What Every Christian Must Believe from A Manual of Catholic Prayers, 1888
1. Every Christian must believe that there is one God, and no more than one God: that God is a pure Spirit, the Lord and Maker of heaven and earth, who has neither beginning nor end, but is always the same; who is everywhere present; knows and sees all things; can do all things whatsoever He pleases; and is infinite in all perfections.
2. Every Christian is bound to believe that in one God there are three distinct Persons, perfectly equal, of the same substance, and having the same nature: the Father, who proceeds from no one; the Son, who is born of the Father before all ages; and the Holy Ghost, who proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son as from one principle; and that the three Persons are all equally eternal, equal in wisdom and power, and are all three one and the same Lord, one and the same God.
3. We must believe that God created the angels to be with Him for ever, and that one part of them fell from God by sin, and became devils; that God also created Adam and Eve, the first parents of all mankind, and placed them in the earthly Paradise, from whence they were justly banished for the sin they committed in eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree; and that by this trangression of Adam we are all conceived and born in sin, and must have been lost for ever, if God had not sent us a Saviour.
4. We are bound to believe in the Saviour of all mankind, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, true God and true man; perfect God from all eternity, equal to His Father in all things; and perfect man, from the time of His coming down from heaven for us, having a body and soul like ours.
5. We must believe that Jesus Christ, our Saviour, who had been long foretold by the prophets, was, at God’s appointed time, by the power of the Holy Ghost, without having any man for His father, conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary; whom God had prepared for this wonderful Maternity in a wonderful manner: in that by a singular grace and privilege, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, she was in the first instant of her conception preserved free from every taint of original sin. Of her, who is blessed among women for evermore, was born our Lord–she still remaining a pure virgin. During the time of His mortal life Jesus Christ founded the Christian religion; and then offered Himself a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, by dying upon a cross, to obtain mercy, grace, and salvation for us; and that neither mercy, nor grace, nor salvation can, or ever could, since Adam’s fall, be obtained except through the mediation of the Son of God.
6. We must believe that Jesus Christ, after He died and was buried, arose on the third day from death to life, never to die again; and that, for the space of forty days, He was pleased, at different times, to manifest Himself to His disciples, and then ascended into heaven in their sight; where, as God-man, He continually intercedes for us. Thence He sent down the Holy Ghost upon His disciples, to abide with them for ever, as He had promised, and to guide them and their successors into all truth.
7. We must believe the Catholic or Universal Church of Christ, of which He is the perpetual Head, and His Spirit the perpetual Guide; which is founded upon a rock, and is ever victorious over all the powers of earth and hell. The Church is always One, in all its members professing one faith, in one communion, under one chief pastor, called the Pope, succeeding St. Peter, to whom Christ committed His whole flock. The Church is always Holy, in teaching a holy doctrine, in inviting all to a holy life, and in the eminent holiness of many of its children. It is Catholic, or Universal, for it subsists in all ages, and teaches all nations, and maintains all truth. It is Apostolic, for it derives its doctrine, its communion, its orders, and its mission, by an uninterrupted succession, from the Apostles of Christ.
8. With the Catholic Church the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments, were deposited by the Apostles. It is the guardian and interpreter of them, and the judge of all controversies relating to them. The Scriptures, thus interpreted, together with the traditions of the Apostles, are to be received and admitted by all Christians for the rule of their faith and practice of Christ, there ever resides in the Church the active power of forgiving sin, and of granting Indulgences for the remission of the temporal punishments of sin; which may be applied to the souls both of the living and of the dead who have died friends of God and in the peace of Christ.
14. We must believe also the necessity of Divine Grace, without which we cannot make so much as one step towards heaven; and that all our good and all our merits are the gift of God; that Christ died for all men, and that His grace does not take away nor oppress our free will.
15. We must believe that Jesus Christ will come from heaven at the last day to judge all men; that all the dead, both good and bad, shall arise from their graves, and shall be judged by Him according to their works; that the good shall go to heaven with Him, body and soul, to be happy for all eternity in the enjoyment of the Sovereign Good; and that the wicked shall be condemned, both body and soul, to the torments of hell.
The Athanasian Creed
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary, that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which faith, except everyone do keep entire and inviolate, without doubt he will perish everlastingly.
Now the Catholic Faith is this; that we worship One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all One; the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also they are not three uncreates, nor three incomprehensibles; but one uncreate, and one incomprehensible. In like manner the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty. And yet not three almighties, but one almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost is Lord. And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord; so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion, to say there are three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is from the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son, not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity, there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less; but the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity is to be worshipped in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity. He, therefore, that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and Man.
He is God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the world; and He is man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect man; of reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father according to His Godhead; and less than the Father according to His Manhood.
Who, although He be both God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ; One, not by the conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by the taking of the Manhood unto God; One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and the flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven; He sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.
This is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully and steadfastly, he cannot be be saved.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth, and in in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into Hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come again 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 life everlasting. Amen.
1. Every Christian, in order to attain life ever-lasting, must worship God as His first beginning and last end. This worship is to be rendered, first, by FAITH; which makes both the understanding and the will humbly adore and embrace all those truths which God has taught, however obscure and incomprehensible they may be to our weakness. Secondly, by HOPE; which honors the infinite power, goodness, and mercy of God, and the truth of His promises; and upon these grounds raises the soul to an assured expectation of mercy, grace, and salvation, through the merits of Jesus Christ. Thirdly, by CHARITY; which makes us love God with our whole hearts, for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves, for God’s sake. Fourthly, by the virtue of RELIGION; the chief acts of which are adoration, praise, thanksgiving, oblation of ourselves to God, sacrifice, and prayer; which ought to be the daily employments of a Christian soul. We must flee all idolatry and all false religions; also superstition, under which name are comprehended all manner of divinations, all fortune-telling, all witchcraft, charms, spells, observations of omens, dreams, etc. All these things are heathenish, and contrary to the worship of the true and living God, and to that entire dependence which a Christian soul ought to have on Him. But we must devoutly honor the Ever-Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, the Holy Angels, and the Saints reigning in Glory; whose intercession we shall always most profitably invoke. We should likewise duly reverence all sacred emblems and pious memorials of our Lord and His Saints, and honor the relics of God’s servants whom Holy Church has canonized.
2. We must reverence the name of God and His truth by a religious observance of all lawful oaths and vows, and by carefully avoiding all false, rash, or unjust oaths, and blasphemies.
3. We must dedicate some notable part of our time to His divine service; and, more especially, consecrate to Him those days which are ordered by His Church to be sanctified or kept holy.
4. Under God, we must love, reverence, and obey our parents, and other lawful superiors, spiritual and temporal; and observe the laws of the Church and State: as also we must have a due care of our children, and of others that are under our charge, both as to their souls and their bodies.
5. We must abstain from all injuries to our neighbor’s person, by murder or any other violence; and from all hatred, envy, and desire of revenge; as also from spiritual murder, which is committed by drawing him into sin, by words, actions, or bad example.
6. We must abstain from all uncleanness in thoughts, words, or actions.
7. We must not steal, cheat, or any other way do wrong to our neighbor in his goods and possessions ; we must give every one his own, pay our debts, and make restitution for all damages which we have caused through our fault.
8. We must not wrong our neighbor in his character or good name, by calumny, detraction, or rash judgment; or in his honor by reproaches or affronts; or rob him of his peace of mind, by scoffs or contempt; or of his friends, by carrying stories backwards and forwards. In all such cases, whosoever wrongs his neighbor is obliged to make reparation or satisfaction.
9. 10. As we are commanded to abstain from all deeds of lust and injustice, so are we also strictly obliged to restrain all desires of these kinds, and to resist the irregular motions of concupiscence.
So far, we have covered the Ten Commandments of God; which are a short abridgment of the whole eternal and natural law, which admits of no dispensation. Every Christian is, moreover, bound to keep the commandments of God’s Church.
1. We must sanctify Sundays and Holydays of Obligation by devout attendance at Holy Mass, and by resting from servile work.
2. We must strictly observe those days of fasting and abstinence appointed by ecclesiastical authority.
3 . We must humbly confess our sins at least once a year to a Priest having competent jurisdiction–i.e., approved by the Bishop of the Diocese.
4. We must be careful to make our Easter Duty, by receiving Holy Communion at some time during the interval between the first Sunday in Lent and Trinity Sunday.
5. According to our means we must contribute to the support of those who minister to us in spiritual things.
6. We must not marry non-Catholics, or any one related to us within the third degree of kindred ; we must not marry clandestinely, nor solemnize marriage within the prohibited times.
Prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori to be said
Every Day, to obtain the Graces Necessary for Salvation.
Eternal Father, Thy Son has promised that Thou wilt grant us all the graces which we ask Thee for in His name. In the name, therefore, and by the merits of Jesus Christ, I ask the following graces for myself and for all mankind. And, first, I pray Thee to give me a lively faith in all that the holy Roman Church teaches me. Enlighten me also, that I may know the vanity of the goods of this world, and the immensity of the infinite good that Thou art; make me also see the deformity of the sins I have committed, that I may humble myself and detest them as I ought; and, on the other hand, show me how worthy Thou art by reason of Thy goodness, that I should love Thee with all my heart. Make me know also the love Thou hast borne me, that from this day forward I may try to be grateful for so much goodness.
Secondly, give me a firm confidence in Thy mercy of receiving the pardon of my sins, holy perseverance, and, finally, the glory of paradise, through the merits of Jesus Christ and the intercession of Mary.
Thirdly, give me a great love towards Thee, which shall detach me from the love of this world and of myself, so that I may love none other but Thee, and that I may neither do nor desire anything else but what is for Thy glory.
Fourthly, I beg of Thee a perfect resignation to Thy will, in accepting with tranquillity sorrows, infirmities, contempt, persecutions, aridity of spirit, loss of property, of esteem, of relatives, and every other cross which shall come to me from Thy hands. I offer myself entirely to Thee, that Thou mayest do with me and all that belongs to me what Thou pleasest. Do Thou only give me light and strength to do Thy will; and especially at the hour of death help me to sacrifice my life to Thee with all the affection I am capable of, in union with the sacrifice which Thy Son Jesus Christ made of His life on the Cross on Calvary.
Fifthly, I beg of Thee a great sorrow for my sins, which may make me grieve over them as long as I live, and weep for the insults I have offered Thee, the Sovereign Good, who art worthy of infinite love, and who hast loved me so much.
Sixthly, I pray Thee to give me the spirit of true humility and meekness, that I may accept with peace, and even with joy, all the contempt, ingratitude, and ill-treatment that I may receive. At the same time, I also pray Thee to give me perfect charity, which shall make me wish well to those who have done evil to me, and to do what good I can, at least by praying, for those who have in any way injured me.
Seventhly, I beg of Thee to give me a love for the virtue of holy mortification, by which I may chastise my rebellious senses and cross my self-love ; at the same time, I beg Thee to give me holy purity of body, and the grace to resist all bad temptations, by ever having recourse to Thee and Thy most holy Mother. Give me grace faithfully to obey my spiritual Father and all my Superiors in all things. Give me an upright intention, that in all I desire and do I may seek only Thy glory, and to please Thee alone. Give me a great confidence in the Passion of Jesus Christ, and in the intercession of Mary Immaculate. Give me a great love towards the most Adorable Sacrament of the Altar, and a tender devotion and love to Thy holy Mother. Give me, I pray Thee, above all, holy perseverance, and the grace always to pray for it, especially in time of temptation and at the hour of death.
Lastly, I recommend to Thee the holy souls of Purgatory, my relatives and benefactors; and in an especial manner I recommend to Thee all those who hate me or who have in any way offended me ; I beg of Thee to render them good for the evil they have done, or may wish to do me.
Finally, I recommend to Thee all infidels, heretics, and all poor sinners; give them light and strength to deliver themselves from sin. O most loving God, make Thyself known and loved by all, but especially by those who have been more ungrateful to Thee than others, so that by Thy goodness I may come one day to sing Thy mercies in paradise; for my hope is in the merits of Thy blood, and in the patronage of Mary.
O Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me! So I hope ; so may it be!