The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page
The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page
The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association Home Page

The Essentials of the Catholic Faith



Our Lord Teaching the People As we begin our inquiry into the Catholic religion, it is important to explain briefly what we are about. Our purpose is very simple. We want to learn what the Catholic Church teaches her members should believe, where to obtain the help they need from God to live as faithful Christians, how He wants them to serve Him, and how they are to pray.

These four dimensions of the Catholic religion are as old as Christianity. They may be expressed in four words: faith, sacraments, commandments, and prayer. They are, in fact, the four pillars on which Jesus Christ built His Church and on which she has stood firm for two thousand years.

A word of explanation will be useful about each of these four pillars before we examine them in more detail.

The Catholic faith is what those who profess to belong to the Church are to believe: There are certain truths that the mind is to accept on the word of God. These truths are contained in concentrated form in the Apostles' Creed.

The Catholic sacraments are the means that Christ provided for His followers in order to share in His own divine life, to grow in His life during their stay in this world, and, if necessary, to regain the divine life if it has been lost through sin.

The Ten Commandments are the main demands that God makes on our obedience to His will. They were first given to Moses on Mount Sinai, then confirmed and completed by Jesus Christ in His Sermon on the Mount. They are the conditions that God sets down for our sometimes painful submission to Him as our Creator, so we might return to Him as the eternal Destiny who will satisfy all our desires.

The Lord's Prayer is at once a summary and a guide. It summarizes all the ways we are to approach God as our loving Father in prayer. It also guides us in our conversation with Him, here on earth, as a preparation for our eternal communication with Him in heaven.

Scriptural references are from the Latin Vulgate and The Jerusalem Bible.

Copyright © 2002 Inter Mirifica
Pocket Catholic Catechism

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