Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 503 From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to remind him of them. This was the Decalogue. 31 2071 The commandments of the Decalogue, although accessible to reason alone, have been revealed. To attain a complete and certain understanding of the requirements of the natural law, sinful humanity needed this revelation: A full explanation of the commandments of the Decalogue became necessary in the state of sin because the light of reason was obscured and the will had gone astray. 32 We know God’s commandments through the divine reve­ lation proposed to us in the Church, and through the voice of moral conscience. The obligation of the Decalogue 2072 Since they express man’s fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally im­ mutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them. The Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human heart. 2073 Obedience to the Commandments also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light. Thus abusive language is forbid­ den by the fifth commandment, but would be a grave offense only as a result of circumstances or the offender’s intention. “Apart from me you can do nothing” 2074 Jesus says: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides inme, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” 33 The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of hismysteries, and keep his commandments, the Savior himself comes to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our Father and our brethren. His person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity. “This ismy commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” 34 31 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 15, 1: PG 7/1, 1012. 32 St. Bonaventure, Comm. sent. 4, 37, 1, 3. 33 Jn 15:5. 34 Jn 15:12. 1960 1777 1858 1958 2732 521