Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 429 1723 The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement—however beneficial it may be—such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love: All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respect- ability. . . . It is a homage resulting from a profound faith . . . that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. . . . Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world—it may be called “newspaper fame”—has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration. 24 1724 The Decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and the apos- tolic catechesis describe for us the paths that lead to the Kingdom of heaven. Sustained by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we tread them, step by step, by everyday acts. By the working of the Word of Christ, we slowly bear fruit in the Church to the glory of God. 25 IN BRIEF 1725 The Beatitudes take up and fulfill God’s promises from Abraham by ordering them to the Kingdom of heaven. They respond to the desire for happiness that God has placed in the human heart. 1726 The Beatitudes teach us the final end to which God calls us: the Kingdom, the vision of God, participation in the divine nature, eternal life, filiation, rest in God. 1727 The beatitude of eternal life is a gratuitous gift of God. It is supernatural, as is the grace that leads us there. 1728 The Beatitudes confront us with decisive choices con- cerning earthly goods; they purify our hearts in order to teach us to love God above all things. 24 John Henry Cardinal Newman, “Saintliness the Standard of Christian Principle,” in Discourses to Mixed Congregations (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1906) V, 89-90. 25 Cf. the parable of the sower: Mt 13:3-23. 2519 227