• Theological Resources
  • Ad Maiorem Dei Ecclesiaeque Gloriam

    For the Greater Glory of God and the Church

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
    life of man—to know and love God

    God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

    So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."4 Strengthened by this mission, the apostles "went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it."5

    Those who with God's help have welcomed Christ's call and freely responded to it are urged on by love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors. All Christ's faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer.6


    This incorporation of Christ’s faithful into the harmony of the whole takes place through the development of both the supernatural and nature virtues. Our philosophical and theological traditions are very rich in this regard. However, there has been at times a certain split between the sound doctrine of virtue and the actual ascetically practice at the level of spirituality. In particular, the supernatural and God-infused virtue of prudence must regain its capital role as the leader and coordinator of all the other virtues. Political prudence—directed to the attainment of the Common Good—necessary for both the individual and society must regain its theocentric praxis.

    With the winning of the Middle Ages, a new outlook has increasingly won ground.The fundamental role of man is no longer seen as essentially contemplative and assimilative of an objective order, but rather as creative and productive. Man is now the central figure of the modern universe. Thus, an anthropocentric culture has gradually replaced the theocentric synthesis.

    The communal character of Christianity finds its basis both in the natural social life of man and in the supernatural constitution of the Church, where the good of the part cannot be found without or outside the good of the whole. The State and the Church are two perfect societies who cannot ignore each other and who, moreover, are intimately related. The powers behind the subversion of the Christian order have attacked this relationship so as to detour the State and its Citizens from the goal of heaven and, at the same time, to weaken the evangelisation of the Church by hardening the soil where the faith aught to fructify. Christian peace—the permanent tranquility of the Christian order—requires an harmonious relationship between the natural and supernatural society, between the natural rhythm of the physical and spiritual order and the supernature rhythm embodied in the liturgy of the Church.

    Regardless of the magnitude of its scope, a restoration of the Catholic faith, if it is integral and lasting, cannot take place without a correlative and proportionate restoration of the natural social order. As was the case at the transition from the ancient to the medieval world, Catholics will now have the duty to save the city of man whilst labouring for the building of the city of God. This political restoration is not political in the restrictive sense of modern usage, but rather in the broadest sense of the totality of the natural order, from economics to culture, from ecology to government, and from technology to the family.

    Salvation comes not from man and his good will, but from God. God has established an objective order, or economy, of salvation, and men must be brought into contact with this order if they are to be saved. The Church of Christ accomplishes this primarily through the sacramental life and preaching of the Gospel. Such work is by nature the imitation and continuation of the action of Christ, the Redeemer of mankind. This is why the liturgy constitutes the life of the Mystical Body. At the same time it is the final goal of the apostolate—education for the worship and incorporation into the life of the Blessed Trinity.

    The following few examples of our rich heritage are here given under three headings .

    The primary sources—Sacred Scripture and the Acts of the Magisterium—are listed first, then the secondary sources, or the Commentaries of competent theologians and philosophers follow. They have been compiled in order to help us better understand the truths of Revelation, the created world, and our incorporation into these profound mysteries.

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