Because we all sin and in many ways, we require God’s mercy continually, and must ask God “Forgive us our debts”. Followers of Christ must use their strength, conform themselves, devote themselves to this call to holiness, and will surely grow an abundant harvest of good.
Every person must walk according to their own personal gifts and path of living in order to devote their lives to works of mercy and love. Those who are called to the priesthood are expected to exercise this duty through the sacrament of Orders. Priests must follow the numerous examples laid before them in history. Married couples, called to this unique vocation, are to follow the path of love, sustaining one another, imbuing their offspring with wisdom and love. Those who are widows or single, are also called to the path of love, and to give themselves in this unique vocation to better themselves in their labours. Those who are suffering poverty, infirmity, or sickness, are called in a very special way to serve God, and to serve with God, united in suffering for the salvation of the world.
Living a life of love is God’s will for us. In order to do this, we must participate in the Eucharist, the sacred action of the Liturgy, prayer, self-denial, love, and the showing forth of the virtues in our lives. The Church considers martyrdom to be the highest gift and fullest proof of love. One precious gift that one can also give in holiness to the Church is that of their virginity and the celibate state. Due to the undivided heart of those who are blessed by this gift, they can perform the works within the Church more freely. Therefore, all the faithful of Christ are invited to strive for the holiness and perfection of their own proper state.
The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, known as Lumen Gentium, was one of the chief documents of the Second Vatican Council. This document was signed by Pope Paul VI in 1964, following a vote of the Bishops attending the Council. The vote was carried by 2151 to 5. The above is a free summary of articles 39-42.