Catechism of the Catholic Church

Glossary 903 vice requires much effort and self- denial, until the contrary virtue is acquired (1866). VIRGIN BIRTH: The conception of Jesus in the womb of the Virgin Mary solely by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Church’s confession of faith in the virgin birth affirms that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit without human seed (496). See Virgin Mary. VIRGIN MARY: The mother of Jesus, who is honored as “ever- virgin” for her perpetual virginity (499). VIRTUE: A habitual and firm disposition to do the good. The moral virtues are acquired through human effort aided by God’s grace; the theological virtues are gifts of God (1803). See Cardinal Virtues. VIRTUES, THEOLOGICAL: Gifts infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. The theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity (1813). VISION, BEATIFIC: See Beatific Vision. VOCATION: The calling or destiny we have in this life and hereafter. God has created the human person to love and serve him; the fulfillment of this vocation is eternal happiness (1, 358, 1700). Christ calls the faithful to the perfection of holiness (825). The vocation of the laity consists in seeking the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will (898). Priestly and religious vocations are dedicated to the service of the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation (cf. 873; 931). VOW: A deliberate and free promise made to God, concerning a possible and better good which must be fulfilled by reason of the virtue of religion (2102). Religious vows, the public profession of the evangelical counsels in the Church, have an exemplary value in witnessing to the Kingdom to come (cf. 915). -W- WAY OF THE CROSS: A devotional exercise which follows the “way of the cross” in the Savior’s steps, observing stops or “stations” to meditate on the path Jesus took from the Praetorium in Jerusalem to Golgotha and the tomb. “By his holy Cross he has redeemed the world” (2669). WISDOM: A spiritual gift which enables one to know the purpose and plan of God; one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (1831). Wisdom is also the name of one of the books of the Old Testament (120). WORD OF GOD: The entire content of Revelation as contained in the Holy Bible and proclaimed in the Church. In John’s Gospel, God’s “Word” means his only- begotten Son, who is the fullness of God’s Revelation and who took flesh (the Word incarnate) and became man for the sake of our salvation (65, 81, 101, 241, 461; cf. 2653). WORKS OF MERCY: Charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbors in their bodily and spiritual needs (2447). The spiritual works of mercy