virtue of religion

Religion is a moral virtue by which we render to God due honor and worship. We say that it is a moral virtue because acts of religion do not have, as their direct object, God, but rather the reverence which is due God. These acts of worship deal directly with the means which tend towards man's final and last end, namely, God's reverence and worship. We say moreover that religion is a virtue by which we render to God due worship, worship, i.e., by which we acknowledge God as the supreme Being, the Creator, the uncreated, infinitely perfect Being. Finally, we render to God due worship, ie., in so far as man, a finite, created being, can render worship to the infinitely perfect and eternal Creator. That man must exercise this virtue of religion is the teaching of the First Commandment: "I am the Lord thy God. ...Thou shalt not have strange gods before me." (Exodus 20) The various acts of worship which man is capable of offering to God .are prayer, sacrifice, vows, oaths, and adoration. The sins against this virtue are blasphemy, idolatry, divination, tempting God, superstition, and simony.

New Catholic Dictionary

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