Basic Catholic Doctrine:
Baltimore Catechism No. 2, Lessons 1-10

Revised Edition; Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1941

The Baltimore Catechism, which had been taught and revered by Catholics in the U.S. for many years, has been replaced in the modern Conciliar Church with humanistic, ecumenical teaching.


Lesson 1 — The Purpose of Man’s Existence

1. Who made us?
God made us.

In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. (Genesis 1:1)

2. Who is God?
God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, who made all things and keeps them in existence.

In him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)

3. Why did God make us?
God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven.

Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those who love him. (I Corinthians 2:9)

4. What must we do to gain the happiness of heaven?
To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world.

Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth; where the rust and moth consume and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

5. From whom do we learn to know, love, and serve God?
We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who teaches us through the Catholic Church.

I have come a light into the world that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. (John 12:46)

6. Where do we find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church?
We find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church in the Apostles’ Creed.

He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. (Luke 10:16)

7. 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 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.

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Lesson 2 — God and His Perfections

"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth ..."

8. What do we mean when we say that God is the Supreme Being?
When we say that God is the Supreme Being we mean that He is above all creatures, the self-existing and infinitely perfect Spirit.

I am the First, and I am the Last, and besides me there is no God. (Isaias 44:6)

9. What is a spirit?
A spirit is a being that has understanding and free will, but no body, and will never die.

To whom then have you likened God? Or what image will you make for Him? (Isaias 40:18)

10. What do we mean when we say that God is self-existing?
When we say that God is self-existing we mean that He does not owe His existence to any other being.

I am who am. (Exodus 3:14)

11. What do we mean when we say that God is infinitely perfect?
When we say that God is infinitely perfect we mean that He has all perfections without limit.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and of his greatness there is no end. (Psalm 144:3)

12. What are some of the perfections of God?
Some of the perfections of God are: God is eternal, all-good, all-knowing, all-present, and almighty.

13. What do we mean when we say that God is eternal?
When we say that God is eternal we mean that He always was and always will be, and always remains the same. "

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. (Apocalypse 1:8)

14. What do we mean when we say that God is all-good?
When we say that God is all-good we mean that He is infinitely lovable in Himself, and that from His fatherly love every good comes to us.

For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done with faithfulness. He loveth mercy and judgment: the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord. (Psalm 32:4-5)

15. What do we mean when we say that God is all-knowing?
When we say that God is all-knowing we mean that He knows all things, past, present, and future, even our most secret thoughts, words, and actions.

Behold, O Lord, thou hast known all things, the last and those of old: thou hast formed me, and hast laid thy hand upon me. Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me: it is high, and I cannot reach it. (Psalm 138:5-6)

16. What do we mean when that God Is all-present?
When we say that God is all-present we mean that He is everywhere.

Whither may I go from thy spirit, or whither may I flee from they face? (Psalm 138:7)

17. If God is everywhere, why do we not see Him?
Although God is everywhere, we do not see Him because He is a spirit and cannot be seen with our eyes.

God is a spirit; and they that adore him must adore him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

18. Does God see us?
God sees us and watches over us with loving care.

Be not solicitous therefore, saying: "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "Wherewith will we be clothed?" For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:31:32)

19. What is God’s loving care for us called?
God’s loving care for us is called Divine Providence.

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (I Peter 5:7)

20. What do we mean when we say that God is almighty?
When we say that God is almighty we mean that He can do all things.

For nothing shall be impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)

21. Is God all-wise, all-holy, all-merciful, and all-just?
Yes, God is all-wise, all-holy, all-merciful, and all-just.

The Lord is just in all his ways, and holy in all his works. (Psalm 144:17)

22. Can we know by our natural reason that there is a God?
We can know by our natural reason that there is a God, for natural reason tells us that the world we see about us could have been made only by a self-existing Being, all-wise and almighty.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice; because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. (Romans 1:18-19)

23. Can we know God in any other way than by our natural reason?
Besides knowing God by our natural reason, we can also know Him from supernatural revelation —that is, from the truths, found in Sacred Scripture and in Tradition, which God Himself has revealed to us.

All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice. (2 Timothy 3:16)

23A. What do we mean when we say that God has revealed these truths to us?
When we say that God has revealed these truths to us we mean that He has made them known to certain persons, to be announced to their fellow men as the word of God.

23B. What is the Bible?
The Bible is the written word of God, committed to His Church for the instruction and sanctification of mankind.

23C. What do we mean when we say that the entire Bible is inspired?
When we say that the entire Bible is inspired we mean that its principal author is God, though it was written by men whom God enlightened and moved to write all those things, and only those things, that He wished to be written.

23D. How is the Bible divided?
The Bible is divided into the Old Testament, written before the coming of Jesus Christ, and the New Testament, written after His ascension into heaven.

23E. Are all the passages of the Bible to be understood according to our modern manner of expression?
No; some of the passages of the Bible are not to be understood according to our modern manner of expression, since they contain certain figures of speech, parables, and literary forms used by the people of ancient times but not employed in the present.

23F. How can we know the true meaning of the Bible?
We can know the true meaning of the Bible from the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, which has received from Jesus Christ the right and the duty to teach and to explain all that God has revealed.

In these epistles there are certain things difficult to understand, which the unlearned and the unstable distort, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures also, to their own destruction. (II Peter 3:16)

23G. Are Catholics encouraged by the Church to read the Bible?
Yes; Catholics are encouraged by the Church to read the Bible, especially the Gospels, which tell about the earthly life of Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man.

23H. What is the chief message of the New Testament?
The chief message of the New Testament is the joyful announcement of our salvation through Jesus Christ.

These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)

23I. What is Divine Tradition?
Divine Tradition is the unwritten word of God — that is, truths revealed by God, though not written in the Bible, and given to the Church through word of mouth by Jesus Christ or by the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

23J. Has Divine Tradition ever been committed to writing?
Divine Tradition has been committed to writing, especially by saintly writers called Fathers, who lived in the early centuries but were not inspired, as were those who wrote the Bible.

23K. Has Divine Tradition the same force as the Bible?
Yes; Divine Tradition has the same force as the Bible, since it too contains God’s revelation to men.

23L. By what kind of act do we believe the doctrines contained in the Bible and in Divine Tradition?
We believe the doctrines contained in the Bible and Divine Tradition by an act of divine faith, which means that we accept them on the authority of God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

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Lesson 3 — The Unity and Trinity of God

24. Is there only one God?
Yes, there is only one God.

I am the Lord, and there is none else: there is no God besides me. (Isaias 45:5)

25. How many Persons are there in God?
In God there are three Divine Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Going, therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)

26. Is the Father God?
The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 1:3)

27. Is the Son God?
The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

28. Is the Holy Ghost God?
The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16)

29. What do we mean by the Blessed Trinity?
By the Blessed Trinity we mean, one and the same God in three Divine Persons.

Going, therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)

30. Are the three Divine Persons really distinct from one another?
The three Divine Persons are really distinct from one another.

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove, upon him. And a voice came from heaven: "Thou art my beloved Son. In thee I am well pleased." (Luke 3:22)

31. Are the three Divine Persons perfectly equal to one another?
The three Divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another, because all are one and the same God.

I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)

32. How are the three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, one and the same God?
The three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God because all have one and the same Divine nature.

33. Can we fully understand how the three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God?
We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God because this is a supernatural mystery.

34. What is a supernatural mystery?
A supernatural mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand, but which we firmly believe because we have God’s word for it.

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Lesson 4 — Creation and the Angels

35. What do we mean when we say that God is the Creator of heaven and earth?
When we say that God is the Creator of heaven and earth we mean that He made all things from nothing by His almighty power.

I am the Lord God, that make all things, that alone stretch out the heavens, that establish the earth. (Isaias 44:24)

36. Which are the chief creatures of God?
The chief creatures of God are angels and men.

Thou hast made him a little less than the angels; thou hast crowned him with glory and honor; and thou hast set him over the works of thy hands. (Psalm 8:6-7)

37. What are angels?
Angels are created spirits, without bodies, having understanding and free will.

Thousands and thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him. (Daniel 7:10)

38. What gifts did God bestow on the angels when He created them?
When God created the angels He bestowed on them great wisdom, power, and holiness.

O ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. (Daniel 3:58)

39. Did all the angels remain faithful to God?
Not all the angels remained faithful to God; some of them sinned.

And there was a battle in heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven. (Apocalypse 12:7)

40. What happened to the angels who remained faithful to God?
The angels who remained faithful to God entered into the eternal happiness of heaven, and these are called good angels.

See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you, their angels in heaven always behold the face of my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

41. What do the good angels do in heaven?
In heaven the good angels see, love, and adore God.

42. How do the good angels help us?
The good angels help us by praying for us, by acting as messengers from God to us, and by serving as our guardian angels.

For to his angels he has given thee in trust, to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou dash they foot against a stone. (Psalm 90:11-12)

43. How do our guardian angels help us?
Our guardian angels help us by praying for us, by protecting us from harm, and by inspiring us to do good.

When thou didst pray with thy tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. (Tobias 12:12)

44. What happened to the angels who did not remain faithful to God?
The angels who did not remain faithful to God were cast into hell, and these are called bad angels, or devils.

Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)

45. What is the chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us?
The chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us is by tempting us to sin.

Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

46. Do all temptations come from the bad angels?
Some temptations come from the bad angels; but other temptations come from ourselves and from the persons and things about us.

Do not love the world, or the things that are in the world. (I John 2:15)

47. Can we always resist temptations?
We can always resist temptations, because no temptation can force us into sin, and because God will always help us if we ask Him.

And he has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for thee." (I Corinthians 12:9)

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Lesson 5 — The Creation and the Fall of Man

48. What is man?
Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

And God created man to his own image. (Genesis 2:7)

49. Is this likeness to God in the body or in the soul?
This likeness to God is chiefly in the soul.

50. How is the soul like God?
The soul is like God because it is a spirit having understanding and free will, and is destined to live forever.

And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the spirit return to God, who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

51. Who were the first man and woman?
The first man and woman were Adam and Eve, the first parents of the whole human race.

And Adam called the name of his wife Eve. (Genesis 3:15)

52. What was the chief gift bestowed on Adam and Eve by God?
The chief gift bestowed on Adam and Eve by God was sanctifying grace, which made them children of God and gave them the right to heaven.

53. What other gifts were bestowed on Adam and Eve by God?
The other gifts bestowed on Adam and Eve by God were happiness in the Garden of Paradise, great knowledge, control of the passions by reason, and freedom from suffering and death.

He gave them counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, and ears, and a heart to devise; and he filled them with the knowledge of understanding. (Ecclesiasticus 17:5)

54. What commandment did God give Adam and Eve?
God gave Adam and Eve the commandment not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree that grew in the Garden of Paradise.

And he commanded him, saying: "Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death." (Genesis 2:16-17)

55. Did Adam and Eve obey the commandment of God?
Adam and Eve did not obey the commandment of God, but ate of the forbidden fruit.

And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold; and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat. (Genesis 3:6)

56. What happened to Adam and Eve on account of their sin?
On account of their sin Adam and Eve lost sanctifying grace, the right to heaven, and their special gifts; they became subject to death, to suffering, and to a strong inclination to evil, and they were driven from the Garden of Paradise.

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken; for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. (Genesis 3:19)

57. What has happened to us on account of the sin of Adam?
On account of the sin of Adam, we, his descendants, come into the world deprived of sanctifying grace and inherit his punishment, as we would have inherited his gifts had he been obedient to God.

But, by the envy of the devil, death came into the world. (Wisdom 2:24)

58. What is this sin in us called?
This sin in us is called original.

59. Why is this sin called original?
This sin is called original because it comes down to us through our origin, or descent, from Adam.

Therefore as through one man sin entered into the world and through sin death, and thus death has passed unto all men because all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)

60. What are the chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin?
The chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin are: death, suffering, ignorance, and a strong inclination to sin.

61. Is God unjust in punishing us on account of the sin of Adam?
God is not unjust in punishing us on account of the sin of Adam, because original sin does not take away from us anything to which we have a strict right as human beings, but only the free gifts which God in His goodness would have bestowed on us if Adam had not sinned.

62. Was any human person ever preserved from original sin?
The Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from original sin in view of the merits of her Divine Son, and this privilege is called her Immaculate Conception.

I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait his heel. (Genesis 3:15)

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Lesson 6 — Actual Sin

63. Is original sin the only kind of sin?
Original sin is not the only kind of sin; there is another kind, called actual sin, which we ourselves commit.

Amen, amen, I say to you that whosoever commiteth sin is the servant of sin. (John 8:34)

64. What is actual sin?
Actual sin is any willful thought, desire, word, action, or omission forbidden by the law of God.

65. How many kinds of actual sin are there?
There are two kinds of actual sin: mortal sin and venial sin.

66. What is mortal sin?
Mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God.

Flee from sins as from the face of a serpent; for if thou comest near them, they will take hold of thee. (Ecclesiasticus 21:2)

67. Why is this sin called mortal?
This sin is called mortal, or deadly, because it deprives the sinner of sanctifying grace, the supernatural life of the soul.

Before man is life and death, good and evil; that which he shall choose shall be given him. (Ecclesiasticus 15:18)

68. Besides depriving the sinner of sanctifying grace, what else does mortal sin do to the soul?
Besides depriving the sinner of sanctifying grace, mortal sin makes the soul an enemy of God, takes away the merit of all its good actions, deprives it of the right to everlasting happiness in heaven, and makes it deserving of everlasting punishment in hell.

For the wages of sin is death; but the grace of God, life everlasting in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

69. What three things are necessary to make a sin mortal?
To make a sin mortal these three things are needed:
     first, the thought, desire, word, action, or omission must be seriously wrong or considered seriously wrong;
     second, the sinner must be mindful of the serious wrong;
     third, the sinner must fully consent to it.

70. What is venial sin?
Venial sin is a less serious offense against the law of God, which does not deprive the soul of sanctifying grace, and which can be pardoned even without sacramental confession.

Be ye therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 6:48)

71. How can a sin be venial?
A sin can be venial in two ways:
     first, when the evil done is not seriously wrong;
     second, when the evil done is seriously wrong, but the sinner sincerely believes it is only slightly wrong,
          or does not give full consent to it.

72. How does venial sin harm us?
Venial sin harms us by making us less fervent in the service of God, by weakening our power to resist mortal sin, and by making us deserving of God’s punishments in this life or in purgatory.

But I tell you, that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36)

73. How can we keep from committing sin?
We can keep from committing sin by praying and by receiving the sacraments; by remembering that God is always with us; by recalling that our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost; by keeping occupied with work or play; by promptly resisting the sources of sin within us; by avoiding the near occasions of sin.

And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members perish rather than that thy whole body go into hell. (Mark 9:42)

74. What are the chief sources of actual sin?
The chief sources of actual sin are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, and these are commonly called capital sins.

75. Why are these called capital sins?
They are called capital sins, not because they, in themselves, are the greatest sins, but because they are the chief reasons why men commit sin.

76. What are the near occasions of sin?
The near occasions of sin are all persons, places, or things that may easily lead us into sin.

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Lesson 7 — The Incarnation

"I believe ... in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary ..."

77. Did God abandon man after Adam fell into sin?
God did not abandon man after Adam fell into sin, but promised to send into the world a Saviour to free man from his sins and to reopen to him the gates of heaven.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. (John 3:16)

78. Who is the Saviour of all men?
The Saviour of all men is Jesus Christ.

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, bearing witness in his own time. (I Timothy 2:5-6)

79. What is the chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ?
The chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ is that He is God made man.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

80. Why is Jesus Christ God?
Jesus Christ is God, because He is the only Son of God, having the same Divine nature as His Father.

And the high priest said to him, "I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "Thou has said it." (Matthew 26:63)

81. Why is Jesus Christ man?
Jesus Christ is man, because He is the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary and has a body and soul like ours.

82. Is Jesus Christ more than one Person?
No, Jesus Christ is only one Person; and that Person is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

83. How many natures has Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ has two natures: the nature of God and the nature of man.

84. Was the Son of God always man?
The Son of God was not always man, but became man at the time of the Incarnation.

But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

85. What is meant by the Incarnation?
By the Incarnation is meant that the Son of God, retaining His Divine nature, took to Himself a human nature, that is, a body and soul like ours.

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

86. How was the Son of God made man?
The Son of God was conceived and made man by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

87. When was the Son of God conceived and made man?
The Son of God was conceived and made man on Annunciation Day, the day on which the Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she was to be the Mother of God.

88. Is Saint Joseph the father of Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ had no human father, but Saint Joseph was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the guardian, or foster father, of Christ.

89. When was Christ born?
Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Christmas Day, in Bethlehem, more than nineteen hundred years ago.

89A. How many years did Jesus Christ live on earth?
Jesus Christ lived on earth about thirty-three years.

89B. How did Jesus Christ spend His life on earth?
Jesus Christ spent His childhood, youth and early manhood in the home of His mother Mary and His foster father Joseph, working as a carpenter in the village of Nazareth in Palestine; He spent His last years in the work of His public ministry.

89C. What work did Jesus Christ perform in the course of His public ministry?
In the course of His public ministry Jesus Christ gave us an example of great virtue, preached the message of salvation, proved the truth of His message through miracles and prophecies, and established the Church with its sacrifice and sacraments for the salvation of men until the end of time.

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Lesson 8 — The Redemption

"I believe ... in Jesus Christ ... who ... suffered under Pontius Pilot, 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 ..."

90. What is meant by the Redemption?
By the Redemption is meant that Jesus Christ, as the Redeemer of the whole human race, offered His sufferings and death to God as a fitting sacrifice in satisfaction for the sins of men, and regained for them the right to be children of God and heirs of heaven.

He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

91. What were the chief sufferings of Christ?
The chief sufferings of Christ were His bitter agony of soul, His bloody sweat, His cruel scourging, His crowning with thorns, His crucifixion, and His death on the cross.

And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said: "Father into thy hands I commend my spirit." And saying this he gave up the ghost. (Luke 23:46)

92. When did Christ die?
Christ died on Good Friday.

93. Where did Christ die?
Christ died on Golgotha, a place outside the city of Jerusalem.

And they came to a place called Golgotha, that is, the Place of the Skull. (Matthew 27:33)

94. What do we learn from the sufferings and death of Christ?
From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn God’s love for man and the evil of sin, for which God, who is all-just, demands such great satisfaction.

95. What do we mean when we say in the Apostles’ Creed that Christ descended into hell?
When we say that Christ descended into hell we mean that, after He died, the soul of Christ descended into a place or state of rest, called limbo, where the souls of the just were waiting for Him.

Put to death indeed in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit, in which also he went and preached to those spirits that were in prison. (I Peter 3:18-19)

96. Why did Christ go to limbo?
Christ went to limbo to announce to the souls waiting there the joyful news that He had reopened heaven to mankind.

97. Where was Christ’s body while His soul was In limbo?
While His soul was in limbo, Christ’s body was in the holy sepulchre.

And, taking him down, he wrapped him in fine linen and laid him in a sepulchre that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid. (Luke 23:53)

98. When did Christ rise from the dead?
Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.

And on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled back from the sepulchre. (Luke 24:1-2)

99. Why did Christ rise from the dead?
Christ rose from the dead to show that He is true God and to teach us that we, too, shall rise from the dead.

For if the dead do not rise, neither has Christ risen; and if Christ has not risen, vain is your faith, for you are still in your sins. (I Corinthians 15:16-17)

100. Will all men rise from the dead?
All men will rise from the dead, but only those who have been faithful to Christ will share in His glory.

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall all indeed rise. (I Corinthians 15:51)

101. When did Christ ascend into heaven?
Christ ascended, body and soul, into heaven on Ascension Day, forty days after His Resurrection.

And it came to pass as he blessed them, that he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. (Luke 24:51)

102. Why did Christ remain on earth forty days after His Resurrection?
Christ remained on earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove that He had truly risen from the dead and to complete the instruction of the apostles.

To them also he showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs during the forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)

103. What do we mean when we say that Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty?
When we say that Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, we mean that Our Lord as God is equal to the Father, and that as man He shares above all the saints in the glory of His Father and exercises for all eternity the supreme authority of a king over all creatures.

All powers in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18)

104. What do we mean when we say that Christ will come from thence to judge the living and the dead?
When we say that Christ will come from thence to judge the living and the dead, we mean that on the last day Our Lord will come to pronounce a sentence of eternal reward or of eternal punishment on everyone who has ever lived in this world.

For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will render to everyone according to his conduct. (Matthew 16:27)

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Lesson 9 — The Holy Ghost and Grace

105. Who is the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

106. From whom does the Holy Ghost proceed?
The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.

But when the Advocate has come, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness concerning me. (John 15:26)

107. Is the Holy Ghost equal to the Father and the Son?
The Holy Ghost is equal to the Father and the Son, because He is God.

108. What does the Holy Ghost do for the salvation of mankind?
The Holy Ghost dwells in the Church as the source of its life and sanctifies souls through the gift of grace.

Guard the good trust through the Holy Ghost, who dwells in us. (II Timothy 1:14)

109. What is grace?
Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

And of his fullness we have all received, grace for grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17)

110. How many kinds of grace are there?
There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying grace and actual grace.

111. What is sanctifying grace?
Sanctifying grace is that grace which confers on our souls a new life, that is, a sharing in the life of God Himself.

But to as many as received him he gave the power of becoming sons of God. (John 1:12)

112. What are the chief effects of sanctifying grace?
The chief effects of sanctifying grace are:
     first, it makes us holy and pleasing to God;
     second, it makes us adopted children of God;
     third, it makes us temples of the Holy Ghost;
     fourth, it gives us the right to heaven.

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)

113. What is actual grace?
Actual grace is a supernatural help of God which enlightens our mind and strengthens our will to do good and to avoid evil.

For it is God who of his good pleasure works in you both the will and the performance. (Philippians 2:13)

114. Can we resist the grace of God?
We can resist the grace of God, for our will is free, and God does not force us to accept His grace.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often I would have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but thou wouldst not! (Matthew 23:37)

115. Why is sanctifying grace necessary for salvation?
Sanctifying grace is necessary for salvation because it is the supernatural life, which alone enables us to attain the supernatural happiness of heaven.

116. Is actual grace necessary for all who have attained the use of reason?
Actual grace is necessary for all who have attained the use of reason, because without it we cannot long resist the power of temptation or perform other actions which merit a reward in heaven.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God. (II Corinthians 3:5)

117. What are the principal ways of obtaining grace?
The principal ways of obtaining grace are prayer and the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist.

For we were buried with him by means of Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ has arisen from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we may also walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

118. How can we make our most ordinary actions merit a heavenly reward?
We can make our most ordinary actions merit a heavenly reward by doing them for the love of God and by keeping ourselves in the state of grace.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or do anything else, do all for the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)


Lesson 10 — The Virtues and the Gifts of the Holy Ghost

119. What are the chief supernatural powers that are bestowed on our souls with sanctifying grace?
The chief supernatural powers that are bestowed on our souls with sanctifying grace are the three theological virtues and the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.

120. Why are these virtues called theological virtues?
These virtues are called theological virtues because they have God for their proper object.

121. What are the three theological virtues?
The three theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity.

So there abide faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (I Corinthians 13:13)

122. What is faith?
Faith is the virtue by which we firmly believe all the truths God has revealed, on the word of God revealing them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:29)

123. What is hope?
Hope is the virtue by which we firmly trust that God, who is all-powerful and faithful to His promises, will in His mercy give us eternal happiness and the means to obtain it.

But hope that is seen is not hope. For how can a man hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:24-25)

124. What is charity?
Charity is the virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

If I should speak with the tongues of men and angels, but do not have charity, I have become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, yet do not have charity, I am nothing. (I Corinthians 13:1-2)

125. Which are the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost?
The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. (Isaias 11:2-3)

126. How do the gifts of the Holy Ghost help us?
The gifts of the Holy Ghost help us by making us more alert to discern and more ready to do the will of God.

127. Which are some of the effects in us of the gifts of the Holy Ghost?
Some of the effects in us of the gifts of the Holy Ghost are the fruits of the Holy Ghost and the beatitudes.

128. Which are the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost?
The twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.

But the fruit of the Spirit is: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, modesty, continency. (Galatians 5:22-23)

129. Which are the eight beatitudes?
The eight beatitudes are:
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.
3. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
4. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
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 peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
8. Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(See Matthew 5:3-10.)

130. Are there any other virtues besides the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity?
Besides the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity there are other virtues, called moral virtues.

131. Why are these virtues called moral virtues?
These virtues are called moral virtues because they dispose us to lead moral, or good lives, by aiding us to treat persons and things in the right way, that is, according to the will of God.

132. Which are the chief moral virtues?
The chief moral virtues are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance; these are called cardinal virtues.

And if a man love justice, her labors have great virtues. For she teacheth temperance and prudence and justice and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life. (Wisdom 8:7)

133. Why are these virtues called cardinal virtues?
These virtues are called cardinal virtues because they are like hinges on which hang all the other moral virtues and our whole moral life. The word "cardinal" is derived from the Latin word "cardo" meaning hinge.

134. How do prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance dispose us to lead good lives?
Prudence disposes us in all circumstances to form right judgments about what we must do or not do. Justice disposes us to give everyone what belongs to him. Fortitude disposes us to do what is good in spite of any difficulty. Temperance disposes us to control our desires and to use rightly the things which please ourselves.

He that followeth justice and mercy shall find life, justice, and glory. (Proverbs 21:21)

135. Which are some of the other moral virtues?
Some of the other moral virtues are:
     Filial piety and patriotism, which dispose us to honor, love, and respect our parents and our country.
     Obedience, which disposes us to do the will of our superiors.
     Veracity, which disposes us to tell the truth.
     Liberality, which disposes us rightly to use worldly goods.
     Patience, which disposes us to bear up under trials and difficulties.
     Humility, which disposes us to acknowledge our limitations.
     Chastity, or purity, which disposes us to be pure in soul and body.
Besides these, there are many other moral virtues.


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