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Questions and Answers

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Catholic Questions and Answers

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Who is a Christian?
A Christian is one who is baptized and believes and professes the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

What does the word “Christian” mean?
This word means a follower of Jesus Christ.

Who is a Catholic?
A Catholic is one who is baptized, and who believes and professes the doctrine of Jesus Christ as taught by the Roman Catholic Church.

What is distinctive about being a Catholic Christian?
A Catholic Christian accepts all the means of salvation given to the church by Christ together with her entire organization.

What are the means of salvation given to the Church by Christ?
The means of salvation given to the Church by Christ are profession of faith in God’s revelation, reception of the sacraments, obedience to the ecclesiastical government, and communion among the members, as instituted by Christ who rules the Church through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops.

What are our duties as Catholic Christians?
As Catholic Christians we have duties toward God, toward our neighbor and toward ourselves.

What are our principal duties toward God?
Our principal duties toward God are to love God the Father with all our hearts and keep His commandments; to believe and profess the doctrine of God the Son and imitate His virtues; to respect the presence of the Holy Spirit in our souls, and to be faithful to His inspirations.

What are the principal duties toward our neighbor?
The principal duties toward our neighbor are that we are to love others as we love ourselves and, in fact, we are to love one another as Christ has loved us, that is, with complete selflessness and generosity.

What are our principal duties toward ourselves?
The principal duties toward ourselves are to strive to overcome our sins, faults and imperfections and, with God’s grace, to be clothed with the virtues of Jesus Christ.

What is the sign of a Catholic Christian?
The sign of the cross is the sign of a Catholic Christian.

How is the sign of the cross the sign of a Catholic Christian?
The sign of the cross is the sign of a Catholic Christian because it testifies to the faith that inspires him and, on the Church’s authority, comes the promise of God’s help, always in spirit and often also temporally and in body.

What is the power of the sign of the cross?
The power of the sign of the cross is to put the devil to flight, to banish or weaken temptation, and to draw down God’s blessing on those who make it with devotion.

How should we make the sign of the cross?
We should make the sign of the cross with lively sentiments of faith and loving confidence in the Holy Trinity.

When should we make the sign of the cross?
The sign of the cross should be made at the beginning and end of all our prayers, and actions, and especially in times of danger and temptation.

What is the foundation of the Christian Religion?
Divine faith is the foundation of the Christian Religion.

What does divine faith mean?
Divine faith is an accent of the mind in co-operation with grace and free will by which we believe in all that God has revealed.

What is meant by divine revelation?
Divine revelation is the manifestation which God has made to us of what we should know about Him and His will in our regard, and how we are to worship Him.

Why is this revelation called divine?
This revelation is called divine because it comes from God and leads us to the possession of God.

How has God revealed Himself to us?
God has revealed Himself to us in two ways, naturally and supernaturally.

Where does the Bible tell us about natural revelation?
The Bible tells us about natural revelation in the Old and New Testament. Thus we are told that “naturally stupid are all men who have not known God and who, from the good things that are seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is” (Wisdom 13:1). And St. Paul writes that “ever since God created the world, His everlasting power and deity – however invisible – have been there for the mind to see in the things He has made” (Romans 1:20).

What does natural revelation mean?
Natural revelation is the knowledge that we acquire about God by human reason through the wonderful works of His creation.

Why is it called natural?
It is called natural because man can rise to a certain knowledge of God by the light of his native reason through reflection on the objects and activities of nature.

How is supernatural revelation defined?
Supernatural revelation is the knowledge that God discloses about Himself beyond what we know of Him by our reason.

Why is it called supernatural?
It is called supernatural because God directly inspires the prophet or sacred writer and thus invests him with a share in His own divine authority to communicate the word of God to the rest of mankind.

What is the purpose of supernatural revelation?
The purpose of supernatural revelation is that God might communicate Himself and the eternal decrees of His will for the salvation and sanctification of the human race.

Did God have to give us a supernatural revelation?
No, God did not have to give us a supernatural revelation. But in His love He wanted to help us know Him.

How does revelation help us to know God better?
Revelation helps us to know God better than we could know Him naturally. It enables all of us to arrive at the knowledge of God, with ease, with firm certainty, and without contamination of error.

Is this the only function of supernatural revelation?
No, besides helping us to know Him better than we could naturally, God also wanted to reveal His mysteries.

What is a mystery?
A mystery is a supernatural truth which is impossible for any creature even to conceive before revelation or fully to comprehend after it has been revealed.

Why have mysteries been revealed?
God revealed mysteries to offer us the means of reaching our supernatural destiny which is heaven.

What do we mean by “free response?”
By “free response” we mean that man offers to God the obedience of his free will agrees and co-operates with God’s grace, when he could resist it.

What is our free response to God’s revealed word?
Our free response to God’s revealed word is called divine faith.

How is divine faith possible?
Divine faith is possible because God gives us the grace to believe. We are enabled to listen to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, who enlightens the mind and moves the will and thus makes it easy for us to accept what God has revealed.

How can our faith be deepened?
Our faith can be deepened by prayer, study, and the practice of what we believe.

What does it mean to have our faith deepened?
To have our faith deepened means that we are able to understand better the meaning of what we believe, to see the truths of faith more clearly and extensively, to adhere to them more firmly, and to put them into more effective practice in our Christian lives.

What should be the motive of our faith?
The motive or basic reason for our faith in what God has revealed is the authority of God Himself.

What is the authority of God as the motive for our faith?
The authority of God as the motive for our faith is His infinite wisdom and truthfulness.

How is God’s wisdom a motive for divine faith?
God’s wisdom is a motive for divine faith because we are ready to believe in God who knows all things and therefore cannot be deceived.

How is God’s truthfulness a motive for our faith?
God’s truthfulness is a motive for our faith because we are also ready to believe in God who is all good and therefore would not deceive us.

How do we know that our motive of faith is reasonable?
We know that our motive of faith is reasonable because we can know from reason that God exists and that He actually made a revelation.

How can we know from reason that God exists?
We can know from reason that God exists by concluding from the effects in the universe to the existence of a First Cause who is Himself not caused.

How can we know from reason that God actually made a revelation?
We can know from reason that God actually made a revelation by seeing the miracles that God has worked to confirm the fact of revelation.

How do miracles confirm the fact of revelation?
Miracles confirm the fact of revelation by testifying to the truthfulness of one who claims to be communicating what God revealed to him.

How do miracles testify to the truthfulness of one who claims to have received a revelation?
Miracles testify to the truthfulness of one who claims to have received a revelation by showing that God is really with that person.

How do miracles show that God is really with a person?
Miracles show that God is really with a person because, since only God can work a miracle, He would be confirming the untruth if He worked a miracle in favor of a false prophet.

How is faith a form of obedience to God?
Faith is a form of obedience to God because in faith man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of intellect and will, and then freely assenting to the truth communicated by God.

Is faith necessary for salvation?
Yes, faith is necessary for salvation because “it is impossible to please God without faith, since anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who try to find” (Hebrews 11:6).

How are faith and revelation related?
Faith and revelation are related as cause and effect. God reveals Himself to us and if we respond, we believe.

What must a Catholic believe with divine faith?
A Catholic must believe with divine faith the whole of revelation, which is contained in the written word of God and is Sacred Tradition.

Why is divine faith called Catholic?
Divine faith is called catholic or universal because a believer must accept everything God has revealed. He may not be selective about what he chooses to believe.

What do we mean by the written word of God?
By the written word of God we mean the Bible written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

How is the Bible inspired?
The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit in such a way that it should rightly be called the word of God.

Why should the Bible be called the word of God?
The Bible should be called the word of God because God so directs the mind, will and other faculties of the sacred author that he writes what God wants him to write and no more.

Is God therefore the author of the Bible?
Yes, God is the author of the Bible.

Is God the only author of the Bible?
No, God is not the only author of the Bible. The human writer is responsible for the Bible.

How is the human writer also responsible for the Bible?
The human writer is also responsible for the Bible because God does not interfere with his freedom or other distinctively human and personal qualities.

Is the Bible therefore both a divine and human writing?
Yes, the Bible is divine in so far as it is inspired by God and human in so far as it is written by a human being.

Does the Bible contain any errors?
No, the books of the Bible firmly, faithfully and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to sacred Scriptures.

Is the whole Bible and every part of it inspired?
Yes, “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, and equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

How does the Bible show it is also a human writing?
The Bible shows it is also a human writing by reflecting such features as are typical of human beings.

What are some of the human features reflected in the Bible?
Some of the human features reflected in the Bible are the experience, education, environment and point of view of the biblical writer.

Were the biblical writers protected from saying anything untrue?
Yes, the Holy Spirit protected the biblical writers from writing any positive falsehood.

How is the Bible to be interpreted?
The Bible is to be interpreted in the spirit in which it was produced. As a divinely inspired document it must be treated with reverence due to the word of God. As a humanly written document it may be studied as a literary composition. On both levels, however, it must be interpreted according to the mind and directions of the hierarchical Church.

How is the Bible divided?
The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments.

What is the Old Testament?
The Old Testament is the covenant which God made with the Israelites, and which lasted until the time of Christ.

How many books are there in the Old Testament Scriptures?
There are forty-seven books in the Old Testament Scriptures, as follows:

        The Pentateuch    –    Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
  Historical Books    –    Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel(2), Kings (2), Chronicles (2), Ezra,
Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Maccabees (2)
  Wisdom Books    –    Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom,
  The Prophets    –    Isiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel,
Amos, Obediah, Jonah, Micah, Nahus, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah, Malachi

What is the dominant theme of the Old Testament?
The dominant theme of the Old Testament is Messianic. Its books prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men, and the Kingdom of God that He was to establish.

How is the Old Testament related to the New Testament?
God, the inspirer and author of both Testaments has brought it about that the New should be hidden in the Old and that the Old should be made manifest in the New.

What is the New Testament?
The New Testament is the covenant which God has made with the whole human race, through the mediation of His Son, Jesus Christ.

How many books are contained in the New Testament?
The New Testament contains twenty-seven books, as follows: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; the Acts of the Apostles by Luke; St. Paul’s letters to the Romans, Corinthians (2), Galatians, Ephesians, Phillippians, Collosians, Thessaloaians (2), Timothy (2), Titus, Philemon, Hebrews; the letters of James, Peter (2), John (3), Jude; and the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse by John.

Why are the books of the Bible said to be canonical?
The books of the Bible are said to be canonical because, according to the Church’s decision (canon), they are to be regarded as inspired. They were written, whole and entire, with all their parts, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

What is Sacred Tradition?
Sacred Tradition is the unwritten word of God that the apostles received through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and, under His guidance, the Church has handed on to the faithful.

What was handed on from the apostles to the faithful?
What was handed on from the apostles to the faithful comprises everything that serves to make the People of God live their lives in holiness and increase their faith.

How has Sacred Tradition been handed on?
Sacred Tradition, which is divine revelation in oral form, has been handed on by the Church’s doctrine, life, and worship.

What is the Church’s role in Sacred Tradition?
The Church’s role in Sacred Tradition is to perpetuate and transmit to every generation all that the Church herself is and all that she believes.

Why is Sacred Tradition of equal authority with the Bible?
The Bible and Sacred Tradition are of equal authority because they are equally the word of God; both draw on the vision of God incarnate, who gave to the apostles what He came down on earth to teach.

In what way does Sacred Tradition differ from Sacred Scripture?
Sacred Tradition differs from Sacred Scripture in that it is a living reality while Sacred Scripture is a tangible product contained in the inspired books.

Who is divinely authorized to interpret Scripture and Tradition?
The infallible teaching authority of the Church, the guardian of revealed truth, is divinely authorized to interpret Scripture and Tradition.

Why should the Scriptures be read frequently?
The Scriptures should be read frequently because of the force and power of the word of God which they contain. It can serve the Church as her support and vigor and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of the spiritual life.

What is the most eminent part of Sacred Scripture? Why?
The most eminent part of Sacred Scripture is the Gospels because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our Savior.

What is sacred doctrine?
Sacred doctrine is the Church’s authentic teaching of divine revelation.

How is sacred doctrine the Church’s authentic teaching?
Sacred doctrine is the Church’s authentic teaching in so far as the Church authoritatively proposes it to all the faithful for their belief and practice.

How is revelation related to sacred doctrine?
What the Church teaches as sacred doctrine is always related to divine revelation, which the Church either presents or defines, concludes from or defends, explains or uses – for the spiritual welfare of the People of God.

Is there a development of sacred doctrine?
Yes, there is development of sacred doctrine in the Church’s ever greater appreciation of what God has once and for all revealed to the human race.

Has there been any addition to the revelation handed on by the apostles?
No, there has not been any addition to the public revelation handed on by the apostles. The revelation of what the world needs to be saved and sanctified was completed with the death of the last apostle.

How was revelation completed with the apostolic age?
Revelation was completed with the apostolic age in that Christ is the fulfillment of all the prophecies before Him, and His Incarnation is the perfect self-manifestation of God to the human race.

How, then, does development of doctrine take place?
Development of doctrine takes place in the minds of the faithful, under the guidance of the bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome.

What does this mean?
This means that the Sacred Tradition which comes from the apostles makes progress in the Church, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

What does this progress consist in?
This progress consists in a growth in insight into the words and realities that are passed on.

How does this growth in insight come about?
This growth in insight comes about in four ways, namely, through prayerful contemplation, through study and research by scholars faithful to the Church’s teaching, from the intimate sense of spiritual realities that comes from lived experience, and from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth.

Among these sources of doctrinal development, which is the most important?
The most important of these sources of true dogmatic development is the preaching of the bishops.

Why is the preaching of the bishops the most important source of doctrinal progress?
The preaching of bishops, under the Bishop of Rome, is the most important source of doctrinal progress because the hierarchy is the divinely authorized guardian of revealed truth. Its teaching determines whether there is true development of doctrine and how the development is to be understood.

Is the Church, therefore, advancing in the possession of revealed truth?
Yes, as the centuries go by, the Church is always advancing toward the plenitude of divine truth, until eventually the words of God are fulfilled in her.

Who is God?
God is a pure and infinitely perfect divine spirit, Creator of all things, and sovereign master of heaven and earth.

What is meant by pure spirit?
Pure spirit means that God is immaterial. He has no body or corporeal dimensions.

What does infinitely perfect spirit mean?
Infinitely perfect spirit means that God is personal in the sense of possessing what we commonly identify as the basic quality of a person. He has a mind with which He thinks and a will by which He loves. He is a divine being who has no beginning and no end. He is always completely and totally Himself.

How do we know that God exists?
We know that God exists from divine revelation and by the light of reason.

How can we know from reason that God exists?
We can know from reason that God exists from the consideration of the created things of the world. Therefore, reason can rise to a certain knowledge of God.

What does revelation tell us about the existence of God?
Revelation tells us that God made Himself known to man at various times and in different ways through the prophets, and finally manifested Himself personally in Jesus Christ.

What is meant by the attributes of God?
The attributes of God are the perfections He has and that we attribute to Him by comparison with similar qualities in creatures.

How are the attributes of God divided?
The attributes of God are divided into internal and relative.

What do we mean by the internal attributes of God?
By the internal attributes of God we mean the perfections that

What are the principal internal attributes of God?
The principal internal attributes of God are simplicity, unchangeableness, eternity, incomprehensibility, uniqueness and immensity.

What do we mean by the simplicityof God?
By the simplicity of God we mean that there are no components or parts in God.

How is God unchangeable?
God is unchangeable in that He eternally possesses the fullness of being. A thing that changes ceases to be what it was and begins to be what it was not. Not so with God.

How is God eternal?
God is eternal in the sense that He has no beginning and no end. His existence is an eternal now.

What is the difference between the immensity and incomprehensibility of God?
The incomprehensibility of God is the same as God’s immensity, but with the added nuance that this presence is not limited, even in a nonspatial way.

In what way is God unique?
God is unique because He is the Supreme Essence, that is, He has no equal.

What do we mean by the relative attributes of God?
The relative attributes of God are those that belong to God as Creator of the world.

What are the principal relative attributes?
The principal relative attributes are the divine omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, holiness, justice and goodness.

What do we mean by the omnipotence of God?
By the omnipotence of God we mean that nothing is impossible to God.

What is the omnipresence of God?
The omnipresence of God means that He is everywhere.

In what way is God omniscient?
God is omniscient in that He knows everything past, present and future and, in fact, everything possible.

What is meant by the holiness of God?
By the holiness of God we mean the infinite love that God has for everything that is morally good or virtuous, and the infinite hatred He has for everything that is morally evil or sinful.

What do we mean by the justice of God?
By the justice of God we mean that God rewards those who do good and punishes those who do evil.

What do we mean by the power of God?
By the power of God we mean His ability to do whatever He wishes.

What is the wisdom of God?
The wisdom of God is the knowledge of God in directing all creatures to their appointed end.

In what way is God good?
God is good in that He now shares all of creation with us and is leading us to heaven to share in His own perfect happiness.

How are the divine attributes of power, wisdom and goodness particularly made manifest to us?
The divine attributes of power, wisdom and goodness are made manifest to us in the works of creation, redemption and sanctification. And we speak of the Father as power, of the Son as wisdom, and of the Holy Spirit as goodness. But whatever God does outside of the inner life of the Trinity is done by all three divine persons and by all three equally.

What is the modern crisis about the existence of a personal God?
Atheism seen as Pantheism which excludes the existence of a personal God has become a modern crisis.

What is atheism?
Atheism is the denial of the existence of a Supreme Being; however, the meaning of this word will vary according to the system of theism under attack.

What does pantheism mean?
Pantheism means that all things are really one thing and that the one thing is God. A pantheist god is not transcendent outside of and distinct from the world. God and the universe are ultimately identical.

How are some Christians partly responsible for the rise of unbelief?
Some Christians are partly responsible for the rise of unbelief when they neglect their own training in the faith, or teach erroneous doctrine, or are deficient in their religious, moral and social life.

What is our responsibility to promote belief in the existence of God?
We must foster sound religious education, strive to understand the true faith, and above all put our beliefs into practice.

What is the principal mystery of our faith?
The Blessed Trinity constitutes the very life of God and underlies all other mysteries of the faith, for example, the Incarnation, the Redemption and the life of grace.

What is the mystery of the Blessed Trinity?
The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is the mystery of one God in three really distinct persons.

What does “Trinity” mean?
This word means three persons in one God.

Who are the three persons in one God?
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are the three divine persons in one God.

How are the three person’s one and the same God?
The three persons are one and the same God because they have one and the same nature and substance.

Are the three persons really distinct from one another?
Yes, the three divine persons are really distinct from one another for there is one person who is the Father, another who is the Son, and another person who is the Holy Spirit.

How are they distinct from one another?
The three persons are distinct from one another in that the Father has no origin; the Son is begotten of the Father alone; and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

What are the operations that distinguish the divine persons?
The operations that distinguish the divine persons are generation and spiration which together are called processions. From all eternity, the Father begets the Son which is called generation. From all eternity, the Father and the Son issue forth the Holy Spirit which is called spiration.

What is meant by “mission” of the Blessed Trinity?
Mission means being sent. However, the Father being without origin is not sent, but the Father sends the Son, and the Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit.

What is meant by appropriation with regard to the Trinity?
By appropriation, with regard to the Trinity, we mean that a certain divine activity is appropriated to each of the three persons. However, it must be remembered that whatever the Father, or the Son or the Holy Spirit does outside the Trinity is done by all three persons equally.

What divine activity in the world do we appropriate to God the Father? Why?
The divine activity appropriated to God the Father is the creation of the universe. This is only proper since the Father is Himself unoriginated and from Him proceeds the Son, who with the Father is the origin of the Holy Spirit.

What divine activity in the world do we appropriate to God the Son? Why?
The divine activity appropriated to God the Son is the work of redemption for the salvation of all men. This too is only proper since it was the Second Person of the Trinity who became man and, as man, died on the Cross for our sins.

What divine activity in the world do we appropriate to God the Holy Spirit? Why?
The divine activity appropriated to God the Holy Spirit is the sanctification of mankind through the communication of divine grace. This is suitable because the Holy Spirit is the personal term of the infinite act of mutual love of the Father and Son. And man’s sanctification is eminently an expression of divine love.

How does the mystery of the Trinity teach us the meaning of selfless charity?
The mystery of the Trinity teaches us the meaning of selfless charity because there is a constant and perfect sharing of the divine nature among the three Persons in God. The love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father is so perfect that within the very Godhead there comes forth the Holy Spirit as the perfect expression of love. The Trinity helps us to understand Christ’s command to love our neighbor by freely giving ourselves, as persons, in order to benefit other persons and, in the process, contribute toward the formation of the earthly counterpart of the triune heavenly community.

What does creation mean?
Creation means the production of material and spiritual things in their whole substance, performed by God “out of nothing.”

How did God bring the world into existence?
God brought the world into existence by creating it “out of nothing” and “in time.”

What is meant by creation “out of nothing”?
By creation “out of nothing,” we mean that God starts with no pre-existing material and He parts with nothing of His own being in the act of creation.

What do we mean by creation “in time”?
By creation “in time,” we mean that the world was created along with time. Time began with creation, because time is a measure of change. The greatest change was from nothing to creation.

Why did God create the world?
God created the world in order to manifest His perfection through the benefits which He bestows on creatures, not to intensify His happiness nor to acquire any perfection.

Was God obliged to create the world?
No, God was not obliged to create the world. He was not constrained nor coerced by anything within Himself nor by anything outside Himself. His only motive for creation was to share something of His own perfection.

How is the world governed and preserved by God?
God governs the world in His divine providence and preserves it by His almighty power which must be ever present.

What is meant by the providence of God?
By the providence of God, we mean that God watches over and governs all the things that He made for “all things are naked and open to His eyes” (Hebrews 4:13).

What does divine providence imply?
Providence implies two things. The first consists in foreseeing even those things that are going to occur by the free action of creatures, and the second consists in directing all creatures to their proper end or destiny.

What are the qualities of divine providence?
The qualities of God’s providence are universality, infallibility and immutability.

How is divine providence universal?
God’s providence is universal in that all events taking place in this world, even those apparently fortuitous or casual, are part of His eternal plan for the universe. There is no chance with God.

Why is divine providence infallible?
Divine providence is infallible because the ultimate plan that God has for the universe cannot fail. Whatever occurs in the world takes place within the design of His infinite knowledge and all-embracing will.

Is divine providence immutable?
Yes, divine providence is immutable because God, Himself is unchangeable. Nothing unexpected can ever occur with God, nor can anything take place that would make Him change His mind or will about the world He brought into being.

If God has planned everything, does man still act freely?
Yes, human freedom is a part of the divine plan. God wills the ultimate effects of all created actions and has provided that they be achieved, some by means of what we call necessary causes (like gravity) and others by means of truly free choices (like obedience).

Why pray if God already knows and determines what will happen before we pray?
We would pray even though God already knows and determines what will happen because God has foreseen our prayers from eternity and has included them in His plan for the universe, to give us what He knows what we would ask for.

Why does God permit evil in the world if He is all good?
God permits evil in the world in order that He may bring good out of it.

How does God turn evil into good?
God turns evil into good by making it a source of merit. For example, the patience of the just presupposes persecution from the unjust; and the charity of those who have, presumes there are others in need.

What does Sacred Scripture say about the creation of the world?
In the New Testament God is said to have created the world. “Master.” It is you who made heaven and earth and everything in them” (Acts 4:24), while in Genesis the Old Testament implies creation out of nothing. Still further, in the last of the historical volumes, “Observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of what did not exist, and that mankind comes into being the same way” (2 Maccabees 7:28).

What is God’s plan for man and the rest of creation?
God’s plan for man is that he be subject to God and that the rest of creation, that is, the irrational creatures be subject to man.

What is an angel?
An angel is a spiritual creature naturally superior to man and often commissioned by God for certain duties on earth.

What does the word “angel” mean?
The word means one who is sent or messenger.

How do we know that angels exist?
We know that angels exist from the Bible which testifies to belief in angels and from the teachings of the Church.

Are angels more perfect than man? How?
Angels are more perfect than man and more like God because they are pure spirits.

Why are there good angels and bad angels?
There are good angels and bad angels because some angels remained faithful to God when they were mysteriously tested by Him, and some were unfaithful to the test.

What happened to the good angels?
The good angels merited to enter heaven and forever behold the Trinity.

How are the good angels divided?
The good angels are divided into three hierarchies or nine choirs: the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; the Dominations, Virtues and Powers; the Principalities, Archangels and Angels.

Which angels are named in Sacred Scripture
The angels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named in Scripture.

How are the good angels related to the world?
The good angels have continual relations with the world. They are God’s ministers and take part in the government of creation.

Which angels deserve our special honor and respect?
Our guardian angels deserve our special honor and respect.

What is a guardian angel?
A guardian angel is a special messenger whom God gives to every man to guard and direct him.

How do we know everyone has a guardian angel?
We know that everyone has a guardian angel because it is implied in Scripture and found in the Church’s constant Tradition. According to St. Basil, “No one will deny that an angel is present to everyone of the faithful.”

What is the custodial assistance of the guardian angels?
The custodial assistance of the guardian angels is to guide our minds through heavenly inspirations, and to protect us from evil.

How do guardian angels protect us from evil?
Guardian angels protect us from evil by preserving us from temptations that would be too strong for us, by enlightening us on how to cope with the world, the flesh and the devil, and by shielding us from physical evil that would bring us spiritual harm.

What is the intercessory assistance of the guardian angels?
The intercessory assistance of the guardian angels is to plead for us and present our petitions before the throne of God.

What duties do we have toward our guardian angels?
The duties we have toward our guardian angels are to respect their presence, to solicit their continued protection, and to ask for their prayers to almighty God.

What happened to the bad angels?
The bad angels because of their disobedience were condemned to eternal punishment.

What is the devil’s work toward mankind?
The devil’s work toward mankind is always malicious. His purpose is to seduce. He consciously and deliberately wants to lead people astray from their faithful service to the Divine Majesty.

Why does the devil seduce human beings?
The devil seduces human beings because he wants to harm them, spiritually and supernaturally and, if possible, even eternally.

What is God’s purpose in allowing the devil to tempt us?
God’s purpose in allowing the devil to tempt us is to draw us closer to Him; to try our loyalty by giving us the opportunity to show our faith and trust in Him; to test our virtue by giving us the chance to grow because of the struggle that this costs; and to prove our fidelity by resisting the devil’s temptations and thus more generously serve God.

Does God permit us to be tempted beyond our strength?
God never allows us to be tempted beyond our strength. This means that we always have enough grace to overcome the devil, which means that we have the grace to pray for light to recognize the evil spirit and strength to resist his advances.

In what way is the devil a perfect deceiver?
The devil is a perfect deceiver because he is a calumniator who accuses those he had deceived by charging them with the sins they committed.

How does the devil tempt us?
The devil first tempts us with a suggestion in the imagination. If dwelled on, they influence the will by urging us to do something that is actually bad but apparently good. Deceit, hiding the real evil, falsehood and cunning are basic to the devil’s technique.

How can we overcome the devil?
We can overcome the devil in the way that Christians have always been told; “Be calm, but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same thing” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

What does the Church warn us about the devil?
The Church warns us that the devil is very active in the world today. He is “the treacherous and cunning enchanter, who finds his way into us by way of the senses and imagination.”

What is man?
Man is a creature composed of spirit and body.

What is meant by spirit?
By spirit is meant the immaterial soul. Its invisibility is relative only to the senses of the body. It can be seen with the eyes of the mind.

How does every person have a twofold character?
Every person has a bodily and a spiritual side to his nature. On the bodily side, it partakes of the same nature as the ground on which we walk and the air we breathe, but on the spiritual side, it partakes of the nature of the angels.

Why did God create man?
God created man that he might come to know, love and serve his Creator and share with Him everlasting happiness.

What does Sacred Scripture teach us about the creation of man?
Sacred Scripture teaches us that God did not create man as a solitary being. From the beginning “male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). If man does not enter into community with other persons, he can neither live as he should nor develop the gifts he received from God.

What distinguishes man’s body from that of mere animals?
The spiritual soul is what distinguishes man’s body from that of mere animals. Man looks toward heaven to his eternal destiny while animals look to the earth.

What is man’s soul?
Man’s soul is a spiritual, free and immortal substance individually created by God and infused into the human body.

Why is the soul called a spiritual substance?
The soul is a spiritual substance because it is immaterial, and can exist apart from the human body.

Why is the soul said to be free?
The soul is said to be free because it is endowed with understanding and free will. Therefore, it has the power of choosing to do good or to do evil.

How is the human soul immortal?
The soul is immortal because it will never die. It will live forever either enjoying everlasting happiness or suffering eternal damnation.

When is the soul created and infused into the body?
The human soul is immediately created by God. Moreover, the creation and infusion take place at the moment of conception.

Who denies that every man’s soul is immediately created by God?
Two classes of persons especially deny that every man’s soul is immediately created by God, namely, materialists and pantheists. Materialists deny that the soul is really different from the body. Pantheists deny that man is really different from God.

Before Adam fell, what gifts did he and Eve enjoy?
Before Adam fell, he and Eve enjoyed two kinds of gifts, supernatural and preternatural.

What supernatural gifts did our first parents possess before they sinned?
Before they sinned, our first parents possessed sanctifying grace, which meant the virtues of faith, hope and charity, and a right to enter heaven.

What preternatural gifts did our first parents enjoy before they sinned?
Before they sinned, our first parents possessed three preternatural gifts, namely, bodily immortality, integrity, and infused knowledge.

What was the gift of bodily immortality?
The gift of bodily immortality meant that our first parents were intended never to die, and this gift was to have been passed on to the whole human family.

What was the gift of integrity?
The gift of integrity meant that our first parents were free from concupiscence. They were not subject to the conflict between their desires and their reason.

How could our first parents sin if they were not subject to concupiscence?
Although not subject to concupiscence, our first parents could sin because they were not yet in the beatific vision. They still lived by faith, so that they had to believe (without fully understanding) God’s command.

What was the gift of infused knowledge?
The gift of infused knowledge meant that our first parents had received extraordinary knowledge about God and the world without having to acquire it by long study and experience.

What must we hold regarding human evolution?
Regarding human evolution, we must hold that the soul was immediately created by God out of nothing, and that somehow God exercised a special providence over whatever process preceded the origin of man’s body, so that the first man was not literally generated by a brute beast.

What prohibition did God place on Adam?
According to Scripture, God forbade Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; “For on the day you eat of it you shall most surely die” (Genesis 1:17).

Did Adam and Eve head the divine prohibition?
No, Adam and Eve did not heed the divine prohibition. They followed the inspiration of the devil and disobeyed God.

What were the effects of their sin on Adam and Eve?
As a result of their sin, Adam and Eve lost all the gifts they had previously enjoyed, especially sanctifying grace. In the words of the Church, “not only the death of the body which is punishment for sin,” but also “sin, the death of the soul passed from one man to all the human race.”

Did Adam’s sin affect his descendants?
Yes, Adam’s sin affected all his descendants with the certain exception only of Jesus and Mary who were conceived without original sin.

How do we know original sin really exists?
We know that original sin really exists from Scripture and from the teachings of the Church.

What are the effects of original sin in us?
As a result of original sin, we are conceived without the possession of sanctifying grace.

Is the absence of sanctifying grace the only effect of original sin?
No, besides sanctifying grace, we also lost the gifts of bodily immortality, integrity, and infused knowledge.

Is original sin only the bad example that Adam passed on to his descendants?
No, original sin is not only the bad example passed on by Adam. It is a real sin, though not in the ordinary sense of a transgression of God’s law that we personally committed.

How is original sin in us a real sin?
Original sin in us is a real sin because it means the loss of the holiness we would have possessed if Adam had not sinned. It deprives us of a right to the beatific vision.

How is original sin communicated?
Original sin is communicated by propagation.

Does original sin totally corrupt our human nature?
No, original sin does not totally corrupt our human nature. We are darkened in mind and weakened in will. But we are still capable of natural virtues and of freely co-operating with the grace of God.

How does society further contribute to the sinfulness with which we enter the world?
Beyond original sin, society further contributes to our sinfulness by its previous history of sin and the bad example it gives to all who come into the world.

Has original sin remained without a remedy?
No, immediately after the fall, God promised to send a Redeemer so that man could recover sanctifying grace and cope with the effects of original sin.

Do we also have a remedy for the sinfulness of human society?
Yes, we also have a remedy for the sinfulness of human society through the teachings of the Church, the Mass and sacraments, and the light and strength that come from prayer.

Since Christ assumed a human nature was He subject to sin?
Even though Christ assumed a human nature He was not subject to sin because He is also God.

What kind of knowledge did Christ have?
Christ had two kinds of knowledge: human and divine.

What kind of human knowledge did Christ have?
Christ had three kinds of human knowledge: the immediate vision of God, infused supernatural knowledge, and acquired or experimental knowledge.

What was Christ’s immediate vision of God?
Christ’s immediate vision of God was the beatific vision of seeing God face to face.

What was Christ’s infused supernatural knowledge?
Christ’s infused supernatural knowledge was knowledge specially communicated to His soul by means of spiritual ideas. It differed from the knowledge of vision in that things were known in their proper nature through infused concepts.

What was the acquired or experimental knowledge of Christ?
The acquired or experimental knowledge of Christ was the knowledge He obtained from sense experience and through the abstracting power of His human intellect.

Was the human knowledge of Christ free from error?
Yes, the human knowledge of Christ was free from positive ignorance and from all error.

How did the Son of Man manifest His divinity on earth?
The Son of Man manifested His divinity on earth by His miracles, especially His resurrection from the dead.

Did God freely choose to become man?
Yes, God freely chose to become man because He wanted to show us how much He loves us and also to teach us how to love others after His example.

What is man’s highest reason for loving Jesus Christ?
Man’s highest reason for loving Jesus Christ is the Incarnation because it manifests the power, wisdom, goodness and justice of God more strikingly than any other mystery. For this reason we are inspired to gratitude and, from gratitude, to self-less generosity.

What is St. Paul’s Vision of the Primacy of Christ in the world?
St. Paul sets forth two kinds of primacy of Christ in the world: one in the order of natural creation, and another in the order of supernatural re-creation which is Redemption. Christ is therefore King of the universe of nature and of grace.

What is the creative work of Christ?
The creative work of Christ, as the Word of God, is that which brought the world into existence out of nothing.

What is the Redemptive work of Christ?
The redemptive work of Christ rectifies and sanctifies a created world that was separated from its God.

How is Christ still present among us?
Christ is still present among us in His Church when she prays, and as she performs her works of mercy. He is present in the Church on her pilgrimage of struggle, and as she preaches. Further, He is present in His Church as she governs the People of God. He is present as she offers in His name the Sacrifice of the Mass, and as she administers the sacraments. But there is a manner of presence that surpasses all the others; it is Christ’s presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is for this reason called Real because it is “presence” in the fullest sense. In the Eucharist is present the Whole Christ, true God and true man.

Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity whom the Father sent into the world to become man of the Virgin Mary in order to save the world from sin.

What does Jesus mean?
Jesus means Savior.

What does the name Christ mean?
The name Christ means Messiah or Anointed One.

How did the Word of God become man in the person of Jesus Christ?
The Word of God became man in the person of Jesus Christ by the union of His divine nature with our human nature. He took upon Himself our flesh to become incarnate.

How are the two natures united in Christ?
The two natures in Christ are united personally.

What is this mystery called?
This is the mystery of the Incarnation.

What is meant by the mystery of the Incarnation?
By the mystery of the Incarnation is meant the mysterious union of the human and divine natures in the one person of Jesus Christ.

Why did God become man?
God became man to redeem us from sin and to give us a share in the happiness of eternal life through faith in His love.

Could God have redeemed the world in some other way?
Yes, God could have redeemed the world in some other way. But this would be less in keeping with His perfect justice and with the divine will to manifest His perfect love.

What do we profess in the mystery of the Incarnation?
In the mystery of the Incarnation, we profess with the infallible Church that there are in Christ two really distinct natures, one human and one divine; yet united in such a way that Christ is one individual, and unchanged in such a way that each nature remains truly and unqualifyingly itself.

What kind of union is this called?
This union is called the Hypostatic Union, which means Personal Union.

What do we mean by distinct natures?
By distinct natures we mean two perfect natures each distinct and perfect in itself.

If Christ has two perfect natures, how is He only one person?
Christ is only one person because His two perfect natures are united in one individual, which individual is divine.

What is Christ’s human nature?
Christ’s human nature is the same as our own, except for sin. He was born, lived and died as other human beings. He is true man.

What is Christ’s divine nature?
Christ’s divine nature is the same as God the Father’s. He is one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is true God.

When Christ was on earth, did He use only His human nature?
No, when Christ was on earth, He always used both His human and divine nature. In whatever He did, He acted as God and man.

Why did Jesus Christ assume a human nature?
Christ assumed a human nature in order to show us how much He loves the human family. By becoming human, He could suffer; and by suffering, He could die; and by dying, He redeemed; and by rising from the dead, He became the source of our grace.

Who is the Blessed Virgin Mary?
The Blessed Virgin Mary is a humble daughter of the family of David, whom God chose to be the Mother of His Son.

Who were the parents of Mary?
The parents of Mary were St. Joachim and St. Anne who were natives of Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth.

What were the main privileges of the Blessed Virgin?
The main privileges of the Blessed Virgin were the divine maternity, her perpetual virginity, Immaculate Conception, bodily Assumption into heaven and her rule as Mother of the Church.

Why is Mary truly the Mother of God?
Mary is truly the Mother of God because she contributed everything to Christ’s human nature that every other mother gives to the fruit of her womb; and because she conceived and bore the Second Person of the Trinity according to the human nature that the Son of God assumed.

Was Mary always a Virgin?
Yes, Mary was always a Virgin: a virgin who conceived, a virgin who gave birth, a virgin with child, a virgin delivered of child, a virgin ever virgin.

What is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception?
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the omnipotent God, in consideration of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was preserved from all stain of original sin.

Why is exemption from original sin an extraordinary grace?
Exemption from original sin is an extraordinary grace because all other human beings, except Christ, are conceived with sin on their souls.

What follows from Mary’s freedom from original sin?
Mary’s freedom from original sin carries with it two consequences: From the time of her conception, she was free from all notions of concupiscence, and she was also free from every personal sin during the whole of her life.

Was Mary impeccable?
Yes, the common teaching of the Church is that by a special privilege of God, Mary could not sin.

How could Mary acquire merit if she was incapable of sin?
Mary could acquire merit because she could exercise her freedom of choice. She could choose among a variety of options in exercising her great love of God.

Why must we firmly believe in the Immaculate Conception?
We must firmly believe in the Immaculate Conception because it is a dogma of the faith that has been defined by the Church as a truth revealed by God.

Why did Christ preserve Mary from sin?
Christ, as God, preserved Mary from sin because He wanted to do everything possible for her. He wanted to be conceived and born of a sinless Mother.

What is meant by the Assumption of Our Lady?
By the Assumption of Our Lady is meant that after her life on earth, she was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.

On what grounds was Mary’s Assumption defined by the Church?
Mary’s Assumption was defined by the Church because she was free from all sin; she was the Mother of God; her body was preserved in spotless chastity; and she participated in her Son’s redemptive work in the world.

Why was Mary’s body exempt from corruption in the grave?
Mary had been the living sanctuary of the Son of God and free from all sin; therefore, her body was exempt from corruption in the grave.

Does sinful mankind need a mediator with the Eternal Father?
Yes, sinful mankind needs a mediator with the Eternal Father. Christ is the mediator and Mary is the mediatrix.

What is a mediator?
A mediator is a person who holds a favorable position between parties at variance; and, therefore, comes between them as the equal friend of each.

Who is the only mediator between God and man?
Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man.

In what way does the Son of God act as our mediator with God?
The Son of God acts as our mediator with God by the fact of His hypostatic union, joining in one person the two natures that need to be mediated: divine, which He has in common with the Father; and human, which He shares with us; and by the fact that His death atoned for man’s sins, and His humanity is the channel of grace from God to the human soul.

Why is Mary called our mediatrix?
Since Mary co-operated in a unique way with Christ in His redemptive labors on earth, she is called our mediatrix. She continues interceding for those who are still working out their salvation on earth or suffering in purgatory.

How can Mary be our co-redemptrix?
Mary can be our co-redemptrix because of the pain she freely underwent in union with her Son.

Why does Mary deserve the title “Mother of Divine Grace”?
Mary deserves the title “Mother of Divine Grace” because Christ made her so exalted in holiness that on earth she merited a high place in heaven, and now in heaven is able to plead our cause with her Son more effectively than anyone else among the elect.

Does devotion to Mary detract from the dignity of Christ?
No, devotion to Mary does not in any way detract from or add anything to the dignity of Christ the one Mediator.

How do we contribute to the work of salvation?
We contribute to the work of salvation by our willing response to grace; by interceding with God to give us grace; and by freely co-operating with grace when it is conferred.

What is grace?
Grace is a supernatural gift that God freely confers on rational creatures in order to bring them to eternal life.

Why is grace called a supernatural gift?
Grace is called a supernatural gift because of its positive and absolute gratuity and its heavenly purpose finality.

Why do we say that grace is gratuitously conferred?
Grace is said to be gratuitously conferred because it is freely conferred by God with no positive claim or right on our part to receive it.

How is grace a Communication of Divine Love?
Grace is a Communication of Divine Love because all the treasurers of infinite goodness shared among the Three Persons in God, are graciously communicated to mankind outside the Trinity.

How is God’s goodness communicated to mankind?
God’s goodness is communicated to mankind in two ways: naturally and supernaturally.

How is God’s goodness communicated naturally?
God’s goodness is communicated naturally in creation by bringing us out of nothing into existence and endowing us with the divine image of intellect and will.

How is God’s goodness communicated to us supernaturally?
God’s goodness is communicated to us supernaturally by our elevation to a share in the very life of God.

What is another name for this supernatural communication of God’s goodness?
Another name for this supernatural communication of God’s goodness is divine grace.

Why is divine grace a supernatural communication of God’s goodness?
Divine grace is in no way due to our created nature; therefore, it is a supernatural communication of God’s goodness.

What is the primary grace that we receive?
Habitual or sanctifying grace is the primary grace that we receive.

How do we define sanctifying grace?
Sanctifying grace is the grace that makes us holy, that is, like God. It is the grace that makes us children of God and heirs of heaven.

Why is sanctifying grace also called habitual grace?
Sanctifying grace is called habitual grace because it is a permanent gift that remains in the soul as a habit, unless lost by mortal sin.

How do we lose sanctifying grace?
We lose sanctifying grace by committing mortal sins. This means the soul is spiritually dead because it is no longer united with God.

How is sanctifying grace lessened in the soul?
Sanctifying grace is lessened in the soul through giving in to temptation by committing venial sin.

What is the final purpose of sanctifying grace?
The final purpose of sanctifying race is to give us supernatural life which is necessary to enter heaven.

What is meant by supernatural life?
Supernatural life is a sharing in the very life of God, who communicates Himself to us here on earth by faith in order that we might possess Him in final beatitude in heaven.

What do we mean by final beatitude?
By final beatitude we mean the everlasting happiness that we will share with the Blessed Trinity.

How do we receive this divine life?
We receive this divine life through the spiritual birth of baptism, according to the words of Christ, that unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

What means must we use to keep the life of God in our souls?
In order to keep the life of God in our souls we need grace, which Christ promised to give us through the sacraments, through prayers, and through the practice of virtue.

On what does our growth in the supernatural life depend?
Our free co-operation with divine grace and frequency as well as, fervor with which we receive the sacraments determines our growth in the supernatural life.

Why do we say that divine grace is available to all?
We say that divine grace is available to all because Christ died for all mankind. All are in fact called to the same destiny, which is heaven. We must hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of salvation.

Can a soul that is supernaturally dead come back to a life of grace?
A soul that is supernaturally dead cannot come back to life except by a special intervention of God.

How can supernatural life be restored?
The restoration of supernatural life is compared to the raising of Lazarus. Therefore, supernatural life can be restored only by God’s mercy.

How does venial sin differ from mortal sin?
Venial sin differs from mortal sin because it does not destroy the life of God in the soul.

Why is it called venial sin?
It is called venial sin because it can be removed from within the soul, much as a body that is sick can be healed from within the ailing person, and unlike a dead person who cannot be raised to life except by a special intervention of God.

What are some effects of venial sin?
Venial sin is a moral disease of the soul that slackens its spiritual powers, lowers a man’s resistance to evil and causes him to deviate from the path to heavenly glory. It places obstacles in the way of virtue and reduces fervor for the things of God.

What is the primary gifts of divine grace?
The primary gift of divine grace is the uncreated God Himself.

What is another name for this uncreated grace?
The Divine Indwelling is another name for this uncreated grace.

How does the Divine Indwelling take place?
The Divine Indwelling takes place through justification.

What is justification?
Justification is that state in which the soul is passing from the state of sin into the state of God’s life.

What are the effects of justification?
Through justification man’s sins are forgiven. We are also renewed interiorly and become a new creature in Christ.

How does God dwell in the justified soul?
God dwells in a special manner in the justified soul. The mode of His presence is called inhabitation. It lies beyond human comprehension but can nevertheless be experienced.

How can the Divine Indwelling be experienced?
The Divine Indwelling can be experienced through the intimate knowledge and love of God available to the soul in whom He dwells as in a temple.

To which Person of the Blessed Trinity do we appropriate the divine indwelling?
The Holy Spirit is responsible for the divine indwelling.

Why do we appropriate the Divine Indwelling to the Holy Spirit?
We appropriate the divine indwelling to the Holy Spirit because this greatest manifestation of divine love in the world is comparable to the Holy Spirit who is the personal love, proceeding from the Father and the Son.

What is sanctifying grace compared with the Divine Indwelling?
Compared with the divine indwelling, sanctifying grace is the principal created gift of God.

Is sanctifying grace the only created grace that we receive?
No, sanctifying grace is not the only created grace that we receive. We also receive actual grace.

What are actual graces?
Actual graces respond to the transient or passing needs of our supernatural life.

What do we mean by transient needs?
By transient needs we mean the constant help that God must give us to enlighten our minds and inspire our wills in the journey to heavenly glory.

Why are these graces called actual?
These graces are called actual because they consist in passing acts, and because they are meant to be acted upon. They are distinguished from sanctifying grace which is a permanent possession of the soul.

What are the two forms of actual grace?
Actual graces are illuminations for the mind and inspirations for the will.

What are divine illuminations?
Divine illuminations are actual graces in so far as they enlighten the mind to see what is already there. Illuminations also confer knowledge not yet possessed and that except for grace the mind would not possess.

What are divine inspirations?
Divine inspirations are actual graces for the will to help it reach a decision. They also enable the will to embrace and to persevere in what we have chosen.

How are actual graces further divided?
Actual graces are further divided into internal and external graces.

What do we mean by internal graces?
Internal graces are those divine visitations by which God inwardly enlightens the mind and strengthens the will to either act or not act in a certain situation.

Why are they called internal graces?
They are called internal graces because they are supernaturally produced by God and immediately in the human intellect or will.

What is the meaning of external grace?
External graces are all creatures that God uses to lead a person to his final destiny.

Why are they called external graces?
They are called external graces because they are not supernatural of themselves and are not produced immediately in the mind or will.

How are external graces related to internal graces?
External graces are the ordinary means that God uses to confer actual graces. It is in that sense that every person, place or thing in our lives is meant to be a providential means of leading us to our external destiny.

Can we do anything without the assistance of divine grace?
We can do nothing in the supernatural order without the assistance of divine grace. Only in God can we do all things.

How do we know that grace is absolutely necessary for salvation?
We know that grace is absolutely necessary for salvation from the teaching of Christ and the Church. We can also conclude to the need of grace from the fact that our human facilities of themselves are capable only of natural acts. Therefore, actions must be raised by grace to a supernatural level to become means of salvation.

Does God give all men sufficient grace to be saved?
Yes, God gives all men sufficient grace to be saved. Our Lord dies on the Cross for the redemption of all men. Since no one can be saved without grace, therefore a just God must somehow provide everyone with sufficient grace to save his soul.

Does God give His grace at every moment of our lives?
Yes, God gives us grace at every conscious moment of our lives. He does so especially in times of temptation, of illness, of imminent death, on the occasion of a good example or in time of suffering and trial.

Can man resist grace?
Yes, man can resist grace for he is free to accept or to reject the grace God gives him to save his soul.

What is the main purpose of our human freedom?
The main purpose of our human freedom is to co-operate with the graces God give to us. Fidelity to grace gives joy to the heart, and merits further grace. Infidelity to the grace of God has the opposite effect. It discourages the soul and deprives a person of the grace he would have gained had he been faithful to the graces already received.

How does sanctifying grace differ from actual grace?
Sanctifying grace differs from actual grace in the following ways: actual grace is a transient gift, which lasts only during the action; sanctifying grace remains with us unless lost by mortal sin; actual grace is still communicated even if we do not possess sanctifying grace; if sanctifying grace is lost it cannot be recovered without actual grace, nor can sanctifying grace be preserved for any length of time without the assistance of actual grace.

What do sanctifying and actual grace have in common?
Sanctifying and actual grace are both supernatural, that is they are both far above the powers of unaided nature.

What is meant by merit?
Merit is that quality or state of a good act which gives the one who performs it the right to more grace in this life and to heavenly glory in the life to come.

How is grace increased in the soul?
Grace is increased in the soul by co-operating with the graces given to us, by the performance of good works, participation in the Eucharistic Liturgy, reception of the sacraments, and by prayer.

How is sanctifying grace exercised in the souls of the just?
Sanctifying grace is exercised in the souls of the just by the practice of the theological and moral virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

What is a virtue?
A virtue is a good habit, so distinct from vice which is a bad habit.

What is basic to the concept of virtue?
Basic to the concept of virtue is the element of habit which stands in a special relation to the soul, whether in the natural order or elevated to the divine.

What is meant by habit?
By habit we mean the ease, spontaneity, satisfaction and effectiveness with which we perform human actions.

Where do habits reside?
Habits reside in the faculties of mind and will. They may be acquired by personal endeavor or infused into the soul by God.

What is the meaning of infused virtues?
Infused virtues are those supernatural virtues which are directly produced by God in the faculties of man.

Which virtues are those immediately produced in us by God?
The theological virtues and some of the moral virtues are immediately produced in us by God.

What are the theological virtues?
The theological virtues are faith, hope and charity, which supply for the mind and will what neither faculty has of itself, namely, the salutary knowledge, desire and love of God and His will. Without these there could be no supernatural order, which means the voluntary choice of suitable means to reach the heavenly goal to which we were elevated.

What is meant by acquired virtues?
Acquired virtues are virtues achieved by human effort that concentrates on a given course of action. Facility is developed through concerted repetition.

What are moral virtues?
Moral virtues are those who’s immediate object is not God, the final end of all things, but human activities that lead one to God.

Name the moral virtues.
The moral virtues are prudence, fortitude, temperance and justice.

Why are they also called cardinal virtues?
They are also called cardinal virtues because they are primary in human conduct.

What is the difference between natural and supernatural virtues?
Supernatural virtues differ from the natural because they are powers directly infused in the soul by God to enable one to act on a supernatural level; natural virtues, acquired by human activity, are habits of soul which incline it to do good.

What is ordinary virtue?
Ordinary virtue is the kind that does not require unusual effort or reflect above average generosity toward God.

What is heroic virtue?
Heroic virtue consists in the habitual practice of all the theological virtues, as well as, all the moral virtues to an eminent degree, even in difficult circumstances.

Can we grow in virtue?
Yes, we can in all the virtues through the same methods we grow in grace; prayer, participation in the Liturgy and reception of the sacraments, as well as, good works.

Do we grow in the virtues by practicing them?
Yes, we grow in any virtue whether theological or moral, by practicing it faithfully with the help of God’s grace,

Can virtue be diminished?
Yes, virtue can be diminished, and it can even be lost altogether.

How are moral virtues diminished or altogether lost?
The moral virtues are diminished or even lost just as they are acquired: directly by the repetition of the acts that are opposed to the virtues. This repetition may not only diminish the virtues but even destroy them and replace them by the opposite vice; indirectly, by not performing the acts which produce and maintain the virtues. By not practicing a good habit, it languishes and dies.

How are infused virtues diminished or even lost?
Infused virtues are diminished by not performing acts of faith, hope and charity, and by venial sin; they are lost depending on the virtue, when a person commits a mortal sin. Thus supernatural charity is lost by every mortal sin; hope is lost by the sin of despair, and faith by a grave sin of disbelief in whatever God has revealed.

What is the virtue of faith?
Faith is a supernatural virtue by which we believe all the truths which God has revealed.

Why is faith called a supernatural virtue?
Faith is called a supernatural virtue because it is directly infused in the soul by God; because what we believe is the revealed truth; and because it is necessary for our salvation.

What is another name for the virtue of faith?
The virtue of faith is sometimes called habitual faith.

What is habitual faith?
Habitual faith is a divinely infused habit; which enables a person to make acts of faith in the truths that God has revealed.

What is meant by actual faith?
By actual faith is meant the act of believing in revealed truths on the authority of God who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Is the virtue of faith necessary to make an act of faith?
No, it is possible to make an act of faith, with the assistance of actual grace, before a person has acquired (or recovered) the virtue of faith.

Is the virtue of faith necessary for salvation?
Yes, the virtue of faith is absolutely necessary because no one can be saved without sanctifying grace; and sanctifying grace cannot exist without habitual faith.

Is habitual faith sufficient?
Habitual faith, received at baptism, is sufficient for those who have not reached the age of discretion, but not for those who are capable of making acts of faith. They must also practice actual faith.

How can the gift of faith be lost?
The gift of faith can be lost by neglecting to learn what we are bound to learn; by not making acts of faith, through internal belief and external profession of what we believe; and by failing to strengthen our faith through the sacraments and prayer.

What are the means of persevering in the faith?
The means of persevering in the faith are: fidelity to grace and especially the grace of prayer; combating pride, avarice, and sensuality; humble reflection on the mysteries of faith; associating with people who have a deep faith; and regular reading of authors who are loyal to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.

How does a person sin against faith?
A person sins against faith either by omission when he neglects to learn what he should know about the faith or by commission when he doubts or denies anything that God has revealed.

What are the sins against faith?
Heresy and apostasy are the sins against faith.

Who commits the sin of heresy?
Any baptized person who obstinately denies or positively doubts any revealed truth commits the sin of heresy.

Who commits a sin of apostasy?
A person who departs entirely from the Christian faith commits the sin of apostasy.

What are doubts against the faith?
Doubts against the faith are deliberate inclinations not to accept whatever a person knows God has revealed.

Is it wrong to have deliberate doubts against the faith?
Yes, it is seriously sinful to have deliberate doubts against the faith, because God wants us to believe unhesitatingly and with complete submission to His word.

What are difficulties about the faith?
Difficulties about the faith are the problems one has in understanding why or how something revealed is true. Nevertheless, in spite of the difficulties, one finely believes.

How are difficulties different from positive doubts?
Unlike difficulties in the faith, positive doubts are a willful refusal to fully assent to what God has revealed. Unlike positive doubts, difficulties are not sinful; they can arise in the mind of any sincere believer because he cannot fully comprehend what God has revealed. For this reason, we must pray for a strong faith to believe even though we do not understand. Otherwise difficulties can lead to doubts, when a person admits the possibility that a revealed truth may be false.

What is the virtue of hope?
The virtue of hope is a supernatural virtue by which we firmly trust that God will give us life everlasting along with the means to obtain it because He is faithful to His promises.

Why is hope a supernatural virtue?
Hope is a supernatural virtue because it has been given to us by God, so that we may ardently long for the eternal salvation to which we have no natural right or claim.

What is another name for the virtue of hope?
Habitual hope is another name for the virtue of hope?

What is meant by habitual hope?
By habitual hope, we mean the divinely infused power to make acts of supernatural confidence in God.

Does hope in a future life lessen the importance of our earthly life?
Hope in a life to come does not lessen but rather increases the importance of this life by giving us new motives for performing our earthly duties. Without hope of eternity, our life on earth would lose most of its dignity and meaning.

What is the object of our hope?
The main object of our hope is everlasting happiness, that is, possession of God in heaven. The secondary object is the means of obtaining eternal happiness, namely, sanctifying and actual grace. Anything else is to be hoped for only in so far as it leads to the possession of God in eternity.

Is the virtue of hope necessary?
Yes, the virtue of hope is necessary because it is the link between faith and charity. We must believe (with the mind) in something before we can hope (with the will) to obtain it. Our hope enables us to love what we are looking forward to attain.

Is hope sufficient for salvation?
The virtue of hope is not sufficient for salvation. It must also be animated by supernatural charity.

When are we obliged to make acts of hope?
We are obliged to make acts of hope when we reach the age of reason and understand sufficiently what God has promised us. We should make acts of hope often in life, at the peak of death, and whenever we are tempted to discouragement.

How can a person sin against hope?
A person can sin against hope by presumption and despair.

How do we sin by presumption?
We sin by presumption by acting as though we can save our souls without God’s help. This is shown by a foolhardy exposure to moral dangers and temptations to the faith. At the other extreme it reflects the mistaken notion that God will save us in spite of ourselves with the consequent postponement of conversion.

Is presumption a serious sin?
Presumption is a serious sin by its very nature because it implies a profound contempt for the order in which God has provided that man be saved.

What is meant by the sin of despair?
The sin of despair means that salvation is believed to be impossible because God might withhold grace; or grace is not withheld but cooperation with it is believed to be so difficult as to be practically impossible. Convinced that God, salvation, and grace are unattainable, the will gives up in despair.

Why is despair a serious sin?
Despair is a serious sin because it implies the denial of God’s most eminent attribute of mercy.

What is the virtue of charity?
Charity is the supernatural virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves, indeed, as Christ has loved us.

Why is charity a supernatural virtue?
Charity is a supernatural virtue because it is specially infused into the soul at baptism, and helps us to attain the eternal vision of God by loving Him, our neighbor and ourselves with the same love as He has been showing us.

What is the meaning of habitual charity?
Habitual charity is the virtue of charity poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us in baptism. This infusion enables us to exercise the habit by making frequent acts of charity.

What is the object of charity?
The main object of charity is God; the secondary object is ourselves and our neighbor.

What is meant by charity toward God?
By charity toward God, we mean the inclinations of the heart by which we attach ourselves to God, as our sovereign Lord who is all good.

What is our motive in perfect charity?
Our motive in perfect charity is God Himself, who is loved just because He is God and not because of any benefit that comes to us for loving Him. When we act out of pure love, we seek only to please God.

Is charity toward God necessary?
Charity infused at baptism is necessary for all as a means of salvation, since it is inseparable from sanctifying grace, but adults must express their charity by making frequent acts of love.

When should we make acts of love?
We should make acts of love frequently after we reach the age of discretion but especially when we tell God we are sorry for having sinned.

What is the principal quality of our charity toward God?
The principle quality of our charity toward God is a love by which we esteem God above all other things, and are ready to lose everything rather than offend Him

How can a person sin against charity toward God?
A person sins against charity toward God by failure to make acts of love of God, by inordinate love of creatures, by ungrateful murmurings against God, by a dislike or hatred of God, and by every sin committed especially mortal sin.

How should we love ourselves?
We should love ourselves with a holy love that is for God’s sake; with a just love, that is, within the limits of what is pleasing to God; and with a true love, that is, desiring only what is supernaturally good for us.

Can self love be inordinate?
Self love can be inordinate whenever we prefer ourselves and the things of this world to God and His will.

What is the remedy for inordinate self love?
The remedy for inordinate self love is a constant struggle against pride, sensuality and greed, or renunciation of self.

How can we overcome pride, sensuality and greed?
We can overcome pride by humble obedience, sensuality by abstinence from unlawful pleasures, and greed by detaching our affections from the goods of this world.

What is meant by love of neighbor?
By love of neighbor we mean that we share with others what we possess. The command to love our neighbor is actually the profoundest human need. It is a positive hunger of the spirit to exercise its freedom, by freely giving of ourselves, for the love of God, in order to benefit others, and in the process we initiate the perfect sharing among the divine persons in the Holy Trinity.

Who is our neighbor?
Our neighbor is any person who is capable of enjoying everlasting happiness or those who are already enjoying it. Therefore our neighbor is any person on earth, the souls in purgatory and the angels and saints in heaven.

Can we love God and not love our neighbor?
No, Jesus Christ has declared that the precept which commands us to love our neighbor as God loves us is like that which commands us to love God.

What is Christ’s command about loving our neighbor?
Christ commanded us to love one another as He has loved us.

Why did Christ call this a new commandment?
Christ called this a new commandment because it is more exalted than even the highest precept of charity in the Old Testament.

What was the highest precept of charity of the Old Law?
The highest precept of charity of the Old Law was to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

How does Christ’s new commandment of love surpass the Old Testament precept of charity?
Christ’s new commandment of love surpasses the Old Testament precept of charity in two ways: in giving us a higher motive and standard for loving others; and in bidding us love one another mutually.

What is the higher motive we now have for loving others?
The higher motive we now have for loving others is to show our love for God, who became man to show His love for us.

What is the higher standard we now have in loving others?
The higher standard we now have in loving others is the measure of Christ’s love for us.

How is Christ’s love for us a higher standard?
Christ’s love for us is a higher standard because Christ loved (and loves) us more than we love ourselves. He loved us even in dying for us, and He loves us with the selfless generosity of God.

What did Christ mean when He commanded us to love one another mutually?
When Christ gave us this commandment, He was laying the foundation of the Christian community.

How is fraternal charity put into practice?
Fraternal charity is put into practice by wishing our neighbor well out of love of God, and by performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

What are the spiritual works of mercy?
The spiritual works of mercy are: to admonish the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, bear wrongs patiently, forgive all injuries, and pray for the living and the dead.

What are the corporal works of mercy?
The corporal works of mercy are: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, ransom the captive, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, and bury the dead.

Who are our enemies?
Our enemies are those who needlessly cause us pain; who have been unjust to us; or who, out of hatred or dislike, oppose or persecute us.

How must we love our enemies?
We must love our enemies by forgiving them the wrong which they have done to us, relieving their needs when we can do so, and trusting them as Christ treated his enemies, that is, with great love, mercy and forgiveness.

How can we sin against charity toward our neighbor?
We sin against fraternal charity internally by hatred, envy and discord. We can sin externally by dispute, scandal and co-operation in the sins of others.

In what does hatred of neighbor consist?
Hatred of neighbor consists in wishing him evil because he is our enemy or because his personal qualities inspire us to anger.

What is envy?
Envy is the sadness one feels toward others for some kind of talent, achievement, or possession that outshines or obscures our own.

What is meant by discord?
Discord is the antagonism of will that one person wants and another person does not want.

What is scandal?
Scandal is a word, deed, or omission that is evil in itself or in appearance and that becomes an occasion of spiritual harm to one’s neighbor.

Is scandal a serious sin?
Yes, scandal, even when indirect, is by its nature a serious sin against charity when it leads another to do something that is gravely sinful.

How is scandal repaired?
Scandal is repaired by doing everything possible to undo its evil effects; for example, by retracing scandalous statements; by amending one’s life to give a good example; and, in general, by prayer and sacrifice, to make up for the harm done to those who were scandalized.

What is co-operation in the sins of another?
Co-operation in the sins of another consists in participating in the evil deeds of a person who wants to do something morally wrong.

Are we ever allowed to co-operate in the sins of another?
We are never allowed formally to co-operate in the sins of another.

What is formal co-operation?
Formal co-operation is internally consenting to the sins of another.

What is material co-operation?
Material co-operation is external co-operation only. It means performing some action together with someone who is doing wrong, but not internally consenting to his sinful deed.

Is material co-operation ever allowed?
Yes, material co-operation is allowed for a grave reason, for example, to maintain one’s livelihood or avoid great danger to one’s life or bodily integrity.

What is the virtue of prudence?
Prudence is a moral virtue for the mind which enables us to decide what is the right thing to do in a given situation.

What are the functions of prudence?
The functions of prudence are: it deliberates on the means and circumstances necessary to make an action good; it judges whether these means and circumstances are as good as they should be; it effectively commands the will to carry out the decisions that have been made to perform the good act.

What are the virtues allied to prudence?
The virtues allied to prudence are: good counsel, to profit from the advice of others when confronted with difficult affairs; common sense, to judge things according to the ordinary rules of conduct; and good judgment to be attentive to the mind of the lawmaker.

What is the virtue of justice?
Justice is the moral virtue that constantly disposes the will to give everyone what is due to him. It is an all balanced fairness.

What are the principal virtues that complement justice?
The virtues that complement justice are: religion, which is the worship we owe to God; obedience which we owe to those in authority in a society; truthfulness in communicating our thoughts; gratitude for benefits received; zeal in protecting others from evil; and restitution in repairing injuries caused.

What is fortitude?
Fortitude is a moral virtue which inspires us to undergo suffering and to undertake difficult tasks. It therefore enables us to suffer great evils, even death itself, for the purpose of accomplishing good. And it strengthens us to begin and carry to completion enterprises that demand great endurance.

What virtues accompany fortitude?
There are four virtues that accompany fortitude: Magnanimity which means greatness of soul and inclines us to heroic acts of every kind of virtue; Magnificence which inclines us to do great things at great expense; Patience which enables us to keep our souls in peace, in spite of trials and oppositions; and Perseverance which helps us pursue a good cause to the end, no matter what obstacles stand in the way.

What is temperance?
Temperance is a moral virtue which enables us to use according to right reason the things that are pleasant and agreeable to the senses.

Why is the virtue of temperance important?
Temperance is important because it regulates our bodily appetites.

What are the principal bodily appetites?
The principal bodily appetites are the desire to live as an individual and the desire to pro-create the human race.

How are these bodily appetites controlled?
These bodily appetites are controlled by means of abstinence and sobriety, diligence and chastity.

To what vices are these virtues opposed?
Abstinence is opposed to gluttony, sobriety is opposed to intemperance, diligence is opposed to laziness and chastity is opposed to lust.

What is the meaning of abstinence?
Abstinence is moderation in the consumption of food for the spiritual welfare of the whole person.

What is meant by sobriety?
Sobriety is the regulating of food, and especially of drink, according to the dictates of right reason enlightened by faith.

What is meant by diligence?
Diligence is the virtue that regulates our desire for ease and comfort according to the demands of prudence, justice and charity.

What is chastity?
Chastity is the virtue that controls our desire for sexual pleasure in conformity to reason and the teachings of Christ.

Is everyone obliged to practice chastity?
Yes, everyone is obliged to practice chastity according to his state of life.

What is the duty of chastity binding on everyone?
The duty of chastity binding on everyone in that sexual pleasures may not be sought or indulged except by husband and wife in their own mortal relations.

Why is chastity important?
Chastity is important because it is the condition on which other virtues can flourish; because it possesses the merit and glory of martyrdom; and because it makes man like to the angels – holy and pleasing to God.

What is the virtue of chastity for the married?
The virtue of chastity for the married means that they may enjoy the pleasure of marriage between themselves, as husband and wife. But they may not seek or indulge these pleasures either alone (masturbation) or with another person of the opposite sex (adultery) of the same sex (homosexuality).

What is the virtue of chastity for the unmarried?
The virtue of chastity for the unmarried is total abstinence from any deliberate sexual desire or indulgence in sexual pleasure.

What are the principal means of preserving chastity?
The principal means of preserving chastity are vigilance and prayer.

How does vigilance help preserve chastity?
Vigilance helps preserve chastity internally by keeping watch over our pride, intemperance and idleness; socially by keeping check on the persons we associate with and the people we allow to influence us; and externally by avoiding needless stimulation through indecent reading, movies, television and, in general, the communication media.

How does the practice of prayer help to preserve chastity?
The practice of prayer helps to preserve chastity because it obtains for us the grace of God, without which it is impossible to be chaste.

What practice of prayer are most useful to preserve chastity?
The practice of prayer most useful to preserve chastity are: a humble devotion to the Blessed Virgin; the thought of the presence of God and of our last end; frequent confession in the sacrament of penance which purifies the soul and strengthens it against temptations; and frequent Holy Communion which increase our love for God and weakens our inclination to sin.

What virtues coincide with temperance?
The virtues coinciding with temperance are: Clemency that remits the punishment due to a guilty person; Meekness that restrains anger; Modesty that controls internal affections and bodily movements within the limits of right reason; Moderation that tempers curiosity and the excessive desire for knowledge; and humility, based on profound self-knowledge, that leads a person to regard himself as small and undeserving of praise and recognition.

How do the cardinal virtues guide our moral actions?
The cardinal virtues guide our moral actions by keeping our facilities in order; prudence is for the mind, justice is for the will, temperance controls the urge to what is pleasant, and fortitude enables us to bear with what is painful.

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are supernatural habits which perfect the soul beyond the virtues, by making it ready and responsive to divine grace.

How many gifts of the Holy Spirit are there?
There are seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

What is the gift of wisdom?
Wisdom is the highest of the gifts. It makes the soul responsive to the Holy Spirit in the contemplation of divine things. Built into wisdom is the experience of God, with a spontaneous love for doing the divine will.

What is the gift of understanding?
The gift of understanding is a supernatural enlightenment of the mind by which the truths of faith are known more clearly and firmly, more easily and intelligibly.

What is the gift of knowledge?
The gift of knowledge enables us to discern everything from the viewpoint of eternity, so that we might accept whatever leads to salvation and reject whatever would separate us from God.

What is the gift of counsel?
The gift of counsel assists the mind and perfects the virtue of prudence by enlightening us to discern for ourselves and others what is most consistent with God’s glory and conducive to salvation.

What is the gift of piety?
Piety is a gift of the Holy Spirit that aids and supplements the virtue of Justice by disposing us to reverence God as our Father with filial affection, and to love others in so far as they belong to God.

What is the gift of fortitude?
The gift of fortitude goes beyond the virtue of fortitude in overcoming all obstacles and dangers that stand in the way of doing God’s will.

What is the gift of the fear of the Lord?
This gift is a filial fear of offending God. It strengthens our hope so that we avoid doing whatever might displease the Lord or separate us from Him. It gives us a profound reverence for the majesty of God.

What is the difference between the virtues and the gifts?
The difference between the virtues and the gifts lies in the need for having a supernatural counterpart to the natural instincts of mind and will. The virtues are the faculties through which divine life operates – we receive light to see and strength to carry out an action; gifts are reactive instincts that answer to the divine impulse almost without reflection. They are higher promptings of the Holy Spirit.

What special effects does the Holy Spirit produce by means of the gifts?
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are produced by means of His gifts.

What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are the products of His presence in a believing soul, much as the produce of a tree is the evidence of its fruit bearing quality.

Name the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
There are twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, continuance, mildness, faith, longanimity, modesty and chastity.

What is the fruit of charity?
The fruit of charity is the inclination of the heart by which we attach ourselves to God because He is infinitely good and most worthy of all our love. Hence arise sentiments of affection and the desire to please only Him. Out of this grows a selfless love of others.

What is the fruit of joy?
The fruit of joy is experiencing what we desire and possessing what we hope for. Joy is the fulfillment of spiritual desires.

What is the fruit of peace?
The fruit of peace is the absence of discord and conflict. It is a deep souled equanimity. When we are at peace we are not troubled or worried; we are not anxious or perturbed; we are not confused or distraught. A peaceful soul is a tranquil soul.

What is the fruit of patience?
The fruit of patience has its roots in fortitude and controls the other virtues by controlling the daily vexations and troubles which can become impediments to Christian living.

What is the fruit of benignity?
The fruit of benignity is the deep kindness of character that the Holy Spirit gradually produces in a person who is responsive to His grace.

What is the fruit of goodness?
The fruit of goodness is the benefits we procure and the blessings we obtain for others by the virtues we practice. It partakes of the goodness of God who seeks only our advantage in all that He does for us.

What is the fruit of continency?
The fruit of continency is restraint of one’s bodily desires, especially the sexual appetite. As such, it applies also to the married who must also guard against over-indulgence in the legitimate pleasures of their state of life.

What is the fruit of mildness?
Mildness is gentleness. It is not softness or weakness, but strength tempered by love. It moderates severity, mitigates justice, and shows itself more ready to forgive than to punish.

What is the fruit of fidelity?
The fruit of fidelity is loyalty to God. It is faithfulness to the persons to whom we have committed ourselves out of love for God. It is firmness in keeping our promises and strength in carrying out the duties of our state of life.

What is the fruit of longanimity?
The fruit of longanimity is the fruit of patience. Another word for longanimity is long-suffering, that is, enduring pain and suffering over a protracted period of time. It is pro-longed patience.

What is the fruit of modesty?
The fruit of modesty is distinct from chastity, of which it is the external protection. Modesty is the application of reason to the control of one’s actions. It moderates one’s desires, behavior and conversation, as a reasonable mean between neglect and exaggeration.

What is the fruit of chastity?
The fruit of chastity is a deep reverence for the sacredness of the sexual faculties. It leads one to respect these faculties as the divinely-ordained means of procreating the human race. And it protects one from profaning their use outside the sacred precincts and privileges of marriage.

How are the fruits of the Holy Spirit divided?
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are divided into those which make us more perfect interiorly and those which make us more perfect exteriorly.

What fruits of the Holy Spirit make us more perfect interiorly?
The fruits of the Holy Spirit that make us more perfect interiorly are charity, joy and peace – for doing good; patience and longanimity – for strength against evil.

What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit that make us more perfect exteriorly?
The fruits that make us more perfect exteriorly are goodness, benignity, mildness and fidelity – with reference to our neighbor; modesty, continence and chastity – with reference to our own body.

What is the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church is a society of all who have been baptized, profess the faith of Christ, and are governed by their pastors under one visible head, the Bishop of Rome.

What do we mean by the Church?
By the Church we mean all those who, in faith, look upon Jesus Christ as the Author of Salvation and the goal of human destiny. By the Church we can also mean the particular church of one city or locality. In this case, the word “church” is used to refer to the building or sacred edifice where the people gather together to worship God.

Who founded the Catholic Church?
Jesus Christ Himself founded the Catholic Church.

When did the Church come into being?
The Church first came into being when Christ expired on the Cross. He prepared the founding of the Church during His public ministry, and He established the Church as a visible society when He sent His Spirit on the apostles on Pentecost Sunday.

How did Christ actually bring the Church into existence?
Christ actually brought the Church into existence by His death on Calvary, by which He merited the graces that, through the Church, would be communicated to all mankind.

How did Christ proclaim the Church?
Christ proclaimed the Church by pouring out on his apostles the Spirit promised by the Father. Hence the Church, endowed with the gifts of charity, humility and self-denial, receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the kingdom of Christ and of God. The Church on earth is the seed and the beginning of the kingdom of heaven.

Who were the apostles?
The apostles were the twelve men whom Christ called (vocation) in order to send them (mission) to proclaim His Gospel to the whole world.

What does the word “apostles” mean?
The word “apostles” means one who is sent. An apostle is an envoy or messenger of God.

Name the original twelve apostles.
The original twelve apostles were Simon Peter, Andrew (brother of Simon Peter), James the Greater (son of Zebedee), John the Evangelist, Philip of Bethsaida, James the Less (son of Aephseus), Thomas (the twin), Matthew the Evangelist (formerly Levi), Judas Iscariot (who betrayed Christ), Bartholomew (Nathaniel), Thaddeus (Jude) and Simon the Canaean.

Were these the only apostles?
No, after Judas betrayed Christ and committed suicide in despair, Matthias was chosen, by lot, to replace him. And after Christ’s ascension, Saul of Tarsus was chosen by the Savior to become Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles.

When did Christ appoint the leader of the apostles?
Christ appointed Simon Peter leader of the apostles.

What is the Mystical Body of Christ?
The Mystical Body of Christ is the whole Christ, head and members, now existing as the Church Militant on earth, the Church Suffering in Purgatory, and the Church Triumphant in heaven.

How is the Mystical Body a mystery?
The Mystical Body is a mystery because we cannot comprehend it by reason but believe in its existence and activity only by faith. It is also a mystery because it is the great sacrament, visibly instituted by Christ through which He confers the invisible blessings of His grace on all of mankind.

How is the Mystical Body a body?
The Mystical Body is a body because it is sensibly perceptible in its visible head, the Vicar of Christ; in its members, by their external profession of one faith; in its Mass and the sacraments, by which grace is conferred; and in its doctrines and precepts, which are visibly manifest to the faithful by the teaching of the hierarchy.

What is the role of Christ in the Mystical Body?
Christ now fulfills the role of the invisible Head of the Mystical Body and fills the whole of it with the riches of His glory.

How may the Catholic Church be known it its members?
The Catholic Church may be known to its members by distinctive marks professed in the Creed.

What are the principal marks of the Catholic Church?
The principal marks of the Catholic Church are: one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.

What is meant by saying the Church is one?
When we say that the Church is one we mean that there are two forms of unity in the Church: the Unity of Faith and Communion.

What is meant by Unity of Faith?
By the Unity of Faith we mean that those who belong to the Church believe the same faith proposed to them by the Church.

What is meant by Unity of Communion?
By the Unity of Communion we mean that the faithful are submissive to the authority of the bishops under the Roman Pontiff. It also describes the mutual bond among the members themselves because they are joined together socially in sharing the same sacraments and forms of worship as channels of divine grace.

How many Churches are there?
There is only one Church established by Christ; not only one, but uniquely one.

What about the many “Churches” in Christianity today?
The Catholic Church believes she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian in the other Churches of Christendom. They do not, however, profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity of communion with the See of Peter.

Where is the Church of Christ?
The Church of Christ can be found subsisting in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.

What does it mean to say the Church of Christ subsists in the Roman Catholic Church?
The Church of Christ subsists in the Roman Catholic Church means that the fullness of Christ’s heritage – His revelation, sacrament and authority – resides in the Catholic Church, of which the Bishop of Rome is the visible head.

How do other Christian bodies belong to the Church of Christ?
Other Christian bodies belong to the Church of Christ in so far as they possess, in greater or less measure, those elements of sanctification and truth that exist in their divinely ordained fullness in the Roman Catholic Church.

How is the Church holy?
The church is holy by reason of her founder and by the means she provides for the sanctification of the faithful.

Are the means the Church provides to become holy open to all?
Yes, the means that the Church provides for the faithful to become holy are open to all, regardless of their rank or status; in fact, they are available to all mankind.

What is heresy?
Heresy is the willful doubt or denial of any truth which God has revealed.

What schism?
Schism is the sinful refusal to submit to the Roman Pontiff or to associate with the faithful who are subject to him.

What is apostasy?
Apostasy is the total rejection of the Christian faith.

Are those guilty of heresy, schism or apostasy totally severed from the Church?
No, those guilty of heresy, schism or apostasy are not severed from the bond of their baptismal character. But they are separated from the visible part of the Church which includes the right to receive the sacraments, until they repent.

Do other grave sins separate a person from the body of the Church?
No, other gave sins do not separate a person from the body of the Church, but the sinful condition deprives him of the life of grace in his soul, and if he dies he is not saved. He does remain a member of the Church, although a sinful member, because of his baptismal character.

Why is the Church called Catholic?
The Church is called Catholic because she is universal.

In what sense is the Church universal?
The Church is universal because Christ wants everyone to belong. Rich and poor, the learned and unlearned are welcome. No people or culture are to be excluded from what the Savior instituted to be the universal sacrament of salvation.

What is the missionary nature of the Church?
The Church’s missionary nature is her quality of propagating the Gospel to every land and people. It is the Church’s catholicity in action.

What is the Church’s diversity?
The Church’s diversity is ordered and governed by divine institution. This means that there is not only variety among the Church’s members, but difference in their function or role within the Church’s organization.

What is another name for catholicity?
Adaptability is another name for catholicity.

How is the Church adaptable?
The Church is adaptable in that she constantly strives to maintain a balance between continuity and openness to change. She remains faithful to the heritage received from Christ, and at the same time knows how to adjust this heritage to different peoples and times.

Why is the Catholic Church apostolic?
The Church is apostolic because her origin goes back to Christ’s choice and ordination of the apostles; her doctrine has remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles; the pope and bishops derive their authority in direct succession from Peter and the other apostles. It is especially this apostolic succession in unbroken line over the centuries that witnesses to the oneness of the Catholic Church today with the Church originally founded by Christ on the apostles.

What phase of apostolicity has specially developed in modern times?
The Church’s collegiality has specially developed in modern times.

What is collegiality?
Collegiality is the cohesion and co-operation of the bishops under the pope and among themselves as successors of the apostles under Peter. Together they form one collegial community, united by their common loyalty to Christ and allegiance to the Roman Pontiff.

How did the apostles hand on their powers to others?
The apostles handed on their powers to others by the laying on of hands.

Why did they hand on their apostolic powers to others?
The apostles handed on their powers to others because Christ wanted His Church to continue always under the guidance of the bishops or successors of the apostles, and under the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter.

Who is the Roman Pontiff?
The Roman Pontiff is the Vicar of Christ; the successor of St. Peter and the visible head of the Church.

Has the pope the supreme authority over the whole Church?
The pope, who has been sent as the pastor of all the faithful to ensure the common good of the whole Church, and the good of individual churches, has supreme power over all the faithful and all the churches.

What is a bishop?
A bishop is a successor of the apostles, who has been charged by the Holy Spirit with the spiritual government of a dioceses under the authority of the pope.

What is the relationship between the pope and the bishops?
Between the pope and the bishops there is a proportional relationship. Just as the pope is the pastor and head of the whole Church, so the bishops are pastors and heads of their respective dioceses. But while the pope possesses authority over the whole Church, the bishops exercise theirs only within the limits of their respective dioceses. As a collegial body, however, the bishops are concerned for the welfare of the universal Church.

What is an ecumenical council?
An ecumenical council is a general assembly of all the bishops of the Church, gathered together under the authority of the pope to deliberate and decide on matters of faith, worship and morals for the Catholic Church.

What is a diocese?
A diocese is a portion of the People of God which is entrusted to a bishop to be cared for with the assistance of his priests. Loyal to their bishop and united with him under the Gospel and through the Eucharist, the people of a diocese form a particular church. It is here that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is really present and active.

What powers have bishops in their own diocese?
The bishops have in their own diocese all the ordinary, proper and immediate power that is necessary for the exercise of their pastoral duty. Every diocesan bishop has the faculty in particular cases to dispense the faithful, from a general law of the Church, as often as he judges that it will contribute to their spiritual good, unless the case has been especially reserved by the supreme authority of the Church.

What are the principal collaborators of the bishops?
The principle collaborators of the bishops are the priests in charge of parishes, according to the circumstances or nature of various localities.

What is a parish?
A parish is an established group of people, under a pastor who takes the place of the bishop. The parish represents the visible Church constituted throughout the world.

What is a pastor?
A pastor or parish priest is a fellow worker of the bishop, under whose authority is entrusted the care of the faithful within the parochial territory.

Are only diocesan priests subject to the authority of the bishop?
No, priests belonging to religious orders or congregations are also subject to the authority of the local bishop in whatever pertains to the spiritual welfare of the diocese.

What relationship should exist between bishops and priests?
All priests, whether diocesan or religious, share with the bishop in the one priesthood of Christ and are therefore appointed as the prudent co-workers of the Episcopal order.

How are priests to exercise their priestly office?
Priests are to exercise their priestly ministry in hierarchical union with the whole body of the Church. Pastoral charity urges them to act within this communion and by obedience to dedicate their lives in the service of God and their fellow-Christians. They are to accept and carry out in the spirit of faith the commands and directives of the pope, their bishop and other superiors. They are to gladly spend themselves in whatever office is entrusted to them.

Who are deacons?
Deacons are at the lowest level of the hierarchy. They received the imposition of hands not for the priesthood, but for the ministry. They are dedicated to the People of God, in co-operation with the bishops and their body of priests, in the service of the liturgy, of the Gospel and of works of Christian charity.

What are the main functions of a deacon?
The main functions of a deacon are: to administer baptism solemnly; to be a custodian and distributor of the Eucharist; in the name of the Church, to assist at and to bless Christian marriage; to bring Viaticum to the dying; to read the sacred Scripture to the faithful; to instruct and exhort the people; under the priest, to preside over the worship and prayer of the faithful; to administer sacramental’s; and to officiate at funeral and burial services.

Who are the laity?
The laity are all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a state of perfection approved by the Church.

What is the special task of lay people in the Church?
The special task of the laity is to make the Church present and fruitful where it is only through them that she can become the salt of the earth. Incorporated into Christ by baptism, they share in their own way the priestly, prophetic and kingly office of Christ and carry on the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world.

Is the apostolate of the laity necessary to the Church?
The apostolate of the laity is necessary because the Church depends mainly on the laity to bring Christ to the secular world, where they are most numerous, most familiar and can be the most influential.

How do we know the lay apostolate is necessary?
We know the lay apostolate is necessary from the frequent teaching of the Church. She recognizes as a manifest action of the Holy Spirit the growing awareness by the laity of their responsibility to serve Christ and the Church with dedicated zeal and generosity.

Should women take an active part in the apostolate of the laity?
Yes it is very important that the participation of women in the Church’s apostolate develop far beyond what it has been until now. This is consistent with the increasingly active share that women are taking in the whole life of modern society.

What is the specific task of the young people?
The young must become the first apostles among their peers. By their good example, they exercise a powerful influence on the youth among whom they live.

Is there an apostolate for children?
Yes, in their own way they are true living witnesses of Christ among their companions.

Does the pope possess supreme authority over all the Church?
Yes, the pope, as successor of St. Peter, possesses supreme authority in the Church, that is, he has the primacy which Our Lord conferred on the prince of the apostles.

What is the primacy of the pope?
The primacy of the pope is the fullness of authority he possesses, in the name of Christ, over all the faithful. It is a primacy not only of honor, as the first among equals in the Catholic hierarchy. It is a primacy of jurisdiction, which means that, under Christ, the pope is supreme teacher, legislator and administrator of the Catholic Church.

What is infallibility?
Infallibility is immunity from error, excluding not only its existence but even its possibility.

How does infallibility differ from impeccability?
Infallibility differs from impeccability in that infallibility is the impossibility either of deceiving or being deceived in teaching others; impeccability is the impossibility of offending God by committing sin. The pope is infallible, but not impeccable.

Who is absolutely infallible?
Only God is absolutely infallible. But He deigned to bestow on the Church a shared infallibility.

How does the Church share in the divine infallibility?
The Church shares in the divine infallibility, but within three restricted limitations: in matters of faith and morals; when the whole people of God unhesitatingly hold a point of doctrine pertaining to these matters; and always dependent on the wise providence and anointing of the grace of the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church into all truth until the glorious coming of her Lord.

How are the faithful infallible in their community of belief?
The faithful are infallible in their community of belief in that the whole body of the faithful who have an anointing that comes from the Holy Spirit cannot err in matters of belief. This is a property which belongs to the people as a whole; a supernatural discernment of faith in the means by which they make this property manifest, when from bishops to the most obscure layman, they show their universal agreement in matters of faith and morals.

What is the Church’s magisterium?
The Church’s magisterium is her teaching authority.

How is the Church’s magisterium exercised?
The Church’s magisterium is exercised in an ordinary or extraordinary way.

What is the Church’s ordinary magisterium?
The Church’s ordinary magisterium is her day by day, and world-wide teaching of faith and morals.

What is the Church’s extraordinary magisterium?
The Church’s extraordinary magisterium is the special exercise of her teaching authority through an ecumenical council or through occasional solemn declaration of the Holy Father.

Is the Church’s magisterium infallible?
Yes, the Church’s magisterium is infallible because the magisterium is vested exclusively in the successors of Peter and the other apostles.

Within the magisterium, who possesses the gift of infallibility?
The pope, and the community of bishops under the pope, possess the gift of infallibility.

When is the pope infallible?
The pope is infallible when he acts as the father and ruler of all the faithful. He enjoys the unique grace which protects him from error when he actually and specifically exercises the office of teacher of the universal Church and supreme judge in matters of faith and morals.

How is the pope infallible?
The pope is infallible in virtue of the special promise of Christ always to protect His Church from error. Although assisted by this grace, he is bound by his office to take suitable means for ascertaining the truth before proclaiming it.

What is the scope of papal infallibility?
Papal infallibility is to preserve the flock of Christ from the poison of error. It covers two forms of teaching; i.e., of faith and morals. It may be a doctrine that is simply to be accepted by the mind as true, or a doctrine that is also to be acted upon by the will as good.

Are individual bishops infallible?
Bishops individually or a group of bishops do not enjoy the privilege of personal infallibility. But there are circumstances when they proclaim infallibly the doctrine of Christ.

When are bishops infallible?
Bishops are infallible when, united with the pope, as authorized teachers on faith and morals they agree on one position to be held as definitive.

Is the Church necessary for salvation?
Yes, the Church is necessary for salvation. Christ Himself declared that no one can be saved except through faith and baptism, He thereby affirmed the necessity of the Church, to which He entrusted the fullness of revelation and into which a person enters, as a door, through the sacrament of baptism.

For whom is there no salvation outside the Church?
There is no salvation for those who though incorporated in the Church by baptism, fail to persevere in sanctifying grace. Those also are not saved, who realize what they are doing, but refuse to be baptized and accept the Church’s means of salvation.

Who are actually incorporated into the Church?
Those who have been baptized by water in the name of the Holy Trinity are actually incorporated into the Church.

How can non-Christians be saved?
Non-Christians can be saved through the Church according to their faith in whatever historical revelation they come to know and by their co-operation with the internal graces of the Holy Spirit which they receive.

What is the ecumenical movement?
The ecumenical movement is the effort toward reunion among the separated Churches of Christendom.

What is spiritual ecumenism?
Spiritual ecumenism among Catholics is the practice of prayer and holiness of life, to merit divine grace for all Christians to once again be united as one flock under one shepherd.

What is the Catholic attitude toward Christians separated from Rome?
The Catholic attitude toward Christians separated from Rome is to bring them to a complete sharing in the mystery of Christ.

What is the Catholic attitude toward non-Christians?
The Catholic attitude toward non-Christians is to bring them the true faith, the blessings of baptism and the other sacraments, and to incorporate them in the Mystical Body of Christ.

What are the duties of citizenship in the New Testament?
According to the New Testament, citizens are to accept the established form of government and submit to those in authority since all legitimate government comes from God.

What should be the relationship of Church and State?
The relationship of Church and State should be one of harmony. Each is to recognize the autonomy of the other for the personal and social welfare of mankind.

How do Church and State differ in origin?
The Church was founded by a free act of God made Man while civil society results from the needs and tendencies that are natural to man. The former comes from God as the Author of Grace and the latter comes from God as the Author of Nature.

How do Church and State differ in purpose?
The Church and State differ in purpose in that the Church is to lead all men to everlasting salvation while the State is to procure the temporal prosperity of the citizens.

How do Church and State differ in authority?
Church and State differ in authority in three ways. The authority of the Church is supernatural, that of the State is natural; the Church’s authority is determined by Christ who governs the faithful through the apostles and their successors, that of the State varies according to time and place; and the Church’s authority finally depends on the faith of its members, whereas the State’s authority is founded on reason and applied through physical sanctions.

How is the Church’s authority above the State?
The Church’s authority is above the State as faith is above reason, and man’s spiritual needs are above those of space and time.

Must a Christian always obey the State?
The Church’s authority is above the State as faith is above reason, and man’s spiritual needs are above those of space and time.

May the State totally separate itself from the Church?
No, the State may not totally separate itself from the Church because the State cannot withdraw from the laws of God or the rule of Christ.

What kinds of freedom does the Church claim?
The Church claims two kinds of freedom: one is social and the other is personal.

What freedom does the Church claim on a social level?
On the social level, the Church claims her right to exist and to operate according to the will of her Founder. She, therefore, claims the right to corporate existence as a visible society established by Christ, and to the exercise of her ministry among the faithful and from the faithful to the rest of mankind.

What freedom does the Church claim on a personal level?
On a personal level, the Church claims for her members as individuals the right to be Catholics, to profess their faith, and to exercise their religious duties without hindrance or opposition from civil authorities.

Does everyone have a right to religious freedom?
Yes, everyone has the right to religious freedom. This means that no one may be coerced in any way to act against his religious convictions, nor be prevented from acting on these convictions, whether alone or in associations with others.

What is the basis for religious freedom?
The very nature of an individual is the basis for religious freedom. Consequently, the right to this freedom continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth or living up to it.

Are there any limitations to the exercise of religious freedom?
There can be no limitations to the exercise of religious freedom as long as the just requirements of public order are observed.

Who are the primary educators of children?
Parents are the primary educators of children. Since they gave life to their children, they are, therefore, bound by serious obligation to educate their offspring in all matters, but especially in religious belief and moral conduct.

What are the Church’s rights in education?
The Church’s rights in education are above the State, since the Church was established by Christ to teach all nations the way of salvation.

What are the State’s rights in education?
The rights of the State in education are not above the rights of the parents or the Church. Rather the State has the duty to ensure that all its citizens are adequately trained in such knowledge and skills as they will need for the proper exercise of their civil rights and duties.

What are the four last things of man?
The four last things of man are death, judgment, heaven and hell.

What is death?
Death is the separation of body and soul for a period of time. The time of probation in God’s service closes with death.

What is the meaning of death?
The meaning of death is that at death we do not die but are merely to change our earthly habitation for a heavenly one.

Why should we not fear death?
We should not fear death because it ends our earthly exile and admits our souls into that eternal home which Christ has gone ahead to prepare for us.

What happens to us immediately after death?
Immediately after death we shall be judged about our moral conduct during life.

How many kinds of judgment are there?
There are two kinds of judgment: a particular judgment and a general judgment.

What is the particular judgment that each person faces right after death?
The particular judgment that each person faces right after death determines his state of soul in eternity. The outcome of this judgment is promptly carried into effect.

What is the general judgment that will take place at the end of the world?
The general judgment that will take place at the end of the world is a social judgment. We shall be judged as members of the human race, to reveal to the world God’s justice in those He condemns and His mercy in those who are saved.

What is a still deeper reason for the final judgment?
A deeper reason for the final judgment is to reveal not only the good or the evil that men have done. It will also make manifest the chain of consequences of men’s actions, even long after the actions were done, up to the end of time.

Will the sentence pronounced at the general judgment differ from that of the particular judgment?
The general judgment will not differ from the particular judgment except to give it solemn confirmation. However, since the general judgment will take place after the resurrection, it will affect the whole man, body and soul. Man’s final destiny, therefore, includes also the body which is to share in his reward or punishment.

On what is a person judged?
A person is judged on the moral good and evil that he has done.

What will the Lord say to the just at the last judgment?
To the just Our Lord will say, “Come you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34)

What are the two kinds of fulfillment given to the just?
The two kinds of fulfillment given to the just are possession of God and enjoyment of creatures.

What is meant by the possession of God?
By the possession of God is meant that He is seen face to face. This is known as the beatific vision. The degree of beatitude will depend on the merits a person has gained before he dies.

What is the beatific vision?
The beatific vision is a direct seeing of the Holy Trinity, with no creature standing between the soul and God. It is beatific because it will produce intense happiness, such as only God has a right to enjoy but that He shares with those who enter heaven.

How does the enjoyment of creatures increases the beatitude of heaven?
The enjoyment of creatures increases the beatitude of heaven after the last day of what the Church calls accessory happiness. God wants the blessed to enjoy Him both in Himself and through the creatures possessed in heaven.

What does the enjoyment of creatures mean?
The enjoyment of creatures means that there will be communications of minds and hearts in heaven. Ties of blood and friendship begun on earth will somehow continue into eternity. We shall enjoy the company of Christ in His humanity, the Blessed Virgin, the angels and saints in glory.

What are the qualities of the risen body?
The qualities of the risen body are: impassibility or immunity from death and pain; subtlety, or freedom from restraint by matter; agility, or obedience to spirit with relation to movement and space; and clarity, or extraordinary beauty of the soul manifested in the body.

Are we still the same persons after the resurrection?
Yes, although we are greatly changed for the better in our glorified state, we shall remain essentially the same after the resurrection. We retain our own personal identity.

Who are now in heaven?
Besides the angels, those now in heaven are the souls who entered eternity in the state of grace. They were either entirely free from temporal punishment due to sin when they died or, after death were cleansed of this debt in purgatory.

What will Our Lord say to the wicked at the last judgment?
To the wicked Our Lord will say, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41)

What is hell?
Hell is a place of endless punishment to which the wicked are condemned forever with the evil spirits.

What are the two kinds of pain threatened to the wicked?
The two kinds of pain threatened to the wicked are the loss of the beatific vision and the experience of pain from creatures.

What is the essential suffering of hell?
The essential suffering of hell is the pain of losing the vision of God for whose possession man was created.

What is a further suffering in hell?
A further suffering in hell is the pain of sense. This is caused by a creature outside the person and is described in divine revelation as fire. It is a fire that causes pain to body and soul without consuming the one in torment.

Who is in hell?
Besides the evil spirits, those are in hell who die in the state of mortal sin. They are the unrepentant sinners.

Are the pains of hell the same for everyone?
The pains of hell are not the same for all as justice demands that they be proportionate to the nature and number of each of the sins of each of the condemned.

How long will the pains of hell endure?
The pains of hell will endure for eternity; their duration is without end.

What is purgatory?
Purgatory is a state or condition in which the souls of the just, who die with the stains of sin, are cleansed by expiation before they are admitted to heaven.

Who are the souls of the just?
The souls of the just are those that leave the body in the state of grace and are therefore destined by right to enter heavenly glory.

What is the meaning of the term “stain of sin”?
By stain of sin we mean the temporal punishment due to venial or forgiven mortal sins, not yet expiated when the person dies.

Are the souls in purgatory certain they are saved?
Yes, the souls in purgatory are certain they are saved. It is for this reason that their suffering is only temporary.

What kind of suffering do the souls in purgatory endure?
The souls in purgatory endure two kinds of suffering: the pain of loss which is the temporary loss of the vision of God and the endurance of physical pain. The sufferings of purgatory are more intense than any suffering on earth.

Do the souls in purgatory experience joy?
Yes, the souls in purgatory experience intense spiritual joy because they are absolutely sure of their salvation. They have faith, hope and great charity. They know themselves to be in divine friendship, confirmed in grace and no longer able to offend their heavenly Father.

Can the souls in purgatory make satisfaction for their sins?
No, the souls in purgatory cannot make satisfaction for their sins because satisfaction as merit is possible only during one’s lifetime on earth. There is no true merit after death.

Who may help the souls in purgatory?
All who belong to the Communion of Saints can help the souls in purgatory that is the faithful on earth, and the angels and saints in heaven.

How can the faithful on earth help the souls in purgatory?
The faithful on earth can help the souls in purgatory by their sufferings, that is, through the Sacrifice of the Mass, prayers, also giving and every kind of good work.

How do the angels and saints help the souls in purgatory?
The angels and saints help the souls in purgatory not by way of merit or satisfaction but by their prayers and intercession with God.

Are the faithful obliged to help the souls in purgatory?
Yes, the faithful are obliged to help the souls in purgatory. It is at once a duty of justice and of charity. It is also a duty of personal interest since one day we may expect others to help us in the same way.

How do we know there is a purgatory?
We know there is a purgatory from Sacred Scripture and the Church’s constant Tradition.

What do the Scriptures tell us about purgatory?
In the Old Testament we are told that the Israelites prayed for the dead “that they might be released from their sin” (2M. 12:45). In the New Testament, Christ spoke of the sin of despair as not forgiven “either in this world or the next” (Mt. 12:32), implying that certain faults are pardoned in the life to come.

What does the Church’s Traditions tell us about purgatory?
The Church’s Tradition, embodied in funeral doctrine of the Magisterium, explicitly teaches that there is a purgatory, that purgatory is temporary, and that the poor souls can be helped by the prayers and good works of the faithful especially by offering the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Can the souls in purgatory pray and obtain blessings for those on earth?
It is certain that the souls in purgatory can pray and obtain blessings for those on earth, as they are united with the Pilgrim Church in the Communion of Saints.

Can we invoke the souls in purgatory?
Yes, we can invoke the souls in purgatory and are encouraged to ask them with the confidence of being heard. They understand our needs and are grateful for the prayers and sacrifices we offer on their behalf.

What are human acts?
Human acts are those performed knowingly, willingly, and not through physical necessity, inadvertence, or rational instinct.

What are the acts we perform without reflection?
The acts we perform without reflection are called acts of man. Such acts are involuntary likes and dislikes, first impulses of feeling or passion, acts done during sleep or delirium or under the influence of drugs, metabolism, and breathing.

How is the moral quality of our human acts determined?
The moral quality of our human acts is determined from three sources: the object, the end or purpose, and the circumstances.

What is meant by the object of a human act?
The object of a human act is what we do. It is that with which an action is essentially concerned; thus an act of prayer is morally good; and act of blasphemy is morally bad.

What do we mean by the circumstances of a human act?
The circumstances of a human act are the conditions under which it is performed. They are the situations which may change the whole moral tone of human conduct. Depending on the person who does something, or the ones in whose presence it is done, or the place, or the time of its performance, the morality is correspondingly affective.

What is the end or purpose of a human act?
The end or purpose of a human act is why we do it. This is the motive for which something is done. If the motive is sinful, the action is sinful.

What is a moral act?
A moral act is a human act. It is essentially an action that is done freely and deliberately, and is therefore imputable to the person who does it.

What kind of moral acts are there?
Moral acts are either good or bad.

When is an act morally good?
An action is morally good when the object, circumstances, and purpose of what is done are simultaneously good.

What finally determines whether a human action is morally good?
What finally determines whether a human action is morally good is whether it leads a person to his eternal destiny.

When is an act morally bad?
An act is morally bad when either the object, circumstances, or purpose of an act is bad. It is therefore, opposed to the law of God and does not lead a person to his heavenly destiny.

What are some human acts that are always morally bad?
Some human acts that are always morally bad are blasphemy, murder, and adultery.

What acts are morally indifferent?
Acts like walking, speaking, driving, or reading are morally indifferent because they may be directed to good or evil ends and become virtuous or sinful according to the purpose intended.

What is imputability?
Imputability is a person’s responsibility for every deliberate act he performs. We either praise and reward him if he does well in performing an act or blame and punish if he sins while performing an act. In other words, the principle is that every effort should be referred to its cause.

What is responsibility?
Responsibility is the obligation that a person has of rendering an account of his acts and of accepting the consequences.

What is the difference between imputability and responsibility?
The difference between imputability and responsibility is that imputability belongs to the act; responsibility belongs to the person performing the act.

What are the conditions around which imputability revolves?
The conditions around which imputability revolves are knowledge and freedom.

What is human freedom?
Human freedom is the ability we have to choose what we want even when there is no external constraint to do so. This power of choice is the foundation of the moral order.

What are the factors that diminish responsibility?
The factors that diminish responsibility are ignorance, emotion or passion, fear, past habits, and external force or violence.

What is ignorance?
Ignorance is the absence of knowledge that should be present especially with regard to moral matters that ought to be known.

What are the principal kinds of ignorance?
The principal kinds of ignorance are vincible and invincible.

What is vincible ignorance?
Vincible ignorance is that which a person could remove by the exercise of ordering diligence.

What is our duty regarding vincible ignorance?
Our duty regarding vinsible ignorance is to acquire the necessary knowledge for making a wise moral decision. Negligence about learning the truth determines one’s guilt in performing a morally bad act through lack of sufficient knowledge.

What is meant by invincible ignorance?
Invincible ignorance is ignorance that persists in spite of ordinary diligence to dispel it. In some cases, a person may not even suspect he is ignorant.

What are emotions?
Emotions are strong bodily reactions to sudden unexpected stimuli. They interfere with clear thinking and free choice. Ordinarily, they lesson or may even remove culpability of an action.

How many kinds of emotions are there?
There are two kinds of emotion: the antecedent where feelings are aroused before there is any chance for deliberation; and consequent emotion which is fostered by the will, as when a person nurses a grudge over an injury.

What are the effects of antecedent emotion?
The general effect of the antecedent emotion is to diminish guilt.

What are the effects of consequent emotion?
Consequent emotion does not reduce imputability; it makes an action more voluntary since the emotion is willfully nourished.

What is fear?
Fear is an intense, primitive response to a present or future danger.

Why does fear deserve special consideration?
Although fear follows the same general pattern as other emotions, it deserves special consideration because of its prevailing influence on human conduct.

How many kinds of fear are there?
There are three kinds of fear: internal or external depending on whether its cause is within or outside the person fearing. The fear of death is internal; the fear of another person is external. Reverential fear is afraid of offending someone to whom we owe respect, such as a person in authority.

How many kinds of fear stem from an external cause?
The kinds of fear that stem from an external cause are grave or slight, depending on whether the threatening harm is great or small.

What are the effects of fear?
Fear is so seldom great as to deprive a person of all responsibility for actions performed. Therefore, bad actions done through fear are normally culpable and good actions are normally meritorious.

Does fear ever affect the morality of our actions?
Yes, fear affects the morality of an action which is done out of fear, and not merely with fear. Something is done out of fear when, except for the fear, the action would not have been performed. Liberty is thus diminished or may even be erased.

What is law?
Law is an ordinance of practical reason by which one who has authority over a people bids them do something for the common good of the society.

What is the difference between precept and law?
The difference between precept and law is that laws are permanent binding norms for a whole people. Precepts, on the other hand, are specific commands given directly, not to a community, but to an individual.

Where do laws and precepts come from?
All valid laws and precepts ultimately come from God.

What is divine law?
Divine law is the law that comes directly from God. By this law He directs all creatures in all their activities. Divine law may be called eternal, natural, or positive, depending on its particular form.

Who is subject to the divine law?
All men who have the use of reason are subject to the divine law.

Are all laws derived from the divine law?
Yes, all laws are derived from the divine law; hence, another name for divine law is the eternal law.

What is meant by eternal law?
Eternal law means that the whole universe is governed by the Divine Reason. God then is in the deepest sense of the word, the Prince of the Universe, where the Prince is the one with whom all laws originate.

Why is it called eternal?
It is called eternal because it is conceived in God’s mind from eternity and not in time.

Why is it called a law?
It is called a law because it bears the character of a law. It embraces both the physical and moral laws. The moral laws bind human wills to conform to the Divine Will.

Why does the eternal law embrace the moral law?
The eternal law embraces the moral law because the human will must freely respond to God’s plan for man’s destiny.

How does the eternal moral law manifest itself?
The eternal moral law manifests itself in two ways: Naturally, which is the natural law, and supernaturally, which is the revealed law.

What is natural law?
Natural law is the law by which man comes to know the eternal law from created nature through the light of his native reason.

Why is it called natural law?
It is called natural law because objectively it is derived from nature, from the world of natural creation; and subjectively, because it is knowable by the light of man’s reason; it is also natural because it is that to which man is subject from the time of his birth.

Where does natural law manifest itself?
Natural law manifests itself within each person’s conscience, where its dictates are expressed by certain tendencies of nature, certain urges and drives which have to be evaluated by right reason.

Who is bound by the natural law?
All human beings are bound by the natural law, no matter where or when they live. Natural law is therefore, universal and unchangeable. No one can dispense with its observance. It becomes binding as soon as a person reaches the age of discretion.

What are the marks of natural law?
The marks of natural law are: It is universal because it applies to all men; it is immutable because it is not subject to change and no one can be excused from keeping it; it is absolute because it must be observed at all costs.

What is revealed law?
Revealed law is that by which man comes to know the eternal laws through Divine Revelation. Revealed law spans the whole of God’s special communication of His Will, through the Prophets in time past, and in our own time through His Son Jesus Christ.

What is human law?
Human law is the divine law mediated by human legislators.

How binding is human law?
Human law is binding in so far as it agrees with the natural law of conscience.

What is ecclesiastical law?
Ecclesiastical law is an ordinance issued by legitimate authority in the Catholic Church. The legislators for the entire Church are the Pope through the Roman Curia or an ecumenical council together with the Pope. Bishops may also legislate for their respective dioceses.

What is civil law?
Civil law is legislated and promulgated by the government in a political society. Civil law is morally binding in conscience as the Church’s tradition since biblical times testifies.

What are penal laws?
Penal laws are those to which a penalty for a transgression is attached.

Is a person obliged to pay the penalty for a transgression?
Yes, a person is obliged to pay the penalty for the transgression of a just law. However, he is not obliged in conscience to pay the penalty unless he is first convicted of the transgression. Circumstance, however, may urge paying the penalty before actual conviction.

What is conscience?
Conscience is the practical judgment of the intellect deciding from the general principles of faith and reason on the goodness or badness of the way of acting that a person now faces.

What are the functions of conscience?
The functions of conscience are twofold. Beforehand, conscience informs a person whether an action is lawful or not. Afterwards, conscience tells him whether the act done was good or bad.

What is meant by antecedent conscience?
Antecedent conscience is the operation of the mind before performing a human action. The conscience either commands or forbids, counsels or permits what a person anticipates doing.

What is the meaning of consequent conscience?
Consequent conscience is the passing of judgment on moral actions already done. It is the assessment of past behavior.

What kind of conscience is indispensible for growth in spiritual perfection?
A sensitive conscience is necessary for growth in spiritual perfection.

What is sensitive conscience?
A sensitive conscience is alert to the performance of God’s will not only in matters of strict obligation but in whatever would be pleasing to God.

How can one’s conscience become more spiritually sensitive?
Conscience can become more spiritually sensitive by the daily practice of examining; one’s past actions on their responsiveness to God’s will.

What is a scrupulous conscience?
A scrupulous conscience is a timorous and fearful conscience. The tendency is to judge something to be wrong when it is lawful. It is an unbalanced conscience.

When is a conscience perplexed?
A conscience is perplexed when it sees sin both in the performance and omission of some act.

What is the meaning of a lax conscience?
A lax conscience decides on insufficient grounds that a sinful act is permissible or that something gravely wrong is not serious. A lax conscience sees virtue where there is sin.

What is meant by a pharisaic conscience?
A pharisaic conscience minimizes grave sins, but magnifies matters of little importance.

What is a hardened conscience?
A hardened conscience consistently judges that either all or certain grave sins are trivial or not wrong at all.

How is a hardened conscience acquired?
A hardened conscience is acquired by the habit of sinning mortally, until a person’s mind

When is a conscience certain?
A conscience is certain when it has no prudent fear of being wrong, and when it firmly decides that some action is right or wrong.

What is an erroneous conscience?
An erroneous conscience tells a person that a good action is bad or a bad action is good.

What is the rule governing a doubtful conscience?
The rule is that we may never act on a doubtful conscience.

When is a conscience doubtful?
A conscience is doubtful when a person cannot certainly decide for or against a course of moral action.

How is a doubtful conscience to be resolved?
A doubtful conscience should be resolved by personal reflection, seeking wise counsel, and above all, asking for divine light in prayer.

What is sin?
Sin is the willful transgression of a divine law, that is, we knowingly and freely go beyond the limits divinely imposed on our moral liberty.

Why are we led into sin?
We are led into sin because we want our own personal satisfaction rather than submit to the will of God.

What sins are the basis of all human failings?
The sins that are the basis of all human failings are the capital sins.

What is the common origin of all capital sins?
The common origin of all capital sins is original sin.

What are capital sins?
Capital sins are the perverse inclinations of our fallen human nature.

Name the capital sins?
The capital sins are pride, lust, anger, covetousness, envy, sloth and gluttony.

What is pride?
Pride is an excessive love of our own superiority. It blinds a person to the truth that all his good qualities are gifts from God, and that others have the same or even greater gifts. It begets a spirit of independence that is impatient with subjection to authority, whether human or divine. Humility is the virtue opposed to pride.

What is lust?
Lust is the inordinate desire for sexual pleasure. The desire is inordinate when sought outside the bonds and laws of marriage. Chastity is the virtue opposed to lust.

What is anger?
Anger is a disorderly emotion that inclines a person to repel whatever displeases him; if not controlled it can become hatred and lead one to seek revenge.

Why is anger called a disorderly emotion?
Anger as a capital sin is called a disorderly emotion because anger is not always sinful. It can be an act of virtue when we become indignant for just reasons and with moderation.

When is anger unjust or sinful?
Anger is sinful when the feeling of displeasure is not justified, or goes beyond what the situation requires. Anger is especially wrong when it inflicts pain on another person who does not deserve to be punished, or the punishment exceeds the fault, or punishment is inflicted to satisfy a spiteful feeling or revenge. The virtue contrary to anger is gentleness or meekness.

How is covetousness defined?
Covetousness is an excessive love of temporal goods, usually in terms of money. It makes a person hard-hearted, miserly about sharing what he owns with others, eager to accumulate riches and indifferent about the means he uses to acquire wealth and power. The opposite virtue is liberality.

What is envy?
Envy is the sadness experienced in seeing the talents, production, property or prosperity of others that a person feels outshines or obscures his own. The contrary virtue is love.

What is the difference between envy and jealousy?
The difference between envy and jealousy is the motive. Envy does not have something that someone else has; jealousy has something that it is slow or unwilling to share with others.

What is sloth?
Sloth is an inordinate love of ease that leads a person to omit or neglect his duties. It is more or less sinful depending on the duty neglected and the scandal is gives. The virtue contrary to sloth is diligence.

What is gluttony?
Gluttony is an inordinate love of eating or drinking. It means eating or drinking to excess, taking more than is needed or healthy, or indulging the appetite merely for pleasure, or beyond one’s means. The virtue opposed to gluttony is temperance.

What is the difference between sin and vice?
The difference between sin and vice is that sin is an act and vice is a habit. Therefore, it is possible to commit a sin against a certain virtue without having the vice opposed to the virtue.

How many basic kinds of sin are there?
There are two basic kinds of sin: original and personal.

What is original sin?
Original sin is the sin that has its source in the disobedience of Adam and is handed down by generation to all men.

What is personal sin?
Personal sin is the sin of each individual.

How many kinds of personal sin are there?
There are two kinds of personal sin, actual and habitual.

What is actual sin?
Actual sin in any deliberate thought, word, deed, or omission contrary to God’s eternal law.

How can we commit actual sins?
We commit actual sins by our thoughts which are sinful desires; by words which may be spoken or otherwise articulated; by deeds which involve some external manifestation; and by omission which are failures to do what should have been done in a set of given circumstances.

How are actual sins divided according to their effect?
Actual sins are divided into mortal sins and venial sins depending on whether they deprive a person of supernatural life.

What is mortal sin?
Mortal sin is an actual sin that destroys sanctifying grace in the soul.

Why is it called mortal?
It is called mortal because it causes the supernatural death of the soul.

What is mortal sin in practice?
In practice mortal sin is the transgression of a divine law in a grievous matter with full knowledge and consent.

What are the conditions for a mortal sin?
There are three conditions for a mortal sin: Serious matter, which may be serious in itself as in blasphemy or because of the circumstance, or on account of its purpose; clear awareness of the serious nature of the act; and full consent by which a person freely wills to perform an action that he knows is gravely sinful.

What are the affects of mortal sin?
The affects of mortal sin are the loss of divine friendship, of past supernatural merits, and the right to heaven unless the sinner repents.

What is venial sin?
Venial sin is an offense against God that does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace.

Why is it called venial?
It is called venial from the Latin word, venia, which means “pardon.” A person in venial sin still has the principle of supernatural life that allows healing (or pardon) from within. Mortal sins require the intervention of God’s mercy to restore a supernaturally dead soul to spiritual life.

What are venial sins also called?
Venial sins are also called minor or ordinary, or daily sins. They may best be called harmful sins, compared to those which are deadly or mortal.

When does a person commit a venial sin?
A person commits a venial sin when he transgresses a divine law that is not grave, or when he transgresses a grave precept but without awareness of its gravity or without full consent.

What are the affects of venial sin?
The affects of venial sin are that it darkens the mind in its perception of virtue, weakens the will in its pursuit of holiness, lowers one’s resistance to temptation, and causes a person to deviate from the path that leads to heavenly glory.

What are the principal causes of sin?
The principal causes of sin are the occasions of sin.

What is meant by occasion of sin?
An occasion of sin is any external circumstance – a person, place or thing – that of its own nature or because of men’s weakness inclines and leads one to sin.

What are the kinds of occasion of sin?
There are two kinds of occasion of sins: the proximate occasion of sin which means that danger of committing sin in certain or probable; and the remote occasion of sin when the danger of committing sin is only slight.

Are we obliged to avoid the occasion of sin?
We are not obliged to avoid a remote occasion of sin unless there is danger that it will likely become a near occasion of sin. We are obliged to avoid all voluntary proximate occasions of sin.

What is a temptation?
A temptation is a solicitation to sin, whether by offering some satisfaction or by persuading the will. It arises from the world, the flesh and the devil.

How does temptation arise from the world?
Temptation arises from the world in so far as other human beings solicit us to sin. They do so by what they are (their evil but attractive life), by what they say (in speech, writing, or audio-visual media), or by what they do (their sinful actions which invite imitation).

How does temptation arise from the flesh?
Temptation arises from the flesh in so far as we have sinful tendencies due to our fallen human nature. These tendencies come from within ourselves and they are both bodily, as with gluttony or lust, and spiritual, as in envy or pride.

How does temptation arise from the devil?
Temptation arises from the devil who is permitted by God to try to deceive us by stressing the benefits of something that is sinful.

What is habitual sin?
Habitual sin is the sinful state of a soul resulting from actual sin.

Which kinds of habitual sin are there?
There are two kinds of habitual sin. More properly, habitual sin refers to the state of soul in un-repented mortal sin. Habitual sin, however, may also mean the weakened state of soul of a person, with un-forgiven venial sins, but still in the grace of God.

What is the habit of sin?
The habit of sin is the case of committing certain sins that a person acquires by repeatedly doing some particular action that is morally wrong.

What is situation ethics?
Situation ethics is a purely subjective theory of conduct. It holds that the ultimate standard of conduct is not an objective norm found outside of man and independent of his subjective persuasion, but an immediate internal illumination and judgment of each person for himself in whatever situation he finds himself.

What is the Church’s position on situation ethics?
The Church’s position on situation ethics is that it does not conform to the objective principles of Catholic morality.

How are the principles of Christian morality objective?
The principles of Christian morality are objective in being independent of the personal subjective judgment of each person. Right and wrong do not exist only in the mind. They are also objective because their validity is not conditional by changing circumstances or times. And they are objective in their capacity to evoke great moral courage and generosity.

What is the theory of the fundamental option?
The theory of the fundamental option holds that the only mortal sin a person can commit is to choose to reject God. No matter how objectively grave a sin may be, e.g., adultery, it is not a mortal sin unless a person makes a radical decision (fundamental option) against serving God.

What is the Church’s teaching on the fundamental option?
The Church’s teaching on the fundamental option is that moral sin, which is opposed to God, does not consist only in formal and direct resistance to the divine commandment of charity. It is equally to be found in this opposition to authentic love which is included in every deliberate transgression, in serious matter of each of the moral laws.

Does the practice of morality include other particular precepts besides love?
Yes, the practice of morality includes other particular precepts. Therefore a person sins mortally not only when his action comes from direct contempt for love of God and neighbor, but also when he consciously and freely, for whatever reason, chooses something which is seriously disordered. For in this choice, there is already included contempt for the divine commandment.

Why does a person sin mortally whenever he deliberately does something he knows is seriously wrong?
A person sins mortally whenever he deliberately does something he knows is seriously wrong because it is God and not man who decides what deprives man of divine friendship.

Where are the principal precepts of the moral law contained?
The principal precepts of the moral law are contained in the Commandment of God.

What is the Decalogue?
The Decalogue is the code, which comprises the principal duties and rights of all men.

Under what title are the duties and rights of man contained in the Decalogue?
The title under which the duties and natural rights of man are contained is the “Ten Commandments of God.”

Why are they called the Commandments of God?
They are called the Commandments of God because God revealed them to man by a direct and positive revelation.

In what way did God reveal the Ten Commandments?
God revealed the Ten Commandments when he ordered Moses to gather together the people of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai. There amid peals of thunder and flashes of lightening, Yahweh proclaimed the Ten Commandments.

How are the Ten Commandments commonly formulated?
The Ten Commandments are commonly formulated as follows:

  1. I am the Lord Your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord Your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not kill.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Were the Commandments promulgated under the New Law?
Yes, the commandments were promulgated anew by Jesus Christ and perfected in His sermon on the Mount.

In what way did Jesus Christ sum up the Commandments?
Jesus Christ summed up the commandments by reducing them to two fundamental principles: the love of God and the love of neighbor. “You must love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27-28)

What are the commandments that pertain to the love of God?
The commandments that pertain to the love of God are the first three. They regulate man’s relations to God and express the fundamental obligations of religion.

What are the commandments that pertain to the love of neighbor?
The commandments that pertain to the love of neighbor are the last seven. They regulate man’s relations with his fellow man and express the fundamental obligations of morality.

Is it necessary to keep the Commandments?
Yes, it is necessary to keep the Commandments. For to break any of them willfully is to offend God and commit sin.

Are we obliged to keep only the Commandments of God?
We are also to keep the Commandments of the Church.

Does the Church have the power to make commandments?
Yes, the Church has received the power to make commandments from Jesus Christ her founder, which is proved by Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

What obedience do we owe the laws of the Church?
The obedience we owe the laws of the Church is not merely external conformity, but internal submission of will. It is not enough to keep the letter of the law, but we must understand the spirit of the law and put it into practice.

Why did the Church make commandments?
The Church made commandments to enable the faithful to better observe the Commandments of God and to follow the teachings of the Gospel.

By what authority does the Church make commandments?
The Church makes commandments by the authority given to her by Christ, as when He told the apostles, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and teach all nations.” (Mt. 28:18-19)

What are the principal commandments of the Church?

  1. To hear Mass on Sunday and holydays of obligation
  2. To fast and abstain on the appointed days
  3. To go to confession at least once a year
  4. To contribute to the support of the Church
  5. To marry according to the laws of the Church

What is the first commandment of God?
The first commandment of God is: “I am the Lord Your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.”

What does the first commandment tell us?
The first commandment tells us that we are to worship the one, true and living God and not allow any creature to usurp the plan of God in our lives.

What is the Church’s further understanding of the first Commandment of God?
The Church understands the first commandment to be a positive precept that prescribes the virtue of religion and a negative prohibition that forbids all sins contrary to this virtue.

What is the virtue of religion?
The virtue of religion is a moral virtue by which we are disposed to render to God the worship that is due him. It is the virtue of justice toward God.

Why is the virtue of religion important?
The virtue of religion is important because it directly draws us nearer to God.

How does religion draw us nearer to God?
Religion draws us nearer to God because it is a composite of all virtues that arise from our relationship to God as the author of our being.

How does the virtue of religion differ from the love of God?
The virtue of religion differs from the love of God in that religion responds to God as our Creator, while love responds to God as our final Destiny.

How is the worship of God put into practice?
The worship of God is put into practice by adoration, prayer and sacrifice.

What is adoration?
Adoration is the honor we give to God in recognition of His infinite perfections, supreme dominion, and our total dependence on Him.

How do we distinguish between the worship of God and the worship of angles and saints?
The worship of God is adoration that of angels and saints is veneration. Only God is to be adored; all others are to be honored as creatures whose dignity depends entirely on God.

Are we obliged to worship God?
We are obliged to worship God with the worship of adoration because only the Creator can claim the entire subjection of His creatures as their sovereign Master and Lord.

Why are we obliged to worship God?
We are obliged to worship God because He wants us to pay attention to His presence, acknowledge His surpassing greatness and show in the depths of our being an awareness that He is our God.

Why is the veneration of the Blessed Virgin and the saints lawful?
The veneration of the Blessed Virgin and the saints is lawful because of their nearness to God. He is pleased when we ask them to intercede for us with Him, and seek to initiate the virtues they practiced through the grace He bestowed on them.

Does veneration of Mary and the saints detract from the worship of God?
No, so far from detracting from the worship of God, veneration of Mary and the saints enriches our devotion to God. It is His goodness we praise in them, and His mercy we pray for through them.

What are saints?
Saints are persons who, during their life on earth, practiced extraordinary virtue that we are bidden to imitate. They now enjoy the beatific vision in heaven and are powerful intercessors for us before the throne of God.

Are all saints canonized?
No, not all saints are canonized.

What is canonization?
Canonization is the solemn declaration by the pope that the faithful should universally invoke a person as a saint. The practice of canonization goes back to the late twelfth century. Before then, the Church approved the invocation of certain people as saints, but without the now elaborate process of canonization.

What is beatification?
Beatification is the Church’s declaration that a person who practiced heroic virtue may be venerated locally or by a limited number of people.

Why do we venerate the Blessed Mother above all the angels and saints?
We venerate Mary above all the angels and saints because she is full of grace, the most perfect of creatures, the Mother of God and of the Church, and the Queen of heaven and earth.

Is the veneration of images, pictures, and relics lawful?
The veneration of images, pictures, and relics is lawful because the honor paid to the image passes on to the one it represents.

What is a relic?
A first class relic is a part of the body of a person who has been canonized or beatified by the Church. A second class relic is an object which belonged to the person during life. And a third class relic is anything that has been touched to the body of the saint or blessed.

Of what use are sacred images and pictures?
Sacred images and pictures remind us of the blessings that we have received from God and the saints. They inspire us to follow in their footsteps, to thank God for His great goodness to us and to lead a holy life.

What is prayer?
Prayer is an exercise of the virtue of religion, the lifting up of the mind and heart to God in faith, hope, and charity.

Why must we pray?
We must pray because God wants us to acknowledge His existence and complete reliance on Him, to thank Him for past favors received, to beg His mercy for having offended Him for all the graces that we and others need.

Is prayer necessary?
Yes, prayer is absolutely necessary because without prayer we cannot be saved.

How should we pray?
We must pray with attention and devotion, that is, with an awareness of God’s presence and a desire to be united in spirit with Him.

When should we pray?
We should pray without ceasing because we are always present to God, and, as far as possible, He should also be present to us. However, we never cease to depend on God and through prayer, are assured of the graces that we constantly need.

For whom should we pray?
We should pray for anyone who has not yet reached or entered into everlasting happiness, for our parents, benefactors, friends, and even our enemies. We should pray for the Church, especially for the pope and bishops, for the faithful and for all mankind.

What are the principal kinds of prayer?
The principal kinds of prayer are vocal, which can be either private or public; mental, which can be either meditation or contemplation.

What is meant by vocal prayer?
In vocal prayer, the words used are determined beforehand. They are the words of someone else, with which the person praying identifies himself in spirit.

What is private vocal prayer?
Private vocal prayer is recited either out loud or silently by a single individual praying alone.

What is public vocal prayer?
Public vocal prayer is recited or sung out loud by several people praying together. When this prayer is prescribed by the Church for public service by the faithful, it is liturgical prayer.

Why is liturgical prayer the most excellent prayer?
Liturgical prayer is the most excellent prayer because it is offered in the name of the Church and draws on the special merits of the Communion of Saints.

What is mental prayer?
In mental prayer, the words used are not determined or prescribed. The one praying expresses himself according to the sentiments of his own mind and heart.

What is meditation?
Meditation is that form of mental prayer in which the mind is specially occupied with reflecting on divine things. These prayerful reflections become the means of stimulating the will to make acts of confidence and sorrow, of gratitude and petition, and the love of God.

What is contemplation?
Contemplation is that form of mental prayer in which the will and affections are mainly preoccupied with the praise and love of God. The mind is operative, but less with reflection and reasoning than with a simple looking at God dwelling in the depths of the soul, or with Christ really present in the Blessed Sacrament.

What is sacrifice?
Sacrifice means the surrender of something precious for the love of God.

How is sacrifice a fulfillment of the first precept commandment?
Sacrifice is a fulfillment of the first commandment because by it we acknowledge God’s majesty and express our total dependence on God.

What kinds of sacrifice does God ask of us?
God asks of us both external and internal sacrifices. We sacrifice externally by giving up something we like. We sacrifice internally when we not only deprive ourselves of its possession or use but also let go of it with the affections of the heart.

What is the essence of sacrifice?
The essence of sacrifice is the willingness to surrender what pleases me in order to please God.

How does a person sin against the First Commandment?
A person sins against the first commandment by failing to give God the acknowledgement He deserves in humble prayer and willing sacrifice.

How else can a person sin against the First Commandment?
A person can also sin against the first commandment by superstition and irreligion.

What are the principal sins against the first commandment?
The principal sins against the first commandment are by excess or by defect.

What are the sins against the first commandment by excess?
The sins against the first commandment by excess are superstition, vain observance, and idolatry.

What is superstition?
Superstition offers worship to God in an improper manner, e.g., worship based on rejected rites, heresy, spurious revelations, unwarranted expectations and the like.

What is vain observance?
Vain observance seeks to obtain some abnormal effect beyond the power of nature while invoking a creature as though it were divine. The main forms of vain observance are divination, magic, or Satanism.

What is divination?
Divination is a religious investigation of future or hidden things through means inadequate by nature and unlawful. Divination implies the solicitation of a preternatural evil agency to supplement the natural deficiency. The horoscope, chiromancy, augury, necromancy, and dream omens are typical forms of divination.

What is magic?
Magic may simply mean slight-of-hand artistry and, as such, has no moral implications. But magic is sinful when it claims to produce marvelous phenomena through the predictable intervention of occult spiritual beings.

What kinds of magic are there?
There are two kinds of magic, sorcery and witchcraft. In sorcery, the practitioner claims to produce extraordinary effects because he knows some secret formula or ritual. In witchcraft, he claims to be personally in league with some occult being whose invocation produces the phenomena.

Why does the Church condemn the use of magic?
The Church condemns the use of magic because miraculous results are expected of created powers over which God alone has sovereignty.

What is Satanism?
Satanism is the worship and invocation of the devil. It is always a grave sin.

Why is worship and invocation of the devil a serious sin?
The worship and invocation of the devil is a grave sin because it pays reverence to the declared enemy of God and credits him with the power to act independently of God.

What is meant by idolatry?
Idolatry means giving divine honors to a creature.

Are superstition, vain observance and idolatry serious sins?
Yes, superstition, vain observance and idolatry are by their nature serious sins. However, ignorance, simplicity or good faith may excuse a person from grave sin—as happens among people who have not been duly instructed in the true faith.

What are the sins against the first commandment by defect?
The sins against the first commandment by defect are irreligion.

What is irreligion?
Irreligion is an assault made on the honor of God.

How is the honor of God assaulted?
The honor of God is assaulted by tempting God, sacrilege, and simony.

What is meant by tempting God?
By tempting God a person says or does something that experiments to find out if God is all-wise, powerful, merciful, or has some other divine attribute.

Is tempting God a serious sin?
If one directly tempts God, that is, challenges God to work a miracle, it is by its nature a mortal sin. Otherwise the sin is more or less grave depending on how serious the matter in which God is being tested or tried to prove Himself.

What is a sacrilege?
A sacrilege is a violation or contemptuous treatment of a person, place, or thing dedicated to the worship or service of God.

What is simony?
Simony is the refusal to share one’s spiritual gifts or possessions except for a price. Christ entrusted His grace to the Church to be communicated freely and without monetary gain.

What is understood by spiritual things?
By spiritual things is understood the sacraments, the Mass, blessings, relics, medals, or any object or service that confers supernatural benefits.

What is a stipend?
A stipend is a fee that helps to defray the expenses of materials for Mass or clerical expenses depending on what service has been rendered by the priest.

Why are stipends lawful?
Stipends are lawful because they are given to help support the priest and are not in payment for the service rendered.

What is the Church’s teaching about remuneration for spiritual service?
The Church teaches that her spiritual ministry is to be made available to all the faithful. She tells her priests that they must take special pains to serve the poor and the lowly after the example of Christ our Lord.

How does Christian charity include sharing spiritual possessions with others?
Christian charity includes sharing of spiritual possessions, totally one’s thoughts and deepest sentiments of one’s heart. This means the desire to communicate with others in conversation, especially about matters religious and other important things in life.

What is the second commandment of God?
The second commandment of God declares, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”

What does the second commandment prescribe?
The second commandment prescribes the lawful use of God’s name.

What does the second commandment forbid?
The second commandment forbids the irreverent use of God’s name.

What does Catholic tradition associate with the second commandment?
Catholic tradition associates the making of vows and the taking of oaths with the second commandment.

What is a vow?
A vow is a deliberate promise made to God to do something that is possible, morally good, and, in fact, better then would be its voluntary omission or its contrary.

How many kinds of vows are there?
There are several kinds of vows: private and public; solemn and simple; personal and real.

When is a vow said to be public?
A vow is said to be public when made in the name of the Church and received by a legitimate ecclesiastical superior; otherwise it is private.

What are solemn vows?
Solemn vows are those so designated by the Church, where the solemnity refers to such features as the gravity of obligation and the rarity of dispensation.

What are simple vows?
Simple vows are those which are pronounced in an institute approved by the Church, but which are not declared to be solemn.

Why are most vows personal?
Most vows are personal since they concern the actions or conduct of the person who makes them.

What is meant by a “real” vow?
By a “real” vow is meant that some physical object is promised to God, like a sum of money.

Who may make a vow?
Anyone may make a vow who has reached the age of discretion. However, there are laws of the Church that require a certain age for pronouncing vows in a religious institute.

Are we obliged to keep or fulfill the vows we make?
We are obliged to keep the vows we make. God himself has commanded us to do so in Sacred Scripture; and every promise that is accepted is naturally binding.

How does a vow differ from a simple promise?
A vow differs from a simple promise in three ways: in the person to whom it is made, in the intention, and in the duty of living up to it. Vows are covenants made with God, and not merely resolutions to oneself or promises to another person. They are made with a view to obtaining divine grace as God’s pledge in response to man’s commitment. And they impose the obligation in virtue of religion, to be faithfully carried into effect.

How grave is the obligation of a vow?
The obligation of a vow may be grave or slight, according to the intention of the one taking the vow.

Why is a vow pleasing to God?
A vow is pleasing to God because it unites the person to God by a new bond of religion. Moreover, it means offering up to God not only a single act but the will behind all the acts performed under the vow.

When does the obligation of a vow cease?
The obligation of a vow ceases when the reason for which the vow was made ceases; or by annulment, dispensation or commutation.

What is the annulment of a vow?
The annulment of a vow means it is nullified by a person who has legitimate authority over the one who made the vow or over the matter of the vow.

What is meant by dispensation from a vow?
By dispensation from a vow means that a person is released from the binding force of the vow, granted in the name of God by one possessing lawful authority to do so.

Who may dispense from vows?
The power to dispense from vows belongs to the Pope, bishops and their delegates.

What vows are reserved for dispensation to the Pope?
The vows reserved to the Pope are those of clergy, and of persons living in religious life. Depending on circumstances, the Pope may delegate the right of dispensation to others.

What is necessary for the dispensation from a vow?
For dispensation of a vow, a grave reason is necessary. The Church in whose name the vow was taken is the final judge whether there are sufficient grounds for dispensation.

What is the meaning of commutation?
Commutation means the substitution of another good work for the one promised to God.

What is an oath?
An oath is the reverent use of God’s name when He is called upon to witness to the truth of what a person is saying.

Is it lawful to take an oath, that is, to swear?
It is lawful to take an oath because swearing has been instituted as an assurance of sincerity.

What are the conditions that make an oath lawful?
The conditions that make an oath lawful are truthfulness, justice, honesty, and a reasonably grave reason.

What is a false oath?
A false oath is called perjury.

What is perjury?
Perjury is the deliberate swearing to a falsehood.

Is perjury a serious sin?
Perjury is always a serious sin because it implies a desire to destroy God’s truthfulness.

What is adjuration?
Adjuration is the use of the name of God or of some sacred person or thing, in order to strengthen a command or request.

Are adjurations commendable?
Adjurations are commendable provided they are made with the right intention, and the circumstances warrant this kind of solemn invocation.

What does the second commandment forbid?
The second commandment forbids blasphemy and cursing.

What is blasphemy?
Blasphemy is an expression insulting to God. It is any speech, thought or action that manifests contempt for God.

Is blasphemy always a grave sin?
Blasphemy is a very grave sin which admits of no light matter. It is venial only through lack of reflection or a consent.

What is cursing?
Cursing is to call down evil on someone or something.

Is it sinful to curse anything less than man?
Yes, it is sinful to curse things less than man.

Why is it sinful to curse irrational objects?
It is more or less sinful to curse irrational objects because of the uncontrolled anger or impatience of the person.

What is the greatest evil we can wish on anyone?
The greatest evil we can wish on anyone is that he be condemned to hell. Moreover, wishing moral evil on a person is always sinful.

Is cursing always morally wrong?
Cursing is always morally wrong. The degree of seriousness of the sin depends on how serious a person wants some spiritual or physical harm befall the one cursed.

Is it ever permissible to wish some physical evil on another?
Yes, it is permissible to wish, without cursing, some physical evil on another, provided the intention is the person’s spiritual welfare.

What is the responsibility of a Christian about cursing?
The responsibility of a Christian about cursing is to watch his tongue, which as St. James says, “is the pest that will not keep still even if it is full of poison.”

What is the third commandment of God?
The third commandment of God is, “Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.”

What day was reserved for the worship of God in the Old Law?
The day reserved for the worship of God in the Old Law was Saturday, called the Sabbath.

What did the third commandment prescribe in the Old Law?
In the Old Law, the third commandment prescribes keeping the Sabbath holy as a day of rest.

Why were the people to rest from labor on the Sabbath?
The people were to rest from labor on the Sabbath because they were to follow the example of Yahweh. He blessed that day as a symbol of His “six days” of work as Creation.

What day was specially reserved for the worship of God under the New Law?
The day specially reserved for the worship of God under the New Law was Sunday.

Who made the change from the Sabbath to Sunday?
The apostles made the change from the Sabbath to Sunday in virtue of the authority God had given them.

What was the reason for the change from the Sabbath to Sunday?
The reason for the change from the Sabbath to Sunday was to commemorate the Resurrection of Christ from the dead on the first day of the week.

Why is Sunday observed among Christians?
Sunday is observed among Christians to commemorate Easter Sunday, when Christ rose from the dead, and Pentecost Sunday, when He sent the Holy Spirit on the disciples in Jerusalem.

What does the third commandment oblige us to do?
The third commandment obliges us to hear Mass on Sunday and abstain from servile work.

What is the Church’s principal teaching on the observance of Sunday?
The Church’s principal teaching on the observance of Sunday is that the faithful must gather together to hear the word of God and to participate in the Eucharist. Sunday is meant to be a day of gladness and rest from work.

What do the words “must gather together” indicate?
The words, “must gather together” indicates assisting at Mass on Sunday is a grave obligation.

Why has the Catholic Church decreed that Christians observe Sunday as a day of rest?
The Church decreed that Christians observe Sunday as a day of rest because our religion, moral teaching, and health require some relaxation at regular times.

Should all have the right and duty to enjoy leisure time allowed by divine and human law?
All have the right and duty to enjoy leisure time allowed by divine and human law. They are to use their leisure to cultivate their social, religious and family life.

What kind of work is permitted on Sunday?
The kind of work that is permitted on Sunday is so called liberal work, such as reading, writing, teaching, drawing, or music, common work, such as traveling, hunting or fishing; daily necessities, like cooking, care of domestic animals; any work having immediate relation with the Church; works of Charity, such as care of the sick and work done for the poor.

What kind of work is forbidden on Sundays?
All servile work, such as field labor, mechanical and industrial work is forbidden on Sunday. Public sales and Judiciary work are also forbidden.

What reasons would allow servile work on Sunday?
Servile work is allowed on Sunday when it is practically necessary as a means of livelihood as when required in strict justice or charity.

How serious is the sin which we commit by working on Sundays?
The sin we commit by working on Sunday is grave if the work is performed in contempt of the law or is an occasion for grave scandal.

How are we to keep the Sunday holy?
We are to keep Sunday holy by dedicating it to the Lord, by assisting at Mass, spiritual reading, enjoying leisure time according to what God wants, and avoiding all occasions of sin.

Is bodily presence necessary and required to fulfill one’s obligation?
Bodily presence is necessary and required in order to fulfill one’s obligation of hearing Mass.

What is the best way to assist at Mass?
The best way to assist at Mass is to unite ourselves with the priest and the congregation all through the Mass and to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist.

hat causes dispense from assisting at Sunday Mass?
The causes that dispense from assisting at Sunday Mass are: Physical impossibility which applies to those who are unable to hear Mass such as the sick, or those who have no priest to say Mass for them; moral impossibility, which means that it would be very difficult to attend Mass, say because of the absolute necessity of fulfilling other duties and charity, which means sacrificing Mass attendance to remain at the bedside of the sick or give urgent assistance to someone in great need.

Are we obliged to assist at Mass on any other days besides Sunday?
Besides Sunday, we are obliged to assist at Mass on the Holy Days of obligation.

What are holy days of obligation?
Holy days of obligation are special days set aside by the Church for the same reason that Sundays are to be kept holy. They are dedicated to Our Lord and His saints to commemorate some outstanding mystery of our faith.

Which are the holy days of obligation in the United States and Canada?
The holy days of obligation in the United States and Canada are:

  1. Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God – January 1
  2. Ascension Thursday - Forty days after Easter
  3. Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary – August 15
  4. All Saints Day – November 1
  5. Immaculate Conception – December 8
  6. Christmas – December 25

What is the fourth commandment?
The fourth commandment is: Honor your father and mother.

What does it mean to honor?
To honor means that children are to love, respect, and obey their parents.

Is the duty of love, respect and obedience a grave obligation?
Yes, the duty of love, respect and obedience is a grave obligation and sins opposed to this duty are mortal in nature when the matter is serious.

Why must children obey their parents?
Children must obey their parents because God himself is the source of parental rights.

How should children obey their parents?
Children should obey their parents promptly, respectfully and exactly.

Must a child always obey its parents?
Yes, a child must obey its parents in everything where there appears to be no sin.

When is a son or daughter not bound to obey the parents?
A son or daughter is not bound to obey the parents whenever they command something that is clearly against the commandments of God or the Church, or when they are unreasonably opposed to the choice of one’s state of life.

Why should children show a special love for their parents?
Children should show a special love for their parents because next to God they are most indebted to their father and mother.

In what way do children sin against the love they owe their parents?
Children sin against the love they owe their parents by not showing marks of affection; by talking about them; provoking them, not caring for them in their need, or wishing them evil.

How are children to respect their parents?
Children are to respect their parents as their elders on whom they depend for so much of their well being.

Why must children respect their parents?
Children must respect their parents because they are representative of God.

How do children sin against the respect they owe their parents?
Children sin against the respect they owe their parents by speaking unkindly to or about them, by striking or insulting them, and being ashamed of them.

Must children obey only their parents?
No, children must also obey teachers and anyone who has charge of them.

What are the duties of children toward their teachers?
The duties of children toward their teachers are respect, love, docility, and gratitude.

Do children’s duties toward their parents cease after they leave home.
Children’s duties toward their parents do not cease after they leave home but continue all through life and even after death.

How are children obliged to honor their parents who are in need?
Children are obliged to honor their parents who are in need by meeting all their reasonable wants.

How are children obliged to honor their parents who are old?
Children are obliged to honor their parents who are old by providing for them adequately and in a kindly way.

How serious is the obligation to care for one’s parents who are aged or in need?
It is a serious obligation, and children sin grievously if they refuse their parents the means of livelihood.

Does the fourth commandment oblige only children toward their parents?
No, the fourth commandment also declares that parents have certain duties toward their children.

What are the principal duties of parents to their children?
The principal duties of parents to their children are instruction and admonition.

Who are the primary educators of children?
The primary educators of children are parents.

Why are parents the primary educators of their children?
Parents are the primary educators of their children because they brought the children into the world, they are closest to the children in their most formative years, and they have been specially endowed by God to train in spirit the children they have generated in body.

What kind of instruction do parents owe their children?
Parents owe their children instruction in the truths they will need for time and eternity. This means that they are trained to form a correct conscience in the moral conduct of their lives.

How should parents fulfill this obligation?
Parents should fulfill this obligation by creating a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man.

When should parents begin this religious training of their children?
Parents should begin religious training of their children in infancy.

Besides religious training at home what education should parents provide for their children?
Besides religious training at home parents should provide for a sound education in school.

What kind of schools should parents choose for their children?
Parents are bound to give preference to schools that offer sound Catholic education in faith and morals. When such schools are not available, they must provide for Catholic education outside of school.

Is this a grave obligation?
Yes, parents have a duty before God, binding under grave sin, to provide for the Catholic education and moral training of their children.

What means does the Church use to fulfill her mission to educate?
The means that the Church uses to fulfill her mission to educate is to give such catechetical instruction as will enlighten and strengthen the faith, nourish life according to the spirit of Christ, lead to intelligent and active participation in the liturgy and give motivation for apostolic activity.

Why must parents admonish their children?
Parents must admonish their children to help them to see that certain actions are good and others are not good. Otherwise, children will develop bad habits by simply giving in to their natural tendencies.

What is an admonition?
An admonition is the reminder of certain truths that reason or faith tells a person are to be followed.

What must parents especially avoid when admonishing their children?
Parents must especially avoid driving their children to resentment.

What are the duties of employees towards employers?
Employees are to obey their employers in whatever reasonably belongs to their employment. They should work diligently and accept directions in the spirit of interior humility.

How can employees sin against their employers?
Employees can sin against their employers by failure to put in an honest day’s work, carelessness, wasting materials, and taking what does not belong to them.

What should motivate Christian employees to fulfill the duties of their state?
Conformity to the will of God and the example of hard work of the Holy Family should motivate Christian employees to fulfill the duties of their state.

How should employers treat their employees?
Employers should treat their employees with Christ like charity; protect them especially from spiritual harm; and pay them a just wage.

What is the fifth Commandment of God?
The fifth commandment of God is; you shall not kill.

Did the people in the Old Testament respect human life?
Yes, the people in the Old Testament had been forcefully taught to respect human life and avoid killing any innocent human beings, whether born or unborn.

How does the New Law differ concerning the fifth commandment?
The New Law differs from the Mosaic Law regarding the fifth commandment by its prohibition of interior feelings of hatred and anger and its stress on charity in helping and not only not harming the neighbor.

What does the fifth commandment forbid us to do?
The fifth commandment forbids unjust killing, such as proceeds from human malice or passion; it also forbids doing any harm to the integrity or health of the body.

What does the fifth commandment tell us to do?
The fifth commandment tells us to care for our own life and health and also the life and health of our neighbor.

Why must we respect our neighbor?
We must respect our neighbor because Christ’s command to love implies respect. We are to look upon our neighbor as another self with special concern for all his physical needs.

Why should Christians be outstanding in their concern for others?
Christians should be outstanding in their concern for others because Christ told us that by this will all men know who are His true disciples.

Why should Christians be outstanding in their concern for others?
Christians should be outstanding in their concern for others because Christ told us that by this will all men know who are His true disciples.

How extensive should our charity be today?
Our charity today should be concerned not only for individuals but for the welfare of human society.

How should we exercise charity towards others?
We should exercise charity towards others by seeing in them the image of God, for whose sake we love them; and by respecting with great sensitivity their dignity as human persons.

How are we obliged to care for our own life?
We are obliged to use ordinary means to sustain our life.

Why must we use ordinary means to preserve life?
We must use ordinary means to preserve life because our body is a gift that God wants us to receive with gratitude.

Why do we not have to use extraordinary means to keep alive?
We do not have to use extraordinary means to keep alive because God does not demand what is beyond the ordinary power of most people to fulfill.

What are the ordinary means to preserve life?
The ordinary means to preserve life are proper food, sleep, clothing and shelter; they also include such medical are as society can readily provide.

What are the extraordinary means of preserving life?
The extraordinary means of preserving life are those that cannot be obtained or used without extreme difficulty in terms of pain, expense, or other burdening factors.

When must extraordinary means be used?
Extraordinary means must be used when a person is very necessary to his family, the Church, or society; in this case, extraordinary means become morally obligatory according to the need for sustaining a person’s life.

May a person deliberately shorten his life?
A person may not deliberately shorten his life because it belongs to God alone to determine our time of probation on earth.

What is euthanasia?
Euthanasia is the deliberate termination of innocent human life for the alleged purpose of ending useless pain, but actually to remove what is considered a burden to society.

Why has euthanasia become so widespread?
Euthanasia has become so widespread because science has given man a sense of mastery over the universe which includes the unfounded right over human life from conception to the grave. Moreover, modern man is so immersed in the satisfaction of this world that he has become indifferent to whatever lies beyond the experience of his life on earth.

Is euthanasia ever permissible?
Euthanasia is never permissible. It is always either willful murder or suicide.

Why does Catholic Christianity condemn euthanasia?
Catholic Christianity condemns euthanasia because it is a grave crime against justice, both human and divine. Man is only steward of his own life, and the life of others is their most precious possession of which no one under God may deprive them.

What is suicide?
Suicide is the direct taking of one’s own life. A person assumes the right to take his own life.

Why is suicide a grievous sin?
Suicide is a grievous sin because it is opposed to our nature and to the charity we owe ourselves; because of its scandal to society and the loss of one of its members, and especially because it is an injustice to God, who alone has the right to give life to take it away.

How does the Church view a suicidal death?
The Church views direct suicide as evil is itself; and therefore, no circumstances can ever justify it. Indirect suicide is, generally speaking, unlawful; for man is not only forbidden to take his own life, but he is also forbidden to expose it to unreasonable risk. Suicides are deprived of Church burial unless as generally happens, they were not fully responsible for their action.

Are we ever allowed to perform an act that may lead to our death?
Yes, we are allowed to perform an act that may lead to our death if there is no direct intention of death. There must also be a grave reason for performing the act, and the reason for performing the act must be in proportion to the danger.

What is murder?
Murder is the direct and deliberate taking of an innocent person’s life.

How grievous is the sin of murder?
Murder is a grievous sin because it is an invasion of the right of God who alone is master of human life. It is also an injustice to the victim, to the family and to society.

What is capital punishment?
Capital punishment is punishment by death administered by legitimate civil authority or those who have been lawfully convicted of serious crimes.

Who has the right to inflict capital punishment?
The right to inflict capital punishment is invested in public authority. No private authority has the right to put a criminal to death.

What is genocide?
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a race or class of people on alleged ground of their being harmful to society.

Why must we respect the human person?
We must respect the human person because human life is sacred, of and by itself, and apart from any other function it may have in society.

Why is human life sacred?
Human life is sacred because it begins by the creative act of God, is capable of knowing and loving God, has been redeemed by the passion and death of the Son of God, and is destined to possess God for all eternity.

Who alone has absolute mastery over human life?
God alone has absolute mastery over human life.

When does human life begin?
Human life begins at the moment of conception. The moment the ovum is fertilized, a new human life begins to grow and develop.

Who are disqualified from the divine right to human life?
Disqualified from the divine right to human life are those who are judged to be a grave menace to society---such as criminals and unjust aggressors from whom we may protect ourselves.

Is it sinful to even want to take away the life of an innocent person?
Yes, it is sinful to want to take away the life of an innocent person because this would be murder by intention.

May innocent life ever be deliberately terminated?
No, innocent life may never be deliberately terminated because man has an obligation to sustain his own life and the life of those who depend on him.

How does the Church look upon the transplanting of vital organs?
The Church looks favorably on the transplanting of vital organs provided the loss of such organs does not deprive the donor of life itself.

What is a special concern regarding the transplant of vital organs?
A special concern regarding the transplant of vital organs is to know when a donor is really dead. There is a medical temptation to anticipate death because it is not certain how affective is the transplant of a vital organ, like the heart, from the authentically dead person.

What is abortion?
Abortion is the direct expelling of a living non-viable fetus from the mother’s womb. The child cannot live outside the womb even with the most extraordinary medical care.

What is the teaching of the Church on abortion?
The Church has always held that abortion as the deliberate killing of an unborn fetus, at any time after conception, is a grave sin.

Why must Catholics obey this teaching?
Catholics must obey this teaching because the Church is given authority to command obedience in Christ’s name. Therefore, the Church is empowered by Christ to prohibit and prescribe in any area of human conduct that touches on the commandments of God, whether derived from nature or from supernatural revelation.

Why is abortion a grave crime?
Abortion is a grave crime because it is the homicidal intent to kill innocent life. This is totally independent of the question of when exactly human life begins. Anyone who is willing to kill what may be human is, by his intention, willing to kill what is human. Therefore, the one who performs or consents to abortion is guilty of voluntary homicide.

What is feticide?
Feticide is the destruction of a living fetus by a variety of physical or chemical means. It is another form of abortion.

What is sometimes called indirect abortion?
Indirect abortion is not really abortion. In what is becoming a medical rarity, when a pregnant mother’s life is in imminent danger because of some pathological condition, surgery or other radical means may be used to save her life although it is reluctantly foreseen that the unborn fetus will die. This is an application of the principle of the double effect.

What is the principle of double effect?
The principle of the double effect is the moral norm which allows the performance of an action, one of whose effects is foreseen to be evil but not intended. The principle must observe the following conditions: 1. The action is good; for example, it consists in excising an infected part of the body. 2. The good effect is not obtained by means of an evil effect. 3. There is sufficient reason for permitting the unsought evil effect that unavoidably follows. 4. The evil effect is not intended in itself, but is merely allowed as a necessary consequence of the good effect.

What is a therapeutic abortion?
In medical terms, a therapeutic abortion is one that safeguards either the life or health of an expectant mother. But morally, no therapeutic abortion is allowable except in the rare case where the mother’s life is in certain and imminent danger from a pathological condition which is not simply the pregnancy itself.

What is abortion on demand?
Abortion on demand is a result of legalized abortion. The law says that a pregnant woman has the “right” to kill the child in her womb whenever continued pregnancy might be injurious to her physical or mental health, or when the child might be born with a physical or mental defect. By implication she can have an abortion when she wants it.

What is the Catholic position regarding the beginning of life?
The Catholic Church holds that life begins at the moment of conception.

What sin does one commit who performs an abortion?
A person who performs an abortion commits the grave sin of voluntary homicide.

What is homicide?
Homicide is the direct killing of an innocent person.

What sins lead to homicide?
Sins that lead to homicide are those opposed to brotherly love; forgetfulness of the revealed truths; and loss of respect for human dignity.

What is contraception?
Contraception is the deliberate effort before, during or after intercourse to prevent the conception of a child.

What is sterilization?
Sterilization is the permanent or temporary removal or inactivation of any reproduction organ for the purpose of inducing sterility.

What is therapeutic sterilization?
Therapeutic sterilization is done for the purpose of relieving a person of some pathological condition.

What is contraceptive sterilization?
Contraceptive sterilization is done with the deliberate intent of avoiding conception.

What is eugenic sterilization?
Eugenic sterilization is aimed at assuring the elimination of offspring having possible undesirable traits, such as mental retardation.

What is the Church’s teaching on eugenic sterilization?
The Church’s teaching on eugenic sterilization is that public authorities have no power over the bodies of their innocent subjects. She also points out that sterilizing the defective is bad social science.

What is penal sterilization?
Penal sterilization is done to punish certain crimes or deter condemned persons from committing further sex crimes.

Is penal sterilization considered a real punishment or deterrent from crime?
Penal sterilization is not considered to be either a real punishment or deterrent from crime because it does not effectively deprive the criminal of anything precious in his eyes. His vicious tendencies remain a threat to society.

Why is direct sterilization a grave sin?
Direct sterilization is a grave sin because it means the unjustified loss of the sacred power of procreation conferred on a person by God.

What is direct sterilization?
Sterilization is direct when it is done in order to take away the power of reproduction.

When is sterilization indirect?
Sterilization is indirect when the loss of reproductive powers is permitted to order to ready some pathological condition.

Is direct contraceptive sterilization grave?
Direct contraceptive sterilization is grave and may never be performed either as an end or even as a means toward some otherwise good purpose.

What is war?
War is a conflict between one or more nations or between parts of the same nation carried on by force of arms.

What is the Catholic Church’s position on war?
The Catholic Church’s position is that, although regrettable, war is not always and necessarily sinful. Participation in war may, on occasion, even be praiseworthy.

When is a war just?
A war is considered just when declared by proper authority, undertaken as a last resort and for a good cause and when those waging war use the proper means.

Do citizens have a duty to aid their country during a just war?
Citizens have a duty to aid their country to gain victory, but they may not voluntarily provide help if their nation’s cause is evidently unjust.

How has the development of scientific weapons increased the horror of war?
The development of scientific weapons has increased the prospects of wholesale and indiscriminate destruction.

What is Vatican II’s view on scientific warfare?
The Council teaches that all warfare which tends indiscriminately to the destruction of entire cities or wide areas with their inhabitants is to be condemned.

What is a conscientious objector?
A conscientious objector is one who for a variety of personal reasons refuses to bear arms in time of war.

What is the Church’s teaching about conscientious objectors?
Conscientious objectors have a right to be excused from bearing arms provided some other form of community service is substituted.

What is peace among nations?
Peace among nations is not only the absence of war but of injustice and hatred that may lead to armed conflict.

What does the Church teach about the conditions for peace among nations?
To establish peace among nations it is necessary to root out the causes of disharmony on which war thrives, especially injustice; also a sound economic base must be developed for peaceful co-existence among nations, especially since in our days a serious gap has developed between the prosperous and naturally underdeveloped nations.

How can peace among nations be achieved?
Peace among nations can be achieved by setting up institutions for international cooperation on every level of human enterprise and actively supporting and improving the institutions already in existence.

What is interior peace?
Interior peace is the absence of discord; and when present, is a deep-souled calmness. When we are at peace, we are not troubled or worried; we are not anxious or perturbed; we are not confused or distraught. A peaceful soul is a tranquil soul.

How is interior peace related to peace between people?
Interior peace is related to peace between people because there cannot be agreement between people unless there is first tranquility within people. If we are at peace within, we shall be at peace with others.

What is the sixth commandment of God?
The sixth commandment of God is; you shall not commit adultery.

What is the ninth commandment of God?
The ninth commandment of God is; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

How are the sixth and ninth commandments related?
The sixth and ninth commandments are related in that they forbid respectively external and internal sins against chastity.

What are external sins against chastity?
External sins against chastity are any words, actions or gestures consciously performed to arouse or indulge sexual pleasure except: between husband and wife in their legitimate marital relations.

What are internal sins against chastity?
Internal sins against chastity are sexual thoughts, desires, or feelings deliberately aroused or indulged, except by husband and wife in their mutual relationships; also included are intentions and desires to perform external sins of unchastity.

What is adultery?
Adultery is sexual intercourse between married person and someone other than one’s spouse.

What does it mean to covet another person’s husband or wife?
To covet another person’s husband or wife means to desire to have sexual relations with that person’s spouse.

What is Christ’s teaching on adultery in desire?
Christ declared that, if a man looks at a woman lustfully he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

What is chastity?
Chastity is a form of temperance with regard to sexual pleasure.

Who is a chaste person?
A chaste person is one who tempers or restrains the desire for venereal satisfaction by not having the experience except within the divinely ordained precincts of marriage.

Why are Christians to be chaste?
A Christian is to be chaste because his body does not belong exclusively to him; and because it has been elevated by grace to be the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

Why is chastity sacred?
Chastity is sacred because by using the reproductive powers one can cooperate in the procreative work of God to bring another human being into the world, and because by sacrificing their use one can prove one’s love for God who is pleased with our willing surrender of what he knows is so pleasing to us.

How is sex used for selfish purposes?
Sex is used for selfish purposes when its ultimate purpose is deliberately frustrated by contraception; when intercourse is had in circumstances where children would be brought into the world without proper care for their upbringing, as in adultery or fornication; when sexual pleasure is sought merely to satisfy one’s own selfish desires.

What are direct sexual actions?
Direct sexual actions are those whose immediate and exclusive intention is to arouse or encourage sexual pleasure. These are the privilege only of married partners between themselves.

What are indirect sexual actions?
Indirect sexual actions are those whose purpose is not to arouse sexual stimulation but some other good reason. If there is such a reason, the actions are not sinful, provided a person neither intends the sexual pleasure nor consents if it spontaneously arises.

What is the Church’s attitude towards sexual experience?
The Church praises and blesses legitimate sexual experience. “The sexual activity by which married people are intimately and chastely united is honorable and worthy; and, if done in a truly human fashion, it signifies and fosters the self-giving by which the couple gladly and gratefully enrich each other.”

Why is sexual experience in marriage sacred?
Sexual experience in marriage is sacred because it is divinely intended to encourage married people to fulfill their marital obligations and help them to grow in mutual love.

What sexual experiences are unnatural?
The sexual experiences that are unnatural are masturbation and homosexuality.

What is masturbation?
Masturbation is the act of stimulating the sexual organs by oneself for the purpose of obtaining emotional satisfaction.

What is homosexuality?
Homosexuality is sexual activity with a person of the same sex.

Why are masturbation and homosexuality contrary to the will of God?
Masturbation and homosexuality are contrary to the will of God because by their very nature they are selfish actions which cannot fulfill the divinely ordained purpose of sexual faculties.

Why should young people be instructed in purity and in married love?
Young people should be instructed in purity and married love because they must know how to cope with the widespread non-Christian attitudes toward sexual promiscuity and marital instability.

What is Christian maturity?
Christian maturity is the attainment of a fully developed personality, whose features are a balanced control of the sex impulse and a harmonious unity of all the experiences of one’s personal, social and spiritual life.

How should engaged couples conduct themselves?
Engaged couples should nourish and foster their love for each other with a chaste love which means the mastery, with God’s help, of their emotions as the best preparation for a happy married life.

What is civil divorce?
Civil divorce is a legal declaration that a marriage is dissolved and the couple are free to marry someone else.

What is the Catholic Church’s attitude toward civil divorce?
The Catholic Church holds that the State does not have the right to dissolve a valid marriage. A divorce may, however, be necessary to protect the civil rights of a married couple and their children.

What is a separation?
A separation is the mutual agreement of the married couple to live temporarily or permanently apart if there is a just cause.

What must one do before separating?
Ordinarily, unless there is danger in delay, the bishop’s permission should be obtained.

What is marriage?
Marriage is the lifelong covenant into which a man and woman voluntarily enter as a partnership of love, giving each other mutual rights for the procreation of children for their own temporal and spiritual welfare, and for the good of human society.

What is Christian matrimony?
Christian matrimony between two baptized people is a sacrament instituted by Christ. He promises them all the graces they need for their enduring fidelity and for the generous procreation and education of their children, after the examples of His own love of the Church and total sacrifice of Himself for her sake.

Is the begetting of children a God-given purpose of marriage?
The begetting of children is a God-given purpose of marriage. Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life. They should realize that in begetting children they are cooperating with the love of God.

How are husband and wife to fulfill this obligation?
Husband and wife are to fulfill this obligation with a deep sense of responsibility. They are to consider their own good and the good of their children---those already born and those yet to come. They may not follow their own whims but must be ruled by a conscience that is conformed to the law of God enlightened by the teachings of the Church.

What is the Catholic teaching on the permanence of marriage?
The Church teaches that a valid marriage is indissoluble, even among persons who are not baptized believers since the permanent bond is the essence of every true marriage.

Does the Church dissolve marriage between baptized persons?
The Church does not dissolve marriages between baptized persons and she does not believe that any earthly authority has the right to do so with the right to remarry while the other spouse is still living. A marriage is absolutely indissoluble when two baptized people enter into a valid marriage contract and consummate their union by normal intercourse after marriage.

What is the Pauline Privilege?
The Pauline Privilege is a privilege which allows the dissolution of a natural marriage between two non-baptized persons when one party receives valid baptism after the marriage and where the non-baptized person refuses to live peaceably with the baptized party.

Is there an extension of the Pauline Privilege where only one of the partners in a previous marriage was not baptized?
Yes, the Church can approve the sacramental remarriage with a baptized person under the same conditions as the Pauline Privilege, even when only one of the partners in a previous marriage was not baptized. The reason is that unless both parties are baptized when they marry, their marriage is a natural and not a sacramental union.

When is Christian marriage valid?
Christian marriage is valid when both parties, who are baptized and free from nullifying impediments, in good faith enter into a permanent marital union according to the teachings of Christ as interpreted by the Catholic Church.

What are the basic properties of Christian marriage?
The basic properties of Christian marriage are unity and indissolubility.

What is unity in marriage?
Unity in marriage means one husband with one wife; and therefore, the exclusion of all other persons with extramarital rights to either partner.

What is the indissolubility of marriage?
The indissolubility of marriage means the permanence of marriage until the death of one of the parties.

What conditions would invalidate a marriage?
Conditions that would invalidate a marriage are lack of sufficient use of reason; ignorance or exclusion of the permanence or essential purpose of marriage; fear or force, externally induced; and failure to have internal consent.

What makes a marriage absolutely indissoluble?
Christian marriage becomes indissoluble once the conjugal act is performed after marriage. In this act the sacramental union is consummated.

What is polygamy?
Polygamy is the marital union of one man with several wives (polygyny) or of one woman with several men (polyandry).

Why is polygamy condemned under the “New Law?”
Polygamy is condemned under the New Law because with the coming of Christ greater grace is available. With more grace the faithful are capable of making greater sacrifices, including the practice of monogamy. Moreover, as Christ explained, He simply restored marriage to its original monogamous character.

What is meant by fidelity to marriage?
Fidelity in marriage is loyalty based on love, that is, husband and wife so love one another that, outside their own marital embrace, they preserve themselves chaste from sex experience and even from alien affection. The essence of marital fidelity is dedicated love.

What is dedicated love?
Dedicated love seeks the welfare of the one loved, that is, the husband seeks the best interests of his wife, and the wife of her husband. These interests are certainly the physical and social welfare of one’s spouse but also the spiritual well-being in order to help him or her reach the eternal destiny that Christ has prepared for us.

What is marital chastity?
Marital chastity is the practice of sexual temperance in marriage and of love for one’s spouse. It means the avoidance of adultery, even in intention, of masturbation, homosexuality, and of contraception. It means the practice of self-restraint in that marital relations really serve their divinely ordained purpose of fostering the marital love between husband and wife.

When is a married person guilty of infidelity in heart?
A married person is guilty of adultery in heart if he or she lustfully desires sexual experience with someone else than his or her own spouse. Such persons are guilty first of injustice to their own married partner; then of injustice to the spouse of the man or woman they covet, if married; and of infidelity to God who requires the restraint of our passions as evidence of our fidelity to Him.

What is Christian purity?
Christian purity is fidelity to revealed truth. It is not only the observance of chastity, but the effort to avoid all deliberate sin and even affection for sin.

What sins against chastity must a Christian avoid?
A Christian must avoid licentiousness, masturbation, homosexuality, fornication, incest, prostitution, adultery and unlawful sexual experience.

What is licentiousness?
Licentiousness is the disregarding of Christian standards of sexual behavior. It refers to a person who is morally unrestrained.

What is fornication?
Fornication is voluntary sexual intercourse between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman who are not closely related. It is, objectively always gravely sinful.

What is the sin of incest?
Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are closely related either by blood or marital relationship.

Why is prostitution a sin against chastity?
Prostitution is a sin against chastity because it desecrates by selling for a price, the human body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

What is contraception?
Contraception is any action deliberately taken before, during or after intercourse in order to prevent conception.

Why is contraception sinful?
Contraception is sinful because the conjugal act is of its very nature designed for the purpose of procreating children. Therefore, those who deliberately interfere with the natural act of procreation do that which is essentially immoral.

How sinful is contraception?
Contraception is seriously sinful because it contradicts the divinely ordained purpose of marital intercourse which is the fostering of procreative love.

In what sense is the procreation of children primary in marriage?
The procreation of children is primary in marriage in the sense that married people may not deliberately frustrate this purpose for any reason whatever; procreation is natural because human nature provides the kind of care and nourishment that children require in marriage; it is legitimate because one of the main reasons why people have the moral right to enter marriage is to be able to have children and rear them as the physical and spiritual image of themselves.

What is the Church’s teaching on contraception?
The Church’s teaching on contraception is that direct interruption of the generative process is to be absolutely excluded as an licit means of regulating birth.

Why is contraception so common today?
Contraception is so common today because there is a fear that the world population is growing more rapidly than the resources that are available. Working and living conditions, together with pressures in the economic and educational fields, have made the rearing of a large family more difficult than it used to be. The status of the woman is changing, with greater insistence on their freedom from the duties associated with rearing a normal family. Above all, man’s progress in dominating the forces of nature also gives him a new sense of power to regulate the transmission of life on his own terms and independent of the laws of God.

Do these reasons justify their use?
These reasons do not justify the use of contraception. They merely help to explain the rise of the modern contraceptive society.

Why is contraception morally inseparable from abortion or sterilization?
Contraception is morally inseparable from abortion or sterilization because all three of these are directed against the generative process, over which man was only stewardship according to the will of God

Why is contraception contrary to the natural law?
Contraception is contrary to natural law because it deliberately interferes with the divinely ordained purpose of marital intercourse.

Why is marital intercourse sacred?
Marital intercourse is sacred because its purpose is to deepen the mutual affection of husband and wife, and because in this way they cooperate with God in bringing new human life into the world.

What are the two love functions of marital intercourse?
The two love functions of marital intercourse are the unitive and procreative.

What is unitive love?
Unitive love is the selfless charity featured between husband and wife in their physical entrance. It merits an increase of divine grace to live out their marriage in lifelong fidelity.

What is procreative love?
Procreative love is love communicated from husband-with-wife to their potential offspring. It is love that wants to go beyond the communion between husband and wife; it wants to raise up new human life.

When is conjugal love authentically Christian?
Conjugal love is authentically Christian when it is selfless and self-giving. True conjugal love must involve self-sacrifice, just as the love that Christ had for us meant a lifetime of self-oblation even to the death on the Cross.

When is conjugal love selfish?
Conjugal love is selfish when each spouse is seeking his or her own interests while using the other as a means to heighten one’s own satisfaction.

What is meant by rhythm or periodic abstinence?
Rhythm or periodic abstinence is abstaining from intercourse during the period of fertility on the part of the woman.

What is natural family planning?
Natural family planning is the practice of periodic continence according to the natural fertility cycles of the wife, motivated by the desire to obey God’s laws in marriage and sustained by prayer and the sacraments to preserve marital chastity.

How many Catholics limit the number of their offspring?
Catholics may limit the number of their offspring by the use of natural rhythms if there is serious reasons to space out births.

What is the difference between rhythm and contraception?
The difference between rhythm and contraception is that in rhythm the married couple makes legitimate use of a natural bodily disposition; in contraception they hinder the function of a natural process.

How is the exclusion of children justified in the use of rhythm?
The exclusion of children is justified in the use of rhythm because the means used are legitimate. Those who practice rhythm renounce the use of the marital act during fertile periods with a good reason and make use of it during their sterile periods in order to manifest their affection and to safeguard their mutual fidelity.

Can the exclusion of children be justified in the use of contraception?
The exclusion of children cannot be justified in the contraception because the means used are contrary to the purpose for which God gave us the faculties of generation.

How can married couples grow spiritually in today’s contraceptive atmosphere?
Married couples can grow spiritually in today’s contraceptive atmosphere by developing deep convictions concerning the true values of life and family. This calls for education with regard to the meaning of chastity and demands growth in self-mastery. It mainly calls for the deepening of virtue through prayer and frequent use of the sacraments.

Does the Church respect the voice of conscience?
The Church does respect the voice of conscience in each person and encourages him to respond to it with Christian fidelity. It is a duty for a Christian to have one’s conscience as a guide. Therefore, we must diligently be on guard to form a right conscience according to the mind of the Church. Anyone who acts contrary to his conscience is no longer on the right path.

What is the Church’s teaching on pre-marital relations?
The Church’s teaching on pre-marital relations is that they have been forbidden to the followers of Christ since the beginning of Christianity.

Is non-marital sex a serious deviation from the divine law?
Non-marital sex is a serious deviation from the divine law.

Why are non-marital relations sinful?
Non-marital relations are sinful because the marital act is legitimate only within the bond of marriage. Intercourse without marriage is an untruth because it belies the total commitment to one another that the marital act expresses between husband and wife. Intercourse without marriage is also an injustice to the children that may be conceived, since they would then lack the dignity, stability, security, and loving care that marriage is expected to provide.

What is the best preparation for Christian marriage?
The best preparation for Christian marriage is the practice of chastity before marriage. Then the selfless love between the couple who plan to marry can sustain them after they are married. Hence, the urgent need for parents to train their children in the practice of this difficult commandment.

What is widowhood?
Widowhood is the period of time that a woman spends after the death of husband.

Is widowhood a special call from God?
Widowhood is a special call from God and is honored by the Church if it is accepted courageously as the continuation of the call to the married state.

What is the Church’s teaching on remarriage after the death of one’s spouse?
The Church’s teaching on remarriage after the death of one’s spouse is that the marriage is valid and lawful. However, chaste widowhood is more honorable in the eyes of God.

What is the seventh commandment of God?
The seventh commandment of God is: you shall not steal.

What is the tenth commandment of God?
The tenth commandment of God is: you shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

What does the seventh commandment forbid?
The seventh commandment forbids the taking of another’s goods against his reasonable wishes. This includes thievery, robbery, unjust acquisition of goods and all deliberate destruction of property.

What does it mean to “covet?”
To “covet” means to set one’s heart or desire on anything that belongs to another.

How are the seventh and tenth commandment related?
The seventh commandment stresses the practice of justice in external conduct; the tenth requires justice in one’s interior disposition.

What kind of right is implied by those two commandments?
These two commandments imply the right to own private property.

What is the right to own private property?
The right to own private property is the moral power a person has to keep or dispose, to use or to change material possessions according to his needs and independently of others, provided there is no violation of the rights of others.

How do we know that the right to own property is divinely approved?
The right to own property is divinely approved because the seventh commandment forbids theft, which would be meaningless unless ownership were a prior and natural right that was approved by God.

Why has God given man the right to private ownership?
God has given man the right to private ownership as part of his natural right to be a person with divinely ordained individual and social responsibilities. Private ownership gives man the freedom and incentive to fulfill these responsibilities.

Why do the rich need special counsel with regard to their possessions?
The rich need special counsel regarding their possessions. As Christ told us, riches can suffocate the human heart and be a menace to the spiritual life; but with counsel and divine grace, the wealthy can do the humanly impossible, and not only save their souls but be sanctified.

How is justice a two-edged sword?
Justice is a two-edged sword in that it obligates others to respect the property of an individual and condemns anyone who takes what does not belong to him.

Does everyone have a right to share in earthly goods?
Yes, everyone has a right to a just share in earthly possessions.

What is a just share in earthly possessions?
A just share in earthly possessions is an amount sufficient for the decent livelihood of an individual and his family.

Is everyone bound to see that others have a just share in earthly possessions?
Everyone is bound to see that others have a just share in earthly possessions. Consequently, all are obliged to share what they have and not only those who have more then they need.

What is social justice?
Social justice is that which regulates the mutual relations between man and society and vice verse.

What are the two wrong extremes of justice?
The two wrong extremes of justice are individualism and collectivism.

What is individualism?
Individualism denies or minimizes the social and public character of the right of property.

What is collectivism?
Collectivism claims that the world’s resources can best be used for the good of mankind by rejecting or minimizing the private and individual character of the right of property.

How can one maintain a Christian balance between individualism and collectivism?
A Christian balance between individualism and collectivism respects private ownership as divinely ordained but also believes that ownership is not absolute, that society too has rights for which the author of man’s social nature equally demands recognition.

How does the Catholic Church view the right of private property?
The Catholic Church has always viewed the right of private property as a natural right that, even when abused, does not disappear. At the same time the Church insists on the rights of society which are equally binding on the individual to respect.

What does the Church say about the great disproportion between the very rich and the very poor?
Concerning the great disproportion between the very rich and the very poor, the Church says that the very rich must share or give some of their wealth to the very poor. In doing this, they are not making a gift of their possessions, but handing out what already belongs to the poor.

What is theft?
Theft is an act by which we unjustly take what belongs to another person.

How grievous is the crime of theft?
Direct theft is by its very nature a serious sin. If the amount stolen is small, the sin is venial.

What is a necessary purpose of amendment after theft?
A necessary purpose of amendment after theft is the willingness to make restitution. Without it, forgiveness cannot be expected.

What duty do we have regarding found articles?
Found articles are to be returned as soon as possible to their owner if known. If not known, the first duty is to use ordinary means to safeguard the article found. A reasonable effort must also be made to discover the owner.

What is reasonable effort to find the owner of a lost article?
Reasonable effort to reach the owner of a lost article of moderate value would be to check through the lost and found department of the place where it was found or maybe run an ad in the newspaper. For articles of greater value, it is well to contact the civil law and abide by its provisions.

What is fraud?
Fraud is a kind of theft whereby the seller does not reveal to the prospective buyer a defect which would render the object useless or substantially lessen its value to the buyer. Fraud includes deceit.

What is meant by profiteering?
Profiteering means that a seller raises the just price of an article because he knows that the buyer has special need of what he is selling.

How is the term graft defined?
Graft is the voluntary giving of money or its equivalent to a person holding any office of public authority, in order to influence the person to act in one’s favor.

What is the difference between gift and graft?
The difference between gift and graft is that a gift is a token of appreciation for a favor done. Graft is a gift with the element of deceit in disguise. The trouble is that even a sincere gift to a public official generally becomes suspect in the eyes of the people.

What is the function of labor unions?
Labor unions are to protect the rights of working people by insuring just wages, reasonable hours of labor, and conditions of work that are conducive to men’s dignity; they are also to secure just benefits for employees.

Do workers have a right to form labor unions?
Workers have a right to form labor unions that truly represent them and that help labor properly to cooperate with management for the welfare of the workers, of the business, service or industry in which they work and for the common good of society.

Should labor bargain with management before a threatened strike?
Yes, labor must first bargain with management before they have recourse to the drastic means of striking.

How must a strike be conducted?
A strike must be conducted in a just and fair way.

When is a strike conducted in a just and fair way?
A strike is conducted in a just and fair way if it was preceded by serious and sincere discussion and efforts at arbitration; if no deliberate violence or physical force is used during the strike; and if it is not prolonged or pursued in a way that actually hinders or injures the welfare of the workers in whose favor the strike was ostensibly called.

What governs the right relations between employer and employees?
The principle that governs the right relations between employer and employees is the Christian concept of work.

In the light of faith what is the value of work?
In the light of faith, work is not something to be looked down on; it is not an evil to be avoided as though leisure were more worthy of man’s dignity. Work enables our character as persons and helps us become like the Savior who labored with His hands and became tired.

Is it sinful to damage another person’s property?
It is a sin of injustice to deliberately or negligently damage another person’s property.

What must be done if there is culpable damage to another person’s property?
Culpable damage to another person’s property demands restitution or repair of the damage done.

What is larceny?
Larceny is secret theft. It is the unlawful taking of something from another person with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of his property.

How is robbery defined?
Robbery is open theft accomplished either by violence or by frightening the victim, in order to obtain possession of his property.

How is robbery defined?
Robbery is open theft accomplished either by violence or by frightening the victim, in order to obtain possession of his property.

What does it mean to cheat?
To cheat means to deprive a person of his rightful property by means of deception or fraud.

What is gambling?
Gambling is staking money or valuables on chance, or a future or possible event that is unknown or uncertain to the participants.

When is gambling sinful?
Gambling is sinful when the means used are dishonest, or the gambler risks losses that he cannot afford, or this family will suffer or other people will be scandalized.

What is betting?
Betting is a form of agreement in which two or more people contract to give a prize to whichever one correctly guesses some future fact or event.

Is betting illicit?
Betting is not illicit in itself, but it may become so if certain conditions are not fulfilled.

What are the conditions that must be fulfilled to make betting licit?
For betting to be morally licit: All parties must clearly understand the conditions of the agreement in the same way; they must be sincerely uncertain about the outcome of the event; they must honestly want to pay if they lose the bet; the bet cannot be an encouragement to do something evil or sinful.

What are the dangers involved in betting and gambling?
The dangers involved in betting and gambling are that it tends to induce a fatalistic outlook on life, unlike the Christian view that the universe is controlled by the loving providence of God.

What is lottery?
Lottery is a scheme in which changes are sold and prizes are distributed to those whose names are drawn, by chance, from among the participants.

What problems arise from the State’s involvement in betting and lottery?
The problem arising from the State’s involvement in betting and lottery are the danger of dishonest manipulation, of creating a community tolerance of gambling, and of weakening the citizens’ sense of responsibility for necessary support of public services and institutions.

Are lotteries sponsored for a charitable cause permissible?
Lotteries sponsored for a charitable cause are permissible if there is no deception and if there is some proportion between the hope of winning and the amount each person pays.

Is gambling permissible?
Gambling is permissible provided the one who gambles with the stakes really owns them, if there is no fraud involved, and if all who participate have the same basic chance of winning or losing.

What is the eighth commandment of God?
The eighth commandment of God is: you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does the commandment forbid?
The commandment directly forbids telling the untruth about another person, whether the untruth is told in a court of law or in personal matters. Indirectly it forbids all deliberate lying.

What does the Bible teach about telling the truth?
The Bible teaches that those who speak the truth can be believed, that what they say can confidently be followed, that their statements produce conviction, and that their friendship brings peace.

What does it really mean to tell the truth?
To tell the truth really means not only saying what is on one’s mind but also communicating what should be said.

How should we use our tongue?
We are to use our tongue according to the will of God who is the truth. In other words, we are to control our tongue in all circumstances. If a person can do this, he can control every part of himself. (Jn 3:12)

What is lying?
Lying means deliberately speaking contrary to what is on a person’s mind.

Is the intention to deceive essential to lying?
No, a person tells a lie even though he has no intention (or hope) of deceiving those to whom he speaks.

Does one have to speak verbally to tell a lie?
No, there is such a thing as nonverbal communication. A lie may be told in spoken or written words, through body language, or through the circumstances of a situation.

What is a jocose lie?
A jocose lie is told for the purpose of amusement. Such a lie is sinful when the speaker fails to make it evident that his words are not to be taken literally.

How sinful is lying?
Lying is traditionally held to be a venial or slight offense against God. It may, however, become grave under certain circumstances, such as telling a lie under oath or denying one’s religion as a Catholic.

What is perjury?
Perjury is a false oath. It is a lie by which we call God to witness the truth of what we say. The purpose of the false oath is to more effectively hide what is on a person’s mind.

What is the meaning of false testimony?
False testimony is telling the untruth as a public witness to some fact, or event, whether under oath or not.

How serious are perjury and false testimony?
Perjury and false testimony are grave sins against truth. Perjury calls God to witness a falsehood and is an attack on His truthfulness. False testimony is an offence against the person about whom an untruth is testified. Both perjury and false testimony do serious injury to the common good of society.

What is a false (or perjured) witness bound to do?
A false (or perjured) witness is bound to retract his testimony in spite of grave inconvenience if the testimony is seriously injurious to the person. He must in all cases repair the injury caused by the false or perjured testimony.

What is a mental reservation?
A mental reservation consists in withholding a part of what is in one’s mind.

What are the two kinds of mental reservation?
Mental reservation are either strict or broad.

What is a strict mental reservation?
A strict mental reservation limits the meaning of the words used but without leaving a reasonable clue about what is intended.

What is a broad mental reservation?
A broad mental reservation limits the meaning of what is actually said but also leaves a reasonable clue as to what the speaker means.

Are mental reservations lies?
Strict mental reservations are really lies because there is no way that the listener can read the speaker’s mind.

What is the basic reason for broad mental reservations?
Broad mental reservations are used in order to preserve secrets, when the benefit to the common good (not revealing a confidence) is greater than would be the manifestation of something that is sure to cause harm.

How must broad mental reservations be used?
Broad mental reservations must be used with great prudence. There is always the risk of creating mistrust if people cannot be sure that what they are being told is what they hear.

What is meant by Hypocrisy?
Hypocrisy is a kind of lie by which a person appears to be virtuous in order to win the esteem of others.

What is flattery?
Flattery is the insincere praise of a person or thing with the hope of gaining praise for oneself in return.

What is boastfulness?
Boasting is a form of deceit in which a person attributes to himself qualities he does not have or exaggerates those he possesses. He fails to give credit to God for the gifts he has received.

What is a secret?
A secret is hidden knowledge that may not be revealed unless some higher right prevails.

What is a natural secret?
A natural secret is one that our native reason tells us we should keep confidential.

How do I recognize a natural secret?
I can recognize a natural secret by asking if I would want this particular hidden fault, or defect, or sin, or mistake of mine revealed to anyone else.

What is a promised secret?
A promised secret is one that a person has promised to keep after having received or come upon confidential knowledge.

What are entrusted secrets?
Entrusted secrets are those a person is obliged to keep in virtue of his professional position.

Why should secrets be kept?
Secrets should be kept because each person is an individual who has exclusive right to his own ideas and ingenuity or, if the confidential matter pertains to his reputation, the right to his good name.

What is the obligation regarding natural and promised secrets?
Natural and promised secrets may not be revealed unless keeping the knowledge hidden would cause grave injury or serious difficulty to the person who knows the secret, to the one who shapes the secret, to an innocent third party, the Church, the state, or the community.

How binding are natural secrets?
Natural secrets are binding in justice if the unlawful revelation of the secret would cause objective damage to the person or persons concerned; and in charity if the disclosure caused subjective sadness or embarrassment. If the offense caused is grave, the violation of the secret is correspondingly grave; otherwise the sin is venial.

How are we bound by promised secrets?
We are bound by promised secrets according to the wishes of the one who agreed to keep the information confidential. The gravity of the promise depends mainly on whether the matter itself is grave.

Why are entrusted secrets the most sacred?
Entrusted secrets are the most sacred because the common good requires that persons in professional positions should be able to receive confidential information and keep it.

When may entrusted secrets be revealed?
Entrusted secrets, apart from the seal of confession, may be revealed only to avert great imminent harm to the Church, state, or society; or in general, to an innocent third party, to the one who received the confidence or even to the person whose secret it is.

What is meant by the seal of confession?
By the seal of confession is meant the absolute obligation to keep silent whatever is disclosed in sacramental confession.

To what does this obligation of absolute secrecy apply?
The obligation of absolute secrecy applies to what was told in a sacramental confession, whether the confession was finished or not, whether it was worthy or sacrilegious, and whether absolution was given or refused.

Who is bound by the seal of confession?
Those bound by the seal of confession are the confessor himself and also anyone else who unintentionally or in exercising one’s office obtains knowledge of confessional matter.

May we read another person’s letters, notes or diaries?
We may not read another person’s letters, notes or diaries. It is sinful to do so unless permission has been given by the owner of the writing, or it may reasonably be presumed he would not mind. On the other hand, letters and similar written confidences may be read if it is considered necessary in order to prevent grave harm to the writer, oneself or society.

How can a person’s reputation be injured?
A person’s reputation can be injured by detraction, calumny or slander.

What is detraction?
Detraction is the unjust violation of the good reputation of another by revealing something true about him. The essence of detraction is the unwarranted disclosure of a hidden failing, which implies that there are occasions when the disclosure can and even should be made.

What is meant by calumny?
Calumny, sometimes called slander, differs from detraction in that what is said or attributed to the person is not true.

What is reputation?
Reputation is the good opinion that one person has about another. It is the object of an acquired right. Therefore, to intend to take it away from a person or lower it is an act of injustice.

Is reputation a valuable good?
Reputation is a valuable good. Next to life, it is the most precious of all earthly possessions. Not only the living but also the dead have a right to good esteem.

How may we injure the reputation of our neighbor?
We may injure the reputation of our neighbor exteriorly by detraction and interiorly by rash judgments and suspicion.

How serious is the sin of detraction?
The seriousness of the sin of detraction depends upon the gravity of the fault or limitation disclosed. It also depends upon the dignity of the person detracted and the harm done to him and others by revealing something that is hidden and whose disclosure lowers his standing in the public eye.

What is a detractor bound in conscience to do?
A detractor is bound in conscience to make reparation as far as he is able to the injured person’s reputation.

When may a person’s faults be revealed?
A person’s faults may be revealed when no injustice is done in revealing it. That is, when the revelation of another’s fault is necessary or very useful as in the defense of self or of others.

What is a calumniator bound to do?
A calumniator is bound to retract his lies even if harm may befall him in doing so. Reparation is more urgent here than in detraction because of the added malice of falsehood. A calumniator must not only undo the harm done to his victim’s reputation, but must also correct the falsehood.

When might a detractor or the calumniator be excused from making restitution?
A detractor or calumniator might be excused from making restitution if the injury no longer exists, if reparation is physically or morally impossible or if the person hurt excuses his detractor or calumniator at least by implicit forgiveness or if reparation would cause the defamer a greater harm than the one inflicted.

How sinful is calumny?
Calumny is in its nature a mortal sin. It immediately attacks truth, justice and charity. It is venial only when the matter is light.

What are rash judgments?
Rash judgments are acts of the mind in which we go beyond the evidence available to judge the culpability of the action, attribute evil motives, and decide against the character or moral soundness of the person whose conduct we observed.

Why do people make rash judgments?
People make rash judgments because they are prone to generalize without adequate premises, and therefore draw sweeping conclusions about other people.

Are rash judgments wrong?
Rash judgments are wrong because of the hasty imprudence with which a critical judgment is reached and because of the loss of reputation that the person suffers in our estimation since everyone has a right to the good esteem of his fellow men.

Who alone has the right to judge?
God alone has the right to judge the intention of the hearts of men.

What is meant by suspicion?
Suspicion is the tendency to consider the evil we think of others as true without believing it to be certain.

What is an attack on a person’s honor?
An attack on a person’s honor is an insult.

What is an insult?
An insult is any word, action or gesture that tells a person he is not respected. It is also the failure to show someone those marks of esteem which he deserves.

May we seek vengeance for an insult?
We may never seek vengeance for an insult or injustice caused us.

What is vengeance?
Vengeance is punishment inflicted on a person in return for some evil, injury or offence received.

Why is vengeance wrong?
Vengeance is wrong because it serves no other useful purpose than to give selfish satisfaction to the injured party. It is contrary to the will of God who wants to forgive others even as He has been forgiving us.

What are the modern means of social communication?
The modern means of social communication are: the press, cinema, radio, television, telephone and telegraph, radar, computer and photography – along with their many combinations and derivatives.

What are the benefits of social communications?
Social communications facilitate the rapid, widespread and persuasive interchange of ideas and information beyond anything ever before possible in the history of mankind.

What are the dangers of social communications?
Social communications can be manipulated contrary to the will of God. Instead of the truth, error can be communicated. And instead of raising moral and religious principles the media can be used to indoctrinate the people in secularism and a disregard for Christian values.

What is the main condition for the proper use of the media?
The main condition for the proper use of the media is that those who control them know the laws of sound morality and are willing to apply them.

What are the laws of morality governing mass communication?
The laws of morality governing mass communication are that the media must be operated in the interests of the common good; the news communicated should be true and within the limits of justice and charity; there must be a prudent and balanced judgment to choosing what is both salient and sales worthy.

Do people have a right to information through the media?
People have a right to information through the media about matters which affect their welfare, both as individuals and as members of society.

What are the duties of those who receive information?
Those who receive information should be discriminating about what they are being told; should protest when omission or distortion occur; and should develop effective means for insuring that the truth is communicated to the public.

What is the morality of leisure in the right use of the media?
The morality of leisure in the right use of the media requires that we recognize the value of time and do not waste it in useless exposure to the attractive and often seductive mass communications.

What is the function of advertising?
The function of advertising is to announce publicly the desirable qualities of a thing so as to arouse a desire in someone to purchase or invest in what has been advertised.

How is advertising beneficial to society?
Advertising is beneficial to society because it helps people to know beforehand what they are asked to buy or invest in, enables them to compare the different items advertised, gives them a right to expect (and demand) what has been advertised, and assists the economy by encouraging people to want what they might otherwise not have desired.

How can advertising be harmful to society?
Advertising harms society when it urges people to spend money beyond their available means, when it fosters a consumer mentality that believes happiness consists in having more material possessions and comforts, when it lowers the dignity of women by using sex to promote what is advertised, when it distorts the public image of a people by stressing the luxuries and non-essentials of human living, when it publicizes the sale of products or services that are immoral to use, and when it falsifies the quality or value of a commodity or investment.

Is the formation of public opinion justified?
The formation of public opinion is justified when the true leaders of a society are enabled to contribute to this formation; when the process of shaping the mind of a people serves the truth; when its objectives and methods accord with the dignity of man; and when it promotes causes that are consistent with the laws of God and the best interests of a society.

What is propaganda?
Propaganda is the conscious and organized forming of public opinion.

What types of propaganda are morally wrong?
Propaganda is morally wrong when it harms the true public welfare, or allows no response from the people, or withholds essential facts, falsifies in order to protect or promote some preconceived ideas or policy, or diminishes man’s legitimate freedom of decision.

Who are called to become holy?
All Christians regardless of their age, ability or rank in society, are called to become holy.

Why are all Christians called to become holy?
All Christians are called to become holy because this is why God became man, not only to redeem us from sin but lead us to become perfect, even as our heavenly Father is perfect.

Why is Christian holiness especially necessary in the modern world?
Christian holiness is especially necessary in the modern world because it takes sanctity to cope with the seductive temptations, and the pressures to conformity.

In what way are bishops called to holiness?
Bishops are called to holiness by promptness, humility and courage in carrying out their service in the care of souls. As successors of the apostles they must not be afraid to lay down their lives for their sheep.

How do priests grow in the holiness of Christ?
Priests grow in the holiness of Christ by devotion to the Eucharist and their life of sacrifice in the service of the Church.

What is the road of sanctity for married people?
The road of sanctity for married people is to support each other with faithful love life, to accept with gratitude the children God wishes to send them, and to teach the children how to prepare for time and eternity.

How are the widowed and those in the single state called to holiness?
The widowed and the single are called to holiness by recognizing their state in life as a true vocation from God. This vocation enables them to labor generously in the apostolate through the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

How are religious to grow in holiness?
Religious are to grow in holiness by freely accepting for a lifetime Christ’s invitation, “If you wish to be perfect.” They vow themselves to go beyond the precepts necessary for salvation.

What is holiness?
Holiness is being Christ like, which means we are to imitate Jesus Christ. The more we become like Christ the more holy we are.

Is the call to holiness binding on everyone?
The call to holiness is binding on everyone according to their state in life. It is a special duty for those called to a state of perfection.

What are the states of perfection?
The states of perfection are mainly religious communities and secular institutes.

What is the main purpose of those in a state of perfection?
The main purpose of those in a state of perfection is the pursuit of holiness.

What is meant by the pursuit of holiness?
The pursuit of holiness is the striving after sanctity, for oneself and for others. One’s own sanctity is meant to be the instrument for sanctifying those who, through him, are to come closer to God.

Who are religious?
Religious are men and women who are called to follow Christ with greater liberty, and to initiate him more closely by practicing the evangelical counsels. They voluntarily consecrate their lives to God, according to the different charisms of each founder of a religious institute as accepted and approved by the Church’s hierarchy under the Holy See.

What is the religious state?
The religious state is a state of perfection that consists of four essential elements: a fixed or stable mode of life, community living, observance of the evangelical counsels, and profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

What is meant by a stable way of life?
In a stable way of life a person is no longer morally free to abandon it, or move in and out of the state to which he belongs.

What is community living?
Community living or the common life means that religious are members of a society and a different rule of life, and they live together with other members of the same society.

Why do religious live the common life?
Religious live the common life after the example of Christ and the apostles, and the practice of many of the first Christians in apostolic times.

What is community life?
Community life is a gathering of like minded people who live out their following of Christ together, that is, being together and working together as much as circumstances and the nature of the services of others allows and demands.

What are the evangelical counsels?
The evangelical counsels are poverty, chastity and obedience.

What is a vow?
A vow is a free and deliberate promise made to God to perform a greater good or to enter a more perfect state of life.

What are the conditions for the person making a vow?
The conditions for the person making a vow are that he is acting freely, with knowledge and deliberation, and with the intention of binding himself under sin.

What are the conditions that pertain to the matter of the vow?
The conditions that pertain to the matter of a vow are that what is promised must be possible, morally good, and in fact better than its opposite.

To whom are vows made?
Vows are made to God alone. The names of the Blessed Virgin or saints may be added to give them honor and to ask for their intercession with God.

What is meant by temporary vows?
By temporary vows we mean vows that are taken for a fixed period of time.

What are perpetual vows?
Perpetual or final vows are those that are taken for the rest of one’s life.

Do temporary vows imply a temporary commitment?
On the contrary, even temporary religious vows imply a lifelong commitment. They are called temporary because if circumstances later justify it, the person is canonically free to leave the religious life when the time of the vows expires.

What is the difference between private and public vows?
Private vows are made directly to God, with no intervention on the part of the Church. Public vows are made according to an established rule or condition accepted by superiors in the name of the Church.

How may religious vows be divided? Explain.
Religious vows are either solemn or simple. Solemn vows are taken in religious orders and ordinarily are more demanding, e.g., they require the remuneration of all personnel ownership. Simple vows are taken in religious congregations and normally require the sacrifice only of independent use but not ownership of material possessions.

Why is a vow pleasing to God?
A vow is pleasing to God because it means the dedication of one’s determined will and not only of some action to God. Every exercise of a vow is therefore meritorious twice over: once as an act of the particular virtue covered by the vow, and once again of the virtue of religion by which we have committed ourselves to God as a living sacrifice of adoration of the divine majesty.

What should precede the making of a vow?
A vow presuppose reflection and council which means not trusting entirely in ourselves, but having the approval of a wise spiritual advisor.

Are we obliged to fulfill our vows?
We are obliged to fulfill our vows not only because every promise, especially to God, should be kept, but because God has more than once revealed how displeased He is with vows made and not observed.

Can a person be dispensed from vows?
A person can be dispensed from vows with a just cause. Dispensation consists in release from their obligation, granted in the name of God by one possessing lawful authority to do so.

What is the difference between precept and counsel?
A precept is an obligation that, of itself, is binding under sin. A counsel is an opportunity to do something pleasing to God beyond what is perceptive.

Can a counsel become obligatory?
Yes, a counsel becomes obligatory when a person freely binds himself, before God, to carry a particular counsel into practice.

What are the traditional counsels recognized by the Catholic Church?
The traditional counsels recognized by the Catholic Church are poverty, chastity and obedience.

Do the counsels have their corresponding precepts?
Yes, the counsels have their corresponding precepts beyond which they rise and to which a person may bind himself under vow.

What is the precept of poverty?
The precept of poverty is based on the seventh and tenth commandment of God. It forbids taking or even desiring to take anything of material value that belongs to someone else.

What is the counsel of poverty?
The counsel of poverty offers the opportunity of community sharing and of total dispossession.

Why is the counsel of poverty also called evangelical poverty?
The counsel of poverty is also called evangelical poverty because it was revealed in the Gospels (Evangelical) through the life and teaching of Christ.

What is the poverty of community sharing?
The poverty of community sharing means that what belongs to one belongs to all the members of a voluntary society. They possess things in common and freely bind themselves to depend on the authority in the community for whatever material things they need.

What is the poverty of dispossession?
The poverty of dispossession means that a person takes literally Christ’s invitation to “Go sell what you have, give the proceeds to the poor, and come follow me.”

Are there degrees in the poverty of dispossession?
There are degrees in the poverty of dispossession determined and authorized by the hierarchical Church. Total dispossession means giving up all possession and all independent use of material things. Partial dispossession means giving up more or less of either material things themselves or of their independent use or both according to the grace that people receive and the Church’s approbation of their way of life.

Why is evangelical poverty called voluntary poverty?
It is called voluntary poverty because it is freely undertaken out of love for God and in imitation of Christ.

What is the spirit of poverty?
The spirit of poverty is internal detachment from anything of material value, according to one’s state and circumstances of life. It means that a person uses material goods only as a means to a higher, spiritual end. His affections do not rest in these things. He is indifferent to wealth or poverty, to having or not having money or temporal possessions, according to what better enables him to do the will of God.

What is the precept of chastity?
The precept of chastity is the obligation to control sexual desires according to one’s stat of life. Everyone bound to practice the precept of chastity.

What is the counsel of chastity?
The counsel of chastity goes beyond the precept. It means that a person who has the grace sacrifices the legitimate pleasures and precepts of marriage and all deliberate sexual experience.

How does consecrated chastity differ from the virtue of chastity?
Consecrated chastity is the virtue of chastity practiced to an eminent degree. It is, therefore, more than temperance in the moderation of one’s sexual desires. Its motive is the love of God for whose sake even legitimate sexual pleasures are sacrificed. Its purpose is to be a greater service to others. And its possibility is the effect of a special grace given only to those who have received this vocation.

Is consecrated chastity the same as celibacy?
No, consecrated chastity is more than celibacy, which, of itself, rarely implies abstention from marriage. Consecrated chastity is total chastity, of body and spirit.

What is dedicated love?
Dedicated love is the motive for consecrated chastity. Its purpose is to give oneself wholly to God in loving contemplation, and wholly to one’s neighbor in loving service.

How is consecrated chastity procreative?
Consecrated chastity is procreative in that I reproduce myself in others. Consecrated chastity produces an extraordinary union with God and thus gives one the exceptional ability to serve the highest needs of others.

What is obedience of precept?
The obedience of precept is the virtue by which a person voluntarily fulfills the just commands of legitimate authority in a human society.

What is obedience of counsel?
The obedience of counsel is Christ’s obedience. It is obedience practiced out of love, not constraint. It is the obedience of voluntary sacrifice to please God and promote the salvation of souls.

What is perfect obedience?
Perfect obedience is more than external execution of what is demanded. It is also the voluntary submission of will to that of the superior and, as far as possible, surrender of mind to the mind of God manifested in what His providence requires – or even requests – through legitimate authority.

What is the role of religious obedience?
The role of religious obedience is to develop that Christian humility which God blesses with His grace and to which He attaches the promise of His special providence because that is what He practiced when He became man.

What, then, is the significance of religious vows?
Religious vows set one free from hindrances’ that could keep a person from loving God ardently and worshiping Him perfectly; they offer a more thoroughgoing way of consecrating oneself to the service of the Lord.

What is the role of the apostolate in religious life?
The role of the apostolate in religious life is to foster the kingdom of Christ in the hearts and minds of men. Religious are to extend His Gospel to the ends of the earth. They are to proclaim His message, by word and example, and without compromise, to every human being.

What is a religious institute?
A religious institute is a society with a common spiritual ancestry, approved by legitimate ecclesiastical authority, whose members strive after evangelical perfection according to the laws proper to their society, by the profession of public vows, either perpetual or temporary; the latter to be renewed after fixed intervals.

What is meant by the “common spiritual ancestry” of the community?
The common spiritual ancestry of a community is its own distinct founder or foundress, with a special charism from God, on which the community is built as on its permanent foundation

What is the existential dimension of a religious community?
The existential dimension of a religious community is the corporate life in practice. It includes four essential elements: a community of faith, of worship, of labor, and of friendship.

Why must a religious community be a community of faith?
It must be a community of faith because acceptance of the cardinal mysteries of the Catholic faith is basic to a religious community.

What three mysteries of the faith are crucial to religious life?
Crucial to religious life are faith in Christ’s divinity, in the Eucharist, and in the Primacy of the Holy Father.

Why is belief in the Divinity of Christ essential?
Belief in the Divinity Christ is essential because God in human form, as the first religious alone gives meaning and motivation to a life of the counsels.

Why must religious profess a deep faith in the Eucharist?
Religious must profess a deep faith in the Eucharist because Christ really present in the Eucharist is the only valid center of a religious community. He must be reserved and worshiped in the Blessed Sacrament or a group of persons will in time cease to be a religious community. They will lack the grace they need to remain in corporate unity.

Why is faith in papal primacy so important for religious life?
Faith in the papal primacy is so important for religious life because it is finally the Vicar of Christ who determines what religious life and each particular institute ought to be.

What is meant by community of worship?
By community of worship is meant regular prayer in common, including the Eucharistic Liturgy.

Why is community worship important?
Community worship is important because communities, no less than individuals, need grace to live a supernatural life. The ordinary means for obtaining grace is prayer – corporate prayer for communities corresponding to personal prayer for individuals.

Copyright © 1999 by Inter Mirifica
No reproductions shall be made without prior written permission

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