You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

59. What did God create?

 

 Sacred Scripture says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The Church in her profession of faith proclaims that God is the Creator of everything,visible and invisible, of all spiritual and corporeal beings, that is, of angels and of the visibleworld and, in a special way, of man.

 

60. Who are the angels?

 

The angels are purely spiritual creatures, incorporeal, invisible, immortal, and personal beings endowed with intelligence and will. They ceaselessly contemplate God face-to-face and they glorify him. They serve him and are his messengers in the accomplishment of his saving mission to all.

 

61. In what way are angels present in the life of the Church?

 

The Church joins with the angels in adoring God, invokes their assistance and

commemorates some in her liturgy. “ Beside each believer stands an angel as a protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (Saint Basil the Great)

 

62. What does Sacred Scripture teach about the creation of the visible world?

 

Through the account of the “six days” of creation Sacred Scripture teaches us the value of the created world and its purpose, namely, to praise God and to serve humanity. Every single thing owes its very existence to God from whom it receives its goodness and perfection, its proper laws and its proper place in the universe.

 

63. What is the place of the human person in creation?

 

The human person is the summit of visible creation in as much as he or she is created in the image and likeness of God.

 

64. What kind of bond exists between created things?

 

There exist an interdependence and a hierarchy among creatures as willed by God. At the same time, there is also a unity and solidarity among creatures since all have the same Creator, are loved by him and are ordered to his glory. Respecting the laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is, therefore, a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality.

 

65. What is the relationship between the work of creation and the work of redemption?

 

The work of creation culminates in the still greater work of redemption, which in fact gives rise to a new creation in which everything will recover its true meaning and fulfillment.

 

Man

 

66. In what sense do we understand man and woman as created “in the image of God”?

 

The human person is created in the image of God in the sense that he or she is capable of knowing and of loving their Creator in freedom. Human beings are the only creatures on earth that God has willed for their own sake and has called to share, through knowledge and love, in his own divine life. All human beings, in as much as they are created in the image of God, have the dignity of a person. A person is not something but someone, capable of self knowledge and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with God and with other persons.

67. For what purpose did God create man and woman?

 

God has created everything for them; but he has created them to know, serve and love God, to offer all of creation in this world in thanksgiving back to him and to be raised up to life with him in heaven. Only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of the human person come into true light. Man and woman are predestined to reproduce the imageof the Son of God made Man, who is the perfect “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

 

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

51. What is the importance of affirming “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1)?

 

 The significance is that creation is the foundation of all God’s saving plans. It shows forth the almighty and wise love of God, and it is the first step toward the covenant of the one God with his people. It is the beginning of the history of salvation which culminates in Christ; and it is the first answer to our fundamental questions regarding our very origin and destiny.

 

52. Who created the world?

 

 The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the one and indivisible principle of creation even though the work of creating the world is particularly attributed to God the Father.

 

53. Why was the world created?

 

The world was created for the glory of God who wished to show forth and communicate his goodness, truth and beauty. The ultimate end of creation is that God, in Christ, might be “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28) for his glory and for our happiness. “The glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man’s life is the vision of God.” (Saint Irenaeus)

 

54. How did God create the universe?

 

God created the universe freely with wisdom and love. The world is not the result of any necessity, nor of blind fate, nor of chance. God created “out of nothing” (ex nihilo) (2 Maccabees 7:28) a world which is ordered and good and which he infinitely transcends. God preserves his creation in being and sustains it, giving it the capacity to act and leading it toward its fulfilment through his Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

55. What is divine providence?

 

Divine Providence consists in the dispositions with which God leads his creatures toward their ultimate end. God is the sovereign Master of his own plan. To carry it out, however, he also makes use of the cooperation of his creatures. For God grants his creatures the dignity of acting on their own and of being causes for each other.

 

56. How do we collaborate with divine Providence?

 

While respecting our freedom, God asks us to cooperate with him and gives us the ability to do so through actions, prayers and sufferings, thus awakening in us the desire “to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

 

57. If God is omnipotent and provident, why then does evil exist?

 

To this question, as painful and mysterious as it is, only the whole of Christian faith can constitute a response. God is not in any way - directly or indirectly - the cause of evil. He illuminates the mystery of evil in his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose in order to vanquish that great moral evil, human sin, which is at the root of all other evils.

 

58. Why does God permit evil?

 

Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil. This was realized in a wondrous way by God in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forth the greatest of all goods (the glorification of Christ and our redemption)

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

This mystery was revealed by Jesus Christ and it is the source of all the other mysteries.

 

46. What did Jesus Christ reveal to us about the mystery of the Father?

 

Jesus Christ revealed to us that God is “Father”, not only insofar as he created the universe and the mankind, but above all because he eternally generated in his bosom the Son who is his Word, “ the radiance of the glory of God and the very stamp of his nature” (Hebrews

 

47. Who is the Holy Spirit revealed to us by Jesus Christ?

 

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. He is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son. He “proceeds from the Father” (John 15:26) who is the principle without a principle and the origin of all trinitarian life. He proceeds also from the Son (Filioque) by the eternal Gift which the Father makes of him to the Son. Sent by the Father and the Incarnate Son, the Holy Spirit guides the Church “to know all truth” (John 16:13).

 

48. How does the Church express her trinitarian faith?

 

The Church expresses her trinitarian faith by professing a belief in the oneness of God in whom there are three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three divine Persons are only one God because each of them equally possesses the fullness of the one and indivisible divine nature. They are really distinct from each other by reason of the relations which place them in correspondence to each other. The Father generates the Son; the Son is generated by the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

 

49. How do the three divine Persons work?

 

Inseparable in their one substance, the three divine Persons are also inseparable in their activity. The Trinity has one operation, sole and the same. In this one divine action, however, each Person is present according to the mode which is proper to him in the Trinity.

 

“O my God, Trinity whom I adore...grant my soul peace; make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling, and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action.” (Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity)

 

50. What does it mean to say that God is almighty?

 

God reveals himself as “the strong One, the mighty One” (Psalm 24:8), as the One “to whom nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37). His omnipotence is universal, mysterious and shows itself in the creation of the world out of nothing and humanity out of love; but above all it shows itself in the Incarnation and the Resurrection of his Son, in the gift of filial adoption and in the forgiveness of sins. For this reason, the Church directs her prayers to the “almighty and eternal God” (“Omnipotens sempiterne Deus...”).

 

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

 

40. Why is the revelation of God's name important?

 

In revealing his name, God makes known the riches contained in the ineffable mystery of his being. He alone is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the One who transcends the world and history. It is he who made heaven and earth. He is the faithful God, always close to his people, in order to save them. He is the highest holiness, “rich in mercy” (Ephesians 2:4), always ready to forgive. He is the One who is spiritual, transcendent, omnipotent, eternal, personal, and perfect. He is truth and love.

 

“God is the infinitely perfect being who is the most Holy Trinity.” (Saint Turibius of Montenegro)

 

41. In what way is God the truth?

 

God is Truth itself and as such he can neither deceive nor be deceived. He is “light, and in him there is no darkness” (1 John 1:5). The eternal Son of God, the incarnation of wisdom, was sent into the world “to bear witness to the Truth” (John 1

 

42. In what way does God reveal that he is love?

 

God revealed himself to Israel as the One who has a stronger love than that of parents for their children or of husbands and wives for their spouses. God in himself “is love” (1 John 4:8.16), who gives himself completely and gratuitously, who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17). By sending his Son and the Holy Spirit, God reveals that he himself is an eternal exchange of love.

 

43. What does it mean to believe in only one God?

 

To believe in the one and only God involves coming to know his greatness and majesty. It involves living in thanksgiving and trusting always in him, even in adversity. It involves knowing the unity and true dignity of all human beings, created in his image. It involves making good use of the things which he has created.

 

44. What is the central mystery of Christian faith and life?

 

The central mystery of Christian faith and life is the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity. Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 

45. Can the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity be known by the light of human reason alone?

 

God has left some traces of his trinitarian being in creation and in the Old Testament but his inmost being as the Holy Trinity is a mystery which is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of the Son of God and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

The !icene-Constantinopolitan Creed

 

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

I believe one Lord, Jesus Christ,the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,begotten, not made,

one in Being with the Father.Through Him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation,He came down from heaven: by the

power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary,and became Man.

For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again

in fulfillment of the Scriptures;He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,and His kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life,

Who proceeds from the Father andthe Son. With the Father and the Son

He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic,and apostolic Church.

I acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

I look for the resurrection of the dead,and the life of the world to come.

Amen.

 

I Believe in God the Father

The Symbols of Faith

 

33. What are the symbols of faith?

 

The symbols of faith are composite formulas, also called “professions of faith” or “Creeds”, with which the Church from her very beginning has set forth synthetically and handed on her own faith in a language that is normative and common to all the faithful.

 

34. What are the most ancient symbols (professions) of faith?

 

The most ancient symbols of faith are the baptismal creeds. Because Baptism is conferred “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19), the truths of faith professed at Baptism are articulated in reference to the three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity.

 

35. What are the most important symbols of the faith?

 

They are the Apostles' Creed which is the ancient baptismal symbol of the Church of Rome and the 3icene-Constantinopolitan Creed which stems from the first two ecumenical Councils, that of Nicea (325 A.D.) and that of Constantinople (381 A.D.) and which even to this day are common to all the great Churches of the East and the West.

 

“I believe in God the Father Almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth.”

 

36. Why does the Profession of Faith begin with the words, “I believe in God”?

 

The Profession of Faith begins with these words because the affirmation “I believe in God” is the most important, the source of all the other truths about man and about the world, and about the entire life of everyone who believes in God.

 

37. Why does one profess belief that there is only one God?

 

Belief in the one God is professed because he has revealed himself to the people of Israel as the only One when he said, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4) and “there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22). Jesus himself confirmed that God is “the one Lord” (Mark 12:29). To confess that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also God and Lord does not introduce any division into the one God.

 

38. With what name does God reveal Himself?

 

God revealed himself to Moses as the living God, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). God also revealed to Moses his mysterious name “I Am Who I Am (YHWH)”. Already in Old Testament times this ineffable name of God was replaced by the divine title Lord. Thus in the New Testament, Jesus who was called Lord is seen as true God.

 

39. Is God the only One who “is”?

 

Since creatures have received everything they are and have from God, only God in himself is the fullness of being and of every perfection. God is “He who is” without origin and withoutend. Jesus also reveals that he bears the divine name “I Am” (John 8:28).

Latest comments

26.03 | 17:36

Have a Blessed Holy Week!
Holy Week is the most important week in the Church year! It is a time when we celebrate in a special way the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We remember his actions, reflect on his messages, and recommit to living as his d

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01.09 | 02:56

I enjoy these prayers, and resort to them whenever I want to pray but don't know how!

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15.08 | 13:01

Thank you for your valuable comments much appreciated.

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14.08 | 13:57

My daily devotion and yearly novena.

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