Why did the Son of God become man?

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).

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Your Daily Reading – excerpts from the Compendium

Man's Response to God

I Believe

 

25. How does man respond to God who reveals himself?

 

Sustained by divine grace, we respond to God with the obedience of faith, which means the full surrender of ourselves to God and the acceptance of his truth insofar as it is guaranteed by the One who is Truth itself.

 

26. Who are the principal witnesses of the obedience of faith in the Sacred Scriptures?

 

There are many such witnesses, two in particular: One is Abraham who when put to the test “believed in God” (Romans 4:3) and always obeyed his call. For this reason he is called “the Father of all who believe” (Romans 4:11-18). The other is the Virgin Mary who, throughout her entire life, embodied in a perfect way the obedience of faith: “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

 

27. What does it mean in practice for a person to believe in God?

 

It means to adhere to God himself, entrusting oneself to him and giving assent to all the truths which God has revealed because God is Truth. It means to believe in one God in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

28. What are the characteristics of faith?

 

Faith is the supernatural virtue which is necessary for salvation. It is a free gift of God and is accessible to all who humbly seek it. The act of faith is a human act, that is, an act of the intellect of a person - prompted by the will moved by God - who freely assents to divine truth. Faith is also certain because it is founded on the Word of God; it works “through charity” (Galatians 5:6); and it continually grows through listening to the Word of God and through prayer. It is, even now, a foretaste of the joys of heaven.

 

29. Why is there no contradiction between faith and science?

 

Though faith is above reason, there can never be a contradiction between faith and science because both originate in God. It is God himself who gives to us the light both of reason and of faith.

 

“I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe.” (Saint Augustine)

 

We Believe

 

30. Why is faith a personal act, and at the same time ecclesial?

 

Faith is a personal act insofar as it is the free response of the human person to God who reveals himself. But at the same time it is an ecclesial act which expresses itself in the proclamation, “We believe”. It is in fact the Church that believes: and thus by the grace of the Holy Spirit precedes, engenders and nourishes the faith of each Christian For this reason the Church is Mother and Teacher.

 

“3o one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.” (Saint Cyprian)

 

31. Why are the formulas of faith important?

 

The formulas of faith are important because they permit one to express, assimilate, celebrate, and share together with others the truths of the faith through a common language.

 

32. In what way is the faith of the Church one faith alone?

 

The Church, although made up of persons who have diverse languages, cultures, and rites, nonetheless professes with a united voice the one faith that was received from the one Lord and that was passed on by the one Apostolic Tradition. She confesses one God alone, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and points to one way of salvation. Therefore we believe with one heart and one soul all that is contained in the Word of God, handed down or written, and which is proposed by the Church as divinely revealed.


 


 

Compendium OF THE CATECHISM

OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

Your Daily Reading – excerpts

from the Compendium

Sacred Script

 

18. Why does Sacred Scripture teach the truth?

 

Because God himself is the author of Sacred Scripture. For this reason it is said to be inspired and to teach without error those truths which are necessary for our salvation. The Holy Spirit inspired the human authors who wrote what he wanted to teach us. The Christian faith, however, is not a “religion of the Book”, but of the Word of God – “not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living” (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux).

 

19. How is Sacred Scripture to be read?

 

Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit and under the guidance of the Magisterium of the Church according to three criteria: 1) it must be read with attention to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture; 2) it must be read within the living Tradition of the Church; 3) it must be read with attention to the analogy of faith, that is, the inner harmony which exists among the truths of the faith themselves.

 

20. What is the Canon of Scripture?

 

The Canon of Scripture is the complete list of the sacred writings which the Church has come to recognize through Apostolic Tradition. The Canon consists of 46 books of the Old Testament and 27 of the New.

 

21. What is the importance of the Old Testament for Christians?

 

Christians venerate the Old Testament as the true word of God. All of the books of the Old Testament are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value. They bear witness to the divine pedagogy of God's saving love. They are written, above all, to prepare for the coming of Christ the Savior of the universe.

 

 

22. What importance does the !ew Testament have for Christians?

 

The New Testament, whose central object is Jesus Christ, conveys to us the ultimate truth of divine Revelation. Within the New Testament the four Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are the heart of all the Scriptures because they are the principle witness to the life and teaching of Jesus. As such, they hold a unique place in the Church.

 

23. What is the unity that exists between the Old and the New Testaments?

Scripture is one insofar as the Word of God is one. God’s plan of salvation is one, and the divine inspiration of both Testaments is one. The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other.

 

24. What role does Sacred Scripture play in the life of the Church?

 

Sacred Scripture gives support and vigor to the life of the Church. For the children of the Church, it is a confirmation of the faith, food for the soul and the fount of the spiritual life. Sacred Scripture is the soul of theology and of pastoral preaching. The Psalmist says that it is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). The Church, therefore, exhorts all to read Sacred Scripture frequently because “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Saint Jerome).

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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