1974 The evangelical counsels manifest the living fullness of charity, which is never satisfied with not giving more. They attest its vitality and call forth our spiritual readiness. The perfection of the 2013 New Law consists essentially in the precepts of love of God and neighbour. The counsels point out the more direct ways, the readier means, and are to be practised in keeping with the vocation of each: [Godi does not want each person to keep all the counsels, but only those appropriate to the diversity of persons, times, opportunities and strengths, as charity requires; for it is charity, as queen of all virtues, all commandments, all counsels, and, in short, of all laws and all Christian actions, that gives to all of them their rank, order, time and value.33


IN BRIEF

1975 According to Scripture the Law is afatherly instruction by God which prescribesfor man the ways that lead to the promised beatitude, and proscribes the ways of evil.


1976 ‘Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the one who is in charge of the community’ (St Thomas Aquinas, STh I—II, 90, 4).

1977 Christ is the end of the law (cf. Rom 10:4); only he teaches and bestows the justice of God.

1978 The natural law is a participation in God’s wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis ofhisfundamental rights and duties.

1979 The natural law is immutable, permanent throughout history. The rules that express it remain substantially valid. It is a necessary foundation for the erection of moral rules and civil law.

1980 The Old Law is the first stage of revealed law. Its moral prescriptions are summed up in the Ten Commandments.

1981 The Law of Moses contains many truths naturally accessible to reason. God has revealed them because men did not read them in their hearts.

1982 The Old Law is a preparation for the Gospel.
1983 The New Law is the grace of the Holy Spirit received by faith in Christ, operating through charity. It finds expression above all in the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount and uses the sacraments to communicate grace to us.