The 7 Sacraments (The Holy Mysteries) Baptism Confirmation (Chrismation) Eucharist Penance (Confession, Reconciliation) Matrimony Holy Orders Extreme Unction (Annointing of the Sick)
Notes: A Sacrament is defined as “an outward sign of inward grace” which was instituted by Christ Himself and receives its power from God, through the merits of Christ.
Baptism and Penance are known as the “Sacraments of the Dead” because before receiving them when needed, we are dead in sin.
Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony are known as the “Sacraments of the Living” because one must be in a state of grace to receive them licitly and receive their fruits; they give additional grace to souls already spiritually alive.
Matrimony and Holy Orders are known as the “Social Sacraments” because they are designed primarily for the benefit of society and confer a social status.
Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders are the three Sacraments which leave an indelible mark on the recipient’s soul and can never be repeated.The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy To feed the hungry To give drink to the thirsty To clothe the naked To shelter the homeless To visit the sick To visit the imprisoned To bury the dead
Note: Reference Matthew 25 and Tobias 12. “To visit the imprisoned” was originally listed as “to ransom the captives,” referring to the ransoming of Christians taken prisoner during Moslem aggression.The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy To counsel the doubtful To instruct the ignorant To admonish the sinner To comfort the sorrowful To forgive all injuries To bear wrongs patiently To pray for the living and the dead The 3 Eminent Good Works Prayer Fasting AlmsgivingThe 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost Wisdom Understanding Counsel Fortitude Knowledge Piety Fear of the Lord
Note: See Isaias 11:1-3
Class of Gifts of the Holy Ghost known as Charismata
Gift of speaking with wisdom Gift of speaking with knowledge Faith Grace of healing Gift of miracles Gift of prophecy Gift of discerning spirits Gift of tongues (i.e., xenolalia, the ability to speak foreign languages unknown by natural reason) Gift of interpreting speeches
Note: See I Corinthians 12:6-11; I Corinthians 12:28-31; and Romans 12:6-8. The number of items in this class of Gifts of the Holy Ghost, properly called “charismata,” is disputed among theologians. Some add: Gift of government, Gift of Helps, Gift of distributio, Gift of misericordia. The charismata were/are not necessary for individual sanctification, were/are not distributed to all Christians, and are to be subjected to authority and the proper ends for which they were given (I Corinthians 12-14).The 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost Charity Joy Peace Patience Benignity Goodness Longanimity Mildness Faith Modesty Continency Chastity
Note: See Galatians 5:22-25 (three of these are not mentioned in some Greek and Latin manuscripts). The 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost are the effects of the 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost.The 3 Theological Virtues Faith Hope Charity
Note: Reference I Corinthians 13:13. The Theological Virtues are called such because they are supernatural in origin, relate immediately to God, and can only be gained through His graceThe 4 Cardinal Virtues Prudence Justice Fortitude Temperance
Note: Refrerence Wisdom 8:7. The Cardinal Virtues, unlike the Theological Virtues, can be achieved by human effort.The 7 Capital Sins and their Contrary Virtues
Unrestrained appreciation of our own worth
Immoderate desire for earthly goods
Hankering for impure pleasures
Inordinate desire for revenge
Unrestrained use of food and drink
Sorrow over another’s good fortune
Laxity in keeping the Faith and the practice of virtue
Note: The 7 Capital Sins, also known as “The 7 Deadly Sins,” are those sins that give rise to other sins. They were first enumerated by Pope St. Gregory the Great in “Moralia in Job.”
The 6 Sins against the Holy Ghost Presumption Despair Resisting the known truth Envy of another’s spiritual good Obstinacy in sin Final impenitenceThe 4 Sins that Cry Out to Heaven Willful murder The sin of Sodom Oppression of the poor Defrauding laborers of their wages
Note: Genesis 4, Genesis 18, Exodus 2, James 5, respectively.3 Conditions for Mortal Sin Grave matter Full knowledge Deliberate consent
Note: From the Catechism of St. Pius X, “The Main Kinds of Sin,” Question 9-10: Q: What injury does mortal sin do the soul? A: (1) Mortal sin deprives the soul of grace and of the friendship of God; (2) It makes it lose Heaven; (3) It deprives it of merits already acquired, and renders it incapable of acquiring new merits; (4) It makes it the slave of the devil; (5) It makes it deserve hell as well as the chastisements of this life. Q: Besides grave matter, what is required to constitute a mortal sin? A: To constitute a mortal sin, besides grave matter there is also required full consciousness of the gravity of the matter, along with the deliberate will to commit the sin.The 9 Ways We Participate in Others’ Sins By counsel By command By consent By provocation By praise or flattery By concealment By partaking By silence By defense of the ill doneThe 10 Commandments Thou shalt not have other gods besides Me Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day Honor thy father and thy mother Thou shalt not murder Thou shalt not commit adultery Thou shalt not steal Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods
Note: Reference Exodus 20 and Exodous 34 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Note that the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate (the official Scripture of the Church), and the original Douay-Reims phrase the Fifth Word as “Thou shalt not murder”; later Douay-Reims versions, such as the Challoner, and the King James Bible, etc., phrase it as “Thou shalt not kill.” “Thou shalt not murder,” however, is the original intent and the meaning of the earliest texts. Catholics, of course, have 2,000 years of Church teaching and the Magisterium to interpret Scripture, and the meaning of the Fifth Commandment is that one is not to take innocent human life. (For information on the way Catholics number the Commandments, as opposed to how Protestants and Jews number them, see this page in the Apologetics section of this site)The 2 Greatest Commandments To love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength. To love thy neighbor as thyself.
Note: The Evangelical Counsels, also called the Counsels of Perfection, are those precepts given by Christ that are not binding on all, but are binding on those who have a vocation to them. The 10 Commandments, the Precepts of the Church, the two Great Commandments, for ex., bind one and all, but the evangelical counsels do not. See Matthew 19:16-22 for the story of Christ’s telling the young man what he needs to do in order to be saved, and then what he needs to do in order to be perfect – two different things.The 6 Precepts of the Church (The Duties of a Catholic) To go to Mass and refrain from servile work on Sundays and holy days To go to Confession at least once a year (traditionally done during Lent) To receive the Eucharist at least once a year, during the Easter Season (known as the “Easter duty”) To observe the days of fasting and abstinence To help to provide for the needs of the Church according to one’s abilities and station in life To obey the marriage laws of the ChurchHoly Days of Obligation in Addition to Sundays (English-speaking Countries)
England & Wales
Circumcision Ascension Assumption All Saints Imm. Conception Christmas
Circumcision Epiphany Ascension All Saints Imm. Conception Christmas
Circumcision Epiphany Ascension Corpus Christi SS Peter & Paul Assumption All Saints Christmas
Australia & New Zealand
Circumcision Epiphany St. Patrick Ascension Corpus Christi SS Peter & Paul Assumption All Saints Imm. Conception Christmas
Circumcision Epiphany St. Joseph Ascension Corpus Christi SS Peter & Paul Assumption All Saints Imm. Conception Christmas
Circumcision Ascension Assumption All Saints Christmas
Note: In the United States: in the Novus Ordo: if 1 January, 15 August, or 1 November falls on a Saturday or Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated; if 15 August or 8 December falls on a Sunday, the Feast is celebrated the next day, but the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated; the Feast of the Circumcision is referred to as “Mary, Mother of God”; the Feast of the Ascension in the United States might be celebrated on the 7th Sunday of Easter, according to Province.
The 3 Powers of the Soul Memory Intellect WillThe 4 Pillars of the Catholic Faith The Apostles Creed The Seven Sacraments The Ten Commandments The Lord’s PrayerThe 3 Pillars of the Church’s Authority Sacred Scripture Sacred Tradition Living MagisteriumThe 3 Munera (Duties of the Ordained) Munus docendi (duty to teach, based on Christ’s role as Prophet) Munus sanctificandi (duty to sanctify, based on Chris’s role as Priest) Munus regendi (duty to shepherd, based on Christ’s role as King)The 3 Parts of the Church The Church Militant (Christians on Earth) The Church Suffering (Christians in Purgatory) The Church Triumphant (Christians in Heaven)The 4 Marks of the Church Unity Sanctity Catholicity Apostolicity
Note: In the Nicene Creed we say that the Church is “one, holy, catholic and apostolic.”The 12 Apostles
formerly “Simon,” renamed “Kepha” or “Cephas” by Our Lord; preached in Antioch, Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Asia Minor, Rome; headed Roman Church (was first Pope); crucified upside-down in Rome, Italy; relics at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Symbols: the Keys; upside-down Latin Cross; book. Feast: June 29 (along with St. Paul); August 1 (St. Peter’s Chains).
Peter’s brother; preached in Scythia; Epirus; Achaia; Hellas; Cappadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, Scythian deserts, Byzantium;Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Achaia; crucified in Patrae in Achaia; relics at Cathedral of Amalfi, Italy, and in St. Andrew’s Church in Patras, Greece. Symbols: X-shaped Cross; anchor; fish; fishing net. Feast: November 30.
James the Greater
he and his brother (John) nicknamed by Jesus “Sons of Thunder” (Boanerges); a son of Zebedee; preached in Spain; beheaded by Herod Agrippa I to please the Jews; relics at Compostela, Spain. Symbols: seashells; pilgrim’s staff; scroll; book; floppy hat; trampling a Moor; mounted on horseback. Feast: July 25.
he and his brother (James the Greater) nicknamed by Jesus “Sons of Thunder” (Boanerges); a son of Zebedee; the disciple whom Jesus loved; Evangelist; preached in Asia Minor (Ephesus). Symbols: chalice; eagle; serpent; sword; cauldron. Feast December 27.
preached in Hieropolis in Asia (?); relics at church of the Dodici Apostoli in Rome, Italy. Symbols: basket of loaves; T-shaped Cross. Feast: May 11 (with St. James the Less)
preached in India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, shores of the Black Sea (?); beheaded or flayed alive and crucified, head downward in Albanopolis in Armenia; relics at St. Bartholomew-in-the-Island in Rome, Italy (?). Symbols: tanner’s knife; flayed skin. Feast: August 24.
“Levi”; Evangelist; preached in Ethiopia to the south of the Caspian Sea (not Ethiopia in Africa), Persia and the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia, and Syria, and to the Hebrews generally (?). Symbols: angel/man/winged man holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins, money bag, money box, or purse; spear; sword; halberd; lance. Feast: September 21.
“Didymus,” meaning “Twin”; familiarly (not Scripturally) known as “Doubting Thomas”; preached in India; pierced through with spears by four soldiers at Syriac Mazdai; relics in Santhome Cathedral, Chennai, India. Symbols: T-square; spear. Feast December 21.
James the Less
“James the Just” or “James the Younger”; son of Alphaeus (Clophas) and “brother of the Lord”; Bishop of Jerusalem Church; epistle writer; killed by Jews by being thrown off the Temple and clubbed to death. Symbols: fuller’s club; book; windmill. Feast: May 11 (with St. Philip)
“Thaddaeus”; “brother of James (the Less)”; epistle writer. Symbols: shown with medallion with profile of Jesus around his neck; shown with flame above his head; oar; boat; axe; book; pen. Feast: October 28 (with St. Simon).
“Simon the Zealot” or “Simon the Canaanite.” Symbols: fish(es); man being sawn in two longitudinally; saw; lance. Feast: October 28 (with St. Jude).
replaced after his suicide by Matthias (St. Matthias’s Feast: February 24).
Note: A little poem to help you remember:
Peter, Andrew, James and John, Phil and Bart and Matt and Tom, James the Less and Jude and Simon – Then Judas who betrayed the God-man.
The 12 Tribes of Israel In order of their birth:
Reuben Simeon Levi Judah Zabulon Issachar Dan Gad Asher Naphtali Joseph (Menasseh and Ephraim) BenjaminThe 8 Beatitudes Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land. Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
Note: Reference Matthew 5:3-10.The 14 Stations of the Cross Jesus is Condemned to Die Jesus is Made to Bear His Cross Jesus Falls the First Time Jesus Meets His Mother Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross Veronica Wipes Jesus’ Face Jesus Falls the Second Time Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem Jesus Falls the Third Time Jesus is Stripped Jesus is Nailed to the Cross Jesus Dies on the Cross Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross Jesus is Laid in the TombThe 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our LadySorrows (Dolours):Joys:The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:33-35)The Annunciation (Luke 1:27-38)The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 3: 13-15)The Visitation (Luke 1:39-58)The Loss of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:7)The Meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross (John 19:17)The Adoration of the Magi (Matthew 2:7-11)The Crucifixion (John 19:25-30)The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:46)The Taking Down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross (John 19: 31-37)The Resurrection of Our Lord (John 20:1-9)Jesus laid in the Tomb (John 19:38-42)The Assumption and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin (Apocalypse 12)
The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. JosephSorrows:Joys:The doubt of Saint Joseph (Matthew 1:19)The Message of the Angel (Matthew 1:20)The poverty of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:7)Jesus’ Birth itself (Luke 2:7)The Circumcision (Luke 2:21)The Holy Name of Jesus (Matthew 1:25)Simeon’s prophecy that many would be lost (Luke 2:34)Simeon’s prophecy that many would rise (Luke 2:34)The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14)The Overthrow of Idols (Isaias 19:1)The return from Egypt (Matthew 2:22)Life with Mary and Jesus (Luke 2:39)The loss of the Child Jesus (Luke 2:45)The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:46)
The 15 Mysteries of the Holy Rosary & When They are Prayed Joyful: Annunciation Visitation Nativity Presentation Finding Jesus in the Temple
Sorrowful: Agony in the Garden The Scourging Crowning with thorns Carrying of the Cross Crucifixion
Glorious: Resurrection Ascension Pentecost Assumption Crowning of Mary
Sundays in Advent, Christmastide & Epiphany:
Sundays in Eastertide & Time After Pentecost:
All of Septuagesima & Lent:
Note: In October 2002, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, recommended adding 5 more Mysteries to the Rosary to be prayed on Thursdays – the “Luminous Mysteries” which focus on Jesus’ public life. These Mysteries are:
The Baptism in the Jordan The Marriage Feast at Cana The Proclamation of the Kingdom The Transfiguration The Institution of the Eucharist
This novelty does not change the true Rosary and is merely presented as an option for Christians. This option, however, is one that totally disrupts the relationship between the Rosary and the Breviary’s Psalms. Stick with the classic tried-and-true Rosary. To read why adding Mysteries to the Rosary was a most horrible idea, see this page, and to read a critique of Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical on the matter, see this page (both pages offsite, will open in new browser window)
The Order of Creation
A dividing of light from darkness brings forth Heaven and a formless, water-covered Earth, then Light
A dividing of the waters above from the waters below to create the Firmament of Heaven
A dividing of the waters under the heavens to form dry land; then grass, herbs, and fruit trees
Sun, Moon and Stars
Creatures of the waters and of the air
Creatures of the land, then Man
Note: God, Who is of the supernatural order, created the natural and preternatural (e.g., the angelic) orders out of nothing (ex nihilo), in time (“in the beginning”), and for His own pleasure. Only God can “create,” and because of this, it is actually rather blasphemous to refer to man as “creating” anything. Man can produce, re-produce, manufacture, form, fashion, fabricate, design, shape, or make – but he cannot bring into existence anything out of nothing. Angels and demons, too, are limited and cannot do the truly miraculous. They are able, however, to take what is created and manipulate it in ways that seem miraculous and are able to influence our perceptions and imaginations.
You can remember the Order of Creation by thinking of the first three days as days which God spent creating forms and frameworks by dividing the elements, and the last three days as the days He spent creating things to fill those forms created by dividing the elements, e.g.:
Day 1 Light
Day 4 specific forms of light in the Sun, Moon, and StarsDay 2 the Firmament/waters
Day 5 birds to fill the firmament, and fish to fill the watersDay 3 dry land
Day 6 land animals and man
The 9 Choirs of Angels In ascending order:
Note: The Choir of Angels is divided into three triads with specific concerns:
The 1st triad:
Angels, Archangels, and Principalities: concern themselves with the minute ordering of the universe and specific causes, including the welfare of people. Each human being, each church, and each country has a Guardian Angel. The Feast of the Guardian Angels is October 2.
The 2nd triad:
Powers, Virtues and Dominations: known as the “angels of creation” because they concern themselves with the ordering of the universe and a plurality of causes.
The 3rd triad:
Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim: concern themselves with contemplating the glory of God. It is the 6-winged Seraphim who sing the Sanctus, “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts” (Isaias 6:3).
Angels (the word means “Messengers”) are spirits (there was and is debate as to whether they are pure spirit like God or whether they are possess “subtle matter” and are corporeal in a different way from us), created before man, who were given one choice at the beginning of Creation: the Kingdom of God – or the Absence of God, which is the Kingdom of Satan, the first Angel who rebelled.
There are 7 Archangels (Tobias 12:15). We know the names of 3 of them from Scripture:
Michael (Daniel, Epistle of St. Jude, Apocalypse of St. John), whose name means “Who is like God” and whose Feast is September 29;
Gabriel (Daniel and Luke), whose name means “Strength of God” and whose Feast is March 24; and
Raphael (Tobias), whose name means “Medicine of God” and whose Feast is October 24.
The apocryphal Book of Enoch lists the other 4 as:
The 3 Levels of Reverence
Dulia:the reverence we give to SaintsHyperdulia:the reverence we give to Mary as the greatest of Saints and Mother of GodLatria:the reverence and worship we give to God aloneThe 14 Holy Helpers St. George, Martyr, April 23 St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, February 3 St. Pantaleon, Martyr, July 27 St. Vitus, Martyr, June 15 St. Erasmus (Elmo), Bishop and Martyr, June 2 St. Christopher, Martyr, July 25 St. Giles, Abbot, September 1 St. Cyriacus (Cyriac), Martyr, August 8 St. Achatius, Martyr, May 8 St. Dionysius (Denis), Bishop and Martyr, October 9 St. Eustachius (Eustace), Martyr, September 20 St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr, November 25 St. Margaret of Antioch, Virgin and Martyr, July 20 St. Barbara, Virgin and Martyr, December 4
Note: The “Holy Helpers” are Saints who first became grouped together and invoked together during the Black Plague, which ravaged Europe between 1346 and 1349. This horrible disease decimated entire towns and struck quickly. First one’s mouth would dry and head would ache. Then came the fever, and boils, and the blackening of the tongue. Death would come in hours.The 7 Last Words of Christ
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.(Luke 23:34)Amen I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)Woman, behold thy son… .Behold thy mother.(John 19:26-27)Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? (My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?)(Matthew 27:46, ref. Psalm 21)I thirst.(John 19:28)It is consummated.(John 19:30)Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.(Luke 23:46, ref. Psalm 30:6)
The 4 Last Things (The Novissima) Death Judgement Heaven Hell
I was taught the faith in Catholic schools using materials that were weak and insubstantial. I wasn’t being taught my faith. The liturgy suffered from experimentation as well. When I speak about this publicly, invariably people of my generation come up to me to agree with what I’m saying. This includes many bishops. My generation raised up the next generation. Since we weren’t taught the faith, we raised children who weren’t either. We need a renewal in catechesis.
The Word of God is the holy of holies, yea, the only holy thing we Christians know and have. Although we were to gather in a heap the bones or the holy and consecrated garments of all the saints, they could not help us; for they all are lifeless things that can sanctify no one. God’s Word, however, is the treasure that sanctifies everything. By it all the saints themselves were sanctified. Now, whatever be the hour when God’s Word is taught or preached, when it is heard, read or called to mind, the person, day and work are thereby sanctified; not because of any outward work, but because of the Word, which sanctifies us all. Hence, I constantly repeat that our whole lives and works must be guided by God’s Word if they are to be pleasing to God or be called holy. Where they are so guided [the Third Commandment] exerts its power and is fulfilled.
Martin Luther; The Third Commandment, The Ten Commandments, Luther’s Large Catechism, Augsberg Publishing 1967, p. 28
It is not just petty love that we can offer one another, but something much more profound: it is a communion that renders us able to enter into the joy and sorrow of others and make then sincerely our own.
Who among us has not experienced insecurity, disorientation, and even doubt along the path of faith? … [I]n these difficult moments it is necessary to trust in the help of God, through filial prayer and, at the same time, it is important to find the courage and the humility to open ourselves to others. In this communion – because communion means common union – were are a great family, whose members all help and support one another.
The habitual difficulty in prayer is distraction. It can affect words and their meaning in vocal prayer; it can concern, more profoundly, him to whom we are praying, in vocal prayer (liturgical or personal), meditation, and contemplative prayer. To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for him and lead us resolutely to offer him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve.
It is important, when we feel we are sinners to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Someone might say: ‘But I am afraid that the priest will chastise me.’ No, the priest will not chastise you. Do you know who you will encounter in the Sacrament of Reconciliation? You will encounter Jesus who pardons you! Jesus is waiting for you there; and this is a Sacrament that makes the whole Church grow.
In God’s plan man and woman have the vocation of “subduing” the earth as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator “who loves everything that exists”, to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.
See, this is the kind of Catechesis we need in Catholic parishes. Something that involves the whole family. Faith formation doesn’t stop after your baptized, it doesn’t stop after confirmation, it is a life-long journey. So the parents should be right there with there children pursuing that journey alongside them.