Faith Basics (Under Construction)

The Holy Spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Spirit of God is called the Holy Spirit. Jesus sends the Spirit to us to help us become holy as God is holy.

How does the Spirit make us holy?
The Holy Spirit sanctifies us, or helps us become holy, by uniting us with God and one another. The Spirit helps us form a community of believers who care about one another and the world.

The Holy Spirit guides us and reconciles us to God and one another.

The Holy Spirit renews the Church to help it grow and be open to the whole world.

What are the gifts of the Spirit?

We describe the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives as the seven gifts. These are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, right judgment, courage, reverence, wonder, and awe.

Are there other gifts of the Spirit?
There are gifts of the Spirit called charismatic gifts. Some of these gifts are described in I Corinthians 12:7—11. They are special gifts given to Jesus? followers and are used to build up the Church.

What are the signs or virtues of the Spirit?
As we attempt to live by the power of the gifts, our lives show the virtues of the Spirit. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Are there other virtues of the Spirit?

With the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, the Spirit helps us form our conscience.

The cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance are spiritual strengths that help us choose well in our relationships.

When do we receive the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit comes to us at Baptism and is celebrated in our lives at Confirmation.

The Church

What do we believe about the Church?
The Church began on Pentecost with the coming of the Holy Spirit to the apostles.

The Church is a community of believers who live in and through the Holy Spirit.

The Church is Christ's Mystical Body, continuing his mission of community-building, preaching the Word, worship, and service.

What are the Church's ideals?
The Church?s ideals are unity, faithfulness to Jesus? teaching, the celebration of the sacraments, and service to all, especially poor and oppressed people.

The Church expresses its faith in a rich liturgy, in strong principles of justice and compassion, and in its creeds.

The Catholic Church is universal, finding a home in various cultures.

How does the Church celebrate the presence of Christ?
The followers of Jesus celebrate his presence in their lives through prayer and the sacraments.

The Church is holy, calling us to know and love Jesus and become more like him.

How does the Church teach?

The teaching of the Church comes to us through Scripture and tradition. The Church?s doctrines are rooted in the teaching of the apostles and are expressed by ecumenical councils as well as by the bishops in union with the pope. Although the basic beliefs of Christianity are unchanging, our understanding and explanation of these beliefs continues to grow as our relationship with God grows.

The Church is continually reformed and renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Christians try to identify themselves with the poor and to free all suffering people from poverty and oppression.

The Church expresses its faith in worship, in its creeds, and in the way Christian women and men live their lives.


What is tradition?
Tradition is the way that the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, passes on its living faith throughout history.
Tradition includes beliefs, customs, rituals, and laws by which the People of God have lived and continue to live their faith through the centuries.


What are the sacraments?
The sacraments are effective signs that make God?s grace present to us to love, heal, and transform our lives.

The sacraments celebrate the presence of the risen Christ in our lives.

What do we achieve through the sacraments of initiation?
Through the sacraments of initiation, we enter into new life with God and are welcomed into the community of Jesus? followers in order to live as Jesus did.

Why are Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist called the sacraments of initiation?
Baptism and Confirmation celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit who helps us share in Jesus? ministry.

Baptism celebrates the new Christian?s sharing in the life of Christ.

In Confirmation, we are called to grow in faith and to witness to Christ in our words and actions.

The Eucharist recalls Christ?s presence in all of life, remembers his death and resurrection, and celebrates our unity as a Church.

The Eucharist is the central celebration of the Church; through the Eucharist we are called to serve others.

What are the sacraments of forgiveness and healing?

Reconciliation, or Penance, celebrates Christ?s forgiving presence in our lives. Through Reconciliation we experience ongoing conversion to the life of Christ.

In the Anointing of the Sick, the Church continues Jesus? ministry to the sick and celebrates his healing and forgiving presence.

What are the sacraments of vocation?
Marriage celebrates God?s call of a woman and a man to love one another, their children, their faith community, and the world. Marriage is a sign of the love that Christ has for the Church.

Holy Orders celebrates God?s call to special ministry as bishop, priest, or deacon.

Confirmation Facts

What promise did Jesus make to the apostles before he returned to the Father?

Before he returned to the Father, Jesus made this promise: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth” (John
14: 16—1 7a).

When was the promise of Jesus fulfilled?

Jesus? promise was fulfilled at Pentecost.
• . . they were all gathered in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1-4

How is the Holy Spirit given to the followers of Jesus?

Through Baptism, God the Father gives us a new birth by the Holy Spirit. We become the sons and daughters of God through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Through Confirmation, we receive God?s Spirit in a new and fuller way. The Holy Spirit helps us live as followers of Jesus and helps us bear witness to Christ as Lord.

Who may receive the sacrament ofConfirmation?

Confirmation may be conferred upon any baptized Catholic. In the Western Church, it is most often conferred when a candidate wants to enter more fully into the life of Christ, has been instructed, and is willing to take an active part in the life of the Church.

Who usually confirms?

The bishop is the usual minister of Confirmation. But priests can assist the bishop, or confirm on their own.

How is the sacrament of Confirmation conferred?

The sacrament is conferred through the anointing with chrism and the words, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”

The confirmed person is more closely bound to Jesus. He or she is given help to spread the love of Jesus among people.

What is the ideal way in which the sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated?

Ideally, the sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated within the Eucharist. In that way, we can see the very important connection between Confirmation and the Eucharist, which are both sacraments of initiation. At the Confirmation Mass, we hear the word of God and receive the Bread of Life. We are also sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

What is the role of the sponsors?

Sponsors present the persons to be confirmed to the bishop for the anointing. They speak in the name of the whole believing community. The sponsors later help the confirmed persons witness to Christ in their daily lives.
What does Confirmation call us to be?
Confirmation calls us to be committed Christians. We are to live the message of Jesus in everyday life. The sacrament calls us to continue to pray, serve others, and celebrate with the People of God, gathered as Church.

The Bible

What is the Bible?

The Bible, or Sacred Scripture, is a collection of books that tells the story of God and God?s people. The stories of the Bible span 2,000 years and were written in many different literary styles by many authors over a long period of time.

The Bible is made up of two parts—the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament, and the Christian Scriptures, or New Testament.

Why is Scripture called revelation?

Sacred Scripture is called revelation because the writers of the various books were inspired by the Holy Spirit to reveal the saving word and action of God in their writings.

What are the Hebrew Scriptures?

The Hebrew Scriptures consist of 46 books, and they record God?s saving word and action as spoken through the people of Israel.

What are the Christian Scriptures?

The 27 books of the Christian Scriptures tell the story of Jesus Christ and the early Church as remembered by the evangelists and leaders of the first Christian communities.

After Jesus' resurrection and ascension, Paul was the first writer of the Christian Scriptures. He mostly wrote letters to his fellow Christians.
The four gospels tell about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The word gospel means “good news.” The gospel writers are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.


What do we believe about Mary?
Mary is the mother of Jesus, God?s Son.
Why is she called a disciple?
Mary showed great courage and faith in agreeing to be the mother of Jesus. In this, she heard and accepted the good news of Jesus Christ and gave this news to others.

What is the Visitation?
In the gospel of Luke, Mary visits her aged cousin, Elizabeth, who is awaiting the birth of John the Baptist. In her prayer of greeting, Mary is shown to be mindful of the needs of the poor.

What is meant by the Assumption?
Mary is in heaven, with body and spirit united.


How do we pray?
Prayer is our communication with God. Prayer can be formal or informal, spoken or silent. Some traditional prayers follow this section.

Here is a description of one way to pray by meditating, or reflecting on God:

Select a short passage from one of the gospels. Read it slowly and thoughtfully a few times. Then close your eyes. Imagine yourself in the scene. Picture yourself with Jesus. Think about what he is saying and doing. Imagine that he is talking to you. What is your response?

Justice and Peace

What is our Christian call?
Christlike compassion implies a commitment to work for justice and peace for all of God?s people on earth.

We are to stand with the poor in their struggle for personal freedom and responsibility.

Justice might involve changing political, economic, and cultural systems that violate the dignity and rights of people.

Our call is to free people from poverty, illiteracy, hunger, fear, and oppression.

What are some ways we are called to work for peace?
The American bishops, in their letter The Challenge of Peace, ask us to promote nuclear disarmament.

Likewise we are asked to promote peace within our own families, schools, and neighborhoods. This can happen when we respect other people and seek to resolve conflicts we have with them.


As Christians, how are we called to live?
All Christians are responsible for participating in the Church?s renewal.

We are called to act with compassion toward all people, to live by the works of mercy.

We are called to respect God?s will for every person and for created things.

How do we discover, or identify, God?s call?
We learn God?s will through prayer, respect for Church teachings, study of the gospel, living in Christian community, and service.

Prayers and Precepts

Prayer for the Spirit of God
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be recreated;
and you will renew the face of the earth.

The Greatest Commandments
“ You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. .

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Shorter Act of Contrition
Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Rite 0/Penance

Act of Contrition

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.
Rite 0/Penance
Mark 12:30—31

The Corporal Works of Mercy

1. Feed the hungry.
2. Give drink to the thirsty.
3. Clothe the naked.
4. Visit those in prison.
5. Shelter the homeless.
6. Visit the sick.
7. Bury the dead.

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

1. Correct sinners.
2. Teach the ignorant.
3. Give advice to those who are confused.
4. Comfort those who suffer.
5. Be patient with others.
6. Forgive injuries.
7. Pray for the living and the dead.

The Ten Commandments
1.I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods beside me.
2.You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
3.Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
4.Honor your father and mother.
5.You shall not kill.
6.You shall not commit adultery.
7.You shall not steal.
8.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9.You shall not covet your neighbor?s wife.
10.You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Based on Exodus 20:2—1 7
and Deuteronomy 5:ô—21

Precepts of the Church
1.To keep holy the day of the Lord?s
resurrection; to worship God by participating in Mass every Sunday and holy day of obligation.

2.To lead a sacramental life; to receive Holy
Communion frequently and the sacrament of Reconciliation regularly: minimally, to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year. Minimally also, to receive Holy Communion at least once a year.

3.To study Catholic teaching in preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation, to be confirmed, and then to continue to study and advance the cause of Christ.

4. To observe the marriage laws of the Church; to give religious training, by example and word, to one?s children; to use parish schools and catechetical programs.

5.To strengthen and support the Church— one?s own parish community and parish priests, the worldwide Church, and the pope.

6.To do penance, including abstaining from meat and fasting from food on the appointed
7. To join in the missionary spirit and
apostolate of the Church.
Based on Sharing the Light of Faith (NCD)

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