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Life in Christ

477

Savior God. It provides a teaching which endures for ever, like the

Word of God.

1964

The Old Law is a

preparation for the Gospel.

“The Law is a

pedagogy and a prophecy of things to come.”

17

It prophesies and

presages the work of liberation from sin which will be fulfilled in

Christ: it provides the New Testament with images, “types,” and

symbols for expressing the life according to the Spirit. Finally, the

Law is completed by the teaching of the sapiential books and the

prophets which set its course toward the New Covenant and the

Kingdom of heaven.

There were . . . under the regimen of the Old Covenant,

people who possessed the charity and grace of the Holy

Spirit and longed above all for the spiritual and eternal

promises by which they were associated with the New Law.

Conversely, there exist carnal men under the NewCovenant,

still distanced from the perfection of the New Law: the fear

of punishment and certain temporal promises have been

necessary, even under the New Covenant, to incite them to

virtuous works. In any case, even though the Old Law

prescribed charity, it did not give the Holy Spirit, through

whom “God’s charity has been poured into our hearts.”

18

III.

T

he

N

ew

L

aw or

the

L

aw of

the

G

ospel

1965

The New Law or the Law of the Gospel is the perfection

here on earth of the divine law, natural and revealed. It is the work

of Christ and is expressed particularly in the Sermon on the Mount.

It is also the work of the Holy Spirit and through him it becomes

the interior law of charity: “I will establish a New Covenant with

the house of Israel. . . . I will put my laws into their minds, andwrite

them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my

people.”

19

1966

The New Law is the

grace of the Holy Spirit

given to the

faithful through faith in Christ. It works through charity; it uses the

Sermon on the Mount to teach us what must be done and makes

use of the sacraments to give us the grace to do it:

17 St. Irenæus,

Adv. haeres.

4, 15, 1: PG 7/1, 1012.

18 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

I-II, 107, 1

ad

2; cf.

Rom

5:5.

19

Heb

8:8, 10; cf.

Jer

31:31-34.

122

1828

459

581

715

1999