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514

Part Three

of restoring their health—are gravely contrary to the virtue of

religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when

accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they

have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is

also reprehensible.

Spiritism

often implies divination or magical

practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Re­

course to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the in­

vocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.

Irreligion

2118

God’s first commandment condemns the main sins of

irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony.

2119

Tempting God

consists in putting his goodness and al­

mighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to in­

duce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this

gesture, force God to act.

49

Jesus opposed Satan with the word of

God: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”

50

The

challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect

and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt

about his love, his providence, and his power.

51

2120

Sacrilege

consists in profaning or treating unworthily the

sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things,

or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially

when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the

true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.

52

2121

Simony

is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual

things.

53

To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual

power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: “Your

silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain

God’s gift with money!”

54

Peter thus held to the words of Jesus:

“You received without pay, give without pay.”

55

It is impossible

to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them

as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One

can receive them only from him, without payment.

49 Cf.

Lk

4:9.

50

Deut

6:16.

51 Cf.

1 Cor

10:9;

Ex

17:2-7;

Ps

95:9.

52 Cf. CIC, cann. 1367; 1376.

53 Cf.

Acts

8:9-24.

54

Acts

8:20.

55

Mt

10:8; cf. already

Isa

55:1.

394

2088

1374

1578