Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  503 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 503 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

Life in Christ

503

From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man

the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to

remind him of them. This was the Decalogue.

31

2071

The commandments of the Decalogue, although accessible

to reason alone, have been revealed. To attain a complete and

certain understanding of the requirements of the natural law, sinful

humanity needed this revelation:

A full explanation of the commandments of the Decalogue

became necessary in the state of sin because the light of

reason was obscured and the will had gone astray.

32

We know God’s commandments through the divine reve­

lation proposed to us in the Church, and through the voice of moral

conscience.

The obligation of the Decalogue

2072

Since they express man’s fundamental duties towards God

and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their

primordial content,

grave

obligations. They are fundamentally im­

mutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can

dispense from them. The Ten Commandments are engraved by

God in the human heart.

2073

Obedience to the Commandments also implies obligations

in matter which is, in itself, light. Thus abusive language is forbid­

den by the fifth commandment, but would be a grave offense only

as a result of circumstances or the offender’s intention.

“Apart from me you can do nothing”

2074

Jesus says: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who

abides inme, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from

me you can do nothing.”

33

The fruit referred to in this saying is the

holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe

in Jesus Christ, partake of hismysteries, and keep his commandments,

the Savior himself comes to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our

Father and our brethren. His person becomes, through the Spirit, the

living and interior rule of our activity. “This ismy commandment, that

you love one another as I have loved you.”

34

31 St. Irenaeus,

Adv. haeres.

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

32 St. Bonaventure,

Comm. sent.

4, 37, 1, 3.

33

Jn

15:5.

34

Jn

15:12.

1960

1777

1858

1958

2732

521