Catechism Lessons

according to the Tradition of the Gospel and the Church

“Go, teach all nations...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ,
St. Matthew 28:19-20

Lessons 13 to 16 ⇓

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Lessons 17 to 20 ⇓

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Lessons 21 to 24 ⇓

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Lesson 13: The Theological Virtues cont.

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Charity: from the Latin “caritas”, which means “tenderness”. St. John the Evangelist described God with these words: Deus caritas est, God is charity. God is the only object worthy of all our love and He alone can fulfill every need of our heart and soul. St. Augustine says, “You created us for You O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest all in You.”

The more we are filled with Christian charity, the more we become like God. The word charity is synonymous with the word love. The virtue of charity is the queen of all virtues and all virtues are worthless if they are not inspired by love.

Lesson 14: The Church

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Church: from the Latin “eclesia”, which means “assembly of the faithful”.

Society: In this context, the word means “together, meeting”.

To profess the faith of Jesus Christ is to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God made man; and to believe all the truths that He has taught us. It is to live according to the examples and maxims He has given us in His Gospel.

Legitimate Pastors are those who have received from God the right to lead us in the fulfillment of Christian duties. They are: The Father of Christianity, the bishops and the priests.

The Supreme Pontiff is the head of all pontiffs or bishops.

The word bishop comes from the Christian Latin “episcopus” and means “head of a diocese”. The word “episkopos”, from the ancient Greek, means “one who watches over”. For the bishop must be a vigilant watchman to watch over the priests, the faithful, and guard them as a good shepherd guards his flock.

Lesson 15: The Attributes and Powers of the Church

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Infallibility comes from a Latin word and designates the impossibility of deceiving oneself and others.

Truths of faith are truths that we are obliged to believe in order to be saved.

Truths of morality are those truths that have to do with what we must do or avoid in order to be saved.

By marks of the Church, it is necessary to understand the signs with which one can distinguish the Church founded by Jesus Christ, from the Churches founded by men.

Lesson 16: The Sacraments in general

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The word sacrament is borrowed from the religious Latin “sacramentum” which means “sacred thing”.

A sensible sign is a sign that falls under our senses, that is to say that we perceive easily by our physical faculties.

Instituted means: established.

The word virtue here means: power, might.

To give sinners the grace of justification means to make them righteous or holy by restoring to them the sanctifying grace which they had lost through sin.

Sacramental means: proper to the sacrament.

Lesson 17: Baptism

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The word baptism comes from the Christian Greek “baptismos” which means: the action of plunging into water to wash away original sin.

By natural water, we mean water as it is found in nature. Rainwater, sea water, river water, pond water, spring water, melted snow, is natural water.

By the works of the devil, it is necessary to understand all kinds of sins, because evil is the work of the devil as much as good is the work of God. And also it is necessary to imply all that comes from the pride of the man.

By the pomps of the devil, we must understand the vanities of the world, that is to say all that distracts men from the service and love of God, such as the attachment to riches and honors.

Maxims are wrong if what they command is wrong, e.g., “Above all, one must become rich.” “One must enjoy life and give oneself all possible pleasures to be happy.” etc.

The names godfather and godmother mean: spiritual parents.

Lesson 18: Confirmation

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See: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

See: The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The word confirmation comes from the Christian Latin “confirmatio” which means “strengthening”. This name designates well the effect of this sacrament which is to strengthen in souls the grace of baptism.

The strength that is given to us by confirmation is a strength of the soul and not of the body.

Peace, a fruit of the Holy Spirit, is the reward for the works accomplished and the sufferings endured for God.

To know the nature of confirmation is to know what it produces in our souls.

Lesson 19: The Effects of Confirmation

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By wisdom, children usually mean the opposite of dissipation; that is not the meaning of the word here. Wisdom, a gift of the Holy Spirit, means “proper appreciation”. Of the seven gifts, wisdom is the highest because it is the lived balance of the hierarchy of values, and self-knowledge in relation to God.

Intelligence helps us to distinguish good from evil through the teachings and counsels of the Gospel.

The gift of fortitude is also a particular grace to be able to persevere in the accomplishment of God’s will. It gives us the courage to overcome obstacles.

The knowledge that Confirmation gives us is a supernatural science, not a natural science.

The word piety comes from the Latin word “pius” which means: one who diligently fulfills his duties towards God and his neighbor. This piety is based on generosity and honesty of heart.

By the things of God, we mean: the truths of the Faith, prayer, religious services, the sacraments, etc.

To savor the things of God is to love them, to seek them, to delight in them, etc.

Conferred means “given”.

Lesson 20: The Sacrament of Penance

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The word penance comes from the Latin “paenitens” which means: one who feels regret and repentance.

To remit sins means: to erase them, to forgive them.

Absolution comes from the Christian Latin “absolutio”, action of discharging. To absolve, from the Latin “solvere”, to dissolve.

To withhold sins is to refuse to grant forgiveness.

To prepare oneself to receive the sacrament of Penance, is to dispose oneself by recollection and contrition, to receive the sacrament of Penance well.

We call particular duties of one’s state what each one is required to do according to the condition in which he lives and according to the responsibilities with which he is charged.

Lesson 21: Contrition

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The word “contrition” comes from the Christian Latin “contritio” and means: deep sorrow, crushed heart. This word expresses well the feeling felt by the Christian who has a sincere repentance for his faults, a great sorrow for offending God.

By the word “heartily”, which is used in the Act of Contrition, we express that our regret for having sinned is lively and deep.

Mortal sin is the greatest of all misfortunes because it endangers our eternal salvation.

Lesson 22: Confession and Satisfaction

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The word “humble”, from the Latin “humilis” means: close to the earth. Through humility we recognize that God is everything, and that we are nothing. God is beauty, goodness, infinite Love and we, we are capable of all sins. The good that is in us comes from the pure goodness of God towards us.

The word “sincere”, from the Latin “sinceritas” means: purity. Our contrition is sincere when it is not inspired by a selfish motive. Sincere contrition is the sorrow of offending God, infinitely good and lovable.

The word “whole” means that our contrition must extend to all our sins.

Lesson 23: How to Make a Good Confession

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The word “Confiteor” is a Latin word that means “I admit, I confess” my sins.

Lesson 24: Indulgences

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Indulgence, from the Latin “indulgentia” means: forgiveness or remission of sin.

Partial remission means: only a part of the temporal punishment due to the sin is forgiven.

Plenary means: fully remitted. That is, the whole temporal punishment due to the sin is remitted, so that the one who would die immediately after having won a plenary indulgence would not go to purgatory for one moment but would go straight to heaven. But one never knows when an indulgence is earned with this degree of perfection.

The merits of Jesus Christ are the price of the actions of His life, His works, His prayers, His sufferings and His death. It is therefore an infinite price.

The satisfactions of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints are their acts of penance and love of God on earth and generally all their good works.

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“When you consider the goal with great love, you enter the career with great courage.”

Saint Augustine