What we Catholics Believe !
About Almighty God - Daphne McLeod
1. "I believe in God": this first affirmation of the Apostles' Creed is also the most fundamental. the whole Creed speaks of God, and when it also speaks of man and of the world it does so in relation to God. the other articles of the Creed all depend on the first, just as the remaining Commandments make the first explicit. the other articles help us to know God better as he revealed himself progressively to men. "The faithful first profess their belief in God".
About Ourselves - Daphne McLeod
2. We are, rightly, described as made in the image and likeness of God. Every human being, including the worst sinner, has the powers of Intellect and Free Will and that is what makes us human, like to God, different from the rest of creation on this planet and with the potential to become God’s friends in this life and in heaven.
The Fall, Original Sin and the promise of a Redeemer - Daphne McLeod
3. God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine, and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion".
The Blessed Trinity - Daphne McLeod
4. The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life. God alone can make it known to us by revealing himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (from Latin trinitas "triad", from trinus "threefold") defines God as three consubstantial persons, expressions, or hypostases: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit; "one God in three persons".
The Incarnation and Redemption
5. "Incarnation" means to take flesh, as a body. Here it means Our Lord's taking flesh, that is, taking a body like ours, when He became man. "Redemption" means to buy back. Let us take an example. Slaves are men or women that belong entirely to their masters, just as horses, cows, or other animals do. Slaves are bought and sold, never receive any wages for their work, get their food and clothing and no more. As they never earn money for themselves, they can never purchase their own liberty. If ever they are to be free, someone else must procure their liberty.
Sanctifying Grace and Baptism
6. The Sacrament of Baptism is often called "The door of the Church," because it is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time (since most Catholics receive it as infants) but in priority, since the reception of the other sacraments depends on it. ... Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the Church.Sanctifying grace is a state in which God allows us to share in his life and love. When we speak of being in the state of grace, we mean the state of sanctifying grace. There is no mortal sin in us. This grace comes to us first in baptism and then in the other sacraments.
Jesus' Life and Teachings
7. Christ Jesus always did what was pleasing to the Father, and always lived in perfect communion with him. Likewise Christ's disciples are invited to live in the sight of the Father "who sees in secret," in order to become "perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, Christians are "dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" and so participate in the life of the Risen Lord. Following Christ and united with him, Christians can strive to be "imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in love" by conforming their thoughts, words and actions to the "mind . . . which is yours in Christ Jesus," and by following his example.
The Church and the Bible
8. The Christian faithful are those who, in as much as they have been incorporated in Christ through Baptism, have been constituted as the people of God; for this reason, since they have become sharers in Christ's priestly, prophetic, and royal office in their own manner, they are called to exercise the mission which God has entrusted to the Church to fulfill in the world, in accord with the condition proper to each one.
9. Prayer is the raising up of our minds and hearts to God, either to praise Him, or to thank Him, or to beg His grace; and therefore it is divided into Prayer of Praise, Prayer of Thanksgiving., and Prayer of Petition. To praise God means to rejoice at His infinite Perfections, and to glorify and adore Him on that account. Are we obliged to praise God? Yes, we are; for this we were created. and this will one day be our eternal occupation in Heaven.
The Mass and the Blessed Sacrament
10. The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord's own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist. "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'"
Moral Law and Sacrament of Penance
11. A pillar of the Catholic set of laws is its understanding of natural moral law, which addresses laws that aren't written but nevertheless known by all men and women who have the use of reason. It uses basic common sense, prudence, and justice.....Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offence committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labours for their conversion.
Our Blessed Lady
12. Pope John Paul II stated that overall the title indicates the Blessed Virgin Mary's maternity of Christ's faithful, as deriving from her maternity of Christ in that "Mary is present in the Church as the Mother of Christ, and at the same time as that Mother whom Christ, in the mystery of the Redemption, gave to humanity ..The Immaculate Conception, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, is the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ...
The Sacramental System and other 4 Sacraments
13. The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders. The purpose of the sacraments is to make people holy, to build up the body of Christ, and finally, to give worship to God; but being signs, they also have a teaching function.
The Communion of Saints
14. The communion of saints (Latin, communio sanctorum), when referred to persons, is the spiritual union of the members of the Christian Church, living and the dead, those on earth, in heaven, and, for those who believe in purgatory, those also who are in that state of purification. "Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others. . . . We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head. . . . Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments." "As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund."
The Last 4 Things - Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell
15.The Four Last Things are Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell. Death is the separation of man's mortal body and immortal soul. It comes to all men as a result of original sin. It is a temporary state, for at the end of the world, all men shall rise again to be judged by Christ. Thus the whole man, body and soul, will be rewarded for the good or evil that he has done, body and soul, in this life. At the moment of death, each human person is judged by God based on his conduct in this life, and goes immediately to his reward or punishment.Moreover, at the end of the world, Jesus Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. At that time, God's whole plan for the world shall be revealed, and his mercy and justice demonstrated. Heaven is the eternal state of perfect happiness resulting from the face to face vision of God, which is the reward of those who have served Him in this life. Hell is the eternal state of torment and despair which awaits those who, in this life, have freely rejected God and the happiness which He offers.
16.The Catholic Church has the fullness of God's revelation as being the Church that Christ founded and protected by the Holy Spirit. All efforts towards unity are to be permeated with the drive to reconcile other Christian communities back into the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. The Church recognises that those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptised are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church…. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles” preventing full communion. The Church recognises that Christians separated from the Catholic Church can possess certain gifts of the Holy Spirit that can aid in a life of grace. However, they are not blessed with the fullness of grace that Christ wants for His followers.