The Profession of Faith
The faithful should “distinguish carefully between the
rights and the duties which they have as belonging to the Church
and those which fall to them as members of the human society.
They will strive to unite the two harmoniously, remembering that
in every temporal affair they are to be guided by a Christian
conscience, since no human activity, even of the temporal order,
can be withdrawn from God’s dominion.”
“Thus, every person, through these gifts given to him, is at
once the witness and the living instrument of the mission of the
Church itself ‘according to the measure of Christ’s bestowal.’”
“The state of life which is constituted by the profession of
the evangelical counsels, while not entering into the hierarchical
structure of the Church, belongs undeniably to her life and holi-
Evangelical counsels, consecrated life
Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great
variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the
faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to
consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for
the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the
of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by
the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God.
The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experienc-
ing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedi-
cated totally to God.
In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful,
moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to
give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the
perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and
proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.
36 § 4.
33 § 2; cf.
44 § 4.
456 Cf. CIC, can. 573.