Q. What is a catechism? A Catechism is an instruction in the faith, to be taught to all Christians, to enable them to please God, and save their own souls.
Q. What is the meaning of the word catechism? It is a Greek word, signifying instruction, or oral teaching; and has been used ever since the Apostles’ times to denote that primary instruction in the Orthodox faith, which is needful for every Christian. Luke 1:4; Acts 18:25
Q. What is necessary in order to please God, and save one’s own soul? In the first place the knowledge of the true God, and right faith in Him; in the second place, a life according to faith and good works.
Q. Why is faith necessary in the first place? Because, as the word of God testifies, Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11:6
Q. Why must a life according to faith, and good works, be inseparable from this faith? Because as the word of God testifies, faith without works is dead. James 2:20
Q. What is faith? According to the definition of St. Paul, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 That is, a trust in the unseen, as though it were seen, in that which is hoped and waited for, as if it were present.
Q. What is the difference between knowledge and faith? Knowledge has for its object things visible and comprehensible; faith, things which are invisible and even incomprehensible. Knowledge is founded on experience, on examination of its object; but faith on belief of testimony to truth. Knowledge belongs properly to the intellect, although it may also act on the heart; faith belongs principally to the heart, although it is imparted through the intellect.
Q. Why is faith and knowledge only necessary in religious instruction? Because the chief object of this instruction is God invisible and incomprehensible, and the wisdom of God hidden in a mystery; consequently, many parts of this learning cannot be embraced by knowledge, but may be received by faith. Faith, says St. Cyril of Jerusalem, is the eye which enlightened every man’s conscience; it giveth man knowledge. For as the prophet says, If ye will not believe, ye shall not understand. Isaiah 7:9, Cyr. Cat. V
Q. What is the source of the Catholic Faith?
Q. What is meant by the words Divine Revelation? That which God Himself has revealed to men, in order that they might rightly and savingly believe in Him, and worthily honor Him.
Q. Has God given such a revelation to all men? He has given it for all, as being necessary for all alike, and capable of bringing salvation to all: but since not all men are capable of receiving a revelation immediately from God, He has employed special persons as heralds of His revelation, to deliver it to all who are desirous of receiving it.
Q. Who were some of the men who received Divine Revelation? Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and other Prophets, received and preached the beginnings of divine revelation; but it was the Incarnate Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who brought it to earth in its fullness and perfection, and spread it over the entire world by His disciples and Apostles. The Apostle Paul says in the beginning of his Epistle to the Hebrews: God, who at sundry times, and in diverse manners, spoke in times past unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son; Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the Worlds. I Cor. 11:7; John 1:8; Mat. 11:27
Q. Can man then have some knowledge of God without a special revelation from Him? We may have some knowledge of God by contemplation of those things He has created; but this knowledge is imperfect and insufficient, and can serve only as a preparation for faith, or as a help towards the knowledge of God from His revelation. Rom. 1:20; Acts 27:26-2
Q. How is Divine Revelation spread among men, and preserved in the true Church? By two channels: Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture. Q. What is meant by the name of Holy Tradition? By the name Holy Tradition is meant the doctrine of faith, the law of God, and the sacraments, has handed down by the true believers and worshippers of God by word and example from one to another, and from generation to generation.
Q. What is the repository of Holy Tradition? All true believers united by holy tradition of the faith, collectively and successively, by the will of God, compose the Church; and She is the sure repository of holy Tradition, or as St. Paul expresses it, The Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. I Tim. 3:15
Q. What is that which you call Holy Scripture? Certain books written by the Spirit of God, through men sanctified by God, called Prophets and Apostles. These books are commonly termed the Bible.
Q. What does the word Bible mean? It is Greek, and means The Books. The name signifies that the sacred books deserve attention before all others.
Q. Which is the more ancient, Holy Tradition, or Holy Scripture? The most ancient and original instrument for spreading Divine Revelation is Holy Tradition. From Adam to Moses there were no sacred books. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself delivered His Divine doctrine and ordinances to His disciples by word and example, but not the writing. The same method was followed by the Apostles also at first, when they spread abroad the faith and established the Church of Christ. The necessity of is further evident from this, that books can be available only to a small part of mankind, but tradition to all.
Q. Why then was Holy Scripture given? To this end, that Divine Revelation might be preserved more exactly and unchangeably. In Holy Scripture we read the words of the Prophets and Apostles precisely as if we were living with them and listening to them, although the latest of the sacred books were written a thousand and some hundred years before our time.
Q. Must we follow Holy Tradition, even when we possess Holy Scripture? We must follow that tradition which agrees with the Divine Revelation and with Holy Scripture, as is taught is by Holy Scripture itself. The Apostle Paul writes: Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle. II Thess. 2:15 Q. Why is Tradition necessary even now? As a guide to the right understanding of Holy Scripture, and for the right ministration of the Sacraments.
Q. When were the sacred books written? At different times; some before the birth of Christ, others after.
Q. Have not these two divisions of the sacred books each their own names? They have. Those written before the birth of Christ are called the books of the Old Testament; while those written after are called books of the New Testament.
Q. What are the Old and New testaments? In other words: the old and new agreements of God with men.
Q. Of what does the Old Testament consist? That God promised men a Divine Savior, and prepared them to receive Him.
Q. How did God prepare men to receive the Savior? Through gradual revelations, by prophecies and types.
Q. Of what does the New Testament consist? That God has actually given men a Divine Savior, His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Q. How many books of the Old Testament are there? Forty-Six.
Q. Is there any division of the books of the Old Testament by which you can give a more distinct account of their contents? A. They may be divided into the four following classes: 1. Books of the Law, which forms the basis of the Old Testament. 2. Historical books, which contain principally the history of religion. 3. Doctrinal, which contain the doctrine of religion. 4. Prophetical, which contain prophecies, or predictions of things future, especially of Jesus Christ.
Q. Which are the books of the Law? The five books written by Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Jesus Christ Himself gives to these books the general name of the Law of Moses. Luke 24:44
Q. What in particular is contained in the book of Genesis? The account of the creation of the world and of man, and afterwards the history and ordinances of religion in the first ages of mankind.
Q. What is contained in the other four books of Moses? Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy Q. Which are the historical books of the Old Testament? The Books of Joshua, the son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, Kings, Chronicles, the books of Esdras, and the books of Nehemiah, Ester, Tobias, Judith, and Maccabees.
Q. Which are doctrinal? The book of Job, The psalms, the books of Solomon.
Q. What should we remark in particular of the book of psalms? This book, together with the doctrine of religion, contains also allusions to its history, and many prophecies of our Savior Christ. It is a perfect manual of prayer and praise, and on this account is in continual use in the Divine service of the Church.
Q. Which books are prophetical? Those of the Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, the twelve others plus Baruch.
Q. How many books of the New Testament are there? Twenty-seven.
Q. Are there among these any, which answer to the books of the Law, or form the basis of the New Testament? Yes. The Gospel, which consist of the four books of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Q. What does the word Gospel mean? It is the same word as the Greek word Evangely, and means good and joyful news.
Q. Of what have we good news in the books called the Gospel? Of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, of His advent and life on earth, of His miracles and saving doctrine, and finally, of His death upon the cross, His glorious resurrection, and Ascension into heaven.
Q. Why are these books called the Gospel? They are called Gospel because man can have no better nor more joyful news than these, of a Divine Savior and everlasting salvation. For the same cause, whenever the Gospel is read in the Church, it is prefaced and accompanied by joyful exclamation: Glory be to Thee, O Lord. Glory be to Thee.
Q. Are any of the books of the New Testament historical? Yes. One; the book of the Acts of the Holy Apostles. Q. Of what does it give an account? Of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, and the extension through them of Christ’s Church.
Q. What is an Apostle? The word means a messenger. It is the name given to those disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom He sent to preach the Gospel.
Q. Which books of the New Testament are doctrinal? The seven General Epistles; namely, one of the Apostle James, two of Peter, three of John, and one of Jude; and fourteen Epistles of the Apostle Paul: namely, one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, one to Philemon, and one to the Hebrews.
Q. Are there also among the books of the New Testament any prophetical? Such is the book of the Apocalypse, which means Revelation.
Q. What is the Nicene Creed? The Nicene Creed is a summary of that doctrine which all Christians are bound to believe.
Q. What are the 12 divisions of the Creed? They are as follows: 1. I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; 2. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made 3. For us men, and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. 4. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, 5. And rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. 6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; 7. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. 8. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. 9. I believe one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 10. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. 11. And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead; 12. And the life of the world to come. Amen.
Q. From whom have we this summary of the Faith? From the Fathers of the First and Second Ecumenical Councils.
Q. What is an Ecumenical Council? An assembly of the Bishops and theologians of the Catholic Church, as far as possible, from the whole world, for the confirmation of true doctrine and practice among Christians.
Q. How many Ecumenical Councils have there been? Seven: 1. Nicea; 2. Constantinople; 3. Ephesus; 4. Chalcedon; 5. The second of Constantinople; 6. The third of Constantinople; 7. The second of Nicea.
Q. What evidence is there in Scripture for holding Ecumenical Councils? From the example of the Apostles, who held a Council in Jerusalem. Acts 15. This is grounded also upon the words of Jesus Christ Himself, which give to the decisions of the Church such weight, that whoever disobeys them is left deprived of grace. The means by which the Catholic Church utters her decisions is an Ecumenical Council. Mat. 28:17
Q. What were the particular occasions for assembling the First and Second Ecumenical Councils, at which the Creed was defined? The first was held for the confirmation of the true doctrine respecting the Son of God, against the error of Arius; the second for the confirmation of the true doctrine respecting the Holy Spirit, against Macedonius.
Q. On the Articles of the Creed: What method shall we follow in order the better to understand the Nicene Creed? We must notice its division into twelve articles or parts, and consider each article separately.
Q. What is spoken of in each article of the Creed? A. B. C. D. E. F. G. The first article of the Creed speaks of God as the prime origin, more particularly of the first Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, and of God as Creator of the World; The second article, of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, the Son of God; The third article, of the incarnation of the Son of God; The fourth article, of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ; The fifth article, of the resurrection of Jesus Christ; The sixth article, of the Ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven; The seventh article, of the second coming of Jesus Christ upon earth; The eighth article, of the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit: The ninth article, of the Church; The tenth article, of Baptism, under which are implied the other Sacraments also; The eleventh article, of the future resurrection of the dead; The twelfth article, of the life everlasting. 13
Q. On the First Article: What does it mean to believe in God? To believe in God is to have a lively belief in His being, His attributes, and worlds; and to receive with all our heart His revealed word for the salvation of men. Without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of the that diligently seek Him. Heb.11:6 Eph. 3:16,17,
Q. What must be the immediate and constant effect of a firm faith in God? The confession of this same faith. What is the confession of this faith? It is openly to show that we hold the Catholic faith, and this with such sincerity and firmness, that neither force, nor threats, nor tortures, nor death itself, may be able to make us deny our faith in the true God and in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Q.For what reason is the confession of the faith necessary? The Apostle Paul witnesses that it is necessary for salvation. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom. 10:10
Q. What does Holy Scripture teach us of the unity of God? The very words of the Creed on this point are taken from the following passage of the Apostle Paul: There is none other God but one. For though there be they that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as there be gods many, and lords many, but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him: and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him. I Cor. 7:4-6
Q. Can we know the very essence of God, or God as He is? No. It is above all knowledge, not men only, but of Angels. The apostle Paul says that God dwelleth in the light, which no man can approach unto, Whom no man hath seen, nor can see. I Tim.6:16 What are some of the attributes of God? God is a Spirit, eternal, all-good, all knowing, all-just, almighty, all present, unchangeable, all- sufficing to Himself, all-blessed.
Q. If God is a Spirit, how does Holy Scripture ascribe to Him bodily parts, as heart, eyes, ears, hands? Holy Scripture in this suits itself to the common language of men; but we are to understand such expression in a higher and spiritual sense. For instance, the heart of God means His goodness or his love; eyes and ears mean His omniscience: hands, His almighty power. 14
Q. If God is everywhere, why do men say that God is in heaven, or in the church? God is everywhere: but in heaven He has a special presence manifested in everlasting glory to the blessed spirits; also in churches He has, through grace and Sacraments, a special presence devoutly recognized and felt by believers, and manifested sometimes by extraordinary signs. Jesus Christ says: Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Mat. 28:20
Q. How are we to understand these words of the Creed, I believe in one God, the Father Almighty? This is to be understood with reference to the mystery of the Holy Trinity; because God is one in substance, but three in persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I John 5:7
Q. Is the Holy Trinity mentioned in the Old Testament also? Yes; only not as clearly. For instance. By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth. Psalm 33:6 Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts: The whole earth is full of His glory. Isaiah 6:3
Q. How is God one in three Persons? We cannot understand this mystery of the Godhead; we believe it on the infallible testimony of the word of God. The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. I Cor. 2:11
Q. What difference is there between the Persons of the Holy Trinity? God the Father is neither begotten, nor proceeds from any other Person: the Son of God is from all eternity begotten of the Father: the Holy Spirit from all eternity proceeds from the Father.
Q. Are the three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity all of equal majesty? Yes. All are equally God. The Father is true God; the Son equally true God; and the Holy Spirit true God; but in three Persons there is only one God.
Q. Why is God called Almighty? Because He upholds all things by His power and His will.
Q. What is expressed by the words of the Creed, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible? That all was made by God, and that nothing can be without God. The book of Genesis begins thus: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The Apostle Paul speaking of Jesus Christ, the Son of God says: By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him. Coloss. 1:16
Q. What is meant in the Creed by the word invisible? The invisible or spiritual world, to which belong the Angels.
Q. What are the Angels? Angels are Spirits, having intelligence, will, and power, but no material bodies.
Q. What does the name Angel mean? It means a Messenger.
Q. Why are they so called? Because God sends them to announce His will. Thus for instance, Gabriel was sent to announce to the Most Holy Virgin Mary the conception of the Savior. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Which was created first, the visible world or the invisible? The invisible was created before the visible, and the Angels before men. Who laid the corner-stone thereof? When the stars were created, all My Angels praised Me with a loud voice. Job 38:6,7 Where in Scripture are Guardian Angels mentioned? In Psalm 91: 11: He shall give His Angels charge over thee, to guard thee in all thy ways.
Q. Has each one of us a Guardian Angel? Yes. Of this we may be assured from the following words of Jesus Christ: Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their Angels do always behold the face of my Father, which is in heaven. Mat. 18:10 Are all Angels good and protective? No. There are also evil angels, otherwise called devils.
.Q. How did they become evil? They were created good, but they swerved from their duty of perfect obedience to God, and so fell away from Him into self-will, pride, and malice. According to the words of the Apostle Jude, they are the Angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation. Jude 6 What does the name devil mean? It means slanderer or deceiver. Why are the evil angels called devils, that is, slanderers or deceivers. Because they are ever laying snares for men, seeking to deceive them, and mislead them with false notions and evil wishes.
Q.What has Holy Scripture revealed to us of the creation of the world? In the beginning God created from nothing the heaven and the earth, and all that they contain. Afterwards God successively produced: on the first day of the world, light; on the second, the firmament or visible heaven; on the third, the gathering together of the waters on the earth, the dry land, and what grows thereupon; on the fourth, the sun, moon, and stars; on the fifth, fishes and birds; on the sixth, four-footed creatures living on the earth, and lastly man. With man the creation finished: and on the seventh day was called the Sabbath, which in the Hebrew tongue means rest. Gen. 2 Were the visible creatures created such as we see them now? No. At creation everything was very good; that is, pure, beautiful, and harmless. Are we not informed of something particular in the creation of man? God in the Holy Trinity said: Let Us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness, Gen. 1:26 And God made the body of the first man, Adam, from the earth: breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: brought him into Paradise; gave him for food, beside the other fruits of Paradise, the fruit of the tree of life: and lastly, having taken a rib from Adam while he slept, made from it the first woman, Eve. Gen 2:22
Q. What is meant by the image of God? The Image of God consists, as explained by the Apostle Paul, In righteousness and holiness of truth. Eph. 4:24
Q. What is the breath of life? The soul, a substance spiritual and immortal. Q. What is Paradise? The word Paradise means garden. It is the name given to the fair and blissful dwelling place of the first man, described in the book of Genesis as like a garden.
Q. Was the Paradise in which man first lived material or spiritual? For the body it was material. a visible and blissful dwelling place; but for the soul it was spiritual, a state of communion by grace with God, and spiritual contemplation of the creatures.
Q. What was the tree of life? A tree, by feeding on whose fruit man would have been, even in the body, free from disease and death.
Q. Why was Eve made from a rib of Adam? To the intent that all mankind might be by origin naturally disposed to love and care for one another.
Q. For what purpose did God create us? That we should know God, love, and glorify Him, and so be happy forever.
Q. What is divine providence? Divine providence is the constant energy of the almighty power, wisdom, and goodness of God, by which He preserves the being and faculties of His creatures, directs them to good ends, and assists all that is good; but the evil that springs by departure from good either cuts off, or corrects it, and turns it to good results in cooperation with the goodwill of men. Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Mat. 6:26 From these words is shown at once God’s general providence over creatures, and His special providence over man.
Q. How are we to understand the name Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Son of God is the name of the second person of the Holy Trinity in respect to His Godhead: This same Son of God was called Jesus, when He was conceived and born on earth as man: Christ is the name given Him by the Prophets, while they were as yet expecting His advent upon earth.
Q. What does the name Jesus mean? Savior.
Q. By whom was the name Jesus first given? By the Angel Gabriel. Q. Why was this name given to the Son of God at His conception and birth on earth? Because He was conceived and born to save men. Q. What does the name Christ mean? Anointed One.
Q. Is it only Jesus the Son of God who is called Anointed? No. Anointed was in Old Testament times a title of Kings, High Priests, and Prophets.
Q. Why then is Jesus the Son of God called Anointed? Because to His manhood were imparted without measure all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and so He possesses in the highest degree the knowledge of a Prophet, the holiness of a High Priest, and power of a King.
Q. In what sense is Jesus Christ called Lord? In this sense, that He is truly God; for the name Lord is one of the names of God. In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Q. Why is Jesus called the Only-begotten Son of God? Because He alone is the Son of God begotten of the substance of God the Father, and so is of one substance with the Father. John 1:12 The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1: 14. No man hath seen God at any time: the Only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. ib. 18
Q. Why in the Creed is it said further of the Son of God that He is begotten of the Father? By this is expressed that personal property, by which He is distinguished from the other Persons of the Holy Trinity.
Q. Why is it said that He is begotten before all worlds? That none should think there was ever a time when He was not. In other words, by this is expressed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God from all eternity, even as God the Father is from all eternity.
Q. What do the words Light of Light mean in the Creed? Under the figure of the visible light they in some manner explain the incomprehensible generation of the Son of God from the Father. When we look at the sun, we see light: from this light is generated the light visible everywhere beneath: but both the one and the other is one light, indivisible and of one nature. In like manner, God the Father is the everlasting Light: I John 1:5. Of Him is begotten the Son of God, Who also is the everlasting Light: the God the Father and God the Son are one and the same everlasting Light, indivisible, and of one Divine nature.
Q. What force is there in the words of the Creed, God of God? That the Son of God is called God in the same proper sense as God the Father. We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us (light and) understanding, that we may know the true God, and be in Him that is true, in His Son Jesus Christ: This is the true God and eternal life. I John 5:20
Q. Why is it further added of the Son of God in the Creed that he is begotten, not made? This was added against the Arian heresy which incorrectly taught that the Son of God was made.
Q. What do the words consubstantial with the Father mean? They mean that the Son of God is of one and the same Divine being with God the Father. I and the Father are one. John 9:30
Q. What is shown in the next words in the Creed, through him all things were made? That God the Father created all things by His Son, as by His eternal Wisdom and His eternal Word. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made which was made. John 1:3
Q. On the Third Article: What do we mean when we say that He came down from heaven, seeing that as God He is everywhere? It is true that He is everywhere: and so He is always in heaven, and always on earth; but on earth He was without a human body; afterwards He appeared in the flesh; in this sense it is said that He came down from heaven. No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven. John 3:13 Q. Q. For what reason did the Son of God come down from heaven? For us men, and for our salvation, as it is said in the Creed. In what sense, is it said that the Son of God came down from heaven for us men? In this sense, that He came upon earth not for one nation nor for some men only, but for us men universally. From what did Christ wish to save us? From sin, the curse, and death. Q. What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law. I John 3:8
Q. How did sin pass from the devil to men? The devil deceived Eve and Adam, and tempted them to break God’s commandment.
Q. What commandment? God commanded Adam in Paradise not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and also told him that if he ate of it, he would die.
Q. Why did it bring death to man to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Because it involved disobedience to God’s will, and so separated man from God and His grace, and alienated him from the life of God.
Q. What is meant by the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Man through this tree came to know by the act itself what good there is in obeying the will of God, and what evil there is in disobeying it.
Q. How could Adam and Eve listen to the devil against the will of God? God of His goodness, at the creation of man, gave him a will naturally disposed to love God, but still free; and man used this freedom for evil.
Q. How did the devil deceive Adam and Eve? Eve saw in Paradise a serpent, which assured her that if men ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would know good and evil, and would become gods. Eve was deceived by this promise and ate of it. Adam ate after her example.
Q. What came of Adam’s sin? The curse and death.
Q. What is the curse? The condemnation of sin by God’s just judgment, and the evil which from sin came upon the earth for the punishment of men. God said to Adam, Cursed is the ground for thy sake. Gen. 3:17
Q. What is the death which came from the sin of Adam? It is twofold: Bodily, when the body loses the soul which gives it life; and spiritual, when the soul loses the grace of God, which gives it the higher and spiritual life.
Q. Can the soul then die, as well as the body? It can die, but not in the same way as the body. The body, when it dies loses sense, and is dissolved; the soul, when it dies by sin, loses spiritual light, joy, and happiness, but is not dissolved nor annihilated, but remains in a state of suffering, anguish, and darkness.
Q. Why must all men share the effects of Adam’s sin? Because all have descended from Adam, thereby sharing the consequences of sin, and all sin themselves. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Rom. 5:12
Q. Did men have any hope left for salvation? When our first parents had confessed before God their sin, God, of His mercy, gave them hope for salvation.
Q. What was this hope? God promised that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. Gen. 3:15
Q. What did that mean? It meant that Jesus Christ should overcome the devil who had deceived men, and deliver them from sin, the curse, and death. Q. Why is Jesus Christ called the seed of the woman? Because he was born on earth without a father from the Most Holy Virgin Mary.
Q. What benefit was there in this promise? The benefit was that from the time of the promise men could believe savingly in the Savior that was to come, even as we now believe in the Savior who has come.
Q. Did people in fact from the Old Testament believe in the Savior that was to come? Some did, but the greater part forgot God’s promise of a Savior.
Q. Did not God repeat this promise? More than once. For instance, He made to Abraham the promise of a Savior in the following words: In thy seed all the nations of the earth be blessed. Gen 22:18 The same promise He repeated afterwards to David in the following words: I will set up thy seed after thee, and I will establish His throne forever. II Kings 7:12,13
Q. What do we understand by the word Incarnation? That the Son of God took upon Himself human flesh without sin, and was made man, without ceasing to be God. The Word was made flesh. John 1:14
Q. Why in the Creed, after it has been said of the Son of God that He was incarnate, is it further added that He was made man.? To the end that none should imagine that the Son of God took only flesh or a body, but should acknowledge in Him a perfect man consisting of body and soul. There is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. I Tim. 2:5
Q. And so is there only one nature in Jesus Christ? No; there are in Him without separation and without confusion two natures, the Divine and the human, and with these two natures, two wills.
Q. Are there not therefore also two persons? No; One person, God and man together; in one word, a God-man. The Evangelist Luke relates that when the Virgin Mary had asked the Angel, who announced to her the conception of Jesus, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? The Angel replied to her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:34,35
Q. Who was the Virgin Mary? A holy virgin of the ancestry of Abraham and David, from whose line the Savior, by God’s promise, was to come; betrothed to Joseph, a man of the same line, in order that he might be her guardian; for she was dedicated to God with a vow of perpetual virginity.
Q. Did Mary remain, in fact, a virgin? She remained a virgin before the birth, during the birth, and after the birth of the Savior; and therefore, is called ever-virgin.
Q. What other great title is there with which the Church honors the Holy Virgin Mary? That of Mother of God.
Q. Can you show the origin of this title in Holy Scripture? It is taken from the following words of the Prophet Isaiah: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted, is God with us. Isaiah 7:14, Mat. 1:23 So also the righteous Elizabeth calls the Most Holy Virgin The Mother of the Lord; which title is all one with that of Mother of God, Whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:43
Q. In what sense is the Most Holy Virgin called Mother of God? Although Jesus Christ was born of her not in His divinity, but of his humanity, still she is rightly called Mother of God, because He that was born of her as a man is nevertheless God.
Q. What thoughts should we have of the exalted dignity of the Most Holy Virgin Mary? As Mother of the Lord she is higher than all created beings in grace and nearness to God.
Q. Give examples of how God prepared His people to know the Savior when He would be born. The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Savior should be born of a virgin. Is. 7:14 The Prophet Micah foretold that the Savior should be born in Bethlehem; and this prophecy the Jews understood even before they heard of its fulfillment. Mat. 2:4-6 The Prophet Malachi, after the building of the second temple at Jerusalem, foretold that the coming of the Savior was drawing near, that He should come to this temple, and that before Him should be sent a forerunner who would be like the Prophet Elias, clearly pointing by this to John the Baptist. Mal 3:1; 4:5
The Prophet Zachariah foretold the triumphal entry of the Savior into Jerusalem. Zach. 9:9 The Prophet Isaiah with wonderful clearness foretold the sufferings of the Savior. Is 53 David, in the 23rd Psalm, described the sufferings of the Savior on the cross itself. And Daniel, 490 years before, foretold the appearance of the Savior, His death on the cross, and the subsequent destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, and abolition of the Old Testament sacrifices. Dan. 9
Q. Did men, in fact, recognize Jesus Christ as the Savior at the time that He was born and lived upon earth? Many did recognize Him by various ways. The wise men of the East recognized Him by a star, which before His birth appeared in the East. The shepherds of Bethlehem knew of Him from Angels, who distinctly told them that the Savior was born in the city of David. Simeon and Anna, by special revelation of the Holy Spirit, knew Him when He was brought, forty days after His birth, into the temple. John the Baptist, at the river Jordan, at His baptism, knew Him by revelation, by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Him in the form of a dove, and by a voice from heaven from God the Father; This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him. Mark 9:7 Besides this, very many recognized Him by His preaching, and especially by the miracles which He worked.
Q. What are some of the miracles of Jesus Christ? People suffering under incurable diseases, and possessed by devils, were healed by Him in the twinkling of an eye, by a single word, or by the touch of His hand, and even through their touching His garment. Once with five, and another time with seven loaves He fed in the wilderness several thousand men. He walked on the waters, and by a word calmed the storm. He raised the dead; The son of the widow of Nain, the daughter of Jairus, and Lazarus on the fourth day after his death.
Q. How does Christ save us? By His teaching, His life, His death, and resurrection.
Q. What was Christ’s main teaching? The Gospel of the Kingdom of God, or in other words, the doctrine of salvation and eternal happiness. Mark 1:14,15
Q. How are we saved by Christ’s teachings? When we receive it with all our heart, and walk according to it. For, as the false words of the devil, received by our first parents, became in them the seed of sin and death, so, on the contrary, the true word of Christ, sincerely received by Christians, becomes in them the seed of a holy and immortal life. They are, in the words of the Apostle Peter, born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever. I Pet. 1:23
Q. How do we receive salvation by Christ’s life? When we imitate it. For He says, If anyone serve Me, let Him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be. John 12:26
Q. On the Fourth Article How did it come to pass that Jesus Christ was crucified when His teaching and works should have moved all to love Him? The elders of the Jews and the scribes, who represent all unrepentant sinners, hated Him because He rebuked their false doctrine and evil lives, and envied Him because the people who heard Him teach and saw His miracles respected Him more than them; and hence they falsely accused Him and condemned Him to death.
Q. Why is it said that Jesus Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate? To mark the time of when He was crucified. Who was Pontius Pilate? The Roman governor of Judea, which had become subject to the Romans. Why is this circumstance worthy of remark? Because in it we see the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy: The scepter Shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come: and He is the desire of the nations. Gen. 44:10
Q. Why is it not only in the Creed that Jesus Christ was crucified, but also added that He suffered death? To show that His crucifixion was not only a resemblance of suffering and death, as some have said, but a real suffering and death. Why is it also mentioned that He was buried? This likewise is to assure us that He really died, and rose again; for His enemies even set a watch at His sepulcher, and sealed it.
Q. How could Jesus Christ suffer and die when He was God? He suffered and died not in His Godhead, but in His manhood; and He did this not because He could not avoid it, but because it pleased Him to suffer for our salvation. He Himself had said: I lay down My life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down for Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. John 10:17,18 Q In what sense is it said, that Jesus Christ was crucified for us? That He, by His death on the cross, delivered us from sin, the curse, and death. Ephes. 1:7; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 2:14,15 25
Q. According to Scripture how does the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross deliver us from sin, the curse, and death? God hath willed to make known to His saints, what is the riches of the glory of this mystery of the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col. 1:26,27 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:17 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. Rom. 7:1-4
Q. Did Jesus Christ suffer and die for all? For His part, He offered Himself as a sacrifice strictly for all, and obtained for all grace and salvation; but this benefits only those of us, who, for our parts, of our own free will, have fellowship in His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. Philipp. 3:10
Q. How can we have fellowship in the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ? We have fellowship in the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ through a lively and sincere faith, through the Sacraments, in which is contained and sealed the virtue of His saving sufferings and death, and lastly, through the crucifixion of our flesh with its lusts. Gal. 2:19,20; Rom. 6:3; I Cor.11:26; Gal. 5:24
Q. How can we crucify the flesh with its lusts? By doing what is contrary to them. For instance, when anger prompts us to insult an enemy and to do him harm, but we resist the desire, and, remembering how Jesus Christ on the cross prayed for His enemies, pray likewise for ours, we crucify the sin of anger. 26
Q. On the Fifth Article: What is the proof given by Jesus Christ, that His sufferings and death have brought salvation to us men? That He rose again on the third day, and so laid the foundation for our blessed resurrection. Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. I Cor. 15:20
Q. What is Hades or hell as used in the Creed? Hades is a Greek word, and means a place void of light. In the Creed by this name is understood a spiritual prison, that is, the state of those spirits which are separated by sin from the sight of God’s countenance, and from the light and blessedness which it confers. Jude 1:6
Q. For what reason did Jesus Christ descend into hell? So that He might there also preach His victory over death, and deliver the souls which with faith awaited His coming. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He may bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit: in which also He went and preached unto the Spirits in Prison. I Pet. 3:18,19
Q. What do we mean by the words of the Creed, and rose again the third day according to the Scripture? These words were put into the Creed from the following passage in the Epistle to the Corinthians: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scripture; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scripture. I Cor. 15:3,4
Q. What force is there in these words, according to the Scripture? By this is shown that Jesus Christ died and rose again, precisely as had been written of Him prophetically in the books of the Old Testament.
Q.Where for instance, is there anything written of this event? In the 53rd chapter of the book of the Prophet Isaiah, for instance, the suffering and death of Jesus Christ is shown forth with many particular traits; as, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. Isa. 5
Q.Of the Resurrection of Christ the Apostle Peter quotes the words of the 16th Psalm: For why? Thou shalt not leave My soul in hell, neither shalt Thou suffer Thy holy one to see corruption. Acts 2:27 Is this also the Scripture of the Old Testament, that
Q. Jesus Christ should rise again on the third day? A prophetic type of this was set forth in the Prophet Jonah: And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. John 1:17
Q. How was it known that Jesus Christ had risen? The soldiers who watched His sepulcher knew this, because an angel of the Lord rolled away the stone which closed His sepulcher, and at the same time there was a great earthquake. Angels likewise announced the Resurrection of Christ to Mary Magdalene and some others. Jesus Christ Himself on the very day of His Resurrection appeared to many; also to the women bringing spices, to Peter, to the two disciples going to Emmaus, and lastly, to all the Apostles in the house, the doors being shut. Afterwards He often showed Himself to them during the span of forty days; and one day, He was seen by more than five hundred believers at one time. I Cor. 15:6
Q. What did Jesus Christ after His resurrection continue to teach the Apostles? He continued to teach them the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Acts 1:3
Q. Is the statement of our Lord’s Ascension in the sixth article of the Creed taken from Scripture? It is taken from the following passage of Holy Scripture: He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. Eph. 4:10 We have such a High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. Heb. 8:1
Q. Was it in His Godhead or His manhood that Jesus Christ ascended into heaven? In His manhood. In His Godhead He ever was and is in heaven.
Q. How does Jesus Christ sit at the right hand of God the Father, seeing that God is everywhere? This must be understood spiritually; that is, Jesus Christ has one and the same majesty and glory with God the Father, humanity having been exalted in His Divinity.
Q. On the Seventh Article: How does Holy scripture speak of Christ’s coming again? This Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go in to heaven. Acts 1:2 This was said to the Apostles by angels at the time of our Lord’s Ascension.
Q. How does it speak of the future judgment? The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28,29
Q.These are the words of Christ Himself. How does it speak of His kingdom which is to have no end? He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:32,33 These are the words of the angel to the Mother of God.
Q. Will the second coming of Christ be like His first? No, it will be different. He came to suffer for us in great
Q. On the Seventh Article: How does Holy scripture speak of Christ’s coming again? This Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go in to heaven. Acts 1:2 This was said to the Apostles by angels at the time of our Lord’s Ascension.
Q.How does it speak of the future judgment? The hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28,29 These are the words of Christ Himself. How does it speak of His kingdom which is to have no end? He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:32,33 These are the words of the angel to the Mother of God.
Q. Will the second coming of Christ be like His first? No, it will be different. He came to suffer for us in great humility, but He shall come to judge us in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him. Mat. 25:31
Q. Will He judge all men? Yes. All without exception. How will He judge them? The conscience of every man shall be laid open before all, and not only shall all deeds which he has ever done in his whole life upon earth be revealed, but also all the words he has spoken, and all his secret wishes and thoughts. The Lord shall come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart; and then shall every man have praise of God. I Cor. 4:5
Q. Will He then condemn us even for evil words and thoughts? Yes, He will, unless we correct them by repentance, faith, and amendment of life. I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Mat. 12:36
Q. Will Jesus Christ soon come to judge the earth? We do not know the day nor the hour. Therefore, we should live so as to be always ready. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. II Pet. 3:9,10 Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Mat. 25:13 30, but He shall come to judge us in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him. Mat. 25:31
Q. Will He judge all men? Yes. All without exception. How will He judge them? The conscience of every man shall be laid open before all, and not only shall all deeds which he has ever done in his whole life upon earth be revealed, but also all the words he has spoken, and all his secret wishes and thoughts. The Lord shall come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart; and then shall every man have praise of God. I Cor. 4:5
Q. Will He then condemn us even for evil words and thoughts? Yes, He will, unless we correct them by repentance, faith, and amendment of life. I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Mat. 12:36
Q. Will Jesus Christ soon come to judge the earth? We do not know the day nor the hour. Therefore, we should live so as to be always ready. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. II Pet. 3:9,10 Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Mat. 25:13 30
Q. What are the signs of the coming of Christ? In the word of God certain signs are revealed, such as the decrease of faith and love among men, the abounding of sin and disasters, the preaching of the Gospel to all nations, and the coming of the Antichrist. Mat. 24
Q. What is meant by the Antichrist? An enemy of Christ, who will strive to overthrow Christianity, but instead of doing so, shall himself come to a destructive end. II Thess. 2:8
Q. What is Christ’s kingdom? Christ’s kingdom is, first, the whole world; secondly, all believers upon earth; thirdly, all the blessed in heaven. The first is called the kingdom of nature, the second the kingdom of grace, the third the kingdom of glory.
Q. Which of these is meant when it is said in the Creed, that of Christ’s Kingdom there shall be no end? The kingdom of glory.
Q. In what sense is the Holy Spirit called the Lord? In the same sense as the Son of God; that is, as truly God.
Q. Is it witnessed by Holy Scripture? It is plain from the words spoken by the Apostle Peter to rebuke Ananias: Why hath Satan filled thine heart, to lie to the Holy Spirit? and further on, Thou hast not lied unto man, but unto God. Acts 5:3,4
Q. What are we to understand by this, that the Holy Spirit is called the giver of life? That He, together with God the Father and the Son, gives life to all creatures, especially spiritual life to man. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5
Q. How do we know that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father? This we know from the following words of Jesus Christ Himself: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me. John 15: 26.
Q. Does the Doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father admit of any change or supplement? No. First, because the Catholic Church, in this doctrine, repeats the exact words of Jesus Christ; and His words, without doubt, are a precise and perfect expression of the truth. Second, because the second Ecumenical Council, whose chief object was to establish the true doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit, has without doubt correctly set forth the same in the Creed; and the Catholic Church has acknowledged this so decidedly, that the third Ecumenical Council in its seventh canon has forbidden the composition of any new Creed.
Q. By whose authority is it stated that the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son, and together with them is worshipped and glorified? It appears from this, that Jesus Christ commanded them to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Mat. 28:19
Q. Why is said in the Creed that the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets? This is said against certain heretics, who taught that the books of the Old Testament were not written by the Holy Spirit. For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. II Pet. 1:12 Q. Why then is there no mention of the Apostles in the Creed. Because when the Creed was composed none doubted the inspiration of the Apostles.
Q. Was not the Holy Spirit shown forth to men in some very special manner? Yes. He came down upon the Apostles in the form of fiery tongues, on the 50th day after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the day called Pentecost.
Q. Is the Holy Spirit communicated to men even now? He is communicated to all true Christians. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? I Cor. 3:1
Q. How may we be made partakers of the Holy Spirit? Through fervent prayer, and through the Sacraments. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? Luke 11:13 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:4-6
Q. What are the chief gifts of the Holy Spirit? The Chief and more general are, as stated by the Prophet Isaiah, the following seven: the spirit of the fear of God, the spirit of knowledge, the spirit of might, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of understanding, the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of the Lord, or the gift of piety and inspiration and in the highest degree. Isaiah 11:2
Q. What is the Church? On the Ninth Article: The Church is a divinely instituted community of believers united by the catholic faith, the law of God, the hierarchy, and the Sacraments.
Q. What does it mean to believe in the Church? It means piously to honor the true Church of Christ, and to obey her doctrine and commandments, from a conviction that grace ever abides in her, and works, teaches, and governs for salvation of men flowing from her One and only eternal Head, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Q.m How can the Church, which is visible, be the object of faith, when faith, as the Apostle says, is the evidence of things not seen? First, though the Church is visible, the grace of God which dwells in her, and in those who are sanctified in her, is not; and this is what properly constitutes the object of faith in the Church. Second, the Church, though visible insofar as she is upon earth, and contains all right believing Christians living upon earth, still is at the same time invisible, insofar as she is also in heaven, and contains all those that have departed in true faith and holiness. Heb. 12:22-24
Q. How are we assured that the grace of God abides in the true Church? First, that her head is Jesus Christ, God and man in one person, full of grace and truth, who fills His body, that is, the Church, with like grace and truth. John 1:14,17 Second, that He has promised His disciples the Holy Spirit to abide with them forever, and that, according to this promise, the Holy Spirit appoints the pastors of the Church. John 14:16; Eph. 1:22,23; Acts 20:28 How are we assured that the grace of God abides in the Church even to the present, and shall abide in it to the end of the world? We are assured by the following words of Jesus Christ and His Apostles: I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Mat. 16:18 I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Mat. 28:20 Unto Him, God the Father, be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end Amen. Eph. 3:21 Why is the Church one? Because she is one spiritual Body, has one Head, Christ, and is given life by one Spirit of God. There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in hope of your calling in one; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all. Eph. 4:4-6; I Cor.3:10,11; II Col.1:24,25
Q.What duty does the unity of the Church place on us? That of endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph.4:3 34
Q. How does it agree with the unity of the Church that there are many separate and independent Churches, some who are called Western Rite Orthodox and others who are called Eastern Orthodox? These are particular Churches, are parts of the one Catholic Church: the separateness of their visible organization does not hinder them from being spiritually great members of the one body of the Catholic Church, having one Head, Christ, and one spirit of faith and grace. This unity is expressed outwardly by unity of Creed, and by communion in Prayer and Sacraments.
Q.Is there also a unity between the church on earth and the Church in heaven? There is, both by their common relation to one Head, our Lord Jesus Christ, and by mutual communion with one another.
Q. What means of communion does the Church on earth have with the Church in heaven? The prayer of faith and love. By the offering of the same Holy Sacrifice of Christ, the faithful who belong to the Church militant upon earth, in offering their prayers to God, call upon at the same time to their aid, the Saints who belong to the Church in heaven; and these standing on the highest steps of approach to God, by their prayers of intercessions purify, strengthen, and offer before God the prayers of the faithful living upon earth, and by the will of God work graciously for and with them, either by invisible virtue, or by distinct apparitions, and in other ways.
Q. What is the basis for the rule of the Church upon earth to invoke in prayer the Saints of the Church in heaven? The basis is Holy Tradition, the principle of which is to be seen also in Holy Scripture. For instance, when the Prophet David cries out in prayer O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel our fathers, he makes mention of Saints in aid of his prayer, exactly as now the Orthodox Catholic Church calls upon Christ our true God, by the prayers of His most pure Mother and all His Saints. See 1 Chron. 29:18.
Q. Is there any testimony in Holy Scripture to the mediatory prayer of the Saints in heaven? The Evangelist John, in the Revelation, saw in heaven an Angel, to whom was given much incense, that he should offer it, by the prayers of all Saints, upon the golden altar which was before the throne; and the smoke of the incense ascended up by the prayers of the Saints out of the hands of the Angel before God. Rev. 8:3,4
Q.Is there any testimony in Holy Scripture concerning apparitions of Saints from heaven? The Evangelist St. Matthew relates, that after the death of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross, many bodies of the Saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Mat. 27:52,53 And since a miracle so great could not be without some adequate purpose, we must suppose that the Saints which then arose appeared for this reason, that they might announce the descent of Jesus Christ into hell, and His triumphant resurrection.
What testimonies are there to confirm us in the belief that the Saints, after their departure, work miracles through certain earthly means? 1.The fourth book of Kings testifies that by touching the bones of the Prophet Elisha a dead man was raised to life. IV Kings 13:21 2.The Apostle Paul not only in his own immediate person administered healings and miracles, but the same was done also in his absence by handkerchiefs and aprons taken from his body. Acts 19:12 By this example we may understand that the Saints, even after their deaths, may in like manner work through earthly means, which have been received from the holy power.
Q. Why is the Church holy? Because she is sanctified by Jesus Christ through His passion, through His teaching, through His prayer, and through the Sacraments. Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. Eph. 5:25-27 In His prayer to God the Father for believers, Jesus Christ said among other things: Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. And for their sakes I Sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. John 17:17-19
Q. How is the Church holy, when she has in her body many sinners? Men who sin, but purify themselves by true repentance, do not hinder the Church from being holy, but impenitent sinners, either by the visible act of Church authority, or by the invisible judgment of God, are cut off from the body of the Church: and so she is with respect to these also kept holy. Put away from among yourselves that wicked person. I Cor. 5:13
Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, the Lord knows them that are His. Let everyone that calls on the name of the Lord depart from iniquity. II Tim. 2:19 Q. Why is the Church called Catholic? Because she is not limited to any place, nor time, nor people, but contains true believers of all places, times, and peoples; hence, she is universal. The Apostle Paul says that the word of the gospel is in all the world; and brings forth fruit. Coloss. 1:5,6 and that in the Christian Church there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. ib. 3:11 They which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Gal. 3:9
Q. What great privilege has the Catholic Church been given? She alone has the sublime promises that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her; that the Lord shall be with her even to the end of the world; that in her shall abide the glory of God in Jesus Christ throughout all generations for ever; and consequently that she shall never apostatize from the faith, nor sin against the truth of the faith, of fall into error.
Q. If the Catholic Church contains all true believers in the World, must we not acknowledge it to be necessary for salvation, that every believer should belong to her? Yes. Since Jesus Christ, in the words of St. Paul, is the Head of the Church, and He is the Savior of the Body; it follows that in order to have a participation in His salvation, we must be members of His Body, that is, of the Catholic Church. Ephes. 5: The Apostle Peter writes that baptism saves us after the figure of the the ark of Noah. All who were saved from the great flood were saved only in the ark; so all who obtain everlasting salvation, obtain it only in the one Catholic Church.
Q. Why is the Church called Apostolic? Because she has from the Apostles without breakage or change both her doctrine and the succession of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of consecrated hands. Ephes. 2:19,20
Q. What does the Creed teach us, when she calls the Church Apostolic? It teaches us to hold fast the Apostolic doctrine and tradition, and cast out such doctrine and such teachers, as are not in conformity with the doctrine of the Apostles. II Thess. 2:15; Titus 3:10; Titus 1:10,11; Mat. 18:17 Q. What Ecclesiastical Institution is there through which the succession of the Apostolic ministry is preserved? The Hierarchy of Bishops, Priest, and Deacons.
Q. Where does the Hierarchy of the Orthodox Catholic Church have its beginnings? From Jesus Christ Himself, and from the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles; from which time it has continued in unbroken succession, through the laying on of hands, in the sacrament of Holy Orders. And He gave some, Apostles, and some, Prophets; and some, Evangelists; and some, Pastors and Teachers; for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ. Eph. 4:11, 12
Q. What is the highest authority in the Catholic Church? An Ecumenical Council.
Q. What is the highest authority of sections of the Catholic Church? An Archbishop and the Synod. Q. Under what ecclesiastical authority are dioceses and vicariates? Under the authority of Bishops.
Q. If anyone desires to fulfill his duty of obedience to the Church, how may he learn what she requires of her children? This may be learned from Holy Scripture, from the canons of the Holy Apostles, the seven Holy Ecumenical and various Provincial Councils, and the Holy Fathers, and from the Books of Ecclesiastical Canons.
Q. On the Tenth Article: Why does the Creed mention Baptism? Because faith is sealed by Baptism and the other Sacraments.
Q. What is a Sacrament? A Sacrament is a holy act, through which grace, the saving power of God, works supernaturally upon man, and is instituted by Christ.
Q), How many Sacraments are there? Seven 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Baptism; Confirmation Holy Eucharist Holy Orders Anointing of the Sick Reconciliation Matrimony What virtue is there in each of these Sacraments? A.1.In Baptism man is born to a new spiritual life. In confirmation he receives the grace of spiritual growth and strength, and is made a member of the universal priesthood of all believers. In the Communion, or Holy Eucharist, he is spiritually fed upon the Body and Blood of Christ. In Penance/Reconciliation he is cleansed of spiritual diseases, that is, of sin. In Holy Orders he receives grace spiritually to regenerate, feed, and nurture others, by doctrine and Sacraments. In Matrimony he receives a grace sanctifying the married life, and the natural procreation and nurture of children.
In Anointing of the Sick he has medicine even for bodily diseases, in that he is healed of spiritual ones. But why does the Creed not mention all these Sacraments, instead of mentioning Baptism only? Because Baptism was the subject of a question, whether some people, as heretics, ought not to be re-baptized; and this required a decision, which so came to be put into the Creed.
What is baptism? On Baptism: Baptism is a Sacrament in which a believer having his body plunged three times in water, or water poured three times, in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, dies to the life of sin, both original and actual, and is born again of the Holy Spirit to a life spiritual and holy. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5.
Q. When and how did Baptism begin? First, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. Acts 19:4 Afterwards, Jesus Christ by His own example sanctified Baptism when He received it from John. Finally, after His resurrection He gave the Apostles the solemn commandment: Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Mat.28:19
Q.m What is most essential in the administration of Baptism? Threefold immersion in water, or pouring of water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. What is required of those who seek to be baptized? Repentance, and faith; which is why before Baptism they recite the Creed. Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Christ Jesus for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 But why then are children baptized? Because of the faith of their parents and sponsors, who are also bound to teach them the faith as soon as they are of an age to learn.
Q. How can you show from Holy Scripture that we ought to baptize infants? In the time of the Old Testament infants were circumcised when eight days old; but Baptism in the New Testament takes the place of circumcision; consequently infants should also be baptized. Suffer the little Children.
Q. Where in Scripture does it state that Baptism takes the place of circumcision? From the following words of the Apostle Paul to believers: Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in Baptism. Coloss. 2:11,12 Why are there sponsors at Baptism? In order that they may stand as witnesses before the Church for the faith of the baptized, and after Baptism, if need be, assume the religious education of the child if the parents neglect to do so. Why before baptizing do we use exorcism? To drive away the devil, who since Adam’s fall has had power over men. The Apostle Paul says that all men, without grace, walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. Ephes. 2: 2
Q. What name bears the force of exorcism? The name of Jesus Christ, invoked with prayer and faith. Jesus Christ gave to believers this promise. In My name shall they cast out devils. Mark 16:17
Q. What force does the sign of the cross have on this and other occasions? What the name of Jesus Christ crucified is when pronounced with faith by motion of the lips, the same is true concerning the sign of the cross when made with faith by motion of the hand, or represented in any other way.
Q.nWhen did the sign of the cross originate? From the times of the Apostles. What does the white garment, which is put on after Baptism symbolize? The purity of the soul and of the Christian life. Why do they often place a small cross upon the baptized? As a visible expression and continual remembrance of Christ’s command: If any man will come after me. let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Mat. 16:24
Q. What is symbolized by giving the baptized a candle? Spiritual joy joined with spiritual illumination. How is this to be understood, that in the Creed we confess one Baptism? That Baptism cannot be repeated. Why cannot Baptism be repeated? Baptism is spiritual birth: a man is born but once; therefore, he is also baptized but once.
Q.nWhat is the state of those who sin after Baptism? That they are guilty of their sins than the un-baptized, since they had from God special help to do well, and have cast it away. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them that the beginning. II Pet. 2:20 Is there another way for those who sin after Baptism to obtain pardon? There is; through the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation.
Q. On Confirmation: What is Confirmation, or Chrismation? Confirmation/Chrismation, is a Sacrament in which the baptized believer, being anointed with holy chrism in the name of the Holy Spirit, as well as having hands laid on him, receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit for growth and strength in spiritual life, and full membership in the universal priesthood of the laity. I John 2:20-27; 2 Cor. 1: 21,22
Q. Is the outward form of anointing with chrism mentioned in Holy Scripture? It may well be supposed that the words of St, John refer to a visible as well as to an inward anointing; but it is more certain that the Apostles, for imparting to the baptized the gifts of the Holy Spirit, used imposition of hands. Acts 7:14-16
Q. What is to be said of the holy chrism? That its consecration is reserved to the hands of the Hierarchy, as successors of the Apostles, who used the laying on of their own hands to communicate the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What is signified by anointing the forehead? The sanctification of the mind, which governs the whole person.
Q. On the Holy Eucharist: What is the Holy Eucharist? The Holy Eucharist is a Sacrament in which the believer, under the forms of bread and wine, partakes of the true Body and Blood of Christ unto everlasting life.
Q.How was this Sacrament instituted? Jesus Christ immediately before His passion consecrated it for the first time, showing in it by anticipation a sign of His sufferings for our salvation. After having administered it to the Apostles, He gave them at the same time the power to perpetuate this Sacrament.
Q. What is to be said of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in regard to Divine Service in the Church? That it forms the chief and most essential part of Divine Service. The United States Old Catholic Church believes and accepts inclusivity of the Sacraments. What is the name of that Service, in which the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is consecrated? The Liturgy or the Mass. What does the word Liturgy mean? Common service. What does the word Mass mean? Dismissal, taken from the end of the liturgy, where the Church is sent forth to bear Christ into the world.
Q. What is to be noted about the place where the Liturgy normally is celebrated? It must normally be celebrated in a Church which the Bishop has approved.
Q. What does the word Church mean? An assembly. Why is the table on which the Liturgy or Mass is celebrated called an altar? Because on it Jesus Christ, as King, is mystically present and offered. What are the two major divisions of the Mass? First, the Mass of the Catechumens, or instructional part; second, the Mass of the Faithful. or the Eucharist proper. What are the divisions of the Mass of the Catechumens? 1. Confession of sin. 2. Praise. 3. Prayer. 4. Epistle 5. Gospel. 6. Sermon (Homily)
Q. What are the major Divisions of the Mass of the Faithful? 1. Offering of bread and wine 2. The Eucharistic Prayer or Canon. 3. The Invocation of the Holy Spirit and the Words of Institution. Mat. 26:26-28 4. Prayers for the Living and the Dead. 5. The Lord’s Prayer. 6. Breaking of the Sacred Bread. 7. The Communion Rite. 8. The Thanksgiving. 9. The Blessing and Dismissal.
Q.Why is the bread used in the Mass sometimes called the Lamb or Host? Because it is the figure of Jesus Christ suffering, as was in the Old Testament the Paschal Lamb, and because He is the Victim or Host of the Sacrifice. What was the Paschal Lamb? The lamb which the Israelites, by God’s command, killed and ate in memory of their deliverance from destruction in Egypt; it was offered in sacrifice.
Q. Why is the wine for the Mass or Liturgy mixed with water? Because the whole of this celebration is ordered so as to show forth the sufferings of Christ; and when He suffered there flowed from His pierced side blood and water. What happens at the moment of Invocation–Consecration in the Mass? At the moment of this act, the bread and wine are changed, or transubstantiated, into the Body and Blood of Christ.
Q. How are we to understand the word transubstantiation? That the bread truly, really, and substantially becomes the true Body of the Lord, and the wine the true Blood of the Lord. It is a mystery which the mind cannot understand, but it is received in faith.
Q. What is required of everyone who approaches the Sacrament of Holy Communion? Each one is required to examine his conscience before God, to confess one’s sins, to seek absolution, and to fast according to the laws of the Church. I Cor. 11:28, 29 What benefit does one receive who communicates in the Body and Blood of Christ? He is in the closest manner united to Jesus Christ Himself, and, in Him, is made partaker of everlasting life. John 6:56; 5:54
Q. Should we communicate often in the Holy Mysteries of Christ? The primitive Christians communicated every Lord’s Day. The Church calls on all who would live religiously to confess before their heavenly Father, and communicate in the Body and Blood of Christ whenever they attend Mass or are ill, but requires all without exception to receive It at least once a year during the Easter time.
Q. What part do they have in the Liturgy or the Mass who only hear it without receiving Holy Communion? They may and should take part of the Liturgy by prayer and faith, and especially by continual remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ, who expressly has commanded us to do this in remembrance of Him. Luke 22:19
Q. On the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation: What is Penance/Reconciliation? Penance, also referred to as Reconciliation, is a Sacrament in which he who confesses receives, through the absolution of the Priest, forgiveness of his sins by Jesus Christ Himself. Mark 1:4,5; Mat. 18:18; John 20:22,23
Q.What is required of the Penitent? Contrition for their sins, with full purpose of amendment of life, faith in Jesus Christ, and hope in His mercy. II Cor. 7:10; Ezek. 33:19
Q.In what ways can we prepare for the Sacrament? By fasting, prayer, examination of conscience, and by penance. What is meant by the term penance? The word means contrition. See 2 Cor. 2:6
Q. On the Sacrament of Holy Orders: What are Holy Orders? Holy Orders are a Sacrament in which the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of the bishop’s hands, ordains those who are chosen to administer the sacraments, and to feed the flock of Christ. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the Mysteries of God. I Cor. 4:1 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He has purchased with His own Blood. Acts 20:28
Q. What does it mean to feed the Church? It means to instruct the people in faith, piety, and good works. How many necessary degrees are there of Holy Orders? Three: those of Bishop, Priest, and Deacon. Q.What difference is there between them? The Deacon serves at the altar; the Priest administers the Sacraments in dependence upon the Bishop; the Bishop not only administers the Sacraments himself, but has power also to ordain to others, by laying on of his hands, the office of Deacon, Priest, and Bishop. Of the Episcopal power the Apostle Paul writes to Titus: For this cause I Left thee in Crete, that thou should set in order the things that are wanting and ordain elders in every city. Titus 1:5 And to Timothy: Lay hands suddenly on no man. I Tim. 5:22 46
Q. On the Sacrament of Matrimony and indelible marks on the soul: What is Matrimony? Matrimony is a Sacrament in which , on the free promise of the couple, before the Priest and the Church to be true to each other, their union is blessed to be an image of Christ’s union with the Church, and grace is asked for them to live together in love and honesty, and for the procreation and Christian upbringing of children. The USOCC does perform Commitment Ceremonies and marriage between two people of the same sex.
Q. From what source do we know that Matrimony is a Sacrament? From the following words of the Apostle Paul: A man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This mystery is great; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Eph. 5:31,32
Q.Is it the duty of all to marry? No Does Marriage leave an indelible mark on the soul and if not, which Sacraments do? Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual sign, the character, which consecrates the baptized person for Christian worship. Because of the character Baptism cannot be repeated Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian’s soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in one’s life. The seal is a symbol close to that of anointing. “The Father has set his seal” on Christ and also seals us in him. Because this seal indicates the indelible effect of the anointing with the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, the image of the seal (sphragis) has been used in some theological traditions to express the indelible “character” imprinted by these three unrepeatable sacraments. Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated. As in the case of Baptism and Confirmation this share in Christ’s office is granted once for all. The sacrament of Holy Orders, like the other two, confers an indelible spiritual character and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily.
The three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders confer, in addition to grace, a sacramental character or “seal” by which the Christian shares in Christ’s priesthood and is made a member of the Church according to different states and functions. This configuration to Christ and to the Church, brought about by the Spirit, is indelible, it remains for ever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace, a promise and guarantee of divine protection, and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church. Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated. The Church holds that there are three Sacraments which have an indelible mark: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. Sacraments that carry this indelible mark cannot be repeated once they have been given. Not even death erases this mark and neither does sin. Marriage does not have an indelible mark because it is a Sacrament that can be celebrated more than once (ie a widow remarrying). Another reason Marriage does not have indelible mark is because it does not carry on after we die. Matthew 22 tells us that in Heaven we will not be married nor will we join in marriage but we shall be like the angels.
Q. On the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick: What is Anointing of the Sick? Anointing of the Sick is a Sacrament in which, while the body is anointed with oil, God’s grace is invoked on the sick person to heal him of spiritual and bodily illnesses. Q. What is the origin in Scripture of this Sacrament? From the Apostles, who having received power from Jesus Christ, anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. Mark 6:13
Q. The Apostles left this Sacrament to the Priests of the Church, as is evident from the following words of the Apostle James: Is any sick among you? Let him call for the Elders of the Church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5:14,15
Q. On the Eleventh Article: What is the resurrection of the dead. which, in the words of the Creed, we look for or expect? An act of the almighty power of God, by which the bodies of dead men, being reunited to their souls, shall return to life, and shall be made glorious and immortal. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. I Cor. 15:44 For this corruptible must put on incorruption and mortal must put on immortality. Ib. 53.
Q. How shall the body rise again after it has decomposed in the ground? Since God formed the body from the ground originally, He can equally restore it after it has perished in the ground. The Apostle Paul illustrates this by the analogy of a grain of seed, which decomposes in the earth, but from which there springs up afterwards a plant of tree. That which thou sows in not quickened except it die. I Cor. 15:36
Q.Shall all strictly speaking rise again? All, without exception, that have died; but they, who at the time of the general resurrection shall still be alive, shall have their present mortal bodies changed in a moment, so as to become spiritual and immortal. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. I Cor. 15:36
Q.when shall the resurrection of the dead be? At the end of the visible world. Shall the world then too come to an end? Yes; this corruptible world shall come to an end, and shall be transformed into an incorruptible one. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Rom. 8:21 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. II Pet. 3:13 How shall the world be transformed? By fire. The heavens and the earth, which are not, by the same, that is by God’s word, are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. II Pet. 3:7
Q. In what state are the souls of the dead until the general resurrection? The souls of the righteous are in light and rest, with a foretaste of eternal happiness; but the souls of the wicked are in a state the reverse of this. Why may we not ascribe to the souls of the saved perfect happiness immediately after death? Because it is ordained that the perfect retribution according to works shall be received by the perfect man, after the resurrection of the body and God’s last judgment. The Apostle Paul says: Hence forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. II Tim. 4:8 And again; We must all appear before the Judgmentseat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to what He has done, whether it be good or bad. II Cor. 5:10
Q. Why do we speak of the souls of the saved as having a taste of bliss before the last judgment? Jesus Christ Himself has said in a parable that Lazarus was immediately after death c arried into Abraham’s bosom. Luke 16:22
Q.Is this foretaste of bliss joined with a sight of Christ’s own countenance? It is so with the Saints, as we are given to understand by the Apostle Paul, who had a desire to depart, and to be with Christ. Philipp. 1:23
Q. What is to be said of such souls who have departed with faith, but without having had time to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance? That they may be aided towards the attainment of a blessed resurrection by prayers offered in their behalf, especially such as are offered in union with the Bloodless Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, and by works of mercy done in faith for their memory.
QQ On what is this doctrine grounded? On the constant tradition of the Catholic Church; the source of which may be seen even in the Church of the Old Testament. Judas Maccabeus offered sacrifice for his men who had died. II Macc. 12:43 Prayer for the departed has ever formed a fixed part of the Liturgy of the Apostle James.
Q. On the Twelfth Article: What is the life of the world to come? The life that shall be after the resurrection of the dead and the general judgment of Christ.
Q. What kind of life shall this be? For those who believe, who love God, and do what is good, it shall be a life of happiness. It does not yet appear what we shall be. I John 3:2 I knew a man in Christ, says the Apostle Paul, who was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. II Cor.12:2,4
Q. What is the object of this great happiness? The contemplation of God in light and glory, and union with Him. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know, even as also I am known. I Cor. 13:12 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. Mat. 13:43 God shall be all in all. I Cor. 15:28
Q. Shall the body also share in the happiness of the soul? Yes; it, too, shall be glorified with the light of God, as Christ’s body was at His Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. I Cor. 15:43 As we have borne the image of the earthy, that is of Adam, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. ib. 49 Will all be equally happy? No. There will be different degrees of happiness, in proportion to the faith, love, and good works carried out in this life. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. I Cor. 15:41,42
Q. But what will be the lot of unbelievers and transgressors? They will be given over to everlasting death, that is, to everlasting fire, to everlasting torment, with the devils. Whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:15 That is the second death. Rev. 20:14 Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Mat. 25:41 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. ib. 46 It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, that having two eyes to be cast into hell fire; where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:47,48
Q. Why will such severity be used with sinners? Not because God willed them to perish, but they of their own will perish, because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. II Thess. 2:10
Q.Of what benefit will it be for us to meditate on death, on the resurrection , on the last judgment, on everlasting happiness, and on everlasting torment? These meditations will assist us to abstain from sin, and to uplift our affections from earthly things; they will console us for the absence or loss of earthly goods, encourage us to keep our souls and bodies pure, to live for God, and for eternity.
Q. THE SECOND PART: ON HOPE Definition of Christian Hope: What is Christian Hope? The resting of the heart on God, with full trust that He always cares for our salvation, and will give us the happiness He has promised.
Q What is the Scriptural source of Christian Hope? The Lord Jesus is our hope, or the source of our hope. I Tim. 1:1 Hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you by the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Pet. 1:13
Q. What are the means for attaining to a saving hope? The means to this are: first, prayer: second, the Beatitudes, and their practice.
Q. On Prayer: Is there any testimony of God’s word, that prayer is a means for attaining a saving hope? Jesus Christ Himself joins the hope of receiving our desire with prayer: Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13 Q. Q. Q. What is prayer? The lifting up of man’s mind and heart and soul to God.
Q. What should Christians do when we they lift up our minds and hearts and souls to God? First, we should glorify Him for His divine perfection; second, give thanks to Him for his mercies; third, seek His forgiveness; and fourth, ask God for what we need, So there are four chief forms of prayer: Praise, Thanksgiving, Contrition, and Petition.
Q.Can a man pray without words? He can; in mind and heart. An example of this may be seen in Moses before the passage through the Red Sea. Exod. 15:15 54
Q. On the Lord’s Prayer: Is there a prayer which may be termed the common Christian prayer, and pattern of all prayers? Such is the Lord’s Prayer.
Q.What is the Lord’s Prayer? A prayer which our Lord Jesus Christ taught the Apostles, and which they delivered to all believers.
Q.How may we divide the Lord’s Prayer? Into the invocation and seven petitions. “Our Father, Who art in heaven; 1. Hallowed be Thy name; 2. Thy kingdom come; 3. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 4. Give us this day our daily bread, 5. And for give us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 6. And lead us not into temptation; 7. But deliver us from evil. Amen.”
Q. On the Invocation: How are we able to call God Father? By faith in Jesus Christ, and by the grace of regeneration. As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but God. John 1:12,13.
Q. Why do we say Our Father even when we pray alone? Because Christian charity requires us to call upon God, and ask good things of Him, for all our brethren, no less than for ourselves.
Q. Why in the invocation do we say, Who art in heaven? Entering into prayer, we may leave everything earthly and corruptible and raise our mind and hearts to what is heavenly, everlasting and Divine.
Q. Is God’s Name holy? Holy is His Name. Luke 1:49
Q. How then can it yet be made holy? It may be made holy in all of us; that is, His eternal holiness may be made known in us. Mat. 5:16
Q. On the Second Petition: What is the kingdom of God, spoken of in the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer? The kingdom of grace, which, as St. Paul says, is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Rom. 14:17
Q.Has not this kingdom come already? To some it has not come in its full sense; while to others it has not yet come at all, inasmuch as sin still reigns in their mortal bodies, that they should obey it in the lusts thereof. Rom. 7:12
Q. How does it come? Secretly and inwardly. The kingdom of God comes not with observation; for behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:20,21
Q. May not the Christian ask for something further under the name of God’s kingdom? He may ask for the kingdom of glory, that is, for the perfect bliss of the faithful. Having a desire to depart, and be with Christ. Philipp. 1:23
Q. On the Third Petition: What does the petition. Thy will be done mean? In this petition we ask God, that all we do, and all that happens to us may be not as we will, but as pleases Him.
Q. Why should we ask this favor? Because we often err in our wishes; but God unerringly, and incomparably more than we ourselves, wishes for us all that is good, and is ever ready to bestow it, unless He be prevented by our willingness and stubbornness. Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto Him be glory in the Church. Ephes. 3:20,21
Q.Why do we ask that God’s will be done in earth as in heaven? Because in heaven the Holy Angels and Saints in bliss, all without exception, always, and in all things, do God’s will.
Q. What is our daily bread? On the Fourth Petition: The bread which we need in order to subsist or live.
Q. With what thoughts should we ask God for this bread? Agreeably with the instruction of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we should ask no more than bread for subsistence; that is, necessary food, and such clothing and shelter as is likewise necessary for life; but whatever is beyond this, and serves not so much for necessity as for gratification, we should leave to the will of God; and if it be given, return thanks to Him; if it be not given, we should be content without it.
Q. Why are we directed to ask for bread for subsistence only for this day? That we may not be too anxious about the future, trusting God. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Mat. 6:34 For your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things.
Q. May we not ask for something further under the name of bread for subsistence? Since humankind is made of both bodily and a spiritual substance, and the substance of the soul far excels that of the body, we may and should seek for the soul also that bread of subsistence, without which the inward man must perish of hunger.
Q. What is the bread of subsistence for the soul? The Word of God, and the Body and Blood of Christ. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Matt 4:4 My Flesh is meat indeed, and my Blood is drink indeed. John 6:55
Q. On the Fifth Petition: What is meant in the Lord’s Prayer by our trespasses? Our sins.
Q.Why are our sins called trespasses? Because we, having received all from God, ought to render all back to Him, that is subject all to His will and law.
Q. Who are those who trespass against us? People who have not rendered us that which they owed us by the law of God; as, for instance, have not shown us love, but malice. If God is just, how can we be forgiven our trespasses? Through the mediation of Jesus Christ. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself ransom for all. I Tim. 2:5,6
Q. What will be the consequence if we ask God to forgive us our sins without ourselves forgiving others? In that case we shall not be forgiven. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses. Mat. 6:14,15 Why will God not forgive us if we do not forgive others? Because we show ourselves unrepentant, and so alienate from us God’s goodness and mercy.
Q. What disposition then must we have when we pray we forgive those who trespass against us? These words absolutely require that when we pray we should bear no malice nor hatred, but be in peace and charity with all men. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother has aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Mat. 5:23,24
Q. But what am I to do if I cannot readily find him who holds malice toward me, or if he is unwilling to be reconciled? In such a case it is enough to be reconciled with him in heart, before the eyes of the allseeing God. If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men. Rom. 12:18
Q. On the Sixth Petition: What is meant in the Lord’s Prayer by temptation? Any circumstance in which there is imminent danger of losing the faith, or falling into great sin
Q. What are the sources of temptation? From our flesh, from the world, or other people, and from the devil.
Q.What do we ask in these words of the prayer, Lead us not into temptation? That God guide us during times of temptation in the keeping of His laws.
Q. On the Seventh Petition: What do we ask in these words of the prayer, deliver us from evil? We ask for deliverance from
all evil that can reach us in the world, which since the fall lies in wickedness; I John 5:19; but especially from the evil of sin,
and from the evil temptations of the spirit of evil, which is the devil.
Q. What does the word Amen mean? It means so be it. Why is this word added to the end of prayers? To signify that we offer the prayer in faith, and without doubting, as we are taught to do by the Apostle James in his Epistle, 1:6.
Q. On the Doctrine of Blessedness: What must we join with prayer, in order to be grounded in the hope of salvation and blessedness? Our own works for the attainment of blessedness. Of the point the Lord Himself says: Why call ye Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46 Not every one that says unto Me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my Father, which is in heaven. Mat. 7:21
Q. What doctrine may we take as our guide in these works? The doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is briefly set forth in His Beatitudes, or sentences on blessedness.
Q. How many such sentences are there? The Following nine: 1. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. 2. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 3. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 4. Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 5. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 6. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 7. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 8. Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 9. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven. Mat. 5:3-12
Q. What is to be observed of all these Beatitudes? That the Lord proposed in these sentences a doctrine for the attainment of blessedness, as is expressly said in the Gospel; He opened His mouth, and taught; but, being meek and lowly of heart, He proposed His doctrine not in the form of a commandment, but rather, in a blessing to those, who should of their own free will receive and fulfill it. Consequently in each sentence or Beatitude we must consider, first, the doctrine or precept, and second, the blessing or promise of reward.
On the First Beatitude: What is the Lord’s first precept of blessedness? They who would be blessed must be poor in spirit.
Q. What does it mean to be poor in spirit? It is to have a spiritual conviction that we have nothing of our own, nothing but what God bestows upon us, and that we can do nothing good without God’s help and grace, thus counting ourselves as nothing, and in all things, throwing ourselves upon the mercy of God: in brief, as St. John Chrysostom explains it, spiritual poverty is humility.
Q.Can the rich too be poor in spirit? Most certainly, if they in a manner that shows that visible riches are corruptible and soon pass away, and can never compensate for the want of spiritual goods.
Q. What is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mat. 16:26 Can bodily poverty aid in spiritual perfection? It can if the Christian chooses it voluntarily for God’s sake. Of this, Jesus Christ Himself said to the rich man: If thou will be perfect, go, sell that thou has, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me. Mat. 19:21
Q. What does our Lord promise to the poor in spirit? The kingdom of heaven. How is the kingdom of heaven theirs? In the present life inwardly through faith and hope; but in the life to come perfectly, by their being made partakers of everlasting blessedness.
On the Second Beatitude: What is the Lord’s second precept for blessedness? They who would be blessed must mourn.
Q. What is meant in this precept by the word mourn? Sorrow and change of heart for unworthy serving the Lord, or even rather for deserving His anger by our sins. For godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of this world works death. II Cor. 7:10
Q.What special promise does the Lord make to mourners? They shall be comforted. What comfort is here to be understood? That of grace, consisting in the pardon of sins and in peace of conscience.
Q. Why is this promise joined with a precept for mourning? In order that sorrow for sin may not reach to despair.
On the Third Beatitude: What is the Lord’s third precept of blessedness? They who would be blessed must be meek.
Q. What is meekness? A quiet attitude of spirit, joined with the care neither to offend any man, nor be offended at anything.
Q. What are the special effects of Christian meekness? That we never speak against God, nor against men, nor give way to anger. What is promised by the Lord to the meek? That they shall inherit the earth.
Q.How are we to understand this promise? As regards Christ’s followers generally it is a prediction which is being literally fulfilled; for the ever-meek Christians instead of being destroyed by the anger of unbelievers, will inherit the universe. But the further sense of the promise, as regards Christians both generally and individually, is this that they shall receive an inheritance, as the Psalmist says, in the land of the living: that is, where men live and never die; in other words, that they shall receive everlasting blessedness. See Psalm 27:15.
On the Fourth Beatitude: What is the Lord’s fourth precept for blessedness? They who would be blessed must hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Q.What is meant here by the word righteousness? Though this word may well stand for every virtue, which the Christian ought to desire, yet we should especially understand it to mean the justification of guilty man through grace and faith in Jesus Christ. Dan. 9:24 The Apostle Paul speaks thus: The righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past. Rom. 3:22-25
Q. Who are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness? They who, while they love to do good, do not become proud, nor rest on their own good works, but admit that they are sinners and guilty before God; and who, through the prayer of faith, seek after justification of grace through Jesus Christ.
Q. What does the Lord promise to them who hunger and thirst after righteousness? That they shall be filled. What is meant here by filled? As the filling or satisfying of the body produces, first, an end to the sense of hunger and thirst, and second, the strengthening of the body by food; so the filling of the soul means, first, the inward peace of the pardoned sinner, and second, the ability to do good, given through justifying grace. The perfect filling, however, of the soul created for the law) that is enjoyment of eternal good, is to follow in the life eternal, according to the words of the Psalmist: When I awake up after Thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it. Ps. 17:15
On the Fifth Beatitude:
What is the Lord’s fifth precept of blessedness? They who would be blessed must be merciful.
Q.How are we to fulfill this precept? By works of mercy, corporal and spiritual; for as St. John Chrysostom says, the forms of mercy are manifold, and this commandment broad. Hom. on Mat. 15
Q. Which are the corporal works of mercy? 1. To feed the hungry. 2. To give drink to the thirsty. 3. To clothe the naked, or such as have not necessary and decent clothing. 4. To visit those who are in prison. 5. To visit the sick, minister to them, or aid them in Christian preparation for death. 6. To show hospitality to strangers. 7. To bury those who have died in poverty. Which are the spiritual works of mercy? 1. By exhortation to convert the sinner from the error of his way. James 5: 20 2. To instruct the ignorant in truth and virtue. 3. To counsel our neighbor in times of difficulty. 4. To pray for others to God. 5. To comfort the afflicted. 6. Not to return the evil which others may have done to us. 7. To forgive injuries from our heart.
Q.Is it not contrary to the precept of mercy for civil justice to punish criminals? Not in the least; if this be done as a duty, and with a good intent, that is, in order to correct them, or to preserve the innocent from their crimes. What does the Lord promise to the merciful? That they shall obtain mercy. What specific kind of mercy is to be understood? That of being delivered from everlasting condemnation for sin at God’s Judgment.
On the Sixth Beatitude: What is the Lord’s sixth precept for blessedness? They who would be blessed must be pure in heart.
Q. Is not purity of heart the same thing as sincerity? Sincerity which shows the really good disposition of the heart through good deeds is only the lowest degree of purity of heart. The greater form is attained by a constant and strict watchfulness over oneself, driving away from one’s heart every unlawful wish and thought, and every attachment for earthly things, and ever preserving the remembrance of God and our Lord Jesus Christ with faith and charity.
Q.What does the Lord promise to the pure in heart? That they shall see God. How are we to understand this promise? The word of God compares the heart of man to the eye, and ascribed to perfect Christians enlightened eyes of the heart. Ephes. 1:18 As the eye that is perceptive can see the light, so the heart that is pure can behold God. But since the sight of God’s countenance is the very source of everlasting blessedness, the promise of seeing God is the promise of the highest degree of everlasting blessedness.
On the Eighth Beatitude:
Q. What is the Lord’s eighth precept for blessedness? They who would be blessed must be ready to endure persecution for righteousness’ sake, without betraying it.
Q.What qualities are required by this precept? Love of what is right, constancy and firmness in virtue, fortitude and patience when one is subjected to danger for refusing to betray truth and virtue.
Q. What does the Lord promise to those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake? The Kingdom of heaven. In like manner the same is promised to the poor in spirit, to make up for the feeling of want and privation.
On the Ninth Beatitude:
Q. What is the Lord’s ninth precept of blessedness? They who would be blessed must be ready to take with joy reproach, persecution, suffering, and death itself, for the name of Christ, and for the true Christian faith.
Q. What is the name for the state required by this precept? The state of Martyrdom. What does the Lord promise for this course? A great reward in heaven; that is, a special and high degree of blessedness.
THE THIRD PART: ON CHARITY On the Union between Faith and Charity:
Q.What should be the effect and fruit of true faith in the Christian? Charity, or love, and good works. In Jesus Christ, says the Apostle Paul, neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which works by love. Gal. 5:6
Q. Is not faith alone enough for a Christian, without love and good works? No; for faith without love and good works is inactive and dead, and so cannot lead to eternal life. He that loves not his brother, abides in death. I John 3:14
Q. What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:14,26 May not a man on the other hand be saved by love and good works, without faith? It is impossible that a man who has not faith in God should really love Him: besides, man, being ruined by sin, cannot do truly good works, unless he receives through faith in Jesus Christ spiritual strength, or grace from God. Heb. 11:6; Gal. 3:10; Ib. 5:5; Ephes. 2:8,9
Q. What is to be thought of love that is not accompanied by good works? Such love is not real: for true love naturally shows itself by good works. Jesus Christ says: He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that love me; if a man love Me, he will keep My word. John 14:21,23 The Apostle John writes: For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. I John 5:3 Let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. ib. 3:18
On the Law of God and the Commandments:
Q. What means do we have to know good works form bad? The inward law of God, or the witness of our conscience, and the outward law of God, or God’s commandments.
Q. Does Holy Scripture speak of the inward law of God? The Apostle Paul says of the heathen: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another. Rom. 2:15
Q. If there is in man’s heart an inward law, why was the outward given? It was given because men did not obey the inward law, but led carnal and sinful lives, and silenced within themselves the voice of the spiritual law, so that it was necessary to express this outwardly through the commandments. Wherefore then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions. Gal. 3:19
Q. When, and how, was God’s outward law given to men? When the Hebrew people, descended from Abraham, had been miraculously delivered from bondage in Egypt, on their way to the promised land, in the desert, on Mount Sinai, God manifested His presence in fire and clouds, and gave them the law, by the hand of Moses, their leader.
Q. Did Jesus Christ teach men to walk by the ten commandments? He taught us that if we wished to attain everlasting life, to keep the commandments, and taught us to understand and fulfill them more perfectly, than had been done before He came. Mat. 19:17, and 5
On the Division of the Commandments into Two Tablets: What are the two divisions of the ten commandments? Love of God, and love for our neighbor.
Q.Has not Jesus Christ taught the twofold commandments? Jesus said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Mat. 22:36-40 Are all people our neighbors? Yes, all; because all are the creation of one God, and have come from one man: but our neighbors in faith are doubly neighbors to us, as being children of one heavenly Father by faith in Jesus Christ. But why is there no commandment of love to ourselves? Because normally we love ourselves naturally, and without any commandment. No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it. Ephes. 5:29
Q. What order should there be in our love of God, our neighbor, and ourselves? We should love ourselves not for our own but for God’s sake, and partly also for the sake of our neighbors: we should love our neighbor for the sake of God: but we should love God for Himself, and above all. Love of self should be sacrificed to the love of our neighbor; but both should be sacrificed to the love of God. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 He that loves father or mother more than Me, said Jesus Christ, is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more than Me, is not worthy of Me. Mat. 10:37
Q. If the whole law is contained in two commandments, why are they divided into ten? In order to more clearly set forth our duties towards God, and towards our neighbor. What are the Ten Commandments? 1. I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me. 2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. 3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath Day. 4. Honor thy father and thy mother. 5. Thou shalt not kill. 6. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 7. Thou shalt not steal. 8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. 10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s good.
Q. Where do we find the Ten Commandments? We find the Ten Commandments in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 20, verses 1-17. To whom did God give the Ten Commandments? God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, who in turn gave them to the Jewish people. Ex. 31:18; Deut. 4:12-13; 5:22
Q. Are we obliged to keep all the commandments? Yes, we are obliged to keep the Ten Commandments, aided by the grace of God. John 14:15, 24; James 2:10; Deut. 5:32-33
Q. What is the first commandment? The first commandment is: I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Ex. 20:1-3; Deut. 5:6-7 What does the first commandment require of us? By the first commandment we are required to worship God as Creator of heaven and earth, and Him alone. Luke 10:25-28; Deut. 6:4-5
Q. What is forbidden by this commandment? 1. To worship false gods; 2. To give to anything or anyone the worship due God alone. 3. To worship Him with false worship. Lev. 26:1; Is. 42:8; John 4:22 In what ways would this commandment be broken? This commandment can be broken in the following ways: 1. Idolatry, the worship of images and false gods. 2. By attributing to persons or things power that belongs to God alone, i.e. fortune tellers, spiritualists, Ouija boards, and the like; 3.
Q. By the participation in heretical worship. How do we show our adoration to God? We show our adoration to God by keeping His commandments, by praying to Him, and especially by our participation in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. John 4:24; Rom. 12:1-2; I Cor. 2:17-27
Q. Do Old Catholics break the first commandment by having crucifixes, statues, icons, pictures, or relics in their churches? No, for crucifixes, statues, icons, pictures, and relics simply represent the persons symbolized as an aid to prayer. Num. 21:8; Ex. 20:5 What is the second commandment? The second commandment is: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Ex. 20:7; Ez: 36:20-21; Rom. 2:24
Q. When is God’s name taken in vain? God’s Name is taken in vain whenever it is used improperly, especially when used in a lie or disrespectfully. Lev. 5:4-5; II Chron. 32:16-17: Eccus. 23:9-12 What sins are forbidden by the second commandment? The following sins are forbidden by the second commandment? 1. Blasphemy–daring words against God. Ps 74:18 2. Murmuring–complaining against God’s Providence. I Cor. 10:9-10 3. Profanity–speaking lightly or irreverently about holy things. Mal. 1:10-12 4. Inattentiveness in prayer. I Cor. 14:14-15 5. Perjury–swearing a false oath. Mat. 26:72 6. Oath-breaking–breaking of promises. Lev. 5:1,4
Q. What is the third commandment? The third commandment is; Remember, thou keep holy the Sabbath Day. Ex. 20:8 Q.
Q. Why did God command the Sabbath to be kept holy God commanded the Sabbath to be kept holy because on this day God rested from His work of Creation. Ex. 20:2 Also, by Church law, we are to give equal reverence to the Holy Days of Obligation.
Q. Why do we keep holy the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath or seventh day? We keep holy the first day of the week faithful to the example of the Apostles in the early Church, who held the Eucharist on the first day of the week in remembrance of the facts that Christ rose from the dead and the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles on a Sunday. John 20:1; Acts 2:1-13; Acts 20:7
Q. How are Old Catholics obliged to keep Sunday holy? Old Catholics are obliged to keep Sunday holy by: 1. Assisting at Mass on all Sundays; 2. Refraining from all unnecessary servile work. Acts 20:7; Deut. 5:13,14 What would excuse one from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass? The following reasons would excuse one from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass: 1. Illness; 2. Great distance from a church; 3. Necessary occupation; 4. A necessary act of Charity. What kinds of labor are permitted on Sunday? Any absolutely necessary work is permitted on Sunday. Mat. 12:1-13; Mark 3:4, 5; Deut. 20:1
Q. Besides attending Mass and abstaining from work, how are we recommended to spend Sundays? We are encouraged to spend Sundays in a way befitting the Lord’s Day. For example, attending services, spending time in prayer and spiritual reading, and wholesome relaxation with family and friends would be profitable ways of spending the Lord’s Day.
Q. Are we permitted amusements on Sunday? Yes, amusements and relaxation are permitted provided that they do not interfere with our religious obligations. What is the fourth commandment? The fourth commandment is: Honor thy father and thy mother. Deut. 5:16; Eph. 6:1,2; Mark 7:10
Q. What does this commandment require of us? This commandment requires that we: 1. Love and respect our parents, and obey them in all that is not sinful; 2. Respect and obey every lawful authority, both religious and civil; Prov. 1:8; Eph. 6:1,2; Mark 7:10
Q. What is the fifth commandment? The fifth commandment is: Thou shalt not kill. Ex. 5:15; Rom. 13:9; Mat. 5:21 Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q. Q What is forbidden by this commandment? The following are forbidden by this commandment: 1. The unjust taking of a human life, including that of the unborn, or one’s own life. 2. Hatred, physical abuse, quarreling, or jealousy, because these may lead to killing or to the injury of ourselves or others. I John 3:15; Mat. 5:21,22; Col. 3:8 What is the sixth commandment? The sixth commandment is: Thou shalt not commit adultery. Ex. 20: 4; I Cor. 6:18; Mat. 5:27
Q. What is the sin of adultery? Adultery is the act whereby married persons unlawfully give that love which they owe each other to someone else. Covered under this commandment is the obligation of the unmarried to remain chaste. What does the sixth commandment forbid? The sixth commandment forbids, in addition to adultery, all impurity and immodesty in words, looks, and actions, whether alone or with others. Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3,4; Mat. 5:28
Q. What is the seventh commandment? The seventh commandment is: Thou shalt not steal. Deut. 5:19; Rom. 13:9; Jer. 22:13 What is forbidden by this commandment? 1. It is forbidden to take anything that rightly belongs to someone else; 2.
Q.It is forbidden to destroy or injure the property or possessions of another person. Lev. 19:15; Job 24:9; Ex. 23:8 What does stealing include? Stealing includes the following: robbery and burglary; graft and bribes; cheating and fraud; not paying bills, taxes, and debts; non-support of dependents; wasting time or materials on a job; and not paying a just wage to employees. Lev. 19:11; Mat. 22:21; Luke 3:12-14
Q.What in general are all people obliged to do by this commandment? Everyone is obliged to respect and uphold the just rights of others. Deut. 24:13-15; Tob. 4:15
Q. If we have broken this commandment, what are we obliged to do? We are obliged to give back anything that we have taken, and to repair any damage that we have caused, insofar, as it is possible to do so. If we have found some article of value, what are we obliged to do? We are obliged to try to find the owner and return the article to him. Lev. 5:4; Prov. 29:24; Eccus. 5:10
Q. What is the eighth commandment? The eighth commandment is: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Ex. 20:16; Deut. 5:20; Lev. 19:11.
Q. What is the meaning of this commandment? By the eighth commandment we are commanded to speak the truth in all things, especially in what concerns the good name and honor of others. Lev. 19:15; I Pet. 2:1; James 4:11
Q. What is forbidden by this commandment? The eighth commandment forbids lying, hurting someone’s reputation, unjust criticism, gossip, insults, violating entrusted confidences, judging another’s actions without evidence, publicizing the sins of another, and perjury. Eph. 4:25; I Pet 3:10; James 1:26 Is it ever permissible to reveal the fruits of another? We are permitted to reveal the faults of another only to a person in authority, and only for the sake of fraternal correction and the avoidance of continued evil. Gal. 6:1
Q.m What are we bound to do if we have injured the character of another unjustly? We must do everything in our power to restore his good name by correcting the evil report we have spread against him. Mat. 5:23-25
Q. What is the ninth commandment? The ninth commandment is: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Ex. 20:17; Mat. 5:28; Deut. 5:21 What is forbidden by this commandment? This commandment forbids all lustful thoughts or wishes, or inward adultery. Mat. 5:28; Mark 7:21; James 1:14-15 Are involuntary, impure thoughts sinful? No, but they become sinful when we knowingly and willingly entertain such thoughts.
Q. What is the tenth commandment? The tenth commandment is Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. Ex. 27:28; Psalm 36:7; Eccus. 9:16 What is forbidden by the tenth commandment? It is forbidden to envy the fortune of another, and to seriously lust after what belongs to another. Luke 12:15.
A Treasury of Prayers + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. A Morning Offering O Jesus, through the prayers of the Mother of God, I offer Thee my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Thy Holy Will, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the World, in reparation for my sins, and for the intentions of all our associates.
The Lord’s Prayer Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The Hail Mary Hail Mary, full of Grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
The Doxology Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
The Apostles’ Creed I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Confiteor I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary ever a Virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beg blessed Mary ever a Virgin, blessed Michael the archangel blessed John the Baptist, the Holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me. May Almighty God have mercy on me, and having forgiven my sins, bring me to eternal life. Amen. May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and remission of my sins. Amen. A Short Act of Contrition O my God! I am truly sorry for all my sins, because they have offended Thee, Who art all good and worthy of all my love. I firmly resolve by Thy holy grace never again
An Act of Faith O my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.
An Act of Hope O my God! relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. An Act of Love O my God! I Love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art allgood and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.
A Short Act of Contrition O my God! I give Thee thanks from the bottom of my heart, for the mercies and blessings which Thou hast bestowed upon me; above all because Thou hast loved me from all eternity, and hast sent Thy Divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to redeem me with His Precious Blood. Blessings Before Meals Bless, us O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen. O Christ our God, bless the food and drink of Thy servants, for Thou art Holy now and forever. Amen.
Blessings After Meals We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest and reignest forever. May the divine assistance remain always with us. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
A Prayer to my Guardian Angel Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen. The Jesus Prayer Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner.
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy 1. To Feed the hungry. 2. To give drink to the thirsty. 3. To clothe the naked. 4. To visit the sick. 5. To harbor the harborless. 6. To visit and ransom the captives. 7. To bury the dead.
The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy 1. To admonish the sinners. 2. To give instruction to the ignorant. 3. To give counsel to the doubtful. 4. To comfort those who sorrow. 5. To bear wrongs patiently. 6. To forgive all injuries. 7. To offer prayers for the living and the dead.
The Precepts of the Church To keep holy Sundays and Holy Days. To attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. To observe the rules of fast and abstinence. To confess our sins and receive Holy Communion at least once a year, during Easter Time. Not to solemnize marriage at forbidden times. To pray daily–especially at the beginning and the end of the day. To contribute to the support of the Church.
The Holy Days of Obligation January 1 -Circumcision January 6-Epiphany March 25-Annunciation 40 Days after Easter-Ascension August 6-Transfiguration August 15-Assumption November 1-All Saints December 25 -Christmas
The Three Theological Virtues 1. Faith, 2. Hope, 3. Charity.
The Four Cardinal Virtues 1. Prudence, 2. Temperance, 3. Justice, 4.Fortitude. The Eucharistic Fast All are encouraged to fast from midnight; however, a fast of three hours from solids (alcohol included) and one hour from liquids is sufficient. The sick and infirm need not fast at all. Some Rules for Christian Living Be diligent in your work and shun idleness. Speak the truth at all times. Know when to speak and when to remain silent. Do not positively affirm or deny things you know nothing about. Respect your elders–listen when they speak. Be not proud or covetous. Do not delay making amends to those you offend. Be kind to others and they will be kind to you. 83 Observe neatness and cleanliness in your habits and dress.
An Examination of Conscience before Confession Before going to Confession the penitent should make a self-appraisal of personal shortcomings.
For guidance, the following questions are suitable for self-examination of conscience: Have you experienced doubts in your faith? Have you despaired of God’s mercies and spoken against the Lord in time of adversity?
Have you attended church regularly? Have you prayed regularly, remembering other in your prayers?
Have you kept the Sabbath holy and refrained from doing any unnecessary work on Sundays or Holy Days?
Have you observed Lent and kept the fasts of the Church?
Have you attended dances or indulged in entertainments during Lent?
Have you put your belief into fortune tellers or consulted those who presume to predict the future? Have you spoken lightly of religious matters or of sacred objects?
Have you taken the name of God in vain? Have you cursed yourself or others?
Have you become angry at others or caused others to anger?
Have you honored your parents, superiors, teachers and spiritual advisors? Have you shown respect to the infirm and the aged?
Have you oppressed anyone, held hatred for others, envied others or desired revenge on anyone? Have you injured anyone by word or deed?
Have you caused strife between others? Have you desired or hastened the death of anyone?
Have you chosen your companions wisely?
Have you willfully entertained impure thoughts or desires?
Have you read obscene literature or been guilty of unchaste words or actions?
Have you taken any property belonging to others?
Have you deceived anyone in business transactions?
Have you coveted the possessions of others?
Have you witnessed falsely against anyone or passed unconfirmed judgment on anyone?
Have you partaken of confession and Holy Communion at least once a year ?