Father John A. Hardon, S.J. Archives
Catechism & Catechesis
|Return to: Home > Archives Index > Catechism & Catechesis Index|
A Popular Guide Based on The Catechism of the Catholic Church
by John A. Hardon, S.J.
Copyright © 1995, Servant Publications
Part One: The Profession of Faith
SECTION I: I BELIEVEWE BELIEVE
Chapter One: The Human Capacity for God
Chapter Two: Gods Initiative
Article 1: Revelation
Article 2: Revelation Communicated
Article 3: Sacred Scripture
Chapter Three. Humanitys Response
Article 1: I Believe
Article 2: We Believe
SECTION II: THE PROFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Introduction: The Creeds of the Faith
Chapter One: I Believe in God the Father
Chapter Two: I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God
Article 2: and in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God, Our Savior
Paragraph 1: The Son of God Became Man
Paragraph 3: The Mysteries of the Life of Christ
Chapter Three: I Believe in the Holy Spirit
Article 8: I Believe in the Holy Spirit
Part Two: The Celebration of the Sacred Mystery
SECTION I: THE SACRAMENTAL ECONOMY
Chapter One: The Paschal Mystery in the Time of the Church
Article 1: The LiturgyWork of the Holy Trinity
Chapter Two: Sacramental Celebration of the Paschal Mystery
Article 1: Celebrating the Liturgy of the Church
SECTION II: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
Chapter One: The Sacraments of Christian Initiation
Article 1: Baptism
Chapter Two: The Sacraments of Healing
Article 4: Penance and Reconciliation
Chapter Three: The Sacraments in the Service of Communion
Article 6: Holy Orders
Chapter Four: Other Celebrations of the Liturgy
Article 1: Sacramentals
Part Three: The Life in Christ
SECTION I: THE VOCATION OF MAN: LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
Chapter One: The Dignity of the Human Person
Article 1: Man, the Image of God
Chapter Two: The Human Community
Article 1: The Person and Society
Chapter Three: Divine Salvation:Law and Grace
Article 1: The Moral Law
SECTION II: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Chapter One: You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart
Article 1: The First Commandment
Chapter Two: You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
Article 4: The Fourth Commandment
Part Four: Christian Prayer
SECTION I: PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE: WHAT IS PRAYER?
Chapter One: The Revelation of Prayer
Article 1: In the Old Testament
Chapter Two: The Tradition of Prayer
Article 1: Sources of Prayer
Chapter Three: The Life of Prayer
Article 1: Expressions of Prayer
SECTION II: THE LORDS PRAYER
Chapter One: The Lords Prayer as a Summary of the Gospel
Chapter Two: Our Father Who Art in Heaven
Chapter Three: The Seven Petitions
Chapter Four: The Final Doxology
THE AUTHOR OWES SPECIAL THANKS to many people whose generous assistance has made possible the publication of this book.
To Heidi Hess and her associates at Servant Publications, for their patient cooperation in editing the manuscript.
To my Jesuit Provincial, V. Rev. Joseph Daoust, S.J., for the Imprimi potest.
To His Eminence James Cardinal Hickey, for his encouraging Foreword.
To Bishop Alvaro Corrado, S.J., for his Imprimatur.
To Mrs. Carol Egan, for long hours of word processing the manuscript and assembling the Index.
To His Eminence Jose Cardinal Sanchez, for his strong moral support.
To Mr. and Mrs. John (Dolores) OConnell, for their indispensable help as coordinators in the publication of this manual for The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
THE PUBLICATION OF The Catechism of the Catholic Church is one of the most significant events in the life of the Church in this century and beyond. The new Catechism is an authoritative, reliable and complete summary of what the Catholic Church believes and teaches.
In preparing a question-and-answer compendium of the Catechism, Fr. John Hardon, S.J., has done the English-speaking Catholics a great service. This compendium renders the content of the new Catechism accessible to many readers and serves as an invitation to them to read the complete text. Fr. Hardon helps the reader to see the principal points of doctrine, moral teaching and spirituality conveyed so beautifully in the Catechism.
I believe that Fr. Hardons latest book will be especially useful in helping both parents and teachers to train young people in the faith. Our young people need to know clear, concise and accurate ways of expressing what the Church believes and teaches. It is important for them to commit these doctrinal statements to memory, for these serve as building blocks for the development of a strong life of faith and active membership in the Church, the Body of Christ.
With that pastoral need in mind, I am happy to commend Fr. Hardons new book. I hope and pray that it will be well received.
James Cardinal Hickey
Archbishop of Washington
Understanding The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The twentieth century is the most critical in the history of Christianity. The decades since 1900 are more than so many years that might just as well apply to any other period of history. They mark the beginning of a new age in human civilization and, correspondingly, of the Christian religion.
What does this have to do with our subject, Understanding The Catechism of the Catholic Church? Everything. Unless we realize the providential period through which the Church is now passing, we shall look upon The Catechism of the Catholic Church as just another book, or just another piece of religious literature.
This catechism is of historic importance. Depending on how seriously we take it, the future of the Catholic Church will be shaped accordingly. We may legitimately look forward to the twenty-first century as the most glorious since the coming of Christ. But we must capitalize on the gift He is giving us in The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Understanding the Faith Taught by The Catechism
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (hereafter The Catechism) is not a mere collection of doctrines. It provides the groundwork for understanding what we Catholics believe. On this level, The Catechism is unique.
The Holy Spirit guiding the Church knows that the modern world is the most academically sophisticated in history. In America alone, over five million students go to college every year. We are trained to the hilt in every humanistic subject under the sun. But most Catholics are undereducated in the faith. The result is predictable. By the time they finish even their secondary education, they find themselves in conflict in their own minds. They are trained in science, history, and world literature. At the same time, their minds have been, to say the least, undertrained in the religion they profess. What happens? They abandon their Catholic faith as a remnant of childhood.
The Catechism provides the beginning of what should be considered the single greatest Catholic need in the world today, namely, to understand what we believe.
Recall the sower parable of Our Lord as narrated by St. Matthew. The sower in the parable sows all good seed, but on four different kinds of ground. Only the last soil produces any yield. It is especially the first fruitless soil that applies to these reflections here.
In the words of Christ, as the sower sowed the seed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path; and the birds came and ate them up.
When the disciples asked Jesus to explain the parable, He told them, When anyone hears the words of the kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart. This is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path (Matthew 13:10, 18-19).
Thats it! It is both that simple and that serious. The seed of Gods revealed truth has been sown in our hearts at Baptism. But that was only the beginning. We must do everything in our power to grasp the meaning of what we believe. Otherwise, the devil will come along and steal the faith from our hearts.
There has never been a substitute for understanding our Christian religion. There is no substitute today. But now this understanding is absolutely imperative. The world in which we live is too determined to take from our hearts what we believe.
That is why The Catechism is such a providential godsend. It not only provides the believing Catholic with information about what to believe; it also gives us an explanation of the meaning of what we believe.
Of course, The Catechism is only a start. But it promises to be a powerful initiative for waking up a sleeping Catholic world to the duty we have to know:
Understanding Why The Catechism is so Important
It is one thing to know theoretically what Catholics are to believe. It is something else to know where to find the true faith expressed in straightforward and unambiguous language.
The confusion among Catholics on even the most fundamental doctrines of faith and morals is widespread.
There is no ambiguity in The Catechism. People may not want to accept what The Catechism teaches. That is their problem.
Someone somewhere in the Church founded by Christ must be in a position to tell the faithful, This is true, and that is false, or, This is morally good, and that is morally bad. Otherwise, the very existence of Christianity is in danger and the survival of the Catholic Church in any given country or locality is in jeopardy.
That is why The Catechism has not been released one month too soon. It is the hope of restoring unity in a widely dismembered Christianity.
Understanding How to Use The Catechism
We still have one important aspect to explain. It is also the most important practical question that needs raising. How is The Catechism to be put into apostolic use?
Before going any further, certain things should be made clear.
No, The Catechism of the Catholic Church is an indispensable arm of instruction on every level of the teaching apostolate.
We now have a one-volume reservoir of Catholic truth and practice for everyone who wants to bring others to Christ, if they are not yet Christian; to deepen and solidify the faith of those who have been baptized.
The question, however, still remains: How to use The Catechism in the apostolate of evangelization and catechesis?
KnowThe Catechism. Our most fundamental duty is to know The Catechism. How do you come to know anything? By reading, by discussing, by hearing it explained by competent persons.
Speed reading of The Catechism would be self-defeating. If anything, The Catechism should be not only read but prayerfully meditated. I mean it. Set aside some time for reflecting, in Gods presence, what The Catechism teaches through more than fie hundred pages of print.
How much time people waste in useless reading, or worse. Is it too much for Christ to expect us to spend a few hours a week in reading, alone or with others, what promises to be the food that feeds the soul on revealed truth?
Trust The Catechism. Already, critics have appeared who discredit The Catechism on both sides of the spectrum.
Pay no attention to these critics. To distrust The Catechism is to play into the hand of the spirit of division, who fears nothing more than security of doctrine among the followers of Christ.
Adapt The Catechism. The Catechism is not simple reading. But neither is it sophisticated and out of touch with the vocabulary of the people. In any case, The Catechism contains all the essentials for Catholic faith, morality, and divine worship.
In using The Catechism to teach others, adjust the language to the mentality of those you are teaching. Adapt the ideas, without watering them down. Accommodate what The Catechism says to the mental and spiritual level of those with whom you are sharing Gods truth.
Live The Catechism. This is no pious platitude. Teaching the true faith is unlike any other form of pedagogy.
The purpose of teaching the Catholic faith is to enable those you are teaching to practice the virtues that Christ expects of His followers. Very well. But how do you enable those you teach to practice what they have learned? You dont! Only Christ can give them the grace they need to practice what they believe. So how do they get the grace they need? From Christ, of course. But through you, their teachers.
What are we saying? We are saying that God uses holy people as channels of His grace to others. In the measure of our own union with Him, He will communicate to those we teach the light and strength they need to live the Christian fait. God uses humble people to give others the gift of humility. He uses chaste people as conduits of His grace of chastity, patient people to inspire patience, prayerful people to make others prayerful.
In a word, if we live The Catechism, we become instruments of divine faith to everyone whose life we touch. This, we may say, is the law of spiritual generation. Sanctity is reproductive; holiness is procreative.
Share The Catechism. As we close this introduction on understanding The Catechism of the Catholic Church, we should make on thing clear. On the last day, we shall be judged on our practice of charity. How we hope that when Christ appears, He will say to us, Come, blessed of my Father, and possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; thirsty and you gave me to drink; naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison and you visited me.
How does this affect our apostolic use of The Catechism of the Catholic Church? Profoundly! This masterpiece of sacred wisdom provides us with all the resources we need to meet the spiritual needs of our times. But we must be convinced that we have at hand, in the words of our Holy Father, the means of saving the soul of our society.
This compendium of The Catechism of the Catholic Church is just that: a compendium. It concentrates all the essentials of the catechism in question-and-answer form.
The source of the compendium is the original French, Catechisme de lEglise Catholique, issued by Pope John Paul II October 11, 1002, on two memorable anniversaries:
Why the publication of this compendium? In order to provide a reliable digest of all the main areas covered by The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Another reason is to offer, in clear and simple language, a reference source for what the larger catechism treats at greater length and in more detail.
My prayer is that those who use the compendium will find it a valuable means of getting to the heart of the Churchs faith in Jesus Christ, our Way, our Truth, and our Life.
John A. Hardon, S.J.
Editors Note:The numbers that appear in parentheses in the right margins of this work serve as cross-reference guides to The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
1. Why did God create us?
God created us to know and love Him with our whole heart, and thus come to share in His own divine happiness for all eternity.
2. How do we come to know and love God?
We come to know and love God by freely responding to the call of His divine Son, Jesus Christ, through the Apostles whom He sent to preach the Gospel to all nations.
3.Are we to hand on the Gospel to others?
Yes, we have the duty to hand on the treasure of the Gospel that we have received from the Apostles and their faithful successors over the centuries.
4. How do we pass on the Gospel?
We do so by professing our faith, living it with other believers, and celebrating it though the sacraments and prayer.
5. What is catechesis?
Catechesis is the Churchs effort to make disciples by enabling people to believe in Jesus Christ and thus build up His Mystical Body, which is the Church He founded.
6. How is catechesis a form of education?
Catechesis is education in Christian doctrine of children, young people, and adults. Catechetical instruction is given in an organized way for training believers in the fullness of the Christian life.
7. What are the outstanding periods in catechetical history?
They are periods when the Church had special need for self-renewal and reformation. Such were the age of the Fathers of the Church like Sts. Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom, Ambrose, and Augustine. Such, too, was the sixteenth century, when the Roman catechism was published after the Council of Trent. Such is the period after the Second Vatican Council, which council Pope John Paul II called the great catechism of modern times.
8. What is the purpose of The Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Its purpose is to provide an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental Catholic doctrines of faith and morals. These doctrines are presented in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Churchs Tradition. Their main sources are Sacred Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Magisterium, or teaching authority of the Church.
9. What is the basic structure of The Catechism?
Its basic structure is inspired by the great catechisms of Catholic Tradition. The four pillars of its foundation are the profession of baptismal faith, or the Creed; the Sacraments of faith; the life of faith, or the Commandments; and the prayer of faith, the Lords Prayer.
10. What is the special emphasis of The Catechism?
Its special emphasis is on explaining Catholic doctrine to deepen our understanding of what we believe and thus to provide for deeper roots in our Christian life and a more effective witness of our faith to others.
11. How is The Catechism to be adapted to different people?
The Catechism is to be adapted especially to the religious maturity and the mental level of those who are being taught. All the while, however, the fullness of the faith is to be communicated.
12. What is the basic principle for teaching The Catechism?
The basic principle for teaching The Catechism is divinely revealed love. Everything we believe and everything we hope for is founded on the fact that God is infinite love who became incarnate out of love for us. We are to spend our lives here on earth giving ourselves in selfless love to God in return.
Section I: I Believe We Believe
Before we look at our Catholic faith to see what the Churchs creeds tell us we must believe, we should first ask ourselves, What does it mean to believe?
Chapter One: The Human Capacity for God
I. The Desire for God
13. What is the deepest desire of every human being?
Our deepest desire is to know and love God. Our minds want to know the truth, and our wills want to be happy. Both desires can be satisfied only by knowing and loving God.
14. Is man a religious being?
Yes, in the depths of their hearts all human persons want to know and respond to God. This knowledge and love of God is what makes a person religious.
15. Does everyone always act on these religious instincts?
No, selfishness and sin, scandal, and suffering can estrange people from God.
16. Does God abandon those who ignore Him?
No, on the contrary, God continues to call all human beings to know and love their Creator. He knows that we shall find true happiness only in Him, by Whom and for Whom we were made.
II. Ways of Coming to Know God
17. What is the natural way of coming to know God?
We can know God naturally by the use of our native reason, reflecting on the world of nature created by God.
18. What does this mean?
It means that the beauty and power, wisdom, and goodness in the world are a proof of the beauty, power, wisdom, and goodness of God. He made the world and keeps it in constant existence as a reflection of His own divinity.
19. Do we have to be open to seeing God in His creation?
Yes, our sincere desire for the truth, for virtue, for true freedom, and for happiness is a precondition for recognizing God in the world that He made.
20. To what does the history of humanity testify?
It testifies to the universal search for God. Unlike the world, He is the being who must exist, who alone is without beginning and without end.
21. How can we enter into real intimacy with God?
We can do so only by the help of His grace. Building on our knowledge of God by reason, we can come to freely accept His supernatural revelation of Himself by faith.
III. The Knowledge of God According to the Church
22. Can we know God by reason alone?
Yes, we can. In fact, we must know Him by reason. Otherwise we would lack the necessary foundation for a credible faith in His revealed Word.
23. Do we need divine revelation even to know the naturally knowable truths of religion?
Yes, we need supernatural revelation because our minds are darkened by passion, the imagination, and sin. We call this the moral necessity for everyone to know religious and moral truths easily, firmly, and without error.
IV. How Can We Speak about God?
24. Can we dialogue with persons who have no religion or whose religion is different from ours?
Yes, because our knowledge of God is reasonable.
25. Is our language about God limited?
Yes, it is limited by our human capacity for thinking and knowing.
26. Are all creatures a reflection of God?
Yes, so much so that the more we know about the perfections of creatures, the more we can know about the attributes of their Creator.
27. Why must we purify our language about God?
We must do so because our natural tendency is to speak about the infinite God in the finite and changeable terms of His creatures.
28. How can we describe our knowledge of God?
We can never penetrate the inner Being of God. We can only know that He is not like His creatures and know how they are related to Him.
Chapter Two: God's Initiative
Beyond what we can naturally know about God, He has freely revealed Himself in the person and mission of Jesus Christ.
Article I: Revelation
I. Gods Plan Revealed
29. Why has God revealed Himself?
He has revealed Himself and the mystery of His will in order to draw us nearer to Himself and enable us to know and love Him as the adopted children of His grace.
30. What was Gods plan of revelation?
It was a gradual disclosing of Himself over the centuries until He finally revealed Himself in the person and mission of Jesus Christ.
II. The Stages of Revelation
31. How did God reveal Himself at the beginning of the human race?
He revealed Himself to our first parents, and did not withdraw His self-manifestation even after they sinned.
32. What was Gods covenant with Noah?
After the flood, God made a covenant with Noah by which the stability of the course of nature against catastrophe was assured. Also, the basic precepts of the law were revealed.
33. What is paganism?
Paganism is the constant threat to pervert Gods plan for the human race. It is a combination of idolatry and polytheism that continued after the flood and the covenant with Noah. It has been active to this day.
34. How long did the covenant with Noah continue?
It paved the way for the covenant with Abraham and remained active until the coming of Christ.
35. Why did God choose Abraham?
God chose Abram, a Chaldean, to leave his own people and become Abraham, the father of a multitude of nations. He is also the father of all believers. His descendants were the stewards of the promise made to the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament. When Christ came, the Gentiles who believed in Jesus were grafted onto the Chosen People.
36. Are any Old Testament figures honored as saints by the Church?
Yes, personages like Adam and Eve, Abraham and David, Esther and Judith, Deborah and Hannah are venerated as saints and invoked by the Christian faithful.
37. Who are the people of Israel?
They are the descendants of Abraham, whom God chose as His very own. Through Moses, He gave them the Law to know and worship the one true God and await the Messiah who would save His people from their sins.
38. How did God form His people, Israel?
He formed them into a priestly nation that would become the channel of revealed truth to the whole world. This truth was kept alive by the prophets sent by God, and by the holy women of Israel, the greatest of whom was the Blessed Virgin Mary.
III. Jesus the Christ: Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation
39. How is Christ the final Revelation?
As the Son of God who became man, Jesus Christ is the completion of Gods revelation. In Jesus, God has revealed everything the world needs to know for its salvation and sanctification. This is called public revelation.
40. Will there be any further revelation?
No, the objective content of Gods revelation was completed in Jesus Christ. But we are to grow in our subjective understanding and living of this revelation all through life and, in fact, until the end of the world.
41. What, then, are private revelations?
Private revelations are supernatural communications that God gives to certain chosen persons. These revelations must be approved by the Church. Their purpose is to help people grasp and live out the public revelation, which is necessary for the human race.
Article 2: Revelation Communicated
Since God wants everyone to be saved, He wants His revealed truth to be made known to all nations in every generation.
I. The Apostolic Tradition
42. To whom did Christ entrust the preaching of the Gospel?
He entrusted the preaching of the Gospel to the Apostles. They were to proclaim the fullness of His saving truth and moral laws to all people.
43. How did the Apostles fulfill their mission?
They did so orally, by what they said, and in written form, by both the Apostles themselves and by others who were associated with the Apostles.
44. What is Tradition?
Tradition can be understood in two different ways that are closely related to each other:
II. Connection between Tradition and Scripture
45. How are Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition related to each other?
Both have the same divine source. They complement one another, and together they form a single reality with the same goal, which is to make the mystery of Christ present and fruitful to the end of time.
46. What are ecclesial traditions?
Ecclesial traditions are the various theological, liturgical, and disciplinary expressions of Tradition that have come down over the centuries. Ecclesial traditions are, therefore, changeable and even removable under the Churchs authorityas, for example, the Eucharistic fast.
III. Interpretation of the Faith Heritage
47. To whom did the Apostles entrust the heritage of faith?
The Apostles entrusted the heritage of faith (depositum fidei), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole Church.
48. Who in the Church has authority to interpret the heritage of faith?
Only the Magisterium, or teaching authority in the Church, has the divine right to interpret the heritage of faith. The Magisterium is the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
49. What is the role of the Magisterium?
The Magisterium is the servant of Gods Word. Its role is to listen to this Word, preserve it, and teach it to the faithful.
50. What are dogmas of faith?
Dogmas are truths that are either divinely revealed or necessarily connected with revelation and which the Church teaches as irrevocably binding on all the faithful to accept. Some examples of dogmas are the Divinity of Christ, the Real Presence, and the Immaculate Conception.
51. How are dogmas related to the spiritual life?
Dogmas provide the faith foundation for the spiritual life. And our fidelity in the spiritual life enlightens our understanding of the dogmas and enables us to put them into generous practice.
52. How are the dogmas interrelated?
They are related in a hierarchy of truths. Some dogmas are more basic than others. But all are expressions of the same deposit of faith.
53. Do all the faithful share in the right understanding and passing on of revealed truth?
Yes, by virtue of the Holy Spirit dwelling in the faithful, they are enabled to grasp the meaning of Gods revelation and pass it on to others without error.
54. What is the sense of faith?
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the sense of faith is the instinctive adherence to what God has revealed, a deeper penetration into its meaning, and a more generous response to its responsibilities.
55. How does the Church grow in understanding the faith?
The Church grows in her understanding of the faith: through prayerful contemplation, study, and research; through the experience of living the faith; through the preaching of the episcopal successors of the Apostles.
56. How are Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium to be used?
They are to be used together, not in competition but by each assisting the others for the salvation of souls.
Article 3: Sacred Scripture
57. How is Christ the unique Word of Sacred Scripture?
Christ is the unique Word of Sacred Scripture in two ways:
58. How are the Bible and the Eucharist related?
The Church is nourished both on the Word of God revealed in the Bible and on the Word of God who became flesh and physically gives Himself to us in Holy Communion.
59. Why is the Bible a source of nourishment?
The Bible nourishes the faithful because it is literally the Word of God.
60. How is God the author of Sacred Scripture?
He is the author of Sacred Scripture because everything in the Bible has been inspired by the Holy Spirit.
61. How did God inspire the human authors of the Bible?
He inspired them by choosing certain people to write, as true authors, all that He wanted them to write and only that.
62. Does the Bible teach the truth?
Yes, the Bible teaches the truth because the Holy Spirit, who is the Truth, is the author of the Bible.
63. Why is Christianity not a religion of the book?
It is not a religion of the book because, while using the Bible, the Church is constantly enlightened by Christ through the Holy Spirit to understand the Scriptures.
64. How are we to interpret the Scriptures?
We must be attentive to both what the human writer wanted to say and what the Holy Spirit intended to communicate.
65. How can we find what the human author intended to say?
We must consider the time and culture, the literary forms then current, and the manner of thinking and speaking in vogue when the text was written.
66. What are the norms for interpreting the Bible as divinely inspired?
There are three basic norms:
67. What are the senses of Scripture?
They are the meanings that the biblical words are meant to convey.
68. How many senses do the Scriptures express?
There are two main senses of Scripture, namely the literal and the spiritual.
69. What is the canon of Scripture?
The canon of Scripture is the catalogue of books that the Church recognizes as divinely inspired.
70. What are the inspired books of the Bible?
In biblical order, the following are the books of the Old and New Testaments:
71. How important are the books of the Old Testament?
They are an essential part of the Bible for several reasons:
72. What are the New Testament Scriptures?
They are the ultimate truth of divine revelation, whose central object is Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God.
73. How are the Gospels the principal writings of the Bible?
They are the principle writings of the Bible because they give us the primary witness of the life and teachings of our Savior, the Incarnate Word.
74. What are the three stages in the formation of the Gospels?
They are, in sequence:
75. How are the Gospels unique in the Churchs history?
The Gospels are unique in the veneration they have received over the centuries in the Churchs liturgy and in their role in producing saints.
76. What is the unity of the Old and New Testaments?
It is a unity based on typology. This means that what God did under the old covenant prefigures what He would do in the fullness of time in the person of his Divine Son, Jesus Christ.
77. How are the two testaments related?
As St. Augustine tells us, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old, while the Old Testament is unveiled in the New. Each testament needs the other to give us the fullness of Gods revealed Word.
78. What are some biblical directives of the Second Vatican Council?
The Council tells us:
79. Why should the faithful frequently read the Scriptures?
Because, as St. Jerome says, Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Jesus Christ (Dei Verbum, 25).
Chapter Three: Humanity's Response
Faith is our response to Gods revelation. He speaks and thus reveals Himself; when we listen, we believe.
Article 1: I Believe
80. What is the obedience of faith?
It is the free submission to Gods Word because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself.
81. How is Abraham the father of all who believe?
Abraham is the father of all who believe because:
82. How is the Virgin Mary our highest pattern of faith?
Mary is the supreme model of faith because:
83. What is divine faith?
Divine faith is a free assent to everything revealed by God.
84. What is divine faith for Christians?
For Christians, divine faith is believing in Jesus Christ. It is a commitment to Christ as God-become-man, and acceptance of everything that Jesus taught.
85. What is divine faith in the Holy Spirit?
It is a commitment to Christ because we share in His Holy Spirit, who, we believe, is truly God.
86. What do we believe by divine faith?
We believe everything contained in the Word of God, written or handed down and . . . proposed for belief by the Church as having been divinely revealed (Dei Filius, 3).
87. How is faith a gift from God?
Faith is a gift from God because it can exist only with the help of Gods preceding grace, and the interior help of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and turns it to God, opens the eyes of the mind, and gives to all joy in assenting to the truth and believing it (Dei Filius, 3).
88. How is divine faith a human act?
Divine faith is a human act because it is fully consistent with our human nature. We naturally trust people and accept their word. How much more should we trust the word of God?
89. How do we define divine faith?
Divine faith is an act of the intellect, assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace.
90. What is the credibility of our faith?
Our faith is credible because it is perfectly reasonable to believe what God has revealed. To believe anyone, we must know by reason that the person has knowledge of what he or she is saying and is honest in saying it. God is all-knowing, thus He cannot be deceived, and all-truthful, so He cannot deceive. The only question is, how can we be sure that God has spoken? We can be sure He has spoken when He performs miracles that testify to His revelation. That is why Christ worked so many miracles during His public ministry. That is also why He continues working miracles in His Church, to verify the truth of her teaching.
91. Why is divine faith certain?
It is certain because it is founded on the word of God, who cannot lie.
92. Are we to understand our faith?
Yes, with Gods grace and our own effort we are to grow in our understanding of what we believe. Of course, we shall never fully understand or comprehend Gods revelation. We have a duty to grow in our grasp of the meaning of what we believe. Otherwise, as Christ warns us in the parable of the sower, we run the risk of losing our faith.
93. What is freedom of the faith?
Our faith is a voluntary submission of our intellect to accept what God has revealed. We believe with the mind, but our will must freely command the mind to believe. We must want to believe.
94. Is divine faith necessary for salvation?
Yes, as the New Testament says, without faith it is impossible to please God. And the absolute minimum is to believe that God exists and is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb 11:6).
95. Must we persevere in the faith?
Yes, because we can lose the gift of faith. We must, therefore, practice the faith, pray for perseverance, and nourish the faith by hearing and meditating on the Word of God.
96. How is faith the beginning of eternal life?
Faith is the beginning of eternal life because by believing in Gods revealed Word already on earth, we begin to enjoy a foretaste of the peace of mind and happiness of heart awaiting us in a heavenly eternity.
97. What does it mean that we walk by faith, not by sight?
This means that we must expect our faith to be tested by trials and temptations. Here on earth, we perceive God as in a mirror, dimly, and only in part (1 Cor 13:12).
98. What should we do when our faith is tested?
We should turn to the great models of faith in the Bible, like Abraham and Our Lady. We should find inspiration in the lives of the saints, whose faith was so tried.
Article 2: We Believe
99. How is faith a social virtue?
Faith is a social virtue because every believer has received his faith from other believers. Moreover, we have the duty to share our faith with others. Finally, our faith supports the faith of others, even as their faith sustains us in our believing in the Word of God.
100. How should we profess our faith?
We should profess our faith personally, as individuals, and socially, as co-believers with other Christians. Thus, the Church tells us to say I believe and We believe.
101. How does our salvation come through the Church?
Our salvation comes through the Church because she nourishes and sustains our faith through her teaching, her sacraments, and her treasury of merit as the Mystical Body of Christ.
102. What is the language of faith?
The language of faith is the expression of the truths we believe, which are preserved and handed on in set formulas of doctrine.
103. How is the Church the pillar and bulwark of faith?
She is this by faithfully guarding the words of Christ and passing them on from generation to generation, teaching her children to understand and put them into practice in their lives.
104. How has the Church preserved the one faith received from the Lord?
In spite of the variety of nations and languages, the Church has kept the one faith intact by the grace of the Holy Spirit. This unity of faith is both a historical continuity over the centuries and a geographic identity throughout the world. It testifies to the fact that humanity has only one God and one Father.
Section II: The Profession of the Christian Faith
Introduction: The Creeds of the Faith
From apostolic times, the Church expressed and transmitted the faith in brief formulas for all believers.
These formulas are called professions of faith because they synthesize what believing Christians profess to believe. They are also called Creeds, from the Latin word credo (I believe). Finally, they are called symbols of faith, from the Greek word symbolon (a collection or summary).
105. When is the believers first profession of faith made?
It is made at Baptism. Since Baptism is conferred in the name of the Trinity, the faith is professed in three parts:
106. What are the articles of the Creed?
They are the individual truths of faith, each distinct from the others, like the separate members of our body that are united in one whole.
107. Are there many creeds?
Yes, in the two millennia of the Churchs history, many professions of faith were formulated. Each creed was meant to serve a special need. Among the more important symbols of faith are:
108. What are the two most important creeds?
They are the Apostles and the Nicene Creeds.
109. What is the Apostles Creed?
This is the creed that professes the faith of the Twelve Apostles.
110. What is the Nicene Creed?
Also called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, it comes from the first two general councils of the Church, Nicea in 325 A.D. and Constantinople in 381 A.D. To this day, it is professed by all the great Churches of the East and West.
111. On what creed is The Catechism based?
It is based on the Apostles Creed, which is really the oldest Catholic catechism. However, we shall constantly refer to the Nicene Creed to supplement and make more explicit the teaching of the Apostles Creed.
112. Why is the Apostles Creed called the treasure of our soul?
St. Ambrose used this name to show how the articles of the Apostles Creed are like the principle of our supernatural life of faith.
Chapter One: I Believe in God the Father
We begin our profession of faith with God. He is the origin, or beginning of everything created, and the end or purpose for which everything in the world exists.
We open the Creed with the first Person of the Holy Trinity, and with creation, which is the foundation of everything that God has made.
Article 1: I Believe in God the Father Almight, Creator of Heaven and Earth
I. I (We) Believe in One God
113. Why does the Apostles Creed open with the words I believe in God?
The reason is that this is the most fundamental truth of our faith. Everything else we believe depends on this, even as everything else derives from our belief in the existence of God.
114. Why does the Nicene Creed begin with We believe in one God?
There are three reasons for this:
115. What are the principle attributes of the one God?
As professed by the Creed of the Fourth Lateran Council, We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal, infinite and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty, and ineffable, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; three Persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple (November 30, 1215).
The occasion for this declaration of faith was the rise of the Albigensian heresy, which claimed there are at least two gods, one the author of what is good and the other the creator of evil.
116. Did God reveal His name?
Yes, God revealed Himself progressively under various names. These names told the Israelites not only who God is, but that He is a personal God and not some impersonal force.
117. What was the most fundamental divine name revealed by God?
It was the revelation he made to Moses from the burning bush on Mount Sinai. He declared, I Am Who Am (Ex 3:13-15). By this He meant that Gods essence is to exist. He is the Being who simply is. He can never not be, or become, or change. He must exist. He is, in the deepest sense of the word, Necessary Being.
118. Did God also reveal His faithfulness?
Yes, He told the Chosen People I am the God of your fathers, and He promised, I will be with you (Ex 3: 6, 12).
119. What are we by comparison with God?
We are insignificant. In fact, except for God we would be nothing. Yet God loves us and is merciful to us if we repent of our sins. That is why He told His people that He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger (Ex 34:6).
120. What title did the Israelites substitute for the name of God?
The title Lord, which is also the title that Christians give to Jesus, who is God.
121. What is the basic difference between God and His creatures?
It is the unchangeableness of God. Thus, the psalmist says to the Lord, comparing Him with creatures, Like clothing, you change them, and they are changed, but you are the same (Ps 102:26-27).
122. What does it mean to say that God alone is?
It means that God is the fullness of being and perfection. He alone is His very Being.
123. What is distinctive about Gods love for us?
Gods love for us is steadfast, faithful, and constant (Ps 136:2).
124. How is God the Truth?
Since truth is conformity of mind with reality, God is Truth three times over:
On all three levels, Jesus Christ is the Truth because He is God Incarnate.
125. How is God Love?
God is Love in Himself and in His love for us.
126. What are the implications of our faith in one God?
Because of our faith in God:
II. The Father
127. On what does the faith of all Christians depend?
It depends on our belief in the Holy Trinity as the central mystery of Christianity.
128. How is the Trinity the central mystery of Christianity?
It is the central mystery because it reveals God as He is in Himself, in His relation to us, who came from the Trinity and are destined to return to the Trinity as our eternal destiny.
129. What is the difference between theology and economy?
Theology is the mystery of God revealing Himself. Economy is the mystery of Gods relationship with us.
130. How is the Trinity a strict mystery?
As a strict mystery, the Trinity could not be rationally conceived before revelation, and cannot be rationally comprehended (fully understood) since revelation.
131. How is God revealed as Father?
God is revealed as Father especially in two ways:
132. Can we speak of gender in God?
Absolutely not, and that for two reasons:
133. What do we believe about Jesus as the Son of God?
As professed in the Nicene Creed, We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father.
134. What did Christ reveal about the Holy Spirit?
He revealed two great mysteries:
135. What do we believe about the Holy Spirit?
As professed in the Nicene Creed, We believe in the Holy Spirit, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshipped and glorified.
136. How do the Latin and Eastern traditions differ regarding faith in the Holy Spirit?
In the Eastern tradition, the original Nicene Creed says, The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. The Latin version adds the words and the Son. Thus, the Latin Church emphasizes the communion of one being between Father and Son. If not exaggerated, these additional words do not affect the identity of faith professed by Eastern and Western Christianity.
137. What were the beginnings of the Churchs profession of faith in the Trinity?
The Churchs faith in the Trinity was first found in the administration of Baptism and thus incorporated in the Apostolic writings, religious instruction, prayer, and the Eucharistic liturgy.
138. How did the Church deepen her understanding of the mystery of the Trinity?
Under the challenge of prevalent errors, the Church clarified her understanding of the Trinity in three ways:
139. How do we profess our faith in the dogma of the Trinity?
We profess our faith in the Trinity in three ways:
140. How is the divine economy the work of the Holy Trinity?
Whatever God does outside of His own Trinitarian life is always done by all three Persons of the Trinity. Just as They have only one divine nature, so They have only one divine operation.
Yet, each of the divine Persons also reveals His own distinct properties in the work that is objectively done by the whole Trinity.
141. What is the final goal of the whole divine economy?
The final goal is that we may enter into the unity of the Trinity in a heavenly eternity. But even now, we are the dwelling place of the Holy Trinity. Our duty is to realize and respond to this marvelous privilege by our faithful love of the Trinity, and grow in Gods love in return for His generosity.
III. The Almighty
142. What do we mean by professing that God is almighty?
We mean that nothing will be impossible with God (Lk1:37). We mean that He is Lord of the universe that He created, which remains totally at His disposal. We mean that He is Lord of history, governing human hearts and events according to His will.
143. How does God especially show His almighty power?
He does so most clearly by forgiving our sins.
144. Is the power of God arbitrary?
No, because God always exercises His power according to His wise intelligence and just will.
145. How is our faith in Gods almighty power especially tried?
Our faith in Gods omnipotence is especially tried by the evil and suffering we see and experience in our lives.
146. What is our strongest support in coping with evil and suffering?
Our strongest support in coping with evil and suffering is Christ crucified and glorified. Only this faith can glory in its weakness in order to draw on the power of Christ. Our highest model is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who believed that nothing is impossible with God, who does great things, even miracles, for those who humbly trust in His holy name.
IV. The Creator
147. What are the two basic questions of all times?
They are: Where do we come from? and Where are we going?
148. How are these two questions related?
They are related as condition and consequence. The condition is that we were created by God. The inevitable consequence is that we must have been created for God.
149. What have been the principal challenges to our faith in creation by God?
There have been especially five such challenges:
150. Can the existence of God the Creator be known by the light of human reason?
Yes, that is why St. Paul says the pagans of his day were inexcusable. They were those men who in wickedness held back the truth of God, seeing that what may be known about God is manifest to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seenHis everlasting power also and divinitybeing understood through the things that are made (Rom 1:18-20).
151. Has God revealed the truth about creation beyond what we know from reason?
Yes, He has done so, especially in forming the Chosen People of Israel.
152. How is creation related to Gods covenant with His Chosen People?
The truth of creation is the first and most powerful witness to Gods all-powerful love.
153. How important are the first three chapters of Genesis for understanding creation?
They are most important for relating creation, sin, and Gods promise of salvation.
154. What are we told in the first verse of Genesis?
We are told that God began everything that exists beyond Himself, that He alone is Creator, and that everything that exists in the world depends on Him who gave it existence.
155. What do the opening verses of St. Johns Gospel tell us?
They tell us that God created everything by His eternal Word, His beloved Son.
156. Is creation the work of the entire Trinity?
Yes, we may say, with St. Irenaeus, that God the Father made all things by the Son and the Spirit who are His hands.
157. Why did God create the world?
God created the world in order to manifest His perfection through the benefits He bestows on creatures (First Vatican Council, 1).
158. Did God create the world for His glory?
Yes, He created the world so that His rational creatures might glorify Him by knowing and loving Him and thus sharing in His happiness in time and eternity.
159. Did God create in perfect freedom?
Yes, the world is not the product of any necessity, or blind fate, or chance. It proceeds from the free will of God. He wants His creatures to participate in His being, wisdom, and goodness.
160. Did God create out of nothing?
Yes, in creating, God needed nothing that already existed, nor did He need any help, nor is creation a necessary emanation from the divine substance. God created freely out of nothing.
161. What follows from the power of God to create out of nothing?
Given His almighty power to create, God can also:
162. What kind of a world has God created?
God has created a good and orderly world. It is orderly because it is directed to a divinely ordained purpose. It is good because it comes from Gods goodness and is destined for our blessedness.
163. Is God present in the world?
Yes, Gods presence sustains the world in existence. Yet, God is infinitely superior to the world He created.
164. How does God sustain the world?
God sustains the world not only in existence but by giving creatures the power to act and so to reach their appointed destiny.
165. What is divine providence?
As expressed by the First Vatican Council, God, in His providence, watches over and governs all things that He made, reaching from end to end with might and disposing of all things with gentleness (April 24, 1870).
166. What do the Scriptures tell us about divine providence?
They are unanimous in teaching us that God is concretely and practically and immediately exercising His loving care over all creatures and all the events of human history. Thus, many are the plans in a mans heart, but it is the decision of the Lord that endures (Prv 19:21).
167. Why do the Scriptures so often speak exclusively of God doing something?
The reason is to emphasize that God is the main cause of everything that, as we say, happens. It is also to remind us to trust God always in every event and situation of life.
168. What does Jesus teach us about providence?
Our Lord urges us to have childlike confidence in His providence. Our one concern should be to do His will.
169. What is the role of secondary causes in the world?
Secondary causes are the contributions that creatures, especially human beings, make for the fulfillment of Gods providential plans. He gives us the privilege of working with Him by freely cooperating in His designs for the universe.
170. Is our free will part of divine providence?
Yes, God gives us the power and the dignity of using our free will for the fulfillment of His designs. Without often realizing it, we are cooperating with Him by our actions, prayers, and sacrifices in the fulfillment of His divine providence.
171. What are the two kinds of evil in the world?
They are moral and physical evil.
172. What is moral evil?
Moral evil is sin. It is evil because it is contrary to the will of God. It is moral evil because it is caused by a free created will acting against the will of God. He does not want moral evil as an end or as a means.
173. Why does God permit moral evil?
He permits moral evil out of consideration of human (and angelic) freedom, and because He has the wisdom and the power to cause good to arise from the evil. In the end, moral evil will serve the supreme purpose of the universe, which is the glorification of God, since it reveals His mercy in forgiving and His justice in punishing.
174. What is physical evil?
Physical evil is the privation of a natural physical good. It is evil because something is lacking in what it should be. It is physical because the lack or privation is in the nature (physis in Greek) of a thing. The privation may be material, like the size or strength of a body; or it may be spiritual, like ignorance in the mind or courage in the will. When this privation is consciously experienced, it is painful suffering which may also be called a physical evil.
175. Why is there physical evil?
There is physical evil because God willed that there be limitations in the world He created. These limitations provide us with the opportunity to develop the world in which we live. Yet, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, such earthy progress #133; is of vital concern to the Kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society (Gaudium et spes, 39).
176. How did God draw great good from the greatest moral evil?
The greatest moral evil was the rejection and murder of Jesus Christ. Yet, out of this crime, God brought the greatest blessing, the glorification of the Savior and the redemption of the human race.
177. What does St. Paul teach about God drawing good out of everything?
He says, We know that all things work together for good for those who love God (Rom 8:28). But note the condition. God draws good out of everything for those who love Him. Everything in their lives becomes a grace of God.
178. When shall we know the mysterious ways of God in our lives?
We shall know the mysterious ways of God in our lives when we reach our heavenly destiny, when we see God face-to-face. But while now on earth, we must live by faith and trust in His divine providence.
179. What do we include when we say that God is Creator of heaven and earth?
In the words of the Nicene Creed, we include all that is seen and unseen, in other words, everything.
180. How do we distinguish between heaven and earth?
By heaven we mean both the abode where God dwells with His angels and saints, and what we popularly call the sky, including the sun, moon, stars, and planets above the earth.
By earth we mean both human beings and the world of our own planet, the Earth which we occupy.
181. What was the order or sequence of creation?
In the definition of the Fourth Lateran Council, God the Creator of all things visible and invisible, spiritual and corporeal . . . by His almighty power, from the very beginning of time has created both orders of creatures in the same way out of nothing, the spiritual or angelic world and the corporeal or visible universe. And afterwards He formed the creature man (November 11-30, 1215).
182. How do we know that angels exist?
We have the unanimous witness of both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
183. Who are the angels?
The angels are pure created spirits with intelligence and will. Each is an individual person who is immortal and surpasses all visible creatures in natural perfection.
184. What is the function of the angels?
Their function is to be servants and messengers of God.
185. How are the angels related to Christ?
The angels were created by Christ, the Word of God. They were created for Him as the messengers of His plan of salvation.
186. How have the angels been active since the dawn of human history?
The angels have been serving Gods salvific providence from the origins of human history. Thus, they closed the earthly paradise to our first parents; they protected Lot, delivered Hagar, saved Abraham, led Gods Chosen People, helped the prophets, and finally announced the births of St. John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
187. How were the angels associated with the earthly life of Christ?
The angels announced His birth, protected Him from Herod, served Him in the desert, strengthened Him in His agony, announced His Resurrection, and promised His return after the Ascension.
188. What is the role of the angels in the life of the Church?
The life of the Church over the centuries has benefitted from the mysterious assistance of the angels. This is shown in the Churchs devotion to the angels, which runs like an angelic theme in the liturgy. There are feast days in honor of the angels, and the faithful are urged to invoke the holy angels.
189. What is the role of the angels in our life?
In the words of St. Basil, Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd for the conduct of life. As believers, we know that the angels are part of our company as people united with God.
190. How does Scripture present the order of creation?
Scripture presents the order of creation in symbolic terms as a succession of six days.
191. What does the Book of Genesis give us?
It gives us an account of how and when everything in the visible world began.
192. Does each creature possess its own goodness and perfection?
Yes, each creature in its own way reflects the infinite wisdom and goodness of God.
193. What is our duty in the use of creatures?
We must respect the goodness of all creatures, avoid their disorderly use, and thus avert disastrous consequences on people and the environment.
194. Are creatures dependent on one another?
Yes, their interdependence is both for their own perfection and for our benefit.
195. What is the beauty of the universe?
Beauty is that which attracts on being seen. It is the result of order and harmony in things. The beauty of the universe is the reflection of the infinite beauty of God, whom we should honor and praise by the submission of our minds and wills to His wisdom and power.
196. Is there a hierarchy in creatures?
Yes, there is a hierarchy or gradation in creatures, with some more perfect than others. Yet, God cares for all of them and above all cares for us.
197. Who is at the summit of creation?
Man is the summit of Gods creation as shown in the clear distinction the Bible makes between mans origin and that of all other creatures.
198. Is there solidarity among creatures?
Yes, all have the same Creator and all are intended by Him to give Him glory as a part of creation.
199. What is the significance of the Sabbath?
The Sabbath teaches us many things;
200. What is the culmination of creation?
The culmination of creation is the Redemption. Just as the Sabbath closed the first creation, so the Redemption spurs the new creation. Thus, for us Christians, Sunday became the symbol of a divine work greater than creation. Our salvation was completed when Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week.
201. How do we human beings occupy a unique place in creation?
We are unique because we have been made in the image and likeness of God; we unite in ourselves the spiritual and material world; and we are destined to share in the eternal goodness of God Himself.
202. What is our dignity as human persons?
As human persons, each of us is capable of knowing, possessing, and giving ourselves to one another. Moreover, we are personally called by divine grace to a covenant with God. He offers us the privilege of believing in and loving Him as our Creator and Lord.
203. Can we say that God created everything for us?
Yes, He wants us to use everything according to His will as a means of reaching our eternal destiny.
204. How are Christ and Adam related?
Christ is the Creator and the destiny of Adam. He is, therefore, the Second Adam as the one from whom the first Adam came; He is also the goal or purpose for whom the first Adam was made.
205. What is the unity of the human race?
The human race forms one family because we were all made by one God; we all have one human nature; we were all redeemed by one Savior; we all have one heavenly goal; and we all have the same basic means for reaching there.
206. What is a human person?
A human person is both a bodily and a spiritual being.
207. How is man a spiritual person?
Man is a spiritual person because his body is animated by a spiritual principle of life called the soul. This is the main reason why man is created in the image of God.
208. How does mans body share in the dignity of the image of God?
The body shares in the image of God for two reasons:
209. How are body and soul united in us?
Although our body is material (made of quantitative parts), when united with the soul, it is a living body. Body and soul together form one human nature.
210. What are the main qualities of the human soul?
The soul is immediately created by God at the time of human conception. It is naturally immortal and will be reunited with the body at the final resurrection.
211. What is the difference between soul and spirit?
In the language of St. Paul, the human spirit is the soul animated by supernatural grace and, therefore, capable of the beatific vision of God.
212. What is the biblical meaning of heart?
The heart often signifies the human will whereby we choose for or against God.
213. How are the equality and difference between man and woman willed by God?
God willed man and woman, as human persons, to be perfectly equal in dignity. But each gender reflects distinctive attributes of Gods wisdom and goodness.
214. Is God an image of man?
Absolutely not. God is a pure spirit, without gender. But men and women somehow reflect the divine attributes of a father, mother, and spouse.
215. How are man and woman created for each other?
God made man and woman to complement each other. In Genesis, we read how the first man looked upon the first woman with admiration and a loving sense of unity. In marriage, they are together to cooperate with God for the transmission of human life.
216. How are man and woman to subdue the earth?
They are to do so according to Gods will and His all-wise providence, in other words, not arbitrarily or destructively.
217. What was the condition of our first parents in paradise?
They were in Gods friendship and in harmony with themselves and the world around them. They were in the state of grace, which the Church calls original justice or holiness.
218. What were the main gifts of original justice?
The main gifts of original justice were bodily immortality, the absence of pain, and the triple harmony of the universe, of peace between man and woman, and of peace between our first parents and the rest of the created world.
219. Did our first parents have self-mastery before they sinned?
Yes, before they fell, they had mastery over carnal allurements, enticement for the eye [and] the life of empty show (1 Jn 2:16).
220. Is work a punishment for sin?
Work, as a distasteful burden, is a punishment for sin. But before the Fall, work was a pleasant collaboration of man and woman with God in the development of the visible world.
221. What did our first parents lose by their sin?
They lost all the foregoing peaceful harmony of original justice for themselves and their descendants.
222. Can we comprehend the mystery of evil in the world?
We cannot comprehend the mystery of evil as sin and pain. But we can begin to understand it through the eyes of faith in Jesus Christ, who alone has overcome the evil in the world.
223. What is the basic root of sin?
The basic root of sin is mans rejection of God and opposition to the divine Will.
224. What is the reality of sin?
The reality of sin is the fact that sin is an abuse of the liberty that God has given to persons who were created to love Him and one another.
225. How do we know the reality of sin?
Only by the light of revelation can we clearly understand the reality of sin, especially original sin.
226. Has the New Testament clarified the meaning of sin?
Yes, immeasurably. With the coming of Christ, His death and Resurrection, and by the light of His Holy Spirit, we can now see the meaning of sin as it could never have been seen before.
227. How important is the doctrine of original sin?
Most important. Without the doctrine of original sin, as taught by the Church, you undermine the mystery of Christ. Why? Because we all come into the world as sinners. We all need, and we are all assured, the grace of salvation that comes to us uniquely through Jesus Christ.
228. What does Genesis teach us about original sin?
It reveals with the certitude of faith that all human history is marred by the original voluntary sin committed by our first parents.
229. How was the devil involved in the sin of our first parents?
Out of envy, the devil (slanderer) seduced our first parents. Also called Satan (adversary), he and his fellow angels were created in Gods friendship but became evil by their own self-will.
230. What was the Fall of the angels?
The angels fell when they freely chose to rebel against God. As a result, they are irrevocably separated from Him.
231. Will the devils ever be reconciled with God?
No, no less than unrepentant human beings who die in their sin, devils will never be reconciled with God.
232. What is the worst harm caused by the Devil?
The worst harm is the deceptive seduction of our first parents.
233. What is the mystery of Satan?
It is the fact that God allows the evil spirit to tempt human beings to sin and thus cause great spiritual and even physical harm. However, in His providence, God will draw great good out of this satanic evil.
234. How is mans freedom put to the test?
Since the origins of the human race, mans freedom is tested by enabling him to recognize and choose to obey the laws of God.
235. What was the sin of our first parents?
Tempted by the devil, they abused their freedom by distrusting their Creator and refusing to obey His commandment. All sin, at root, is disobedience of God.
236. What, in essence, was original sin?
It was mans preferring himself to God. Destined to be divinized by God in glory, man chose to be like God, but without God and contrary to His will.
237. How does the Bible describe the result of the sin of Adam and Eve?
It tells us they lost the grace of God as soon as they acted on their false image of a God who is jealous of His divinity.
238. What were the results of original sin?
Original sin deprived man of spiritual control over the body and introduced tensions between men and women, causing their relations to become marked by concupiscence and self-assertion. Visible creation became hostile to humanity. Moreover, death was brought into human history.
239. What has been the history of the human race since the Fall of our first parents?
It has been the history of sin. To this day, man is at odds with himself, with others, and with all created things. Why? Because many human beings refuse to acknowledge God as their origin and destiny.
240. Did Adams sin affect all mankind?
Yes, as taught by St. Paul, through one man, sin entered into the world and through sin, death, and thus death has passed unto all men because all have sinned. That is why Christ had to redeem all mankind: As from the offense of the one man the result was unto condemnation to all men, so from the justice of the one, the result is unto justification of life to all men (Rom 5:12, 18).
241. What follows from this universality of sin?
As a result, all mankind is subject to misery, inclination to evil, and death. Also for this reason, the Church baptizes even infants who have committed no personal sin.
242. How did Adams sin become the sin of all his descendants?
Adam sinned as head of the human race. By sinning, he lost divine grace not only for himself but for all his posterity. Thus, the human nature which Adam and Eve passed on is deprived of Gods friendship for their descendants. They contract this original guilt without having personally offended God.
243. What is the effect of original sin in us?
We come into the world without the grace that would entitle us to heaven. Moreover, our nature wounded, we become mortal, are ignorant, weakened in our wills, inclined to sin, and subject to suffering. Baptism restores our title to heaven, but the other effects of original sin remain.
244. Where does the Church teach about the effects of original sin?
Her teaching is mainly found in two general councils: the Council of Orange (529 A.D.) in response to Pelagianism, which claimed we can live a good moral life without Gods grace; and the Council of Trent (1546 A.D.) in response to historic Protestantism, which claimed that original sin depraved human nature and deprived us of freedom of will.
245. Does everyone believe that we now have a wounded nature inclined to sin?
No, with disastrous results in education, politics, the social sciences, and morality.
246. What is the sin of the world?
The sin of the world is another name for the fact that everyone has a fallen human nature and has personally sinned. It also means that we are all affected by the sins of society and its sinful structures.
247. How does this affect all of us?
As a result, we must continually fight to ally ourselves with the good, for only with great effort and the help of Gods grace can we achieve unity within ourselves (Gaudium et spes, 37, 2).
248.What is the First Gospel?
This is the promise of a Redeemer, made by God after the Fall of our first parents in the third chapter of the Book of Genesis. The Redeemer would be a descendant of Eve.
249. Does the First Gospel also foretell the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Yes, this is the interpretation of the First Gospel by many Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Mary would be preserved from all stain of original sin and never commit sin. She would be the first and outstanding beneficiary of Christs redemption.
250. Why did God allow our first parents to sin?
He allowed it in order that greater good might result. Christs redemption brought us more blessings than would have come to the world if our first parents had not sinned.
Chapter Two: I Believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God
As announced by the angels on Christmas morning, the Gospel or Good News is the fulfillment of the prophecy made to Abraham and his descendants. We believe with St. Peter that Jesus, born of a Jewish mother, is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt. 16:16). It is on this faith that Christ built His Church.
Our duty is to proclaim to the world what we believe, namely the unfathomable riches of Christ (Eph 3:8).
Jesus Christ, therefore, is at the heart of catechesis. Everything else is taught with reference to Him. Actually, it is He above all who teaches. Others teach only as His representatives. Thus, every catechist should be able to say the mysterious words of Jesus: My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me (Jn 7:16).
The implications for us are staggering. We who have been called to teach Christ must know Him and love Him ourselves. Inspired by this loving knowledge, we shall lead others to believe in Jesus Christ.
Article 2: and in Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God, Our Savior
251. What does the name Jesus mean?
Jesus means God saves. Implied in this name is that since God became man, and God alone can forgive sins, Jesus forgives sins because He is God.
252. Did Israel believe in a redeeming God?
Yes, having been redeemed from the bondage of Egypt, Israel gradually came to realize that God was to save everyone from the slavery of sin.
253. How is Christ the Redeemer of all mankind?
He is the Redeemer of all mankind because everyone who believes in Him and invokes His name can be saved.
254. How was the world redeemed by Christs blood?
God reconciled a sinful world by sending His own Son to become man precisely so that, as man, He could shed His blood for our salvation. All the bloody sacrifices of the Old Law were preludes to the one Sacrifice of Calvary.
255. How important is the name of Jesus?
Most important. It is at once a profession of faith in the incarnation, a petition for mercy, an act of adoration, the most powerful prayer of petition, and a divine promise of working miracles for those who believe in this name.
256. Why was the name Christ given to Jesus?
Because Jesus fulfilled the Messianic expectations. He is the Messiah foretold to Israel. Messiah, or Christos in the Greek, means Anointed. In the Old Testament, kings, priests, and prophets were anointed to enable them to fulfill their divine mission. Jesus humanity was anointed with the divinity to enable Him as the God-man to carry out the mission of redeeming the human race.
257. Why was Jesus born of the house of David?
In order to fulfill the Messianic prophecies. Both Mary, His virginal mother, and Joseph, His foster father, were of the family of David.
258. What was Jesus Messianic consecration?
It was twofold: to fulfill the prophecies foretold to Israel; and to accomplish the work of the worlds redemption.
259. Did all of Jesus contemporaries recognize Him as the true Messiah?
No, many saw in Him the fulfillment of their expectations for deliverance from political tyranny.
260. How is the true Messianic kingship of Christ recognized?
It is recognized only through the Cross. This was clearly revealed by Christ, who predicted His passion immediately after Peter professed his faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
III. Only Son of God
261. What is the ordinary meaning of Son of God?
As found in the Old Testament and with many of Christs contemporaries, it meant a special intimacy as an adopted child of God.
262. What did Peter mean when he professed Jesus to be the Son of God?
Under divine inspiration, he professed to believe that Jesus is literally the living God in human form. This, too, was St. Pauls profession that, from the beginning, was the center of the apostolic faith first confessed by Peter to become the foundation of the Church founded by Christ.
263. Did Jesus Claim to be one in being with God the Father?
Yes, He declared that He was the Son who alone knows the Father. He always knows the Father. He always distinguished between His relation to God as my Father and our relation to God as your Father. In fact, it was on this claim of being uniquely the Son of God that Jesus was condemned by the Sanhedrin.
264. How do we know that Jesus divine sonship was absolutely unique?
From the testimony of the Father at the baptism and transfiguration of Jesus; and from the affirmation by Jesus of His coeternal existence with the Father.
265. What was the crowning proof of Christs oneness with God the Father?
It was Christs resurrection from the dead. He laid down His life and, by the divine power He shared with the Father, He took it up again, as He had predicted.
266. What is the meaning of the word Lord as applied to Jesus in the New Testament?
It means God. We know this from the Greek Old Testament, which translated the Hebrew term for God as Kyrios (Lord). The New Testament regularly refers to Jesus as Lord.
267. How did Christs miracles testify to His divinity?
His miracles were manifestations of His own divine power, even to raising people from the dead.
268. Did Christs contemporaries profess their faith in His lordship as God?
Yes, under divine inspiration, they called Him Lord, to profess their faith in His dominion over creation. The crowning profession of this faith was that of the Apostle Thomas, who addressed the risen Savior as My Lord and my God.
269. Did the first confessions of the Christian faith speak of Jesus as Lord?
Yes, without exception. This shows the early unanimous Christian faith in Christs divinity.
270. What was implied in the early Churchs assertion of Christs lordship?
Faith was implied in Christs sovereignty, with God the Father, as Lord of the world and of human history.
271. Does Christian prayer profess the lordship of Christ?
Yes, over the centuries, the Church has prayed through Christ our Lord, and The Lord be with you, and Come, Lord Jesus.
Article 3: He Was Conceived by the Power of the Holy Spirit, and was Born of the Virgin Mary
Paragraph 1: The Son of God Became Man
I. Why the Word Became Flesh
272. Why did the Son of God become man?
II. The Incarnation
273. What is the Incarnation?
It is the enfleshment (Latin caro means flesh) of the Second Person of the Trinity. Although Christ was by nature God . . . He emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave and being made in the form of man (Phil 2:6-7). As man, Christ could submit His human will to the Father, and thus offer Himself in the sacrifice of the Cross.
274. How important is faith in the Incarnation?
It is the basic mystery of Christianity. It is also the foundation of Christian joy.
III. True God and True Man
275. How is Christ true God and true man?
The full explanation is a mystery. What we know is that Christ is not partly human and partly God, nor is He a mixture of humanity and divinity.
276. What does homoousios mean?
As defined by the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), Christ is begotten, not made, one in being (homoousios) with the Father. This was a refutation of Arius, who claimed that the Son of God was a creature who came into existence.
277. What does Theotokos mean?
As defined by the Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.), If anyone does not profess that Emmanuel is truly God and that the Holy Virgin is therefore Mother of God (Theotokos), for she gave birth in the flesh to the Word of God made flesh: let him be anathema. This was directed against Nestorians, who claimed that Christ was two persons, a human person whose mother was Mary, and the divine Second Person of the Trinity.
278. How many natures and persons are there in Christ?
As defined by the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.), We confess that one and the same Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, is to be acknowledged in two natures without distinction or change, without division or separation The distinction between His natures was not abolished by their union but the character proper to each of the two natures was preserved as they came together in one person (prosopon) and one substance (hypostasis). This was a refutation of the Monophysites, who claimed that Christs human nature ceased to exist at the Incarnation.
279. Is everything in Christs human nature to be attributed to His divine Person?
Yes, this includes not only His miracles but also His sufferings. As defined by the Fifth Council of Constantinople (553 A.D.), He who was crucified in the flesh, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is true God, Lord of glory, and one of the Holy Trinity.
280. Did Christ cease to be God when He became man?
No, as declared in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, O Christ, our God, you who by your death have crushed death, you who are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us!
IV. How Gods Son Is Human
281. How human is Christ?
He is like us in all things except sin. Yet, everything that belongs to Christ as man belongs to One of the Trinity, that is, His divine Person.
282. Does Christ have a human soul as well as a human body?
Yes, that is why the evangelist says that Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and grace. He willed to acquire for Himself what we have to learn from experience.
283. Did Christs human knowledge express the divine life of His person?
Yes, Christs human nature manifested everything that belongs to God. In His human intellect, He had the immediate knowledge of the Father and of the secret thoughts of men.
284. Did Christ as man know the eternal plan of salvation?
Yes, insofar as he came to reveal this plan to mankind.
285. How many wills does Christ have?
He has two wills, divine and human. His human will is always conformed to His divine will.
286. Are images of Christ to be venerated?
Yes, because He had a true humanity so that His finite body could be seen and can now be portrayed.
287. Whom do we honor in venerating an image of Christ?
We are honoring the reality that the image represents.
288. How does the Sacred Heart signify the love of Christ?
It signifies Christs love for His Father and for us because during His life and Passion, He knew and loved each one of us. His human heart, pierced for our salvation, symbolizes this love.
Paragraph 2: Conceived by the Power of the Holy Spirit, and Born of the Virgin Mary
I. Conceived by the Power of the Holy Spirit
289. How did the Blessed Virgin conceive her Son?
As the angel told her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you (Lk 1:35). In other words, the power of the Holy Spirit caused her to conceive the Second Person with a human nature derived from her own.
290. How was Jesus anointing with the Spirit manifested?
Gradually, from the shepherds on to His disciples, in fact, through His whole life, Jesus manifested His anointing with the Holy Spirit.
II. Born of the Virgin Mary
291. On what is our Catholic faith in Mary founded?
It is founded on what this faith believes about Christ.
292. Was Mary predestined to be the Mother of God?
Yes, from all eternity God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of His Son.
293. Was Marys mission anticipated in the Old Testament?
Yes, many humble and holy women preceded Mary to prepare the world for her mission as the humble handmaid of the Lord who became the Mother of the Most High.
294. How was Mary prepared to become the Mother of God?
She was full of grace by being endowed with a deep faith to accept her sublime dignity.
295. Has the Church become increasingly aware of Marys fullness of grace?
Yes, so much so that in 1854, Pope Pius IX defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary from the first moment of her conception [was] preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
296. How was Mary adorned with such unique holiness?
She was preredeemed in view of her divine Sons merits.
297. Did Mary ever sin?
No, as the Fathers of the Church call her, she is all holy. She was preserved by grace from ever committing any personal sin.
298. How did Mary respond to the Annunciation?
She responded with the obedience of faith. In the words of St. Irenaeus, Through her obedience, she became the cause of salvation both for herself and for the whole human race (Adversus Haereses, 3, 22, 4).
299. Does the Bible tell us that Mary is the Mother of God?
Yes. At the visitation, Elizabeth was inspired by the Holy Spirit to address Mary as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43).
300. Did the Church always believe in Marys virginity?
Yes, from apostolic times the Church has always professed that Mary conceived Christ only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
301. Was Marys virginity foretold in the Old Testament?
Yes, God promised through the prophet Isaiah that the virgin shall conceive and bear a son (Is 7:14).
302. Is Marys virginity a historical fact?
Yes, as attested by St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107 A.D.): The virginity of Mary and giving birth, like the death of the Lord: three mysteries that were accomplished in the silence of God (Letter to the Ephesians, 19, 1).
303. What is the perpetual virginity of Mary?
This means that Mary was a virgin before she conceived Jesus, in giving Him birth, and after Jesus was born.
304. What about the brothers and sisters of Jesus to which the Gospels refer?
As was common in the Old Testament, this refers to the near relatives of Jesus.
305. What is Marys spiritual motherhood?
Mary conceived and gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind. She cooperated with Him in His work of redemption. She is, therefore, the spiritual or supernatural Mother of the whole human race.
306.To what does Marys virginity testify?
It testifies to the fact that Jesus has only one Father, the First Person of the Holy Trinity.
307. How does Christ, conceived by the Virgin Mary, open the new creation?
He does so by meriting and communicating the graces we need to reach heaven, since from Him we have received grace upon grace (Jn 1:16).
308. What does Marys virginal conception of Christ signify?
It signifies Christs virginal conception of humanity in the new birth of the Holy Spirit. Our supernatural rebirth in the life of grace does not come from blood or the will of flesh or the will of man, but from God (Jn 1:13).
309. How is Marys virginity a sign of her faith?
As expressed by St. Augustine, Mary is more blessed in perceiving Christ by faith than by conceiving Him in the flesh (On Holy Virginity, 3).
310. How is Marys maternal virginity a symbol of the Church?
By preaching the Word of God and Baptism through the Holy Spirit, the Church generates children to a new and immortal life. As a virgin she preserves this faith given by the Holy Spirit.
Paragraph 3: The Mysteries of the Life of Christ
The Creed explicitly speaks only of the Incarnation and the paschal mystery of Christs Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Yet, these mysteries are the bedrock of our faith. Our purpose here will be to expand on the basic mysteries of Christmas and Easter.
I. The Whole Life of Jesus Is a Mystery
311. Why were the Gospels written?
They were written so we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and by believing, we might have life in His name.
312. Who wrote the Gospels?
The Gospels were written by the first believers in Christ, who wanted to share their faith with others. For the evangelist, every human word and action of Jesus was a sacrament or visible sign of His divinity at work in saving the world.
313. What is a common feature of Christs whole earthly life?
Everything in Christs earthly life is a revelation of Gods love for us.
314. How is Christs whole life a mystery of Redemption?
His whole life is a mystery of Redemption above all as the fruit of the blood of the Cross. But this mystery is at work in Christs whole life from the Incarnation, enriching us by His poverty, to the Resurrection, by which we are justified.
315. How is Christs life a mystery of Recapitulation?
Whatever He did, said, and suffered had the purpose of restoring fallen man to his first vocation. That is why He went through all the stages of human life to bring fallen men back to the friendship of God.
316. What is Christs purpose now?
His purpose is to share with all men the riches of His Redemption. By His Cross we were redeemed; by His Resurrection we were justified. Even now, He continues to make intercession for us before the Father.
317. How is Jesus our model?
His whole life on earth invites us to pattern our life on His.
318. Are we to share in the mysteries of Christ?
Yes. He wants us to become an extension and continuation of His mysteries. How? Through the graces He gives us and the effects He wishes to produce in us, both personally and collectively in the Church of which He is the Head.
II. Infancy and Hidden Life of Jesus
319. How was the world prepared for Christs coming?
By the prediction of the Old Testament prophets and especially by the preaching of St. John the Baptist. All of these are commemorated by the Church in her Advent liturgy.
320. What is the lesson of Christmas?
It is the lesson of childlike humility. Jesus was born in the humility of a stable, into a poor family, and first announced to simple shepherds. He lived what He later preached: that we are to become little children, reborn from above to become children of God.
321. What does Christs circumcision signify?
It signifies our Baptism, which is our circumcision in Christ.
322. What is the Epiphany?
It is the manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world. The Magi represent the pagan nations that are also called to believe the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.
323. What does Christs Presentation signify?
It signifies Israels first encounter with its Savior. It foretells the worlds opposition to Christ, and Marys sorrows in union with her Sons perfect oblation of the Cross.
324. What does Christs flight into Egypt reveal?
It reveals the opposition of darkness to the Light who is Christ. The return from Egypt symbolizes Jesus as the perfect liberator.
325. How did Jesus spend most of His life?
For most of His life, Jesus lived like the majority of His fellow Jews: in obscurity working with His hands, and observing the Jewish religious practices of the Law of God. He was obedient to His parents and grew in wisdom, age, and grace.
326. How important was the obedience of Jesus to Mary and Joseph?
Most important. It was the perfect observance of the fourth commandment. It was the prelude to Jesus perfect submission to His Heavenly Father in restoring the obedience destroyed by the disobedience of Adam.
327. How is the hidden life of the Holy Family in Nazareth a school for all Christians?
It teaches us the value of silence, the beauty of family life, and the dignity of labor.
328. What do we learn from the finding of Jesus in the Temple?
We learn that Jesus professed total dedication to His mission as the Son of God.
III. The Mysteries of the Public Life of Jesus
329. When did Jesus begin His public life?
He began His public life when He was baptized by John in the Jordan River. The voice of the heavenly Father proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God.
330. What did Christs baptism signify?
It signified His acceptance and beginning of the mission given to Him by the Father. The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus revealed the outpouring of grace that Christ merited for us by His obedience to the will of the Father.
331. How is our Baptism related to that of Jesus?
Through our Baptism, we are reborn in the likeness of Christ. Our christening makes us partners in the mystery of self-emptying and repentance as a condition for rising with Christ to eternal life.
332. What did Jesus do after His baptism?
He was led by the Holy Spirit to the desert for forty days, after which He was tempted by the evil spirit. The devils intention was to test Jesus loyalty to the Father.
333. Why was Jesus tempted by the devil?
He was tempted by the devil in order to expiate the sin of the first Adam, who was seduced by the devil. Moreover, Jesus victory over the evil spirit anticipated His final victory over that spirit by His Passion and death on Calvary.
334. What does Christs temptation reveal?
It reveals how Jesus is the true Messiah. Unlike the way Satan proposed, Jesus came to redeem the world by trial and suffering. Each year, during the forty days of Lent, we unite ourselves with Christs mystery in the desert.
335. How did Jesus inaugurate the Church?
He did so by gathering around Him those who believed in His message of salvation.
336. How is Jesus the heart of the family of God?
It was by His word and the miracles He performed that a scattered humanity began to be united. It was especially by His death and resurrection that this reunion of mankind was made possible through the Church that was born when Jesus died on the Cross.
337. Is everyone called to Christs kingdom?
Yes, however it was Gods will that this kingdom should first have been proclaimed to the children of Israel.
338. To whom does Christs kingdom belong?
It belongs to the poor and lowly in the eyes of the world. It belongs to the humble of heart. From the manger to the cross, Christ identified Himself with the hungry and the lonely.
339. Whom did Christ invite to the table of His kingdom?
He invited sinners whom He called to be converted from their evil ways and to partake of the mercy of God.
340. What was Jesus principal way of teaching?
It was through parables. At the heart of the parables is Christs call for detachment from everything in this world. We must use the talents God gave us to give ourselves interiorly to His teaching as expressed in the parables.
341. Why did Jesus work miracles?
He worked miracles to make His teaching credible. Moreover, His miracles are a promise of extraordinary blessings to those who believe in His name. Finally, His miracles were a test of sincerity, since so many refused to believe in Christ, in spite of His miraculous powers.
342. In what sense is Christ our liberator?
Christ did not come to free us from all evil. He came to deliver us from the slavery of sin.
343. Did Christ deliver the world from domination by Satan?
Yes, the exorcisms He performed were a prelude to His conquest of Satan as the prince of this world.
344. To whom did Christ entrust the keys of the kingdom of Heaven?
To St. Peter, as head of the Apostles. Although all the Apostles were entrusted with authority in the Church, only Peter was explicitly given the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. This meant supreme authority under Christ, to forgive sins, pronounce judgment in matters of doctrine, and make disciplinary decisions in the Church.
345. What was the significance of Christs transfiguration?
By His transfiguration, Christ confirmed Peters confession that Jesus is the Son of God; He revealed that He had to suffer to enter into His glory; He manifested His oneness with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Trinity; and He gave us a preview of His glorious coming on the last day to transform our body to a likeness of His glorified body.
346. Why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem?
Because Jerusalem had killed the prophets of the Old Testament and, having rejected the Messiah, would also put Him to death.
347. What did Jesus wish to teach us by His triumphal entry into Jerusalem?
He revealed the coming of the kingdom that He would establish by His death and Resurrection.
Article 4: Jesus Christ Suffered Under Pontius Pilate, was Crucified, Died, and was Buried
348. How is the paschal mystery at the center of the Gospel proclaimed to the world?
It was by His passion and death that Christ redeemed the world. There could be no good news of salvation without the historical sufferings of the Son of God.
I. Jesus and Israel
349. Why was Jesus rejected by some of the leaders of Israel?
Because they thought He was indifferent to full obedience of their Law, to the centrality of the Temple in divine worship, and to faith in one God whose glory no human being can share.
350. How did Jesus relate to Gods Law given on Mount Sinai?
He not only accepted this Law but He brought it to fulfillment, as He explained in the Sermon on the Mount.
351. How did Jesus bring the Law of the Old Testament to fulfillment?
He did so in several ways:
352. What was Jesus attitude toward the Temple?
It was uniformly reverent and respectful. As a child, He was presented in the Temple. At the age of twelve, He decided to stay on in the Temple. He drove out the money-changers who were desecrating the Temple. In His preaching, He stressed how the Temple was supposed to be a house of prayer.
353. Why did Jesus foretell the destruction of the Temple?
He did so to predict the dawn of a new age in salvation history. Moreover, He wished to emphasize the fact that He Himself was the perfect dwelling place of God among His people.
354. How did Jesus mainly scandalize His contemporaries?
It was by His claim to forgive sins on His own authority. In so doing, He professed to possess divine power, since, as His enemies declared, no one but God can forgive sins.
II. The Passion
355. How were the Jews divided regarding Jesus?
In general, there were two basic attitudes. Many favored Jesus, including Jewish leaders like the Pharisee Nicodemus. Others, especially those in religious authority, not only rejected Jesus but were positively hostile and directly responsible for Christs crucifixion.
356. Were the Jews, as a body, responsible for Jesus execution?
No, neither all the Jews in Christs time, nor the Jews living today, can be held collectively guilty of Christs unjust condemnation and death. Consequently, the Jews are not to be considered as somehow rejected by God for what occurred in the Passion of Christ.
357. Who, then, were the authors of Christs Passion?
They are all the sinners who may be called the instruments of the sufferings endured by the Savior.
358. How is Christs death part of Gods mysterious providence?
As St. Peter says, Christ was handed over to His enemies according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23). Human malice is also part of divine providence, where God allows evil as the occasion for great good, here of our salvation, as a result of the hatred of Christs enemies.
359. How did Christ become sin for us?
He did so by freely assuming the penalty of death for the original sin of our first parents. That is why the Second Person of the Trinity assumed a human nature, in order to expiate the sins of the human race.
360. What are the two main features of Gods redemptive love for us?
His love is totally undeserved and universal.
361. When did Christ sacrifice Himself for our redemption?
It was not only on the Cross but from the first moment of His conception to His death on Calvary. The Crucifixion was simply the consummation of His lifelong sacrifice for our sins.
362. How is Christ the Paschal Lamb?
He is the fulfillment of the centuries of sacrifice of the lamb at the annual Jewish Passover. As the sacrifice of the lamb delivered the Israelites from the avenging angel in Egypt, so the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary delivered the sinful human race from the justice of God.
363. How did Christ redeem the world by His humanity?
He did so in several ways:
364. How are we to participate in the sacrifice of Christ?
We do so in three ways:
III. Christs Burial
365. What happened when Jesus died?
His soul separated from His body until it was reunited with the body on Easter Sunday.
366. Why was Christs body laid in the tomb?
For two main reasons:
367. Did Christs body decay in the grave?
No, as evidenced by His rising on the third day. The early Christians believed that a dead body begins to decay on the fourth day.
368. How are we buried with Christ?
By our Baptism, which restores us to the life of grace lost by the sin of our first parents.
Article 5: Jesus Christ Descended into Hell, and on the Third Day He Rose Again.
369. Why are Christs resurrection and descent to the dead in the same article of the Creed?
Because Christ restored life precisely by descending to the depths of the dead.
I. Christs Descent
370. What do we mean by Christs descent?
We mean three things:
II. Christs Resurrection
371. How is Christs Resurrection the crowning mystery of our faith?
Because by rising from the dead, Christ gave the highest proof of the truth of all His teaching.
372. Was the Resurrection of Christ both a historical and transcendent event?
Yes, His resurrection was certainly historical, as all the evidence of Scripture testifies:
373. What was the condition of Christs risen humanity?
Although he was truly the same Christ, He was now glorified. His body was transfigured, immortal, able to move at will through space. He became, in the words of St. Paul, a heavenly man.
374. How was Christs Resurrection the work of the Holy Trinity?
All three Persons cooperated in the Resurrection of Christ. They exercised Their almighty power no less than in the creation of the world.
375. What is the significance of Christs Resurrection?
The resurrection of Christ:
Article 6: He Ascended into Heaven and is Seated at the Right Hand of the Father
376. How was Christs glorified humanity veiled during the forty days before the Ascension?
By revealing all of its natural human traits, like eating and drinking and talking with His disciples.
377. How was Christs glory elevated by His Ascension?
It was elevated in its manifestation by vision to the angels and saints in heaven, in contrast to its manifestation by faith to the disciples on earth.
378. How is Christs Ascension related to the Incarnation?
The Ascension completed Christs mission of salvation. He came from heaven to merit our supernatural destiny. He returned to heaven to communicate to us the graces we need to reach heaven.
379. What does it mean that Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
It means three things:
Article 7: He Will Come Again to Judge the Living and the Dead
380. Does the kingdom of Christ already exist?
Yes, Christ is already Head of the kingdom He came to establish. He is King of the Church Triumphant, Militant, and Suffering. On all three levels, Christ is the Ruler and Judge of His people. We therefore cannot say that His kingdom has yet to come into existence.
381. Has Christs kingdom reached its fulfillment?
No, for several reasons:
382. Are the Jews still to accept the Messiah?
Yes, over the centuries, the Chosen People have, in large measure, rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah. Sts. Peter and Paul speak of an eventual acceptance of Jesus by the Jews as their Lord and Redeemer.
383. Will there be a final trial for the Church on earth?
Yes, this is the teaching of Christ as recorded by the evangelists and St. Paul. The faithful will be tried by opposition and persecution. The final victory over the forces of evil will shake the world to its foundations.
384. By what right will Christ judge the world on the last day?
It is by the right of His Cross. Having suffered and died for our salvation, Christ has the right to determine our eternal destiny. But He will judge us according to our own free decision to accept or reject the graces of His merciful love.
Chapter Three: I Believe in the Holy Spirit
The third and last part of the Apostles Creed is our profession of faith in the Holy Spirit. We believe in the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, as the Spirit by whom Our Lady conceived her Divine Son, as the Spirit promised by Christ to those who profess that Jesus is their Lord and Redeemer, and as the Spirit who animates the Church as the Soul of the Mystical Body of Christ.
Article 8: I Believe in the Holy Spirit
385. How do we come to know the Holy Spirit who is dwelling and acting in the Church?
We come to know the Holy Spirit:
386. How are the missions of Christ and the Holy Spirit related?
Both Christ and the Holy Spirit were sent among men but in different ways:
387. What are some of the titles of the Holy Spirit?
He is known as the Paraclete, who is near, as the Advocate, who defends and consoles, and as the Spirit of Truth. He is also called the Spirit of promise, of adoption, of Christ, of wisdom, of God, of the Lord, and the Spirit of glory.
388. What are the principal symbols of the Holy Spirit?
The principal symbols are:
389. Where was the Spirit of promise revealed in the Old Testament?
In the Law of the first five books of the Bible, in the prophets, and especially in the wisdom literature and the Psalms.
390. How is the Spirit of promise revealed?
It is revealed:
391. What are some of the promised qualities of the Spirit of the Messiah?
He shall have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
392. How did the Holy Spirit use John the Baptist as the precursor of Christ?
He did so in several ways:
393. How is the Blessed Virgin full of grace?
The Blessed Virgin is full of grace because:
394. How did Jesus promise the Holy Spirit?
Jesus distinguished between what He openly told His disciples and what He gradually disclosed to the multitudes about the Holy Spirit. When the hour came for His Passion, He clearly made the promise of sending the Holy Spirit, who was to fulfill the mission entrusted to Christ by the Father.
395. When was Christs promise of the Holy Spirit fulfilled?
On Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Trinity was fully revealed, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, who then proclaimed Christ to the world. By believing in Him, the world began to share in the communion of the Holy Trinity.
396. How is the Holy Spirit Gods gift to us?
By His giving us the Holy Spirit:
397. How is the Church related to the Holy Spirit?
Article 9: I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church
Our faith in the Church depends entirely on our faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit. Christ is the light of the Church, even as the Church is where the Holy Spirit is flourishing.
Our faith in the Church as one, holy, Catholic and apostolic also depends on our faith in God, whose goodness is the source of these gifts of the Church.
398. What does the word Church mean?
Literally, it means a religious assembly, from the Greek ecclesia. Our English word church comes from the Greek kyriake, meaning what belongs to the Lord. For Christians, Church means the community of Christs faithful.
399. What are some biblical symbols of the Church?
Among others, the most important speak of the Church as:
400. What is the history of the Churchs formation and consummation?
401. What is the mystery of the Church?
The Church is a mystery because:
402. How is the Church the universal sacrament of salvation?
The Church is the universal sacrament of salvation because she is the visible channel of grace to the whole human race.
403. How is the Church the People of God?
She is the People of god in seven basic ways:
404. How are Christians a priestly, prophetic and kingly people?
Basically, by participating in the three offices of Christ as Priest, Prophet, and King.
405. How is the Church the Body of Christ?
She is the Body of Christ because:
406. How is the Church the temple of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the Soul of the Church as her principle of supernatural life, even as the soul is the principle of the natural life of our body. No less than a human soul animates a human body, the Holy spirit animates the Church and enables her to grow in grace through the sacraments, the virtues He infuses, and the charisms He confers.
407. What are charisms?
They are special graces that the Holy Spirit gives the Churchs members for the building up of the Mystical Body. These charisms are to be humbly accepted but are always subject to discernment by the shepherds of the Church.
408. What are the four basic marks of the Church?
They are the Churchs characteristics, identifying her as the true Church because she is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
409. How is the Church one?
She is one because:
410. Where is this one Church of Christ?
This one true Church of Christ abides in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of St. Peter and the bishops in communion with him.
411. Has this unity been wounded?
Yes, from the Churchs beginning to the present day, there have been many dissensions. Yet, all the baptized are incorporated into Christ. Among these separated Christians, there are many elements of sanctification and truth that come from Christ and are calls to Christian unity.
412. How are Catholics to promote Christian unity?
413. How is the Church holy?
414. How is the Church catholic?
She is catholic because she is universal in two distinct ways:
415. How is each particular church catholic?
By virtue of Christs presence in every diocese or eparchy. This presence gives each local church a share in the universal Churchs unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity.
416. Who belongs to the Catholic Church?
Everyone who is validly baptized and believes in Christ belongs to the Catholic Church. However, only those belong fully as members of the Church who accept her whole structure and all her means of salvation, and are united by the bonds of faith, sacraments, and obedience to the bishops under the Bishop of Rome.
417. How does the Catholic Church look upon non-Christians?
While respecting all non-Christians, her estimate differs for different people.
418. How are we to understand the Catholic doctrine that outside the Church there is no salvation?
It means that whoever reaches heaven is saved through the Catholic Church as the universal sacrament of salvation.
419. What is the Churchs mission?
Her mission is to proclaim the Gospel to all peoples. This is a duty that:
420. How is the Church apostolic?
She is apostolic in three principal ways;
421. How are bishops successors of the Apostles?
Bishops trace their heritage, by divine institution, to the original twelve men whom Christ ordained at the Last Supper and commissioned to ordain successors in the episcopate until the end of time. Like the original twelve under Peter, so the bishops are to be united under his successor, the Roman Pontiff.
422. What is the Churchs apostolate?
It is nothing less than to extend the kingdom of Christ to the ends of the earth. Its goal is the heavenly Jerusalem, where the Church will reach her perfection in the City of God.
423. Is there a true equality among the members of the Church?
Yes, because all are reborn in Christ and united by Christ in His Mystical Body.
424. What is the Churchs ministry?
The Churchs ministry was instituted by Christ to provide a means of grace through the sacraments, to give the Church authority and mission, and to enable her to guide her members to their eternal destiny.
425. How important is the sacramental ministry?
It is the essence of the Church. Thus, without Baptism, there would be no membership in the Church; through the Sacrament of Penance, sinners are reconciled with God; the Sacrifice of Calvary is renewed in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
426. What is the college of bishops?
It is the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church united under the pope as an Episcopal community. This community of pope and bishops, and the bishops among themselves, was created by Christ and therefore belongs, by divine right, to the nature of the Church He founded.
427. What is the position of the pope in the college of bishops?
As taught by the Second Vatican Council, the pope is Peters successor and Bishop of Rome. He is the perpetual and visible principle and basis of the unity of both the bishops and the multitude of the faithful. By virtue of his office as Vicar of Christ, [he] possesses full, supreme, and universal power, which he may always exercise freely over the Church (Constitution on the Church, 22-23).
428. What is the role of the bishops?
As an Episcopal college or community, bishops exercise their power over the whole Church in an ecumenical council. As individual bishops, they exercise pastoral care over the people in their diocese or ecclesiastical jurisdiction. But in all cases, their authority depends on union with the Bishop of Rome.
429. What is the teaching office of the bishops?
With priests as co-workers, bishops have as their primary duty to teach the fullness of the Gospel with Christs authority.
430. What is the Churchs Magisterium?
It is the Churchs teaching authority, which Christ assures will lead Gods people to the fullness of the truth without error.
431. When is the Churchs Magisterium infallible?
It is infallible when the pope, as visible head of the Church, pronounces a doctrine in faith or morals as definitive.
Although the bishops, taken individually, do not enjoy the privilege of infallibility, they do, however, proclaim infallibly the doctrine of Christ on the following conditions: namely, when even though dispersed throughout the world by preserving for all that amongst themselves and with Peters successor the bond of communion, in their authoritative teaching concerning matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement that a particular teaching is to be held definitely and absolutely. This is still more clearly the case when, assembled in an ecumenical council, they are for the universal Church, teachers of and judges in matters of faith and morals, whose decisions must be adhered to with the loyal and obedient assent of faith (Lumen Gentium, 3, 25).
432. What is religious assent?
This is the acceptance of a doctrine that the Church does not propose definitively.
433. How do bishops exercise their office of governing the People of God?
They do so as delegates of Christ. Their power to govern belongs to them as bishops, although regulated by the authority of the pope. Christ, the Good Shepherd, is their model and inspiration.
434. Who are the laity?
They are all baptized members who are not in sacred orders or in consecrated religious life.
435. What is the vocation of the laity?
Their distinct vocation is to promote the kingdom of God in the temporal affairs of life in accordance with the mind of Christ.
436. Why is the apostolate of the laity necessary?
Because the laity are directly involved in the social, political, and economic affairs of the world, which they are to influence in accordance with Christian doctrine.
437. How are the laity entrusted with the apostolate?
Baptism and Confirmation give them the right and the duty, as individuals and as groups, to bring the teachings of Christ into the world.
438. How do the laity share in Christs priestly office?
By their lives of sacrifice in union with Christs sacrifice on the Cross, joined with Him in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
439. How do the laity share in Christs prophetic office?
By their zealous evangelization and catechesis; by their use of the media to proclaim Christ; and by sharing the faith with their daily contact and conversation with the world in which they live.
440. Should laypeople share their religious views with their pastors?
Yes, they have the right and sometimes the duty of doing so. They have the same responsibility to make their views known among the faithful.
441. How do the laity share in Christs kingly office?
They are to exercise their influence to improve the structures of secular society that lead people into sin and do all they can to invest the human condition with moral values based on the law of God. All of this presumes that the laity have developed self-mastery according to the mind of Christ.
442. What is the consecrated life?
It is a life dedicated to the profession of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience.
443. What is the religious state?
It is consecrated life in which the members of a community dedicate themselves to follow Christ more closely, give themselves to God, who is love above all things, and pursue the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God, in order to proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.
444. Why are there different forms of consecrated life?
In order to glorify the manifold attributes of God and serve the varied needs in the vineyard of the Lord.
445. What is the eremetical life?
It is a life withdrawn from the world in order to serve God and souls through silent solitude, constant prayer, and penance. Hermits bear witness in a special way to the glory of Christ crucified.
446. What are consecrated virgins?
They are women who dedicate themselves to a virginal life in the world (or cloister). By prayer, penance, and apostolic service to others, they are consecrated by the bishop as an image of the heavenly bride and of the life of the world to come.
447. What is religious life?
It is consecrated life characterized by its distinctive worship of God, public profession of the evangelical counsels, community life, and witness to Christs union with the Church. Over the centuries, religious have been outstanding in spreading the faith and establishing churches throughout the world.
448. What are secular institutes?
They are forms of consecrated life whose members sanctify the world (saeculum) from within. They serve as a leaven in the world by directing their prayer and union with God to animate the world by the power of the Gospel.
449. What are societies of apostolic life?
They are associations of the faithful who, without religious vows, pledge themselves to live together according to the evangelical counsels. Their purpose is to engage in the apostolate defined by their constitutions.
450. What is the mission of consecrated life?
It is to proclaim the advent of Christ the King. This means first being faithful to ones consecration, and thus cooperating in the Churchs apostolate. The final purpose is to witness to Christs Redemption and His Second Coming, to establish the eternal kingdom of Heaven.
451. What is the Communion of Saints?
It is the Catholic Church, seen as an assembly of holy persons who share their spiritual possessions.
452. What is the meaning of communion of spiritual goods?
In the early Church, the followers of Christ lived in fellowship, or community, which we may call communion of spiritual goods (Acts 2:44). Thus they shared:
453. What is the communion of the Church of heaven and earth?
There are three states of the Church: Militant on earth; Suffering in purgatory, and Triumphant in heaven. There is, therefore, a three-way communication among the three states:
Thus, we form the one family of God for the praise of the Holy Trinity.
454. How is Mary the Mother of the Church?
Mary is Mother of the Church in every conceivable sense:
455. What should be our devotion to the Blessed Virgin?
Our devotion to her is:
Article 10: I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins
The Apostles Creed associates the forgiveness of sins not only with the Holy Spirit by whose divine power sins are remitted, but also with the Church to which Christ entrusted the authority to reconcile sinners with God.
456. What are the two basic sacraments for the forgiveness of sins?
They are Baptism and Penance. Through Baptism we are restored to Gods friendship and provided with grace to resist our sinful inclinations. Penance reconciles the baptized with an offended God.
457. What is the power of the keys?
It is the power that Christ gave the Church through the Apostles and their successors in the episcopate and priesthood to restore sinners to friendship with God.
Article 11: I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body
As followers of Christ who rose from the dead, we believe that, like Him, we too shall be reunited in body and soul on the last day. Our resurrection, like that of the Savior, will be the work of the Holy Trinity.
458. What was the progressive revelation of the resurrection?
This was the gradual development of Gods revealing the fact of mans final resurrection from the dead. Already in the Old Testament, the Maccabean martyrs professed that the King of the world will raise us up, who died for His laws in the resurrection of eternal life (2 Mc 7:9).
In the New Testament, Christ declared that He was the resurrection and the life and that those who eat His Body and drink His Blood will be raised by Him from the dead.
In the Early Church, there was strong opposition to faith in the resurrection of the body. Hence the long defense of this truth by St. Paul (I Cor 15:1-58).
459. How will the dead rise back to life?
They will rise to life by the almighty power of God reuniting their souls with their bodies. However, these bodies will be transformed. Explaining St. Pauls description (I Cor 15:42-44), the Church identifies four qualities of the risen body:
460. When will the resurrection take place?
On the last day of the present human race.
461. What does it mean to be risen with Christ?
It means that our resurrection is one of the fruits of Christs death and resurrection; that the risen Christ has been interceding for us in heaven to obtain our resurrection; that our reception of the risen Christ in the Eucharist has gained the graces we need to rise glorious from the dead; that His Resurrection is the guarantee of our rising from the grave; and that already in this life, our bodies and souls belong to Christ.
462. What is death?
Article 12: I Believe in Life Everlasting
Our Christian faith enables us to view death not as the end or finish of our life but as the entrance into everlasting life.
In the Prayer of Commendation at a funeral, the Church closes her liturgy with the confident hope: May you see your Redeemer face to face.
463. What is the particular judgment?
It is the judgment made by God declaring whether a person who has just died will go to heaven, hell, or purgatory.
464. What is heaven?
Heaven is the place of perfect happiness where the souls of the just see the face of God even before the resurrection of the body. Heaven is the eternal community of love with the Holy Trinity, Our Lady, the angels, and the saints. Heaven is the kingdom of God, which Christ merited for us by His Passion and death.
465. What is purgatory?
Purgatory is the state of purification that souls must undergo in order to have the holiness necessary to enter heaven. Infallibly defined by the Church, the existence of purgatory is supported by Sacred Scripture, especially by the Old Testament teaching that it is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins (2 Mc 12:46).
466. Why do we pray for the dead?
We pray for the dead because we are not sure they are already in heaven. We believe the souls in purgatory need our prayers, especially through the Sacrifice of the Mass, both to mitigate their suffering and to hasten their entrance into heaven.
467. What is hell?
Hell is eternal separation from God for those who die unrepentant for their mortal sins.
468. What is the principal lesson of hell?
It teaches us to use our free will according to the will of God in order to reach our heavenly destiny.
469. Does God predestine anyone to hell?
No, only a willful persistence in mortal sin can deserve eternal punishment. God wants everyone to be saved; He wants no one to perish in hell.
470. What is the Last Judgment?
The Last Judgment will come at the end of the world. The whole human race will witness the public manifestation of each persons good and evil actions, and their consequences. The Last Judgment will be a cosmic revelation of Gods mercy and justice on the family of mankind. Jesus Christ will make this revelation as King of the Universe.
471. What are the new heaven and the new earth?
472. Do we know the time and manner of these transformations?
No, except that we know that they will take place, and that the final resurrection refers not only to our human bodies but, in a mysterious sense, to all of visible creation.
473. What is the significance of the word Amen at the close of the Apostles Creed?
Amen literally means So be it in Hebrew. It is the last word of the Bible. In the Creed, it means both Gods fidelity to us and our confidence in Him. We may say that Christ Himself is the definitive Amen of the Fathers love for us. Christ is therefore the perfect synthesis of our faith. Whatever else we believe is summarized in Him, our incarnate God.
Copyright © 1999 Inter Mirifica
Home | Directory | Eucharist | Divine Training | Testimonials | Visit Chapel | Hardon Archives
Adorers Society | PEA Manual | Essentials of Faith | Dictionary | Thesaurus | Catalog | Newsletters