Pillar Focus The Commandments: Intro
Jesus teaches us in his Sermon on the Mount:
|James Tissot, 19th Century|
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:17-20)."We follow the Commandments (and the Sermon on the Mount) to the best of our abilities (see CCC 1724). God provides us with the grace we need to accomplish this.
What God commands he makes possible by his grace (CCC 2082).
The Sacraments play an important role in this. We receive Christ in a unique and privileged way in Baptism, Confirmation, the Holy Eucharist, Confession, Matrimony... these unite us ever more closely to our Lord because it is he who acts in them (wow!!). Participating in the Sacraments equip us well for the practice of the Christian moral life. (see CCC #1691-1696).
..What the symbol of faith professes, the sacraments communicate. Indeed, through them the faithful receive the grace of Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit which give them the capability of living a new life as children of God in Christ whom they have received in faith.. (Compendium #357)
In the end, we follow the commandments to be liberated from sin that leads to spiritual death. We don't want death, we want life. God knows how to provide this life for his own creation.
Click here for an entry that discusses the relationship between law and grace.
Click here for brief summaries of each commandment