All Things Catholic

"You either belong wholly to the world or wholly to God."
St. John Vianney

“What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.” – Pope Saint John Paul II The most extraordinary and profound truth is that God’s love for you is beyond anything that you can imagine. As a Catholic Christian, it is essential that you accept and understand this wonderful truth. God loves you regardless of your past or your sins. Jesus died to save all of us from sin and spiritual death; He loves you so very much that if you were the only person in need of salvation, He would lay down His life just for you. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13. Without accepting God’s invitation to have a deep and loving relationship with Him,
nothing else that you do will make much sense. First and foremost, you are loved, chosen, and called into communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All that you become depends upon your willingness to accept God’s grace, to enter into a love relationship with Him,
and to be transformed into a more faith filled, knowledgeable, cherished, intimate, and loving member of the body of Christ, the Church.

The Great Commandment

The Ten Commandments are fulfilled in Jesus’ Great Commandment: “You shall love…God with
all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength….You shall love
your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31

The New Commandment

Before his death on the cross, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment: “Love one
another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” John 13:34

THE HOLY EUCHARIST – (HOLY COMMUNION)
1) The bread and wine of the Eucharist becomes the true transubstantiated body and blood
of Christ. It is not a mere symbol.
2) The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ Jesus.
3) The reception of Holy Communion is the center of Catholic Faith.
4) Communion is by definition to be in union with God and with His Church, to be one in
faith.
5) To receive Communion, a person must be a practicing Catholic in the state of grace.
6) Only an ordained Catholic priest, in the person of Jesus Christ, the High Priest, can
transform bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.

THE SIX TRUTHS
To be known and believed by all.
1) There is one God, who created, who preserves and governs all things.
2) God is a just Judge, who rewards the good and punishes the wicked.
3) In God there are three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
4) The Second Person, Jesus Christ, became man and died on the cross to save us.
5) The soul of man is immortal.
6) Grace is necessary for salvation.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD

1) I am the Lord thy God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of
bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me. Thou shalt not make to yourself a
graven thing, not the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of
those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them nor serve them.
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.
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 goods.

THE EIGHT BEATITUDES
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.
3. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall be filled.
5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
6. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
7. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.
8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

THE SIX PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH
1) To attend Mass on Sundays and Holy days of obligation.
2) To fast and abstain on the days appointed.
3) To confess at least once a year.
4) To receive the Most Blessed Sacrament during the Easter time.
5) To contribute to the support of our pastors.
6) Matrimony is a Sacrament between one Man and one Woman. It provides grace to the couple and the Church helps prepare couples for the Sacrament.

THE SIX HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION
1) *January 1 – Mary, Mother of God.
2) Ascension – 40 days after Easter
3) *August 15 – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
4) *November 1 – The feast of All-Saints.
5) December 8 – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin.
6) December 25 – Christmas
*If on a Monday or Saturday – No Obligation in the USA

THE FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES
Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance

THE THREE EMINENT GOOD WORKS or SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Prayer, Fasting, Alms-giving

THE THREE EVANGELICAL COUNSELS. (Vows taken by most religious in order to more perfectly serve the Church)
Voluntary Poverty, Perpetual Chastity, Obedience

THE CHIEF CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
1) To feed the hungry
2) To give drink to the thirsty
3) To clothe the naked
4) To ransom the captive
5) To harbor the harborless
6) To visit the sick
7) To bury the dead

THE CHIEF SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
1) To admonish the sinners
2) To instruct the ignorant
3) To counsel the doubtful
4) To comfort the sorrowful
5) To bear wrongs patiently
6) To forgive injuries
7) To pray for the living and the dead

THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord

THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS

1) Baptism
2) Confirmation
3) Holy Eucharist
4) Penance
5) Anointing of the Sick
6) Holy Order

THE TWELVE FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, benignity, Goodness, Long-Suffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty,
Continence, Chastity

Love the Fight Not the Fall: Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed. Slowly but surely, we may tire of our defects and their effects. The constant, on-going battle to follow Christ may slowly wear us down. The path to perfection in the virtues is surely full of rewards, but it has its
share of wear-and-tear. But it does not matter if we fall a thousand times, as long as we love the fight and not the fall. It therefore makes no sense to despair, especially when we fight with Christ on our side. The effort of a prolonged battle can please Christ more than an easy and
comfortable victory. Christ reminds us: He will suffer greatly, be rejected and killed, and everyone who wants to be his disciple must take up his cross and follow him.

SIN

From The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Reference Catechism of the Catholic Church

1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal
and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,129 became part of the tradition of the
Church. It is corroborated by human experience.
1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it
turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an
inferior good to him. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and
wounds it.
1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us – that is, charity – necessitates anew initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished
within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation.
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin
whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and
deliberate consent.”131

BAPTISMAL VOWS
“I renounce Satan. I renounce all his works. I renounce all his pomps.”
By these words, we renounce all suggestions and snares of the evil one, all deliberate sins, all
the follies and vanities of worldly-minded men and women.

THE SEVEN CAPITAL SINS AND THEIR OPPOSING VIRTUES
1) Pride – Humility
2) Covetousness – Liberality
3) Lust – Chastity
4) Anger – Meekness
5) Gluttony – Temperance
6) Envy – Brotherly Love
7) Sloth – Diligence

THE FOUR CONDITIONS FOR FORGIVENESS OF SIN
On the part of the Penitent: Contrition, Confession, Satisfaction.
On the part of the Confessor: Absolution

THE SIX SINS AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT
Presumption of God’s mercy, Despair, Resisting the known truth,
Envy at another’s spiritual good, Obstinacy in sin, Final Impenitence

THE NINE WAYS OF BEING AN ACCESSORY TO ANOTHER’S SINS
1) By Counsel
2) By Command
3) By Consent
4) By Provocation
5) By Praise or Flattery
6) By Concealment
7) By Taking Part in the sin
8) By Silence
9) By Defending the evil

THE TWELVE APOSTLES

Peter

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. Symbols: the Keys; upside-down Latin Cross; book. Relics: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. Feast: June 29 (along with St. Paul); August 1 (St. Peter’s Chains).

Andrew

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. Symbols: X-shaped Cross; anchor; fish; fishing net. Relics: Cathedral of Amalfi, Italy, and in St. Andrew’s Church, Patras, Greece. 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. Symbols: seashells; pilgrim’s staff; scroll; book; floppy hat; trampling a Moor; mounted on horseback. Relics: Compostela, Spain. Feast: July 25.

John

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. Relics: Basilica of St. John, Ephesus, Turkey. Feast: December 27.

Philip

Preached in Hieropolis in Asia (?); relics at church of the Dodici Apostoli in Rome, Italy. Symbols: basket of loaves; T-shaped Cross. Relics: Holy Apostles Basilica, Rome, Italy. Feast: May 11 (with St. James the Less)

Bartholomew

Preached in India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, shores of the Black Sea (?); flayed alive and crucified, head downward in Albanopolis in Armenia. Symbols: tanner’s knife; flayed skin. Relics: St. Bartholomew-in-the-Island, Rome, Italy. Feast: August 24.

Matthew

“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 (?). Martyred by sword. Symbols: angel/man/winged man holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins, money bag, money box, or purse; spear; sword; halberd; lance. Relics: Cathedral of Salerno, Salerno, Italy. Feast: September 21.

Thomas

“Didymus,” meaning “Twin”; familiarly (not Scripturally) known as “Doubting Thomas”; preached in India; pierced through with spears by four soldiers at Syriac Mazdai. Symbols: T-square; spear. Relics: Basilica of St. Thomas, Ortono, Italy, and Santhome Cathedral, Chennai, India. 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. Relics: Holy Apostles Basilica, Rome, Italy. Feast: May 11 (with St. Philip)

Jude

“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. Relics: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. Feast: October 28 (with St. Simon).

Simon

“Simon the Zealot” or “Simon the Canaanite.” Symbols: fish(es); man being sawn in two longitudinally; saw; lance. Relics: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. Feast: October 28 (with St. Jude).

Judas Iscariot

Replaced after his suicide by Matthias (St. Matthias’s Feast: February 24).

Notes: 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 word “apostle” means “one who is sent.” Notice that two of the 12 Apostles — Matthew and John — also belong to the group of the 4 Evangelists (the men who each wrote one of the four Gospels). The other two Evangelists — Mark and Luke — were students of Simon Peter and Paul, respectively, and were not sent directly by Christ. Paul is often referred to as “Apostle Paul” — specifically the “Apostle to the Gentiles”, — because he, too, was sent by Christ, but he is not one of the original 12 Apostles. All of these men (the 12 Apostles, St. Paul, the Evangelists) can — along with “the seventy disciples” spoken of in Luke 10, the women who followed Christ, and men like Timothy and Apollo — be called “disciples,” which indicates “student.”

THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

In order of their birth:

Reuben
Simeon
Levi
Judah
Zabulon
Issachar
Dan
Gad
Asher
Naphtali
Joseph (Menasseh and Ephraim)
Benjamin

THE FOURTEEN 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 Tomb

THE SEVEN 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 NINE CHOIRS OF ANGELS

In ascending order

Angels
Archangels
Principalities
Powers
Virtues
Dominions
Thrones
Cherubim
Seraphim

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 Dominions: 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:

  • Uriel;
  • Raguel;
  • Sariel; and
  • Jeramiel. 

A mnemonic to help you remember the Nine Choirs of Angels:
AN ARmy PRizefighter POker VIrtuoso DOminated THe CHampionship SEries

THE ORDER OF CREATION

1st Day:

A dividing of light from darkness brings forth Heaven and a formless, water-covered Earth, then Light

2nd Day:

A dividing of the waters above from the waters below to create the Firmament of Heaven

3rd Day:

A dividing of the waters under the heavens to form dry land; then grass, herbs, and fruit trees

4th Day:

Sun, Moon and Stars

5th Day:

Creatures of the waters and of the air

6th Day:

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, in the strict sense, it is actually rather blasphemous to refer to man as “creating” anything (“create” and “creation” have come to have everyday meanings, so don’t be ridiculous about that). 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 Stars
Day 2 the Firmament/waters Day 5 birds to fill the firmament, and fish to fill the waters
Day 3 dry land Day 6 land animals and man