Teachings of the Catholic Church from
the Compendium of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Dignity of the Human Person
OUR VOCATION TO BEATITUDE
- Why are the beatitudes important for
The beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus’
preaching and they take up and fulfill the
promises that God made starting with Abraham. They depict the very countenance of Jesus and they characterize authentic Christian
life. They reveal the ultimate goal of human
activity, which is eternal happiness.
- What is the relationship between the
beatitudes and our desire for happiness?
The beatitudes respond to the innate desire for happiness that God has placed in the
human heart in order to draw us to himself.
God alone can satisfy this desire.
- What is eternal happiness?
It is the vision of God in eternal life in
which we are fully “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), of the glory of Christ and
of the joy of the trinitarian life. This happiness
surpasses human capabilities. It is a supernatural and gratuitous gift of God just as is the
grace which leads to it. This promised happiness confronts us with decisive moral choices
concerning earthly goods and urges us to love
God above all things.
- What is freedom?
Freedom is the power given by God to
act or not to act, to do this or to do that, and so
to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. Freedom characterizes properly
human acts. The more one does what is good,
the freer one becomes. Freedom attains its
proper perfection when it is directed toward
God, the highest good and our beatitude. Freedom implies also the possibility of choosing
between good and evil. The choice of evil is an
abuse of freedom and leads to the slavery of
All rights reserved © Copyright 2005 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana