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108. The Content of the New Law

1. One who lives by the New Law of grace must show a lifeof worthy deeds. Hence the New Law legislates for external acts aswell as for internal acts and virtues. Grace is imparted by certainexternal and sensible signs, and grace in the soul shows forth insuitable external conduct.

2. The external signs and producers of grace are the sevensacraments: baptism, confirmation, penance, Holy Eucharist, extremeunction, order, matrimony. The sacraments are, in their order,necessary and sufficient for the sanctifying and saving of men. Theproper use of grace gained by the sacraments is indicated in theeternal moral precepts.

3. The New Law directs man's interior acts byprohibiting evil thoughts and desires, and by directing man'sintention towards his external good; it forbids rash judgments; itteaches prayer and watchfulness.

4. The New Law also proposes the counsels bywhich a man may the more speedily attain perfection. These are thecounsels of poverty, chastity, obedience. By following thecounsels, man surrenders lawful but distracting things, and iswholly concerned with the things of God and his eternal salvation.The counsels enable a man to counteract, powerfully and directly,the evil influences found in the world: poverty counteracts theconcupiscence of the eyes, chastity counteracts the concupiscenceof the flesh, obedience counteracts the pride of life.

"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary consists in hearing the word of God and living by it."
R. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

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"The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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