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342 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

Adoring God, praying to him, offering him the worship that

belongs to him, fulfilling the promises and vows made to him

are acts of the virtue of religion which fall under obedience to

the first commandment. (CCC, no. 2135)

All the Commandments call us to practice certain virtues and for-

bid a number of immoral behaviors. The positive invitation of the First

Commandment calls us to practice the Theological Virtues of faith, hope,

and charity by believing in the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, placing

all our hope in them, and loving them with our whole heart and mind.


God has given us the virtue of faith, which is a personal response to

the Lord’s Revelation of his holiness, love, beauty, and transcendence.

We experience hints of his majesty in creation, traces of his love in the

human love we receive, and impulses of his concern for us in our inner

life, especially in the movements of conscience. Our faith is also com-

munal, coming to us from our families and parish community. Above

all, our faith in God is a gift of grace and is constantly nourished by

the Holy Spirit from the moment of our Baptism, through our prayer

life, our participation in the Eucharist and the Sacraments, and our

Christian witness.

While it is the duty of all to worship and serve God, regrettably, there

are some who do not believe in him and others who seriously doubt his

existence. Some hesitate to believe because they cannot overcome their

objections to faith, or are puzzled by the mystery of God. Some of the

baptized later lapse into heresy. “


is the obstinate post-baptismal

denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic

faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same” (CCC,

no. 2089).


is a total repudiation of the faith (cf. CCC, no. 2089).


is the refusal to submit to the pope’s authority as head of the

Church. Christ calls us to have a prayerful, reconciling attitude toward

people with difficulties in their faith, to help them toward assent to the

truth of faith.