Catholicism 101 & Prayer
Ever wonder why we Catholics do the things we do? Find out here.
Confused about some of the practices and beliefs of the Catholic faith? You’re not alone. Here is a brief overview of some of the most commonly asked questions about Catholicism.
Who is Jesus Christ?
He is God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. He is God for all eternity. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, without ceasing to be God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. For our salvation, he was crucified, died, and was buried. He rose again on the third day. The name "Jesus" means "God saves." The title "Christ" means "anointed one."
What is Communion?
Communion (or Eucharist) is the centerpiece of the Catholic Mass. The first Communion rite was at the Last Supper when Jesus told His disciples to continue doing this "in memory of me" until He returns. Catholics believe that during the Eucharistic prayers the host becomes the body of Christ and the wine becomes the blood of Christ; this transformation is called “transubstantiation.” When Catholics receive Communion they receive Christ, who unites us to himself so that by sharing in his Body and Blood we form a single body. The word Eucharist means thanksgiving.
What is the Mass?
The Catholic Mass – also known as the Eucharist and the Eucharistic liturgy – was first celebrated at the Last Supper. The Mass is a memorial of Christ's suffering and death (by which He saved us from our sins) and His resurrection. At the Mass, Catholics pray for forgiveness of their sins, hear Bible passages and a reflection on what those readings mean, pray for others, witness the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, receive Christ in Communion and are sent forth to continue the work of Jesus in their daily lives. When Catholics celebrate the Eucharist they are gathered at both the altar of Christ's sacrifice and the table of the Lord. The Eucharist is both the source and summit of the Christian life.
What is a Sacrament?
Sacraments are outward signs of grace instituted by Christ to give us a share in God's own life and make us holy. Sacraments build up the Church and give worship to God. There are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist are Sacraments of Initiation. By Baptism we are born anew as adopted children of God. We are given a share of God's divine life, and all sins are forgiven. By Baptism we become members of the Church and are bonded to other Christians. Confirmation strengthens us in the Holy Spirit. In the Eucharist we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, the food of eternal life.
Penance (or Reconciliation) and the Anointing of the Sick are Sacraments of Healing. In Penance we receive forgiveness for our sins; the Anointing of the Sick strengthens the ill.
Holy Orders for ordained ministers (bishops, priests and deacons) and Marriage for a man and woman are Sacraments of Service to others.
Is God one person or three?
Catholics believe in the Trinity, or three persons in one God: Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the central mystery of the Catholic faith. It is classified as a mystery, which means that it is beyond human understanding.
What are Saints?
Saints are people who lived a holy life and after their death enjoy eternal life with God in heaven. However, saints aren't perfect. Some saints, such as Sts. Paul, Augustine and Ignatius of Loyola, did not lead model lives before their conversions. Saints are role models for Catholics, but Catholics don't worship saints. Instead, Catholics ask the saints to intercede on their behalf.
Why is Mary so significant in the Catholic faith?
Mary is the virgin mother of God -– our redeemer, Jesus Christ. Her life serves as an example of complete faith and trust in God. Mary, as Jesus' mother, plays an important role in the story of human redemption. Contrary to popular opinion, Catholics do not pray to Mary as a god. Catholics believe that Mary works powerfully on our behalf in heaven.
*Borrowed from www.gbdioc.org web page
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee!
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Prayer Before Meals
Bless us, O Lord, and these Your gifts,
which we are about to receive from Your bounty,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side,
to light and guard,
to rule and guide.
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 Spirit,
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 is seated at the right hand of the God the
Father almighty. From there he will come to
judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.