Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  485 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 485 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

Life in Christ

485

2002

God’s free initiative demands

man’s free response,

for God

has created man in his image by conferring on him, along with

freedom, the power to know him and love him. The soul only

enters freely into the communion of love. God immediately touches

and directly moves the heart of man. He has placed in man

a longing for truth and goodness that only he can satisfy. The

promises of “eternal life” respond, beyond all hope, to this desire:

If at the end of your very good works . . . , you rested on the

seventh day, it was to foretell by the voice of your book that

at the end of our works, which are indeed “very good” since

you have given them to us, we shall also rest in you on the

sabbath of eternal life.

52

2003

Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies

and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit

grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate

in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ,

the Church. There are

sacramental graces,

gifts proper to the different

sacraments. There are furthermore

special graces,

also called

charisms

after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning “favor,” “gratu­

itous gift,” “benefit.”

53

Whatever their character—sometimes it is

extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues

—charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended

for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of char­

ity which builds up the Church.

54

2004

Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the

graces

of state

that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the

Christian life and of the ministries within the Church:

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let

us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service,

in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who

exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality;

he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with

cheerfulness.

55

52 St. Augustine,

Conf.

13, 36, 51: PL 32, 868; cf.

Gen

1:31.

53 Cf.

LG

12.

54 Cf.

1 Cor

12.

55

Rom

12:6-8.

1742

2550

1108

1127

799-801