Baltimore Catechism Lesson Eight – 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.

94. Q. Who is the Holy Ghost?
A. The Holy Ghost is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

97. Q. On what day did the Holy Ghost come down upon the Apostles?
A. 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.

99. Q. Who sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.

100. Q. Why did Christ send the Holy Ghost?
A. Christ sent the Holy Ghost to sanctify His Church, to enlighten and strengthen the Apostles, and to enable them to preach the Gospel.

Source:  Baltimore Catechism

Baltimore Catechism Lesson Seven: Our Lord’s Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension


78. Q. What did Jesus Christ Suffer?
A. Jesus Christ suffered a bloody sweat, a cruel scourging, was crowned with thorns, and was crucified.




79. Q. On what clay did Christ die?
A. Christ died on Good Friday.




83. Q. Why did Christ suffer and die?
A. Christ suffered and died for our sins




89. Q. On what day did Christ rise from the dead?
A. Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.




91. Q. After Christ had remained forty days on earth, whither did He go?
A. After forty days Christ ascended into heaven, and the day on which He ascended into heaven is called Ascension day.





Baltimore Catechism Lesson 6: Sin and its kinds


51. Q. Is original sin the only kind of sin?

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

52. Q. What is actual sin?

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

53. Q. How many kinds of actual sin are there?

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


54. Q. What is mortal sin?

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

55. Q. Why is this sin called mortal?

A. This sin is called mortal because it deprives us of spiritual life, which is sanctifying grace, and brings everlasting death and damnation on the soul.

56. Q. How many things are necessary to make a sin mortal?

A. To make a sin mortal three things are necessary: a grievous matter, sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will.

57. Q. What is venial sin?

A. 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 offense committed without sufficient reflection or full consent of the will.


58. Q. Which are the effects of venial sin?

A. The effects of venial sin are the lessening of the love of God in our heart, the making us less worthy of His help, and the weakening of the power to resist mortal sin.


59. Q. Which are the chief sources of sin?

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

Baltimore Catechism Lessons 4 and 5


32. Q. Who created heaven and earth, and all things?

A. God created heaven and earth, and all things.

33. Q. How did God create heaven and earth?

A. God created heaven and earth from nothing by His word only; that is, by a single act of His all-powerful will.

34. Q. Which are the chief creatures of God?

A. The chief creatures of God are angels and men.

33. Q. What are angels?

A. Angels are pure spirits without a body, created to adore and enjoy God in heaven.

36. Q. Were the angels created for any other purpose?

A. The angels were also created to assist before the throne of God and to minister unto Him; they have often been sent as messengers from God to man; and are also appointed our guardians.

37. Q. Were the angels, as God created them, good and happy?

A. The angels, as God created them, were good and happy.

38. Q. Did all the angels remain good and happy?

A. All the angels did not remain good and happy; many of them sinned and were cast into hell, and these are called devils or bad angels.


39. Q. Who were the first man and woman?

A. The first man and woman were Adam and Eve.

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

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

41. Q. Did God give any command to Adam and Eve?

A. To try their obedience God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of a certain fruit which grew in the garden of Paradise.

42. Q. Which were the chief blessings intended for Adam and Eve had they remained faithful to God?

A. The chief blessings intended for Adam and Eve, had they remained faithful to God, were a constant state of happiness in this life and everlasting glory in the next.

43. Q. Did Adam and Eve remain faithful to God?

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

44. Q. What befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin?

A. Adam and Eve, on account of their sin, lost innocence and holiness, and were doomed to sickness and death.

45. Q. What evil befell us on account of the disobedience of our first parents?

A. On account of the disobedience of our first parents, we all share in their sin and punishment, as we should have shared in their happiness if they had remained faithful.

46. Q. What other effects followed from the sin of our first parents?

A. Our nature was corrupted by the sin of our first parents, which darkened our understanding, weakened our will, and left in us a strong inclination to evil.

47. Q. What is the sin called which we inherit from our first parents?

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

48. Q. Why is this sin called original?

A. This sin is called original because it comes down to us from our first parents, and we are brought into the world with its guilt on our soul.

49. Q. Does this corruption of our nature remain in us after original sin is forgiven?

A. This corruption of our nature and other punishments remain in us after original sin is forgiven.

50. Q. Was any one ever preserved from original sin?

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


I realize this is a huge chunk, but I missed last week, due to preparing for a trip west.  I hope to resume to posting these every week, but I will be changing that to Wednesdays starting today.  I don’t get much feedback from this, but have been enjoying the personal catechism so for me it’s worth it.

Baltimore Catechism Lesson 3


21. Q. Is there but one God?

A. Yes; there is but one God.

22. Q. Why can there be but one God?

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

23. Q. How many Persons are there in God?

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

24. Q. Is the Father God?

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

25. Q. Is the Son God?

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

26. Q. Is the Holy Ghost God?

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

27. Q. What do you mean by the Blessed Trinity?

A. By the Blessed Trinity I mean one God in three Divine Persons.

28. Q. Are the three Divine Persons equal in all things?

A. The three Divine Persons are equal in all things.

29. Q. Are the three Divine Persons one and the same God?

A. The three Divine Persons are one and the same God, having one and the same Divine nature and substance.

30. Q. Can we fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and the same God?

A. We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and the same God, because this is a mystery.

31. Q. What is a mystery?

A.   A mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand.

Baltimore Catechism Lesson 2


13. Q. What is God?

A. God is a spirit infinitely perfect.

14. Q. Had God a beginning

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

15. Q. Where is God?

A. God is everywhere.

16. Q. If God is everywhere, why do we not see Him?

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

17. Q. Does God see us?

A. God sees us and watches over us.

18. Q. Does God know all things?

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

19. Q. Can God do all things?

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

20. Q. Is God just, holy, and merciful?

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

Baltimore Catechism 1st lesson

Baltimore Catechism – 1st lesson

I addressed some of this in my answer to challenges posed to me by a dear Protestant friend.  It now occurs to me there is so much I could add to that post, things I wish I’d have addressed there.  I love the readability and the contextual flow of these questions, like one leads to the next.  I had planned to take them a couple or three at a time, but I like it much better taking the whole lesson first in context, then breaking it down if need be.

1. Q. Who made the world?

A. God made the world.

(see Genesis 1 and 2, Psalm 8, Psalm 19, Proverbs 3:19, Romans 1:20—for starters)

2. Q. Who is God?

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

(in addition to verses above, see Isaiah 40:28, Isaiah 43:15)

3. Q. What is man?

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

(see Genesis Psalm 8, Isaiah 10:18, Matthew 10:28, 1 Thessalonians 5:23)

4. Q. Is this likeness in the body or in the soul?

A. This likeness is chiefly in the soul.

5. Q. How is the soul like to God?

A. The soul is like God because it is a spirit that will never die, and has understanding and free will.

6. Q. Why did God make you?

A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

7. Q. Of which must we take more care, our soul or our body?

A. We must take more care of our soul than of our body.

8. Q. Why must we take more care of our soul than of our body?

A. We must take more care of our soul than of our body, because in losing our soul we lose God and everlasting happiness.

9. Q. What must we do to save our souls?

A. 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.

See Who is Our Redeemer, What Shall we Do, and How Shall we Know?   for my already recorded thoughts and Scriptures on #9 and #10.

10. Q. How shall we know the things which we are to believe?

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

11. Q. Where shall we find the chief truths which the Church teaches?

A. We shall find the chief truths which the Church teaches in the Apostles’ Creed.

12. Q. Say the Apostles’ Creed.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into hell: the third day He arose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Faith and Works

First, for your listening and viewing pleasure, in the wise words of Rich Mullins via Saint James: 

Many people believe, as my Protestant friend stated to me, that “Baptism falls into the ‘works’ category.”

I don’t see baptism (or feeding the poor, or loving my neighbor, or reading God’s word, etc.) as a “work” the same way that my friend does.  Rather, because I have trusted in Jesus as my Savior, because I have placed my faith in His work on the cross, I see it in a different category, one of obedience to what He commands.  In other words, it’s not either faith or works…but both/and (again) or more accurately,  since/then.

Putting a label of “works” on things Scripture clearly commands does not exempt us from obedience….wait…is obedience a work of righteousness?  If so, are we excused from obeying because it’s a work?

Of course not…in fact, according to Ephesians 2:8 and 9, the faith to believe in the first place is a gift from God.  Since He gives me grace (unmerited favor) as well as the gift of faith to receive that grace, then my response is to do what He tells me to do…as I already addressed in my Baltimore Catechism post “what shall we do and how shall we know”. and Baptism and Salvation.

The Bible is clear that God’s children are rewarded for their obedience to faith.  Consider…

Mt 16:27
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.

1 Cor 3:8
The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.

1 Cor 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Col 3:23-24
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance.

Heb 6:10
For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.

James 2:14-18
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it     does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.

James 2:20-22
Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.

Even before I was Catholic, there was something just wrong about not recognizing that faith and works complete each other.  You can’t separate them, faith that just sits around “believing”, or inactive faith, makes me scratch my head and wonder “what’s the point?”  Put it this way.  You would be appalled if as a new mother, I didn’t hold, and cuddle, feed, clothe and nurture my baby.  It wouldn’t matter how much I plastered my facebook with sentiments of love for my child, if she were naked, hungry and neglected, my words would be completely void.  But isn’t that what faith without works looks like?  Because I love my kids, I am compelled to DO THINGS…to work, if you will…what I do proves what I believe.   In the same way, because I trust in Jesus, and believe in His finished work, I am compelled to obey Him.  Because he saved me, He becomes Lord, and I am his servant.  I DO what He tells me to do.  Paying lip service is not enough.  My faith compels me to action.

On the other hand, there are good people who do good things (even in the name of Jesus);  feeding the poor, visiting the homebound, speaking kindly, taking care of their environment, etc.  But if they don’t believe…if they don’t trust in what Jesus came to do for them, they are lost.  Their works won’t gain their salvation.  Please see:

Rom 9:31-32
Israel, who pursued the law of righteousness, did not attain to that law … because they did it not by faith, but as if it could be done by works.
Gal 3:11
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for “the one who is righteous by faith will live.”

I do find it interesting that the determining factor in the separation of the sheep and the goats is Matthew 25 was….works?  Look at it:

Mt 25:31-45
31 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Also, what did Paul mean when he said:

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.