The practice of the moral life animated by charity gives to
the Christian the spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no
longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a merce-
nary looking for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him
who “first loved us”:
If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are
in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of
wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for
the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who
commands . . . we are in the position of children.
of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity
demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it
fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is
friendship and communion:
Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal;
that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it,
in it we shall find rest.
The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the
Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man
docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understand-
ing, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David.
plete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They
make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.
Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . .
If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with
107 St. Basil,
Reg. fus. tract., prol.
3: PG 31, 896 B.
108 St. Augustine,
In ep. Jo.
10, 4: PL 35, 2057.