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Glossary

903

vice requires much effort and self-

denial, until the contrary virtue is

acquired (1866).

VIRGIN BIRTH:

The conception

of Jesus in the womb of the

Virgin Mary solely by the power

of the Holy Spirit. The Church’s

confession of faith in the virgin

birth affirms that Jesus was

conceived by the Holy Spirit

without human seed (496).

See

Virgin Mary.

VIRGIN MARY:

The mother of

Jesus, who is honored as “ever-

virgin” for her perpetual virginity

(499).

VIRTUE:

A habitual and firm

disposition to do the good.

The moral virtues are acquired

through human effort aided

by God’s grace; the theological

virtues are gifts of God (1803).

See

Cardinal Virtues.

VIRTUES, THEOLOGICAL:

Gifts infused by God into the

souls of the faithful to make them

capable of acting as his children

and of meriting eternal life. The

theological virtues are faith, hope,

and charity (1813).

VISION, BEATIFIC:

See

Beatific

Vision.

VOCATION:

The calling or

destiny we have in this life

and hereafter. God has created

the human person to love and

serve him; the fulfillment of this

vocation is eternal happiness (1,

358, 1700). Christ calls the faithful

to the perfection of holiness (825).

The vocation of the laity consists

in seeking the Kingdom of God

by engaging in temporal affairs

and directing them according

to God’s will (898). Priestly and

religious vocations are dedicated

to the service of the Church as the

universal sacrament of salvation

(cf. 873; 931).

VOW:

A deliberate and free

promise made to God, concerning

a possible and better good which

must be fulfilled by reason of the

virtue of religion (2102). Religious

vows, the public profession of

the evangelical counsels in the

Church, have an exemplary value

in witnessing to the Kingdom to

come (cf. 915).

-W-

WAY OF THE CROSS:

A

devotional exercise which follows

the “way of the cross” in the

Savior’s steps, observing stops or

“stations” to meditate on the path

Jesus took from the Praetorium

in Jerusalem to Golgotha and the

tomb. “By his holy Cross he has

redeemed the world” (2669).

WISDOM:

A spiritual gift which

enables one to know the purpose

and plan of God; one of the seven

gifts of the Holy Spirit (1831).

Wisdom is also the name of one

of the books of the Old Testament

(120).

WORD OF GOD:

The entire

content of Revelation as contained

in the Holy Bible and proclaimed

in the Church. In John’s Gospel,

God’s “Word” means his only-

begotten Son, who is the fullness

of God’s Revelation and who took

flesh (the Word incarnate) and

became man for the sake of our

salvation (65, 81, 101, 241, 461; cf.

2653).

WORKS OF MERCY:

Charitable

actions by which we come to

the aid of our neighbors in their

bodily and spiritual needs (2447).

The spiritual works of mercy