CCC 1 God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.
CCC 74 God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”:1 that is, of Christ Jesus.2 Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth:
God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations.3
CCC 618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men”.4 But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, “the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery” is offered to all men.5 He calls his disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow [him]”,6 for “Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps.”7 In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries.8 This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering.9
Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.10
CCC 851 Missionary motivation. It is from God’s love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, “for the love of Christ urges us on.”11 Indeed, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”;12 that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.
CCC 956 The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. .. They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus. .. So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.”13
Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.14
I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.15
CCC 1256 The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon.16 In case of necessity, anyone, even a nonbaptized person, with the required intention, can baptize17, by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.18
CCC 1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,”19 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
CCC 1349 The Liturgy of the Word includes “the writings of the prophets,” that is, the Old Testament, and “the memoirs of the apostles” (their letters and the Gospels). After the homily, which is an exhortation to accept this Word as what it truly is, the Word of God,20 and to put it into practice, come the intercessions for all men, according to the Apostle’s words: “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings, and all who are in high positions.”21
CCC 1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.22 In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere “to the end”23 and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for “all men to be saved.”24 She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:
Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.25
CCC 1900 The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and good-will.
Pope St. Clement of Rome provides the Church’s most ancient prayer for political authorities:26 “Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, so that they may exercise without offense the sovereignty that you have given them. Master, heavenly King of the ages, you give glory, honor, and power over the things of earth to the sons of men. Direct, Lord, their counsel, following what is pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so that by exercising with devotion and in peace and gentleness the power that you have given to them, they may find favor with you.”27
CCC 2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country:
Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.28
[Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners. .. They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws. .. So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.29
The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.”30
CCC 2574 Once the promise begins to be fulfilled (Passover, the Exodus, the gift of the Law, and the ratification of the covenant), the prayer of Moses becomes the most striking example of intercessory prayer, which will be fulfilled in “the one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”31
CCC 2634 Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners.32 He is “able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”33 The Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for us. .. and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”34
CCC 2822 Our Father “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”35 He “is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish.”36 His commandment is “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”37 This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will.
1 1 Tim 2:4.
2 cf. Jn 14:6.
3 DV 7; cf. 2 Cor 1:20; 3:16-4:6.
4 1 Tim 2:5.
5 GS 22 # 5; cf. # 2.
6 Mt 16:24.
7 I Pt 2:21.
8 Cf Mk 10:39; Jn 21:18-19; Col 1:24.
9 Cf. Lk 2:35.
10 St. Rose of Lima: cf. P. Hansen, Vita mirabilis (Louvain, 1668).
11 2 Cor 5:14; cf. AA 6; RMiss 11.
12 1 Tim 2:4.
13 LG 49; cf. 1 Tim 2:5.
14 St. Dominic, dying, to his brothers.
15 St. Therese of Lisieux, The Final Conversations, tr. John Clarke (Washington: ICS, 1977), 102.
16 Cf. CIC, can. 861 # 1; CCEO, can. 677 # 1.
17 CIC, can. 861.2.
18 Cf. 1 Tim 2:4.
19 Mk 10 14; cf. 1 Tim 2:4.
20 Cf. 1 Thess 2:13.
21 1 Tim 2:1-2.
22 Cf. Rom 8:28-30; Mt 7:21.
23 Mt 10:22; cf. Council of Trent DS 1541.
24 1 Tim 2:4.
25 St. Teresa of Avila, Excl. 15:3.
26 Cf. as early as 1 Tim 2:1-2.
27 St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 61: SCh 167,198-200.
28 Rom 13:7.
29 Ad Diognetum 5, 5 and 10; 6, 10: PG 2, 1173 and 1176.
30 1 Tim 2:2.
31 1 Tim 2:5.
32 Cf. Rom 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1; 1 Tim 2:5-8.
33 Heb 7:25.
34 Rom 8:26-27.
35 1 Tim 2:3-4.
36 2 Pet 3:9; cf. Mt 18:14.
37 Jn 13:34; cf. 1 Jn 3; 4; Lk 10:25-37.