God also directly assists us in living our moral life through the divine gift of grace and justification, first bestowed upon us in Baptism when we become members of the Church. We are justified—cleansed from our sins and reconciled to God—through the power of the Holy Spirit. Justification is both the Spirit’s work in bringing us forgiveness of sins and our acceptance or reception of the holiness of God, which we call sanctification through participation in divine life. Christ’s Passion merited justification for us. We receive justification in Baptism and become friends of God. We are thus conformed to the righteousness of God who justifies us. Justification’s goal is God’s glory and the glory of Christ and the gift of eternal life. It is a work of God’s mercy (cf. CCC, no. 2020).
You can read more from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, order your own copy, or read questions about it at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
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