Catechism of the Catholic Church

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Catechism of the Catholic Church, abbreviated here as CCC. The "catechism" is the teaching of the church. This page lists and explains vocabulary that is essential for comprehension of the Catechism.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Related pages

  • The Catholic Mass
    • with the order and parts of the Mass
    • explanations for the words and actions of the Liturgies

Names, terms & abbreviations for Christ[edit | edit source]

  • ΑΩ
    • "the Alpha and the Omega"
    • from Book of Revelation:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,”* says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."
(Rev 1:8)
    • the Alpha and the Omega refer to both Christ the Son and the Father
  • Chi-Rho
    • Greek letters C & R for the first two letters of "Christ"
    • in Greek alphabet "XP"
    • ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ = "Kristos"
  • Christ the King
    • Christ is seated at "the right hand of God" (Mk 16:19 and elsewhere)
  • Emmanuel
    • means "God is with us"
    • from Mt 1:23
  • Good Shepherd
  • IHS and the "Holy Name of Jesus"
    • from the prayer, "Litany of the Holy Name"
    • IHS = from Greek for "Jesus" (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ), the first letters written out in English as Iota, Eta, Sigma
      • "eta" is the Greek letter for "H"
  • Jesus
Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord* appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,* because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
  “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
   and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
   which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus
  • "Emmanuel" is from Isaiah's prophesy for the Messiah
  • the reference is repeated by Jesus himself after the Resurrection,
"And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
(Mt 28:16)
  • St. Paul wrote to the Philippians,
That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth
(Phil 2:10)
  • Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth
  • King of kings and Lord of lords
  • INRI
    • abbreviation for the Latin "Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum",
      • = "Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews"
      • Pilot had it placed in Latin, Greek and Hebrew above Jesus on the Cross
    • note that "I" is the capitalized "i" not an L
    • the Latin alphabet does not contain the letter "J", so "Jesus" is written Iesus
      • same for second I in Iudaeorum for "Jews"
  • Lamb of God
  • Messiah
    • means "savior"
    • translated into Greek as "Kristos," thus "Christ" (see below)
  • Prince of Peace
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus

Glossary: Vocabulary & Terms for Catholic Catechism[edit | edit source]

notes on vocabulary list

  • this list is generated for purposes of catechism
  • many terms are useful, but not essential for underestanding of the faith
  • the vocab list is purely alphabetical, so order is unrelated to importance or meaning
  • here for a Glossary of terms from the USCCB


A[edit | edit source]

Aa[edit | edit source]

  • adoration
    • divine worship
    • as in "Adoration of the Cross", for veneration of the Cross
    • ad- (to) + ōrare (pray)
  • Advent
    • "the important coming"
    • = the period of four Sundays before Christmas
      • thus, preparation for Christmas Day
    • ad- (into) + vent (from vinere, "to come") = "into coming"
      • vinere from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come")
  • Alleluia
    • "Praise the Lord" from Hebrew hallelu-ya for "praise Jehovah"
  • alms / almsgiving
    • something given as charity for the poor
    • an act of mercy
    • from OE ælmesse "charity for the poor"
      • related to Greek eleēmosynē for "pity, mercy", itself from the root eleos
  • Alpha & Omega, the
    • the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet
    • from Revelation, 1:8:
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End' says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty
  • altar
    • table upon which a sacrifice is made
      • from Latin adolere "to worship, offer or burn sacrifice/s
        • related to Latin altus for "high."
    • in Church and the Mass, the altar is both "the altar of the sacrifice and the table of the Lord (CCC 1383)
  • amen
    • "so be it"
    • from Hebrew amen for "truth"
      • used to affirm a truth
    • Jesus frequently states, "Verily, verily, I say to you" (also translated as, "Amen, amen I say to you"; as in Jn 6:26)
    • from CCC 2856:
      • "Then, after the prayer is over you say 'Amen,' which means 'So be it,' thus ratifying with our 'Amen' what is contained in the prayer that God has taught us."
    • Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:20 explains:
      • "all the promises of God find their Yes in him [Christ]. That is why we utter Amen through him, to the glory of God"
  • anagogue / anagogical
    • Greek for "leading"
    • "anagogical sense" of building faith / understanding the scriptures
      • = in the sense of "what does this say about Heaven, about salvation, where does it lead me?"
    • see "scriptures, modes of interpretation"
  • anamnesis
    • making present
    • as in the presence of Christ in the Gospel reading during the Liturgy of the Word or the Eucharistic Prayer during the Liturgy of the Eucharist
  • anaphora
    • ana- (back, through) + phora (bear, carry)
      • from Greek pherein "to bear"
      • PIE root *bher- "to carry"
    • in literature, literary technique of the use of repetition
    • in the Mass, anaphora refers to the entire Eucharistic Prayer
  • angel
    • "messenger from God"
    • from Latin/Greek angelus / angelos for "messenger"
      • likely from semitic origin
  • Annunciation
    • the announcement to the virgin Mary by Archangel Gabriel that she would give birth to the Savior
      • Gabriel told her to name the baby "Emmanuel" for "God is with us"
        • = "Jesus"
    • the Annunciation is usually celebrated on March 24
  • anoint / anointed
    • "smeared with oil"
      • Latin in- "in, into" + unguere "to smear"
    • to anoint = to confer divinity or divine office
    • "Christ" means "the anointed one"
    • the Holy Spirit anointed Christ to show he was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies
    • Christ can be thought of as "appointed", as in he was "anointed" by God and the Spirit of God for his mission to save humankind

Ap[edit | edit source]

  • apocryphia
    • religious texts of unknown or dubious origin
    • thus are not included in the Holy scripture
      • Protestants call the Deuterocanonical books "apocryphia"
  • apologia / apologetics
    • in defense or justification of faith
      • an "apologist" defends the faith
    • from Greek apologos for "an account" or "speech in defense of oneself"
      • PIE *apo- "off, away" + logos "speech" or "word"
        • see below for "word"
    • apologos indicates "reasoned defense," or "thought out"
  • apostate / apostasy
    • n., one who forsakes, abandons, or neglects the Church
    • from Greek apostasia, "defection, desertion, rebellion,"
      • PIE *apo- (off, away from) + PIE *sta- (to stand, make/ be firm) = away from the place
    • the early Church struggled with re-acceptance into the Church of "apostates"
      • or those who had committed sins
      • or, worse, who had yielded to Roman pressure to show allegeance to Ceasar over Christ
  • apostle
    • "one who is sent"
    • i.e., the Twelve were chosen and sent by Jesus to preach His word
    • Paul was also called an apostle, given his special mission as "apostle to the gentiles" (sent by Jesus Christ after the resurrection)
  • apostolic
    • "of an apostle" or for the purpose of teaching the Word
  • archangel
    • arch- = "chief"
  • Ascension
    • the rising of the Lord Jesus Christ to heaven at Mount Olivet forty days after His Resurrection
  • aseitas
    • from Latin ab- (from) se (self)
      • thus from oneself
    • existence unto oneself
    • expresses that God's existence has no cause or justification; God exists
      • thus "I am"
  • asperges
    • the sprinkling of Holy Water
    • from Latin ad- (to) + spagere (sprinkle)
  • Assumption
    • the taking of the whole body of the Blessed Virgin Mary directly into heaven
  • atonement
    • salvation through the Passion and the Cross
    • Christ suffered, died, and was resurrected to atone for man's sins
    • atone = ad (into) + one = making one, in harmony, united

B[edit | edit source]

The Beatitudes
The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching. They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham. The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven (CCC 1717):
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
  • Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
  • beatify
    • to pronounce in heavenly bliss
      • i.e., to pronounce a saint
      • from Latin beatus for "supremely happy, blessed"
    • beatification is a process by which the Church declares someone a Satint
  • beatitude
    • syn: happiness
    • CCC 1716
    • from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)
    • the quest for happiness
    • from Latin beatitudinem for "state of blessedness"
    • beatific
      • = blissful, imparting of bliss
      • from Latin beatus for "blessed, happiness"
  • bema
    • the platform, or raised area, upon which the alter resides
    • the bema is within the chancel, is the enclosed space of the sanctuary
    • from Greek bēma (βῆμα) for "platform" and "step"
    • in Jewish synagogues the Torah is read from the bema or bimah
      • the Hebrew word "bimah" is derived from the Greek bēma
  • Bible
    • "holy books"
      • from biblion for "paper, scroll"
      • origin is from "byblos" for Egyptian papyrus
        • likely adopted in Greece from the city of Byblios which traded with ancient Greece
          • and thereby supplied Egyptian papyrus
    • note that the Catholic Church refers to the "holy books" as "Sacred Scripture" rather than "Bible"
  • bishop
    • with priests, primary task is "to preach the Gospel of God to all men"
    • "authentic leaders of the apololistic faith" (CCC 888)
    • Bishops are spiritual descendants of the apostle
    • from Greek episkopos for "watcher, spiritual guardian"
      • epi- (over) + skopos (one that watches)
        • from PIE *spek- "to observe"

bless / blessing

  • bless = "to make holy, give thanks"
    • from OE blod for blood
      • PIE *bhel- "to thrive, bloom
  • blessing = "gift from God"
    • also, "that which gives temporal or spiritual benefit"
  • from ME blessinge and OE bletsunga
  • Latin immolare for "immolate" or "sacrifice"
    • the relationship is from pagan sacrifice where blood is sprinkled on an alter
    • so "to bless" originates from a ritual act to an invocation of God's blessings
  • "Blessing" is state of "beatitude"
Blessing is a divine and life-giving action, the source of which is the Father; his blessing is both word and gift. When applied to man, the word "blessing" means adoration and surrender to his Creator in thanksgiving. (CCC 1078)
  • blessed
    • made holy, consecrated
    • or, the state of holiness, well-being and in joy with God
      • from Latin benedicere and Greek eulogein
      • related to the verb, "beatify"
    • so why do we say, "Blessed be God forever" ?
      • from Latin Benedictus Deus in saecul
      • means "God should be forever praised"
    • when we say "Blessed be Mary and Joseph"
      • we are saying, "praise Mary and Joseph, they are holy forever"
    • when we say to each other, "God bless you"
      • we are asking God to give blessings to someone
      • or for God to favor that person
  • bridegroom
    • groom
    • in the Covenant, Jesus

C[edit | edit source]

Ca[edit | edit source]

  • Calvary
    • the hill to the west of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified
      • formally, "The Mount of Calvary"
    • Calvary = "place of the skull" ("Golgotha")
      • perhaps called that because of the shape of the hill
  • canon
    • "a list"
    • thus the list of "books" of the Bible
    • from Greek kanon for "straight rod" and "standard of excellence"
    • also: canonical
      • included in the "Canon", i.e, accepted sacred texts
    • there are 27 Books in the New Testament
    • Old Testament:
      • Catholic Bible: Septuagint ("Greek Bible"): 46 books
      • Protestant Bible: Tanokh ("Hebrew Bible"): 39 books
        • the Jews of the 2nd and 3rd centuries used only the Tonakh books
        • the "Deuterocanonical" books (Hebrew scriptures) were excluded by Martin Luther in 1500s
        • the Deuterocanonical books were affirmed by the Catholic Church starting with the Synod of Hippo in 393
  • cardinal
    • from Greek for "pivotal" (as in a hinge)
    • thus Latin cardo or cardinis for "that upon which something depends"
    • uses and forms of the word include
      • the office of the "Cardinal"
        • members (up to 70) of the Sacred College appointed by the Pope whose job is to advise the Pope, govern in conjunction with the Pope and elect a new Pope
        • Cardinals are usually but not required to be Bishops
        • "cardinal virtues"
          • = the key virtues needed for moral and beatific life: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance
        • "cardinal sins"
          • mortal sins; also called the "Seven Deadly Sins" that lead to damnation
  • casuistri
    • << see CCC 579
  • catechesis
The primary and essential object of catechesis is, to use an expression dear to St. Paul and also to contemporary theology, "the mystery of Christ." Catechizing is in a way to lead a person to study this mystery in all its dimensions: "to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery...comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth ...know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge...(and be filled) with all the fullness of God." It is therefore to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God's eternal design reaching fulfillment in that Person. It is to seek to understand the meaning of Christ's actions and words and of the signs worked by Him, for they simultaneously hide and reveal His mystery. Accordingly, the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.
  • catechism
    • "instruction in Christian principles"
    • from Latin catechismus for "book of instruction"
      • from Greek katekhismos
        • which is from katekhizein "to teacher oraly, instruct by word of mouth" which is from Greek katekhein "to resound"
      • thus "catechism" maintains an element of joyful echoes from katekhein "to resound"
    • from Greek kata (down, thoroughly) + ekhein (to ring, to resound, echo)
      • PIE *(s)wagh- to resound, echo
  • catechist / catechumen
    • catechist is the teacher of the catechesis
    • catechumen is the student
  • cathedral
    • church of a bishop
      • note: cardinals are assigned a church in Rome, but keep their home cathedra
    • from Latin cathedra for "a teacher's chair"
      • thus the seat of the Bishop
      • in a church, the cathedra is the seat used only by the Bishop
    • Greek kata "down" + hedra "seat, base, chair"
      • from PIE *sed- "to sit"
  • catholic
    • universal, universally accepted
      • so = "doctrines of the early church"
      • Greek kath (in general) + holos "whole"
        • PIE *sol- "whole, well-kept"
  • Cf.
    • confer / conferatur
    • meaning "compare"
      • indicates a source supportive or analogous to the CCC entry text
      • i.e., not a direct citation or source

Ch[edit | edit source]

  • charism
    • divine gift
    • "Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are special graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world" (CCC 799)
  • charity
    • love of the other
    • = Christian love = love's highest manifestation
    • from Latin caritas for "costliness, esteem, affection"
      • from PIE *kar- "to like, desire
      • note that the French chere and Spanish caro for "costly, expensive"
        • thus "charity" implies something important
    • charity is related to Greek agape in the sense of love of fellow man, as opposed to the sense of physical desire in amor (love)
  • charitable
    • acting or manifesting Christian love (charity)
      • esp. regarding treatment of the poor
    • "charitable" also maintains the sense of non-judgment towards others
  • Chi-Rho
    • Greek letters X (chi) and P (rho)
      • = the first two letters of "Christ"
    • the Chi-Rho symbol is the letter P w/ the letter X superimposed
  • Christ
    • Greek for the Hebrew "Messiah" meaning "anointed"
      • "Christos" in Greek (Χριστός)
    • "Christ" signifies Jesus' divine mission
  • Christian / Christians
    • "follower of Christ"
      • for more see "The Way" below (Way, the)
    • from Acts 11:26
25Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
  • Christogram
    • = Chi-Rho
    • = first two letters of "Christ" in Greek
    • "Chi", written "X", is the "chiasmus" (symbol) for the cross
  • church
    • a "convocation" or "assembly" especially for religious purposes
    • related to Latin ecclesia and Greek ekkalein for "to call out"
      • from PIE *kele- "to shout"
    • the call is to gather, as in Greek ekklēsía which means "assembly"
    • derived directly from Greek Kyriake for "what belongs to God"
      • or kyriakon for "of the Lord"
    • thus ekklēsía (church) = "the assembly of the Chosen people before God"
      • especially regarding Mt. Sanai, where Israel was given the Law
      • Christian use of "church" is "as heir to that assembly
    • see CCC 751)
    • note: ekklēsía is related to the Greek translation of the Hebrew "Qahal" which is a reference to the ancient Jewish equivalent of "church" or "church organization"

Co[edit | edit source]

  • commission
    • = giving a missing and sending forth and empowerment to do that mission
    • "commissioner" commissions them... gives them authority
  • communion
    • together, coming together
      • generally, for worship
    • specifically, "Holy Communion" for "partaking in the sacrament of the Eucharist"
      • from com for "with, together" + unus for "oneness, union"
    • to "take communion" means to "receive" the gift of Christ
      • who told the Disciples to "take" his body and blood
  • complementarity
    • "compliment" as in "mutually completing"
    • man and woman
  • Concordate
    • "Biblical concordance" or "verbal concordance"
    • = a list of every word that appears in the OT and NT Bibles in alphabetical order
      • with a references as to where the word appears
    • first complied by the Dominican order using the Latin Vulgate bible
  • concupiscence
    • propensity towards sin and death
      • fomes peccati -- "the tinder for sin" (CCC 1264)
    • con (with) + cupere (desire) -ense (in the state of)
    • "Human appetites or desires which remain disordered due to the temporal consequences of original sin, which remain even after Baptism and which produce an inclination to sin" (CCC Glossary; see CCC 1264)
  • confess
    • con = wtih + fess from Latin fateri = "to admit"
      • from PIE *bha- "to speak, tell, say"
      • Latin confiteri = "to acknowledge"
  • Confirmation, sacrament of
    • the sacrament (rite) by which the baptized more fully join the Catholic Church
    • "the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace" (CCC 1285)
      • con (with) + firmare (strengthen, make strong)
      • firmare from PIE *dher- "to hold firmly, support"
    • "Confirmation" per the (CCC Glossary):
Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism by a special outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which seal of "confirm" the baptized in union with Christ and equip them for active participation in the worship and apostolic life of the Church.
  • consecrate
    • to make holy
    • "consecrated elements" = such as the bread and wine in the Eucharist
    • con- (with) + secrare (Latin for sacred)
  • consubstantial
The Incarnation of God's Son reveals that God is the eternal Father and that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God. (CCC 262)
  • covenant
    • covenant = "a promise, agreement"
      • God never breaks his side of the bargain
    • from Latin convenire for "come together, unite, agree"
      • so cannot be cut or separated
    • sacrifice is to repair the covenant

Cr[edit | edit source]

  • creation
    • what God makes
      • from creare "to make, bring forth, produce, beget"
      • from PIE *ker- "to grow"
    • "creation" = people, the world, etc., as opposed to ever-existing God / Godhead
  • creatures
    • all things created by God
    • includes angels
  • creed
    • from Latin credo for "I believe"
    • creeds = professions of faith
      • there are different creeds from ancient Churches, councils and Papal symbols
    • the baptismal profession of faith is given "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (CCC189)
    • and thus has three parts:
      1. "the divine Person and the wonderful work of creation"
      2. "the second divine Person and the mystery of his redemption of men"
      3. "the third divine Person, the origin and source of our sanctification" from CCC 187-191
    • the Creed" from the Nicene Creed
  • cross
    • a verb before it becomes a noun
    • vertical is for God
    • horizontal is for man/ the worldly
    • "a religion without a Cross" is not a religion (Fulton Sheen, "Life of Christ," Ch. 50)
  • crucifixion

D[edit | edit source]

  • Decalogue
    • "ten words"
    • the Ten Commandments
  • Deposit of Faith, the
    • depositum fidei
    • = Sacred Scripture + Sacred Tradition
      • does not include private revelation
    • see CCC 84
  • Deuterocanonical books
    • see entry in below section on the Bible
  • Devil, the / diabolic
    • = Satan (see entry below)
      • "devilish" = of Satan
    • from the Greek diaballein
      • = dia- "across, through" + ballein "to throw" (PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach")
    • and diabolikos for "thrown across", as in throwing apart
      • i.e., "to separate", "separation"
      • for the opposite, see symbiotic
  • diocese
    • district or region under control of a Bishop
    • Greek dia- ("throughout") + oikos (house)
      • oikos from PIE root *weik- for "clan"
  • disordered
    • dis- (against) + order (command)
      • order from PIE *arə-- for "fit together"
    • used in terms of disordered
      • appetites, desires, passions,
        • = those that go against what we are created for by "command" of God
  • divine
    • "of God"
    • from Latin divinus
      • PIE *dyeu- "to shine," as in "sky, heaven, god"
  • doctrine
    • that which has been taught
    • from PIE root *dek- for "to take, accept."
  • dogma
    • a settled opinion or belief system,
    • i.e. the beliefs of the Church
    • Catholic dogma is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
    • Greek dogma ("opinion, tenet" "from dokein for "to seem, to think, to accept"
      • PIE *dek- "to take, to accept"
      • related do doxa
  • dome
    • from Genesis, what is above the waters, i.e., "heaven"
    • in NKJV called "firmament"
  • doxology
    • word(s) of praise
    • doxo ("glory, praise") + logy (spoken word)
      • doxo from PIE *dek- "to take, accept"
    • liturgical praise of God
    • as in "concluding doxology" of the Eucharistic Prayer
"Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, forever and ever.”
    • followed by the "Great Amen"

E[edit | edit source]

Ec[edit | edit source]

  • ecclesia/ ecclesiastic
    • ecclesia = church
      • from Greek for gathering (see "church" below)
    • so ecclesiastic = "of" or "having to do with" the church
  • ecclesiology
    • study of or belief system regarding the Church and its nature
    • understood in conjunction with soteriology, which is study of or belief system about salvation and its nature
  • eschatological
    • = last days, of the final times
    • therefore, "the last things" and the coming of Jesus on the "last day"
      • regards all things related to end of times, including death, judgment, resurrection, heaven, purgatory, hell
      • referenced in the Creed
    • from Greek eskhatos for "last, furthest" in time, space, degree
    • from PIE *ehgs- for "out" (eghs-ko-),+ -ology (study of, branch of knowledge, from Greek -logia)
  • economy
    • as in the "economy of the Old Testament"
      • = "the process of", "the carrying out of"
    • from Greek oikonomia for "household management"
      • oikonomos = manager, steward
      • from PIE *weik- "clan" or "managing"
      • or PIE *nem- "assign, allot, take, especially for managing resources
    • so in Church, "economy" refers to "the works by which God reveals himself"
      • as opposed to "theology", which is the mystery of God's inmost life withing the Blessed Trinity"
    • therefore, "theologia illuminates oikonomia"
      • from CCC 236
    • CCC 122: the "economy" of the OT is in preparation for Jesus
  • ecumenical council
  • elder
    • generally, "one who has authority" in a community
    • from OE eald, ald for "old"
    • in the early Church, elders were those who taught and preached the Gospel

Em[edit | edit source]

  • Emmanuel
    • means "God-with-us"
    • from Matthew 1:20-23:
      • after telling Joseph that Mary will bear a son "and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21)
      • Matthew explains
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
 Mt 1:23 
    • "Emmanuel" is a synonymous reference to but not the given name for Jesus (which was given him at his circumcision; see Lk 2:21)
      • Emmanuel is a reference to House of David and fulfillment of God's promise to restore Judah in Isaiah 7:14
    • see "Jesus" entry below
  • Epiclesis
    • the Eucharistic prayer calling down the Holy Spirit to transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ
    • Greek for "invocation" or "appeal"
  • Epiphany
    • the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles. as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12)
    • celebrated January 6
  • episcopal college
    • a permanent assembly
    • Christ placed Peter at its head
  • episcopate
  • episkopos
    • Greek for "bishop"
    • means "overseer"
    • related to "shepherd"
  • Epistle
    • "a letter"
    • from Greek epi- (to) + stellei (to dispatch or send)
      • PIE *stel- "to put, stand, put in order"
  • etymology
    • study of the origins of words
    • from Greek etymologia for "analysis to find true origin of a word"
      • etymon = (true sense) + -logy ("word")

Eu[edit | edit source]

  • Eucharist
    • sacrament of the Last Supper
      • from Latin eucharistia and Greek eukharistia for "thanksgiving, gratitude"
      • eu- = Greek for "good or well " + kharis "favor, grace"
        • drawing from sense of the verb kharizesthai "to show favor"
        • thus "thankfulness" or "to be thankful"
      • additional sense, used by St. Paul in 2 Cor 16:
      • "The Greek words eucharistein and eulogein recall the Jewish blessings that proclaim - especially during a meal - God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification." (CCC 1328)
      • Eukharistia = "the Lord's Supper"
    • while the Gree word "kharis" (χάρις) means "grace," St. Paul used it in the sense of thanksgiving in 2 Cor 8:16
But thanks [χάρις] be to God who put the same concern for you into the heart of Titus
  • Eucharistic = of or pertaining to the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Eucharist
    • regarding the eucharistic host:
      • host = the consecrated Bread (body of Christ)
      • monstrance = a vessel, or container, with door open or transparent cover that displays the consecrated Eucharist for adoration
      • tabernacle = used to store consecrated hosts outside of mass
  • evangel
    • = the gospel/ "the good news"
    • evangelical = of the gospel / good news
  • evangelist
    • preacher of good news/ the gospel
    • from etym (to sort):
evangelist (n.)
late 12c., "Matthew, Mark, Luke or John," from Old French evangelist and directly from Late Latin evangelista, from Greek euangelistes "preacher of the gospel," literally "bringer of good news," from euangelizesthai "bring good news," from eu- "good" (see eu-) + angellein "announce," from angelos "messenger" (see angel).

In early Greek Christian texts, the word was used of the four traditional authors of the narrative gospels. Meaning "itinerant preacher" was another early Church usage, revived in Middle English (late 14c.). Classical Greek euangelion meant "the reward of good tidings;" sense transferred in Christian use to the glad tidings themselves. In Late Latin, Greek eu- regularly was consonantized to ev- before vowels.
  • ex cathedra
    • "from the chair", as in exercise of papal authority
    • indicates "papal infallibility"
  • exalt
    • to honor, hold in high esteem, glorify, praise
      • from ex (out, from ) + altus (high)
        • altus is from PIE *al- for "to grow, nourish"
    • we may exalt others, but not ourselves, as Jesus warned:
And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" 
(Matthew 23:10-12).
  • exegesis
    • explanation, interpretation
    • from Greek exegeisthai for "explain, interpret"
      • ex (from) + hegesithai (to lead, guide)
    • an exegete is one who interprets or explains scripture
  • expiate / expiation
    • to atone for, make amends
    • = ex- (from, out of) + piare (propitiate, appease)
      • piare from PIE *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart"


  • "to exalt" = to feel or show triumph, elation, jubilation
    • literally "to jump with joy"
    • ex- (out) + salire (to leap)

F[edit | edit source]

  • "fullness of the mystery"
  • historicism
    • the idea that ideas and cultures of a certain period are tied to that time period and are disconnected from any larger connections across history
    • historicism denies eternal truths
    • see JPII p. 50

G[edit | edit source]

  • generation
    • "this generation" = those currently alive who are from a lineage of a people/ families/ tribes/ nations
    • "generations" = the past lines of people, passed on by their parents and their parents, etc.
    • from generare "to bring forth, beget, produce"
      • from genus "race, kind"
      • PIE root *gene- "to give birth, beget"
  • Genesis
    • origin, birth, creation of the world
      • from PIE *gene for "to give birth, to beget"
  • glory / gloria / glorification
    • splendor of God
    • praise for God
      • from Latin gloria for fame, praise, honor
      • possibly related to PIE *gno- "to know"
        • as in "renowned"
  • God
    • from Old English god "supreme being"
      • proto-Germanic *guthan
        • PIE *ghut- ("that which is invoked") and *gheu(e) (to call, invoke)
    • Latin deus ("God") from PIE *deiwos "god" and root *dyeu- "to shine,"
  • God-man
    • Christ as God and Man
    • Greek: theánthropos; Latin: deus homo
    • see "hypostatic union of Christ"
  • Godhead, The
    • a reference to the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • Gospel, the
    • "the good news"
    • from Old English godspell
      • = god (good) + spell (news)
  • grace
    • "Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life." (CCC 1996)
    • Grade helps us "conform our lives to his will"
    • sacramental grace and special grace (charisms) are the gift of the Holy Spirit (see CCC 1585, 1996, 2000)
  • Great Amen (the)
    • communal affirmation of the "concluding doxology" at the end of the Eucharistic prayer

H[edit | edit source]

  • hallelujah
    • from Hebrew hallalu-yah for "praise ye Jehovah"
      • hallalu = to praise, sing praise
      • yah = Yahweh
  • hardness of heart
    • unwillingness to listen to the Word, or to see plain truths
    • also called in the Bible, "stiff necks"
  • hell
    • state or place of eternal separation from God:
We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (1 Jn 13:15). Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell." 
(CCC 1033)
  • heresy
    • belief or opinion against ("at variance with") established doctrine
      • from Greek hairesis for "taking or choosing oneself" (over what understood)
    • per CCC:
The obstinate denial after Baptism of a truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic Faith" (CCC 2089)
  • hermeneutics
    • = interpretive, interpreting
      • Greek, derived from Hermes, the god of speech, writing, eloquence
      • theory, interpretation and study of biblical texts
  • hesed
    • a deep, abiding, covenantal love
  • heterodox
    • wrong thought, contrary doctrine (religious teachings)
    • hetero = "opinion, other" + dox = "opinion, thought" = other, or wrong opinion
  • holocaust
    • burnt offerings
    • from Greek holo (whole) + kaustus "burned whole" or holokaustun "a thing wholly burnt"
      • from PIE *sol- "whole, well-kept" +
  • holy
    • consecrated, godly
    • from proto-Germanic *hailaga ("holy")
      • from PIE *kailo- "whole, uninjured"
    • "holy" means "set apart"
      • as in God is set apart from all things
      • God is not creation, not sinful; he is perfect, "holy"
    • holiness
      • = separation from sin, possession of virtue and dedication to the service of God
  • Holy Spirit
    • Hebrew: "ruah" for "wind"
      • translated to Greek as "pneuma" ("wind, air")
    • frequently represented by the Dove
    • also Holy Ghost
    • Jesus also calls the Holy Spirit:
      • Paraclete for "he who is called to one's side" (advocatus)
      • "Spirit of Truth" (see CCC 692 and CCC 729)
    • in the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Bishop will call down the Holy Spirit as "helper and guide" (CCC 1299)
  • homily
    • sermon or teaching, given by a priest or deacon after the reading of the Gospel
    • from Greek homilia for "conversation or discourse" with others (from homou = "together")
  • Hosanna
    • "Lord, save us!"
      • imperative for "save" thus, "please give salvation!"
    • from Hebrew hosha'na for "Save us, we pray"
  • Host
    • the sacramental, Eucharistic bread
    • from Latin hostia for "sacrificial victim"
    • see also the "Lord of Hosts"
  • hypostatic union of Christ
    • Chris as God and Man (see "God-man")
    • the Church calls Christ "consubstantial" with the Father (Nicaean Creed)
    • also called the "mystical union" or the "person of Christ"
    • in Cur Deus Homo by Saint Anselm Book Second, Saint Anselm explained the need for the God-man:
Is it not sufficiently proved that man can be saved by Christ, when even infidels do not deny that man can be happy somehow, and it has been sufficiently shown that, leaving Christ out of view, no salvation can be found for man? For, either by Christ or by some one else can man be saved, or else not at all. If, then, it is false that man cannot be saved all, or that he can be saved in any other way, his salvation must necessarily be by Christ.
- Book I, Chapter XXV

Thus having explained the necessity for Christ for human salvation, he continues as to why Christ must be both God and man:

Moreover, if these two complete natures are said to be joined somehow, in such a way that one may be Divine while the other is human, and yet that which is God not be the same with that which is man, it is impossible for both to do the work necessary to be accomplished. For God will not do it, because he has no debt to pay; and man will not do it, because he cannot. Therefore, in order that the God-man may perform this, it is necessary that the same being should perfect God and perfect man, in order to make this atonement. For he cannot and ought not to do it, unless he be very God and very man. Since, then, it is necessary that the God-man preserve the completeness of each nature, it is no less necessary that these two natures be united entire in one person, just as a body and a reasonable soul exist together in every human being; for otherwise it is impossible that the same being should be very God and very man.
- Book II, Chapter VII

I[edit | edit source]

  • I am who I am
    • God's name as told to Moses, Exodus 3:14
  • idolatry
    • putting anything else above God
    • Book of Wisdom, 13:10:
But wretched are they, and in dead things are their hopes, 
who termed gods things made by human hands;
  • from "idol" = for "false god"
  • idol contains also sense of an image
    • has origin in PIE oid- for "seeming, like, like that of..."
    • and Greek -oeidēs from eidos "form," idein "to see," and eidenai "to know, to see"
      • from PIE *weid- "to see"
  • idolatry means to put anything above god, be it an idol, other god, Satan, pride, sin, money, etc.
    • see CC 2113:
      • "Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God."
  • IHS
    • the first three letters of the Greek word for Jesus, ΙΗΣΟΥΣ
    • which in English reads IHSOUS
    • IHS is often sewn into the back of a priest's chasable (outer robe)
  • immutability & impassibility
    • the idea that God:
      • does not change (immutable)
      • is not subject to passions (emotions)
    • in that God is immutable...
      • He is never less than all good, all loving
        • He is never anything less than what He is
    • in that God is impassible,
      • he is not subject to whims, emotions or emotional attachments
    • to project human emotions or characteristics upon God is to make God in our image, not us in His
  • imputibility
    • < degree of responsibility for sin << todo
  • in persona christi
  • Incarnation
    • the embodiment of God in the person of Christ
    • from Latin incarnari "be made flesh
      • in (into) + carnis (flesh)
        • from PIE *en- + *sker- "to cut"
    • from CCC 432
      • "... Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation"
  • INRI
    • abbreviation for = Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum
      • Latin for "Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
        • the Latin alphabet does not have the letter "J", which was expressed by the vowel "I"
      • from John 9:19-23:
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews.'” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written."
  • invention
    • "finding or discovery"
    • from Latin invenire, "to come upon, find out, discover"
      • in = "in, on" + venir = "to come"
        • PIE root *gwa for "to go, to come"
    • thus an "invention" is not something created by man, it is something discovered or found out by man
    • God creates the world; mankind "invents" or "discovers" it
    • used for the original "Invention of the Cross", which was the discovery of the three crosses from the biblical crucifixion (see Saint Helena, mother of Satin Constantine ("Constantine the Great")
    • see "Creation"
  • invoke/ invocation
    • to call upon God
    • << to do

J[edit | edit source]

  • Jerusalem
    • Hebrew for "place of peace"; also "foundation of peace"
      • i.e. jeru + shalem
    • may also mean "the abiding place" as given to Abraham
    • translated to Greek as Hierousalem
    • from Hebrew for "artichoke"
  • Jesse Tree
    • or "Tree of Jesse"
    • depicts the lineage from the father of King David, Jesse of Bethlehem, to Jesus
      • basically, Jesus' family tree
    • traditionally an Advent devotion
  • Jesus' ancestry from Jesse is drawn from the Book of Isaiah (Isa 11:1):
But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
  • Jesus
    • Hebrew for "God saves"
    • the Archangel Gabriel gave him this name at the Annunciation:
 Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. (Lk 31)
    • Since "Jesus" means "God saves" the very name of the Father is within the name of Jesus (see CCC 432)
    • "There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
  • justification
    • the process by which sinners may become righteous in the sight of Gd
    • justification comes through the sacraments
    • righteousness means being "infused" or "poured" upon by God's grace
  • lay (adj) / laity (n)
    • not clerical, or "of the people", as in "the lay people" or "the laity
      • from Latin laicus and Greek laikos "of the people,"; both from laos for folk, the people, the crowd; a tribe
    • also indicates common people as distinguished from "experts"

K[edit | edit source]

  • kenosis
    • humility

L[edit | edit source]

  • laity
    • the people, as opposed to the clergy
      • i.e., not ecclesiastical
    • also "lay
  • Lamb of God
    • in the Book of Leviticus God instructs the Hebrews to offer animals "without blemish" as sacrifice to pay for their sins
      • = the innocent for the guilty
    • John the Baptist prophesized Christ's sacrifice: "behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world"
  • Lent
    • 40 day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter
    • or 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving
    • in preparation for the Lord's Resurrection at Easter
      • marking the 40 days of fasting in the wilderness by Jesus
    • from "the fast of lent"
    • with "lent" meaning "lengthening days" (Old Saxon lentin)
      • as in the increasing length of the day towards Spring
  • ligamen
    • under Canon law, an existing marriage tie
    • a state of ligamen constitutes an impediment to the contraction of another marriage
      • ligamen = from Latin ligare for "to bind, tie" from PIE *leig- (to bind, tie)
        • ligamen also implies a "moral restraint"
        • related to "lien", which means "right to hold a property until a debt is paid"
    • Diriment Impediment of Ligamen
      • is a canonical order that invalidates an attempt to administer a sacramental marriage on account of an existing state of ligamen
      • diriment = from Latin dirimens for "separating"
        • de- = away, away from + terere (to rub, wear) (from PIE *tere-, "to rub, turn")
        • related to "detriment" for "incapacity, harm, injury"
  • limbo
    • not part of Church doctrine
    • see CCC 1257-1261 for Church stance on "Necessity of Baptism"
  • liturgy
    • "the service (mass) of the Holy Eucharist"
    • or the conduct (form, presentation) of divine worship and "proclamation of the Gospel" (CCC 1070)
    • from Latin liturgia for "public service, public worship" and Greek leitourgia for "a liturgy; public duty, ministry,"
      • related to leitourgos for "one who performs a public ceremony or service
        • as opposed to leito- "public" (from laos "the people")
      • from PIE *werg- "to do" as in "work" (see Meaning of root *werg- by etymonline)
    • liturgical = "of or related to divine mass"
      • esp. a reference to the text read in worship
    • liturgical calendar = the calendar that guides Catholic masses over a year
    • the four parts of the Catholic liturgy (mass):
      1. Introductory Rites
        1. Procession
        2. Greeting
        3. Penitential Act
        4. Glory to God
        5. Collect (opening prayer)
      2. Liturgy of the Word
        1. ends with the "Universal Prayer" or "intercessions"
      3. Liturgy of the Eucharist
      4. Concluding Rites
  • Lord
    • God
    • from the meaning, "keeper or guardian"
    • in Greek , Kyrios
  • Lord of Hosts
    • Jewish term for God
      • from Hebrew Tzevaot for "armies" as in "Lord of the armies"
      • "hosts" implies a large army
    • Old English hlaford = "one who guards the loaves"
      • thus the connection between "Lord of Hosts" and "Host" (Eucharistic bread)

M[edit | edit source]

  • Magisterium
    • from CCC Glossary, p. 889:
"The living teaching office of the Church, whose task is to give us authentic interpretation of the word of God... the Magisterium ensures the Church's fidelity to the teaching of the Apostles in matters of faith and morals"
  • martyr
    • from Greek for "witness"
    • from Matthew 10:13:
      • "But whoever denies me before others, I will also deny before my heavenly Father."
    • and Matthew 16:25:
      • "For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."
        • thus early Christian martyrs refused to deny Christ in order to join him in Heaven
        • and conceived of martyrdom as "baptism in their own blood" which removed any stain of sin
          • making martyrdom "the ultimate penitence" (Papandrea, p. 79)
      • "confessors" were those who "confessed" to being Christian to the Roman authorities
    • see "Reading of the Church Fathers," by James L. Papandrea, p. 78-79
  • Mass
    • "Eucharistic service" or "celebration of the Eucharist
    • per Novus Ordo, Mass = "the Lord's Supper", an assembly of people for memorial celebration of the Lord
      • from Matthew 18:20: where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them
        • note that prior to Vatican II the real presence of Jesus was directly affirmed (transubstantiation)
    • Old English mæsse and Middle English messe or masse
      • the meaning is likely derived from the "dismissal" at the end of the service
      • as it is related to Latin mittere for "to let go, send" as in on a mission
        • thereby "mission" and "missionary" from "mass"
  • matrimony
    • motherhood + fruit of the union
      • from Latin mātrimōnium
      • mater (mother) + -mōnium (in the state of)
        • mater from PIE *matar-
  • Messiah
    • "the anointed one"
      • from "Hebrew mashah
        • = directly translated in Greek as Khristos
    • see Protoevangelium
      • the gatherer
      • also "the expected one"
    • CCC 436:
      • "Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, prophet and king"
  • missal
    • "the book of the mass"
      • = a book or booklet with the texts used in Mass
      • from Latin missa for mass
  • mission
    • from Latin mittere for "to let go, send"
    • also related to "mass" (see above)
      • thus a "mission" and "missionary" = spreading the "mass"
  • moral
    • moral = Latin mos for "one's disposition (genitive of "moris")
      • possibly related to OE mod for "heart, spirit, courage, frame of mind"
  • morality
    • the morality of an act depends upon:
      • the object chosen
        • = what the "will" directs itself toward (what is wanted)
      • the end in view or intention
      • circumstances of the action
    • from CCC 1750

N-O[edit | edit source]

  • Nazarenes
    • followers of Jesus of Nazareth
    • term for early Christians (see Acts 24:5)
      • for more, see "The Way" below (Way, The)
  • Novus Ordo
    • known as "Vatican II" or "Second Vatican"
  • obey
    • see CCC 143
      • from Latin/ Greek for "to hear, listen" audio/audire << to do
  • oblate / oblation
    • oblation = a presentation or offering to God, esp. a sacrifice
    • from obalcioun for "an offering to God"
      • or oblatus related to offerre "to offer, to bring before"
      • thus ob- (unto, toward) + lātus (carried, borne)
    • oblate = a person devoted to religious work
    • in the Eucharistic prayer, "oblation" means "this presentation, this dedication":
Therefore, Lord, we pray: graciously accept this oblation of our service
  • see CCC
    • 529: Christ's oblation offered on the cross
    • 1037: Eucharist prayer as a call for mercy and to bring us to God
    • 1350: the Offertory
  • offerings
    • sacrifices offered to God
      • see CCC 461-462 from Philippians and Hebrews on how Christ was incarnate as man in order to replace sacrificial offerings with himself
    • in the Mass, the offerings are the bread and wine which will become the Body and Blood of Christ
    • offerings may also include gifts from the people, which is received in the "collection" (CCC 1351)
  • Offertory, the
    • beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist in which the bread and wine are brought to the altar
      • also called "Presentation and Preparation of the Gifts"
    • during the Offertory, through the priest the assembled give thanks to "Lord God of all creation" for the bread and win
      • recognizing that the while bread & wine are "work of human hands" both are gifts of the Creator
    • "offertory" is from Latin offertus, derived from oblatus for "to offer" (see "oblation")
  • Ordinary time
    • liturgical calendar period (2)
    • from "ordinal" for numbers
  • orthodox v. heterodox
    • ortho = "straight, right way"
    • hetero = "other", i.e. "not the right way"; "wrong teaching
  • orthodox
    • "correct teaching"
    • ortho (correct) + dox (opinion) = correct opinion
    • dox = "opinion, thought"
      • dox from PIE *dek- "to take, accept"
    • the orthodox canonical New Testament books were affirmed by Irenaeus in 177 AD
      • his criteria was that the canon be of
        1. the Gospels
        2. teachings and writings by later companions of the Apostles (such as Luke, Jude, James)
        3. early Church traditions as handed down from the Gospels
          • Irenaeus attested to the authorship of the Gospels, especially John and Luke as companion of Paul
  • Our Father, the
    • see section below

P[edit | edit source]

  • Paraclete, the
    • Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the "Paraclete"
      • for "advocate" (see Jn 14:16)
      • from para- (to procure) + kalein "to call"
        • PIE *kele- "to shout""
        • note: in addition to "to procure" or "produce," para- has other distinct & oppositive meanings, such "alongside, toward" and "beyond, against"
      • also means "intecessor"
    • see above for Holy Sprit and CCC 692
  • parish
    • a local church and the community is serves
    • from Greek paroikia for diocese
      • related to para for near
  • parochial
    • of or related to the parish
    • "parochial schools"
  • Parousia
    • the Second Coming of Christ
      • from Greek for "presence"
      • taken to mean "presence after absence" or "arrival"
  • Paschal
    • paschal = pertaining to Passover or Easter
      • from Aramaic pasha for "pass over"
      • Hebrew pesah "he passed over"
  • Paschal Mystery
    • Passion
    • Resurrection
    • Ascension
  • Passion, the
    • the suffering of Christ to save our sins
    • "passion" = suffering, or "to endure"
      • from Latin pati for "to undergo, endure"
      • thus later sense of "state of being affected by"
    • "the Passion Narrative" = the events of the last week of Jesus' life
      • from the "Triumphal Entry" to Jerusalem to his crucifixion, death, and burial
  • Patristic period
    • early Church period, from "fathers" (patria)
    • periods include:
      • age of the Apostolic Fathers
        • period of the New Testament, to about 80-90 AD
      • age of the Apologists, AD 80-180
        • period of Church fathers who inherited and taught the learning from the Apostolic Fathers
        • "apologist" means one who defends
          • apologies were especially important in order to explain and defend Christian thinking, especially as against pagans and heretical Christian movements
      • age of the Theologians, 180-324 AD
        • period leading up to the Council of Nicaea
        • "theologians" refers to one who explains
  • penitence / penance / penitential
    • sorrow for having done wrong/ sin
    • from Latin penitire "to regret"
      • related to Latin pæne for "nearly, almost, practically" as in "lacking", "incomplete"
  • philosophy
    • = truth discerned through reason
    • from Greek for "love of wisdom"
      • philo (loving, love of) + sophia (knowledge)
        • sophis = "wise, learned"
  • pious
    • devoted, reverent or observant of Christian propriety and/or Christianity itself
    • from Latin purus ("pure, clean")
    • and PIE *pu-io- "pure, to purify"
  • pleroma
    • Christ's continued life
  • prayer
    • = entreaty, petition from Latin precari "to ask, beg, pray"
      • PIE *prek "to ask, entreat"
  • presbyterium / presbyteros
    • see priest
  • priest
    • from Latin *prester or presbyter for "presbyter, elder,"
    • and Greek presbyteros "elder (of two), venerable
      • from PIE *per- "forward, in front of, before, first"
      • related to sacerdos, "giver of holy things"
  • profane
    • from pro fano meaning "out /outside of the temple" or "not allowed in the temple"
      • fanum = temple
    • i.e., what is not holy
  • profess
  • propitiate / propitiation
    • to atone, make amends
      • derived from Latin propitius for "favorable, gracious, kindly
      • and piare, related to pious
  • Protoevangelium
    • proto= before, first
    • evangelium = gospel (the good news)
    • the first gospel was God's testiminoly to Satan, Adam and Eve about what would happen to them
  • purgation
    • Latin purgare "to cleanse, purify"
  • Purgatory
    • the place of purgation for those souls not damned not immediately entered into Heaven

Q[edit | edit source]

R[edit | edit source]

  • radical
    • from "root"
    • so radical is changing the roots
    • << to complete
  • ransom
    • = a fee paid for the release of someone or something
    • see Timothy1, 2: 5
    • Jesus paid the "ransom" for man's sins
  • Reconciliation, Sacrament of
    • i.e., "confession"
    • the sacrament by which, "through God's mercy, the sinner is reconciled with God, and also with the Church, Christ's Body, which is wounded by sin" (CCC 1422)
    • re- (back, again) + conciliare (to make friendly)
      • from PIE *kele- "to shout" to come together( *kal-yo-)
  • rectitude
    • straightness, uprightness
      • from Latin rectus "straight"
      • PIE *reg- "move in a straight line"
  • Rector
    • priest who is head of a priest
  • redemption
    • re (back to) + emere (take, buy, gain)
      • from PIE *em- "to take, distribute"
  • relic
    • from Latin reliquiæ "the remains of a martyr.
      • from PIE *linkw-, or *leikw- for "to leave", with re- , thus, left behind
  • repent
    • to regret, apologize or seek forgiveness
      • with change in mind so as not to repeat the same mistake or sin
      • in other words, "repent" is different in "regret" in that
        • regret = regret
        • repent = regret with change of mind or habit
  • revelation
    • to make clear,
    • from Latin revelare "unveil, uncover, lay bare"
    • = re- (undo) + veil (covered) = uncovered
      • "veil" is related to "sail", "velum", "cloth"
  • righteous
    • sinless, just ("justified")
      • in the Old Testament, within the law
    • righteousness results from "justification" or grace
    • right ("just, good, in accordance with moral law") + -eous (in the state of)
      • = in the state of being right w/ God
    • right = from PIE *reg- "to move in a straight line"
    • Pope Benedict XVI defined it as
      • "Righteousness is the observance of the right path shown by God"
  • rite
    • a formal religious ceremony
    • from Latin ritus "custom, usage"
    • the Roman Rite
      • = the liturgy (Mass) of the Roman Catholic Church
  • rosary
    • a series or "garden" of prayers w/ beads to guide their recitation (saying of the prayers)
    • related to Latin hortulus animae for "prayerbook"
      • which means "little garden of the soul"

S[edit | edit source]

Sa[edit | edit source]

  • sacraments
    • "the Seven Mysteries"
    • sacrament = "An efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the church, by which divine life is dispensed to us through the work of the Holy Spirit (see CCC 774, 1131)
    • the word "sacrament" comes from Latin sacramentum for "an oath of obedience"
      • from sacrare "to make sacred,"
        • from PIE *sak- or *shnk "sanctify, make sacred"
    • the word "mysteries" = from Greek mystērion for "secret rite or doctrine"
      • when translated to Latin mystērion became both mysteriun and sacramentum
    • mysteries = "hidden reality of salvation" through and by Christ
    • sacrament = "the visible sign of the hidden reality of salvation"
    • "mysteries" because sacraments
    • conferred by Christ
    • sacraments make real what is symbolic
    • see section below "Sacraments"
  • sacred
    • hollowed, consecrated, made holy
    • from Old French sacrer "to consecrate, anoint"
      • PIE *sak- or *shnk "sanctify, make sacred"
        • (cognate from Hittite šaklai for "custom, rites," or zankila "to fine, punish")
  • sacristan
    • a church official in charge of the sacristy and its contents
    • and of the church in general
  • sacrifice
    • sacred offering
    • from Latin facere "to make, to do"
      • from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"
      • thus "make done"
The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all;
yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is
true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the
ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's
priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his
- CCC 1545 
  • saint
    • "holy one"
    • early Christians saw martyrs as saints as they were certain to be with God for their allegiance and sacrifice to the Lord
      • they were known as "saints for sure"
      • and their death dates, burial sites and remains became the focus of worship
      • the closer to the "relic" of a saint the closer to God
    • see Papandrea, p 80
  • Salvation history
    • = progressive revelation of God's plan to save humanity from death after Man's fall
  • salvific
    • as in "salvific character of God's Revelation" (JPII)
  • sanctify
    • to make sacred
    • from Latin sanctus "holy"
      • so santus (holy) + facere ("to make or do" from PIE *dhe- "to set, put")
  • Satan
    • the personification of Evil
    • the "father of lies" (Jn 8:44)
    • from Hebrew satan for "adversary, one who plots against another"

Sc[edit | edit source]

  • scatter
    • from Greek : diabalein
  • Scripture
  • secular
    • "of the word" and not religion
    • usually refers to the state (government)
      • possibly from PIE *sai- "to bind, tie"
  • Senses of Scripture
    • see section below (per table of contents)
  • Septuagint
    • the earliest existing Greek translation of the Old Testament, started in the 3rd Century BC and completed into the 2nd Century BC
    • the Apostles and early Christians used this version of the Hebrew Bible and incorporated it completely into the Old Testament
      • including the "Deuterocanonical" books, which are in the Catholic and not Protestant bibles.
  • sin
    • OE synn for "moral wrongdoing, injury, mischief, enmity, feud, guilt, crime, offense against God, misdeed"
      • from PIE *snt-ya-, forming *es-ont- for "becoming"
        • in Germanic language groups, took on meaning of "it is true". as in "the sin is real"
    • CCC 431:
      • "Because sin is always an offences against God, only he can forgive it"
    • "capital sin" or "capital vice" (CCC 1866)
    • also called the "Seven Deadly Sins"
      • pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth
    • capital because these are the "head" of other sins (i.e., lead to them)
    • deadly because they lead to death and damnation0
    • mortal sin
      • or "deadly sin"
      • a willful, serious offense against God
    • venial sin
      • an offense against God in a light matter or without full consent of the sinner
      • thereby the venial sin does not destroy grace or friendship with God
    • vice:
      • "Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose"
  • "sleeper awake"
    • = we are dead in sin (sleeping) and arise, or awake, with Christ
    • from Ephesians 5:14 (Paul):
But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
  • soteriology
    • study of study of or belief system regarding salvation and its nature
    • understood in conjunction with ecclesiology, which is the study of or belief system regarding the Church and its nature
  • spirit
    • in Hebrew: ruah
    • see Holy Spirit
  • subsidiarity
    • the principle that "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order" (CCC 1883)
    • subsidiarity is a form of "salutary neglect," which holds that "subsidiary" (lower order) organizations grow more healthy (salutary) when autonomous from direct control, although coordinated in common cause with the larger organization.
    • subsidiary organizations include dioceses, parishes, and families
    • also part of the important concept of separation of Church and state
      • the Church should be independent of and free from interference by the state
  • symbiotic
    • together, in union
    • from Greek symbiosis for "living together,"; or symbioun "live together,"; and symbios "(one) living together", "husband or wife,"
      • syn- "together" + bios "life" (from PIE *gwei- "to live")
  • Symbolon
    • early Church reference to the Creed
    • from Greek for a "seal" or "sign of agreement", i.e., representative of something
    • thus "Symbolon" represented the unity of Christian belief
  • synod
    • synod
      • = ecclesiastical council
        • from Greek synodos = syn (together) + hodos (for "traveling, journeying, a way or path")
          • today = ecclesial gathering with the intent to discern the Holy Spirit's directions for the Church
    • "synodality" = "walking together"

T[edit | edit source]

  • testament
    • from testari for "be witness to"
    • from PIE *tri-st-i- for third person, as in a witness
  • theology
    • study of God's word (scripture) and of Church doctrine (beliefs)
    • from Greek "theologia"
      • theos = God + logia for "word, utterance, sayings"
      • origin in PIE *dhes- = any religious reference, likley from PIE *dhe- for "to set, to put"
        • thus what is set, what is put by God
  • transubstantiation
    • the change ("trans") of the bread and wine into the "substance" of Christ
    • "Sacramental Eucharistic Presence" = Christ's actual or "absolute" presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist
  • Trinity
    • the mystery of God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
      • called collectively the "Godhead" or the "Triune"
    • the Trinity was source of much conflict and contention in the early Church
      • and, ultimately, a core tenant of Church doctrine
        • Jews were offended that fellow Jews worshiped Christ, as Judaism was supposed to be monotheistic
        • Romans considered Christians atheistic, as they rejected Roman gods and refused to worship Caesar
  • Triune God
    • God as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
    • God may also be used to refer to the Father
    • when we refer to Jesus Christ as "God" we are referring to Him as the "Second Person of the Trinity," but not "The Trinity" itself
  • typology
    • the study of "types", related representations or symbols
    • use of persons, places, etc that serve as antecedents
    • from "type/s" or" example" / "form"
      • Latin typus for "figure, image, form, kind"
        • from Greek typos for "to blow, strike," as in to carve, stamp, hammer, sculpt something
        • generally combined to indicate the figure or example of something:
          • as in archetype, genotype, stereotype
          • or as prefix, typecast, typewriter
      • PIE *tup- or *(s)teu- for "to push, stick, knock, beat
        • related to "steep" for a projection (sticking out or up, as in a church "steeple")
        • or "step" for "pushing out", thus "stepchild"
    • certain Old Testament people and events "types" "foreshadow" or "prefigure" New Testament people and events, or things of scriptural importance (baptism, Calvary, resurrection, etc.)
    • "type" may also be seen in the "print" of the nails in the hands of Christ that he showed to the Apostles after Resurrection (see John 20:25)
    • see CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Types in Scripture ( for other "forms", "figures," and "patterns" in the New Testament
    • note that Old Testament "types" are distinct from direct phrophesies

U-V-W[edit | edit source]

  • Vicar
    • a deputy priest
  • Vicar of Christ
    • the Pope (see Bishop of Rome)
    • may also refer, generally to a Bishop
      • Latin vicaire for "deputy, second in command,"
    • thus earthly representative of Christ
  • veneration
    • admiration and imitation of the Saints
      • Latin venerari "to worship, revere,"
        • venus "beauty, love, desire"
        • PIE root *wen- "to desire, strive for"
    • veneration is not worship
  • Venerable
    • a title given to a person who is under consideration for sainthood
  • venial / venial sin
    • sin that does not destroy the divine life (CCC 1855)
    • i.e., not "grave matter" (or if in grave matter, not in full knowledge or consent of the sin)
    • venial = venia for "forgiveness" or venialis for "pardonable"
      • (note: "venal" means "susceptible or motivated by bribery")
  • vocation
    • a calling in life to service to God in a certain state (marriage) or order (priesthood)
    • from vocare "to call"
  • Vulgate (Bible)
    • also called "Catholic Vulgate" or "Latin Vulgate"
      • the Bible translated into Latin
      • it was started by Saint Jerome in 382
      • it was last updated in 1979 as the "Nova Vulgate"
    • the significance is that until the 20th century, English versions of the Catholic Bible were translated from Latin and not from the original Greek
    • however, the Old Testament was translated into Latin from Hebrew and not Greek
      • the Septuagint Bible was considered "inspired" by Augustine, and thus more accceptable
      • see above for the Septuagint (OT translation into Greek by 3rd Century BC Jewish scholars)
  • Way, the
    • from John 14;6 and Acts 9:2
      • reference to following Jesus
    • other terms or references to followers of Jesus include:
      • Nazarenes (Acts 24:5)
      • Christians (Acts 11:26)
      • Saints (Ephesians 1:1)
      • Disciples (used extensively in the Gospels and Acts)
  • Word, the
    • Dei Verbum from Second Vatican Council = "Word of God"
    • in Greek, logos from PIE *log-o-, "to collect, gather," (from *leg-) as in "to pick out words," thus "speech"
      • logos also means "reason" (as in "logic")
  • John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
  • John 1:14:
And the Word became flesh 
and made his dwelling among us, 
and we saw his glory, 
the glory as of the Father’s only Son, 
full of grace and truth.
  • worship
    • from "worth" + "ship" as in "state of worthiness"

X-Y-Z[edit | edit source]

Other terms[edit | edit source]

  • remnant of the faithful
  • Eucharistic revival
  • "cradle Catholic"

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults[edit | edit source]

  • abbreviated as "RCIA"
  • = lessons on Catholicism and process of full conversion for adults

RCIA Process[edit | edit source]

from Cathedral of St. Thomas Moore, 2022-23

  1. Period of inquiry – which is where we are now, at the beginning. This is a time to ask questions, learn, talk to people, and see where you on your faith journey.
  2. Rite of Welcome – a symbolic gesture indicating that you want to pursue a closer relationship with God and with God’s people.
  3. Period of Catechumen – this is the deepest period of growth and learning. The term Catechumen comes from the phrase to echo or to resound. This is the longest period and helps understand the relationship of the head and the heart in our faith journey.
  4. Rite of Election – this is a Rite where our Bishop publicly and formally announces your welcome to the church and your intent to come into full communion.
  5. Period of purification and enlightenment – this period takes place during the period of Lent, the 40-day period before the summit of Easter. This period emphasizes prayer and introspection.
  6. Celebration of the sacraments at Easter – coming into full communion with the church at the Easter Vigil. The most joyful celebration also celebrates our new brothers and sisters in faith.
  7. Mystagogy – the continuation of your faith journey immediately following your reception into full communion with the church.

Vocabulary of RCIA[edit | edit source]

adopted from Cathedral of St. Thomas Moore, 2022-23

  • candidate
    • a baptized person preparing for full communion in the Catholic Church, through the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation
  • catechesis
    • the teaching of Christian doctrine in an organized and systematic way to help form people as disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • catechists
    • Those who perform the ministry of catechesis (CCC 5, 426-427)
  • catechumen
    • a person who is preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion (CCCC 1248)
  • catechumenate
    • religious instruction and formation in preparation for Christian Initiation
    • its aim is to bring conversion and faith to maturity within the parish community
  • conversion
    • a radical reorientation of the whole life away from sin and evil, and toward God (CCC 1423, 1427, 1431)
  • faith
    • personal adherence of man to God
    • also and inseparably, a free assent to to the whole truth that God has revealed (CCC 150)
    • faith is a personal act
      • = the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself (CCC 166)
  • Godparent
    • the sponsor of one who is baptized
      • who assumes a responsibility to assist the newly baptized, child or adult, on the journey of the Christian life (CCC 1255)
  • mystagogy
    • a deeper reflection on the mysteries of the Catholic faith;
    • the period of religious instruction and formation following immediately after the reception of the sacraments of initiation by adults (CCC 1075)
  • Trinity
    • the mystery of one God in three Persons:
      • Father
      • Son
      • Holy Spirit
    • the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity is at the very root of the Church's living faith as expressed in the Creed (CCC 232, 237, 249, 253-256)

Catholic Bible structure[edit | edit source]

Old Testament[edit | edit source]

  • Pentateuch
  • Historical books
  • Wisdom
  • Prophets

Deuterocanonical books[edit | edit source]

  • "deutero" = second, so "belonging to the second canon"
  • seven books from later Old Testament writings that were accepted and studied at the time of Christ
    • they also included additions to other OT works, including a Psalm
      • but which later Jews (after 1st century AD) and, later, Protestants, disregarded
      • primarily because of their references to intercessions of the saints, prayers to the dead, purgatory, resurrection of the body and confession
    • Protestants call these books "Apocrypha" and do not consider them canonical
  • the books were part of the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Old Testament), which was the most commonly used OT form during the 1st century A.D. (times of Christ)
  • Martin Luther excluded the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from his canon (list of divine scripture
    • because he claimed these books contradicted sola gratia (salvation by grace alone) and sola fide (justification by faith alone)
    • Protestant doctrines of justification and salvation are called the "five solae"
  • see

New Testament[edit | edit source]

  • Gospels
  • Acts
  • Pauline Epistles
  • Catholic Epistles
  • Revelation

Ten Commandments[edit | edit source]

Traditional Catechetical Formula[edit | edit source]

  1. I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.
  2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.
  4. Honor your father and your 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 your neighbor's goods.

Deuteronomy[edit | edit source]

  1. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
  2. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
  4. Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
  6. You shall not kill.
  7. Neither shall you commit adultery.
  8. Neither shall you steal.
  9. Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. Neither shall you covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not desire your neighbor's house; you shall not desire your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.

Exodus 20:2-17[edit | edit source]

  1. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. I am the LORD your God,
  2. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
  6. You shall not kill.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.


Senses of Scripture: modes of interpretation[edit | edit source]

The "Four Senses of Scripture"[edit | edit source]

the direct meaning of the text
the metaphorical meaning or analogy presented by the tex
(also called "Tropological")

the moral lesson from the text, or lesson on difference between right and wrong

how to apply the lesson of the text into our lives and faith
  • Scripture frequently operates at multiple levels of "literal" (means exactly what it says) or "figurative" (it suggests or references something else or a larger idea)
  • Augustine of Dacia (13th Century; CCC 118) taught:
The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith; 
The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny
  • examples of employing the Four Senses of Scripture:
Interpreting "Jerusalem"
Mode or "sense" Meaning
Literal the city of the Jews
Allegorical the Church created by Christ: the meaning of that Church
Moral Jerusalem as the human soul: what is the instruction God gives us?
Anagogical Jerusalem as salvation: what we must do to get there
Interpreting "The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Mt 16:5-12)
Mode or "sense" Meaning
Literal Jesus tells the Apostles, “Look out, and beware of the leaven* of the Pharisees and Sadducees” and they say among themselves, “It is because we have brought no bread," thus taking Jesus' analogy literally.

The literal meaning is that the Pharisees and Sadducees use yeast in their bread, which transforms the bread from its original form (leaven, such as yeast, is used to make bread "rise").

Allegorical Jesus admonishes them, "You of little faith, why do you conclude among yourselves that it is because you have no bread?" And, in a rare moment in the Gospels, Jesus explains the analogy: "How do you not comprehend that I was not speaking to you about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Thus, their "leaven" corrupts the teachings of God.
Moral Beware of false teachers.
Anagogical If we focus on Christ, we will not stray from God.

Sermon on the Mount[edit | edit source]

  • The "Sermon on the Mount" is the first set of teachings in the Book of Matthew
  • it begins in Matthew Chapter 5 (Mt 5:1-2)
When he saw the crowds,* he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: ...
  • Verses 3-12 are "the Beatitudes"
  • The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching. They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham. The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven (CCC 1717)
  • the Gospel of Luke, also records Jesus' teachings on the Beatitudes, Chapter 6:20-23
    • in what is called in Luke the "Sermon on the Plain"
    • so Luke records a similar teaching by Jesus at another place
  • notes on details:
    • "he went up to the mountain" = as Mosel went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, Jesus pronounces the New Law from a mountain top
    • "after he had sat down" = in Jewish culture, a teacher sits to teach
    • "his disciples came to him" = Jesus requires that his followers choose him (he selects the Apostles, telling some of them, "Follow me."

Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew[edit | edit source]

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  • "poor in spirit"
    • "poor" wanting (needing, in need of)
    • "spirit" means faith
    • thereby, "poor in spirit" =
    • in need of and longing for God and his grace

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

  • mourn = "to grieve"
    • one mourns for regret, for loss
      • the loss = loss of God, loss of grace
    • Christ wants us to mourn our fallen world
    • thereby we mourn our sins and the sins around us
      • and the state of the human world
    • and we seek comfort and relief from our sins from God

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

  • meek = gentle, humble, forgiving,
    • gives no offense, takes no offense
    • obedient to God (the meek put God above themselves)
  • Moses is described in OT as "meek"
  • Jesus calls himself "meek"
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. 
(Mt. 11:29)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

  • righteousness = sinless, justified
    • indicates correctness with and obedience to God
  • From Lk 1:6: on Zachariah and Elizabeth, mother and father of John the Baptist:
Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.
  • "hunger and thirst" mean to need, can't live without
    • we may "want" to be righteous
      • such as we may "want" a new phone, car, etc., but we can certainly live with out it
      • however, we can't live without food or water
    • but Jesus tell us to "hunger and thirst" for righteousness
  • the righteous act on God's behalf and in the glory of his name, not on or for themselves

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

  • merciful = forgiving and giving
    • giving indicates acting on mercy, not just feeling or expressing mercy

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

  • pure = all, complete, lacking nothing
  • the pure heart governs all actions, choices, desires and emotions
    • it governs our bodies, our minds, our spirit
  • putting God above all else, as how Jesus tells us,
You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Mt 22:37)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

  • peacemakers end conflict, seek reconciliation
  • = gatherers, gathering, bringing together, not separating

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  • "for righteousness sake" means doing the right thing for God
  • Jesus warns us to focus on God and not the things of the world, which leads to death (in sin)
    • and thus to seek righteousness with God and not the things of the world:
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? (Mk 8:36)

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

  • Jesus warns us frequently that the world will hate us on his account, such as from Mk 13:13:
You will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
  • thereby, we will be rewarded if we stand up for God despite hatred and persecution for it
  • note that every Apostle except John died a martyr

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

  • if we follow the Beatitudes, we can "rejoice and be glad" now as well as in heaven
  • for example, In Matthew Chapter 11 (Mt 11:30), Jesus tells us that his way is joyful and not burdensome (difficult to bear):
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.

Sermon on the Mount (continuing after the Beatitudes)[edit | edit source]

  • after the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount continues

Similes of Salt and Light[edit | edit source]

  • after declaring the Beatitudes, Jesus describes God's people as "salt" and "Light"
  • using the analogies of salt and light, Jesus describes God's people
  • From Matthew 5:13-16:
Salt of the earth[edit | edit source]
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” 

Light of the world[edit | edit source]

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Matthew's Antithesis[edit | edit source]

  • Next, Jesus clarifies several of the Ten Commandments (Mt 5:17-48)
  • this section is called "Matthew's Antithesis" because he states one idea, then expands, clarifies, or contradicts it
    • antithesis = "a contrast between two things"
  • Jesus states a common understanding by the Jews of the Ten Commandments (given them by Moses)
    • "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors..." (Mt. 5:21)
  • he paraphrases or quotes from Moses and the Commandments, which is the first "thesis" (a claim or idea)
    • "You have heard that it was said 'to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’" (Mt. 5:21)
  • then answers, contrasts, or explains it with his own "thesis"
    • thus it is called an "antithesis" because it responds to the first thesis
    • "But I say to you..." (Mt. 5:22)
  • thus the "antitheses" refer to Jesus' responses, additions or clarifications of the Ten Commandments
    • especially in terms of their implication
    • ex., "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" command not just against the acts but their origin in the heart
    • Thereby Jesus does not change the Commandments, he clarifies and extends them
  • he starts by explaining that the Ten Commandments are still Law:

Teaching About the Law

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.(Mt 5:17)
  • then goes through six of the Commandments:

Teaching About Anger

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” (Mt 5:21-22)

Teaching About Adultery

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt 5:27-28)

Teaching About Divorce

It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’ But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Mt 5:31-32)

Teaching About Oaths

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one. (Mt 5:37)

Teaching About Retaliation

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” (Mt 5:38-39)

Love of Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” (Mt 43-48)

  • Jesus then adds,
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (5:1-

Teaching About Almsgiving

[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.

Teaching About Prayer

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Mt 6:5-8)

The Lord's Prayer

“This is how you are to pray ...
  • see below for "Our Father" prayer

Teaching About Fasting

so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you. (Mt. 6:18)
Treasure in Heaven
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. (Mt. 6:21)

The Light of the Body

but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be. (Mt 6:23)

God and Money

No one can serve two masters. (Mt 6:24)

Dependence on God

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. (Mt 6:34)

Beatitudes & Woes from the Gospel of Luke[edit | edit source]

  • from the "Sermon on the Plain" in the Book of Luke 6:20-23
  • = same as five of the Beatitudes from Matthew Ch. 5, worded slightly differently

Beatitudes from the Gospel of Luke[edit | edit source]

From Luke Ch 6:20-23

Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.

Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied.

Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.

Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.

The Woes from the Gospel of Luke[edit | edit source]

  • from the "Sermon on the Plain" in the Book of Luke 6:24-49
  • excerpts include
But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry.

Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep

Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.

Nicene Creed[edit | edit source]

Parts of the Creed: “The three chapters of our [baptismal] seal” (CCC 190)

Part 1: The first divine Person and the wonderful work of creation[edit | edit source]

I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

  • “The faithful first profess their belief in God” (CCC 199)
  • The confession of God's oneness, which has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant, is inseparable from the profession of God's existence and is equally fundamental. God is unique; there is only one God: "The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence.“ (CCC 200)

Part 2: The second divine Person and the mystery of his redemption of men[edit | edit source]

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

  • confession of Jesus as Lord (or of the Holy Spirit) in no way contradicts belief in One God (CCC 202)
    • “He was in the beginning with God.(Jn 1:2)
    • Jesus Christ is true God and true man” (CCC 464)
  • “begotten not made” = the Son is of the Father and not created; (CCC 465)
  • Jesus says, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt 11:27 from CCC 240)
  • "All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be” (Jn 1:3)
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

[bow during the next two lines:]

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

  • The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God's love ... "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.“ (Jn 3:16 from CCC 458)

•the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. (CCC 461)

•“And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:7-8 per CCC 461)

•The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates "the fullness of time", the time of the fulfillment of God's promises and preparations. (CCC 484)

•The Virgin Mary "cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation" (LG 56). She uttered her yes "in the name of all human nature" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living. (CCC 511)

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day in accordance with 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.

  • For overview of Catholic belief in Christ, see CCC 423
  • God's saving plan was accomplished "once for all" by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ. (CCC 571)
  • The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of "the righteous one, my Servant" as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin.(CCC 601)
  • "Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” (Rom 14:9, from CCC 668)
  • Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross. The Father has given "all judgment to the Son". Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself. By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love. (CCC 679)

Part 3: The third divine Person, the origin and source of our sanctification[edit | edit source]

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

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

  • "Holy Spirit" is the proper name of the one whom we adore and glorify with the Father and the Son. The Church has received this name from the Lord and professes it in the Baptism of her new children. (CCC 691)
  • Through his grace, the Holy Spirit is the first to awaken faith in us and to communicate to us the new life, which is to "know the Father and the one whom he has sent, Jesus Christ." (CCC 684)
  • To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: "with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.“ (CCC 685)
  • The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. (CCC 737)
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come.


  • To believe that the Church is "holy" and "catholic," and that she is "one" and "apostolic" (as the Nicene Creed adds), is inseparable from belief in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (CCC 750)
  • The Church is both the means and the goal of God's plan: prefigured in creation, prepared for in the Old Covenant, founded by the words and actions of Jesus Christ, fulfilled by his redeeming cross and his Resurrection, the Church has been manifested as the mystery of salvation by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (CCC 778)
  • Summary CCC 866-870:
    • The Church is one: she acknowledges one Lord, confesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one hope...
    • The Church is holy: the Most Holy God is her author; Christ, her bridegroom, gave himself up to make her holy; the Spirit of holiness gives her life. ... Her holiness shines in the saints; in Mary she is already all-holy.
    • The Church is catholic: she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times.
    • The Church is apostolic. She is built on a lasting foundation: "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Rev 21:14). She is indestructible (cf. Mt 16:18). She is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.
  • Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself affirms: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mk 16:16 from CCC 183)
  • All the sacraments, and principally those of Christian initiation, have as their goal the last Passover of the child of God which, through death, leads him into the life of the Kingdom. Then what he confessed in faith and hope will be fulfilled: "I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.“ (CCC 1680)

"Our Father" prayer[edit | edit source]

  • oratio Dominica
  • also,
    • "Lord's Prayer"
    • Pater Noster
  • "taught and given to us by the Lord Jesus." (CCC 2765)
  • doxology
  • minor doxology
    • the Didache (a collection of early Church teachings, c. AD 50-120) taught the Lord's Prayer with an ending minor doxology
"for Thine is the power and the glory for ever" (Didache, Ch. 8)

Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit[edit | edit source]

  • wisdom
  • understanding
  • counsel
  • fortitude
  • knowledge
  • piety
  • fear of the Lord

Sacraments[edit | edit source]

"The Seven Mysteries"

Sacraments of Initiation[edit | edit source]

  • Baptism
  • Communion
  • Eucharist

Sacraments of Penance and Reconciliation[edit | edit source]

  • Penance
    • Reconciliation, Confession
  • Anointing the Sick

Sacrament of Holy Orders[edit | edit source]

Sacrament of Matrimony[edit | edit source]

Catechism translations[edit | edit source]

** section under construction **

Chapter One: Man's Capacity for God
37 In the historical conditions in which he finds himself, however, man experiences many difficulties in coming to know God by the light of reason alone:

Though human reason is, strictly speaking, truly capable by its own natural power and light of attaining to a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, who watches over and controls the world by his providence, and of the natural law written in our hearts by the Creator; yet there are many obstacles which prevent reason from the effective and fruitful use of this inborn faculty. For the truths that concern the relations between God and man wholly transcend the visible order of things, and, if they are translated into human action and influence it, they call for self-surrender and abnegation. The human mind, in its turn, is hampered in the attaining of such truths, not only by the impact of the senses and the imagination, but also by disordered appetites which are the consequences of original sin. So it happens that men in such matters easily persuade themselves that what they would not like to be true is false or at least doubtful.

- Pius XII, Humani Generis, 561: DS 3875

  • Made in the image of God, man is capable of understanding God's knowledge as relates to mankind, but...
    • God's knowledge is shielded from man by man's incomplete perception of it
    • and, worse, it is further misguided by sin.
  • As a result, men deny, deflect, or ignore God's wisdom
    • by hiding behind their own ignorance
    • which they use to justify their denial of God's knowledge.
  • Man can only perceive God's knowledge by surrendering and rejecting his own limited perceptions


  • God's relation with man can be understood by reason
  • Yet man's reason has obstacles to that understanding
  • Man's reason ("the human mind") cannot easily attain "such truths"
    • because the relation between God and man goes beyond what can be observed ("visible order of things")
    • as it is "impacted" (hampered) by senses (what man imperfectly perceives) and imagination (what man imagines or dreams of)
  • to begin to perceive God's truths (that go beyond what can be seen by man), man must "transcend" or get beyond what is seen in "human action"
    • "self-surrender and abnegation" (renouncing man's conceit) are required
  • worse, man's perceptions are "disordered" (negatively impacted by) "appetites" (desires) that "are the consequences of original sin."
  • so when man false short of pure reason (incorrect perception, sin, etc.)
    • he convinces ("easily persuade") himself that what he doesn't want to be true (God's word) is not true, or "doubtful" (likely not true)
    • i.e. = he fools himself

Other notes

  • the visible and invisible = parts of revelation
  • we can reason God but we cannot know the Trinity without Jesus
  • God reveals himself through visible creation
52 God, who "dwells in unapproachable light", wants to communicate his own divine life to the men he freely created, in order to adopt them as his sons in his only-begotten Son.3 By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity.
  • "unapproachable light" = God told Moses not to come closer
  • God speaks to humans in their own terms, as they cannot fully understand God ("beyond their natural ability")
  • therefore, God "reveals himself" in ways beyond their "natural capacity"
67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to 84 improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
75 "Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all 1 71 saving truth and moral discipline."

(DV 7; cf. Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15)

The Magisterium of the Church

85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus 888-892 Christ." (DV 10§ 2) This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith." (DV 10 § 2) Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me," (49 Lk 10:16; cf. LG 20) the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.