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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law Conscience is a law of the mind yet Christians would not grant that it is nothing more I mean that it was not a dictate nor conveyed the notion of responsibility of duty of a threat and a promise Conscience is a messenger of him who both in nature and in grace speaks to us behind a veil and teaches and rules us by his representatives Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ 50 1779 It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of his conscience This requirement of interiority is all the more necessary as life often distracts us from any reflection self examination or introspection Return to your conscience question it Turn inward brethren and in everything you do see God as your witness 51 1780 The dignity of the human person implies and requires uprightness of moral conscience Conscience includes the perception of the principles of morality synderesis their application in the given circumstances by practical discernment of reasons and goods and finally judgment about concrete acts yet to be performed or already performed The truth about the moral good stated in the law of reason is recognized practically and concretely by the prudent judgment of conscience We call that man prudent who chooses in conformity with this judgment 1781 Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed If man commits evil the just judgment of conscience can remain within him as the witness to the universal truth of the good at the same time as the evil of his particular choice The

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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 II THE FORMATION OF CONSCIENCE 1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened A well formed conscience is upright and truthful It formulates its judgments according to reason in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings 1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task From the earliest years it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience Prudent education teaches virtue it prevents or cures fear selfishness and pride resentment arising from guilt and feelings of complacency born of human weakness and faults The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart 1785 In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path 54 we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice We

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Need to Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Catechism of the Catholic Church III TO CHOOSE IN ACCORD WITH CONSCIENCE 1786 Faced with a moral choice conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or on the contrary an erroneous judgment that departs from them 1787 Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral judgments less assured and decision difficult But he must always seriously seek what is right and good and discern the will of God expressed in divine law 1788 To this purpose man strives to interpret the data of experience and the signs of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence by the advice of competent people and by the help of the Holy Spirit and his gifts 1789 Some rules apply in every case One may never do evil so that good may result from it the Golden Rule Whatever you wish that men would do to you do so to them 56 charity always proceeds by way of respect for one s neighbor and his conscience Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience you sin against Christ 57 Therefore it

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    is true and good or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin 59 In such cases the person is culpable for the evil he commits 1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel bad example given by others enslavement to one s passions assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience rejection of the Church s authority and her teaching lack of conversion and of charity these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct 1793 If on the contrary the ignorance is invincible or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him It remains no less an evil a privation a disorder One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience 1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith for charity proceeds at the same time from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith 60 The more a correct conscience prevails the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct 61 IN BRIEF 1795 Conscience is man s most secret core and his sanctuary There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths GS 16 1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act 1797 For the man who has committed evil the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope 1798 A well formed conscience is upright and truthful It formulates its judgments according to reason in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator Everyone must avail himself of the means

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Spirit and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil II THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES 1812 The human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues which adapt man s faculties for participation in the divine nature 76 for the theological virtues relate directly to God They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity They have the One and Triune God for their origin motive and object 1813 The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity they animate it and give it its special character They inform and give life to all the moral virtues They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being There are three theological virtues faith hope and charity 77 Faith 1814 Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us and that Holy Church proposes for our belief because he is truth itself By faith man freely commits his entire self to God 78 For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God s will The righteous shall live by faith Living faith work s through charity 79 1815 The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it 80 But faith apart from works is dead 81 when it is deprived of hope and love faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body 1816 The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it but also profess it confidently bear witness to it and spread it All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross amidst the persecutions which the Church never lacks 82 Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation So every one who acknowledges me before men I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven but whoever denies me before men I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven 83 Hope 1817 Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness placing our trust in Christ s promises and relying not on our own strength but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for he who promised is faithful 84 The Holy Spirit he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life 85 1818 The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man it takes up the hopes that inspire men s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven it keeps man from discouragement it sustains him during times of abandonment it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude Buoyed up by hope he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity 1819 Christian hope takes up and fulfills the hope of the chosen people which has its origin and model in the hope of Abraham who was blessed abundantly by the promises of God fulfilled in Isaac and who was purified by the test of the sacrifice 86 Hoping against hope he believed and thus became the father of many nations 87 1820 Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus preaching in the proclamation of the beatitudes The beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised Land they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion God keeps us in the hope that does not disappoint 88 Hope is the sure and steadfast anchor of the soul that enters where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf 89 Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation Let us put on the breastplate of faith and charity and for a helmet the hope of salvation 90 It affords us joy even under trial Rejoice in your hope be patient in tribulation 91 Hope is expressed and nourished in prayer especially in the Our Father the summary of everything that hope leads us to desire 1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will 92 In every circumstance each one of us should hope with the grace of God to persevere to the end 93 and to obtain the joy of heaven as God s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ In hope the Church prays for all men to be saved 94 She longs to be united with Christ her Bridegroom in the glory of heaven Hope O my soul hope You know neither the day nor the hour Watch carefully for everything passes quickly even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain and turns a very short time into a long one Dream that the more you struggle the more you prove the love that you bear your God and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved in a happiness and rapture that can never end 95 Charity 1822 Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God 1823 Jesus makes charity the new commandment 96 By loving his own to the end 97 he makes manifest

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Catechism of the Catholic Church THE HUMAN VIRTUES 1804 Human virtues are firm attitudes stable dispositions habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions order our passions and guide our conduct according to reason and faith They make possible ease self mastery and joy in leading a morally good life The virtuous man is he who freely practices

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid 1807 Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor Justice toward God is called the virtue of religion Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good The just man often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor 68 Masters treat your slaves justly and fairly knowing that you also have a Master in heaven 69 1808 Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear even fear of death and to face trials and persecutions It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause The Lord is my strength and my song 70 In the world you have tribulation but be of good cheer I have overcome the world 71 1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods It ensures the will s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable The temperate person directs the

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Connect Home On Facebook On Twitter eNewsletters Site Tour Web Widgets Feeds Contact Us Advertise Subscribe Login Donate 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 The virtues and grace 1810 Human virtues acquired by education by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever renewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace With God s help they forge character and give facility in the practice of the good The virtuous man is happy to practice them 1811 It is not easy for man wounded by sin to maintain moral balance Christ s gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength frequent the sacraments cooperate with the Holy Spirit and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil Notes English Translation

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