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330 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

for not only does God give us the moral law that leads us to salva-

tion, but through grace we receive divine assistance to follow it. We

should always take heart from the words Our Lord spoke to St. Paul:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness”

(2 Cor 12:9).

The Church as Mother and Teacher

God assists us in living the moral life through the Church, who is our

mother and teacher. The faith of the Church is found in its Creed and in

its ordinary teaching, as articulated by its shepherds, the pope, and the

bishops in communion with him.

Jesus said to the Apostles, “Whoever listens to you listens to me” (Lk

10:16). In the Church, when we deal with matters of faith and morals,

the authoritative voice of Christ is exercised by the pope and bishops,

successors of Peter and the Apostles who form the Magisterium. They

are guided by the Holy Spirit, who abides with the Church to lead us

into all truth.

The Church hears the perennial questions that each person asks

at some point: “How shall I live?” “What values or principles shall I

accept?” “What norms shall I make my own?” “What gives meaning to

my life?” To answer questions such as these, we turn to a wise teacher.

Christ is the ultimate teacher, and he continues to be heard in and

through the Church today. The


notes that “the


of the Pastors of the Church

in moral matters is ordinarily exercised in

catechesis and preaching, with the help of the works of theologians and

spiritual authors” (CCC, no. 2033). In the task of teaching and applying

the vision and practice of Christian morality, the Church relies on the

dedication of pastors and the studies of theologians, as well as the con-

tributions of all people of goodwill (cf. CCC, no. 2038).

The response based on faith that Catholics must give to the

Church’s teaching authority—the Magisterium—extends also to

moral principles:

The Church, the “pillar and bulwark of the truth,” “has received

this solemn command of Christ from the apostles to announce