Despite everything, man, though but a small a part of your creation, wants to praise you. You yourself encourage him to delight in your praise, for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.
– St. Augustine
To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world. We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who teaches us through the Catholic Church.1
The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.
In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behavior: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth.2
For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. – John 3:16
By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. But there is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers: the order of divine Revelation.
Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. 3
We find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church in 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 arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth 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 Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
The 2 Greatest Commandments
The two great commandments that contain the whole law of God are:
- Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength;
- Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
To love God, our neighbor, and ourselves we must keep the commandments of God and of the Church, and perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. We should not be satisfied merely to keep the commandments of God, but should always be ready to do good deeds, even when they are not commanded.4
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 care for the sick
- To visit the imprisoned
- To bury the dead
The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy
- To share knowledge
- To give advice to those who need it
- To comfort the suffering
- To be patient with others
- To forgive those who hurt you
- To give correction to those who need it
- To pray for the living and the dead
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are more than simply rules and laws. They are a foundation of moral teaching and shape our obligations as Christians in relationship to God. The Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai after exiting Egypt. These Commandments were the rules that God expected the Hebrews to follow and they are also the rules that we are to follow. Today the teachings of the Ten Commandments are just as powerful and binding as they were when they were written.
- I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
- Remember thou keep holy the Lord’s day.
- Honor thy father and thy mother.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- 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.
The 3 Eminent Good Works
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 Church
The Nicene Creed
factórem coeli et terræ,
visibílium ómnium et in visibílium.
Et in unum Dóminum Iesum Christum,
Fílium Dei unigénitum.
Et ex Patre natum ante ómnia saecula.
Deum de Deo, lumen de lúmine,
Deum verum de Deo vero.
Génitum, non factum, consubstantiálem Patri:
per quem ómnia facta sunt.
Qui propter nos hómines et propter nostram salútem descéndit de coelis.
Et incarnátus est de Spíritu Sancto ex María Vírgine:
Et homo factus est.
Crucifíxus étiam pro nobis: sub Póntio Piláto passus, et sepúltus est.
Et resurréxit tértia die, secúndum Scriptúras.
Et ascéndit in coelum: sedet ad déxteram Patris.
Et íterum ventúrus est cum glória
iudicáre vivos et mórtuos:
cuius regni non erit finisEt in Spíritum Sanctum, Dóminum et vivificántem:
qui ex Patre Filióque procédit.
Qui cum Patre et Fílio simul adorátur et conglorificátur:
qui locútus est per Prophétas.Et unam sanctam cathólicam et apostolicam Ecclésiam.
Confíteor unum baptísma in remissiónem peccatórum.
Et exspécto resurrectiónem mortuórum.
Et vitam ventúri saeculi.
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
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.
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.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Counsel/Right Judgment
- Fortitude /Courage
- Piety /Reverence
- Fear of the Lord/Awe and Wonder
The 3 Theological Virtues
- Love (Charity)
The 4 Cardinal Virtues
The 8 Beatitudes
These are teachings of Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount in which he describes the attitudes and actions that should characterize his disciples and followers. They can be seen as blueprints for living an authentic Christian life.Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
- 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