Baltimore Catechism 2017 – 2018 Question of the Month
SEPTEMBER – What is man?
Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.
The likeness to the Blessed Trinity is found chiefly in man’s soul, but there is a resemblance in the body too – not, however, in the body of one man alone, but in man and woman united in marriage and the child which is the normal fruit of the marriage.
“God created man in His image. In the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them. Then God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’” (Genesis 1: 27 – 28).
OCTOBER – What is actual sin?
Actual sin is any willful thought, desire, word, action, or omission forbidden by the law of God.
On account of the sin of Adam, we, his descendants, come into the world deprived of sanctifying grace and inherit his punishment, as we would have inherited his gifts had he been obedient to God. This sin is known as original sin. Actual sin is sin which we ourselves commit.
NOVEMBER – How many kinds of actual sin are there?
There are two kinds of actual sin: mortal sin and venial sin.
Mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God. It is call mortal, or deadly, because it deprives the sinner of sanctifying grace, the supernatural life of the soul.
Venial sin is a less serious offense against the law of God, which does not deprive the soul of sanctifying grace, and which can be pardoned even without sacramental confession.
DECEMBER – What are the chief sources of actual sin?
The chief sources of actual sin are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, and these are commonly called capital sins.
The chief sources of actual sin, also called capital sins, are the chief roots of sin. They are inclinations in our will to go against God’s will in different ways. They are called capital sins, not because they, in themselves, are the greatest sins, but because they are the chief reasons why men commit sin.
JANUARY – What does the Holy Spirit do for the salvation of mankind?
The Holy Spirit dwells in the Church as the source of its life and sanctifies souls through the gift of grace.
The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. He is the Head and we are the members.
The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. He dwells in it to give it life. The life-blood of grace which flows through every living member of the Mystical Body of Christ comes from the Holy Spirit.
FEBRUARY – What is grace?
Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation.
Briefly, GRACE IS LIFE – divine life in our soul. By it, Christ lives in us and we in Him. As St. Paul says, “It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Or as Christ Himself says, “Abide in Me, and I in you” (John 15:4).
MARCH – How many kinds of grace are there?
There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying grace and actual grace.
There are two chief kinds of grace. Any gift of God can be called a grace, but these are the two most important.
APRIL – What is actual grace?
Actual grace is a supernatural help of God which enlightens our mind and strengthens our will to do good and to avoid evil.
Actual graces are special HELPS God gives us, like a lift to get a car out of the mud or a red light to warn of danger.
God gives us many actual graces each day. They last as long as we need them and then go. They are really actions of God to help us.
Actual grace is necessary for all who have attained the use of reason, because without it we cannot long resist the power of temptation or perform other actions which merit a reward in heaven.
MAY – What is sanctifying grace?
Sanctifying grace is that grace which confers on our souls a new life, that is, a sharing in the life of God Himself.
Sanctifying grace is permanent and, unless we lose it by sin, it will last until it becomes the life of glory in heaven.
The chief effects of sanctifying grace are: first, it makes us holy and pleasing to God; second, it makes us adopted children of God; third, it makes us temples of the Holy Ghost; fourth, it gives us the right to heaven.
Sanctifying grace is necessary for salvation because it is the supernatural life, which alone enables us to attain the supernatural happiness of heaven.