Rouault head of Christ.jpg‘God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,
and God abides in him’ (1 Jn 4:16). God has poured out his love in our hearts
through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us (cf. Rom 5:5); therefore the
first and most necessary gift is charity
, by which we love God above all things
and our neighbor because of him. But if charity is to grow and fructify in the
soul like a good seed, each of the faithful must willingly hear the word of God
and carry out his will with deeds, with the help of his grace; he must
frequently partake of the sacraments, chiefly the Eucharist, and take part in
the liturgy
; he must constantly apply himself to prayer, self-denial, active
brotherly service and the practice of all virtues. This is because love, as the
bond of perfection and fullness of the law (cf. Col 3:14; Rom 13:10),
governs, gives meaning to, and perfects all the means of sanctification. Hence the true disciple of Christ is marked by love both of God and of his
neighbor. (Lumen Gentium, 42)