Historical Writings

Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms

Catechisms

The Baltimore Catechism - Smaller Version

Lesson 1: On the End of Man

Question 1: Who made the world?

Answer: God made the world.

Question 2: Who is God?

Answer: God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

Question 3: What is man?

Answer: Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

Question 6: Why did God make you?

Answer: God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

Question 9: What must we do to save our souls?

Answer: To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart.

Question 10: How shall we know the things which we are to believe?

Answer: We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic Church, through which God speaks to us.

Question 11: Where shall we find the chief truths which the Church teaches?

Answer: We shall find the chief truths which the Church teaches in the Apostles' Creed.

Question 12: Say the Apostles' Creed.

Lesson 2: On God and His Perfections

Question 13: What is God?

Answer: God is a spirit infinitely perfect.

Question 14: Had God a beginning

Answer: God had no beginning; He always was and He always will be.

Question 15: Where is God?

Answer: God is everywhere.

Question 16: If God is everywhere, why do we not see Him?

Answer: We do not see God, because He is a pure spirit and cannot be seen with bodily eyes.

Question 17: Does God see us?

Answer: God sees us and watches over us.

Question 18: Does God know all things?

Answer: God knows all things, even our most secret thoughts, words, and actions.

Question 19: Can God do all things?

Answer: God can do all things, and nothing is hard or impossible to Him.

Question 20: Is God just, holy, and merciful?

Answer: God is all just, all holy, all merciful, as He is infinitely perfect.

Lesson 3: On the Unity and Trinity of God

Question 21: Is there but one God?

Answer: Yes; there is but one God.

Question 22: Why can there be but one God?

Answer: There can be but one God, because God, being supreme and infinite, cannot have an equal.

Question 23: How many Persons are there in God?

Answer: In God there are three Divine Persons, really distinct, and equal in all things-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Question 24: Is the Father God?

Answer: The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Question 25: Is the Son God?

Answer: The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Question 26: Is the Holy Ghost God?

Answer: The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Question 27: What is the Blessed Trinity?

Answer: The Blessed Trinity is one God in three Divine Persons.

Question 29: Are the three Divine Persons one and the same God?

Answer: The three Divine Persons are one and the same God, having one and the same Divine nature.

Lesson 4: On the Angels adn our First Parents

Question 34: Which are the chief creatures of God?

Answer: The chief creatures of God are men and angels.

Question 35: What are angels?

Answer: Angels are bodiless spirits created to adore and enjoy God in heaven.

Question 39: Who were the first man and woman?

Answer: The first man and woman were Adam and Eve.

Question 40: Were Adam and Eve innocent and holy when they came from the hand of God?

Answer: Adam and Eve were innocent and holy when they came from the hand of God.

Question 43: Did Adam and Eve remain faithful to God?

Answer: Adam and Eve did not remain faithful to God; but broke His command by eating the forbidden fruit.

Question 44: What befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin?

Answer: Adam and Eve on account of their sin lost innocence and holiness, and were doomed to misery and death.

Question 45: What evil befell us through the disobedience of our first parents?

Answer: Through the disobedience of our first parents we all inherit their sin and punishment, as we should have shared in their happiness if they had remained faithful.

Question 47: What is the sin called which we inherit from our first parents?

Answer: The sin which we inherit from our first parents is called original sin.

Question 50: Was any one ever preserved from original sin?

Answer: The Blessed Virgin Mary, through the merit of her Divine Son, was preserved free from the guilt of original sin, and this privilege is called her Immaculate Conception.

Lesson 5: On Sin and It's Kinds

Question 51: Is original sin the only kind of sin?

Answer: Original sin is not the only kind of sin; there is another kind of sin, which we commit ourselves, called actual sin.

Question 52: What is actual sin?

Answer: Actual sin is any willful thought, word, deed or omission contrary to the law of God.

Question 53: How many kinds of actual sin are there?

Answer: There are two kinds of actual sin-mortal and venial.

Question 54: What is mortal sin?

Answer: Mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God.

Question 57: What is venial sin?

Answer: Venial sin is a slight offense against the law of God in matters of less importance; or in matters of great importance it is an offence committed with out sufficient reflection or full consent of the will.

Question 59: Which are the chief sources of sin?

Answer: The chief sources of sin are seven: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth; and they are commonly called capital sins.

Lesson 6: On the Incarnation and Redemption

Question 60: Did God abandon man after he fell into sin?

Answer: God did not abandon man after he fell into sin, but promised him a Redeemer, who was to satisfy for man's sin and reopen to him the gates of heaven.

Question 61: Who is the Redeemer?

Answer: Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of mankind.

Question 62: What do you believe of Jesus Christ?

Answer: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man.

Question 69: What do you mean by the Incarnation?

Answer: By the Incarnation I mean that the Son of God was made man.

Question 70: How was the Son of God made man?

Answer: The Son of God was conceived and made man by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Question 74: On what day was the Son of God conceived and made man?

Answer: The Son of God was conceived and made man on Annunciation day-the day on which the angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she was to be the Mother of God.

Question 75: On what day was Christ born?

Answer: Christ was born on Christmas day in a stable at Bethlehem, over nineteen hundred years ago.

Lesson 7: On Our Lord's Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension

Question 78: What did Jesus Christ Suffer?

Answer: Jesus Christ suffered a bloody sweat, a cruel scourging, was crowned with thorns, and was crucified.

Question 79: On what clay did Christ die?

Answer: Christ died on Good Friday.

Question 83: Why did Christ suffer and die?

Answer: Christ suffered and died for our sins

Question 89: On what day did Christ rise from the dead?

Answer: Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.

Question 91: After Christ had remained forty days on earth, whither did He go?

Answer: After forty days Christ ascended into heaven, and the day on which He ascended into heaven is called Ascension day.

Lesson 8: On the Holy Ghost and His Descent upon the Apostles

De-scent', the act of coming down. En-a'ble, to make able. En-light'en, to make them understand better. Pen'te-cost, the fiftieth day after Easter. Preach, declare publicly, spread by word of mouth. Sanc'ti-fy, to make holy. Strength'en, make strong. Whit'sun-day, white Sunday.

Question 94: Who is the Holy Ghost?

Answer: The Holy Ghost is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Question 97: On what day did the Holy Ghost come down upon the Apostles?

Answer: The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles ten days after the Ascension of our Lord; and the day on which He came down upon the Apostles is called Whitsunday, or Pentecost.

Question 99: Who sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles?

Answer: Our Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.

Question 100: Why did Christ send the Holy Ghost?

Answer: Christ sent the Holy Ghost to sanctify His Church, to enlighten and strengthen the Apostles, and to enable them to preach the Gospel.