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Glossary

MEDITATION:

An exercise and

a form of prayer in which we try

to understand God’s revelation of

the truths of faith and the purpose

of the Christian life, and how it

should be lived, in order to adhere

and respond to what the Lord is

asking (2705).

MERCY:

The loving kindness,

compassion, or forbearance shown

to one who offends (e.g., the

mercy of God to us sinners) (1422,

1829).

See

Works of Mercy.

MERIT:

The reward which God

promises and gives to those who

love him and by his grace perform

good works. One cannot “merit”

justification or eternal life, which

are the free gift of God; the source

of any merit we have before God

is due to the grace of Christ in us

(2006).

MESSIAH:

AHebrew word

meaning “anointed” (436).

See

Christ; Jesus Christ.

MINISTRY:

The service or work

of sanctification performed by the

preaching of the word and the

celebration of the sacraments by

those in Holy Orders (893, 1536),

or in determined circumstances,

by laity (903). The New Testament

speaks of a variety of ministries in

the Church; Christ himself is the

source of ministry in the Church

(873-874). Bishops, priests, and

deacons are ordained ministers in

the Church (1548).

MIRACLE:

A sign or wonder,

such as a healing or the control

of nature, which can only be

attributed to divine power. The

miracles of Jesus were messianic

signs of the presence of God’s

kingdom (547).

MISSION:

(1)

Trinitarian missions

:

To accomplish the divine plan of

the triune God for the redemption

of humanity, the Son and the Holy

Spirit were “sent” into the world:

hence the Trinitarian “missions”

(Latin

missus

means “sent”) (257,

689). (2)

Apostolic mission

: Just as

he was sent by the Father, Jesus

sent his Apostles into the world to

continue his own saving mission

(858). (3)

Church as mission

: Thus

the Church is missionary by

its very nature, continuing the

mission or work of Christ through

the Holy Spirit, according to

the plan of God. This apostolic

mission of the Church is fulfilled

according to their different

states of life by the clergy, laity,

and religious (849, 863, 913).

Missionary activity is sometimes

given in a more specific sense as

the work of initial evangelization

and establishment of the Church

in non-Christian lands.

MONASTIC LIFE:

Consecrated

life marked by the public

profession of religious vows of

poverty, chastity, and obedience,

and by a stable community life (in

a monastery) with the celebration

of the Liturgy of the Hours in

choir (cf. 927).

MORALITY:

Referring to the

goodness or evil of human acts.

Human freedom makes a person

a “moral subject” or agent, able to

judge the morality (goodness or

evil) of the acts which are chosen.

The morality of human acts

depends on the object (or nature)

of the action, the intention or end

foreseen, and the circumstances of

the action (1749; cf. 407).

MORTAL SIN:

A grave infraction

of the law of God that destroys the

divine life in the soul of the sinner

(sanctifying grace), constituting