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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.

"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Let persons in the world sanctify themselves in their own houses, for neither the court, professions, or labour, are any hindrance to the service of God."
St Philip Neri

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