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Catholic Essentials

The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy

  • to feed the hungry
  • to give drink to the thirsty
  • to clothe the naked
  • to shelter the homeless
  • to care for the sick
  • to visit the imprisoned
  • to bury the dead

The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy

  • to share knowledge
  • to give advice to those who need it
  • to comfort the suffering
  • to be patient with others
  • to forgive those who hurt you
  • to give correction to those who need it
  • to pray for the living and the dead

The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

  • wisdom
  • understanding
  • counsel/right judgment
  • fortitude/courage
  • knowledge
  • piety/reverence
  • fear of the Lord/awe and wonder


The 3 Theological Virtues

  • faith
  • hope
  • love (charity)

The 4 Cardinal Virtues

  • prudence
  • justice
  • fortitude
  • temperance

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments are more than simply rules and laws. They are a foundation of moral teachings that shape our obligations as Christians in relationship to God. God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai after after rescuing him from slavery in Egypt. These Commandments are the expression and sign of the Covenant between God and God’s people and are just as powerful and binding as they were when they were written.

  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.

The Two Great Commandments 

The two great commandments that contain the whole law of God are:

  1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength.
  2. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Matthew 22:35-40:

And one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting him to the test, asked him, "Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?" Jesus said to him, "'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.' This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." 

The 8 Beatitudes

These are teachings of Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount in which he describes the attitudes and actions that should characterize his disciples and followers. They can be seen as blueprints for living an authentic Christian life.

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  3. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
  4. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
  5. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  6. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
  8. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The 14 Stations of the Cross

  1. Jesus Is Condemned to Death
  2. Jesus Takes Up His Cross
  3. Jesus Falls the First Time
  4. Jesus Meets His Mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus 
  6. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
  7. Jesus Falls the Second Time
  8. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus Falls the Third Time
  10. Jesus Is Stripped of His Clothes
  11. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
  12. Jesus Dies on the Cross
  13. Jesus Is Removed from the Cross
  14. Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb

The Last Statements of Christ

  1. Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.--Luke 23:34
  2. Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.--Luke 23:43
  3. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.--John 19:26-27
  4. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?--Matthew 27:46
  5. I thirst.--John 19:28-30
  6. It is finished.--John 19:30
  7. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.--Luke 23:46

Fruits of the Holy Spirit

  • charity
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • generosity
  • gentleness
  • faithfulness
  • modesty
  • self-control
  • chastity

Four Marks of the Catholic Church, from the Nicene Creed

  1. one
  2. holy
  3. catholic (meaning "universal")
  4. apostolic

Precepts of the Church

  1. Attend Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, and rest from servile work.
  2. Confess serious sins at least once a year.
  3. Observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
  4. Receive Holy Communion frequently and, at a minimum, during the Easter Season.
  5. Contribute to the support of the Church.
  6. Observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage and give religious training to one’s children by word, example, and use of parish schools or religious education programs.
  7. Join the missionary spirit and work of the Church.