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446

Part Three

II.

T

he

T

heological

V

irtues

1812

The human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues,

which adapt man’s faculties for participation in the divine na-

ture:

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 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.

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 persecu-

tions which the Church never lacks.”

82

Service of and witness to the

faith

76 Cf.

2 Pet

1:4.

77 Cf.

1 Cor

13:13.

78

DV

5.

79

Rom

1:17;

Gal

5:6.

80 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545.

81

Jas

2:26.

82

LG

42; cf.

DH

14.

2086-2094

2656-2658

1266

2008

142-175

506

2471