from things that were not" and that he was "from another substance" than that of the Father.88
466 The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God's Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council, at Ephesus in 431, confessed "that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man."89 Christ's humanity has no other subject than the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it and made it his own, from his conception. For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb: "Mother of God, not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, but that, since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis, was born from her, the Word is said to be born according to the flesh."90
467 The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature had ceased to exist as such in Christ when the divine person of God's Son assumed it. Faced with this heresy, the fourth ecumenical council, at Chalcedon in 451, confessed:
Following the holy Fathers, we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; "like us in all things but sin". He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of the virgin Mary, the Mother of God.
91

We confess that one and the same Christ, Lord, and only-begotten Son, is to be acknowledged in two natures without confusion, change, division or separation. the distinction between the natures was never abolished by their union, but rather the character proper to each of the two natures was preserved as they came together in one person (prosopon) and one hypostasis.92
468 After the Council of Chalcedon, some made of Christ's human nature a kind of personal subject. Against them, the fifth ecumenical council, at Constantinople in 553, confessed that "there is but one hypostasis [or person], which is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Trinity."93 Thus everything in Christ's human nature is to be attributed to his divine person as its proper subject, not only his miracles but also his sufferings and even his death: "He who was crucified in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, is true God, Lord of glory, and one of the Holy Trinity."94
469 The Church thus confesses that Jesus is inseparably true God and true man. He is truly the Son of God who, without ceasing to be God and Lord, became a man and our brother: "What he was, he remained and what he was not, he assumed", sings the Roman Liturgy.95 and the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom proclaims and sings: "O only-begotten Son and Word of God, immortal being, you who deigned for our salvation to become incarnate of the holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, you who without change became man and were crucified, O Christ our God, you who by your death have crushed death, you who are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us!"96
Christ's true body
476 Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity, Christ's body was finite.112 Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed; at the seventh ecumenical council (Nicaea II in 787) the Church recognized its representation in holy images to be legitimate.113
477 At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus "we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see."114 The individual characteristics of Christ's body express the divine person of God's Son. He has made the features of his human body his own, to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image, for the believer "who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted".115
The heart of the Incarnate Word
478 Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: "The Son of God. . . loved me and gave himself for me."116 He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation,117 "is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings" without exception.118
II.... BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY
487 What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.
Mary's predestination
488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him,125 he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary":126
The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.127
489 Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living.128 By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age.129 Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women.130 Mary "stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established."131
The Immaculate Conception
490 To become the mother of the Saviour, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace".133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135
492 The "splendour of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son".136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".137
493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature".138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
"Let it be done to me according to your word. . ."
494 At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."139 Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:140
As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race."141 Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith."142 Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."143
Mary's divine motherhood
495 Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus", Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord".144 In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).145
Mary's virginity
496 From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived "by the Holy Spirit without human seed".146 The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own. Thus St. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says:
You are firmly convinced about our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin,. . . he was truly nailed to a tree for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate. . . he truly suffered, as he is also truly risen.
147
497 The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility:148 "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee.149 The Church sees here the fulfilment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son."150
498 People are sometimes troubled by the silence of St. Mark's Gospel and the New Testament Epistles about Jesus' virginal conception. Some might wonder if we were merely dealing with legends or theological constructs not claiming to be history. To this we must respond: Faith in the virginal conception of Jesus met with the lively opposition, mockery or incomprehension of non-believers, Jews and pagans alike;151 so it could hardly have been motivated by pagan mythology or by some adaptation to the ideas of the age. the meaning of this event is accessible only to faith, which understands in it the "connection of these mysteries with one another"152 in the totality of Christ's mysteries, from his Incarnation to his Passover. St. Ignatius of Antioch already bears witness to this connection: "Mary's virginity and giving birth, and even the Lord's death escaped the notice of the prince of this world: these three mysteries worthy of proclamation were accomplished in God's silence."153
Mary - "ever-virgin"
499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.154 In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it."155 and so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin".156
500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus.157 The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary".158 They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.159
501 Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother's love."160
Mary's virginal motherhood in God's plan
502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.
503 Mary's virginity manifests God's absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. "He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed. . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures."161
504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary's womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: "The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven."162 From his conception, Christ's humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God "gives him the Spirit without measure."163 From "his fullness" as the head of redeemed humanity "we have all received, grace upon grace."164
505 By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. "How can this be?"165 Participation in the divine life arises "not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God".166 The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit's gift to man. the spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God167 is fulfilled perfectly in Mary's virginal motherhood.
506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith "unadulterated by any doubt", and of her undivided gift of herself to God's will.168 It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Saviour: "Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ."169
507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: "the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse."170
Characteristics common to Jesus' mysteries
516 Christ's whole earthly life - his words and deeds, his silences and sufferings, indeed his manner of being and speaking - is Revelation of the Father. Jesus can say: "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father", and the Father can say: "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"177 Because our Lord became man in order to do his Father's will, even the least characteristics of his mysteries manifest "God's love. . . among us".178
517 Christ's whole life is a mystery of redemption. Redemption comes to us above all through the blood of his cross,179 but this mystery is at work throughout Christ's entire life: -already in his Incarnation through which by becoming poor he enriches us with his poverty;180 - in his hidden life which by his submission atones for our disobedience;181 - in his word which purifies its hearers;182- in his healings and exorcisms by which "he took our infirmities and bore our diseases";183 - and in his Resurrection by which he justifies us.184
The Christmas mystery
525 Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family.202 Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven's glory was made manifest.203 The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:
The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal
and the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.
The angels and shepherds praise him
and the magi advance with the star,
For you are born for us,
Little Child, God eternal!204
526 To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom.205 For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become "children of God" we must be "born from above" or "born of God".206 Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us.207 Christmas is the mystery of this "marvellous exchange":
O marvellous exchange! Man's Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity.208
The mysteries of Jesus' infancy
527 Jesus' circumcision, on the eighth day after his birth,209 is the sign of his incorporation into Abraham's descendants, into the people of the covenant. It is the sign of his submission to the Law210 and his deputation to Israel's worship, in which he will participate throughout his life. This sign prefigures that "circumcision of Christ" which is Baptism.211
528 The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world. the great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee.212 In the magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. the magi's coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations.213 Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament.214 The Epiphany shows that "the full number of the nations" now takes its "place in the family of the patriarchs", and acquires Israelitica dignitas215 (is made "worthy of the heritage of Israel").
529 The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord.216 With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Saviour - the name given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the "light to the nations" and the "glory of Israel", but also "a sign that is spoken against". the sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ's perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had "prepared in the presence of all peoples".
530 The flight into Egypt and the massacre of the innocents217 make manifest the opposition of darkness to the light: "He came to his own home, and his own people received him not."218 Christ's whole life was lived under the sign of persecution. His own share it with him.219 Jesus' departure from Egypt recalls the exodus and presents him as the definitive liberator of God's people.220
The mysteries of Jesus' hidden life
531 During the greater part of his life Jesus shared the condition of the vast majority of human beings: a daily life spent without evident greatness, a life of manual labour. His religious life was that of a Jew obedient to the law of God,221 a life in the community. From this whole period it is revealed to us that Jesus was "obedient" to his parents and that he "increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man."222
532 Jesus' obedience to his mother and legal father fulfils the fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. the everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy Thursday: "Not my will. . ."223 The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed.224
533 The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life:
The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus - the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us. . . A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character... A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the "Carpenter's Son", in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work. . . To conclude, I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern their brother who is God.225
534 The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus.226 Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?"227 Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.
III. THE MYSTERIES OF JESUS' PUBLIC LIFE
The baptism of Jesus
535 Jesus' public life begins with his baptism by John in the Jordan.228 John preaches "a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins".229 A crowd of sinners230 - tax collectors and soldiers, Pharisees and Sadducees, and prostitutes - come to be baptized by him. "Then Jesus appears." the Baptist hesitates, but Jesus insists and receives baptism. Then the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes upon Jesus and a voice from heaven proclaims, "This is my beloved Son."231 This is the manifestation ("Epiphany") of Jesus as Messiah of Israel and Son of God.
536 The baptism of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God's suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world".232 Already he is anticipating the "baptism" of his bloody death.233 Already he is coming to "fulfil all righteousness", that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father's will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins.234 The Father's voice responds to the Son's acceptance, proclaiming his entire delight in his Son.235 The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness from his conception comes to "rest on him".236 Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. At his baptism "the heavens were opened"237 - the heavens that Adam's sin had closed - and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation.
537 Through Baptism the Christian is sacramentally assimilated to Jesus, who in his own baptism anticipates his death and resurrection. the Christian must enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Father's beloved son in the Son and "walk in newness of life":238
Let us be buried with Christ by Baptism to rise with him; let us go down with him to be raised with him; and let us rise with him to be glorified with him.239

Everything that happened to Christ lets us know that, after the bath of water, the Holy Spirit swoops down upon us from high heaven and that, adopted by the Father's voice, we become sons of God.240
Jesus' temptations
538 The Gospels speak of a time of solitude for Jesus in the desert immediately after his baptism by John. Driven by the Spirit into the desert, Jesus remains there for forty days without eating; he lives among wild beasts, and angels minister to him.241 At the end of this time Satan tempts him three times, seeking to compromise his filial attitude toward God. Jesus rebuffs these attacks, which recapitulate the temptations of Adam in Paradise and of Israel in the desert, and the devil leaves him "until an opportune time".242
539 The evangelists indicate the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesus fulfils Israel's vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God during forty years in the desert, Christ reveals himself as God's Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil's conqueror: he "binds the strong man" to take back his plunder.243 Jesus' victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father.
540 Jesus' temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him.244 This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning."245 By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.
"The kingdom of God is at hand"
541 "Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying: 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe in the gospel.'"246 "To carry out the will of the Father Christ inaugurated the kingdom of heaven on earth."247 Now the Father's will is "to raise up men to share in his own divine life".248 He does this by gathering men around his Son Jesus Christ. This gathering is the Church, "on earth the seed and beginning of that kingdoms".249
542 Christ stands at the heart of this gathering of men into the "family of God". By his word, through signs that manifest the reign of God, and by sending out his disciples, Jesus calls all people to come together around him. But above all in the great Paschal mystery - his death on the cross and his Resurrection - he would accomplish the coming of his kingdom. "and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." Into this union with Christ all men are called.250
The proclamation of the kingdom of God
543 Everyone is called to enter the kingdom. First announced to the children of Israel, this messianic kingdom is intended to accept men of all nations.251 To enter it, one must first accept Jesus' word:
The word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown in a field; those who hear it with faith and are numbered among the little flock of Christ have truly received the kingdom. Then, by its own power, the seed sprouts and grows until the harvest.252
544 The kingdom belongs to the poor and lowly, which means those who have accepted it with humble hearts. Jesus is sent to "preach good news to the poor";253 he declares them blessed, for "theirs is the kingdom of heaven."254 To them - the "little ones" the Father is pleased to reveal what remains hidden from the wise and the learned.255 Jesus shares the life of the poor, from the cradle to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst and privation.256 Jesus identifies himself with the poor of every kind and makes active love toward them the condition for entering his kingdom.257
545 Jesus invites sinners to the table of the kingdom: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."258 He invites them to that conversion without which one cannot enter the kingdom, but shows them in word and deed his Father's boundless mercy for them and the vast "joy in heaven over one sinner who repents".259 The supreme proof of his love will be the sacrifice of his own life "for the forgiveness of sins".260
546 Jesus' invitation to enter his kingdom comes in the form of parables, a characteristic feature of his teaching.261 Through his parables he invites people to the feast of the kingdom, but he also asks for a radical choice: to gain the kingdom, one must give everything.262 Words are not enough, deeds are required.263 The parables are like mirrors for man: will he be hard soil or good earth for the word?264 What use has he made of the talents he has received?265 Jesus and the presence of the kingdom in this world are secretly at the heart of the parables. One must enter the kingdom, that is, become a disciple of Christ, in order to "know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven".266 For those who stay "outside", everything remains enigmatic.267
571 The Paschal mystery of Christ's cross and Resurrection stands at the centre of the Good News that the apostles, and the Church following them, are to proclaim to the world. God's saving plan was accomplished "once for all"313 by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ.
575 Many of Jesus' deeds and words constituted a "sign of contradiction",321 but more so for the religious authorities in Jerusalem, whom the Gospel according to John often calls simply "the Jews",322 than for the ordinary People of God.323 To be sure, Christ's relations with the Pharisees were not exclusively polemical. Some Pharisees warn him of the danger he was courting;324 Jesus praises some of them, like the scribe of Mark 12:34, and dines several times at their homes.325 Jesus endorses some of the teachings imparted by this religious elite of God's people: the resurrection of the dead,326 certain forms of piety (almsgiving, fasting and prayer),327 The custom of addressing God as Father, and the centrality of the commandment to love God and neighbour.328
I. JESUS AND THE LAW
577 At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus issued a solemn warning in which he presented God's law, given on Sinai during the first covenant, in light of the grace of the New Covenant:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets: I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law, until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.329
588 Jesus scandalized the Pharisees by eating with tax collectors and sinners as familiarly as with themselves.364 Against those among them "who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others", Jesus affirmed: "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."365 He went further by proclaiming before the Pharisees that, since sin is universal, those who pretend not to need salvation are blind to themselves.366
589 Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God's own attitude toward them.367 He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet.368 But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?"369 By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God's equal, or is speaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal God's name.370
Jews are not collectively responsible for Jesus' death
597 The historical complexity of Jesus' trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. the personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles' calls to conversion after Pentecost.385 Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, both accept "the ignorance" of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders.386 Still less can we extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on the crowd's cry: "His blood be on us and on our children!", a formula for ratifying a judicial sentence.387 As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council: . . .
Neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion. . . the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.388
603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned.405 But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"406 Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God "did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all", so that we might be "reconciled to God by the death of his Son".407
God takes the initiative of universal redeeming love
607 The desire to embrace his Father's plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus' whole life,418 for his redemptive passion was the very reason for his Incarnation. and so he asked, "and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour."419 and again, "Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?"420 From the cross, just before "It is finished", he said, "I thirst."421
"The Lamb who takes away the sin of the world"
At the Last Supper Jesus anticipated the free offering of his life
610 Jesus gave the supreme expression of his free offering of himself at the meal shared with the twelve Apostles "on the night he was betrayed".429 On the eve of his Passion, while still free, Jesus transformed this Last Supper with the apostles into the memorial of his voluntary offering to the Father for the salvation of men: "This is my body which is given for you." "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."430
611 The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the memorial of his sacrifice.431 Jesus includes the apostles in his own offering and bids them perpetuate it.432 By doing so, the Lord institutes his apostles as priests of the New Covenant: "For their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth."433
The agony at Gethsemani
612 The cup of the New Covenant, which Jesus anticipated when he offered himself at the Last Supper, is afterwards accepted by him from his Father's hands in his agony in the garden at Gethsemani,434 making himself "obedient unto death". Jesus prays: "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. . ."435 Thus he expresses the horror that death represented for his human nature. Like ours, his human nature is destined for eternal life; but unlike ours, it is perfectly exempt from sin, the cause of death.436 Above all, his human nature has been assumed by the divine person of the "Author of life", the "Living One".437 By accepting in his human will that the Father's will be done, he accepts his death as redemptive, for "he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree."438
Christ's death is the unique and definitive sacrifice
613 Christ's death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world",439 and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the "blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins".440
614 This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices.441 First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience.442
Jesus substitutes his obedience for our disobedience
615 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous."443 By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who "makes himself an offering for sin", when "he bore the sin of many", and who "shall make many to be accounted righteous", for "he shall bear their iniquities".444 Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father.445
Jesus consummates his sacrifice on the cross
616 It is love "to the end"446 that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life.447 Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died."448 No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. the existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.
617 The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christ's sacrifice as "the source of eternal salvation"449 and teaches that "his most holy Passion on the wood of the cross merited justification for us."450 and the Church venerates his cross as she sings: "Hail, O Cross, our only hope."451
Our participation in Christ's sacrifice
618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the "one mediator between God and men".452 But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, "the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery" is offered to all men.453 He calls his disciples to "take up [their] cross and follow (him)",454 for "Christ also suffered for (us), leaving (us) an example so that (we) should follow in his steps."455 In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries.456 This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering.457 Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.458
624 "By the grace of God" Jesus tasted death "for every one".459 In his plan of salvation, God ordained that his Son should not only "die for our sins"460 but should also "taste death", experience the condition of death, the separation of his soul from his body, between the time he expired on the cross and the time he was raised from the dead. the state of the dead Christ is the mystery of the tomb and the descent into hell. It is the mystery of Holy Saturday, when Christ, lying in the tomb,461 reveals God's great sabbath rest462 after the fulfilment463 of man's salvation, which brings peace to the whole universe.464
Christ in the tomb in his body
625 Christ's stay in the tomb constitutes the real link between his passible state before Easter and his glorious and risen state today. the same person of the "Living One" can say, "I died, and behold I am alive for evermore":465
627 Christ's death was a real death in that it put an end to his earthly human existence. But because of the union his body retained with the person of the Son, his was not a mortal corpse like others, for "divine power preserved Christ's body from corruption."470 Both of these statements can be said of Christ: "He was cut off out of the land of the living",471 and "My flesh will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let your Holy One see corruption."472 Jesus' Resurrection "on the third day" was the proof of this, for bodily decay was held to begin on the fourth day after death.473
"Buried with Christ. . ."
628 Baptism, the original and full sign of which is immersion, efficaciously signifies the descent into the tomb by the Christian who dies to sin with Christ in order to live a new life. "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."474
632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.477 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Saviour, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.478
633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.479 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom":480 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."481 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.482
634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."483 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.
635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."484 Jesus, "the Author of life", by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage."485 Henceforth the risen Christ holds "the keys of Death and Hades", so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."486
Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. the earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . "I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead."487
The empty tomb
640 "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen."492 The first element we encounter in the framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb. In itself it is not a direct proof of Resurrection; the absence of Christ's body from the tomb could be explained otherwise.493 Nonetheless the empty tomb was still an essential sign for all. Its discovery by the disciples was the first step toward recognizing the very fact of the Resurrection. This was the case, first with the holy women, and then with Peter.494 The disciple "whom Jesus loved" affirmed that when he entered the empty tomb and discovered "the linen cloths lying there", "he saw and believed".495 This suggests that he realized from the empty tomb's condition that the absence of Jesus' body could not have been of human doing and that Jesus had not simply returned to earthly life as had been the case with Lazarus.496
The appearances of the Risen One
641 Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One.497 Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ's Resurrection for the apostles themselves.498 They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers,499 and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"500
642 Everything that happened during those Paschal days involves each of the apostles - and Peter in particular - in the building of the new era begun on Easter morning. As witnesses of the Risen One, they remain the foundation stones of his Church. the faith of the first community of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians and for the most part still living among them. Peter and the Twelve are the primary "witnesses to his Resurrection", but they are not the only ones - Paul speaks clearly of more than five hundred persons to whom Jesus appeared on a single occasion and also of James and of all the apostles.501
643 Given all these testimonies, Christ's Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact. It is clear from the facts that the disciples' faith was drastically put to the test by their master's Passion and death on the cross, which he had foretold.502 The shock provoked by the Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized ("looking sad"503) and frightened. For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an "idle tale".504 When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening, "he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen."505
644 Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, so impossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost. "In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering."506 Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St. Matthew relates that during the risen Lord's last appearance in Galilee "some doubted."507 Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles' faith (or credulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.
The condition of Christ's risen humanity
645 By means of touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus establishes direct contact with his disciples. He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and above all to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of his Passion.508 Yet at the same time this authentic, real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body: not limited by space and time but able to be present how and when he wills; for Christ's humanity can no longer be confined to earth, and belongs henceforth only to the Father's divine realm.509 For this reason too the risen Jesus enjoys the sovereign freedom of appearing as he wishes: in the guise of a gardener or in other forms familiar to his disciples, precisely to awaken their faith.510
646 Christ's Resurrection was not a return to earthly life, as was the case with the raisings from the dead that he had performed before Easter: Jairus' daughter, the young man of Naim, Lazarus. These actions were miraculous events, but the persons miraculously raised returned by Jesus' power to ordinary earthly life. At some particular moment they would die again. Christ's Resurrection is essentially different. In his risen body he passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space. At Jesus' Resurrection his body is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit: he shares the divine life in his glorious state, so that St. Paul can say that Christ is "the man of heaven".511
The Resurrection as transcendent event
647 O truly blessed Night, sings the Exsultet of the Easter Vigil, which alone deserved to know the time and the hour when Christ rose from the realm of the dead!512 But no one was an eyewitness to Christ's Resurrection and no evangelist describes it. No one can say how it came about physically. Still less was its innermost essence, his passing over to another life, perceptible to the senses. Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the apostles' encounters with the risen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith as something that transcends and surpasses history. This is why the risen Christ does not reveal himself to the world, but to his disciples, "to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people."513
II. THE RESURRECTION - A WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY
648 Christ's Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and manifest their own proper characteristics. the Father's power "raised up" Christ his Son and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son's humanity, including his body, into the Trinity. Jesus is conclusively revealed as "Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead".514 St. Paul insists on the manifestation of God's power515 through the working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus' dead humanity and called it to the glorious state of Lordship.
649 As for the Son, he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power. Jesus announces that the Son of man will have to suffer much, die, and then rise.516 Elsewhere he affirms explicitly: "I lay down my life, that I may take it again. . . I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."517 "We believe that Jesus died and rose again."518
650 The Fathers contemplate the Resurrection from the perspective of the divine person of Christ who remained united to his soul and body, even when these were separated from each other by death: "By the unity of the divine nature, which remains present in each of the two components of man, these are reunited. For as death is produced by the separation of the human components, so Resurrection is achieved by the union of the two."519
III. THE MEANING AND SAVING SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESURRECTION
651 "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."520 The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ's works and teachings. All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason, find their justification if Christ by his Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority, which he had promised.
652 Christ's Resurrection is the fulfilment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life.521 The phrase "in accordance with the Scriptures"522 indicates that Christ's Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.
653 The truth of Jesus' divinity is confirmed by his Resurrection. He had said: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he."523 The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that he was truly "I AM", the Son of God and God himself. So St. Paul could declare to the Jews: "What God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, 'You are my Son, today I have begotten you.'"524 Christ's Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God's Son, and is its fulfilment in accordance with God's eternal plan.
654 The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God's grace, "so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace.526 It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ's brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: "Go and tell my brethren."527 We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection.
655 Finally, Christ's Resurrection - and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection: "Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."528 The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfilment. In Christ, Christians "have tasted. . . the powers of the age to come"529 and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may "live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."530
663 Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father: "By 'the Father's right hand'
664 Being seated at the Father's right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiah's kingdom, the fulfillment of the prophet Daniel's vision concerning the Son of man: "To him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed."546 After this event the apostles became witnesses of the "kingdom [that] will have no end".547
669 As Lord, Christ is also head of the Church, which is his Body.551 Taken up to heaven and glorified after he had thus fully accomplished his mission, Christ dwells on earth in his Church. the redemption is the source of the authority that Christ, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, exercises over the Church. "The kingdom of Christ (is) already present in mystery", "on earth, the seed and the beginning of the kingdom".552
670 Since the Ascension God's plan has entered into its fulfilment. We are already at "the last hour".553 "Already the final age of the world is with us, and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect."554 Christ's kingdom already manifests its presence through the miraculous signs that attend its proclamation by the Church.555
. . . until all things are subjected to him
677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.578 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.579 God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.580
678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgement of the Last Day in his preaching.581 Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.582 Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned.583 Our attitude to our neighbour will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.584 On the Last Day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."585
679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgement on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross. The Father has given "all judgement to the Son".586 Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself.587 By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.588
683 "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit."1 "God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!"'2 This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.
687 "No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."7 Now God's Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance, but the Spirit does not speak of himself. the Spirit who "has spoken through the prophets" makes us hear the Father's Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. the Spirit of truth who "unveils" Christ to us "will not speak on his own."8 Such properly divine self-effacement explains why "the world cannot receive (him), because it neither sees him nor knows him," while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them.9
688 The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:
- in the Scriptures he inspired;
- in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
- in the Church's Magisterium, which he assists;
- in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;
- in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;
- in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;
- in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
- in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation.
692 When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the "Paraclete," literally, "he who is called to one's side," advocatus.18 "Paraclete" is commonly translated by "consoler," and Jesus is the first consoler.19 The Lord also called the Holy Spirit "the Spirit of truth."20
693 Besides the proper name of "Holy Spirit," which is most frequently used in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles, we also find in St. Paul the titles: the Spirit of the promise,21 The Spirit of adoption,22 The Spirit of Christ,23 The Spirit of the Lord,24 and the Spirit of God25 - and, in St. Peter, the Spirit of glory.26
Symbols of the Holy Spirit
694 Water. the symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit's action in Baptism, since after the invocation of the Holy Spirit it becomes the efficacious sacramental sign of new birth: just as the gestation of our first birth took place in water, so the water of Baptism truly signifies that our birth into the divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit. As "by one Spirit we were all baptized," so we are also "made to drink of one Spirit."27 Thus the Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified28 as its source and welling up in us to eternal life.29
695 Anointing. the symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit,30 to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit. In Christian initiation, anointing is the sacramental sign of Confirmation, called "chrismation" in the Churches of the East. Its full force can be grasped only in relation to the primary anointing accomplished by the Holy Spirit, that of Jesus. Christ (in Hebrew "messiah") means the one "anointed" by God's Spirit. There were several anointed ones of the Lord in the Old Covenant, pre-eminently King David.31 But Jesus is God's Anointed in a unique way: the humanity the Son assumed was entirely anointed by the Holy Spirit. the Holy Spirit established him as "Christ."32 The Virgin Mary conceived Christ by the Holy Spirit who, through the angel, proclaimed him the Christ at his birth, and prompted Simeon to come to the temple to see the Christ of the Lord.33 The Spirit filled Christ and the power of the Spirit went out from him in his acts of healing and of saving.34 Finally, it was the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead.35 Now, fully established as "Christ" in his humanity victorious over death, Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit abundantly until "the saints" constitute - in their union with the humanity of the Son of God - that perfect man "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ":36 "the whole Christ," in St. Augustine's expression.
696 Fire. While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions. the prayer of the prophet Elijah, who "arose like fire" and whose "word burned like a torch," brought down fire from heaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel.37 This event was a "figure" of the fire of the Holy Spirit, who transforms what he touches. John the Baptist, who goes "before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah," proclaims Christ as the one who "will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."38 Jesus will say of the Spirit: "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!"39 In the form of tongues "as of fire," the Holy Spirit rests on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself40 The spiritual tradition has retained this symbolism of fire as one of the most expressive images of the Holy Spirit's actions.41 "Do not quench the Spirit."42
697 Cloud and light. These two images occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory - with Moses on Mount Sinai,43 at the tent of meeting,44 and during the wandering in the desert,45 and with Solomon at the dedication of the Temple.46 In the Holy Spirit, Christ fulfills these figures. the Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus.47 On the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the "cloud came and overshadowed" Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and "a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!'"48 Finally, the cloud took Jesus out of the sight of the disciples on the day of his ascension and will reveal him as Son of man in glory on the day of his final coming.49
698 The seal is a symbol close to that of anointing. "The Father has set his seal" on Christ and also seals us in him.50 Because this seal indicates the indelible effect of the anointing with the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, the image of the seal (sphragis) has been used in some theological traditions to express the indelible "character" imprinted by these three unrepeatable sacraments.
699 The hand. Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them.51 In his name the apostles will do the same.52 Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles' imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is given.53 The Letter to the Hebrews lists the imposition of hands among the "fundamental elements" of its teaching.54 The Church has kept this sign of the all-powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit in its sacramental epicleses.
700 The finger. "It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] cast out demons."55 If God's law was written on tablets of stone "by the finger of God," then the "letter from Christ" entrusted to the care of the apostles, is written "with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts."56 The hymn Veni Creator Spiritus invokes the Holy Spirit as the "finger of the Father's right hand."57
701 The dove. At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to Baptism, a dove released by Noah returns with a fresh olive-tree branch in its beak as a sign that the earth was again habitable.58 When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him.59 The Spirit comes down and remains in the purified hearts of the baptized. In certain churches, the Eucharist is reserved in a metal receptacle in the form of a dove (columbarium) suspended above the altar. Christian iconography traditionally uses a dove to suggest the Spirit.
716 The People of the "poor"87 - those who, humble and meek, rely solely on their God's mysterious plans, who await the justice, not of men but of the Messiah - are in the end the great achievement of the Holy Spirit's hidden mission during the time of the promises that prepare for Christ's coming. It is this quality of heart, purified and enlightened by the Spirit, which is expressed in the Psalms. In these poor, the Spirit is making ready "a people prepared for the Lord."88
722 The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily"102 should herself be "full of grace." She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the "Daughter of Zion": "Rejoice."103 It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle104 lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.
723 In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Father's loving goodness. With and through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit's power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.105
V. The Spirit and the Church In the Last Days
Pentecost
731 On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.122
732 On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. Since that day, the Kingdom announced by Christ has been open to those who believe in him: in the humility of the flesh and in faith, they already share in the communion of the Holy Trinity. By his coming, which never ceases, the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into the "last days," the time of the Church, the Kingdom already inherited though not yet consummated.
We have seen the true Light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith: we adore the indivisible Trinity, who has saved us.123
The Holy Spirit - God's gift
733 "God is Love"124 and love is his first gift, containing all others. "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."125
748 "Christ is the light of humanity; and it is, accordingly, the heart-felt desire of this sacred Council, being gathered together in the Holy Spirit, that, by proclaiming his Gospel to every creature, it may bring to all men that light of Christ which shines out visibly from the Church."135 These words open the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. By choosing this starting point, the Council demonstrates that the article of faith about the Church depends entirely on the articles concerning Christ Jesus. the Church has no other light than Christ's; according to a favorite image of the Church Fathers, the Church is like the moon, all its light reflected from the sun.
749 The article concerning the Church also depends entirely on the article about the Holy Spirit, which immediately precedes it. "Indeed, having shown that the Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness, we now confess that it is he who has endowed the Church with holiness."136 The Church is, in a phrase used by the Fathers, the place "where the Spirit flourishes."137
750 To believe that the Church is "holy" and "catholic," and that she is "one" and "apostolic" (as the Nicene Creed adds), is inseparable from belief in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the Apostles' Creed we profess "one Holy Church" (Credo . . . Ecclesiam), and not to believe in the Church, so as not to confuse God with his works and to attribute clearly to God's goodness all the gifts he has bestowed on his Church.138
775 "The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men."197 The Church's first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God. Because men's communion with one another is rooted in that union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. In her, this unity is already begun, since she gathers men "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues";198 at the same time, the Church is the "sign and instrument" of the full realization of the unity yet to come.
776 As sacrament, the Church is Christ's instrument. "She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all," "the universal sacrament of salvation," by which Christ is "at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God's love for men."199 The Church "is the visible plan of God's love for humanity," because God desires "that the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit."200
I. THE CHURCH IS ONE
"The sacred mystery of the Church's unity" (UR 2)
813 The Church is one because of her source: "the highest exemplar and source of this mystery is the unity, in the Trinity of Persons, of one God, the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit."259 The Church is one because of her founder: for "the Word made flesh, the prince of peace, reconciled all men to God by the cross, . . . restoring the unity of all in one people and one body."260 The Church is one because of her "soul": "It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church's unity."261 Unity is of the essence of the Church:
826 Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it "governs, shapes, and perfects all the means of sanctification."297
If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn't lack the noblest of all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart BURNING WITH LOVE.
and I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood.
LOVE, IN FACT, IS THE VOCATION WHICH INCLUDES ALL OTHERS; IT'S A UNIVERSE OF ITS OWN, COMPRISING ALL TIME AND SPACE - IT'S ETERNAL!
298
841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330
842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:
All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331
843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332
841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330
842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:
All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331
843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332
844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:
Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333
845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. the Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. the Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.334
"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338
Mission - a requirement of the Church's catholicity
849 The missionary mandate. "Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be 'the universal sacrament of salvation,' the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men":339 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age."340
850 The origin and purpose of mission. the Lord's missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: "The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit."341 The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.342
851 Missionary motivation. It is from God's love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, "for the love of Christ urges us on."343 Indeed, God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth";344 that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God's universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.
852 Missionary paths. the Holy Spirit is the protagonist, "the principal agent of the whole of the Church's mission."345 It is he who leads the Church on her missionary paths. "This mission continues and, in the course of history, unfolds the mission of Christ, who was sent to evangelize the poor; so the Church, urged on by the Spirit of Christ, must walk the road Christ himself walked, a way of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice even to death, a death from which he emerged victorious by his resurrection."346 So it is that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians."347
853 On her pilgrimage, the Church has also experienced the "discrepancy existing between the message she proclaims and the human weakness of those to whom the Gospel has been entrusted."348 Only by taking the "way of penance and renewal," the "narrow way of the cross," can the People of God extend Christ's reign.349 For "just as Christ carried out the work of redemption in poverty and oppression, so the Church is called to follow the same path if she is to communicate the fruits of salvation to men."350
854 By her very mission, "the Church . . . travels the same journey as all humanity and shares the same earthly lot with the world: she is to be a leaven and, as it were, the soul of human society in its renewal by Christ and transformation into the family of God."351 Missionary endeavor requires patience. It begins with the proclamation of the Gospel to peoples and groups who do not yet believe in Christ,352 continues with the establishment of Christian communities that are "a sign of God's presence in the world,"353 and leads to the foundation of local churches.354 It must involve a process of inculturation if the Gospel is to take flesh in each people's culture.355 There will be times of defeat. "With regard to individuals, groups, and peoples it is only by degrees that [the Church] touches and penetrates them and so receives them into a fullness which is Catholic."356
The apostolate
863 The whole Church is apostolic, in that she remains, through the successors of St. Peter and the other apostles, in communion of faith and life with her origin: and in that she is "sent out" into the whole world. All members of the Church share in this mission, though in various ways. "The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well." Indeed, we call an apostolate "every activity of the Mystical Body" that aims "to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth."377


Reading list of Books.


Life of St John of the Cross.
The Ascent of Mt Carmel
The Dark Night of the Soul
A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul
The Living Flame of Love
“Narmion”
Christ the Life of the Soul
Christ in His Mysteries
God Within us – Pere Plus
Autobiography of St Teresa
“Interior Castle”
Autobiography of the Little Flower
Praise of Glory – St Elizabeth of the Trinity
“From Holy Communion to the Blessed Trinity” by M.V.
Bernadot O.P.
Archbishop Goodier
Life of Our Lord 2 vols
Passion of Our Lord 1 vol
Fr Willie Doyle
A years Thoughts – Fr Doyle
Screwtape letters - C.S. Lewis
On Satan and his wiles
The Credentials of Christianity - Fr Scott
God and Myself – Simple book by Fr Scott for very ordinary intelligence.
Remarkable for devotion to St Joseph – died recently – great miracle worker
The Song of Bernadette – Franz Werfel.
‘The Ideal of the Priesthood.’ Rev. Ferdinand Ehrenborg. SJ as illustrated by the Life of John Coassini.





             




[1] APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE OF HIS HOLINESS OF PAUL VI TO WEST ASIA, OCEANIA AND AUSTRALIA.PRIESTLY ORDINATION.HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
«Luneta Park», Manila.Saturday, 28 November 1970

[2] THE LITURGY, ITINERARY OF THE SOUL TO GOD.XLIII International Congress
of the "Sanctus Benedictus Patronus Europae"
Rome, 25 November 2011
[3] Ibid
[4] Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 85
[5] Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 14
[6] Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 31
[7] Ibid
[8] Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 33
[9] St Mary Mackillop (St Mary of the Cross card)
[10] St Therese of Lisieux. Story of a Soul. Autobiography. © ICS Publications Washington DC 1972
[11] The Imitation of Christ III 44:1
[12] Fr Norris diary
[13] New Advent Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight. New Advent is dedicated to the Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.


[14]  St Therse. ‘Story of Soul’. Translation John Clark O.C.D. ICS Publications Institute of Carmelite studies Washington DC Pg 143
[15] Pope Benedict XVI Angelus 30 Sept 2007. ‘On a level playing field’ Caritas. Aotearoa. New Zealand. No 16 Social Justice series 11-17 Sept.  2011
[16] St Therse. ‘Story of Soul’. Translation John Clark O.C.D. ICS Publications Institute of Carmelite studies Washington DC Pg 194
[17] MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO CARDINAL REINHARD MARX  ARCHBISHOP OF MUNICH AND FREISING ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF PRAYER FOR PEACE "BOUND TO LIVE TOGETHER": RELIGIONS AND CULTURES IN DIALOGUEORGANIZED BY THE COMMUNITY OF SANT'EGIDIO
[MUNICH, 11 - 13 SEPTEMBER 2011] © Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
[18] PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,
JUSTICE, CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11.

[19] Ibid
[20] DECLARATION ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DIGNITATIS HUMANAE ON THE RIGHT OF THE PERSON AND OF COMMUNITIES TO SOCIAL AND CIVIL FREEDOM IN MATTERS RELIGIOUS PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS
POPE PAUL VI ON DECEMBER 7, 1965
© Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
[21] Ibid
[22]  PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII  ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,JUSTICE, CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11, 1963
[23] PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,JUSTICE, CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11, 1963
[24] PIUS XII Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the twentieth day of October, in the year of Our Lord, 1939, the first of Our Pontificate. SUMMI PONTIFICATUS
[25] DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS NOSTRA AETATE PROCLAIMED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON OCTOBER 28, 1965
[26] RERUM NOVARUM  ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON CAPITAL AND LABOR Leo XIII's encyclical letter Given at St. Peter's in Rome, the fifteenth day of May, 1891, the fourteenth year of Our pontificate.
[27] PIUS XII SUMMI PONTIFICATUS Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the twentieth day of October, in the year of Our Lord, 1939, the first of Our Pontificate.  
[28] IMMORTALE DEI ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE CHRISTIAN CONSTITUTION OF STATES. Given at St. Peter's in Rome, the first day of November, 1885, the seventh year of Our pontificate. LEO XIII
[29] Ibid
[30] INTERVIEW OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI WITH THE JOURNALISTS DURING THE FLIGHT TO BERLIN Papal Flight Thursday, 22 September 2011

[31] BENEDICT XVI ANGELUS Saint Peter's SquareSunday, 2 October 2011
[32] UBICUMQUE ET SEMPEROF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI ESTABLISHING THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

[33] APOSTOLIC LETTER “MOTU PROPRIO DATAPORTA FIDEIOF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVIFOR THE INDICTION OF THE YEAR OF FAITH

[34] Cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Bible and Morality, Biblical Roots of Christian Conduct (11 May 2008), Vatican City, 2008, Nos. 13, 32, 109
[35] Cf. International Theological Commission, In Search of a Universal Ethics: A New Look at the Natural Law, Vatican City, 2009, No. 102.