Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 245 wonderfully in her. And so the first mission of those who profess the evangelical counsels is to live out their consecration. Moreover, “since members of institutes of consecrated life dedicate them- selves through their consecration to the service of the Church they are obliged in a special manner to engage in missionary work, in accord with the character of the institute.” 476 932 In the Church, which is like the sacrament—the sign and instrument—of God’s own life, the consecrated life is seen as a special sign of the mystery of redemption. To follow and imitate Christ more nearly and to manifest more clearly his self-emptying is to be more deeplypresent to one’s contemporaries, in the heart of Christ. For those who are on this “narrower” path encourage their brethren by their example, and bear striking witness “that the world cannot be transfig- ured and offered to God without the spirit of the Beatitudes.” 477 933 Whether their witness is public, as in the religious state, or less public, or even secret, Christ’s coming remains for all those consecrated both the origin and rising sun of their life: For the People of God has here no lasting city, . . . [and this state] reveals more clearly to all believers the heavenly goods which are already present in this age, witnessing to the new and eternal life which we have acquired through the re- demptive work of Christ and preluding our future resurrec- tion and the glory of the heavenly kingdom. 478 IN BRIEF 934 “Among the Christian faithful by divine institution there exist in the Church sacredministers, who are also called clerics in law, and other Christian faithful who are also called laity.” In both groups there are those Christian faithful who, professing the evangelical counsels, are consecrated to God and so serve the Church’s saving mission (cf. CIC, can. 207 § 1, 2). 935 To proclaim the faith and to plant his reign, Christ sends his apostles and their successors. He gives them a share in his own mission. From him they receive the power to act in his person. 936 The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The 476 CIC, can. 783; cf. RM 69. 477 LG 31 § 2. 478 LG 44 § 3. 775 672 769