The human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues,
which adapt man’s faculties for participation in the divine na-
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
The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian mor-
al activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They in-
form 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 pres-
ence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being.
There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.
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.”
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.”
The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against
But “faith apart from works is dead”:
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.
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 persecu-
tions which the Church never lacks.”
Service of and witness to the
80 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545.