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 1 to 4 ⇓

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Lessons 5 to 8 ⇓

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Lessons 9 to 12 ⇓

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Lesson 1: The End of Man

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Glossary

Creator: “Creator” is the name given to someone who creates – one who makes something out of nothing. This name can only be given to God.

To know God: To know that God IS; to know what His perfections are and what He wants us to do.

To love God: To unite with Him and seek to please Him.

To serve God: To obey His holy Will by doing what He commands.

Eternity: A duration that never ends. More exactly, an infinite relationship with God.

Lesson 2: God and His Perfections

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Glossary

Spirit: A being that has no body and cannot be perceived by the senses. A spirit cannot be seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, smelled with the nose, tasted with the mouth, or touched with the hands.

Infinitely perfect: There is no flaw in God. Every imaginable quality is in Him, to absolute perfection.

God is everywhere: He is not confined to any place, no matter how great we can imagine it. He is in Heaven, on earth, in all places.

God is just: God gives to each one what is due to him, without causing harm to anyone and by a free effect of His Infinite Love.

God is merciful: God has a heart that has mercy on the unfortunate. He loves us and seeks to forgive us. He does everything to save us.

God is holy: God is infinitely perfect. He is the source of all love and Holiness. All that is evil is not, nor does it exist in God. God is infinite Goodness, Truth, Life and Beauty.

Lesson 3: The Unity and Trinity of God

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Glossary

Supreme Being: God is the Supreme Being because He is superior to all other beings, since He is their Creator.

Infinite: Without any limit. We say that the three divine Persons are distinct to show that They cannot be intermingled.

The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. The three divine Persons are equal in all things. This means that They have the same qualities, the same attributes. One is not more God than the Other. The three divine Persons have one and the same nature.

This means that They are one single Being and that They are not each an independent, separate Being. In other words, they are one and the same Essence.

Sovereign: One who is above all; supreme.

Christian: One who believes in Christ and keeps His Word.

Lesson 4: Creation

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Glossary

Angel: This word means “sent” or “messenger”. Angels are spirits, which means that they have no body.

Evil: Here the word “evil” means sin, which is the greatest of all evils. It can also mean illnesses and accidents which can affect us in our body or our mind, and which the Guardian Angels often ward off.

To respect the presence of our Guardian Angel: Do nothing wrong out of respect for our good Angel who assists us.

To show our gratitude to our Guardian Angel: Thank him for the good he does to us.

To invoke our Guardian Angel: Pray to him to come to our help in our needs of soul and body.

Temptation: The desire or thought of doing a bad, sinful thing. It becomes a sin when we consent to it.

Lesson 5: Our First Parents and their Fall

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Glossary

Adam: This name means “made of earth”.

Eve: This name means “mother of the living”.

Descendants: We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, meaning they are the ancestors of all human beings from the beginning of the world to the present day.

To test their obedience: God wanted to give Adam and Eve the opportunity to show the measure of their love for Him by being faithful and docile to His commands. God also wanted them to understand that they had a superior Master in Him, who had all rights over them.

Original: This word means “at the same time as our origin”, that is, at the beginning of Creation. This is how we may summarize the chastisements inflicted on Adam and Eve as punishment for their sin of pride, disobedience and insubordination:

1. They lost the state of grace and the privilege of being called children of God.
2. They were banished from earthly Paradise.
3. They were condemned to suffer and die.
4. They were condemned to transmit their sin and its evil consequences to all their children.
5. They lost order, that is, harmony in their intelligence, their will and their senses.
6. From the moment sin was committed, all human beings are inclined to evil.

Lesson 6: Sin and the different kinds of Sin

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Glossary

Sin: Sin is any disobedience to God. It is necessarily a lack of love.

Mortal: The word mortal here means “death-dealing”. Saying that mortal sin gives death to the soul does not mean that a soul in the state of mortal sin is actually dead; our soul is immortal, so it cannot cease to live or exist. By this word, we understand that mortal sin deprives the soul of the state of grace and makes it incapable of performing meritorious works for Heaven, like a dead person who can no longer act on earth.

State of grace: Having no mortal sin in one’s soul. Living by the life of God; grace is the supernatural “life” of the soul.

Grave matter: Involving something very serious, an important point of the Law of God.

Light matter: A less important point of the Law of God.

With reflection: Knowing that what one is doing is very wrong.

With full consent of the will: Doing evil on purpose, though it is possible not to do it.

Age of reason: The age when one becomes capable of distinguishing between good and evil.

Sin of thought: A sin that takes place only in the mind without manifesting itself externally through actions – a thought of pride, jealousy, etc.

Sin of word: A sin that one commits by saying things which offend God and neighbor – lying, blasphemy, backbiting, etc.

Sin of deed: A sin that one commits by doing outwardly something which offends God and neighbor – injuring, killing, stealing, etc.

Sin of omission: A sin that one commits by not doing something which God commands – not loving one’s parents, not praying, not defending the rights of God, etc.

Lesson 7: The Capital Sins and opposed Virtues

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Glossary

Capital:  The term “capital” given to each of these sins does not mean that these sins are in themselves more serious than the others.  By this word, which means “head” or “chief”, we understand that a capital sin is one which leads to other sins.

Lesson 8: The Incarnation and the Redemption

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Glossary

Incarnation: This term comes from two Latin words which mean “in the flesh”.

Miracle: A sensible phenomenon which is beyond the power of nature and which only God can do.

Bethlehem: This name means “House of Bread”.

Lesson 9: The Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord

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Glossary

Agony of Jesus: This is the sorrowful state in which He found Himself in the Garden of Olives, also called the Garden of Gethsemani.

Garden of Olives: A garden or grove planted with olive trees near the city of Jerusalem.

Opprobrium: Insults, offenses, coarse remarks, indignities, abuse. Covered with opprobrium means to receive countless insults, etc.

Scourging: Flogging, beating with whips or rods.

Descended into hell: This does not refer to the place inhabited by the demons and the damned. Here the term hell refers to the lower parts of the earth (inferi in Latin), also called limbo (in Latin edge, meaning “the edge of hell”), where the souls of the Just who died before Jesus Christ awaited the grace of redemption. By His suffering and death, Christ reopened the gates of Heaven, into which He brought the souls of the Just.

Resurrected: Having come back from death to life; risen.

Pasch: Derived from a word meaning passage. The Jews celebrated the Pasch, or Passover, in remembrance of the passage of the Exterminating Angel which was the sign of their deliverance from captivity. The Apostles established the Christian feast of Easter (called Pascha in Aramaic) in remembrance of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, of His passage from death to life, the sign of our salvation. Jesus Christ rose on the third day: Not three days after His death. Resurrected by His almighty power: Our Lord resurrected Himself without needing anyone, because He is God Almighty.

Lesson 10: The Holy Spirit, His Descent upon the Apostles

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Glossary

Proceed from: To “come from”.

Pentecost: Derived from a Greek word meaning “fiftieth”. This term was given to the day of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Blessed Virgin and the Apostles because that event took place fifty days after the Resurrection of Our Lord.

Strengthen the Apostles: The Holy Spirit increased (strengthened) the courage of the Apostles, because before they received the Holy Spirit, the Apostles were fearful and cowardly. After the death of Jesus they had remained hidden for fear of being mistreated and put to death like their Master.

Sanctify the Church: The Holy Spirit endowed the Apostles with the grace of moving men to love the virtues taught by Our Lord which sanctify them, make them holy.

Lesson 11: The Effects of the Redemption

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Glossary

Virtue: from the Latin “vir”, which means “energetic man”. Virtue is a good disposition of the soul acquired often by great efforts, which becomes a healthy habit of our heart, and inspires our actions, attitudes, reactions. It is in the trial that true virtue manifests itself.

Grace: from the Latin “gratia” which means “favor”. Grace is a free gift that God gives us; we do not deserve it.

Lesson 12: The Effects of the Redemption (cont.) - The Theological Virtues

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Glossary

Theological: This qualifier given to the virtues of faith, hope and charity, comes from two Greek words, one meaning “God” and the other “speech”. The theological virtues are the virtues that have God as their object.

Faith: from the Latin “fides”, the word “faith” means “belief”. Faith is called divine or supernatural because it is a virtue that we cannot obtain by our own strength. And also because its object is supernatural, divine: God.

Hope: from the Latin “sperare”, which means “to hope”. God being the only object worthy of all our hope, and who alone can fill it perfectly, the virtue of hope makes us expect from Him supernatural goods and especially eternal happiness.

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

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“I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.”

Holy Scripture, Proverbs 8:17

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.”

Saint Augustine