“And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
God made me to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world, and be happy with Him forever in the next.
God made me in his own image and likeness.
This likeness to God is chiefly in my soul.
My soul is like to God because it is a spirit, and is immortal.
When I say my soul is immortal, I mean that my soul can never die.
I must take most care of my soul; for Christ has said, ‘What doth it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?
To save my soul I must worship God by Faith, Hope and Charity; that is, I must believe in him, I must hope in him and I must love him with my whole heart.
Faith is a supernatural gift of God, which enables us to believe without doubting whatever God has revealed.
I must believe whatever God has revealed because God is the very truth, and can never deceive nor be deceived.
I am to know what God has revealed by the testimony, teaching, and authority of the Catholic Church.
Jesus Christ gave the Catholic Church divine authority to teach, when He said, ‘Go ye and teach all nations.’ [Matt. 16:26; 28:19]
The Apostle’s Creed
The chief things that God has revealed are contained in the Apostles’ Creed.
I believe in God, The Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; -and in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord; -who was conceived by the Holy spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; - suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; - he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; - he ascended into heaven; is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; - from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. - I believe in the Holy Spirit; - the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; - the forgiveness of sins; - the resurrection of the body; - and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Apostles Creed is divided into twelve parts or articles.
First Article of the Creed
The first article of the creed is, ‘I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth’.
God is the supreme Spirit, who alone exists of himself, and is infinite in all perfections.
God is called ‘Almighty’ because he can do all things: ‘With God all things are possible’.
God is called ‘Creator of heaven and earth’ because he made heaven and earth, and all things, out of nothing, by his word.
God had no beginning: he always was, he is, and he always will be.
God knows and sees all things, even our most secret thoughts.
God has no body, he is a spirit.
There are three persons in God: God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit.
These three persons are not three Gods: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all one and the same God. [Matt.19:26]
The mystery of the three persons in one God is called the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.
By a mystery I mean a truth which is above reason but revealed by God.
There is this likeness to the Blessed Trinity in my soul: that as in one God there are three persons, so in my one soul there are three powers.
The three powers of my soul are my memory, my understanding and my will.
The Second Article
The second article of the Creed is, ‘and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord’.
Jesus Christ is God the Son, made man for us.
Jesus Christ is truly God.
Jesus Christ is truly God because he has one and the same nature with God the Father.
Jesus Christ was always God, born of the father from all eternity.
Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Jesus Christ is truly man.
Jesus Christ is truly man because he has the nature of man, having a body and soul like ours.
Jesus Christ was not always man. He has been man only from the time of his Incarnation.
I mean by the Incarnation that God the Son took to himself the nature of man: “the Word was made flesh”.
There are two natures in Jesus Christ. The nature of God and the nature of man.
There is only one Person in Jesus Christ, which is the Person of God the Son
God the Son was made man to redeem us from sin and hell and to teach us the way to heaven.
The holy name JESUS means Saviour
The name CHRIST means Anointed.
As God, Jesus Christ is everywhere, As God made man; he is in heaven, and in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.
The Third Article
The third article of the Creed is ‘who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary’.
The third article means that God the Son took a Body and Soul like ours, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ had no father on earth: St. Joseph was only his guardian or foster-father.
Our saviour was born in a stable at Bethlehem.
Our Saviour was born on Christmas Day. [Matt. 1:21]
The Fourth Article
The fourth article of the Creed is, ‘suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and buried’.
The chief sufferings of Christ were: first, his agony, and his sweat of blood in the garden; secondly, his being scourged at the pillar, and crowned with thorns; and thirdly, his carrying his cross, his crucifixion, and his death between two thieves.
The chief sufferings of our Lord are called the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Our Saviour suffered to atone for our sins, and to purchase for us eternal life.
Jesus Christ is called our Redeemer because his precious blood is the price by which we were ransomed.
Our Saviour died on Good Friday.
Our Saviour died on Mount Calvary.
We make the sign of the cross – first, to put us in mind of the Blessed Trinity: and secondly, to remind us that God the Son died for us on the Cross.
In making the sign of the cross we are reminded of the Blessed Trinity by the words, ‘In the name of Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’.
In making the sign of the cross we are reminded that Christ died for us on the Cross by the very form of the cross which we make upon ourselves.
The Fifth Article
The fifth article of the Creed is, ‘he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead’.
By the words, ‘he descended into hell’, I mean that, as soon as Christ was dead, his blessed Soul went own into the part of hell called Limbo.
By Limbo I mean a place of rest, where the soul of the just who died before Christ were detained.
The souls of the just were detained in Limbo because they could not go up to the kingdom of heaven till Christ had opened it for them.
By the words, ‘the third day he rose again from the dead’, I mean that, after Christ had been dead and buried part of three days, he raised his blessed Body to life again on the third day.
Christ rose again from the dead on Easter Sunday.
The Sixth Article
The sixth article of the Creed is, ‘he ascended into heaven; is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty’.
By the words, ‘he ascended into heaven’, I mean that our Saviour went up Body and Soul into heaven on Ascension Day, forty days after his resurrection.
By the words, ‘is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.’ I do not mean that God the Father has hands, for he is a spirit; but I mean that Christ, as God, is equal to the Father and, as man, is in the highest place in heaven.
The Seventh Article
The seventh article of the Creed is, ‘from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead’.
Christ will come again from heaven at the last day, to judge all mankind.
Christ will judge our thoughts, words, works, and omissions.
Christ will say to the wicked: ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. Matt. 25:41
Christ will say to the just: ‘Come, ye blessed of my father, possess ye the kingdom prepared for you’.
Everyone will be judged at death, as well as at the last day: ‘It is appointed unto men once to die; and after this, the judgment’. Matt. 25:34, 41; Heb.9:27
The Eighth Article
The eighth article of the Creed is, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit’.
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
The Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and to the Son, for he is the same Lord and God as they are.
The Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles on Whitsunday, in the form of parted tongues, as it were, of fire.
The Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles to confirm their faith, to sanctify them, and to enable them to found the Church.
The Ninth Article
The ninth article of the Creed is, ‘the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints’. [Acts 2:3]
The Catholic Church is the union of all the faithful under one Head.
The Head of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ.
The Church has a visible Head on earth – the Bishop of Rome, who is the Vicar of Christ.
The Bishop of Rome is the Head of the Church because he is the successor of St. Peter, whom Christ appointed to be the Head of the church.
I know that Christ appointed St. Peter to be the Head of the Church because Christ said to him; ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven’. Matt. 16:18-19
The Bishop of Rome is called the Pope, which word signifies Father.
The Pope is the Spiritual Father of all Christians. Matt. 1618-19
The Pope is the Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, because Christ made St. Peter the Shepherd of the whole flock when he said: ‘Feed my lambs, feed my sheep’. He also prayed that his ‘faith might never fail, and commanded him to ‘confirm’ his brethren. Jn. 21:15-17, Lk.22:32
When I say that the Pope is infallible, I mean that the Pope cannot err when, as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals, to be held by the whole Church.
The Church of Christ has four marks by which we may know her: she is One – she is Holy – she is Catholic – she is Apostolic.
The church is one because all her members agree in one Faith, have all the same Sacrifice and Sacraments, and are all united under one Head.
The Church is Holy because she teaches a holy doctrine, and offers to all the means of holiness and is distinguished by the eminent holiness of so many thousands of her children.
The word Catholic means universal.
The Church is Catholic or universal because she subsists in all ages, teaches all nations, and is the source of all Truth.
The Church is Apostolic because it was founded by Christ on the apostles and, according to His Divine Will, has always been governed by their lawful successors.
The Church cannot err in what she teaches as to faith or morals, for she is our infallible guide in both.
I know that the Church cannot err in what she teaches because Christ promised that gates of hell shall never prevail against his Church; that the Holy Spirit shall teach her all things; and that he himself will be with her all days, even to the consummation of the world.
By the Communion of Saints I mean that all the members of the Church, in Heaven, on earth, and in purgatory, are in communion with each other, as being one body in Jesus Christ.
The faithful on earth are in communion with each other by professing the same faith, obeying the same authority, and assisting each other with their prayers and good works.
We are in communion with the Saints in heaven by honoring them as the glorified members of the Church, and also by our praying to them, and by their praying for us.
We are in communion with the souls in purgatory by helping them with our prayers and good works: ‘It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins’.
Purgatory is a place where souls suffer for a time after death on account of their sins.
Those souls go to purgatory that depart in this life in venial sin; or that have not fully paid the debt of temporal punishment due to those sins of which the guilt has been forgiven.
Temporal punishment is punishment which will have an end, either in this world, or in the world to come.
I prove that there is purgatory from the constant teaching of the Church; and from the doctrine of Holy Scripture, which declares that God will render to every man according to his works; that nothing defiled shall enter heaven; and that some will be saved, “as one who has gone through fires”.
The Tenth Article
The tenth article of the Creed is, ‘the forgiveness of sins’.
By ‘the forgiveness of sins’ I mean that Christ has left the power of forgiving sins to the Pastors of his Church. [John 20:23]
Sins are forgiven principally by the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance.
Sin is an offence against God, by any thought, word, deed or omission against the law of God. [Matt. 16:27, Rev. 21:27, 1 Cor. 3:15, John 20:23]
There are two kinds of sin, original sin and actual sin.
Original sin is that guilt and stain of sin which we inherit from Adam, who was the origin and head of mankind.
The sin committed by Adam was the sin of disobedience when he ate the forbidden fruit.
All mankind have contracted the guilt and stain of original sin, except the Blessed Virgin, who, through the merits of her Divine son, was conceived without the least guilt or stain of original sin.
This privilege of the Blessed Virgin is called the Immaculate Conception.
Actual sin is every sin which we ourselves commit.
Actual sin is divided into mortal sin and venial sin
Mortal sin is a serious offence against God.
It is called mortal sin because it is so serious that it kills the soul and deserves hell.
Mortal sin kills the soul by depriving it of sanctifying grace, which is the supernatural life of the soul.
It is the greatest of all evils to fall into mortal sins
They who die in mortal sin will go to hell for all eternity.
Venial sin is an offence which does not kill the soul, yet displeases God, and often leads to mortal sin.
It is called venial sin because it is more easily pardoned than mortal sin.
The Eleventh Article
The eleventh article of the creed is, ‘the resurrection of the body’.
By the resurrection of the body I mean that we shall all rise again with the same bodies at the day of judgment.
The Twelfth Article
The twelfth article of the creed is, ‘life everlasting’.
‘Life everlasting’ means that the good shall live forever in the glory and happiness of heaven.
The glory and happiness of heaven is to see, love, and enjoy God forever.
The scripture says of the happiness of heaven: ‘the eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him’, 1 Cor.2:9
The wicked also shall live and be punished forever in the fire of hell.
Faith alone will not save us without good works; we must also have Hope and Charity.
Hope is a supernatural gift of God, by which we firmly trust that God will give us eternal life and all means necessary to obtain it, if we do what he requires of us.
We must hope in God because he is infinitely good, infinitely powerful, and faithful to his promises.
We can do no good work of ourselves towards our salvation; we need the help of God’s grace.
Grace is a supernatural gift of God, freely bestowed upon us for our sanctification and salvation.
We must obtain God’s grace chiefly by prayer and the holy Sacraments.
Prayer is the raising up of the mind and heart to God.
We raise up our mind and heart to God by thinking of God, by adoring, praising and thanking him; and by begging him all blessings for soul and body.
Those who, at their prayers, think neither of God nor of what they say, do not pray well; but they offend God, if their distractions are willful.
The best of all prayers is the ‘Our father’ or the Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus Christ himself made the Lord’s Prayer.
Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.
In the Lord’s Prayer God is called ‘Our father’.
God is called ‘our Father’ because he is the Father of all Christians, whom he has made his children by Holy Baptism.
God is also called the Father of all mankind because he made them all, and loves and preserves them all.
We say ‘our’ Father, and not ‘my’ Father, because, being all brethren, we are to pray not for ourselves only, but also for all others.
When we say ‘hallowed be thy name’, we pray that God may be known, loved, and served by all his creatures.
When we say ‘thy kingdom come’, we pray that God may come and reign in the hearts of all by His grace in this world, and bring us all hereafter to his heavenly kingdom.
When we say ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’, we pray that God may enable us, by his grace to do his will in all things, as the Blessed do in Heaven.
When we say ‘give us this day our daily bread’, we pray that God may give us daily all that is necessary for soul and body.
When we say, ‘forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,’ we pray that God may forgive us our sins, as we forgive others the injuries they do to us.
When we say ‘Lead us not into temptation’ we pray that God may give us grace not to yield to temptation.
When we say, ‘deliver us from evil’, we pray that God may free us from all evil, both of soul and body.
We should ask the Angels and Saints to pray for us, because they are our friends and brethren, and because their prayers have great power with God.
We can show that the Angels and Saints know what passes on earth from the words of Christ: ‘There shall be joy before the Angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.’
The chief prayer of the Blessed Virgin the Church uses is the Hail Mary.
Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
The Angel Gabriel and St. Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, made the first part of the Hail Mary.
The Church of God, guided by the Holy Spirit, made the second part of the Hail Mary.
We should frequently say the Hail Mary to put us in mind of the incarnation of the Son of God; and to honour our Blessed Lady, the Mother of God.
We have another reason for often saying the Hail Mary – to ask our Blessed Lady to pray for us sinners at all times, but especially at the hour of our death.
The Catholic Church shows great devotion to the Blessed Virgin because she is the Immaculate Mother of God.
The Blessed Virgin is Mother of God because Jesus Christ, her son, who was born of her as man, is not only man, but is also truly God.
The Blessed Virgin is our Mother also because being the brethren of Jesus; we are the children of Mary.
By the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin we mean that by the power of God, Mary, at the completion of her life, was taken body and soul into everlasting glory to reign as Queen of heaven and earth.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is an article of Faith because it has been solemnly defined by the infallible authority of the Church.
Charity is a supernatural gift of God by which we love God above all things, and our neighbour as ourselves for God’s sake.
We must love God because he is infinitely good in himself and infinitely good to us.
We show that we love God by keeping his commandments: for Christ says: ‘If you love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15, Matt. 19:16, Rom. 13:8-10.
There are Ten Commandments.
I am the Lord your God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage.
1. Thou shalt not have strange gods before
me. Thou shalt not make to thyself
any graven thing, nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, nor
in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the
earth. Thou shalt not adore them nor serve them.
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
3. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
4. Honour thy father and thy mother.
5. Thou shalt not kill.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods. [John 14:15 cf Matt. 19:19, Rom. 13:9-10]
God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses in the Old Law, and Christ confirmed them in the new.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD
The first Commandment is, ‘I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven thing, nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, nor in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them nor serve them.
By the first Commandment we are commanded to worship the one, true, and living God, by Faith, Hope, Charity, and Religion.
The sins against Faith are all false religions, willful doubt, disbelief, or denial of any article of Faith, and also culpable ignorance of the doctrines of the Church.
We expose ourselves to the danger of losing our Faith by neglecting our spiritual duties, reading bad books, going to non-Catholic schools.
The sins against Hope are despair and presumption.
The chief sins against Religion are the worship of false gods or idols, and the giving to any creature whatsoever the honor which belongs to God alone.
The first commandment does not forbid the making of images, but the making of idols; that is, it forbids us to make idols to be adored or honored as gods.
The first Commandment forbids all dealing with the devil and superstitious practices, such as consulting spiritualists and fortune-tellers, and trusting to charms, omens, dreams, and such like fooleries.
All sins of sacrilege and simony are also forbidden by the first Commandment.
It is forbidden to give divine honor or worship to the Angels and Saints, for this belongs to God alone.
We should pay to the Angels and Saints an inferior honor or worship, for this due to them as the servants and special friends of God.
We should give to relics, crucifixes, and holy pictures a relative honor, as they relate to Christ and his Saints, and are memorials of them.
We do not pray to relics or images, for they can neither see, nor hear, nor help us.
The second commandment is, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain’.
By the second Commandment we are commanded to speak with reverence of God and all holy persons and things, and to keep our lawful oaths and vows.
The second Commandment forbids all false, rash, unjust, and unnecessary oaths: as also blaspheming, cursing and pro0fane words.
It is lawful to swear or to take an oath, only when God’s honor or our own or our neighbor’s good requires it.
The third Commandment is Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
By the third Commandment we are commanded to keep the Sunday holy.
We are to keep the Sunday holy by hearing Mass and resting from servile works.
We are commanded to rest from servile works that we may have time and opportunity for prayer, going to the sacrament, hearing instruction, and reading good books.
The fourth Commandment is, ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’.
By the fourth Commandment we are commanded to love, reverence, and obey our parents in all that is not sin.
We are commanded to obey, not only our parents, but also our bishops and pastors, the civil authorities, and our lawful superiors.
We’re bound to assist our parents in their wants, both spiritual and temporal.
We are bound in justice to contribute to the support of our pastors; for St. Paul says: The Lord ordained that they who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel.
The duty of parents towards their children is to provide for them, to instruct and correct them, and to give them a good Catholic education.
The duty of masters, mistresses, and other superiors is to take proper care of those under their charge, and enable them to practice their religious duties. [1 Cor. 9:14]
The fourth Commandment forbids all contempt, stubbornness, and disobedience to our parents and lawful superiors.
It is sinful to belong to any secret society that plot against the Church or State or to any Society that by reason of its secrecy is condemned by the Church: for St Paul says: ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers: he that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist purchase themselves damnation.
The fifth commandment is ‘Thou shalt not kill’.
The fifth Commandment forbids all wilful murder, fighting, quarrelling, and injurious words: and also scandal and had example.
The fifth Commandment forbids anger, and still more, hatred and revenge.
Scandals and bad example are forbidden by the fifth Commandment because they lead to the injury and spiritual death of our neighbour’s soul. [Rom. 13:1-2]
The sixth Commandment is ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’.
The sixth Commandment forbids all sins of impurity with another’s wife or husband.Accordion Sample Description
The sixth Commandment forbids whatever is contrary to holy purity in looks, words or actions.
Immodest plays and dances are forbidden by the sixth Commandment and it is sinful to look at them.
The sixth commandment forbids immodest songs, books, and pictures, because they are most dangerous in the soul and lead to mortal sin.
The seventh Commandment is, ‘Thou shalt not steal’.
The seventh Commandment forbids all unjust taking away, or keeping what belong to another.
All manner of cheating in buying and selling is forbidden by the seventh Commandment, and also every other way of wronging your neighbour.
We are bound to restore ill-gotten goods if we are able, or else the sin will not be forgiven; we must also pay our debts.
It is dishonest for workers to waste their employer’s time or property, because it is wasting what is not their own.
The eighth Commandment is, ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour’.
The eighth Commandment forbids all false testimony rash Judgment, and lies.
Calumny and detraction are forbidden by the eighth Commandment, and also tale-bearing, and any words which injure our neighbour’s character.
If I have injured my neighbour by speaking ill of him, I am bound to make him satisfaction by restoring his good name as far as I can.
The ninth Commandment is, ‘Thou shalt not covert thy neighbour’s wife’.
The ninth Commandment forbids all willful consent to impure thoughts and desires and all willful pleasure in the irregular motions of the flesh.
The sin that commonly lead to the breaking of the sixth, and ninth Commandments are gluttony, drunkenness, and intemperance, and idleness, bad company, and the neglect of prayer.
The tenth Commandment is, ‘Thou shalt not covert your neighbour’s goods.
The tenth Commandment forbids all envious and covetous thoughts and unjust desires of our neighbour’s goods and profits.
THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH
We are bound to obey the Church because Christ has said to the pastor of the Church, ‘He that heareth you, heareth me and he that despiseth you, despiseth me.’
The chief Commandments of the Church are:
1. To keep the Sundays and Holydays of obligation holy, by hearing Mass and resting from servile works.
2. To keep the days of fasting and abstinence appointed by the Church.
3. To go to confession at least once a year.
4. To receive the Blessed Sacrament at least once a year and that at Easter or thereabouts.
5. To contribute to the support of our parents.
6. Not to marry within certain degrees of kindred.
The first Commandment of the Church is, To keep the Sundays and Holydays of Obligation holy, by hearing Mass and resting from servile works.
The Holydays of Obligation observed in England and Wales are: Christmas Day, the Epiphany, the Ascension, Corpus Christi, SS. Peter and Paul, the Assumption of our Lady, and All Saints.
Catholics are under a serious obligations to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation unless prevented by other serious duties or by ill-health.
Parents, masters and mistresses bound to provide that those under their charge shall hear Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation.
The second Commandment of the Church is, ‘To Keep the days of fasting and abstinence appointed by the Church.
Fasting days are days on which we are allowed to take only one full meal.
Fasting days are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Days of abstinence are days on which we are forbidden to take flesh-meat.
The days of abstinence in England and Wales are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
[The obligation of fasting is restricted to those who have completed their 21st year until they have begun their 60th]
The Church commands us to fast and abstain so that we may mortify the flesh and satisfy God for our sins
If we have been guilty of serious sin we should go to Confession as soon as possible but never less than once a year.
Children are bound to go to Confession as soon as they have come to the use of reason, and are capable of serious sin.
Children are generally, supposed to come to the use of reason about the age of seven years.
The fourth Commandment of the Church is, ‘To receive the Blessed Sacrament at least once a year and that at Easter thereabouts’.
Christians are bound to receive the Blessed Sacrament as soon as they are capable of distinguishing the body of Christ from ordinary bread, and are judged to be sufficiently instructed.
[The age at which abstinence binding is 14]
The fifth Commandment of the Church is, ‘To contribute to the support of our pastors’.
It is a duty to contribute to the support of religion according to our means, so that God may be duly honored and worshipped, and the kingdom of his Church extended.
The sixth Commandment of the Church is, ‘Not to marry within certain degrees of kindred, nor to solemnize marriage at the forbidden times’.
Now, marriage may be contracted at any time of the year. However, the pastor shall advise the spouses to take into account the special character of the liturgical season and abstain from excessive festivity during Advent and Lent.
A sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, ordained by Jesus Christ, by which grace is given to our souls.
The Sacraments always gives grace to those who receive them worthily.
The sacraments have the power of giving grace from the merits of Christ’s Precious Blood which they apply to our souls.
We ought to have a great desire to receive the Sacraments because they are the chief means of our salvation.
A character is given to the soul by the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.
A character is a mark or seal on the soul which cannot be effaced, and therefore the Sacrament conferring it may not be repeated.
There are seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.
Baptism is a Sacrament which cleanses us from original sin, make us Christians, children of God, and members of the church.
Baptism also forgives actual sins, with all punishment due to them, when it is received in proper disposition by those who have been guilty of actual sin.
The ordinary minster of Baptism is a Bishop, a priest or a deacon; in case of necessity such as danger of death, anyone may baptize.
Baptism is given by pouring water on the head of the child, saying at the same time these words: ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’.
We promise in Baptism to renounce the devil and all his works and pomps.
Baptism is necessary for salvation, because Christ has said: ‘Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [John 3:5]
Confirmation is a Sacrament by which we receive the Holy Spirit, in order to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.
The ordinary minister of Confirmation is the Bishop.
The Bishop administers the Sacrament of Confirmation by praying that the Holy Spirit may come down upon those who are to be confirmed; and by laying his hand on them, and making the sign of the cross with chrism on their foreheads, at the same time pronouncing certain words.
The words used in Confirmation are these: ‘N… be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit’.
The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, together with his Soul and Divinity, under the appearance of bread and wine.
The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ by the power of God, to whom nothing is impossible or difficult.
The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ when the words of consecration, ordained by Jesus Christ, are pronounced by the priest in Holy Mass.
Christ has given himself to us in the Holy Eucharist to be the life and the food of our souls, ‘He that eateth me, the same also shall live by me’, He that eateth this bread shall live forever’. [John6:58, 59]
Christ is received whole and entire under either kind alone.
In order to receive the Blessed Sacrament worthily it is required that we be in a state of grace and keep the prescribed fast; water does not break this fast.
To be in a state of grace is to be free from mortal sin, and pleasing to God.
It is a great sin to receive the Holy Communion in mortal sin; ‘for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself. [Cor.11:19]
The Blessed Eucharist is not a Sacrament only; it is also a sacrifice.
A sacrifice is the offering of a victim by a priest to God alone, in testimony of his being the Sovereign Lord of all things.
The Sacrifice of the New Law is the Holy Mass.
The Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, really present on the altar under the appearance of bread and wine, and offered to God for the living and the dead.
The Holy Mass is one and the same Sacrifice with that of the Cross, inasmuch as Christ, who offered himself, a bleeding victim, on the Cross to his heavenly Father, continues to offer himself in an unblood manner on the altar, through the ministry of his priests. [1 Cor. 11:29]
The sacrifice of the Mass is offered for four ends: first, to give supreme honour and glory to God; secondly, to thank him for all his benefits; thirdly, to satisfy God for our sins and to obtain, the grace of repentance; and fourthly, to obtain all other graces and blessings through Jesus Christ.
The Mass is also a memorial of the Passion and Death of our Lord, for Christ at his last supper said: ‘Do this for a commemoration of me’.
Penance is a Sacrament whereby the sins, whether mortal or venial, which we have committed after Baptism are forgiven.
The Sacrament of Penance increases the grace of God in the soul, besides forgiving sin; we should, therefore, often go to confession.
Our lord instituted the Sacrament of Penance when he breathed on his Apostles and gave them power to forgive sins, saying: ‘whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven.’ [Luke 22:19]
The priest forgives sin by the power of God, when he pronounces the words of absolution.
The words of absolution are: ‘I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’.
Three conditions for forgiveness are required on the part of the penitent – Contrition, Confession, and Satisfaction.
Contrition is a hearty sorrow for our sins, because by them we have offended so good a God, together with a firm purpose of amendment.
A firm purpose of amendment is a resolution to avoid, by the grace of God, not only sin, but also the dangerous occasions of sin.
We may obtain a hearty sorrow for our sins by earnestly praying for it, and by making use of such considerations as may lead us to it. John 20:23
This consideration concerning God will lead us to sorrow for our sins: that by our sins we have offended God, Who is infinitely good in himself and infinitely good to us.
This consideration concerning our Saviour will lead us to sorrow for our sins: That our Saviour died for our sins, and that those who sin grievously ‘crucify again to themselves the Son of God, making him a mockery’.
Sorrow for our sins, because by them we have lost heaven and deserved hell, is sufficient when we go to confession.
Perfect contrition is sorrow for sin arising purely from the love of God.
Perfect contrition has this special value: that by it our sins are forgiven immediately, even before we confess them; but nevertheless, if they are serious, we are strictly bound to confess them afterwards. [Heb. 6:6]
Confession is to accuse ourselves of our sins to a priest approved by the Bishop.
If a person willfully conceals a serious sin in confession he is guilty of a great sacrilege, by telling a lie to the Holy Spirit in making a bad confession.
We have four things to do in order to prepare for confession: first, we must heartily pray for grace to make a good confession; secondly, we must carefully examine our conscience; thirdly, we must take time and care to make a good act of contrition; and fourthly, we must resolve by the help of God to renounce our sins, and to begin a new life for the future.
Satisfaction is doing the penance given us by the priest.
The penance given by the priest does not always make full satisfaction for our sins. We should therefore add to it other good works and penances, and try to gain Indulgences.
An Indulgence is a remission, granted by the Church, of the temporal punishment which often remains due to sin after its guilt has been forgiven.
The Sacrament is the anointing of the sick with holy oil, accompanied with prayer.
The Sacrament of anointing of the Sick is given when we are in danger of death by sickness.
The effects of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick are to comfort and strengthen the soul, to remit sin and even restore health, when God sees it to be expedient.
The authority in scripture for the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is in the 5th chapter of St. James, where it is said: ‘Is anyone sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man; and the lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins they shall be forgiven him’. James 5:14-15
Holy Orders is the Sacrament by which bishops, priests, and deacons of the Churches are ordained, and receive power and grace to perform their sacred duties.
Matrimony is the Sacrament which sanctifies the contract of a Christian marriage, and gives a special grace to those who receive it worthily.
The Sacrament of Matrimony gives to those who receive it worthily a special grace, to enable them to bear the difficulties of their state, to love and be faithful to one another, and to bring up their children in the fear of God.
It is a sacrilege to contract marriage in serious sin, or in disobedience to the laws of the church, and, instead of blessing, the guilty parties draw upon themselves the anger of God.
[For a marriage of a Catholic to be valid there must be present (1) either the Bishop or the Parish Priest, or another Priest duly delegated, and (2) two witnesses.]
A ‘mixed marriage’ is a marriage in which only one partner is a Catholic.
The Church does not encourage mixed marriages and considers them dangerous.
The Church sometimes permits mixed marriages by granting a dispensation, and under special conditions
The Catholic partner of mixed marriage promises to do everything possible to preserve the faith and have all children of the marriage baptized and brought up in Catholic religion.
No human power can dissolve the bond of marriage, because Christ has said: ‘What God has joined together, let no man put asunder’.
OF VIRTUES & VICES
The Theological Virtues are ‘Faith, Hope, and Charity’.
[Matt. 19:6, 1 Cor.13:13]
They are called Theological Virtues because they relate immediately to God.
The chief mysteries of Faith which every Christian is bound to know are the Unity and Trinity of God, who will render to every man according to his works, and the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of our Saviour.
The Cardinal Virtues are ‘Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance’.
They are called the Cardinal Virtues because they are as it were, the hinges on which all other moral virtues turn.
The seven gifts if the Holy Spirit is:
1. Wisdom. 2. Understanding 3. Counsels.
4. Fortitude 5. Knowledge 6. Piety
7. Fear of the Lord
The twelve fruit of the Holy Spirit are:
1. Charity 2. Joy 3. Peace 4. Patience
5. Benignity 6. Goodness 7. Longanimity 8. Mildness
9. Faith 10. Modesty 11. Continency 12. Chastity
[Wisdom. 8:7; Is. 11:2-3; Gal. 5:22]
The two great precepts of Charity are:
1. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength’.
2. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’.
The seven Corporal Works of Mercy are:
1. To feed the Hungry 2. To give drink to the less thirsty. 3. To clothe the naked
4. To harbour the harbourless 5. To visit the sick 6. To visit the imprisoned
7. To bury the dead
The seven spiritual works of mercy are:
1. To convert the sinner 2. To instruct the ignorant 3. To counsel the doubtful
4. To comfort the sorrowful 5. To bear wrongs patiently 6. To forgive injuries
7. To pray for the living and the dead
The eight Beatitudes are:
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are the meek; for they shall possess the land.
3. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.
4. Blessed are they that Hunger and thirst after justice; for they shall have their fill.
5. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
6. Blessed are the clean of heart; for they shall see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God
8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
[Mark 12:30-31; Matt. 25; Tobias 12; Matt, 5:3-10]
The seven capital sins or Vices and their contrary virtues are:
CONTRARY VIRTUES :-
6 Brotherly love
They are called capital sins because they are the source from which all other sins take their rise.
The six sins against the Holy Spirit are:
1. Presumption 2. Despair
3. Resisting the known truth 4. Envy of another’s spiritual good
5. Obstinacy in sin 6. Final Impenitence
1. Willful Murder 2. Oppression of the poor
3. The sin of Sodom 4. Defrauding Laborers of their wages
We are answerable for the sins of others whenever we either course them, or share in them through our own fault. Gen. 4; Gen. 18; Exod. 2; James 5
We may either cause or share the guilt of another’s sin in nine ways:
1. By counsel 2. By command 3. By consent
4. By provocation 5. By praise or flattery 6. By concealment
7. By being a partner in sin 8. By silence 9. By defending the ill done
The three eminent Good Works are Prayer, Fasting, Alms deeds.
The Evangelical Councils are voluntary Poverty, perpetual Chastity and entire Obedience.
The four last things to be ever remembered are Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven.
THE CHRISTIAN’S RULES OF LIFE
If we hope to be saved, we must follow the rule of life taught by Jesus Christ.
By the rule of life taught by Jesus Christ we are bound always to hate sin and to love God.
We must hate sin above all other evils, so as to be resolved never to commit a willful sin, for the love or fear of anything whatsoever.
We must love God above all things, and with our whole heart.
We must learn to love God by begging of God to teach us to love him: ‘O my God teach me to love you’.
The love of God will lead us often to think how good God is; often to speak to him in our hearts; and always to seek to please him.
Jesus Christ also commands us to love one another that is; all persons without exception – for his sake.
We are to love one another by wishing well to one another, and praying for one another; and by never allowing ourselves any thought, word or deed to the injury of anyone
We are also bound to love our enemies; not only by forgiving them from our hearts, but also by wishing them well, and praying for them.
Jesus Christ has given us another great rule in these words; ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me’.
We are to deny ourselves by giving up our will and by going against our own humors, inclinations, and passions.
We are bound to deny ourselves because our natural inclinations are prone to evil from our very childhood; and, if not collected by self-denial, they will certainly carry us to hell.
We are to take up our cross daily by submitting daily with patience to the labours and sufferings of this short life, and by bearing them willingly for the love of God.
We are to follow our Blessed Lord by walking in his footsteps and imitating his virtues.
The principal virtues we are to learn of our Blessed Lord are; meekness, humility, and obedience. Luke 9:23
The enemies we must fight against all the days of our life are the devil, the world, and the flesh.
By the devil I mean Satan and all his wicked angels, who are ever seeking to draw us into sin, that we may be damned with them.
By the world I mean the false maxims of the world and the society of those who love the vanities, riches and pleasures of this world better than God.
I number the devil and the world amongst the enemies of the soul because they are always seeking, by temptation and by work or example, to carry us along with them in the broad road that leads to damnation.
By the flesh I mean our own corrupt inclinations and passions, which are the most dangerous of all our enemies.
To hinder the enemies of our soul from drawing us into sin, we must watch, pray and fight against all their suggestions and temptations.
In the warfare against the devil, the world and the flesh, we must depend not on ourselves but on God only; ‘I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me’.
THE CHRISTIAN’S DAILY EXERCISE
I should begin the day by making the sign of the cross as soon as I awake in the morning and by saying some short prayer, such as, ‘O my God, I offer my heart and soul to you’.
I should rise in the morning diligently, dress myself modestly, and then kneel down and say my morning prayers.
I should also attend Mass if I have time and opportunity, for to attend Mass is by far the best and most profitable of all devotions.
It is useful to make daily meditation, for such was the practice of all the Saints.
We ought to meditate especially on the four last things, and the Life and Passion of our Blessed Lord.
We ought frequently to read the good books, such as the Holy Gospels, ‘the Lives of the Saints, and other spiritual works, which nourish our faith and piety, and arms us against the false maxims of the world.
As to your eating, drinking, sleeping, and amusements, I should use all these things with moderation, and with a desire to please God.
“Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts, which we are about to receive from your bounty, through Christ Our Lord. Amen,”
“We give you thanks, almighty God, for all your benefits, who live and reign, world without end.” May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
I should sanctify my ordinary actions and employments of the day by often raising up my heart to God whilst I am about them, and saying some short prayer to him.
When I find myself tempted to sin I should make the sign of the cross on my heart and call on God as earnestly as I can, saying, ‘Lord, save me, or I perish’.
If I have fallen into sin I should cast myself in spirit at the feet of Christ, and humbly beg his pardon by a sincere act of contrition.
When God send me any cross, or sickness, or pain, I should say, ‘Lord your will be done, I take this for my sins’.
I should do well to say often to myself during the day such prayers as:
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
In all things may the most holy, the most Just, and the most loveable Will of God be done, praised, and exalted above all forever. Amen!
O sacrament most holy, O sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine. Praise be Jesus Christ, praised for evermore. My Jesus, Mercy: Mary, help
I should finish the day by kneeling down and saying my night prayers.
After my night prayers I should observe due modesty in going to bed; occupy myself with the thoughts of death; and endeavor to compose myself to rest at the foot of the Cross, and give my last thoughts to my crucified Saviour.
Compiled from “A Catechism of Christian Doctrine” (Revised Edition of 1971) which is a Penny Catechism and an explanatory Catechism of Christian Doctrine by the Catholic Truth Society, London; Published to the Holy See.
Also visit Holy Spirit Interactive – Catholic Handbook for Catechism and explanation of some terms (a very useful source)