Archive for the ‘In Brief Catechism’ Category

“In Brief” Catechism: On Baptism

January 19, 2017

Catechism of the Catholic Church #1275-1284

  • Baptismal Font, St. Wenceslaus, Eastman, WIChristian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ’s Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.
  • Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
  • Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord’s will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.
  • The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.
  • 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.
  • Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized.
  • Since the earliest times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom.
  • With respect to children who have died without Baptism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in God’s mercy and to pray for their salvation.
  • In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate’s head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
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The “In Brief” Catechism On “The Fall” (CCC #413-421)

September 9, 2013

“God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . It was through the devil’s envy that death entered the world.” (Wisdom 1:13, 2:24).

●  Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God.

●  Although set by God in a state of rectitude man, enticed by the evil one, abused his freedom at the very start of history. He lifted himself up against God, and sought to attain his goal apart from him.

●  By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings.

●  Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called “original sin.”

●  As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called “concupiscence.”)

●  “We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, “by propagation, not by imitation” and that it is. . . ‘proper to each.'” (Pope Paul VI)

●  The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us: “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Romans 5:20).

● Christians believe that the world has been established and kept in being by the Creator’s love; has fallen into slavery to sin but has been set free by Christ, crucified and risen to break the power of the evil one.

The “In Brief” Catechism On “Man” (CCC #380-384)

September 8, 2013

“Father,. . . you formed man in your own likeness and set him over the whole world to serve you, his creator, and to rule over all creatures” (Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer IV).

●  Man is predestined to reproduce the image of God’s Son made man, the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), so that Christ shall be the first-born of a multitude of brothers and sisters.

●  Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. The doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God.

●  “God did not create man a solitary being. From the beginning, “male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) This partnership of man and woman constitutes the first form of communion between persons.

●  Revelation makes known to us the state of original holiness and justice of man and woman before sin: from their friendship with God flowed the happiness of their existence in paradise.

The “In Brief” Catechism On God “The Creator” (CCC #315-324)

September 6, 2013

● In the creation of the world and of man, God gave the first and universal witness to his almighty love and his wisdom, the first proclamation of the plan of his loving goodness, which finds its goal in the new creation in Christ.

●  Though the work of creation is attributed to the Father in particular, it is equally a truth of faith that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together are the one, indivisible principle of creation.

●  God alone created the universe, freely, directly and without any help.

●  No creature has the infinite power necessary to “create” in the proper sense of the word, that is, to produce and give being to that which had in no way possessed it to call into existence “out of nothing.”

●  God created the world to show forth and communicate his glory. That his creatures should share in his truth, goodness and beauty—this is the glory for which God created them.

●  God created the universe and keeps it in existence by his Word, the Son “upholding the universe by his word of power” (Hebrews 1:3), and by his Creator Spirit, the giver of life.

●  Divine providence consists of the dispositions by which God guides all his creatures with wisdom and love to their ultimate end.

●  Christ invites us to filial trust in the providence of our heavenly Father, and St. Peter the apostle repeats: “Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” (1st Peter 5:7)

●  Divine providence works also through the actions of creatures. To human beings God grants the ability to co-operate freely with his plans.

●  The fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery that God illuminates by his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose to vanquish evil. Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil, by ways that we shall fully know only in eternal life.

The “In Brief” Catechism On God “The Almighty” (CCC #275-278)

September 5, 2013

● With Job, the just man, we confess: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)

●  Faithful to the witness of Scripture, the Church often addresses her prayer to the “almighty and eternal God,” believing firmly that “nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

●  God shows forth his almighty power by converting us from our sins and restoring us to his friendship by grace. “God, you show your almighty power above all in your mercy and forgiveness. . .” (Roman Missal, 26th Sunday, Opening Prayer).

●  If we do not believe that God’s love is almighty, how can we believe that the Father could create us, the Son redeem us and the Holy Spirit sanctify us?

The “In Brief” Catechism On “The Father” (CCC #261-267)

September 4, 2013

● The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life. God alone can make it known to us by revealing himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

●  The Incarnation of God’s Son reveals that God is the eternal Father and that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God.

●  The mission of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of the Son and by the Son from the Father, reveals that, with them, the Spirit is one and the same God. “With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.” (Nicene Creed)

●  “The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father as the first principle and, by the eternal gift of this to the Son, from the communion of both the Father and the Son.” (St. Augustine)

●  By the grace of Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we are called to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity, here on earth in the obscurity of faith, and after death in eternal light.

●  “Now this is the Catholic faith: We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son’s is another, the Holy Spirit’s another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.” (Athanasian Creed)

●  Inseparable in what they are, the divine persons are also inseparable in what they do. But within the single divine operation each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, especially in the divine missions of the Son’s Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The “In Brief” Catechism On “I Believe In God” (CCC #228-231)

September 3, 2013

“Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD…” (Mark 12:29) The supreme being must be unique, without equal. If God is not one, he is not God.

 

●  Faith in God leads us to turn to him alone as our first origin and our ultimate goal, and neither to prefer anything to him nor to substitute anything for him.

 

●  Even when he reveals himself, God remains a mystery beyond words: “If you understood him, it would not be God.” (St. Augustine)

 

●  The God of our faith has revealed himself as HE WHO IS; and he has made himself known as “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34:6) God’s very being is Truth and Love.

The “In Brief” Catechism On Man’s Response to God (CCC #176-184)

September 2, 2013

●  Faith is a personal adherence of the whole man to God who reveals himself. It involves an assent of the intellect and will to the self-revelation God has made through his deeds and words.

●  “To believe” has thus a twofold reference: to the person, and to the truth: to the truth, by trust in the person who bears witness to it.

●  We must believe in no one but God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

●  Faith is a supernatural gift from God. In order to believe, man needs the interior helps of the Holy Spirit.

●  “Believing” is a human act, conscious and free, corresponding to the dignity of the human person.

●  “Believing” is an ecclesial act. the Church’s faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. the Church is the mother of all believers. “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.” (St. Cyprian)

●  We believe all “that which is contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church proposes for belief as divinely revealed.” (Pope Paul VI)

●  Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself affirms: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

●  “Faith is a foretaste of the knowledge that will make us blessed in the life to come.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)

The “In Brief” Catechism On Sacred Scripture (CCC #134-141)

September 1, 2013

“All Sacred Scripture is but one book, and that one book is Christ, because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ” (Hugh of St. Victor)

●  The Sacred Scriptures contain the Word of God and, because they are inspired, they are truly the Word of God.

●  God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth.

●  Interpretation of the inspired Scripture must be attentive above all to what God wants to reveal through the sacred authors for our salvation. What comes from the Spirit is not fully understood except by the Spirit’s action.

●  The Church accepts and venerates as inspired the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New.

●  The four Gospels occupy a central place because Christ Jesus is their center.

●  The unity of the two Testaments proceeds from the unity of God’s plan and his Revelation. the Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other; both are true Word of God.

●  The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord: both nourish and govern the whole Christian life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

The “In Brief” Catechism on the Transmission of Divine Revelation (CCC #96-100)

August 25, 2013

● What Christ entrusted to the apostles, they in turn handed on by their preaching and writing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to all generations, until Christ returns in glory.

● Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches.

● The Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.

● Thanks to its supernatural sense of faith, the People of God as a whole never ceases to welcome, to penetrate more deeply and to live more fully from the gift of divine Revelation.

● The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.

The “In Brief” Catechism on the Revelation of God (CCC #68-73)

August 17, 2013

● By love, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. He has thus provided the definitive, superabundant answer to the questions that man asks himself about the meaning and purpose of his life.

●  God has revealed himself to man by gradually communicating his own mystery in deeds and in words.

●  Beyond the witness to himself that God gives in created things, he manifested himself to our first parents, spoke to them and, after the fall, promised them salvation (Genesis 3:15) and offered them his covenant.

●  God made an everlasting covenant with Noah and with all living beings (Genesis 9:16). It will remain in force as long as the world lasts.

●  God chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants. By the covenant God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses. Through the prophets, he prepared them to accept the salvation destined for all humanity.

● God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant forever. the Son is his Father’s definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.

The “In Brief” Catechism

August 8, 2013

In 1992, Pope John Paul the Great released the Catechism of the Catholic Church as “a sure norm for teaching the faith.” It is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to practice or understand the Catholic Faith better, but who has the time to read it?

Thankfully, the Catechism summarizes its extensive teaching into 59 “In Brief” sections. If you are committed to learning more about your Catholic Faith in an easy though comprehensive way, then study the “In Brief” Catechism in this year ahead.

On Man’s Capacity for God (CCC #44-49)

● Man is by nature and vocation a religious being. Coming from God, going toward God, man lives a fully human life only if he freely lives by his bond with God.

● Man is made to live in communion with God in whom he finds happiness: “When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrow or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete.” (St. Augustine)

● When he listens to the message of creation and to the voice of conscience, man can arrive at certainty about the existence of God, the cause and the end of everything.

● The Church teaches that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty from his works, by the natural light of human reason.

● We really can name God, starting from the manifold perfections of his creatures, which are likenesses of the infinitely perfect God, even if our limited language cannot exhaust the mystery.

● Without the Creator, the creature vanishes. This is the reason why believers know that the love of Christ urges them to bring the light of the living God to those who do not know him or who reject him.