- To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve
God in this world. Man must know, love and serve God in a supernatural
manner in order to gain happiness of heaven. Man is raised to
the supernatural order only by grace, a free gift of God.
- We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ,
the Son of God, who teaches us through the Catholic Church.
- In order to be saved, all persons who have attained the
use of reason must believe explicitly that God exist and that
He rewards the good and punishes the wicked; in practice they
must also believe in the mysteries of the Blessed Trinity and
- By the Blessed Trinity we mean one and the same God in three
divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
- By the Incarnation is meant that the Son of God, retaining
His divine nature, took to Himself a human nature, that is, a
body and soul like ours.
- The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united
in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments,
under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in
communion with him.
- We find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through
the Catholic Church in the Apostles' Creed.
Besides believing what God has revealed, we must keep His law.
THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS
These are the Two Great
Commandments that contain the whole law of God
I. You shall love the Lord your God with
your whole heart, and with your
whole soul, and with your whole mind, and with your whole strength
II. You shall love your neighbor as Yourself.
To love God,
our neighbor, and ourselves, we must keep the commandments of God
and of the Church, and perform the spiritual and corporal works of
Reference Mark 12:30-.31
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD
1. I am the Lord
your God; you shall not have strange gods before me.
faith, hope, love and worship of God, reverence for holy things,
idolatry, superstition; spiritualism, sťances, astrology, fortune
telling, Ouija boards and all occult practice; tempting God,
sacrilege, attendance at false worship and overindulgence in
worldly goods, money and amusements.
2. Thou shall not
take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
reverence in speaking about God and holy things; the keeping of
oaths and vows.
blasphemy, the irreverent use of God's name (i.e. Jesus, Jesus
Christ's name), speaking disrespectfully of holy things, false,
oaths, and the breaking vows.
3. Remember to
keep holy the Lord's day.
going to Church on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
missing Church through one's own fault; unnecessary servile work;
public buying and selling; court trials.
4. Honor thy
father and thy mother.
love, respect, obedience on the part of children; care on the part
of parents for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their
children; obedience to civil and religious superiors.
hatred of parents and superiors; disrespect, disobedience.
5. Thou shall not
safeguarding of one's own life and bodily welfare of that of
others; controlling one's anger.
unjust killing, suicide, abortion, euthanasia, artificial
contraception, sterilization, fist fights, endangering life and
limb of self or others, drugs and drunkenness.
6. Thou shall not
chastity in word and deed; avoidable occasions of sin, modesty in
pornography, bad movies, obscene speech, impure actions alone or
with others, masturbation, fornication, homosexual acts, incest,
7. Thou shall not
respect for the property and rights of others; the paying of just
debts; paying just wages to employees; integrity in public
theft, damage to the property of others; not paying just debts;
not returning found or borrowed articles; giving unjust measure or
weight in selling; not paying just wages; bribery; graft;
cheating; fraud; accepting stolen property; not giving an honest
day's work for wages received; violation of contracts.
8. Thou shall not
bear false witness against your neighbor.
truthfulness, respect for the good name of others; the observance
of secrecy when required.
lying., injury to the good name of others, slander, tale bearing,
rash judgment, contemptuous speech, and the violation of secrecy.
9. Thou shall not covet
your neighbor's wife.
impure thoughts and desires.
10. Thou shall not
covet you neighbor's goods.
respect for the rights and belongings of others.
the desire to take, to keep, or to damage the property of others.
THE CHIEF COMMANDMENTS OR LAWS, OF THE CHURCH
- To assist at Mass on all Sundays and holy days of obligation.
- To fast and abstain on the days appointed.
- To confess our sins at least once a year
- To receive Holy Communion during the Easter time.
- To contribute to the support of the Church.
- To observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage.
SACRAMENTS (The Holy Mysteries)
II. Confirmation (Chrismation)
IV. Penance (Confession, Reconciliation)
VI. Holy Orders
VII.Extreme Unction (Annointing of the Sick)
A Sacrament is defined as "an outward sign of inward grace"
which was instituted by Christ Himself and receives its power from
God, through the merits of Christ.
Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist are known as the
"Sacraments of Initiation" because they initiate one into the life
of the Church.
Baptism and Penance are known as the "Sacraments of the Dead"
because before receiving them when needed, we are dead in sin.
Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and
Matrimony are known as the "Sacraments of the Living" because one
must be in a state of grace to receive them licitly and receive
their fruits; they give additional grace to souls already
Matrimony and Holy Orders are known as the "Social Sacraments"
because they are designed primarily for the benefit of society and
confer a social status.
Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders are the three Sacraments
which leave an indelible mark on the recipient's soul and can
never be repeated.
information about the Sacraments
CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
I. To feed the hungry
II. To give drink to the thirsty
III. To clothe the naked
IV. To shelter the homeless
V. To visit the sick
VI. To visit the imprisoned
VII.To bury the dead
Reference Matthew 25 and Tobias 12. "To visit the imprisoned"
was originally listed as "to ransom the captives," referring to
the ransoming of Christians taken prisoner during Moslem
SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
I. To counsel the doubtful
II. To instruct the ignorant
III. To admonish the sinner
IV. To comfort the sorrowful
V. To forgive all injuries
VI. To bear wrongs patiently
VII.To pray for the living and the dead
EMINENT GOOD WORKS
GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST
I. Wisdom: Helps us to
see that the world is only a temporary place for us, that Heaven
is our true home. It helps us to set our hearts on the things that
really count in life, such as God, virtue, and prayer. Embodying
all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues,
Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written
"all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches
through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens
our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the
practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the
mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of
which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ
yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Savior:
"Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my
II. Understanding : Gives
us an insight in to the mysteries of faith and helps us to explain
in the faith to others. Understanding, as a gift of the Holy
Ghost, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy
religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to
appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner
meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to
newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but
inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith
that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things
pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
III. Counsel : Helps us make correct
decisions about God's will for our lives. The gift of counsel
endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge
promptly and rightly what must be done, especially in difficult
circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by
Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that
conform us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers,
public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural
common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation.
"Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct
thy way in truth."
IV. Fortitude : Gives us the strength to be
faithful to Christ even when it is difficult to do so. By the gift
of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and
supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts
to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake
without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to
trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint
the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that
shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."
V. Knowledge: Helps us to see everything in
life in relation to God and eternity. The gift of Knowledge
enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth-
in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of
creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true
purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shoes us the
loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify
Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put
first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all
else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth
VI. Piety : Inspires us to
worship God and to love Him as our Father. The gift of Piety
begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving
Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons
and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested
with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church,
our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is
filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion,
not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. "Where there
is love, there is no labor."
VII. Fear of the Lord : Shows us the evil of sin and
helps us to live in God's grace. It is also called "wonder and
awe" in God's presence because it reminds us that He is great and
all powerful. The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign
respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend
Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of
hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to
our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of
wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way
separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare
their hearts, and in sight will sanctify their souls."
See Isaias 11:1-3
GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST KNOWN AS CHARISMATA
I. Gift of speaking with wisdom
II. Gift of speaking with knowledge
IV. Grace of healing
V. Gift of miracles
VI. Gift of prophecy
VII. Gift of discerning spirits
VIII Gift of tongues
IX. Gift of interpreting speeches
See I Corinthians 12:6-11; I Corinthians 12:28-31; and Romans
12:6-8. The number of items in this class of Gifts of the Holy
Ghost, properly called "charismata," is disputed among
theologians. Some add: Gift of government, Gift of Helps, Gift of
distributio, Gift of misericordia. The charismata were/are not
necessary for individual sanctification, were/are not distributed
to all Christians, and are to be subjected to authority and the
proper ends for which they were given (I Corinthians 12-14).
FRUITS OF THE HOLY GHOST
I. Charity: Love
for God and for others
II. Joy: Happiness in
living the Christian life
III. Peace : Inner calmness,
even in difficulties
IV. Patience : Kindly putting
up with the faults of others
V. Benignity (Kindness) :
Sympathy and concern for the needs of others
VI. Goodness : Giving good
example for the needs of others
VII. Longanimity (Longsuffering):
Extraordinary patience in enduring suffering
VIII. Mildness : Being gentle in our
words and deeds toward others
IX. Faith (Fidelity) : Loyalty
to God and the people we are committed to, such as one's parents,
spouse, good friends
X. Modesty : Respecting
ourselves and others in conversations, dress, etc.
XI. Continency: Proper balance
in our desire for pleasure
XII. Chastity: Proper attitude toward
others and control over our sexual desires
See Galatians 5:22-25 (three of these are not mentioned in some
Greek and Latin manuscripts). The 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost are
the effects of the 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Reference I Corinthians 13:13. The Theological Virtues are called
such because they are supernatural in origin, relate immediately
to God, and can only be gained through His grace
Note: Reference Wisdom 8:7. The Cardinal
Virtues, unlike the Theological Virtues, can be achieved by human
Note: The Evangelical Counsels, also
called the Counsels of Perfection, are those precepts given by
Christ that are not binding on all, but are binding on those who
have a vocation to them. The 10 Commandments, the Precepts of the
Church, the two Great Commandments, for ex., bind one and all, but
the evangelical counsels do not. See Matthew 19:16-22 for the
story of Christ's telling the young man what he needs to do in
order to be saved, and then what he needs to do in order to be
perfect -- two different things.
PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH
DUTIES OF A CATHOLIC)
To go to Mass on Sundays and holy days and refrain from servile
To go to Confession at least once a year (traditionally done
To receive the Eucharist at least once a year, during the Easter
Season (known as the "Easter duty")
To observe the days of fasting and abstinence
To help to provide for the needs of the Church
To obey the marriage laws of the Church
DAYS OF OBLIGATION IN ADDITION TO SUNDAYS