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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    of the Holy Spirit and the gift of him by the glorified Lord 728 Jesus does not reveal the Holy Spirit fully until he himself has been glorified through his Death and Resurrection Nevertheless little by little he alludes to him even in his teaching of the multitudes as when he reveals that his own flesh will be food for the life of the world 110 He also alludes to the Spirit in speaking to Nicodemus 111 to the Samaritan woman 112 and to those who take part in the feast of Tabernacles 113 To his disciples he speaks openly of the Spirit in connection with prayer 114 and with the witness they will have to bear 115 729 Only when the hour has arrived for his glorification does Jesus promise the coming of the Holy Spirit since his Death and Resurrection will fulfill the promise made to the fathers 116 The Spirit of truth the other Paraclete will be given by the Father in answer to Jesus prayer he will be sent by the Father in Jesus name and Jesus will send him from the Father s side since he comes from the Father The Holy Spirit will come and we shall know him he will be with us for ever he will remain with us The Spirit will teach us everything remind us of all that Christ said to us and bear witness to him The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and will glorify Christ He will prove the world wrong about sin righteousness and judgment 730 At last Jesus hour arrives 117 he commends his spirit into the Father s hands 118 at the very moment when by his death he conquers death so that raised from the dead by the glory of the

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    bear much fruit He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear the fruit of the Spirit love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self control 129 We live by the Spirit the more we renounce ourselves the more we walk by the Spirit 130 Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise led back to the Kingdom of heaven and adopted as children given confidence to call God Father and to share in Christ s grace called children of light and given a share in eternal glory 131 The Holy Spirit and the Church 737 The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit This joint mission henceforth brings Christ s faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace in order to draw them to Christ The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection He makes present the mystery of Christ supremely in the Eucharist in order to reconcile them to bring them into communion with God that they may bear much fruit 132 738 Thus the Church s mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit but is its sacrament in her whole being and in all her members the Church is sent to announce bear witness make present and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity the topic of the next article All of us who have received one and the same Spirit that is the Holy Spirit are in a sense blended together with one another and with God For if Christ together with the Father s and his own Spirit comes to dwell in each of us though we are many still the Spirit is one and undivided He binds together the spirits of each and every one of us and makes all appear as one in him For just as the power of Christ s sacred flesh unites those in whom it dwells into one body I think that in the same way the one and undivided Spirit of God who dwells in all leads all into spiritual unity 133 739 Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ it is Christ who as the head of the Body pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish heal and organize them in their mutual functions to give them life send them to bear witness and associate them to his self offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world Through the Church s sacraments Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body This will be the topic of Part Two of the Catechism 740 These mighty works

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Resources Home Library Website Reviews What You Need to Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Action Alert SOLIDARITY MONTH 10 is as good as 1 000 Help set a new record for the number of gifts this month Goal 1 000 769 to go Catechism of the Catholic Church 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

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Spirit who has been given to us 125 734 Because we are dead or at least wounded through sin the first effect of the gift of love is the forgiveness of our sins The communion of the Holy Spirit 126 in the Church restores to the baptized the divine likeness lost through sin 735 He then gives us the pledge or first fruits of our inheritance the very life of the Holy Trinity which is to love as God has loved us 127 This love the charity of 1 Cor 13 is the source of the new life in Christ made possible because we have received power from the Holy Spirit 128 736 By this power of the Spirit God s children can bear much fruit He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear the fruit of the Spirit love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self control 129 We live by the Spirit the more we renounce ourselves the more we walk by the Spirit 130 Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise led back to the Kingdom of heaven and adopted as children given confidence to call God Father and

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    of the communion of the Holy Trinity the topic of the next article All of us who have received one and the same Spirit that is the Holy Spirit are in a sense blended together with one another and with God For if Christ together with the Father s and his own Spirit comes to dwell in each of us though we are many still the Spirit is one and undivided He binds together the spirits of each and every one of us and makes all appear as one in him For just as the power of Christ s sacred flesh unites those in whom it dwells into one body I think that in the same way the one and undivided Spirit of God who dwells in all leads all into spiritual unity 133 739 Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ it is Christ who as the head of the Body pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish heal and organize them in their mutual functions to give them life send them to bear witness and associate them to his self offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world Through the Church s sacraments Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body This will be the topic of Part Two of the Catechism 740 These mighty works of God offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church bear their fruit in the new life in Christ according to the Spirit This will be the topic of Part Three 741 The Spirit helps us in our weakness for we do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit himself intercedes with sighs too deep for words 134 The Holy Spirit the artisan of

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Church as something she can never lose and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time 277 Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity but the Church must always pray and work to maintain reinforce and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion and does not cease praying to his Father for the unity of his disciples That they may all be one As you Father are in me and I am in you may they also be one in us so that the world may know that you have sent me 278 The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit 279 821 Certain things are required in order to respond adequately to this call a permanent renewal of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation such renewal is the driving force of the movement toward unity 280 conversion of heart as the faithful try to live holier lives according to the Gospel 281 for it is the unfaithfulness of the members to Christ s gift which causes divisions prayer in common because change of heart and holiness of life along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement and merits the name spiritual ecumenism 282 fraternal knowledge of each other 283 ecumenical formation of the faithful and especially of priests 284 dialogue among theologians and meetings among Christians of the different churches and communities 285 collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind 286 Human service is the idiomatic phrase 822 Concern for achieving unity involves the whole Church faithful and clergy alike 287 But we must realize that this holy objective the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ transcends human powers and gifts That is why we place all our hope in the prayer of Christ for the Church in the love of the Father for us and in the power of the Holy Spirit 288 II THE CHURCH IS HOLY 823 The Church is held as a matter of faith to be unfailingly holy This is because Christ the Son of God who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as alone holy loved the Church as his Bride giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God 289 The Church then is the holy People of God 290 and her members are called saints 291 824 United with Christ the Church is sanctified by him through him and with him she becomes sanctifying All the activities of the Church are directed as toward their end to the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God 292 It is in the Church that the fullness of the means of salvation 293 has been deposited It is in her that by the grace of God we acquire holiness 294 825 The Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect 295 In her members perfect holiness is something yet to be acquired Strengthened by so many and such great means of salvation all the faithful whatever their condition or state though each in his own way are called by the Lord to that perfection of sanctity by which the Father himself is perfect 296 826 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 298 827 Christ holy innocent and undefiled knew nothing of sin but came only to expiate the sins of the people The Church however clasping sinners to her bosom at once holy and always in need of purification follows constantly the path of penance and renewal 299 All members of the Church including her ministers must acknowledge that they are sinners 300 In everyone the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time 301 Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ s salvation but still on the way to holiness The Church is therefore holy though having sinners in her midst because she herself has no other life but the life of grace If they live her life her members are sanctified if they move away from her life they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit 302 828 By canonizing some of the faithful i e by solemnly pro claiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God s grace the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors 303 The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church s history 304 Indeed holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal 305 829 But while in the most Blessed Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle the faithful still strive to conquer sin and increase in holiness And so they turn their eyes to Mary 306 in her the Church is already the all holy III THE CHURCH IS CATHOLIC What does catholic mean 830 The word catholic means universal in the sense of according to the totality or in keeping with the whole The Church is catholic in a double sense First the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her Where there is Christ Jesus there is the Catholic Church 307 In her subsists the fullness of Christ s body united with its head this implies that she receives from him the fullness of the means of salvation 308 which he has willed correct and complete confession of faith full sacramental life and ordained ministry in apostolic succession The Church was in this fundamental sense catholic on the day of Pentecost 309 and will always be so until the day of the Parousia 831 Secondly the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race 310 All men are called to belong to the new People of God This People therefore while remaining one and only one is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God s will may be fulfilled he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one The character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit 311 Each particular Church is catholic 832 The Church of Christ is really present in all legitimately organized local groups of the faithful which in so far as they are united to their pastors are also quite appropriately called Churches in the New Testament In them the faithful are gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ and the mystery of the Lord s Supper is celebrated In these communities though they may often be small and poor or existing in the diaspora Christ is present through whose power and influence the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is constituted 312 833 The phrase particular church which is first of all the diocese or eparchy refers to a community of the Christian faithful in communion of faith and sacraments with their bishop ordained in apostolic succession 313 These particular Churches are constituted after the model of the universal Church it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists 314 834 Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them the Church of Rome which presides in charity 315 For with this church by reason of its pre eminence the whole Church that is the faithful everywhere must necessarily be in accord 316 Indeed from the incarnate Word s descent to us all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here at Rome to be their only basis and foundation since according to the Savior s promise the gates of hell have never prevailed against her 317 835 Let us be very careful not to conceive of the universal Church as the simple sum or the more or less anomalous federation of essentially different particular churches In the mind of the Lord the Church is universal by vocation and mission but when she pub down her roots in a variety of cultural social and human terrains she takes on different external expressions and appearances in each part of the world 318 The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines liturgical rites and theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches unified in a common effort shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the undivided Church 319 Who belongs to the Catholic Church 836 All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God And to it in different ways belong or are ordered the Catholic faithful others who believe in Christ and finally all mankind called by God s grace to salvation 320 837 Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who possessing the Spirit of Christ accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization and who by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith the sacraments ecclesiastical government and communion are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops Even though incorporated into the Church one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church but in body not in heart 321 838 The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter 322 Those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain although imperfect communion with the Catholic Church 323 With the Orthodox Churches this communion is so profound that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord s Eucharist 324 The Church and non Christians 839 Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways 325 The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People When she delves into her own mystery the Church the People of God in the New Covenant discovers her link with the Jewish People 326 the first to hear the Word of God 327 The Jewish faith unlike other non Christian religions is already a response to God s revelation in the Old Covenant To the Jews belong the sonship the glory the covenants the giving of the law the worship and the promises to them belong the patriarchs and of their race according to the flesh is the Christ 328 for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable 329 840 And when one considers the future God s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals expectation of the coming or the return of the Messiah But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God the other awaits the coming of a Messiah whose features remain hidden till the end of time and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus 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 356 855 The Church s mission stimulates efforts towards Christian unity 357 Indeed divisions among Christians prevent the Church from realizing in practice the fullness of catholicity proper to her in those of her sons who though joined to her by Baptism are yet separated from full communion with her Furthermore the Church herself finds it more difficult to express in actual life her full catholicity in all its aspects 358 856 The missionary task implies a respectful dialogue with those who do not yet accept the Gospel 359 Believers can profit from this dialogue by learning to appreciate better those elements of truth and grace which are found among peoples and which are as it were a secret presence of God 360 They proclaim the Good News to those who do not know it in order to consolidate complete and raise up the truth and the goodness that God has distributed among men and nations and to purify them from error and evil for the glory of God the confusion of the demon and the happiness of man 361 IV THE CHURCH IS APOSTOLIC 857 The Church is apostolic because she is founded on the apostles in three ways she was and remains built on the foundation of the Apostles 362 the witnesses chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself 363 with the help of the Spirit dwelling in her the Church keeps and hands on the teaching 364 the good deposit the salutary words she has heard from the apostles 365 she continues to be taught sanctified and guided by the apostles until Christ s return through their successors in pastoral office the college of bishops assisted by priests in union with the successor of Peter the Church s supreme pastor 366 You are the eternal Shepherd who never leaves his flock untended Through the apostles you watch over us and protect us always You made them shepherds of the flock to share in the work of your Son 367 The Apostles mission 858 Jesus is the Father s Emissary From the beginning of his ministry he called to him those whom he desired And he appointed twelve whom also he named apostles to be with him and to be sent out to preach 368 From then on they would also be his emissaries Greek apostoloi In them Christ continues his own mission As the Father has sent me even so I send you 369 The apostles ministry is the continuation of his mission Jesus said to the Twelve he who receives you receives me 370 859 Jesus unites them to the mission he received from the Father As the Son can do nothing of his own accord but receives everything from the Father who sent him so those whom Jesus sends can do nothing apart from him 371 from whom they received both the mandate for their mission and the power to carry it out Christ s apostles knew that they were called by God as ministers of a new covenant servants of God ambassadors for Christ servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God 372 860 In the office of the apostles there is one aspect that cannot be transmitted to be the chosen witnesses of the Lord s Resurrection and so the foundation stones of the Church But their office also has a permanent aspect Christ promised to remain with them always The divine mission entrusted by Jesus to them will continue to the end of time since the Gospel they handed on is the lasting source of all life for the Church Therefore the apostles took care to appoint successors 373 The bishops successors of the apostles 861 In order that the mission entrusted to them might be continued after their death the apostles consigned by will and testament as it were to their immediate collaborators the duty of completing and consolidating the work they had begun urging them to tend to the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit had appointed them to shepherd the Church of God They accordingly designated such men and then made the ruling that likewise on their death other proven men should take over their ministry 374 862 Just as the office which the Lord confided to Peter alone as first of the apostles destined to be transmitted to his successors is a permanent one so also endures the office which the apostles received of shepherding the Church a charge destined to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops 375 Hence the Church teaches that the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ 376 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 377 864 Christ sent by the Father is the source of the Church s whole apostolate thus the fruitfulness of apostolate for ordained ministers as well as for lay people clearly depends on their vital union with Christ 378 In keeping with their vocations the demands of the times and the various gifts of the Holy Spirit the apostolate assumes the most varied forms But charity drawn from the Eucharist above all is always as it were the soul of the whole apostolate 379 865 The Church is ultimately one holy catholic and apostolic in her deepest and ultimate identity because it is in her that the Kingdom of heaven the Reign of God 380 already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time The kingdom has come in the person of Christ and grows mysteriously in the hearts of those incorporated into him until its full eschatological manifestation Then all those he has redeemed and made holy and blameless before him in love 381 will be gathered together as the one People of God the Bride of the Lamb 382 the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God having the glory of God 383 For the wall of the city had twelve foundations and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb 384 IN BRIEF 866 The Church is one she acknowledges one Lord confesses one faith is born of one Baptism forms only one Body is given life by the one Spirit for the sake of one hope cf Eph 4 3 5 at whose fulfillment all divisions will be overcome 867 The Church is holy the Most Holy God is her author Christ her bridegroom gave himself up to make her holy the Spirit of holiness gives her life Since she still includes sinners she is the sinless one made up of sinners Her holiness shines in the saints in Mary she is already all holy 868 The Church is catholic she proclaims the fullness of the faith She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation She is sent out to all peoples She speaks to all men She encompasses all times She is missionary of her very nature AG 2 869 The Church is apostolic She is built on a lasting foundation the twelve apostles of the Lamb Rev 21 14 She is indestructible cf Mt 16 18 She is upheld infallibly in the truth Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles who are present in their successors the Pope and the college of bishops 870 The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one holy catholic and apostolic subsists in the Catholic Church which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him Nevertheless many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines LG 8 Paragraph 4 Christ s Faithful Hierarchy Laity Consecrated Life 871 The Christian faithful are those who inasmuch as they have been incorporated in Christ through Baptism have been constituted as the people of God for this reason since they have become sharers in Christ s priestly prophetic and royal office in their own manner they are called to exercise the mission which God has entrusted to the Church to fulfill in the world in accord with the condition proper to each one 385 872 In virtue of their rebirth in Christ there exists among all the Christian faithful a true equality with regard to dignity and the activity whereby all cooperate in the building up of the Body of Christ in accord with each one s own condition and function 386 873 The very differences which the Lord has willed to put between the members of his body serve its unity and mission For in the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission To the apostles and their successors Christ has entrusted the office of teaching sanctifying and governing in his name and by his power But the laity are made to share in the priestly prophetical and kingly office of Christ they have therefore in the Church and in the world their own assignment in the mission of the whole People of God 387 Finally from both groups hierarchy and laity there exist Christian faithful who are consecrated to God in their own special manner and serve the salvific mission of the Church through the profession of the evangelical counsels 388 I THE HIERARCHICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH Why the ecclesial ministry 874 Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church He instituted the Church He gave her authority and mission orientation and goal In order to shepherd the People of God and to increase its numbers without cease Christ the Lord set up in his Church a variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body The holders of office who are invested with a sacred power are in fact dedicated to promoting the interests of their brethren so that all who belong to the People of God may attain to salvation 389 875 How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard And how are they to hear without a preacher And how can men preach unless they are sent 390 No one no individual and no community can proclaim the Gospel to himself Faith comes from what is heard 391 No one can give himself the mandate and the mission to proclaim the Gospel The one sent by the Lord does not speak and act on his own authority but by virtue of Christ s authority not as a member of the community but speaking to it in the name of Christ No one can bestow grace on himself it must be given and offered This fact presupposes ministers of grace authorized and empowered by Christ From him bishops and priests receive the mission and faculty the sacred power to act in persona Christi Capitis deacons receive the strength to serve the people of God in the diaconia of liturgy word and charity in communion with the bishop and his presbyterate The ministry in which Christ s emissaries do and give by God s grace what they cannot do and give by their own powers is called a sacrament by the Church s tradition Indeed the ministry of the Church is conferred by a special sacrament 876 Intrinsically linked to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry is its character as service Entirely dependent on Christ who gives mission and authority ministers are truly slaves of Christ 392 in the image of him who freely took the form of a slave for us 393 Because the word and grace of which they are ministers are not their own but are given to them by Christ for the sake of others they must freely become the slaves of all 394 877 Likewise it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a collegial character In fact from the beginning of his ministry the Lord Jesus instituted the Twelve as the seeds of the new Israel and the beginning of the sacred hierarchy 395 Chosen together they were also sent out together and their fraternal unity would be at the service of the fraternal communion of all the faithful they would reflect and witness to the communion of the divine persons 396 For this reason every bishop exercises his ministry from within the episcopal college in communion with the bishop of Rome the successor of St Peter and head of the college So also priests exercise their ministry from within the presbyterium of the diocese under the direction of their bishop 878 Finally it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a personal character Although Chnst s ministers act in communion with one another they also always act in a personal way Each one is called personally You follow me 397 in order to be a personal witness within the common mission to bear personal responsibility before him who gives the mission acting in his person and for other persons I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit I absolve you 879 Sacramental ministry in the Church then is a service exercised in the name of Christ It has a personal character and collegial form This is evidenced by the bonds between the episcopal college and its head the successor of St Peter and in the relationship between the bishop s pastoral responsibility for his particular church and the common solicitude of the episcopal college for the universal Church The episcopal college and its head the Pope 880 When Christ instituted the Twelve he constituted them in the form of a college or permanent assembly at the head of which he placed Peter chosen from among them 398 Just as by the Lord s institution St Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff Peter s successor and the bishops the successors of the apostles are related with and united to one another 399 881 The Lord made Simon alone whom he named Peter the rock of his Church He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock 400 The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was

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    created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life a communion brought about by the convocation of men in Christ and this convocation is the Church The Church is the goal of all things 154 and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels fall and man s sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of his arm and the whole measure of the love he wanted to give the world Just as God s will is creation and is called the world so his intention is the salvation of men and it is called the Church 155 The Church prepared for in the Old Covenant 761 The gathering together of the People of God began at the moment when sin destroyed the communion of men with God and that of men among themselves The gathering together of the Church is as it were God s reaction to the chaos provoked by sin This reunification is achieved secretly in the heart of all peoples In every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to God 156 762 The remote preparation for this gathering together of the People of God begins when he calls Abraham and promises that he will become the father of a great people 157 Its immediate preparation begins with Israel s election as the People of God By this election Israel is to be the sign of the future gathering of All nations 158 But the prophets accuse Israel of breaking the covenant and behaving like a prostitute They announce a new and eternal covenant Christ instituted this New Covenant 159 The Church instituted by Christ Jesus 763 It was the Son s task to accomplish the Father s plan of salvation in the fullness of time Its accomplishment was the reason for his being sent 160 The Lord Jesus inaugurated his Church by preaching the Good News that is the coming of the Reign of God promised over the ages in the scriptures 161 To fulfill the Father s will Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth The Church is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery 162 764 This Kingdom shines out before men in the word in the works and in the presence of Christ 163 To welcome Jesus word is to welcome the Kingdom itself 164 The seed and beginning of the Kingdom are the little flock of those whom Jesus came to gather around him the flock whose shepherd he is 165 They form Jesus true family 166 To those whom he thus gathered around him he taught a new way of acting and a prayer of their own 167 765 The Lord Jesus endowed his community with a structure that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved Before all else there is the choice of the Twelve with Peter as their head 168 Representing the twelve tribes of Israel they are the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem 169 The Twelve and the other disciples share in Christ s mission and his power but also in his lot 170 By all his actions Christ prepares and builds his Church 766 The Church is born primarily of Christ s total self giving for our salvation anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus 171 For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the wondrous sacrament of the whole Church 172 As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam s side so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross 173 The Church revealed by the Holy Spirit 767 When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church 174 Then the Church was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations through preaching was begun 175 As the convocation of all men for salvation the Church in her very nature is missionary sent by Christ to all the nations to make disciples of them 176 768 So that she can fulfill her mission the Holy Spirit bestows upon the Church varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts and in this way directs her 177 Henceforward the Church endowed with the gifts of her founder and faithfully observing his precepts of charity humility and self denial receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God and she is on earth the seed and the beginning of that kingdom 178 The Church perfected in glory 769 The Church will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven 179 at the time of Christ s glorious return Until that day the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world s persecutions and God s consolations 180 Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom when she will be united in glory with her king 181 The Church and through her the world will not be perfected in glory without great trials Only then will all the just from the time of Adam from Abel the just one to the last of the elect be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father s presence 182 III THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH 770 The Church is in history but at the same time she transcends it It is only with the eyes of faith 183 that one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as bearer of divine life The

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    universal community of believers 143 These three meanings are inseparable The Church is the People that God gathers in the whole world She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical above all a Eucharistic assembly She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ s Body Symbols of the Church 753 In Scripture we find a host of interrelated images and figures through which Revelation speaks of the inexhaustible mystery of the Church The images taken from the Old Testament are variations on a profound theme the People of God In the New Testament all these images find a new center because Christ has become the head of this people which henceforth is his Body 144 Around this center are grouped images taken from the life of the shepherd or from cultivation of the land from the art of building or from family life and marriage 145 754 The Church is accordingly a sheepfold the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd and whose sheep even though governed by human shepherds are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds who gave his life for his sheep 146 755 The Church is a cultivated field the tillage of God On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again That land like a choice vineyard has been planted by the heavenly cultivator Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches that is to us who through the Church remain in Christ without whom we can do nothing 147 756 Often too the Church is called the building of God The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected but which was made into the comer stone On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity This edifice has many names to describe it the house of God in which his family dwells the household of God in the Spirit the dwelling place of God among men and especially the holy temple This temple symbolized in places of worship built out of stone is praised by the Fathers and not without reason is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City the New Jerusalem As living stones we here on earth are built into it It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew prepared like a bride adorned for her husband 148 757 The Church further which is called that Jerusalem which is above and our mother is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb It

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