The MOST Theological Collection: A Basic Catholic Catechism
"Study Questions and Answers"
Questions on Basic (NDI) Catechism
1. What is salvation history? What part of it had been a mystery for a long time? Who revealed it?
2. Could gentiles be saved before the coming of Christ? How do we know this?
3. What did St. Justin Martyr and St. Augustine say about the Church before Christ?
4. How old is the human race according to scientists? Do they agree on the dates? What new evidence is there tending to show our race came from one mother?
5. Where do we have records of the oldest religions? Did any primitives believe in just one God? What did some call Him?
6. Who was the father of the whole Hebrew race? Where did he first live? What major moves did he make?
7. What does it mean to be righteous? How did Abraham reach that?
8. How do we become children of Abraham? What did St. Paul mean by faith? What did Luther think faith meant?
9. Who was Abraham's chief son? What did God order about that son? What happened?
10. What sons did Isaac have? How many did Jacob have? What relation to the tribes?
11. Who was sold as a slave into Egypt? What happened to him later?
12. What did Joseph do for the Pharaoh? What did the Pharaoh then do for Joseph?
13. What great prophecy did the dying Jacob make about Judah? How was it fulfilled?
14. What are Targums? How early were they? What help can we get from them?
15. Which of these prophecies spoke of the Messiah, according to the Targums: Gen 3: 15? Numbers 22-24? Isaiah 9:5-6? Micah 5:2? Isaiah 53?(compare Ps 22 with Is 53).
16. What is the special problem of Isaiah 7:14? How answer it?
17. How much did Our Lady know about Christ? How?
18. What great things did Moses do? Why were the Jews oppressed in Egypt? How were they liberated?
19. What was the Sinai covenant?
20. What is prefiguration? Name three of them?
21. Compare the teaching of St. Paul on the law with that of Jesus.
22. Who was the great ancestor of Jesus?
23. What does Kingdom of God mean? Give reasons.
24. In what sense is Jesus our way, truth, and life?
25. Who said we should be ready to give reasons for our faith? Outline how to do it.
26. What does the word saved mean in Scripture? Does it ever mean infallible salvation?
27. What can we learn from the yellow pages in the phone book?
28. What is public revelation? Private? What authority does the Church have in each area?
29. How do we know when the Church speaks infallibly?
30. What is passive infallibility?
31. What is the difference of Scripture and Tradition?
32. Why do we call God Father? Creator?
33. What do we mean by attributes of God? Name a few.
34. What is the Holy Trinity? Can we explain it? How do we know there are Three Persons?
35. Why do we say God is love?
36. Could God have created from all eternity? How do we know He did not?
37. Why did God create, according to St. Irenaeus?
38. Did God create for His own glory? Explain.
39. How did God prove His love for us?
40. How does God decide who will be saved or lost?
41. Why did God give free will to men and angels?
42. Why are there evils in the world if God is all powerful?
43. What kind of bodies do angels have? Were they created already in heaven? Why?
44. Why cannot an angel repent?
45. What did God give us as a counter-measure to the evil spirits?
46. What do we have in common with the angels?
47. How can we prove our soul is spiritual? What is the origin of each soul?
48. What three kinds of gifts did God give Adam & Eve? Are we sure there was an Adam & Eve?
49. Which of the three do we still have? How much damage was done to us by original sin? Is there total corruption? Who said there was?
50. Define original sin. In what way can we say our mind is darkened and will weakened?
51. May we consider bodily evolution? Atheistic?
52. What did a meeting of scientists in Chicago in 1980 decide about Darwin?
53. What promise did God make right after the fall?
54. What does the word Jesus mean? Christ?
55. How do we see Him as different from other great religious teachers?
56. Does the Church ever reverse previous teachings?
57. Why did Jesus become man?
58. How many natures in Jesus? How many Persons?
59. Was Jesus ever tempted? Did He sin? Did He have disorderly emotions?
60. What did the Council of Nicea define? When?
61. What Greek word did Nicea use?
62. What did the human mind of Jesus have? How early? What was the result?
63. How do we know that fact? How can theological reasoning help us?
64. What problem comes from Lk 2:52 saying He advanced in wisdom? How solve it? Who first solved it? How?
65. What problem came from Mk 13:32. Who solved it? How?
66. Why was the incarnation nonsense to the Greeks and scandal to the Jews?
67. Who were the parents of Our Lady? Is this certain?
68. What is her most fundamental privilege?
69. How did she first learn her Son was to be Messiah?
70. How would she likely know of His divinity?
71. What does virginal conception mean? What does "ever virgin" mean?
72. Who are the "brothers and sisters" of Jesus? Why the wording?
73. What was the Immaculate Conception?
74. How did she have it?
75. Who defined it?
76. How can we defend the translation "full of grace"?
77. Who is the New Eve?
78. , How did we first learn of this doctrine?
79. What does that title indicate of her relation to the redemption?
80. What did Vatican II teach about her role in the redemption?
81. How did John Paul II deepen the teaching of Vatican II on her consent?
82. Is she Mediatrix of all graces?
83. How do we know this?
84. How did Pius XII find the assumption in the sources of revelation?
85. On what titles is she Queen of the Universe?
86. Which Council wrote more about her than Vatican II?
87. When was she declared Mother of the Church?
88, Was the idea entirely new?
89. When Jesus died, what happened to the union of His body and soul with divinity?
90. Explain how the redemption produced its effect?
91. Which Pope helped us greatly to understand this?
92. How does St. Paul sum up the whole Christian regime?
93. What is our external participation in the Mass?
94. What is our interior participation in the Mass?
95. Did Jesus descend into hell?
97. What can a soul know by the vision of God?
98. How explain some of the Old Testament words saying that the dead do not praise God?
99. That they do not know things?
100. That they do not hope for God's fidelity?
101. Did God raise Jesus or did He rise by His own power?
102. Arrange events after His resurrection in a plausible order.
103. What keeps us from saying Jesus ascended on Easter day?
104. Is heaven somewhere up in space?
105. St. Paul says we have ascended with Him. Sense?
106. How could Jesus say before ascending: "All power is given me in heaven and on earth? Did He, God, not always have all power?
107. What forms of presence of Jesus are there?
108. Which is the greatest? Why?
109. What is the parousia? What will happen then? How can there be a judgment then when we each are judged right after death?
110. What form will the last judgment take?
111. Why must heaven and hell be unending or permanent?
112. What is the chief suffering of hell? What is added?
113. Do the lights go off when we die? Explain.
114. What do we know about the fire of hell?
115. How does reason show there must be a purgatory?
116. How can we show from Scripture that there is a purgatory?
117. What are the sufferings of purgatory? Is there fire there?
118. Can the souls in purgatory help themselves? Can we help them?
119. How long should we pray for a dear one who has died? Why?
120. In what sense does the Holy Spirit make souls holy?
121. In what sense is a spirit present?
122. When did the Church come into being?
123. What is the Mystical Body? Where do we get the word mystical?
124. What three stages of the Church are there?
125. What does St. Paul mean by "Saints"?
126. What are the marks of the Church? What does each one mean?
127. What are schismatics? Can they have valid bishops and priests?
128. What is collegiality? Can the Pope act without the Bishops?
129. What is the People of God?
130. What is the Magisterium? Who are members?
131. Which doctrines are infallible?
132. What is academic freedom? Who can claim it?
133. Is there salvation outside the Church? Was Feeney right? Why?
134. What did Pius IX teach about the salvation of those who do not find the Church? What did Vatican II say on this point?
135. How does St. Paul prove that God makes provision for salvation for all?
136. What did St. Justin Martyr say about Socrates? How does that relate to St. Paul in Romans 2:14-16?
137. How does the above relate to the matter of salvation outside the Church? How does this truth affect missionary work?
138. What did Vatican II say about watering down our doctrine for ecumenism?
139. Why is there need of a civil state? Is its authority higher than that of the Church? What did St. Paul say of civil authorities?
140. What basic kinds of government are there? Which one does God require?
141. What does St. Paul say of capital punishment?
142. What three things are needed to make a democracy function rightly?
143. Do people have a right to believe whatever they wish? A right to be wrong? What did Vatican II say on this?
144. What did Vatican II say about public education?
145. Who are the primary educators of children?
146. Can we just ask God to forgive us? Why?
147. Will all die? What will risen bodies be like?
148. How does St. Paul prove all Christians will all rise?
149. Who said we are sharers in the divine nature? What does this mean? Can heaven ever get dull? Why?
150. Who said we will participate in God's eternity? What does this mean?
151. What will be an immense secondary source of happiness in heaven?
152. What is the Decalogue? Where was it received? Who received it?
153. Why did Moses break the tablets God had given him? How did he get another copy ?
154. When did the Exodus happen?
155. How can we show that things could be remembered and passed on by word of mouth for 1000 yrs. ?
156. What did Our Lord do about the Ten Commandments? How did He sum them up? How did He perfect them?
157. Since He cannot gain from our obedience, why does God want us to obey? In what way is the law wisdom?
158. What does the First Commandment forbid? Is it still wrong to make images? Why?
159. What is superstition? Is it superstition to say a certain prayer said a set number of times is infallible?
160. What about the Ouija Board?
169. What is sacrilege? What is simony?
170. What is adoration? What is worship?
171. What gave its value to the sacrifice of Jesus? What are the elements in a sacrifice? What complaint did God make through Isaiah about the Hebrew sacrifices? Might He make a similar complaint today?
172. Do we adore Our Lady? Show they are guilty of rash judgment who say we do.
173. The sacrifice of Jesus is infinite? So, is it true that we need to do nothing but accept it?
174. Is taking the name of God in vain a mortal sin? What if someone has a habit of doing that? How far from taking the name in vain did the ancient Hebrews stay?
175. What is blasphemy? What do most people mean by cursing and swearing?
176. What is a vow? What does Deuteronomy say about vows? What is an oath? What is perjury? What is adjuration?
177. What does the present Code of Canon Law require for Sunday observance?
178. What is most essential in our participation in the Mass? How did Jesus on Holy Thursday express His obedience? How does He do so today? What is one good way for us to join our obedience to His?
179. What things can excuse us from Sunday Mass?
180. What about work on Sundays?
181. Compare molding a child to the work of Michaelangelo.
182. What does "honor" of parents mean?
183. May parents command a child's choice of a state in life?
184. What of teenagers who insist their parents cannot know anything? What leads them to such an attitude? How long should we pray for deceased parents?
185. Is capital punishment immoral or unchristian?
186. How did Jesus perfect the law against murder? Is anger venial or mortal?
187. What about unpleasant feelings towards others?
188. What is the double effect principle? Give an example.
189. What care are we obliged to take for our health? What is not required? Is it wrong to use alcohol? Wrong to use drugs?
190. Is it permitted to use risky experimental remedies?
191. Are organ transplants permitted while the donor is alive?
192. Can surgery necessary to cure a pathological condition which will also kill the child be permitted? What moral principle is involved?
193. Is sterilization wrong? What is required by repentance?
194. Way one risk life for charitable reason?
195. Under what conditions is war permitted? What did John Paul II say about nuclear deterrence? Does that involve a lie?
196. May a Catholic be a soldier? What did St. Augustine say on this?
197. Sum up the 6th & 9th commandments about sexual pleasure? What about bad thoughts?
198. What effect does masturbation have on the prospect of success in marriage?
199. Is it sinful to have a homosexual orientation? To act on it?
200. What is the relation of contraception to masturbation? To abortion? Is Natural Family Planning contraception? How does NFP affect marriages?
201. What is fornication? What is adultery?
202. What did Vatican II say of the lawful use of sex within marriage?
203. What did Vatican II say of the primary and secondary goals of marriage? In what language?
204. Why is it wrong to have test tube babies?
205. What are the chief means to cultivate chastity?
206. How does premarital sex endanger the success of marriage?
207. Is private property immoral? What do we learn from the Communist experiments?
208. What is theft? Robbery? What of those who accept stolen gifts knowingly? What do we say about cheating? When are these things mortally sinful? What of the obligation of restitution? When is gambling sinful? Betting?
209. What limits are there on the right of private property? How can we measure the obligation to help the poor?
210. What is detachment?
211. Why is lying wrong? Define a lie. What is mental reservation? Is lying venial or mortal?
212. What is hypocrisy? Flattery?
213. How can the modern media deceive us?
214. What are the moral principles about advertising?
215. What are the various classes of secrets?
216. What are the three things often included under the label "uncharitable speech"?
217. What is rash judgment? What is "being judgmental?
218. What is the general nature of the thing promised in the beatitudes?
219. Are all the poor poor in spirit? Who are the meek?
220. Is suffering always a punishment for sin? Does "pure in heart" refer just to sexual purity?
221. To whom does the 8th beatitude apply specially?
222. Are the special ideals, such as turning the other cheek, in the sermon on the mount commands or ideals? Do they require Christians to abstain from being military men?
223. What does sanctifying grace mean? What does increase in it mean?
224. What was the history of the word sacrament? When did it get its precise meaning?
225. What is required so that the sacraments may confer grace?
226. Which sacrament is a prerequisite for receiving the other sacraments?
227. What is sacramental grace?
228. Which sacraments give a sacramental character?
229. What does Baptism do for us? How is it conferred? Who can baptize?
230. When do we receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit? Give an example of an effect of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. What three levels of guides may a person follow? How many Gifts are there? Name them.
231. Is Baptism necessary for salvation? What is Baptism of desire? What does the Church teach about the fate of unbaptized infants who die?
232. When should Baptism be received? If someone receives emergency Baptism from a layman, what should be done?
233. What conditions are required in an adult who is baptized?
234. What obligation does a baptismal sponsor take on?
235. How did the Holy Spirit appear on the first Pentecost? What special gift did He give the Apostles then?
236. What are charismatic gifts? Were they rare in the early Church?
237. What is Confirmation intended to give specially?
238. Who is the ordinary minister of Confirmation? Who may do so extraordinarily? Who should receive Confirmation? What change did Vatican II make in the rite of Confirmation? What is now essential in the rite?
239. What is Chrism?
240. What does the Holy Eucharist give that the other sacraments do not give?
241. What is the origin of the word "Eucharist"?
242. Which Gospel does not tell of the institution of the Eucharist? What is the probable reason?
243. Today in the Consecration the priest says the blood of Jesus will be shed "for all", while before, he said, "for many"? Does this change make the Mass invalid? How do we know?
244. Can a person be saved if he, through no fault, never receives the Eucharist? Why?
245. How must the bread and wine be made for Mass? What if something else is added?
246. What happens to the substance of bread and wine at the consecration? What word describes this?
247. How do we know Jesus did not mean merely that the bread and wine would signify Him?
248. What is logical for one who believes in the Real Presence?
249. Compare the Mass to Calvary? What are the two elements in a sacrifice? What is the external sign on Holy Thursday, on Good Friday, in the Mass? What is the internal disposition? Does Jesus repeat that disposition in each Mass?
250. What did Vatican II say of the priest at each Mass?
251. Calvary earned all forgiveness and grace? Why then have a Mass?
252. If we think of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication, have we expressed all the required dispositions in us at Mass?
253. Why did Jesus order, "Do this in memory of me"? How can we fulfill what He asked? Where is the heart, the center of the Mass?
254. In what two senses do the people offer the Mass? What are "spiritual sacrifices"?
255. Who said that marriage is a long path towards sanctification? How does that work out?
256. In what way can we speak of a "royal priesthood"?
257. Explain how Mass should dominate all of life?
258. In what was is the Mass the renewal of the new covenant?
259. Did the Mother of Jesus share in the original sacrifice? How? What is her relation to each Mass?
260. What factors affect what graces are given in each Mass?
261. If the priest dropped dead right after the two consecrations, what would be lacking to the sacrifice? How does the great Amen fit in?
262. How does the Mass affect venial sins? Punishment for sin?
263. Who receive the benefits of each Mass?
264. If there still a grave obligation of Sunday Mass?
265. What did John Paul II say of dispositions needed for benefit from frequent Communion? How prepare for Communion? How make a thanksgiving?
266. When should children first receive the Eucharist? What must come first?
267. Should the dying receive the Eucharist if possible?
268. If one receives only one species (species of bread only or of wine only) doe he receive less? How can we show that from St. Paul?
269. What is spiritual communion?
270. When did Jesus institute the Sacrament of Penance? Who can absolve from sins? What is needed in addition to ordination?
271. How can we show that Jesus intended confession to a priest? Which sins must be confessed?
272. When is the first clear mention of the Sacrament of Penance outside Scripture? What was meant by public penance?
273. What thing was seen more clearly in the first centuries than now? What was seen less clearly? What was the "seal"?
274. What sins must be confessed? What about other sins? What about doubtful mortal sins? What is a good practice after confessing only venial sins?
275. If one has sinned mortally, can that one receive after an act of contrition without the Sacrament? What of an emergency situation?
276. Is perfect contrition required for confession?
277. When is general absolution permitted? What obligation remains after it?
278. What does the penitent need to do after absolution?
279. What is temporal punishment? What should one do about it?
280. If one uses the Friday dispensation to eat meat, what is needed?
281. What is the seal of confession? Can any reason justify breaking it? Who is bound by it?
282. What is an indulgence? Is it a permission to sin? Can an indulgence be bought?
283. On what are indulgences based? What event in the early Church helped to develop the idea of indulgences?
284, What is a plenary indulgence? What conditions are required to gain one? How often can one be gained? What is required to gain one at the moment of death?
285. What is a partial indulgence? What is the difference between past and present rules for them?
286. Are we sure indulgences for the dead are gained for them?
287. When was marriage instituted? By whom? Who raised it to the dignity of a Sacrament? When?
288. Are all marriages indissoluble? What conditions are needed in the parties to make it a Sacrament?
289. Is a civil marriage of Catholics valid? Why?
290. What kinds of graces does marriage give? What is sacramental grace?
291. What does St. Paul say in 1 Cor 7 about the obligations of the two parties to each other?
292. Why does marriage need to be indissoluble?
293. What about the previous life of each partner can easily make a marriage null? How can persons considering marriage protect against this misfortune?
294. What are the primary and secondary purposes of marriage? Did Vatican II reverse this?
295. To what did St. Paul in Ephesians compare marriage?
296. What did Pius XI say about wives?
297. What did Paul VI say to the Italian Feminine Center about marriage? Outline the process by which this can work out? What kind of holy hours can be made specially within marriage?
298. Who has the primary right and duty about education of children?
299. What advice does St. Paul give in I Cor 13 about disagreements within marriage?
300. What are the chief things that can make a marriage invalid or null?
301. What is to be said about mixed marriages?
302. For what causes does the Church permit permanent separation?
303. What are the banns? What is the requirement?
304. When did Jesus institute the Priesthood? How do we know this? When did He add the power to forgive sins?
305. How many degrees of the Sacrament of Orders are there? What are they? What is received in all the degrees?
306. Who are members of the hierarchy? Which Sacraments can a deacon confer? A priest? A bishop? What two forms of the diaconate are there now? Must deacons observe celibacy?
307. Who can confer Baptism? How is it valid if that one is a layman? Who can act "in the person of Christ"?
308. What is greater than official conformity to Christ? How does this compare with the Divine Motherhood? How lofty is the latter dignity?
309. Who is bound to recite the divine office?
310. Who is the ordinary minister of Confirmation?
311. For what must the bishop give an account at judgment? Does the Pope have a higher degree of the Sacrament of Orders? What things can the Pope do? Must he consult the bishops on these?
312. What are the ministries? What are their functions? Who confers these ministries?
313. Who instituted the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick? When?
314. What are the effects of this sacrament? Who can confer it? Who can receive it? Is age alone sufficient to receive it? What if the person is not surely alive?
315. Under what conditions can it be repeated?
316. What oil must be used? Who can bless it? What exhortation should be given to one who has received it?
317. What is prayer? What is the most essential disposition? What is adoration? What other dispositions should there be? What kinds of prayer are there?
318. What is guaranteed by "Ask and you shall receive?" What are the required conditions?
319. Does God sometimes grant other things not covered by the promise?
320. What position of body can we use for prayer?
321. What kinds of confidence or faith in prayer are there?
322. If a person worries or has anxiety, does he/she lack confidence in God? Did Jesus ever have anxiety? How do we know?
323. Is it permitted to pray for a miracle?
324. What kinds of distractions are there? What should be said about them?
325. If God knows, and He does what we will pray for, what use is there in praying?
326. What prayer did Jesus Himself compose for us? Did the Jews know that God is the Father of all? What introduction did they sometimes use to prayer? What advantage did it have?
327. What does "Hallowed be thy name" mean?
328. What does "Thy kingdom come" mean?
329. What does "thy will be done" mean?
330. What does "Give us this day our daily bread" mean?
331. What does "trespasses" mean? What word is a more exact translation?
332. Does God lead us into temptation?
333. What of the words "for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever"? Is it really Protestant?
334. What prayer ranks next to the Our Father? What does "Suppliant Omnipotence"mean?
335. St. Paul says in 1 Tim 2:5 there is only one mediator. Is it then wrong to speak of Our Lady as Mediatrix? Did any Popes use that word?
336. What principle of St. Thomas helps to explain why God wants the mediation of Our Lady and the Saints?
337. What is a sacramental? Compare to Sacraments. What are the chief kinds of sacramentals? Give an example of each kind.
338. What did Vatican II say about the Divine Office?
339. What change has come about in the Church's requirement of fasting? What mistake is common today in speaking of mortification?
340. Did St. Dominic receive the Rosary in a vision?
341. What great thing did St. Pius V say came because of the Rosary?
342. What is the origin of the Brown Scapular? What promise is attached to it? What did Pius XII say about it? What about the Scapular medal? What images should that medal have?
343. What if that vision never took place?
344. What is the origin of the Miraculous Medal?
345. Name some of the more important shrines. When did the apparitions at Lourdes take place? When Fatima?
346. At Lourdes many miracles have happened when the Blessed Sacrament passed. What is the implication?
347. Tell of the case of Madame Biré. What precautions does the Church take before accepting a miracle as genuine? About how many have been accepted since the start of Lourdes?
348. Tell the story of Guadalupe. What checks have been made on the image? What about the eyes of the image?
349. What is the host of Lanciano? What checking has been done on it? What results?
350. What are the three requests at Fatima? What prophecy was given there? What proofs are there of the authenticity of Fatima?
[Note: The Scripture chapter has its own numbers, 20 pp. so here Roman numbers are used for questions for it. Place for that chapter is undecided, I think best at the start of the whole catechism. It opens with a fair sized presentation of apologetics, hence a reason for making it first. There is a shorter presentation of it in chapter 1 of the body of the catechism - could be dropped if so desired. ]
i. What is inspiration?
ii. Were there other Gospels in circulation in the first centuries?
iii. What is the first step in proving we can trust the Gospels? What distinction is important in it?
iv. How much time is there between the original copy of a Gospel and our manuscripts? Compare to the works of Caesar. How solve problem of accuracy?
v. What is literary genre? What is the genre of the Gospels?
vi. What does "literal sense" mean?
vii. What are usual estimates for dates of the Gospels?
viii. What sources of information would be available to the Gospel writers?
ix. What are the 6 basic facts we need? What do they prove?
x. What are the three steps in the development of the Gospels? What science today tells us that? What does it tell us about what the Church has?
xi. What is Tradition with a capital T? What is it with a small t? What is the relation of Scripture and Tradition?
xii. What did Vatican II say about the task of interpreting Scripture and Tradition?
xiii. What is the great difference between the Catholic and the Protestant way of thinking?
xiv. What provision did Our Father make so that the truth might reach us?
xv. What is the deposit of faith? What is public revelation? When will there be more public revelation?
xvi. In what way can there be progress in the teaching of the Church?
xvii. Give an example of such development.
xviii. What is the canon? Why was the Church slow in defining it?
xix. How did Luther try to determine which books are inspired? Did he find the way? What Baptist professor pointed out the failure?
xx. Is a Protestant logical in leaning on Scripture to prove things?
xxi. What do we tell someone who asks where the Immaculate Conception is in the Bible?
xxii. What is the analogy of faith?
xxiii. Are there errors in Scripture? What technique helps us show that there are none? Give a few examples.
xxiv. What did Vatican II say about the texts of Gen 3:15 and Is 7:14?
xxv. What are Targums? How can they help us? How can we know their date?
xxvi. How did Abraham show faith? What was the result for him?
xxvii. What is a foreshadowing? Give an example from Isaac, from Melchizedek?
xxviii. What great prophecy is seen in Gen 49:10? How was it fulfilled?
xxix. What was the first Passover? What did it foreshadow?
xxx. What foreshadowings did St. Paul speak of in 1 Cor 10?
xxxi. What foreshadowing came on the occasion of the saraph serpents?
xxxii. Explain Isaiah 7:14. To whom did it refer? What is multiple fulfillment? Explain Isaiah 9:5-6. What did the Targums say of these texts?
xxxiii. How did Isaiah foretell the line of David would be reduced to a stump, which yet would sprout?
xxxiv. Where did the OT foretell the passion of Jesus? What did the Targum do to that prophecy?
xxxv. What did Micah foretell? Did the ancient Jews understand it?
Answers to Study Questions on Basic (NDI) Catechism
1. Salvation history is the story of God's dealings with us. For long it was not known that He called gentiles too to be part of His people. He revealed it through St. Paul.
2. Gentiles could be saved. We know it because as St. Paul says in Rom 3. 29 otherwise He would not act as God to gentiles. We see it too from Rom 2:14-16 and from several documents of the Church and from St. Justin Martyr, St. Augustine, and other Fathers.
3. St. Justin said some like Socrates were saved by following the Divine Word - who wrote the law on their hearts. St. Augustine said the Church always existed, later got the name Christian.
4. Scientists differ much. Allan Wilson showed evidence all existing humans come from one mother, whom he thought lived 350, 000 years ago. Many other scientists agree, make the age 200, 000 yrs.
5. We learn much from Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia. Pyramid texts of Egypt are from 2000 BC. Anthropology shows many primitives had just one God, some of them called Him Sky Father.
6. Abraham was father of the Hebrews, came from Ur, moved to Haran, then at God's command, to Canaan.
7. To be righteous is to be right with God, to gain sanctifying grace. Abraham got it by faith.
8. We become children of Abraham by imitating his faith. For Paul, faith includes: 1) belief in what God says; 2)confidence in His promises; 3) obeying His orders; 4)all to be done in love. Luther thought faith was confidence the merits of Christ apply to me -- quite different!
9. Isaac was chief son. When Isaac was young, God told Abraham to offer Isaac in sacrifice, but stopped him at last minute.
10. Isaac had Esau and Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons, founders of the 12 tribes.
11. Joseph was the son sold as slave into Egypt. He later became Vizier.
12. Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh's dreams foretelling 7 good years of crops, seven of bad crops. Pharaoh made Joseph vizier to store grain in good years.
13. Jacob while dying said (Gen 49:10) there would always be a ruler from Judah until the time of the Messiah. It came true, in 41 BC Rome imposed Herod, not of the tribe of Judah over them.
14. Targums are ancient Aramaic translations of the Hebrew OT, very free, with fill-ins, showing the meaning. Jews made them without seeing prophecy fulfilled in Christ - they hated Him. Also after fall of Jerusalem they lost interest in Messiah until 500 AD, while Targums see Messiah in many texts: so Targums are early. They help us to see how Jews understood OT.
15. Targums saw Messiah in all those listed. Psalm 22 also foretells Passion, as does Isaiah 53.
16. Targum does not say it is about Messiah - but we know the child there is same as in Isaiah 9:5-6 - which Targums do see as messiah. Jews wanted to keep Christians from using the prophecy. Really, it referred to both King Hezekiah and Christ, multiple fulfillment of prophecy.
17. When Angel said He would rule over house of Jacob forever, she at once knew her Son was the Messiah. Then all the prophecies would clearly refer to her Son.
18. Moses led people out of Egypt to Mt. Sinai, where they received the covenant and its law, led them during the 40 years in the desert.
19. God promised to make them His favored people if they would obey.
20. Prefiguration is a prophecy given by an action or even the presence of a person. Crossing Red Sea foretold Baptism, manna foretold Eucharist. The bronze serpent on a pole prefigures Christ on cross.
21. St. Paul said we are free from law in sense that keeping it does not earn salvation, which we get as children of Our Father, without earning it, but we could earn to lose it by mortal sin. Jesus said we must be like children - they get love and care without earning it, but could earn to lose it.
22. King David.
23. Kingdom of God often, not always, means the Church in this life or the next. Many parables show this, e.g., at end of parable of wicked tenants, Jesus said the kingdom would be taken from the Jews, given to a people who would bear fruit. Many scholars today agree.
24. Jesus is our truth telling how to reach heaven; He is the way by His example; He is life since He gave us Mass, Communion, other Sacraments.
25. First Epistle of Peter 3:15 says we should be able to give reasons for our faith. We start with Gospels, considered at first as just ancient documents, examine them till we see they can give us a few facts about Jesus, then we find 6: Jesus came from God, proved that by miracles done with a tie to His claim to support it, spoke more to an inner circle, Apostles, and told them to continue His teaching, promised protection: "He who hears you hears me."
26. Saved means- rescue from evils in this life - or entering Church - or reaching heaven. It never has the foolish meaning of infallible salvation from a mistake Luther made about faith. (recall answer to question 8).
27. Look up Churches - see so many, cannot all have the true sense or Scripture. They lack the guidance Jesus promised.
28. Public revelation is that in Scripture and Tradition, completed when last Apostle died and NT was finished. All else is called private. Church's power to teach covers only public, not private.
29. When the Church presents a teaching as definitive, final, it is infallible, even without solemnly defining.
30. If whole Church, authorities and people ever accept a thing as revealed, that belief cannot be in error.
31. Both are divine revelation, one written, the other unwritten.
32. He is supreme source of all things, is Creator.
33. When we describe Him, we name His attributes, e.g., eternal, unchangeable, all-knowing, all-powerful.
34. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each God, but yet only one God. We cannot explain it. We know it from the words of Jesus ordering Baptism in name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He also said He came from the Father, and would send the Holy Spirit - so there are three.
35. God is perfectly One, so we cannot have two by speaking of Him and His love. To love is to will good to another for other's sake: Father wills divinity to Son, both will it to Holy Spirit.
36. He could have created from eternity, Genesis, as interpreted by the Church, says there was a beginning of creation.
37. He created to have someone to receive His goodness and benefits.
38. He created for His glory not as wanting to gain - impossible -but because the goodness of creatures glorifies Him.
39. He proved His love by sending His Son to a terrible death to open heaven for us.
40. Those whom He sees as resisting His grace gravely and persistently, He decides to let go - for without it they could not be saved. All others, without their earning it, He decrees will go to heaven.
41. If God wanted to make our race, it had to have free will, or would not be human. Similarly angels had to have it, if He wanted to create them at all.
42. Moral evils come from the gift of free will - physical evils come from fact that created things are capable of failing. To overrule His own laws most of the time by miracles, to prevent these, would contradict Himself. Should not have made the laws if He did not mean to let them work.
43. Angels have no bodies. They were not created with the vision of God - then sin would be impossible.
44. Angels cannot repent because at time of acting they see everything with perfect clarity, no room to reconsider.
45. He gives each of us a guardian angel, who is very powerful.
46. We have a spiritual soul in common with angels.
47. We have an idea of dog that is not high or low, long or short etc. - no artist could make an image of that, for material cannot hold it - so that in us which holds it is not material but spiritual. God Himself creates each soul.
48. They had 1) basic humanity, 2) preternatural gift that made it easy to keep all their drives in proper place: gift of integrity or coordinating gift, 3) life of grace. Yes there were first parents, we are not sure they used those names.
49. We are born with only the first, basic humanity. By Baptism we regain the life of grace. Original sin took us down to where Adam would have been if given only the first gift. That was the only damage - but it meant that without the coordinating gift, we would have to work (mortification) to tame our drives. But there is no total corruption, as Luther thought there was.
50. Original sin is a privation, i. e, . the lack of the grace that should have been there. Our mind is dark and will weak relative to what they would have been if we had that coordinating gift.
51. We may consider bodily evolution, as long as it is not atheistic - God could have created laws to bring it about, and at each higher step supplied the higher being, especially the human soul. Pius XII in 1950 said we may consider, so it does not contradict Scripture.
52. In 1980 a meeting of 160 top scientists from over the world in Chicago said the fossils do not show the intermediate forms Darwin thought there should be. So they imagined that a species might stay the same for millions of years, then by a sudden fluke, turn into something higher!
53. He promised a Redeemer in Gen 3:15.
54. Jesus means Savior, Christ means the anointed one.
55. He worked miracles connected to His claims to prove them, He lived a life of perfect holiness, He revised and extended the sacred Laws. He inspired followers to die for Him.
56. The Church never has and never will reverse a teaching - divine protection prevents error.
57. So He could be able to die to save us.
58. He has two natures, divine and human, but only one person, divine person.
59. Yes He was tempted, but He never sinned, H e did not have disorderly emotions.
60. That Jesus is one in nature with the Father, i.e., divine.
61. It used homoousios, meaning "one in substance or nature" with the Father.
62. His human mind saw the vision of God from the first instant of His conception, and so all knowledge was available to Him. Among other things, He foresaw clearly all He had to suffer. This caused Him much distress.
63. We know this from the teachings of the Church, especially Pius XII, in Encyclical on Mystical Body. We know it by theological reasoning: For any soul to have that vision, it needs grace to raise its power to know - of course He had that. Also, it is needed that the divinity join itself directly to the human mind, without even an image in between. He had to have that, since not only His human mind, but His entire humanity was joined to the divinity in the unity of one Person.
64. Lk 2:52 says He grew in wisdom. St. Athanasius distinguished between actual growth in wisdom and growth in how much He manifested at various points.
65. In Mk 13:32 Jesus says even the Son does not know the day of the end. Pope St. Gregory the Great solved it, saying He always knew the day in His humanity, but from His humanity, i.e., it registered on His human mind, but that humanity was not the source of that knowledge.
66. The Greeks could not even think a god would associate with man or be in friendship - so to think He became man and willed to do so terribly! The Jews mostly thought the Messiah would not die, and read in Dt. 21:23, cursed be anyone who hangs on the wood!
67. We are not sure, but an old tradition says Joachim and Anne.
68. Being the Mother of God.
69. When the Archangel said He would reign over the house of Jacob forever, it was clear He would be the Messiah.
70. When the Archangel said He would be called Son of God because conceived when Our Lady was "overshadowed" by the Divine Presence, that should come at least close. Then Isaiah 9:5-6 spoke of the Messiah as "God the Mighty"-- The Jews knew that text spoke of the Messiah, as we see from the Targums. And "overshadow" was the word used in Exodus 40:35 for the divine presence filling the ancient tabernacle.
71. Virginal conception meant He had no human father. "Ever virgin" means she was virgin before, during, and after His birth.
72."Brothers and sisters" mean some other kind of relative. Hebrew ah was often used loosely. NT writers often used Hebrew styles of expression, so we must too at what the Hebrew sense would have been.
73. Immaculate Conception means she never had original sin, that is, that when conceived, she already had sanctifying grace.
74. She had it in anticipation of the merits of Christ.
75. Pius IX in 1854.
76. St. Luke used Greek kecharitomene, strong because a rare perfect passive participle. It was of a verb meaning to cause someone to be in the state indicate by the root - here, charis, grace or favor. It was used instead of her name, and so is like English "He is Mr. Tennis", meaning, he is the ultimate in tennis. So she is "Miss Grace", the ultimate in the category of grace. - If we say "favor" we have to remember that God did not merely sit there and smile at her, He gave something, that something is grace.
77. Our Lady is the New Eve.
78. We first hear of this title in the works of St. Justin Martyr, around 145-150 A.D. Then it spread to most of the major Fathers.
79. Just as the first Eve really contributed to the damage of original sin, so the New Eve really contributed to undoing that damage, to redeeming. In faith, she consented to furnish the humanity in which the Redeemer could die.
80. Vatican II added that on Calvary by her obediently consenting to His death, and in faith, hope and love, she joined in the sacrifice. Obedience is what gave the value to His death (cf. Rom 5:19).
81. In "Mother of the Redeemer', John Paul II showed that her obedience meant she had to positively will His death - such was the clear will of the Father - in spite of her love which was so great that as Pius IX said(Ineffabilis Deus),"no one but God can comprehend it." (Pius IX spoke of holiness - but in practice that is the same as love of God).
82. She is Mediatrix of all Graces.
83. Vatican II said she is Mediatrix, without adding "of all graces," but gave a note referring us to several Popes who did use the words. Vatican II was concerned about Protestant observers, who threatened to cut off dialogue. It did teach she shared in earning all graces, hence, logically is involved in distributing all.
84. He first showed from the New Eve theme she shared in the redemption, then added that the "struggle" of Calvary, which was "common to Her Son and her" had to have a common effect, glorification: for Him, resurrection and ascension, for her, assumption.
85. He is King by nature (divinity) and by redemption. She is the Mother of God, and shared in the redemption, hence is Queen.
86. Vatican II wrote more extensively, went farther theologically on her than all previous councils combined.
87. Paul VI at Vatican II declared her Mother of the Church.
88. Pius XII in message to Marian Congress of Ottawa in 1947 pointed out that by being Mother of the Head of the Mystical Body, she necessarily was Mother of the members. That adds up to the Church.
89. His divinity remained joined to both soul and body after His death.
90. Sinners had taken, as it were, form one pan of the scales of the objective moral order, what they had no right to have. The Holiness of God wanted that rebalanced -- it was an infinite imbalance. Only a divine Person could rebalance by giving up more than all sinners had stolen.
91. Paul VI, in his Constitution on Indulgences helped greatly.
92. We are saved and made holy if and to the extent that, we are members of Christ, and like Him - this is the syn Christo theme, scattered throughout his Epistles.
93. External participation consists in answering prayers, singing, joining at times in processions etc.
94. Internal participation consists in 1) the fact that the people are members of Christ whom the priest represents at the altar and, 2)by joining their interior dispositions and the offering of all their works and sufferings etc. ("spiritual sacrifices") to those of Christ on the altar. He presents again His obedience, which has continued (is not repeated) since His death.
95. He went into the Limbo of the Patriarchs.
96. The just of the OT times were not allowed to have the beatific vision until Christ actually died.
97. All knowledge is available, even though a finite soul cannot as it were "contain" it all.
98. Some OT texts say the dead do not praise God - the word used refers to the grand liturgical ceremonies Israel loved.
99. OT says the dead do not know things - they have no natural means of knowing what goes on on earth, unless of course God chooses to reveal things. When they reach the vision, they can know - but that was not permitted until Christ died.
100. They do not hope for His fidelity in that the covenant - to which the word refers, is not operative in Sheol.
101. Both are true, as God He rose by own power, as man, the Father raised Him.
102. Magdalen and others come to tomb, see it empty - run to apostles- Peter & John do not believe but go to tomb, find it empty - Peter & John leave, Magdalen stays, sees him, at first as gardener, then knows him - He appears to Peter, then to two on road to Emmaus - latter go back to Apostles, find Peter has seen Him too - He appears to the Eleven, gives power to forgive sins, but Thomas is absent - He comes again- further appearances at Lake of Galilee
103. The description of the many appearances after resurrection.
104. No, His ascension was a way of making clear He was leaving this realm.
105. This is part of Paul's syn Christo theme: we must suffer with Him, die with Him, rise with Him, ascend with Him. - all in the Baptismal and mystical sense, inasmuch as we are members of Him and like Him.
106. AS God He always had all power, as man, He had emptied Himself (Phil 2. 13)i.e., resolved not to use His power for His own comfort. But now it was different.
107. He is present in the liturgical action, at Mass in the priest, present by His power in the Sacraments, present in His word when read in the Church, He is present when the Church prays or sings-- but most of all in a bodily way in the Blessed Sacrament.
108. The latter, in the Eucharist, is by far the greatest.
109. Parousia is His glorious return at the end. He will appear, will manifest God's judgments in each case - this is more than the individual judgment just after death, though that decision will stand.
110. We do not know the form - no room on earth for all person of all times - but it will make known God's judgments, perhaps by interior locution.
111. There can be no change of heart towards God, for or against Him, after death.
112. The loss of God- added is something called fire- not rapid oxidation, but something that inflicts comparable pain. Doctrinal Congregation says hell will have "a repercussion on the whole being of the sinner."
113. In this life, our intelligence is limited since the spiritual intellect of our soul, very powerful, is tied to the material brain. At death, the spiritual intellect can function alone, sees much more clearly.
114. Answered above in 112.
115. Not all at death are fit for the vision of God - which calls for immense purity, because in Heaven He joins self directly to each soul.
116. a)In 2 Macc 12, 45 Judas Maccabeus sends collection to Temple for souls of those who fell in battle. b)In Mal 32. 2 and elsewhere, it says God is like a refiner's fire:who can stand when He appears? Immense purity required. Not all have it at death. c) Church has defined there is purgatory.
117. Loss of God, and perhaps something comparable to pain of fire.
118. They cannot help selves, but we can help them by prayer and penance.
119. Indefinitely, we do not know how long they may need it. St. Augustine 10-15 years after his mother's death asked prayers for her.
120. He makes them basically capable of the vision of God in the next life.
121. Wherever it causes an effect it is present.
122. It came into being when Christ died on the cross, formally inaugurated on Pentecost.
123. Mystical Body is the union of all Christians as members of Christ under Him as Head. We invented the word mystical since such a union has no parallel.
124. Militant in this life, suffering in Purgatory, glorious in heaven.
125. He means the sense of Hebrew qadosh, set aside for God, coming under the covenant - this calls for moral perfection, but does not directly mean it.
126. It is one - Christ established only one Church; it is holy, He gave it all the means to make members holy, even if not all are such; it is Catholic being universal wanting to take in all since God wills all to be saved; it is apostolic, in that it goes back to the Apostles.
127. Schismatics reject the authority of the Pope, keep other doctrines. They can have valid bishops and priests if they do not break the succession to the apostles.
128. Collegiality means that somewhat as Peter and the Apostles formed one college with him as head, so similarly the Pope with the Bishops. Pope can act alone when he so wills.
129. The People of God is the Church or the Mystical Body.
130. Magisterium is the teaching authority of the Church, including the Pope and Bishops in union with him.
131. Infallible are doctrines: 1)solemnly defined 2) those which the Pope and all Bishops in union teach as definitely part of the faith; 3)doctrines in papal documents published in the acta, in which he deliberately takes position on something currently debated in theology.
132. A professor who is properly qualified, teaching in his own field, may teach any view he believes. But if a professor does not follow the method of exploration proper to his field, he is not properly qualified and so lacks that freedom. So a "Catholic" theologian who does not follow the Magisterium does not have it.
133. There is no salvation outside the Church, but we must understand that the way the Church means it, not the way of Feeney. St. Justin Martyr said some, like Socrates were Christians because they followed what the Divine Word wrote on their hearts (cf. Rom 1. 14-16). Then, since they follow Christ's Spirit (cf. Rom 8:9) they belong to Christ = are members of Christ = are members of the Church, substantially.
134. He said God does not let anyone suffer eternal punishment who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault. Vatican II in On the Church 16 said those who without fault do not find the Church, but follow moral law with help of grace, can be saved.
135. In Rom 3, 29 Paul says if God did not provide for salvation of nonJews, He would not seem to be their God.
136. See reply 133.
137. See replies 133-15. Even though they can be saved without formal entry, God wills that they come in (1 Tim 2;4), where they have richer more sure means of salvation.
138. In On Ecumenism 11 it said nothing is so foreign to true ecumenism as watering down doctrine.
139. State is needed to provide things needed which individuals alone cannot provide. If it does that God does not mind which form of government there is. Church authority is higher than state. In Rom 13. 1 Paul said the authorities once chosen get their power from God.
140. Three good kinds: monarchy, aristocracy, constitutional government. But if they rule for selfish ends, they degenerate into tyranny, oligarchy or democracy. God accepts any that provides for the common good. (Aristotle's classification).
141. In Rom 13. 4 he says the state is the agent of God for justice in inflicting it.
142. Three things: 1) Those who have vote should use it, 2)but only if they know the issues; 3)and if they will vote for the common good, not just for their own group.
143. A right is a claim ultimately given by God. He gives no claim to be wrong - He does give a claim not to be jailed etc. for being wrong, said Vatican II.
144. It said the state must see that parents are really free in choosing schools - contrary to U. S. system.
145. Parents are the primary educators.
146. We must use the means of forgiveness He established, for He gave power to forgive to Bishops and priests. He will not forgive if we knowingly omit that.
147. Those alive when Christ returns will never die: 1 Thes. 4. 13 ff. Risen bodies will be like Christ's - free from laws of space and time, yet having real flesh, which can never suffer or die.
148. Since Christ the Head rose, His members will also rise.
149. 2 Peter 1. 4 said that. It means we have basic ability to get in on the vision of God in heaven. It cannot get dull since God is infinite, we are finite receptacles trying to take Him in.
150. St. Augustine said that (City of God 10. 7). It means that we share in His timelessness - eternity does not just go on and on -the soul simply IS incredibly satisfied, happy, fulfilled.
151. The Blessed Mother, plus our friends, and the other Saints.
152. Decalogue is the Ten Commandments, received by Moses on Mt. Sinai.
153. Moses broke the tablets because the people had fallen into idolatry. God wrote again on two tablets Moses provided.
154. Date is debated. Chief suggestions, around 1290 BC or around 1450 BC.
155. For long Tudiya, first king of Assyria was considered just a legend, until tablets found at Ebla dating from about 2350 B.C. showed a treaty with him by the king of Ebla. That was about 13 centuries before the Assyrian King lists were written down!
156. He said He came not to destroy but to fulfill. He extended and perfected them in the Sermon on the Mount and by the Beatitudes.
157. Two reasons: 1) Objective goodness says creatures should obey the Creator: He loves all that is right;2)He wants to give benefits to us - useless if we are not open to receive. His commands tell us how to be open, and also steer us away from the evils found in the nature of things for immorality.
158. It forbids worship of false gods, and making images of them. Not wrong today to make images, not of false gods - danger of idolatry is passed.
159. Superstition is false worship or attributing infallible power to things to which God has not given it, e. g, to a certain set of prayers for a certain set of days.
160. The Ouija board uses automatic writing, and satan is apt to become involved in it.
161. Sacrilege is scornful treatment of a person, place or thing dedicated to God.
162. Simony means trying to buy supernatural things.
163. Adoration means recognizing who I am in comparison to Him, and who He is.
164. Worship means essentially adoration and obedience to God.
165. Obedience gave the value to the sacrifice of Jesus.
166. Exterior sign, which is to express, and perhaps promote the interior element, which is obedience.
167. Is 29. 13: "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." -- mere externalism.
168. Some today who think participation in Mass consists only in answering prayers, singing etc are subject to the same complaint.
169. We neither adore nor worship Our Lady.
170. It is not rash judgment to state the objective rating of an action, e.g., to say adultery is mortal sin. Rash judgment consists in attributing interior dispositions to the one who does it, without being sure. To light candles etc (cf. the eternal flame at grave of JFK) is not worship. Some Protestants rashly claim to know that interiorly we intend this as worship. We do not.
171. Since Jesus is a Divine Person, His sacrifice has infinite worth.
172. He ordered, "Do this in memory of me," so we could join our dispositions with His. St. Paul says we are saved and made holy if and to the extent that we are members of Christ, and like Him- including in this matter or reparation for sin. This is the syn Christo theme.
173. Taking the name of God in vain is ordinarily venial sin. If one has a habit and does nothing about it, he is guilty of even slips-but if he is trying to change, not guilty of slips.
174. Ordinary Jews not allowed to pronounce the word Yahweh even in prayer; it is debated when the priests might do so, it was seldom.
175. Blasphemy is any speech, thought or act that shows contempt for God. When people speak of cursing or swearing they usually do not mean blasphemy or wishing evil to another - it is merely injecting the words damn or hell into conversation, using them without meaning much or anything. It is very rude, not a sin.
176. A vow is a promise made to God to do something better. Dt. 23. 22 warns: do not make vow and not keep it. How great a sin depends on importance of the matter. Perjury is lying under oath. Adjuration is the solemn use of the name of God to strengthen a command.
177. Canon 1247 says: "They must also keep from such work or business as would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord's day, and due relaxation of mind and body."
178. Our most essential participation in the Mass is joining our dispositions, chiefly obedience to the will of the Father, to those of Jesus on the altar. On Holy Thursday Jesus expressed His obedience by the seeming separation of body and blood, which expressed willingness to die. He does the same in the Mass today. We might take some moments before each Mass to look back: what have I done in obeying the Father since the last Mass? If well, I have something to offer together with Him - otherwise, add sorrow. We could also look ahead to the near future to see if there is something coming where I know His will, but am not inclined to do it? Then: do I intend to do so? So past and future can be joined in the one present moment of the double consecration.
179. Grave reason can excuse, or physical impossibility, or sufficiently heavy illness, or the need to take care of baby or sick relatives when no one else can do it at the time.
180. See answer to 177.
181. It is greater to mould a child in the image of Jesus or Mary than to carve marble like Michaelangelo.
182. It means financial support if they need it in old age, or psychological support if needed, and it includes obedience up to legal age. Even after that, respect is required.
183. No, they do not have a right to do that.
184. Contempt for parents is seriously sinful. The temptation to that is great during the period of great bodily changes, which put somatic resonance to things into a flux. We should pray for deceased parents indefinitely - we do not know how long they may need help. St. Augustine 10-15 years after the death of his Mother, St. Monica, asked for prayers for her.
185. It is not immoral or unchristian. St. Paul in Romans 13. 4 says in giving it, the state is the agent of God for justice.
186. He spoke strongly against anger. Anger, without a desire for revenge, is ordinarily venial.
187. We should remember love is not a feeling, but lies in willing good to another for the other's sake. We can do this towards people whom we find unpleasant (useful to pray for the silently when we feel such temptations). We need then only to try not to cultivate unpleasant feelings.
188. If we do one action which has two effects, in a Y pattern - one effect good and intended, the other evil and not intended. If there is at least a balance of good and evil, it can be permitted, e.g., to bomb a military target which will involve killing some civilians. If the good came only through the evil effect, not permitted.
189. We must take ordinary means to care for health. Extraordinary means are not required. To see what is extraordinary, we consider: type of treatment, its cost both in money and in suffering, and compare these with the good that can be reasonably expected.
190. Risky experimental remedies may be used with the patient's consent if there are no safer and sufficient remedies. This may e an act of charity that could benefit both the patient and humanity.
191. An organ transplant can be permitted if the loss of the organ does not kill the patient or cause a disproportionate risk. Some surgeons are in too much of a hurry to declare a patient dead, to obtain organs.
192. Surgery needed to correct an immanent danger to the mother's life from a grave pathological condition which will also kill an unborn child can be permitted within the rules of the double effect principle.
193. Direct sterilization is gravely wrong. If reversal is possible without excessive expense and/or risk, in proportion to the chances of success, repentance may call for the surgery.
194. Charity can justify taking grave risks for another's life.
195. War can be permitted to correct a grave evil not otherwise correctable, if good effects at least balance the evil, if it is done by public authority, and involves observing the double effect rules as to killing noncombatants. John Paul II in message to United Nations in 1982 said having nuclear weapons of mass destruction (going beyond things permitted under double effect principle) in balance, can be permitted temporarily. This is not a lie, since statements or acts of a nation in context of war should not be taken at what seems face value.
196. Citizens have a duty to fight for country unless the war is manifestly unjust. It could even be a heroic exercise of virtue. St. Augustine told a soldier Boniface that Holy David fought wars, and that his physical strength was a gift of God.
197. 6th & 9th commandments forbid seeking sexual pleasure outside of marriage, or accepting it if it offers itself in temptation.
198. It damages chances of success in marriage, since it turns the person back again on self, instead of outward to others.
199. To have homosexual orientation is not sinful, but it is objectively disorderly. To act on it is gravely sinful.
200. Contraception is really only mutual masturbation.
201. Fornication is intercourse between unmarried persons.
Adultery is intercourse with one of the parties, or both, married to another.
202. Vatican II said the act of marriage is honorable and worthy within marriage.
203. I said that marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained to procreation and education of children. If one thing is ordained to another, it is subordinate. This is the same as saying procreation is the primary goal of marriage.
204. It is wrong to separate the two functions, procreative and unitive. Also it involves aborting one of the unwanted conceptions.
205. Prayer, especially to the Blessed Mother, keeping watch over what one reads, sees, or daydreams about. Frequent use of Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist, and the thought of death and judgment help much.
206. In premarital sex, the parties use each other for sensory pleasure - this is different from being concerned about the well-being of the other (which is love). Instead they put each other in danger of hell, and that is closer to hate than to love. Hence it is hardly possible for love to develop in such a framework - though people mistake the chemistry/feelings for love.
207. Private property is good, not immoral. Experience of communist countries show without it, there is no incentive to work hard.
208. Theft is the secret taking of another's property, if taken openly, it is robbery. To steal by deception or fraud is cheating.
To accept, or buy or sell stolen goods known to be such is also sinful, or to fail to return things found if the owner is known. It is also fraud to refuse to pay just debts, or to beg when not in need. It is also fraud to waste time or material of the employer. These things are mortally sinful when the amount is grave, . i.e., what the owner would earn in a day. If the owner is very rich, a very large amount can be mortal even if not as much as the rich man gains in a day. There is always an a obligation of restitution, though it does not oblige one to give self up.
To gamble more than one can afford is wrong. The same is true of betting.
209. There is a social character even to private property. An employer may not, without very serious cause, pay less than a living wage for full time work.
The minimum obligation to aid the poor is measured by two scales, one of how grave is the person's need, the other, of how difficult it is to give. If the person needs something to avoid death, it is permitted for him to take it without permission. Real Christian charity will go farther than these minimums.
210. Real detachment means hanging loose, not letting creatures get such a hold on us as to lead to even venial sin.
211. Lying is wrong because human society cannot really operate if people do not tell the truth. A lie is any action or statement, which, when properly interpreted, is known by the speaker to be false - we must consider the normal context of life to find the right interpretation. In mental reservation one limits the meaning of the words - in strict reservation, no clue is given (this is wrong). In broad reservation, a clue is given. Lying is usually venial. A lie under oath or denial of the faith is mortal.
212. Hypocrisy is acting out a lie. Flattery is insincere praise, in the hope of gaining something.
213. The media often have scant regard for accuracy. They often slant news broadcasts, e.g., by letting Senator A give his reasons in full on the screen, but not letting Senator B have the same opening. They may also dishonestly edit a statement, to give an unintended impression.
214. Moderate exaggeration in advertising is expected, but should not go beyond that. It often leads people to greed, to want more than is good for them. Some commercials are irresponsible in causing irritation and stress to attract attention.
215. Natural secrets: the things by nature should be kept secret because the person is reasonably unwilling; in promised secrets, a promise is given after learning; in committed secrets, the promise is given in advance, to get the information. Proportional serious reason can justify breaking these three - very strong reason needed for the last one, since the common good requires secrecy in these, e.g., in professionals such as doctors or lawyers. Confessional secrecy can never be broken for any reason whatsoever.
216. a)Slander is charging another with something not true- very serious, requires retracting; Detraction consists in making known otherwise not known faults of another without proportionate reason; In uncharitable speech two or more are talking about another's faults, already known to both. If there is good reason it is all right; often there is no good reason.
217. It is not rash judgment to say that murder is murder, to just state the objective moral rating of an act; Rash judgment involves stating the interior dispositions of the person - seldom can we know them for certain. Only that would be being "judgmental".
218. Jesus promises happiness even in this life to those not usually thought happy.
219. The poor in spirit may or not be poor in money - detachment from the things of this world is the essential. The meek are those who are unassuming, considerate, and far from the spirit of revenge.
220. Suffering is not always punishment for sin, it can be a means of purification and greater likeness to Christ, and brings divine consolation. The pure in heart are not merely those sexually pure - it refers to complete moral purity.
221. Eighth beatitude applies specially to martyrs.
222. Turning other cheek and similar things are ideals, showing the right attitude to be taken - need not always be done literally. They do not require Christians to abstain from being soldiers.
223. Sanctifying grace makes us sharers in the divine nature, gives basic ability to take part in the vision of God in the next life. Increase means greater ability to take in the vision of God.
224. Sacramentum first meant oath of allegiance to pagan military commander - Christians adapted it to Christ, broadened to include anything religious and mysterious. Only by 12 century was there agreement to make it mean a sacred sign established by Christ to give grace.
225. Sacraments confer grace by the very fact that the rite is properly done, provided the recipient does not place an obstacle to grace.
226. Baptism is the prerequisite for all the other Sacraments.
227. Sacramental grace is the special help needed to carry out the obligations given by the sacrament, plus a claim to such helps in the future when needed.
228. Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders give a permanent character.
229. Baptism is the sacrament that makes us members of Christ. It is conferred by pouring natural water (immersion may also be used) on the skin of the head while saying; "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." Normally baptism is given by a bishop, priest, or deacon. In case of need anyone can baptize.
230. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are given along with sanctifying grace at Baptism. One major effect is a higher form of guidance. The three guides people may follow are: whim of the moment, reason (aided by actual grace) and the Gifts. There are seven gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord.
231. Baptism is necessary in the sense that if one knows of the obligation given by Christ and refuses it, he could not be saved. If one though no fault does not know of the Church and Baptism, but still keeps the moral law known interiorly, with the help of grace, he can be saved by baptism of desire to do the will of God. The Church has never decided what happens to infants who die without baptism, except that they do not suffer any punishment. St. Thomas adds that they have a natural happiness.
232. Baptism should be given soon after birth. If someone receives baptism in emergency by a layman, a priest or deacon should later supply the ceremonies.
233. An adult needs the free intention of receiving baptism (at least an habitual intention), along with faith, hope, love, and repentance for sins.
234. Sponsors take on the obligation to watch over the child in case the parents fail to provide religious training.
235. The Holy Spirit came in the form of tongues of fire, gave the gift of speaking in tongues and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
236. Ordinary charismatic graces are widely given: the gift of being a good parent, teacher etc. The extraordinary gifts include tongues, translating tongues, working miracles etc. They were given for the good of the Church, not directly for the sanctification of the recipient. The extraordinary gifts were common in the first generation, became rare by middle of next century.
237. Confirmation is given to give strength to hold firm in the difficulties of life, especially in living as a real Christian, not conformed to this world.
238. The ordinary minister of Confirmation is the Bishop or priest of Eastern rites. Priests in the west may receive a special commission to give this sacrament. In the East it is given right after Baptism, in the west, after the use of reason is reached.
Vatican II changed the rite of Confirmation, making it more like that in the Eastern part of the Church. The essential part of the rite is conferred by anointing the forehead with Chrism, along with the words: "Receive the seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit."
239. Chrism is olive oil mixed with balsam, consecrated by the Bishop on Holy Thursday, or, in emergency, by any priest.
240. Other sacraments give grace, the Holy Eucharist gives the Author of all grace.
241. Eucharist comes from the Greek word eucharistesas, which means," having blessed".
242. St. John does not tell of the institution of the Holy Eucharist - it is likely his gospel was written later, to fill in things the other Gospels did not give.
243. The change does not make Mass invalid. We now it since the Pope often uses the English form "for all" and in Italian does the same, "per tutti." Also, polloi in Greek, renders Hebrew rabbim, "the all who are many". St. Paul when he uses polloi as a noun, always means all, e.g., in Rom 5:19.
244. One must receive the Eucharist if he knows - but in ignorance with no fault, one can be saved.
245. Bread must be made of only wheat flour (white or whole-wheat) with water, and baked. Wine must be made from pressed grapes and the juice allowed to ferment. A slight addition is illegal, but does not make the matter invalid. A large addition, e.g., enough sugar or honey so that people would consider it cookie or cake - that does make it invalid.
246. The substance of bread and wine disappear, are replaced by the body and blood of Jesus. This is called transubstantiation.
247. In John 6:47-67 Jesus did not soften His words when the crowds began to leave. Had He meant only signify they would not have left. The Church has always understood such a Real Presence.
248. One who really believes, should be inclined to come before the tabernacle often, and to receive often with great devotion.
249. The Mass is the same as Calvary, "Only the manner of offering being changed." Sacrifice includes external sign, and interior disposition. The interior disposition of Jesus was basically obedience on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Today His disposition of obedience to the Father continues without interruption or need of repetition. The external sign now and on Thursday is the same: seeming separation of body and blood. On Good Friday it was the actual separation.
250. Vatican II said the priest acts "in the person of Christ". He says "this is my body", and it is the body of Christ.
251. Even though Calvary earned all forgiveness and grace, yet Jesus said: "Do this in memory of me" 1) so we could join our dispositions with His; 2) because the Father in His love of good order likes to have one thing in place to serve as the reason or title for giving the second, even though that does not move Him. The Mass is the reason for giving out what was once earned.
252. To speak only of those four things leaves out the essential, obedience.
253. See answer to 251 and add: We could take some moments before a Mass to see what we have done since the past Mass in obeying the Father - if we did not do well, we add regrets. We look ahead to the near future, and sometimes will see something coming up where we know His will but do not like to do it: then we ask if we intend to do it. So past and future are focused, combined, in the one moment of the double consecration, which is the heart of the Mass.
254. The people offer the Mass interiorly, 1)because the priest at the altar represents Christ, whose members they are; 2)they join their interior dispositions with those of Jesus on the altar, and present their "spiritual sacrifices," all their joys, sufferings, work etc. done and accepted as part of likeness to Him.
255. Paul VI said that. Marriage by the give and take that are essential, leads the partners to become unselfish, and so to grow spiritually. This forms part of the "spiritual sacrifices" presented in the Mass.
256. The priesthood of the laity is royal in that by offering Mass as they should, they rule over themselves, instead of letting sin rule over them.
257. See answer to 253.
258. Vatican II called Mass the renewal of the New Covenant, because in it the obedience of Jesus, the covenant condition, to which our obedience should be joined, is presented again.
259. Our Lady shared in Calvary by her total self-emptying in obedience as we saw in the Third Article of the Creed. John Paul II said she is present at each Mass, for the body and blood offered came from her, and her will is still united with His as He offers Himself.
260. Graces communicated depend on how often the Mass is offered for a certain intention, the dispositions of the priest and of the faithful who take part, and of those for whom it is offered, and on God's will.
261. If the priest died right after the second consecration, nothing would be lacking to the sacrifice. The great Amen is not part of the essence, just an extension to give us more time to join in.
262. Venial sins for which there is sorrow may be remitted by the Mass, and temporal punishment still due lessened.
263. Special benefits are for those for whom it is offered, for the priest, for those who actively participate at the Mass (recall it is mostly interior). General benefits go for the whole Church.
264. Yes there is.
265. He said that if one does not work at conversion, improving self, and preparation for and thanks afterwards, he/she may even take a loss from frequent Communion. We should think in advance on what we are to receive, to do. Afterwards, we should strive for recollection, to express sorrow for sin, to beg for grace to do better. And we should be decently dressed and hands should be clean, especially if one intends to receive in the hand.
266. Children should begin to receive when they reach the use of reason, but not before their first Confession.
267. Those in danger of death are obliged receive if possible.
268. If one receives only one species he/she does not receive less. In 1 Cor 11:26 the word and shows that we receive both body and blood under one species.
269. By fervent desire to receive when it is not physically possible, one can make a spiritual communion.
270. He instituted Sacrament of Penance on His very first visit to the Apostles after His Resurrection. Only a priest or bishop can absolve from sins. Besides ordination, a priest needs "faculties" from his bishop or major superior.
271. Jesus gave power to either forgive or retain sins. Obviously the priest needs to know what sins, so he can know which to do. Only certain mortal sins need be confessed.
272. First clear mention of Sacrament of Penance outside Scripture is in the Shepherd, by Hermas, brother of Pope St. Pius I (140-150). It is likely the work was begun in the 90s. Public penance did not include public confession, but the penance given was public.
273. Need for substantial penance was more clearly seen then than now - possibility to use the sacrament for spiritual growth was not realized then. Baptism then was called the "seal", by which God marks the soul as His property - it should never break the seal by sinning again.
274. Only mortal sins that are certain (not doubtful) must be confessed, with number and circumstances that substantially alter the case. It is good to confess venial sins too, and after confessing only venial sins, it is good practice to add something like: "I wish to include also my sins of the past against commandment X or X virtue."
275. Church law orders that if one has sinned mortally, he/she must go to confession before Holy Communion. However in a case where there is no opportunity to confess, and at same time, one will fall under suspicion if he/she does not receive, then one may spend a few minutes in quiet, thinking of motives for perfect contrition - sorrow because God is not only good to me, but good in Himself. After that, one may assume it was successfully and receive, but has the obligation of confessing as soon as reasonably possible.
276. Perfect contrition, just described is not required. Attrition, based on something less, sorrow because God is good to us, and because we fear punishment (not just a servile fear) can suffice.
277. Before battle in war, and when there is need to absolve a large group and no time to hear each, general absolution can be given, without individual confession. But the obligation to confess those sins individually remains.
278. After absolution, the penitent must do or say the penance - grave obligation after mortal sin. If one forgets what it is, should ask if possible, otherwise say what is likely the thing prescribed.
279. Even after doing the penance, there will usually be a debt of temporal punishment left - should do something voluntarily for that.
280. If one uses the Friday dispensation, one should do something equivalent.
281. Seal of confession is an absolute obligation of secrecy for the priest, or anyone who by chance overheard the sins. No excuse at all ever justifies breaking the secrecy.
282. An indulgence is the remission of all or part of the temporal punishment left over. It is not a permission to sin. Nor can it be bought.
283. Indulgences are based on the fact that the Church has the keys to an inexhaustible treasury of satisfactions from the merits of Jesus, Our Lady, and the Saints. Help to realize this possibility came especially in the persecution of Decius in middle third century, when some Christians in prison wrote to the Bishop, asking that their sufferings might in part make up for the long penance due from a friend of theirs.
284. A plenary indulgence, if fully gained, remits all remaining temporal punishment for the living- for the dead, the Church has no the authority, but asks God accept it if He so wills. A plenary indulgence can be gained only one a day, except on the day of death. To gain it the person must do the good work prescribed, and confess within a week and receive Communion on the day, and pray for intentions of the Holy Father. It is also required one be free from all attachment to even venial sins. At moment of death Church grants a plenary indulgence if the person has been in the habit of saying some prayers during life, and intends to gain it, even if no priest is present.
285. Partial indulgence, remission of part of the punishment due used to be marked as so many years etc. - it meant as much remission as would have been gained by that amount of time in the old canonical penances. Now the Church prefers to use a matching system: whatever satisfactory value the good work has, the Church adds the same amount, doubling it in effect.
286. The authority of the Church ends with death: she merely asks God if He so wills to accept the indulgence of that measure.
287. Marriage was instituted by God Himself in paradise; Jesus raised it to the dignity of a sacrament - at what point, we do not know. Only marriages in which both are baptized are sacramental.
288. Only sacramental marriages that are consummated are indissoluble. For it to be a sacrament both must have been baptized, even if only with a valid noncatholic baptism.
289. A civil marriage of Catholics is not valid - they did not observe the form set by the Church.
290. Marriage gives an increase in sanctifying grace, and also sacramental grace, the helps needed then or later to carry out the obligations of marriage.
291. St. Paul teaches that each does not have the right to refuse the use of marriage to the other without a grave reason.
292. Marriage needs to be indissoluble for the sake of the children.
293. If either party was incapable of making a permanent commitment, then, since marriage must be such, it would be invalid.
People can protect against this by not following the false New Spirituality, which says it does one no good to give up any creature or pleasure, voluntarily for a religious motive. Such a person is incapable of a permanent commitment.
294. Primary goal is procreation and education of children; secondary is mutual affection and help. Vatican II said the latter is ordained, i. e, subordinated to, the former.
295. St. Paul compares it to the union of Christ with the Church.
296. Pius XI said wives should be subject, but in such a way that their dignity is respected, so she is not in the position of a minor, nor need she follow requests that are not reasonable or not in accord with her dignity.
297. Paul VI said marriage is a long path towards sanctification -- we start life completely selfish, need to get to point of unselfish concern for the well-being of another for the other's sake. Soon a baby plays with other babies, finds others have claims - around age 9, boys and girls dislike each other - this is so they will separately develop their own special characteristics to prepare for next stage when chemistry changes, and makes someone of the opposite sex seem "wonderful", which is a stimulus to spiritual love: so fine a person, I hope he/she is well-off. But with male and female psychology so very different, after the initial glow settles, they will find they must give in much to make it work - this helps unselfishness and spiritual growth. Generosity to children is part of this plan of Our Father. To have to spend an hour taking care of a baby in the small hours can be a holy hour if understood as part of Our Father's plan.
298. Parents have the primary right and obligation of education of children.
299. 1 Cor 13:5 (according to one possible translation) says that love "does not keep a record of injuries". When a quarrel comes, to recite all past offenses can be devastating to love - as can generalizing: "You are a nasty person in general."
300. Besides the incapacity for a permanent commitment mentioned in answer 293, lack of required age, being in captivity, the bond of a previous marriage, natural relationship within certain degrees, certain spiritual relationships or those from affinity are the chief things that can make a marriage invalid.
301. Mixed marriages, i.e., with a baptized Protestant need special permission from the bishop, and are a grave danger to the faith of the Catholic party and to the children.
302. The Church may grant permanent separation, but not a right to remarry, for great danger to soul or body, or because of adultery of one party.
303. It is required that banns be published, that is, an announcement that if anyone knows a grave reason why the marriage should not take place, he/she should make it known.
304. The Council of Trent defined that at the Last Super Jesus made the Apostles priests. After His resurrection, He added the power to forgive sins.
305. There are three degrees: Deacon, Priest, Bishop. All three receive the Holy Spirit and a character to conform them to Christ.
306. Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are all members of the hierarchy. A Deacon can baptize and assist as official witness at Marriages. They are ordinary ministers of distributing the Eucharist. WE now have permanent deacons and transient deacons. The permanent deacons must observe celibacy. Permanent deacons may have been married before being ordained, but may not remarry after that if the wife dies. Nor may they marry is not married when receiving the diaconate.
307. Deacons, Priests and Bishops can confer solemn Baptism. If a layman baptizes in necessity, it is valid, since it is Christ who baptizes in all cases. All three can act in the person of Christ in that they can represent Him in their proper functions. This is specially true of the Priest when he says, "This is my body...."
308. Hearing the word of God and keeping it (cf. Mk 3. 30-35) is even higher than Divine Motherhood, though that is a quasi infinite dignity, as Pius XI said. And she of course was the greatest in both categories.
309. Bishops and priests and transient deacons must recite the complete divine office - it may be required of permanent deacons.
310. The Bishop is the ordinary minister of confirmation.
311. A Bishop must give an account at Judgment for every soul in his diocese. The Pope does not have a higher degree of Orders than the Bishops, but is higher in authority. The Pope can even define doctrine without consulting anyone, and can give commands to anyone in the Church, even Bishops.
312. Ministries in the strict sense are those of Lector and Acolyte. These ministries are conferred by the Bishop or by the Major Superior of religious. Laymen may perform the functions of these without being formally instituted.
313. Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. We are not sure at what point He did this. It was "insinuated" in Mark 6:13 and promulgated in James 5:14-15, according to the Council of Trent.
314. This Sacrament is to strengthen the sick person especially so as to bear his sufferings. It can even remit sins if the person is unable to confess and had had at least attrition. At times it even brings physical cure of illness. Age alone is not sufficient to receive it, unless the person is gravely weakened or in danger. If the person is not surely alive, it is given with condition:"If you are alive".
315. It can be repeated if the person gets well and falls into danger again, or if an illness gets notably worse.
316. Olive oil is used, blessed by the Bishop on Holy Thursday. But in case of need, any priest can bless just enough for the one occasion. If olive oil is not at hand, any vegetable oil can be used. The sick one should be encouraged to accept and offer his sufferings in union with those of Jesus and His Mother.
317. Prayer is raising mind and heart to God, to recognize all we have is from Him (adoration), to express sorrow for sin, to thank Him, to ask for favors, and to pledge our obedience to Him. In adoration we try to see what we are in comparison to what He is. Prayer may be either vocal or silent - meditation.
318. For infallible effect, there are some conditions: 1) we must pray for what is needed for our own salvation -prayer for others may not be effective if they reject or are resistant. Yet prayer for other things is often granted. 2) Prayer should be humble, persevering, with confidence, attention and in the name of Jesus. Confidence need not preclude all anxiety - Jesus himself suffered it, knowing what He had to suffer.
319. Yes, see 318.
320. One can pray in any position, but it should be reverent - otherwise our posture contradicts the interior reverence we claim to have.
321. There is a special charismatic confidence, which God injects, to assure a person if he/she asks, even a miracle will be given. In ordinary confidence that is not given, and one cannot work self into such a state. If one awaits a report from the doctor on cancer, confidence need not rule out all anxiety. Jesus suffered anxiety from the vision of God, which the Church says he always had, which showed Him from the start all He had to suffer.
322. See 321.
323. Yes, specially with strong, persevering, humble prayer, but we must be disposed to accept what God decides.
324. Voluntary distractions destroy the value of prayer - but involuntary ones, which we try to get rid of each time we notice them, may even make prayer worth more, if we persevere in trying to blot them out.
325. In making His decrees, God may take into account our prayers. Prayer also can make us disposed to accept what He sends.
326. Jesus Himself composed the Our Father. Jews tended to think of Him as only the Father of Jews. An opening they sometimes used for prayer was: Avinu, Malkenu = "Our Father, our King." It brings out well two essential aspects, love, and a sense of majesty.
327. Hallowed be thy name asks that all may recognize the righteousness of God, His concern for all that is right and good.
328. Thy will be done asks that all may carry out the will of God.
329. Thy kingdom come asks that His Church may be spread everywhere and that all may obey His rule.
330. Give us this day our daily bread -- it asks for what we need from God, on whom we depend for everything. The word daily is an uncertain translation, the Greek word epiousion is a rare one whose sense is uncertain.
331. Trespasses - the concept that sin is a debt, which the Holiness of God wants paid is found all over the OT, and in intertestamental literature, in NT and in rabbinic writings.
332. God does not lead us into temptation - the Hebrews often spoke of God as directly doing things He only permitted.
333. Thine is the kingdom - it is certain these words were not originally part of the Our Father. Probably they were first written on the edge of a manuscript, and then put into the body of the text. They are not specifically Protestant - probably based on 1 Chronicles 29:11. Substantially the same idea is found in the very ancient text of the Didache, usually dated 100 - 150 A.D.
334. Next to the our Father ranks the Hail Mary. Suppliant omnipotence means that everything that God can do by His own inherent power she can obtain by her intercession.
335. There is only one Mediator in three senses: 1)only one has both divine and human natures; 2) only one can mediate by His own power - others depend on Him; 3)only one is really necessary. Many Popes called her that: Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII.
336. In I. 19. 5. c. St. Thomas says that God in His love of good order likes to have one thing in place to serve as a reason for giving the next thing, even though that does not move Him. He needed her only if He wanted an incarnation, in that He needed some Mother. For other things, not needed, but He loves to make all things as rich as possible - hence He employs her, and similarly other Saints.
337. Sacraments were instituted by Christ, sacramentals by the Church. Sacraments have within them the power to give grace to those who do not place an obstacle; not so the sacramentals. Yet they do have great power. They are actions, words, or objects to which the Church gives a ritual blessing, or which she teaches can help us. Examples of actions: kneeling, folding hands; of words: indulgenced prayers; of objects: Rosaries, medals, Scapulars.
338. Vatican II said the divine office is the voice of the whole Church, or the Mystical Body, publicly praising God.
339. Fasting now is required only two days per year: Ash Wednesday and good Friday. If one uses the dispensation from Friday abstinence, it is required to do something else equivalent. Many today neglect mortification, or say we should avoid negative mortification, giving things up. We need this type of penance very much as well as positive things.
340. The account of St. Dominic's vision is uncertain. The Popes have spoken of him as the author of the Rosary, which need not imply a vision.
341. St. Pius V attributed the great sea victory over the Turks at Lepanto in 1571 to the Rosary.
342. A tradition with very good historical support says St. Simon Stock in 1251 received the Brown Scapular in a vision from Our Lady: "He who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire." On the 700th anniversary of the vision Pius XII wrote to Carmelite Superiors, showed he believed it, added mere physical wearing is not enough: It should be a sign of consecration to Our Lady. The medal can replace the cloth. It must have an image of Our Lady on one side, on other side, Jesus showing His Heart.
343. Even if the vision never happened, Pius XI said that those who practice solid devotion to Our Lady will not perish.
344. In 1820 Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Labouré and gave her the Miraculous Medal.
345. Important shrines: Montserrat in Spain, Assissi in Italy, St. Anne de Beaupré in Canada, North American Martyrs shrine in both U. S. and Canada, Knock in Ireland, Czestochowa in Poland. In 1858 Our Lady appeared 18 times to St. Bernadette at Lourdes in France, and 6 times to three children at Fatima in Spain in 1917.
346. Miracles happening when the Blessed Sacrament passes testify to the reality of His presence in that Sacrament - and since only the Catholic Church holds for such an abiding presence, it testifies to validity of ordinations since the beginning of the Church.
347. Madame Biré in 1908 was blind from atrophy of the papilla. At Lourdes when the Blessed Sacrament passed, she could see, even though the nerve was still withered - in time it too recovered. The Church requires medical checks showing a cure is impossible before the cure, then checks at once and at intervals later. Anything that could come from suggestion is not considered. Only something over 60 miracles at Lourdes, out of thousands, have been accepted by the Church.
348. In December 9 1531, an Aztec Indian, Juan Diego, near Mexico City said he saw the Holy Virgin. The Bishop doubted, asked him to get proof. When she came again, she told him to pick roses even in December. He did, put them in his cloak, took them to the Bishop. But the cloak showed a full color image of the vision, which is still to be seen. Scientific tests show human hands have added some trimming on the edge, the basic picture is inexplicable, no process known to science could have made it. The eyes show threefold images of ancient persons, following the Purkinje Sanson Law.
349. Around 700 A.D. in Lanciano, Italy, a priest saying Mass doubted the presence of Christ: part of the host turned to flesh, the wine turned to 5 clots of blood. Tests made by a team of scientists in 1970 and again in 1980 show the meat is part of a human heart, with type AB blood in it, no preservatives. The clots are also type AB blood.
350. Three requests: Penance (stop sinning and make reparation); 2) Rosary devotion; 3) Immaculate Heart devotion. She said if these are done Russia will be converted and there will be peace; otherwise, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, wars, persecutions etc. will come. This was in 1917 when World War I was still on, and Russia was deeply religious - ignorant children in the backwoods of Portugal could not have invented the story. Also on Oct 13 the miracle of the sun spinning happened as predicted. All had been soaked with rain before, when the sun settled down all were dry.
i. In inspiration, the Holy Spirit is the Chief Author; He uses a human author in such away that the human writes what the Spirit wants, and without error, but retains his own literary style.
ii. Yes there were many other Gospels in the first centuries, that of James, of Peter, of Thomas, and others.
iii. We begin with the Gospels, but do not at first look on them as sacred or inspired - that needs to be proved - but as simply ancient documents.
iv. Between Caesar's original and our oldest manuscript there are 9 - 10 centuries. For the Gospels, the distance is only about 3 centuries. We have quotes made by the early Fathers before that, plus early translations, plus a few things on papyri. But especially, if we take one manuscript as basic (any one), and then at the foot of the page print each variation, we see that the variations are mostly trifling - and surely do not affect the 6 points we will soon use.
v. Literary genre is a pattern of writing. In English, for example, we have a historical novel, which is a mixture of history and fictional fill-ins. We note what the writer asserts or claims: he claims the main line is history, does not claim the fill-ins are such. There are many genres in English, mostly inherited from Greece and Rome, each with its own "rules" as it were for how to take them: what the writer asserts. But Scripture is from a very different culture, ancient Semitic. So we must check genre before reading any part of Scripture. The Gospels intend to report facts, plus interpretations. We can tell which is which.
vi. "Literal senses"has two meanings: 1)what the writer meant to assert - this is the right way to view it; 2)read a text as if written by a modern American - this is foolish, but many do it.
vii. Left-wing estimates: Mark a bit before 70 aD; Matthew and Luke between 80 and 90; John around 100.
viii. Pope St. Clement I was elected in 88 or 92. In his letter to Corinth, c. 95, he says Peter and Paul were of his own generation. Since they died c 66, it is clear, he must have heard them. His letter contains much about basic Christianity. - St. Ignatius of Antioch was eaten by animals in Rome 107-110. He came from Antioch were Peter had been the first Bishop. His letters contain much data. - Quadratus, writing c 123 says that inn his time some were still alive who had been cured by Christ or raised from the dead - fine witnesses. Perhaps not around in 123, but surely in 80-90. - Besides, a teenager at the time of the preaching of Jesus 50 years later would be about 65 - that would be around 80, the time for Mt. and Lk according to leftists.
ix. Six facts: 1)There was a man named Jesus; 2) He claimed He was a messenger from God; 3)He did enough to prove this by miracles done in cases where there was a tie between His claim and the miracle, as in the paralytic let down through the roof: He cured to prove He had forgiven sins; 4)In the crowds there was an inner circle; 5)He told them to continue His work, His teaching; 6)He promised God would protect that: "He who hears you hears me" and similar statements. -- We note all six are items so simple that there is no room for subjectivity in reporting them. The six prove that there is a group, or Church, with a commission to teach, given by a messenger from God, with a promise God would protect the teaching. Then we can and should believe their teaching, and we have a bypass around the worries of critics about so many individual passages.
x. First, the words and acts of Jesus-words adapted to current audience; second, the way the Apostles and others of first generation reported then- again wording adapted to current audience; third, some individuals in the Church, under inspiration, wrote down part of that basic teaching, which became the Gospels. So the Church has something more basic than the Gospels, its own ongoing teaching. Form and Redaction Criticism today tells us of these steps.
xi. That living ongoing teaching is Tradition - tradition is the set of changing customs.
xii. Constitution on Revelation 10: "The task of authoritatively interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."
xiii. Catholics depend on the Church's divinely protected interpretation of Scripture and Tradition; Protestants depend on themselves, with no promise of divine protection, and ignore Tradition, and have no means of knowing for sure which books are inspired - we have the Church to determine that. Protestants act as if Christ told the apostles: write some books, get copies made, pass them out, tell each one to figure them out for themselves.
xiv. He appointed apostles, who appointed successors, who continue in the Pope and Bishops, and He promised to protect the teaching of the Church.
xv. The original teaching of Christ, thus handed down, is the deposit of faith.
xvi. There is no addition to this deposit until Christ returns. But the Church, under the Holy Spirit, is led to an ever deeper penetration and understanding of the content of that deposit.
xvii. The Immaculate Conception was not explicitly mentioned in the first centuries, was even denied in the Middle Ages, came to be defined by Pius IX in 1854.
xviii. The Canon is the list of which books are inspired, are part of Scripture. The Church was slow in defining it because she depended basically on her own ongoing teaching, rather than on a study of Scripture by each individual.
xix. Luther thought if a book preached justification by faith strongly, it was inspired. But most books of Scripture do not even mention it. And he did not prove such was the criterion. And he could write a book to preach that, and so could we, and it would not be inspired. Professor Gerald Birney Smith at a national Baptist convention in 1910 said there was no way to know unless there would be a teaching authority - he did not think there was such a thing.
xx. Without any certain means of knowing which books are inspired, it is illogical for a Protestant to quote Scripture as inspired.
xxi. We ask him how does he know which books are inspired.
xxii. The entire body of truths taught by the Church make up the analogy of faith such that we should compare any interpretation of Scripture we consider with it - if there is a clash even by implication, the interpretation is to be rejected.
xxiii. There are no errors in what the books of Scripture assert - we recall literary genre. With its help, plus that of Form and Redaction Criticism, we can answer all charges. So we see that the genre of Genesis 1-11 is ancient story, devised to bring out some things that really happened. The genre of the story parts of Daniel seem to be edifying narrative, while other parts of Daniel are apocalyptic.
xxiv. Vatican II said that the Church now, with the aid of fuller light, sees what the ancient writers may not have seen - the mother of the Redeemer in Gen 3:15 and the Virgin birth in Is 7:14.
xxv. Targums are ancient Aramaic versions of the OT, most of them free, with fill-ins to show how the Jews understood them. They can help us see the ancient view - often more than some modern Catholic scholars see today! They clearly were written without hindsight, seeing them fulfilled in Christ, whom they hated. And Jacob Neusner, a great Jewish scholar, has shown that there was no interest in the Messiah after the fall of Jerusalem up to about 500 AD. So these parts of the Targums could not have been written in that period, must have been before 70 AD.
xxvi. Abraham showed faith in believing he would have a son Isaac, and in being willing to sacrifice him. His faith brought him justification, state of being right with God.
xxvii. A prophecy given not by words, but by the existence or action of someone is a foreshadowing. Isaac carrying the wood for his own sacrifice prefigures Christ carrying the cross. Melchizedek prefigures the Mass.
xxviii. There was to be always some sort of ruler from the tribe of Judah until the time of the Messiah - it came true: the first ruler not from Judah was Herod, imposed by the Romans in 41 BC.
xxix. The first Passover was the sacrifice of the lamb just before leaving Egypt, foreshadowing the Passover in which the Holy Eucharist was instituted.
xxx. The passing of the Red Sea prefigured Baptism; the manna, the Eucharist.
xxxi. The bronze serpent on the pole prefigured Christ on the cross.
xxxii. Some things in Is 7:14 fit well with Hezekiah, son of Achaz, some things do not, but fit Christ. So the prophecy seems to be one of double fulfillment, in Hezekiah and in Christ. Targums saw the Messiah in 9:5-6, but not, as we now have them, in 7:14--Neusner says the Jews deliberately changed some things to keep the Christians from using them. We know that Hillel, a great teacher at the time of Christ, saw 7:14 as Messianic (thinking of Hezekiah). And the child in both passages is the same, so by implication, 7:14 must be messianic.
xxxiii. In 11. 1ff Isaiah said a sprout would come from the stump of Jesse, father of David and so ancestor of Christ.
xxxiv. Is 53 foretold the passion, and even resurrection (in vv. 10-12) of Christ. The Targums marked it as messianic, yet distorted it - could not think of a suffering Messiah, and wanted to keep Christians away.
xxv. Micah foretold the birth of Christ at Bethlehem. Targums saw it as Messianic. Herod's theologians did too.