100 – Life is complicated; it consists of grace and sin. He who does not sin is not human

Imagine someone who becomes seriously ill, and after many attempts for a cure, finally finds a doctor who prescribes an efficacious remedy. After some days of treatment, he finds himself cured. Naturally, gratitude will bring him to transmit to as many as possible the competence of the doctor and efficacious medicine prescribed, emphasizing the gravity of the illness he was saved from. His testimony, besides praising the doctor, will serve for posterior experiences regarding this illness and encourage all of those who suffer from it to hope for a cure. Evidently, no one would think that this propaganda entails an apology of the sad condition of the sick person…

Something similar happens in the spiritual field. All of us are affected by the same infirmity – sin – and we need living examples that encourage us to reach perfection. For even though it seems difficult, we only need to have recourse to the Divine Doctor and benefit from his grace. And all becomes possible. God himself deigned to carefully assign to some men and women the special vocation of serving as a testimony of sanctity for the others. They are those who embrace the Evangelical counsels as a means of achieving the perfection of charity. Their lives should be a continuous manifestation of the power of our loving God, who became man as ourselves to free us from sin. What should we think, then, of a religious who does not reflect this divine power in his way of life, content in boasting that he is a sinner just like everyone else?

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors
I – Does sin complete or corrupt man?
II – The Grace that Christ brings to the world with the Redemption leads humans to abandon sin
III – The Religious state is a state of perfection: Religious must combat sin more than the laity
IV – What testimony should Christians receive from Religious? ­­­


I – Does sin complete or corrupt man?


Catechism of the Catholic Church

God created man without sin
In sinning, man acted against the requirements of his creaturely status

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Sin has diminished man, blocking his path to fulfillment

John Paul II

Sin is contrary to human dignity

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux           

Free choice was given not in order that man sin, but that he might appear more glorious in not sinning

John Paul II

The acknowledgement of sin is an essential first step of returning to God

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Christ is the perfect man, in whom human nature has been raised up to a dignity without equal

Pontifical Work for Ecclesiastical Vocations

Mary is the perfectly realized image of a woman

John Paul II

All people are called to be ‘divinized’

II – The Grace that Christ brings to the world with the Redemption leads humans to abandon sin


Sacred Scripture

The mandate of Christ: be perfect

John Paul II

Christians receive a commandment to not sin – and not a mere invitation
Sinlessness is not inherent in man, but Christians receive the necessary strength to not sin as a result of God’s action

Saint Augustine of Hippo

He who recognizes his own sin, is displeased with it and condemns it, receives God’s pardon

Saint John of Avila

Those who enjoy a perfect cleanliness from sin manifest and enhance the glory of God
Jesus has the power of liberating man not only from condemnation, but even from sin

III – The Religious state is a state of perfection: Religious must combat sin more than the laity


John Paul II

Religious life is an express calling to tend toward perfection - it must be attained
Consecrated life is a rich manifestation of Gospel values and a more complete expression of the Church’s purpose: the sanctification of humanity

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The more fervently Religious are joined to Christ the richer the life of the Church becomes

Code of Canon Law

The consecrated life: totally dedicated to God and foretells the heavenly glory

John Paul II

Consecrated persons: follow Christ with one’s whole heart and conform their whole existence to Him

Sacred Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes

Religious know that before the world they are a sign capable of attracting and inspiring a profound revision of life and values
What counts most is not what religious do, but what they are as persons consecrated to the Lord

Saint Teresa of Avila

Great evils exist in the Church because the religious life is not properly observed

IV – What testimony should Christians receive from Religious?


Pius IX

Religious are distinguished for their doctrine, adorned with virtue, aflame with burning love for God and men

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The profession of the evangelical counsels: a sign to attract all to an effective fulfillment of the Christian duties

John Paul II

Testimony of incalculable value for the Church and an unequaled efficacy for all of those who seek the kingdom of God
The Religious state has rendered abundant fruits of sanctity
Religious continually foster in the People of God the awareness of the call to holiness

Pius XII

A canonical Religious life is closely interwoven with the holiness and Catholic apostolate of the Church itself

Congregation for the Clergy

The Religious life constitutes a gift to the whole Christian community that can never be substituted for by priests or by laity

Paul VI

The witness of holiness of Religious is of prime importance in evangelization
The world needs to see Religious dedicating their lives to witnessing the love of Jesus Christ

 

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