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348 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

Jesus in the temptations in the desert; sacrilege, which means treat-

ing with disrespect persons, places, or things consecrated to God—

above all the Eucharist; and simony, which is the buying or selling of

spiritual things.

• “Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin

against the first commandment” (CCC, no. 2140).

• At the heart of our faith is our assent of mind and will to all that

God reveals, all that the Church defines, and all that is presented by

the Church in her ordinary and universal Magisterium as Christ’s

way to salvation.


Prayer of the Heart

Prayer and converse with God is a supreme good: it is a partner-

ship and union with God. As the eyes of the body are enlight-

ened when they see light, so our spirit, when it is intent on God,

is illumined by his infinite light. I do not mean the prayer of

outward observance but prayer from the heart, not confined

to fixed times or periods but continuous throughout the day and


Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not

only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times also, when

it is carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing

works of charity, giving generously in the service of others, our

spirit should long for God and call him to mind, so that these

works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so make

a palatable offering to the Lord of the universe.

—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 6, “On Procreation,” in


Liturgy of the Hours

, vol. II, 68-69