Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 493 2039 Ministries should be exercised in a spirit of fraternal serv­ ice and dedication to the Church, in the name of the Lord. 81 At the same time the conscience of each person should avoid confining itself to individualistic considerations in its moral judgments of the person’s own acts. As far as possible conscience should take ac­ count of the good of all, as expressed in the moral law, natural and revealed, and consequently in the law of the Church and in the authoritative teaching of the Magisterium on moral questions. Personal conscience and reason should not be set in opposition to the moral law or the Magisterium of the Church. 2040 Thus a true filial spirit toward the Church can develop among Christians. It is the normal flowering of the baptismal grace which has begotten us in the womb of the Church and made us members of the Body of Christ. In her motherly care, the Church grants us the mercy of God which prevails over all our sins and is especially at work in the sacrament of reconciliation. With a mother’s fore­ sight, she also lavishes on us day after day in her liturgy the nourishment of the Word and Eucharist of the Lord. II. T he P recepts of the C hurch 2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory char­ acter of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor: 2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor”) requires the faithful to sanc­ tify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucha­ ristic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sancti­ fication of these days. 82 The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year.”) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conver­ sion and forgiveness. 83 81 Cf. Rom 12:8, 11. 82 Cf. CIC, cann. 1246-1248; CCEO, can. 880 § 3, 881 §§ 1, 2, 4. 83 Cf. CIC, can. 989; CCEO, can. 719. 1783 167 1389 2180 1457