CCC 307 To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of “subduing” the earth and having dominion over it.1 God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbors. Though often unconscious collaborators with God’s will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers and their sufferings.2 They then fully become “God’s fellow workers” and co-workers for his kingdom.3
CCC 755 “The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again. That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing.”4
CCC 756 “Often, too, the Church is called the building of God. The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the corner-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are built into it. It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.”5
CCC 797 “What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.”6 “To this Spirit of Christ, as an invisible principle, is to be ascribed the fact that all the parts of the body are joined one with the other and with their exalted head; for the whole Spirit of Christ is in the head, the whole Spirit is in the body, and the whole Spirit is in each of the members.”7 The Holy Spirit makes the Church “the temple of the living God”:8
Indeed, it is to the Church herself that the “Gift of God” has been entrusted. .. In it is in her that communion with Christ has been deposited, that is to say: the Holy Spirit, the pledge of incorruptibility, the strengthening of our faith and the ladder of our ascent to God. .. For where the Church is, there also is God’s Spirit; where God’s Spirit is, there is the Church and every grace.9
1 Cf. Gen 1:26-28.
2 Cf. Col 1:24.
3 1 Cor 3:9; 1 Thes 3:2; Col 4:11.
4 LG 6; cf. 1 Cor 39; Rom 11:13-26; Mt 21:32-43 and parallels; Isa 51-7; Jn 15:1-5.
5 LG 6; Cf. 1 Cor 3:9; Mt 21:42 and parallels; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7; Ps 118:22; 1 Cor 3:11; 1 Tim 3:15; Eph 2:19-22; Rev 21:3; 1 Pet 2:5; Rev 21:1-2.
6 St. Augustine, Sermo 267, 4: PL 38, 1231D.
7 Pius XII, encyclical, Mystici Corporis: DS 3808.
8 2 Cor 6:16; cf. 1 Cor 3:16-17; Eph 2:21.
9 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 24, 1: PG 7/1, 966.