Denzinger EN 3679
[From the same Encyclical, "Quas primas," December 11, 1925]
Dz 2197 Now, if we order that Christ the King be worshiped by all of Catholic name, by this very fact we intend to provide for the necessity of the times and to apply a special remedy for the plague which infects human society.*
We call the plague of our age so-called laicism, with its errors and nefarious efforts. . . . For the power of Christ over all nations has begun to be denied; hence, the right of the Church which exists from the very right of Christ, to teach the human race, to pass laws and to rule for the purpose of leading people especially to eternal salvation has been denied. Then, indeed, little by little the religion of Christ was placed on the same level with false religions, and was put in the same class most shamefully; it was then subjected to civil power, and was almost given over to the authority of rulers and magistrates; some proceeded further, who thought that a kind of natural religion, and some sort of natural impulse of the mind should be substituted for divine religion. States have not been lacking which proclaimed that they could live without God, and that their religion should consist in an impious neglect of God.
[From the Decree of the Holy Office, January 13, 1897, and the Declaration of the Holy Office, June 2, 1927]
3681 Dz 2198 To the question: "Whether it can safely be denied, or at least called intodoubt that the text of St. John in the first epistle, chapter 5, verse 7, is authentic, which read as follows: 'And there are three thatgive testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one?' "---the response was given on January 13, 1897: In the negative.
3682 At this response there arose on June 2, 1927, the following declaration, at first given privately by the same Sacred Congregation and afterwards repeated many times, which was made a part of public law in EB n. 121 by authority of the Holy Office itself:
"This decree was passed to check the audacity of private teachers who attributed to themselves the right either of rejecting entirely the authenticity of the Johannine comma, or at least of calling it into question by their own final judgment. But it was not meant at all to prevent Catholic writers from investigating the subject more fully and, after weighing the arguments accurately on both sides, with that and temperance which the gravity of the subject requires, from inclining toward an opinion in opposition to its authenticity, provided they professed that they were ready to abide by the judgment of the Church, to which the duty was delegated by Jesus Christ not only of interpreting Holy Scripture but also of guarding it faithfully."
[From the Decree of the Holy Office, July 8, 1927]
Dz 2199 Whether it is permitted Catholics to be present at, or to take part in conventions, gatherings, meetings, or societies of non-Catholics which aim to associate together under a single agreement all who in any way lay claim to the name of Christian?
Reply: In the negative, and there must be complete adherence to the decree ( De participatione catholicorum societati,"ad procurandam christianitatis unitatem") on the participation of Catholics in a society "to procure the unity of Christianity." *
[From the Apostolic Constitution, "Divini cultus," December 20, 1928]
Dz 2200 Since the Church has received from her founder, Christ, the duty of guarding the holiness of divine worship, surely it is part of the same, of course after preserving the substance of the sacrifice and the sacraments, to prescribe the following: ceremonies, rites, formulas, prayers, chant--- by which that august and public ministry is best controlled, whose special name isLiturgy,as if an exceedingly sacred action. And the liturgy is an undoubtedly sacred thing; for, through it we are brought to God and are joined with Him; we bear witness to our faith, and we are obligated to it by a most serious duty because of the benefits and helps received, of which we are always in need. Hence a kind of intimate relationship between dogma and sacred liturgy, and likewise between Christian worship and the sanctification of the people. Therefore, Celestine I proposed and expressed a canon of faith in the venerated formulas of the Liturgy: "Let the law of supplication establish the law of believing. For when the leaders of holy peoples administer legislation enjoined upon themselves they plead the cause of the human race before divine Clemency, and they beg and pray while the entire Church sighs with them" [see n.139 ].
[From the Decree of the Holy Office, August 2, 1929]
3684 Dz 2201 Whether masturbation procured directly is permitted to obtain sperm, by which a contagious disease bIenorragia (gonorrhea) may be detected and, insofar as it can be done, cured.
Reply: In the negative.
[From the Encyclical, "Divini illius magistri," December 31, 1929]
Dz 2202 Since every method of education aims for that formation of man which he ought to acquire in this mortal life, in order to attain the ultimate goal destined for him by the Creator, it is plainly evident that as no education can be truly so called which is not entirely ordered to that final end, in the present order of things established by the providence of God, namely after He revealed Himself in His Only-begotten, who alone is "the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn 14,6), no full and perfect education can exist except that which is called Christian. . . .
3685 Dz 2203 The task of educating does not belong to individual men but necessarily to society. Now necessary societies are three in number, distinct from one another, yet harmoniously combined by the will of God, to which man is assigned from birth; of these, two, namely, the family and civil society, are of the natural order; and the third, the Church, to be sure, is of the supernatural order. Family living holds first place, and, since it was established and prepared by God Himself for this purpose, to care for the generation and upbringing of offspring, thus by its nature and by its inherent rights it has priority over civil society. Nevertheless, the family is an imperfect society, because it is not endowed with all those things by which it may attain its very noble purpose perfectly; but civil association, since it has in its power all things necessary to achieve its destined end, namely, the common good of this earthly life, is a society absolute in all respects and perfect; for this same reason, therefore, it is pre-eminent over family life, which indeed can fulfill its purpose safely and rightly only in civil society. Finally, the third society, in which man by the waters of baptism enters a life of divine grace, is the Church, surely a supernatural society embracing the whole human race; perfect in herself, since all things are at her disposal for attaining her end, namely the eternal salvation of man, and thus supreme in her own order.
Consequently, education, which is concerned with the whole man, with man individually and as a member of human society, whether established in the order of nature or in the order of divine grace, pertains to these three necessary societies, harmoniously according to the proper end of each, proportionately according to the present order divinely established.
3686 Dz 2204 But in the first place, in a more pre-eminent way education pertains to the Church, namely, because of a twofold title in the supernatural order which God conferred upon her alone; and thus by an entirely more powerful and more valid title than any other title of the natural order.
The first reason for such a right rests on the supreme authority of the magisteriumand on the mission which the divine Founder of the Church bestowed upon her in those words: "All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore teach ye . . . even unto the consummation of the world" (Mt 28,18-20). Upon this magisterium Christ the Lord conferred immunity from error, together with the command to teach His doctrine to all; therefore, the Church "has been established by her divine Founder as the pillar and foundation of truth, to teach all men the divine faith, to guard its deposit given to her whole and inviolate, and to direct and fashion men in their public and private actions unto purity of morals and integrity of life, according to the norm of revealed doctrine." *
The second reason for the right arises from that supernatural duty of a mother, by which the Church, most pure spouse of Christ, bestows upon men a life of divine grace, and nurtures and promotes it by her sacraments and precepts. Worthily then does St. Augustine say: "He will not have God as father, who would not be willing to have the Church as mother." *
3687 Dz 2205 Therefore, the Church promotes letters, the sciences, and the arts, insofar as they are necessary or useful for Christian education and for everyone of her activities for the salvation of souls, founding and supporting her schools and institutions, in which every discipline is taught and an approach is made to all grades of erudition.* And it must not be thought that so-called physical education is alien to her maternal magisterium, since this also has the capacity to benefit or harm Christian education.
And this action of the Church in every kind of culture of the mind, just as it is of the highest benefit to families and nations, which with Christ removed from their midst are rushing into destruction,---as Hilary rightly says: "What can be so perilous to the world as not to have accepted Christ?" *---so it causes no inconvenience to the civil organization in these things; for the Church, as she is a most prudent mother, does not in the least prevent her schools and institutions in every nation educating the laity from conforming with the prescribed laws of the authorities, but is ready in every way to cooperate with the authorities, and if any difficulties by chance should arise, to dissolve them by a mutual understanding.
3688 Besides, it is the right of the Church which she cannot surrender, and the duty which she cannot abandon, to watch over all education, such as is imparted to her children, namely, the faithful in either public or private institutions, not only insofar as pertains to religious doctrine as it is taught there, but also with regard to any other discipline or arrangement of affairs, according as they have some relationship with religion and moral precepts. *
3689 Dz 2206 The rights of the family and of the state, even the very rights which belong to individual citizens with reference to just freedom in investigating the things of science and of the methods of science, and of any profane culture of the mind, not only are not at variance with such a special right of the Church, but are even quite in harmony with it. For, to make known at once the cause and origin of such concord, the supernatural order, on which the rights of the Church depend, far from destroying and weakening the natural order, to which the other rights which we have mentioned pertain, rather elevates and perfects it; indeed, of these orders one furnishes help and, as it were, the complement to the other, consistent with the nature and dignity of each one, since both proceed from God, who cannot be inconsistent with Himself: "The works of God are perfect and all His ways are judgment" (Dt 32,4).
Indeed, this matter will appear clearer if we consider the duty of educating, which pertains to the family and to the state, separately and more closely.
3690 Dz 2207 And, first, the duty of the family agrees wonderfully with the duty of the Church, since both very similarly proceed from God. For God communicates fecundity directly to the family, in the natural order, the principle of life and thus the principle of education to life, at the same time along with authority, which is the principle of order.
On this subject the Angelic Doctor with his customary clarity of thought and precision in speaking says: "The father according to the flesh in a particular way shares in the method of the principle which is found universally in God. . . The father is the principle of generation and of education, and of all things which pertain to the perfection of human life." *
The family, then, holds directly from the Creator the duty and the right to educate its offspring; and since this right cannot be cast aside, because it is connected with a very serious obligation, it has precedence over any right of civil society and of the state, and for this reason no power on earth may infringe upon it. . . .
3691 Dz 2208 From this duty of educating, which especially belongs to the Church and the family, not only do the greatest advantages, as we have seen, emanate into all society, but no harm can befall the true and proper rights of the state, insofar as pertains to the education of citizens, according to the order established by God. These rights are assigned to civil society by the Author of nature himself, not by the right of fatherhood, as of the Church and of the family, but on account of the authority which is in Him for promoting the common good on earth, which indeed is its proper end.
3692 Dz 2209 From this it follows that education does not pertain to civil society in the same way as it does to the Church or the family, but clearly in another way, which naturally corresponds to its proper end. This end, moreover, that is, the common good of the temporal order, consists in peace and security, which families and individual citizens enjoy by exercising their rights; and at the same time in the greatest possible abundance of spiritual and temporal things for mortal life, which abundance is to be attained by the effort and consent of all. The duty, then, of the civil authority, which is in the state, is twofold, namely, of guarding and advancing but by no means, as it were, of absorbing the family and individual citizens or of substituting itself in their place.
3693 Therefore, as far as education is concerned, it is the right or, to speak more accurately, the office of the state to guard the priority right of the family by its laws, as we have mentioned above; that is, of educating offspring in the Christian manner, and so of acknowledging the supernatural right of the Church in such a Christian education.
It is likewise the duty of the state to guard this right in the child itself, if at any time the care of parents---because of their inertia, or ignorance, or bad behavior---fails either physically or morally; since their right of educating, as we have said above, is not absolute and despotic, but dependent on the natural and divine law, and for this reason subject not only to the authority and judgment of the Church, but also to the vigilance and care of the state for the common good; for the family is not a perfect society, which possesses within itself all things necessary for bringing itself to full and complete perfection. In these cases, otherwise very rare, the state does put itself in the place of the family, but, always in keeping with the natural rights of the child and the supernatural rights of the Church, considers and provides for the needs of the moment by opportune assistance.
3694 Dz 2210 In general, it is the right and duty of the state to guard the moral and religious education of youth according to the norms of right reason and faith, by removing the public impediments that stand in the way of it. But it is especially the duty of the state, as the common good demands, to promote the education and instruction of youth in several ways; first and by itself, by favoring and aiding the work undertaken by the Church and the family, the extent of whose success is demonstrated by history and experience; where this work is lacking or does not suffice, by performing the work itself, even by establishing schools and institutions; for the state more than the other societies abounds in resources, which, having been given it for the common needs of all, it is quite right and proper that it expend these for the benefit of those from whom it received them. Besides, the state can prescribe and then see to it that all citizens learn both civil and political duties; also that they be instructed in science and in the learning of morals and of physical culture, insofar as it is fitting, and the common good in our times actually demands. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that the state is bound by this duty, not only to respect, while promoting public and private education in all these ways, the inherent rights of the Church and family of a Christian education, but also to have regard for justice which attributes to each one his own. Thus, it is not lawful for the state to reduce the entire control of education and instruction to itself so that families are forced physically and morally to send their children to the schools of the state, contrary to the duties of their Christian conscience or to their legitimate preference.
3695 Yet, this does not prevent the state from establishing schools which may be called preparatory for civic duties, especially for military service, for the proper administration of government, or for maintaining peace at home and abroad; all of which, indeed, since they are so necessary for the common good, demand a peculiar skill and a special preparation, provided that the state abstains from offending the rights of the Church and of the family in matters that pertain to them.
3696 Dz 2211 It belongs to civil society to supply, not only for youth but also for all ages and classes, an education which can be called civic, and which on the positive side, as they say, consists in this, that matters are presented publicly to men belonging to such a society which by imbuing their minds with the knowledge and image of things, and by an emotional appeal urge their wills to the honorable and guide them by a kind of moral compulsion; but on the negative side, that it guards against and obstructs the things that oppose it. Now this civic education, so very broad and complex that it includes almost the entire activity of the state for the common good, ought to conform with the laws of justice, and cannot be in conflict with the doctrine of the Church, which is the divinely constituted teacher of these laws.
Dz 2212 It should never be forgotten that in the Christian sense the entire man is to be educated, as great as he is, that is, coalescing into one nature, through spirit and body, and instructed in all parts of his soul and body, which either proceed from nature or excel it, such as we finally recognize him from right reason and divine revelation, namely, man whom, when fallen from his original estate, Christ redeemed and restored to this supernatural dignity, to be the adopted son of God, yet without the preternatural privileges by which his body had before been immortal, and his soul just and sound. Hence, it happened that the defilements which flowed into the nature of man from Adam's sin, especially the infirmity of the will and the unbridled desires of the soul, survive in man.
And, surely, "folly is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod of correction shall drive it away" ( Pr 22,15). Therefore, from childhood the inclination of will, if perverse, must be restrained; but if good, must be promoted, and especially the minds of children should be imbued with the teachings that come from God, and their souls strengthened by the aids of divine grace; and, if these should be lacking, no one could be restrained in his desires nor be guided to complete perfection by the training and instruction of the Church, which Christ has endowed with heavenly doctrine and divine sacraments for the purpose of being the efficacious teacher of all men.
Dz 2213 Therefore, every form of teaching children, which, confined to the mere forces of nature, rejects or neglects those matters which contribute with God's help to the right formation of the Christian life, is false and full of error; and every way and method of educating youth, which gives no consideration, or scarcely any, to the transmission of original sin from our first parents to all posterity, and so relies wholly on the mere powers of nature, strays completely from the truth. For the most part those systems of teaching which are openly proclaimed in our day tend to this goal. They have various names, to be sure, whose chief characteristic is to rest the basis of almost all instruction on this, that it is sound for children to instruct themselves, evidently by their own genius and will, spurning the counsel of their elders and teachers, and putting aside every human and even divine law and resource. Yet, if all these are so circumscribed by their own limits that new teachers of this kind desire that youth also take an active part in their own instruction, the more properly as they advance in years and in the knowledge of things, and likewise that all force and severity, of which, however, just correction is by no means a part, this indeed is true, but not at all new, since the Church has taught this, and Christian teachers, in a manner handed down by their ancestors, have retained it, imitating God who wished all created things and especially all men to cooperate actively with Him according to their proper nature, for divine Wisdom "reaches from end to end and orders all things sweetly" (Sg 8,1). . . .
3697 Dz 2214 But much more pernicious are those opinions and teachings regarding the following of nature absolutely as a guide. These enter upon a certain phase of human education which is full of difficulties, namely, that which has to do with moral integrity and chastity. For here and there a great many foolishly and dangerously hold and advance the method of education, which is disgustingly called "sexual," since they foolishly feel that they can, by merely natural means, after discarding every religious and pious aid, warn youth against sensuality and excess, by initiating and instructing all of them, without distinction of sex, even publicly, in hazardous doctrines; and what is worse, by exposing them prematurely to the occasions, in order that their minds having become accustomed, as they say, may grow hardened to the dangers of puberty.
But in this such persons gravely err, because they do not take into account the inborn weakness of human nature, and that law planted within our members, which, to use the words of the Apostle Paul, "fights against the law of my mind" (Rm 7,23); and besides, they rashly deny what we have learned from daily experience, that young people certainly more than others fall more often into disgraceful acts, not so much because of an imperfect knowledge of the intellect as because of a will exposed to enticements and unsupported by divine assistance.
In this extremely delicate matter, all things considered, if some young people should be advised at the proper time by those to whom God has entrusted the duty, joined with opportune graces, of educating children, surely those precautions and skills are to be employed which are well known to Christian teachers.
3698 Dz 2215 Surely, equally false and harmful to Christian education is that method of instructing youth, which is commonly called "coeducation." Both the sexes have been established by God's wisdom for this purpose, that in the family and in society they may complement each other, and may aptly join in any one thing; for this reason there is a distinction of body and of soul by which they differ from each other, which accordingly must be maintained in education and in instruction, or, rather ought to be fostered by proper distinction and separation, in keeping with age and circumstances. Such precepts in accord with the precepts of Christian prudence are to be observed at the proper time and opportunely not only in all schools, especially through the disturbed years of youth, upon which the manner of living for almost all future life entirely depends, but also in gymnastic games and exercises, in which special care must be taken for the Christian modesty of girls, inasmuch as it is especially unbecoming for them to expose themselves, and to exhibit themselves before the eyes of all.
Dz 2216 But to obtain perfect education care must be taken that all the conditions which surround children while they are being trained, fittingly correspond with the end proposed.
And surely from the necessity of nature the environment of the child for his proper training must be regarded as his family, established by God for this very purpose. Therefore, finally, we shall rightly consider that institution stable and safest which is received in a family rightly ordered and well disciplined; and the more efficacious and stable as the parents especially and other members of the household present themselves the children as an example of virtue.
Dz 2217 Moreover, for the weaknesses of human nature, rendered weaker by the ancestral sin, God in His goodness has provided the abundant helps of His grace and that plentiful supply of assistance which the Church possesses for purifying souls and for leading them on to sanctity; the Church, we say, that great family of Christ, which is the educational environment most intimately and harmoniously connected with individual families.
Dz 2218 Since, however, new generations would have to be instructed in all those arts and sciences by which civil society advances and flourishes; and since the family alone did not suffice for this, accordingly public schools came into being; yet in the beginning---note carefully---through the efforts of the Church and the family working together, and only much later through the efforts of the state. Thus the seats and schools of learning, if we view their origin in the light of history, were by their very nature helps, as it were, and almost a complement to both the Church and the family. So the consequence is that public schools not only cannot be in opposition to the family and the Church, but must ever be in harmony with both, as far as circumstances permit, so that these three, namely, school, family, and Church seem to effect essentially one sanctuary of Christian education, unless we wish the school to stray from its clear purpose and be converted into a disease and the destruction of youth.
Dz 2219 From this it necessarily follows that through schools which are called neutralorlay,the entire foundation of Christian education is destroyed and overturned, inasmuch as religion has been entirely removed from them. But they will beneutral schools in no way except in appearance, since they are in fact plainly hostile to religion or will be.
It is a long task and there is indeed no need to repeat what Our predecessors, especially Pius IX and Leo XIII openly declared, in whose reigns especially it happened that the serious disease of such laicism invaded the public schools. We repeat and confirm their declarations * and likewise the prescripts of the Sacred Canons, according to which Catholic youths are prohibited from frequenting for any reason either neutral or mixed schools, namely, those which Catholics and non-Catholics attend for instruction; but it will be permitted to attend these, provided in the judgment of a prudent ordinary, in certain conditions of place and time, special precautions be taken. * For no school can be tolerated (especially if it is the "only" school and all children are bound to attend it) in which, although the precepts of sacred doctrine are taught separately to Catholics, yet the teachers are not Catholics, and who imbue Catholic and non-Catholic children generally with a knowledge of the arts and letters.
Dz 2220 For, because the instruction in religion is given in a certain school (usually too sparingly), such a school for this reason does not satisfy the rights of the Church and family; nor is it thus made suitable for the attendance of Catholic pupils; for, in order that any school measure up to this, it is quite necessary that all instruction and doctrine, the whole organization of the school, namely, its teachers, plan of studies, books, in fact, whatever pertains to any branch of learning, be so permeated and be so strong in Christian spirit, under the guidance and the eternal vigilance of the Church, that religion itself forms both the basis and the end of the entire scheme of instruction; and this not only in the schools in which the elements of learning are taught but also in those of higher studies. "It is necessary," to use the words of Leo XIII, "not only that youth be taught religion at definite times, but that all the rest of their instruction be pervaded with a religious feeling. If this be lacking, if this sacred condition does not permeate and stimulate the minds of the teachers and those taught, small benefit will be received from any learning, and no little damage will often follow."*
Dz 2221 Moreover, whatever is done by the faithful of Christ to promote and protect the Catholic school for their children, is without any doubt a religious work, and thus a most important duty of "Catholic Action"; accordingly, all those sodalities are very pleasing to Our paternal heart and worthy of special praise, which in many places in a special manner and most zealously are engaged in so essential a work.
Therefore, let it be proclaimed on high, well noted, and recognized by all that the faithful of Christ in demanding a Catholic School for their children are nowhere in the world guilty of an act of a political dissension, but perform a religious duty which their own conscience peremptorily demands; and, these Catholics do not intend to withdraw their children from the training and spirit of the state, but rather to train them for this very end, in a manner most perfect, and best accommodated to the usefulness of the nation, since a true Catholic, indeed, well instructed in Catholic teaching, is by this very fact the best citizen, a supporter of his country, and obedient with a sincere faith to public authority under any legitimate form of government.
Dz 2222 The salutary efficiency of schools, moreover, is to be attributed not so much to good laws as to good teachers, who, being well prepared and each having a good knowledge of the subject to be taught the students, truly adorned with the qualities of mind and spirit, which their most important duty obviously demands, glow with a pure and divine love for the youth committed to them, just as they love Jesus Christ and His Church, ---whose most beloved children these are---and by this very fact sincerely have the true good of the family and the fatherland at heart. Therefore, We are greatly consoled and We acknowledge the goodness of God with a grateful heart, when we see that in addition to the men and women of religious communities who devote themselves to the teaching of children and youth, there are so many and such excellent lay teachers of both sexes, and that these---for their greater spiritual advancement joining in associations and spiritual sodalities, which are to be praised and promoted as a noble and strong aid to "Catholic Action"--unmindful of their own advantage, devote themselves strenuously and unceasingly to that which St. Gregory of Nazianzus calls "the art of arts and the science of sciences,"* namely, the direction and formation of youth. Yet, since those words of the divine Master apply to them also: "The harvest indeed is great, but laborers are few" (Mt 9,37), such teachers of Christian education--- whose training should be of special concern to the pastors of souls, and superiors of religious orders---we exhort the Lord of the harvest with suppliant prayers to provide such teachers in greater numbers.
Dz 2223 Furthermore, the education of the child, inasmuch as he is "soft as wax to be molded into vice" * in whatever environment he lives, must be directed and watched by removing occasions of evil, and by supplying opportunely occasions for good in times of relaxation of mind, and enjoyment of companions, because "evil communications corrupt good manners" (1Co 15,33).
Yet, such watchfulness and vigilance, as we have said should be applied, does not at all demand that young people be removed from association with men with whom they must live their lives, and whom they must consult in regard to the salvation of their souls; but only that they be fortified and strengthened in a Christian manner---especially today--- against the enticements and errors of the world, which, according to the words of John, are entirely "concupiscence of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, and pride of life" (1Jn 2,16), so that, as Tertullian wrote of the early Christians: "Let our people keep themselves as Christians who should at all times be sharers in the possession of the world, not of its error." *
Dz 2224 Christian education aims properly and immediately to make man a true and perfect Christian by cooperating with divine grace, namely, to mold and fashion Christ Himself in those who have been reborn in baptism, according to the clear statement of the Apostle: "My little children of whom I am in labor again, until Christ be formed in you" (Ga 4,19). For, the true Christian must live a supernatural life in Christ: "Christ our life" (Col 3,4), and manifest the same in all his actions, "that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh" (2Co 4,11).
Since this is so, Christian education embraces the sum total of human actions, because it pertains to the workings of the senses and of the spirit, to the intellect and to morals, to individuals, to domestic and civil society, not indeed, to weaken it, but according to the example and teaching of Jesus Christ, to elevate, regulate, and perfect it.
Thus the true Christian, molded by Christian education, is none other than the supernatural man who thinks, judges, and acts constantly and consistently in accordance with right reason; supernaturally inspired by the examples and teachings of Jesus Christ; that is, a man outstanding in force of character. For whoever follows his own inclination and acts stubbornly, intent on his own desires, is not a man of strong character; but only he who follows the eternal principles of justice, just as even the pagan host himself recognizes when he praises "the just" man together with "the man tenacious of purpose";* but these ideas of justice cannot be fully observed unless there is attributed to God whatever is God's due, as is done by the true Christian.
The true Christian, far from renouncing the activities of this life and from suppressing his natural talents, on the contrary fosters and brings them to perfection by so cooperating with the supernatural life that he embellishes the natural way of living, and supports it by more efficacious aids, which are in accord not only with spiritual and eternal things but also with the necessities of natural life itself.
Denzinger EN 3679