Some essentials of the Catholic Faith

"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil, and do good: let him seek after peace and pursue it: But if also you suffer any thing for justice' sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled. But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you."

FIRST LETTER OF S. PETER 3: 10-11, 14-15

This page is ordered according to some classical lists that we learn at Catechism school. Links to associated materials will be duly attached.


The Ten Commandments of the Law of Moses (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2052 et passim)

1. To love God, to adore Him alone above all things
2. To not call upon the holy Name of God in vain
3. To sanctify Sundays and named feasts of obligation
4. To honour parents and legitimate superiors
5. To not kill, or cause grievous injury
6. To not commit adultery and to maintain chastity in word and deed
7. To not steal or unjustly cause damage to the property of others
8. To not bear false witness or to otherwise serve dishonesty
9. To not desire the spouse of another
10. To not desire the property of another.

These commandments of God can be reduced to two: to love almighty God above all other things, and to love other people as oneself.

The Commandments of Holy Church [link]

1. To attend at Holy Mass on Sundays and prescribed Days of Obligation, and to abstain from servile work upon these days
2. To keep the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence
3. To confess one's sin at least once every year
4. To receive Holy Communion at least once every year, and that at the time of Easter
5. To contribute to the support of the Holy Sacrifice and the priests of the Church

The Works of Mercy [link]

The corporal works of mercy relate to the physical care of our neighbour:
1. To give to eat to those who are in hunger
2. To give to drink to those who are in thirst
3. To dress the unclothed
4. To shelter travellers and pilgrims
5. To visit and assist the sick
6. To visit those imprisoned
7. To bury the dead

The spiritual works of mercy relate to the spiritual care of our neighbour:
1. To advise or give good counsel
2. To instruct the ignorant
3. To correct those in error
4. To console the unhappy
5. To forgive for personal injuries
6. To suffer in patience the weaknesses of others
7. To pray the Lord for the living and the dead

The Sacraments of the Church (CCC, 1210 et passim)

1. Baptism
2. Confirmation
3. The Holy Eucharist
4. Confession or Reconciliation
5. The Anointing of the Sick
6. Holy Orders
7. Holy Matrimony

The gifts of the Holy Spirit (CCC, 1831-1845, cf. Isaiah 11)

1. Wisdom
2. Understanding
3. Counsel
4. Fortitude
5. Knowledge
6. Piety
7. Fear of the Lord

The Theological virtues (CCC, 1812-1829)

1. Faith
2. Hope
3. Charity

The Cardinal virtues (CCC, 1805-1809)

1. Prudence
2. Justice
3. Fortitude
4. Temperance

The Evangelical counsels, Perfection [link]

1. Voluntary poverty
2. Complete obedience
3. Perpetual chastity

The Beatitudes (Gospel of Matthew 5: 3-10)

1. Blessed the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
2. Blessed the meek, for they shall possess the land
3. Blessed they who mourn, for they shall be comforted
4. Blessed they who hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill
5. Blessed the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy
6. Blessed the clean of heart, for they shall see God
7. Blessed the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God
8. Blessed they that suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

Capital sins or vices [link]

Often called 'deadly,' these include:
1. Pride
2. Greed
3. Gluttony
4. Anger or wrath
5. Lust
6. Envy
7. Sloth or laziness

These vices are countered by the respective supernatural virtues:
1. Humility, against pride
2. Generosity, against greed
3. Chastity, against lust
4. Patience, against anger
5. Temperance, against gluttony
6. Charity, against envy
7. Diligence, against sloth

Sins against the Holy Spirit [link]

1. Despair concerning one's eternal salvation
2. Presumption of God's mercy, in the absence of merit
3. Contradiction of recognised truth
4. Envy of the blessings of God given to another
5. Obstinacy in sin
6. Final impenitence or unrepentance

Sins that cry out unto heaven for vengeance [link]

1. Voluntary killing
2. Sins of a sexual nature that are against nature
3. Oppression of the poor, especially of widows and orphans
4. The withholding of the just salary of a worker

Enemies of the soul [link]

1. The world
2. The devil
3. The flesh

The Last Things for mortal beings [link]

1. Death
2. Judgement
3. Heaven
4. Hell


For more information on the items on these lists, please visit the associated links or the relevant portions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), and do not hesitate to consult your parish priest or catechist.