Paths of Love: The Discernment of Vocation

Texts of the Catechism cited in the book


Here you will find the texts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church cited or mentioned in the book Paths of Love, as well as other texts from the Catechism relevant to vocation.

  • Commandments and Counsels

    • The New Law is called a law of love because it makes us act out of the love infused by the Holy Spirit, rather than out of fear; a law of grace, because it confers the strength of grace to act, by means of faith and the sacraments; a law of freedom, because it sets us free from the ritual and juridical observances of the Old Law, inclines us to act spontaneously through the prompting of charity and, finally, makes us pass from the condition of a servant who "does not know what his master is doing" to that of a friend of Christ - "For all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15) - or even to the status of son and heir. (n. 1972)
    • Besides its precepts, the New Law also includes the evangelical counsels. The traditional distinction between Godís precepts and the evangelical counsels is drawn in relation to charity, the perfection of Christian life. The precepts are intended to remove whatever is incompatible with charity. The aim of the counsels is to remove whatever might hinder the development of charity, even if it is not contrary to it. (n. 1973)
    • The evangelical counsels manifest the living fullness of charity, which is never content with not giving more. They attest its vitality and call forth our spiritual readiness. The perfection of the New Law consists essentially in the precepts of love of God and neighbor. The counsels point out the more direct ways, the readier means, and should be practiced according to the vocation of each person:
      God does not want each person to observe all the counsels, but only those that are appropriate to the diversity of persons, times, occasions, and abilities, as charity requires; for it is charity, as queen of all virtues, all commandments, all counsels, and in short, of all laws and all Christian actions, that gives to all of them their rank, order, time, and value. (St. Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God VIII, 6.) (n. 1974)
  • God speaks through the voice of conscience

    • Moral conscience, present in the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate time to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges concrete choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It testifies to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good, to which the human person experiences an attraction, and whose commandments it welcomes. When a prudent man listens to his conscience, he can hear God speaking. (n. 1777)
    • Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all that he says or does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:
    • Conscience is the law of our mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ. (John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Letter to the Duke of Norfolk," V, in Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching II (London: Longmans Green, 1885), 248). (n. 1778)
      It is necessary for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of his conscience. This requirement of interiority is all the more necessary as life often distracts us from any reflection, self-examination or introspection:
      Return to your conscience, question it. . . . Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, you will see God as your witness. (St. Augustine, On 1 John 8, 9) (n. 1779)


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