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Life in Christ



Ministries should be exercised in a spirit of fraternal serv­

ice and dedication to the Church, in the name of the Lord.


At the

same time the conscience of each person should avoid confining

itself to individualistic considerations in its moral judgments of the

person’s own acts. As far as possible conscience should take ac­

count of the good of all, as expressed in the moral law, natural and

revealed, and consequently in the law of the Church and in the

authoritative teaching of the Magisterium on moral questions.

Personal conscience and reason should not be set in opposition to

the moral law or the Magisterium of the Church.


Thus a true

filial spirit toward the Church

can develop among

Christians. It is the normal flowering of the baptismal grace which

has begotten us in the womb of the Church and made us members

of the Body of Christ. In her motherly care, the Church grants us

the mercy of God which prevails over all our sins and is especially

at work in the sacrament of reconciliation. With a mother’s fore­

sight, she also lavishes on us day after day in her liturgy the

nourishment of the Word and Eucharist of the Lord.





recepts of





The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral

life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory char­

acter of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is

meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in

the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God

and neighbor:


The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy

days of obligation and rest from servile labor”) requires the faithful to sanc­

tify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the

principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed

Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucha­

ristic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by

resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sancti­

fication of these days.


The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a

year.”) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the

sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conver­

sion and forgiveness.


81 Cf.


12:8, 11.

82 Cf. CIC, cann. 1246-1248; CCEO, can. 880 § 3, 881 §§ 1, 2, 4.

83 Cf. CIC, can. 989; CCEO, can. 719.