Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 483 1993 Justification establishes cooperation between God’s grace and man’s freedom. On man’s part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent: When God touches man’s heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God’s grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God’s sight. 42 1994 Justification is the most excellent work of God’s love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit. It is the opinion of St. Augustine that “the justification of the wicked is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth,” because “heaven and earth will pass away but the salvation and justifica­ tion of the elect . . . will not pass away.” 43 He holds also that the justification of sinners surpasses the creation of the angels in jus­ tice, in that it bears witness to a greater mercy. 1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the “inner man,” 44 justification entails the sanctification of his whole being: Just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. . . . But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. 45 II. G race 1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. 46 1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian partici­ pates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an “adopted 42 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1525. 43 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 72, 3: PL 35, 1823. 44 Cf. Rom 7:22; Eph 3:16. 45 Rom 6:19, 22. 46 Cf. Jn 1:12-18; 17:3; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Pet 1:3-4. 2008 2068 312 412 741 153 375 260