Small Catechism of the Catholic Religion, by Saint John Nepomucene Neumann

Small Catechism of the Catholic Religion

– note: this catechism, with some additional material, is available as a free download in epub and kindle formats

Prayer before Catechism

Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. O God! who did instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost; grant that we may be truly wise in the same spirit, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Introduction – The End of Man

» Who created you?

• God created me.

» Why were you created?

• God created me that I might know Him, love Him, serve Him, and then be happy with Him in heaven.

» What must you do in order to be with God in heaven?

• I must believe in God, hope in Him, love Him above all things, and use the means of salvation.

» Where do you learn all these things?

• In the Christian doctrine, or in the Catechism.

» What must we know and believe if after we have come to the use of reason we wish to be saved?

• We must know and believe:
  • That there is only one God;
  • That in God there are three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;
  • That God is supremely just, and that He rewards the good and punishes the wicked;
  • That the Son of God became man and redeemed us by His sufferings and death.
» What else must we know?

• We must know:
  • The Apostles’ Creed;
  • The Lord’s Prayer;
  • The ten commandments of God and the six commandments of the Church;
  • The seven Sacraments.
» Where do we find in a few words what we must believe?

• In the Apostles’ Creed.

» Say 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 Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;
  • Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;
  • He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
  • He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
  • From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
  • I believe in the Holy Ghost,
  • The Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints,
  • The forgiveness of sins,
  • The resurrection of the body,
  • And life everlasting.

Amen.

CHAPTER I – CHRISTIAN FAITH

The Apostles’ Creed – The First Article of the Creed

» Which is the first Article of the Creed?

• “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.”

I. GOD

» What is God?

• God is the Supreme Being, an infinitely perfect spirit, and the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth.

» Why is God called a spirit?

• Because He is without body, but has understanding and free will.

» Why is God called an infinitely perfect spirit?

• Because He possesses all perfections without measure or number.

» Which are the principal perfections of God?

• God is eternal, everywhere present, almighty, all-knowing, all-wise; He is holy, just, good, merciful, true, faithful and unchangeable.

» Had God a beginning or will He have an end?

• No; God had no beginning, and can have no end; He is eternal.

» Where is God?

• God is in heaven, on earth, and in all places; He is everywhere present.

» What can God do?

• He can do all things whatsoever He pleases; for He is almighty.

» Does God know and see all things?

• Yes; God knows and sees all things, even our thoughts; for He is all-knowing.

» What do you mean when you say “God is all-wise?”

• I mean that God knows how to dispose of all things in the best way.

» Is it all the same to God whether a man is good or bad?

• No; for God is holy and just.

» What do the words “God is holy” mean?

• They mean that God loves and wills only what is good, and hates what is evil.

» What is the good that God loves?

• All that is according to His most holy will.

» What is the evil that God hates?

• All that is against His commandments.

» What do the words “God is just” mean?

• They mean that God rewards the good and punishes the wicked as they deserve.

» What do the words “God is good” mean?

• They mean that God is infinitely good in Himself, and infinitely good to us, His creatures; for He is the supreme good.

» What do the words “God is merciful” mean?

• They mean that God pardons the penitent sinner and receives him again into favor.

» What do the words “God is true” mean?

• They mean that God can neither deceive nor be deceived.

» What do the words “God is faithful” mean?

• They mean that God will surely keep His promises and execute His threats.

» What do the words “God is unchangeable” mean?

• They mean that God can neither increase nor decrease in perfection.

» What must we do to please God?

• We must believe in God, hope in Him, and love Him above all things.

» Why must we believe in God?

• Because God is all-knowing and supremely truthful.

» Why must we hope in God?

• Because God is powerful, good, and most merciful.

» Why must we love God?

• Because God is the highest, most perfect, and most amiable good.

II. THE BLESSED TRINITY

» Are there more Gods than one?

• No; there is only one God.

» How many Persons are there in God?

• In God there arc three Persons.

» What are the three divine Persons called?

• The first Person is called God the Father, the second, God the Son, and the third, God the Holy Ghost.

» Is each of these three Persons God?

• Yes; each of these three Persons is God; the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.

» Are then the three divine Persons not three Gods?

• No; the three divine Persons are not three Gods; They are only one and the same God.

» Why are They only one and the same God?

• Because They have only one and the same nature and substance.

» What name do we give to the three divine Persons taken together?

• The name that we give is the Most Holy Trinity.

» Is any one of the three divine Persons older than the others?

• No; all three Persons are from eternity.

» Which of the three divine Persons is more perfect?

• All three are equal in all things, because all three are but one God.

» How is God the Father specially known to us?

• As the Creator of heaven and earth.

» How is God the Son specially known to us?

• As the Redeemer of the world.

» How is God the Holy Ghost specially known to us?

• As the Consoler and Sanctifier of the world.

III. GOD THE FATHER – THE CREATION OF THE WORLD

» Who created all things?

• God, the Father Almighty, created all things, and is therefore called the Creator.

» What means “to create?”

• To create means to make something out of nothing.

» What did God create?

• He created heaven and earth, and all things that are in them.

» In how many days did God create all things?

• In six days.

» Why did God create all things?

• For His own honor and glory.

» What does God continually do for the world?

• God preserves and governs the whole world by His infinite power, wisdom and goodness.

» What do we call God’s care of the world?

• We call it Divine Providence.

» Why is God also called the Lord of heaven and earth?

• Because heaven and earth belong to Him.

» Which are the most excellent of God’s creatures?

• Angels and men.

IV. THE ANGELS

» What are the angels?

• Angels are created beings that have understanding and free will, that are without body, and are by nature more noble than man.

» In what state did God create the angels?

• God created them holy and in the state of grace.

» Did they all remain good?

• No; many of them sinned against God and were punished.

» How did God punish the bad angels?

• They were cast from heaven into hell.

» What name is given to these bad angels?

• They are called evil spirits or devils.

» What is the occupation of the good angels?

• They adore, love and serve God, and protect us.

» What do we call the angels who protect us?

• We call them the guardian angels.

» What do we owe to our guardian angel?

• We owe them respect, gratitude and confidence.

» What do the evil spirits do?

• They tempt us to commit sin.

» How can we resist the evil spirits?

• By humble prayer and by making the Sign of the Cross.

V. MAN

» Which is the most excellent creature on earth?

• Man.

» Why did God create man?

• That he might know Him, love Him, serve Him, and then be happy with Him in heaven.

» How did God create man?

• God formed the body of man out of earth, but his soul He created out of nothing.

» Who were the first of mankind?

• Adam and Eve.

» Where did God place Adam and Eve?

• He placed them in Paradise.

» In what state did God create Adam and Eve?

• God created them in a state of sanctity and immortality.

» Did they continue in that state?

• No; they sinned against God and were punished.

» How did Adam and Eve sin?

• They sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit.

» Who induced them to commit this sin?

• The devil in the shape of a serpent.

» How did God punish Adam and Eve for this sin?

• He punished them in body and in soul.

» What was the punishment of the body?

• They were immediately banished from Paradise, and subjected to pains, disease and death.

» What was the punishment of the soul?

• They lost God’s grace, and, on this account, all right to heaven.

» What other punishment did God inflict upon them?

• Their understanding was darkened, and their will to do good was weakened.

» How did God console Adam and Eve after their fall?

• He promised them the Messias or the Saviour.

» Was this sin only a sin committed by Adam and Eve?

• No, this sin has passed to all mankind.

» What is this sin called?

• Original sin.

» Who then is stained with original sin?

• Every one who has not yet been baptized.

» Who alone of mankind did not inherit original sin?

• Jesus Christ and His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

» What is this special privilege of the Blessed Virgin called?

• It is called her Immaculate Conception.

» Of what does man consist?

• Man consists of a mortal body and of an immortal soul.

» According to what is the soul of man created?

• According to the image and likeness of God.

» Which is more valuable, the body or the soul?

• The soul.

» Which are the four last things of man?

1. Death
2. Judgment
3. Hell
4. Heaven.

» Must all men die?

• Yes; all without exception.

» Why must all men die?

• In punishment of original sin.

» What happens to the body after the death of man?

• The body is buried and will return to dust.

» What happens to the soul after the death of man?

• It will be immediately judged by Jesus Christ.

» Where does the soul go after the particular judgment?

• It will go to heaven, to purgatory or to hell.

» How often will every man be judged?

• Twice; immediately after death, and at the general judgment.

» What will take place at the general judgment?

• All men will rise from the dead.

» Why will all men rise from the dead?

• In order that all may be rewarded or punished forever in body and soul.

God the Son, and the Redemption of the World
from the 2nd Article of the Creed to the 7th inclusively

The Second Article of the Creed

» Which is the second Article of the Creed?

• “And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.”

» Which of the three divine Persona became man?

• The second Person, that is, the Son of God.

» What is the name of the Son of God made man?

• His name is Jesus Christ.

» Who is Jesus Christ?

• He is the second divine Person, the Son of God, true God and true man at the same time.

The Third Article of the Creed

» Which is the third Article of the Creed?

• “Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.”

» What mystery does the third Article of the Creed teach us?

• The mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.

» What do you mean when you say the Son of God became man?

• I moan that the Son of God took to Himself a human body and a human soul.

» How did the Son of God become man?

• The Blessed Virgin Mary conceived Him by the power of the Holy Ghost.

» Who is the Blessed Virgin Mary?

• She is the Mother of God.

» Had Jesus Christ as man a father?

• No; as man Jesus Christ had no father.

» Who was Saint Joseph?

• He was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus Christ.

» Why did the Son of God become man?

• In order to redeem us from sin and from hell.

» Where was Jesus Christ born?

• In a stable, at Bethlehem.

» How many years did Jesus Christ live on earth?

• Thirty-three years.

» What was the conduct of Jesus Christ when a child?

• He was subject to His parents, went with them to the Temple, and advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and men.

» What did Jesus Christ do at the age of thirty years?

• He began to preach in public and to work miracles.

» What did Jesus Christ teach?

• The true religion.

» What is a miracle?

• It is an extraordinary event that surpasses the laws of nature established by God, and that can happen only through God’s almighty power.

» Why did Jesus Christ work miracles?

• To prove that He was God and the promised Redeemer.

» How did Jesus Christ redeem us?

• By His sufferings and death on the Cross.

The Fourth Article of the Creed

» Which is the fourth article of the Creed?

• “Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.”

» Where did Jesus Christ suffer?

• In the Garden of Olives, in Jerusalem, and on Mount Calvary.

» What did He suffer in the Garden of Olives?

• He suffered the agony of death and He sweat blood.

» What did. Jesus Christ suffer in Jerusalem?

• He was scourged, crowned with thorns, and condemned to death.

» Who condemned Jesus Christ to death?

• Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor.

» What did Jesus Christ suffer on Mount Calvary?

• After He had carried His Cross to Mount Calvary, He was nailed to it and died upon it.

» Was Jesus Christ compelled to suffer and to die?

• No; He suffered and died willingly for the love of us.

» For whom did Jesus Christ die?

• For all mankind without exception.

» Why are not all men saved?

• Because many through their own fault do not share in the infinite merits of the death of Jesus Christ.

» What reminds us of the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross?

• The Sign of the Cross.

» Of what more does the Sign of the Cross remind us?

• Of the Most Blessed Trinity, for we say: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

» How do you make the Sign of the Cross?

• We touch with the right hand the forehead, the breast, then the left and the right shoulder, while saying: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

» What happened to the body of Jesus Christ after His death?

• It was laid in a tomb.

The Fifth Article of the Creed

» Which is the fifth article of the Creed?

• “He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead.”

» Where did the soul of Jesus Christ go after His death?

• The soul of Jesus Christ went down into “Limbo,” in order to console and deliver the souls of the just who were detained there.

» Why were the souls of the just detained in Limbo?

• Because on account of original sin heaven was closed and was to be opened only by Jesus Christ.

» What did Jesus Christ do on the third day after His death?

• He rose from the dead.

The Sixth Article of the Creed

» Which is the sixth article of the Creed?

• “He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.”

» What did Jesus Christ do forty days after His resurrection?

• He went up into Heaven.

» Where is Jesus Christ now?

• In Heaven at the right hand of God the Father, and on earth in the Blessed Sacrament.

The Seventh Article of the Creed

» Which is the seventh article of the Creed?

• “From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.”

» When will Jesus Christ come again?

• At the end of the world, to judge all men, the good and the wicked.

» What do we call the judgment that will take place at the end of the world?

• We call it the last or the general judgment.

» What do we call the judgment immediately after death?

• We call it the particular judgment.

God the Holy Ghost, and the Sanctification of the World
from the 8th Article of the Creed to the 12th inclusively

The Eighth Article of the Creed

» Which is the eighth article of the Creed?

• “I believe in the Holy Ghost.”

» Who is the Holy Ghost?

• The Holy Ghost is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God from all eternity.

» What effects does the Holy Ghost produce in this world?

• The Holy Ghost teaches and directs the Church and sanctifies mankind by His grace.

The Ninth Article of the Creed

» Which is the ninth article of the Creed?

• “The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints.”

» What did Jesus Christ do with those who believed in Him?

• He united them in a body, and this body of the faithful He called His Church.

» For whom did Jesus Christ establish his Church?

• For the people of all nations and of all times.

» What did Jesus Christ do to extend His Church everywhere?

• He chose twelve apostles, or messengers of the faith.

» Who was the chief of the twelve apostles?

• The apostle Saint Peter.

» Why was Saint Peter the chief among the apostles?

• Because Jesus Christ made him His visible representative on earth and the head of the Church.

» Who is the invisible head of the Church?

• Jesus Christ Himself.

» Who are the successors of the apostles?

• The Pope, the bishops, and the priests.

» Who is the successor of Saint Peter?

• The Bishop of Rome, who is called the Pope, or the Holy Father.

» What is the Pope?

• He is like Saint Peter the vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, and the visible head of the Church.

» Can the Pope as head of the Church err in matters of faith?

• No; for he, as the head of the Church, is infallible in matters of faith.

» Can we he saved in every religion?

• No; we can be saved only in the religion that Jesus Christ has taught.

» Where do we find this religion of Jesus Christ?

• We find it in the Roman Catholic Church.

» Why is the Roman Catholic Church the true Church of Jesus Christ?

• Because only she has the four marks of the true Church of Jesus Christ.

» What are the four marks of the true Church of Jesus Christ?

• The true Church of Jesus Christ must be: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

» How long will the Roman Catholic Church last?

• Till the end of the world.

» What is meant by the Communion of Saints?

• The spiritual union of all the members of the Church as members of one body, whose head is Jesus Christ.

» Who are the members of the Church?

• The saints in heaven, the faithful on earth, and the souls in purgatory,

The Tenth Article of the Creed

» Which is the tenth article of the Creed?

• “The forgiveness of sins.”

» Who has power to forgive sins?

• Only the Pope, the bishops, and the priests of the Roman Catholic Church.

» How are sins forgiven?

• Chiefly through the sacraments of baptism and penance.

The Eleventh Article of the Creed

» Which is the eleventh article of the Creed?

• “The resurrection of the body.”

» What is meant by the resurrection of the body?

• It means that the bodies of all men will rise from the grave and be reunited to their souls.

» When will this happen?

• On the day of general judgment.

The Twelfth Article of the Creed

» Which is the twelfth article of the Creed?

• “And life everlasting. Amen.”

» What is meant by life everlasting?

• It means that after this life a life will follow that is without end and without change.

» How many kinds of everlasting life are there?

• Two kinds; one happy, the other unhappy.

» Where is the everlasting, happy life?

• In heaven.

» Who is in heaven?

• God, the angels, and the saints.

» Who are they that go to Heaven?

• They who have either preserved their innocence or have done penance for their sins.

» Where is the everlasting, unhappy life?

• In hell.

» Who are in Hell?

• The devils and the damned.

» Who are they who go to Hell?

• They who do not die in the grace of God, that is, who die in mortal sin.

» Who are they who go to Purgatory?

• They who die in the grace of God, but who have not yet satisfied God for venial sins or for temporal punishments.

» How long do the souls remain in Purgatory?

• Till they have satisfied God’s justice.

» How can we help the souls in purgatory?

• By prayer, good works, indulgences, and principally by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

» How long will Purgatory last?

• Till the end of the world.

» What is the meaning of the word “Amen”?

• The meaning is “so be it” — “This I believe.”

CHAPTER II – CHRISTIAN HOPE AND PRAYER

» What is the second thing after faith that you must do in order to please God?

• I must hope in God.

» What must we hope to obtain from God?

• All that is necessary for our salvation.

» May we hope to obtain from God temporal goods?

• Yes; so far us they are no hindrance to our salvation.

» How do we practise this hope in God?

• Chiefly by prayer.

» What is prayer?

• It is the raising of the heart to God in order to obtain graces from Him.

» Is prayer necessary?

• Yes; because God usually does not wish to grant His graces unless He is asked by prayer.

» How must we pray?

• We must pray with devotion, with humility, with perseverance, and with confidence in the merits of Jesus Christ.

» Should we pray only to God?

• We must also pray to the saints for their intercession with God, especially should we pray to our holy patrons and to the guardian angels.

» To whom after God should we especially pray?

• To the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.

» When should we pray?

• We should pray always, especially on rising in the morning and the going to bed at night, before and after meals, when in church, and in all dangers and temptations.

» For whom should we pray?

• For ourselves, for our parents and benefactors, for the spiritual and temporal authorities, for our friends and enemies, for the living, and for the souls in purgatory.

» Which are the best prayers?

• The “Our Father” and the “Hail Mary.”

» Who taught us the “Our Father”?

• Our Lord Jesus Christ.

» Who gave us the “Hail Mary”?

• It was given to us by the Archangel Gabriel, Saint Elizabeth, and the Catholic Church.

» Say the “Our Father.”

1. Our Father who art in heaven;
2. Hallowed be Thy name;
3. Thy kingdom come;
4. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
5. Give us this day our daily bread;
6. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
7. And lead us not into temptation;
8. But deliver us from evil.
Amen.

» Say the “Hail Mary.”

1. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
2. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
3. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

CHAPTER III – CHRISTIAN CHARITY, OR THE LOVE OF GOD AND OF OUR NEIGHBOR

» Is it enough to believe in God and hope in Him?

• No; I must also love God.

» How must you love God?

• I must love God with my whole heart and above all things.

» Whom must you love besides God?

• I must also love my neighbor.

» How must you love your neighbor?

• I must love my neighbor as I love myself.

» Who is your neighbor?

• Every one, friend or enemy.

» When do you show that you love God?

• When I keep His commandments.

» How many commandments did God give to mankind?

• Ten commandments.

» When did God give to mankind the Ten Commandments?

• In the Old Testament he gave them through Moses on Mount Sinai; and in the New Testament Jesus Christ confirmed and explained them.

» Are we obliged to keep all the commandments of God?

• Yes; for God is our supreme Lord, and we must obey Him.

» Can we keep the commandments of God?

• Yes; we can keep them with the grace of God.

» Say the Ten Commandments.

1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing to adore it and to serve it.
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
3. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
4. Honor thy father and thy mother that it may be well with thee, and thou may live long on earth.
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 neighbors goods.

» Is it enough if we keep only the commandments of God?

• No; we are also obliged to keep the commandments of the Church.

» How many commandments of the Church are there?

• Chiefly six.

» Which are they?

1. Thou shalt keep holy the festival days of obligation.
2. Thou shalt devoutly hear Mass on all Sundays and Holy days of obligation.
3. Thou shalt keep fasting days and days of abstinence.
4. Thou shalt confess thy sins to a priest duly authorized, at least once a year, and receive worthily Holy Communion at Easter or within thc appointed time.
5. Thou shalt not marry within the forbidden degrees of kindred, nor solemnize marriage within the forbidden times.
6. Thou shalt contribute according to thy means to the support of the Church and of thy pastor.

CHAPTER IV – THE SACRAMENTS

» What ia a Sacrament?

• It is a visible sign, instituted by Jesus Christ, by which we receive grace and interior sanctification.

» How many Sacraments did Jesus Christ institute?

• He instituted seven Sacraments.

» Which are they?

1. Baptism
2. Confirmation
3. Holy Eucharist
4. Penance
5. Extreme Unction
6. Holy Orders
7. Matrimony

Baptism

» Which is the first and most necessary Sacrament?

• Baptism is the first and most necessary Sacrament.

» Why is Baptism the first Sacrament?

• Because before Baptism no other sacrament can be validly received.

» Why is Baptism the most necessary Sacrament?

• Because without Baptism no one can be saved.

» Why can we not be saved without Baptism?

• Because we arc cleansed from original sin only by Baptism.

» What is Baptism?

• Baptism is a Sacrament in which, by water and the word of God, we arc cleansed from all sin, and are born again to eternal life in Christ.

» What effect has Baptism on man?

• He is made a child of God, an heir of heaven, and a Christian.

» In case of necessity who may baptize?

• Any person may baptize.

» How do we baptize?

• We pour water on the head of the person to be baptized and at the same time say: “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

» How often can we be baptized?

• Only once.

Confirmation

» What is Confirmation?

• Confirmation is a Sacrament in which the bishop, by laying on his hands and anointing with holy chrism, communicates to the baptized person the Holy Ghost, that his faith may be strengthened.

» Who are the ordinary and lawful ministers of Confirmation?

• Only Catholic bishops.

» Which graces do we receive in Confirmation?

• The grace to profess our faith steadfastly, and the grace to live according to it.

» Who can receive Confirmation?

• Every baptized person.

» How often can Confirmation he received?

• Only once.

Holy Eucharist

» What is the Holy Eucharist?

• The Holy Eucharist is the true Body and the true Blood of oiir Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine.

» When did Jesus Christ institute the Blessed Eucharist?

• On Holy Thursday at the Last Supper.

» How did Jesus Christ institute the Blessed Eucharist?

• He took bread, blessed it and said: “This is My Body.”

» What became of the bread when these words were said?

• The bread was changed into the Body of Jesus Christ.

» What did Jews Christ do afterwards?

• He took the chalice with wine, blessed it and said: “This is My Blood.”

» What became of the wine when these words were said?

• The wine was changed into the Blood of Jesus Christ.

» What do we call the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine?

• The Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Sacred Host, or the Viaticum.

» Why did Jesus Christ institute the Blessed Eucharist?

• That it should be the perpetual Sacrifice of the New Law, and the spiritual nourishment of our soul.

» In how many ways did Jesus Christ offer Himself?

• In two ways: in a bloody and in an unbloody manner.

» When did Jesus Christ offer Himself in a bloody manner?

• At His death on the Cross.

» When did Jesus Christ offer Himself in an unbloody manner?

• At the Last Supper; and this He always does at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

» To whom did Jesus Christ give the power to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as He offered it?

• To the apostles and to their lawful successors, the Catholic bishops and priests.

» What, then, happens during the Sacrifice of the Mass?

• Jesus Christ offers Himself for us to His heavenly Father by the hands of the priest.

» Which are the chief parts of the Mass?

• The Offertory, the Consecration, and the Communion.

» What takes place at the Offertory?

• The priest offers to God the bread and wine that are afterwards consecrated.

» What takes place at the Consecration?

• By the words of consecration the priest changes the bread and wine into the true Body and into the true Blood of Jesus Christ.

» What lakes place at the Communion?

• The priest consumes the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and gives Holy Communion to all those who wish to receive It.

» What do people receive when they receive Holy Communion?

• The living Body of Jesus Christ.

» How should we be prepared in order to receive Holy Communion?

• We should be in the state of grace, should be fasting, and should be devout.

» What should we do during the Sacrifice of the Mass?

• In union with the priest we should offer Jesus Christ to His heavenly Father.

» Of what should we especially think during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

• Of the sufferings and the death of Jesus Christ.

Penance or Confession

» What is the Sacrament of Penance or Confession?

• It is the Sacrament in which the priest as God’s representative forgives the sins which the sinner has committed after Baptism, if he confesses them with sorrow.

» When did Jesus Christ institute this Sacrament?

• After His Resurrection when He said to His apostles: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” (John 20:22,23)

» To whom is the Sacrament of Penance necessary?

• To all those who have fallen into sin after Baptism.

» What must we do before Confession?

• We must pray to the Holy Ghost, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to the saints for their help.

» About what should we examine our conscience?

• About the sins that we committed since our last confession in thought, word or deed, and in omission of the good works that we are (}bliged to perform.

» What must we do above all to obtain forgiveness of our sins?

• We must be sorry for all our sins.

» Why must we be sorry for our sins?

• Because by sin we have offended God, the supreme and most amiable Good; have lost heaven and deserved hell.

» What must we resolve to do?

• We must firmly resolve with the grace of God to avoid every sin and every dangerous occasion, and to lead a good life.

» What must we confess?

• All grievous sins together with their number and circumstances.

» What must we do when we enter the Confessional?

• We should kneel down, make the Sign of the Cross and say:
Bless me Father, for I have sinned; it has been (Here mention the length of time.) since my last confession. These are my sins: (Here mention your sins afterwards adding;) For these and all the sins of my past life I am heartily sorry especially for: (Give some particular sin you are particularly sorry for.)

» What should we then say?

• We should say the Act of Contrition in a tone that can be heard by the priest.
An Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

» What does the priest do then?

• He first gives an advice, then enjoins a penance, and gives us absolution.

» What happens if our confession is without true contrition, or if we conceal a mortal sin?

• We make a bad confession.

» What must we do after confession?

• We must say our penance and do all that the confessor has told us to do.

» Why does the priest give us a penance?

• That we may satisfy for the temporal punishment which we have deserved by committing sin.

» How is the temporal punishment also remitted?

• By gaining Indulgences.

» Why is the temporal punishment remitted by Indulgences?

• Because the Church offers satisfaction for us to the divine justice.

» How does she offer this satisfaction?

• Out of the treasures, intrusted to her, of the merits of Jesus Christ and of His saints.

» What is necessary to gain an indulgence?

• We must be in the state of grace, and perform with exactness the good works prescribed.

Extreme Unction

» What is Extreme Unction?

• It is a Sacrament in which by the anointing with holy oil and by the prayer of tlie priest the sick person in danger of death receives the grace of God for the good of the soul, and often also of the body.

» How is Extreme Unction administered?

• The priest prays over the sick person and anoints him with holy oil.

» What effects does Extreme Unction produce in the soul?

• It strengthens the soul for the struggle of death, and remits those sins wliich the sick person is unable to confess.

» Who can and should receive Extreme Unction?

• Every Catholic who has come to the use of reason, and is dangerously ill.

» How often can Extreme Unction be received?

• As often as we become dangerously ill.

Holy Orders

» What is the Sacrament of Holy Orders?

• Holy Orders is a Sacrament in which chosen men receive the powers and the grace of the priesthood, that they may faithfully discharge its duties.

» Which is the highest power given by Holy Orders?

• The power of the bishops, and of the priests.

» What power is given to the priest?

• To offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to administer the Sacraments, and to preach.

» Who can ordain priests?

• Only the bishops.

Matrimony

» What is Matrimony?

• It is a Sacrament by when Christians enter the marriage state, and receive the grace to live together in a holy manner, and to bring up their children in the fear of God.

» Who may receive this Sacrament?

• Only single persons, a man and a woman, who arc free from every impediment of marriage.

» How long do man and wife remain married?

• Until one of them dies.

CHAPTER V – CHRISTIAN JUSTICE

» In what does Christian justice consist?

• It consists in avoiding evil and in doing good.

Avoid Evil

» Which is the greatest evil in the world?

• Sin.

» Why is sin the greatest evil in the world?

• Because it offends God, and hurts the soul.

» When do we commit sin?

• When we wilfully violate a commandment of God.

» How do we commit sin?

• In thoughts, words and actions, and by the omission of the good that we are obliged to do.

» Are all sins equally great?

• No; for there are mortal sins and venial sins.

» How does God punish mortal sin?

• He punishes it by the everlasting torments of hell.

» How does God punish venial sin?

• He punishes it in this life by all kinds of temporal evils, and after death by the torments of purgatory.

Do Good

» Is it enough only to avoid sin?

• No; we must also do good.

» When do we do good?

• When we practise virtues or perform good works.

» How many kinds of virtues are there?

• There are theological or divine, and moral virtues.

» Which are the theological virtues?

• These three:
1. Faith
2. Hope
3. Charity

» Which are the chief moral virtues?

• These four:
1. Prudence
2. Justice
3. Fortitude
4. Temperance.

» Which are the principal good works?

• These three:
1. Prayer
2. Fasting
3. Almsgiving.

» How does God reward the good that we do?

• In this life by all kinds of temporal happiness, if it be useful for our souls, and after death by the eternal joys of heaven.