Catechism of the Catholic Church

494 Part Three The third precept (“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucha­ rist at least during the Easter season”) guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy. 84 2043 The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart. 85 The fifth precept (“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church”) means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability. 86 The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities. 87 III. M oral L ife and M issionary W itness 2044 The fidelity of the baptized is a primordial condition for the proclamation of the Gospel and for the Church’s mission in the world. In order that the message of salvation can show the power of its truth and radiance before men, it must be authenticated by the witness of the life of Christians. “The witness of a Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great power to draw men to the faith and to God.” 88 2045 Because they are members of the Body whose Head is Christ, 89 Christians contribute to building up the Church by the constancy of their convictions and their moral lives. The Church increases, grows, and develops through the holiness of her faithful, until “we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” 90 2046 By living with the mind of Christ, Christians hasten the coming of the Reign of God, “a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” 91 They do not, for all that, abandon their earthly tasks; faithful to their master, they fulfill themwith uprightness, patience, and love. 84 Cf. CIC, can. 920; CCEO, cann. 708; 881 § 3. 85 Cf. CIC, cann. 1249-1251: CCEO can. 882. 86 Cf. CIC, can. 222; CCEO, can. 25; Furthermore, episcopal conferences can establish other ecclesiastical precepts for their own territories (Cf. CIC, can. 455). 87 Cf. CIC, can. 222. 88 AA 6 § 2. 89 Cf. Eph 1:22. 90 Eph 4:13; cf. LG 39. 91 Roman Missal, Preface for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. 1389 2177 1387 1438 1351 852, 905 753 828 671, 2819