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Questions and Answers
ORTHODOX CONFESSION OF FAITH OF THE CATHOLIC
AND APOSTOLIC EASTERN CHURCH
1. What must the orthodox-catholic Christian do to gain eternal life?
Response. Right faith and good works. For whoever has these two is a good Christian and has certain hope of eternal salvation, as Scripture says: "You see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."[l] A little later in the same place: "For even as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."[2] Elsewhere St. Paul says the same thing: "Having faith and a good conscience, which some rejecting have made shipwreck concerning the faith."[3] The same thing in another place: "Holding the mystery of faith (1) in a pure conscience. "[4]
2. Should a Christian first believe and then do good works in life?
R. Since "without faith it is impossible to please God", as St. Paul teaches, "he that comes to God must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him."[5] Therefore, so that a Christian may please God and his works may be accepted by him, first it is necessary that he have faith in God and then he must form his life according to this faith.
3. In what do these two things consist?
R. In the three theological virtues, that is, faith, hope and charity (2), according to which there should also be three parts in the Orthodox Confession of Faith. In the first part the articles of faith are treated; hope, the Lord's Prayer and the Beatitudes are in the second; in the third there are the Commandments of God, wherein is found charity toward God and neighbor.(3)
4. What is faith?
R. Faith is, according to St. Paul, "the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not. For this the ancients obtained a testimony."[6] Or, as follows: the apostolic orthodox-catholic (faith) is to believe in one's heart and confess by one's mouth one God in the Holy Trinity, according to the teaching of the same St. Paul: "for with the heart we believe unto justice; but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation;"[7] and then also, Faith is to hold intact all the articles of the orthodox- catholic faith, handed down by Christ the Lord through the Apostles and pronounced and approved in the Ecumenical Councils (4) and to believe them without doubt as taught therein, just as the Apostle designates: "Brothers, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle." [8] And in another place: "I praise (you, brothers), that you are mindful of me in all things; and keep my ordinances as I delivered them to you." [9] From these words it is clear that the articles of faith receive their commendation and authority partly from Sacred Scripture and partly from church tradition and the teaching of the Councils and the Holy Fathers. By way of explanation in this matter, St. Dionysius says: "For the substance of our hierarchy is the divinely given oracles; most truly we declare these oracles to be venerated, which were given to us by our holy founders, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in Sacred Scripture and theological books, as also that which comes from these same holy men in a more subtle way, not completely treated from on high, but by the penetration of one mind unto another, indeed by way of the corporeal word, but nevertheless at the same time immaterial, by which our holy founders were taught without writing in this certain sacred tradition." [10] I speak, he says, of certain dogmas given through the Scripture and contained in the theological books (that is, of St. Basil); (5) Truly these are dogmas which were orally given by the Apostles and the Holy Fathers. And on these two things the faith is based, not only to remain in the recesses of the heart, with all doubt and fear really removed, but to be proclaimed and professed orally, even as the Psalmist says: "I have believed, therefore have I spoken."[11] "We also believe, wherefore we also speak."[12]
Q. 5. How many are the articles of the orthodox-catholic faith?
R. The articles of the orthodox-catholic faith are twelve, according to the Creed of First Nicaea and First Constantinople, in which Councils everything concerning our faith up to that time had been declared, so that nothing more or less or different must be believed except that which those Fathers knew. (6) Truly, however, some of these articles are clear in themselves; others contain certain (mysteries) in themselves, from which other things are known.
Q. 6. Which is the first article of faith?
R. The first article of faith is this: "I believe in one God, the Father all-mighty, Creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible."
Q. 7. What teaching of faith is in this article?
R. This article of faith teaches two things. First, to believe and confess that in the Holy Trinity glory is given to one (God) (7) and that in divinity the Father is the principle and source of the Son and the Holy Spirit. And then it teaches that this same God, who is in the Holy Trinity, created from nothing everything, both visible and invisible, as the Psalmist testifies: "For he spoke and they were made; he commanded and they were created."[13]
Q. 8. How is this to be understood concerning God?
R. It must be believed that there is one God in the Holy Trinity according to Scripture: "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all."[14] Since, therefore, God is in himself good, exceedingly good and most perfect, he created the world so that all things might participate in his goodness by glorifying him. Nevertheless, by no creature, neither visible nor invisible, not even the angels, can he himself in his own essence be known, because there is no comparison between the creature and the creator. Hence, as a result, as St. Cyril of Jerusalem teaches: "It is sufficient for us in reverence to know that there is God, one God, existing and always existing, ever the same in himself, beyond whom there is no other."[15] And as the Lord God himself speaks through the Prophet: "I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God."[16] Also, as Moses exhorts the Israelite people: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord."[17]
Q. 9. If there is one God, does it (not) seem there ought to be one person?
R. No, for indeed God is one in his essence, but in persons - three, as in clear from the teaching of our Savior himself, when he spoke to the Apostles: "Going therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit."[18] From such words it is evident that in one divinity there are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: the Father who eternally generates from his essence the Son and sends forth the Holy Spirit; the Son, however, who is generated by the Father before all ages, is co-essential with him; the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father from eternity, is co-essential with the Father and the Son. In explaining this, St. John Damascene says: "The Son and the Holy Spirit are assigned to one cause, namely, the Father."[19] The same author in another place: "The Son is from the Father by way of generation; the Holy Spirit is also from the Father, but by way of procession and not generation."[20] Gregory the Theologian, discussing the words of the Epistle to the Romans ("For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things."[21] ) says the following: "It first must be attributed to the Father, secondly to the Son, and thirdly to the Holy Spirit that the Trinity might be known in the divine persons." [22] Also here, since we are baptized without exception equally in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, so therefore, what the Father is in essence, so also is the Son and the Holy Spirit; and as the Father in his essence is true and eternal God, the Creator of all things visible and invisible, such, therefore, is the Son and so also the Holy Spirit; and they also are co- essential, according to the teaching of St. John the Evangelist, who says: "And there are three who give testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. And these three are one."[23] For this alone is excepted, that the Father in his divinity is principle of the Son and H oly Spirit. And these two persons are from the one, who is from none. Such, therefore, we learned from eternal Truth itself, Jesus our Savior, as well as from the holy Apostles. Ecumenical and provincial councils, as well as church Doctors, have taught the same and have handed it down and confirmed it. So also maintains the orthodox-catholic Church. The holy martyrs have shed their blood because of this faith and have exchanged their life for death. (And we too should believe this teaching without doubt and with our whole heart) (8) and firmly uphold it and even desire our death, if necessity demands, because of this faith and the hope of our salvation�then we will receive eternal reward in heaven, presuming the presence of our good works. (9)
Q. 10. How can the Trinity be understood more clearly?
R. No example can perfectly illustrate or clearly represent to our mind how God can be one in essence and three in persons. But, that which no example can illustrate, Jehovah himself indicated as he spoke through the Prophet: "To whom have you likened me, and made me equal, and compared me, and made me similar?"[24] And so far, neither human nor angelic mind can capture, nor can any tongue express this; wherefore, it is not without reason that we must say with the Apostle: "destroying counsels and every lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every understanding into captivity to the obedience of Christ."[25] We firmly believe that God the Father, existing from eternity, is from nothing and even before the ages generates the Son from his essence and sends forth the H oly Spirit. Athanasius discourses more fully on this in his Creed. (10) But so believing, we do not investigate, for the investigator of the Divine Majesty is forbidden, according to Scripture: "Seek not the things that are too high for you, and search not into things that are above your ability; but the things that God commanded you, think on them always, and in many of his works be not curious."[26] And so it suffices for us that Sacred Scripture of the Old Law, in professing one God, expresses three persons in saying: "Lord God said: Let us make man to our image and likeness."[27] And later: "Behold Adam is become as one of us."[28] In like manner: "Come, therefore, let us go down and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another's speech."[29] This very same thing the Prophet expressed in saying: "And they cried out to one another and said: 'Holy, Holy, Holy, God, all the earth is full of his glory."' [30] And the Psalmist says: "By the word of the Lord the heavens were established, and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth."[31] Concerning these things there is fuller treatment in Sacred Scripture and Church Doctors.
Q. 11. What are the attributes of God?
R. Just as God himself is incomprehensible, so also are his attributes incomprehensible; nevertheless, it will be permissible to speak and think personally about God to the degree that such can be gathered from Sacred Scripture and the Doctors of the Church. First, it should be known that some divine attributes are personal and some are of the essence itself.
Q. 12. Which are the divine personal attributes?
R. The divine personal attributes are those through which the persons of the H oly Trinity are distinguished among themselves, such that one cannot be another; e.g., the person of the Father is not the person of the Son, because the Father is generated from no one; the Son, however, is generated by the Father before all ages from the latter's essence, according to Scripture: "from the womb before the day star I have begotten you."[32] The Father, Son and Holy Spirit�ungenerated, generated and proceeding�are separate in the Divine persons but not in essence, which is never separated in itself, but only distinguished from creation. But one and the same person cannot be generated and ungenerated. For this same reason we must consider the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father's essence from eternity and is co-essential with God the Father and the Son, but is distinguished from the Father by the attribute of person, because he proceeds from him, whereas he is not from the Son by way of generation, as the Son is from the Father, but by way of procession from the same Father. (11) The Son and the Holy Spirit are co-essential to each other, because both are from one and the same essence of the Father, and they are co-essential with the Father, since they are from his very essence, about which Gregory the Theologian speaks in this manner: "The Son and the Holy Spirit have this in common that they both are from the Father; these truly are the attributes of the Father, of course, that he is ungenerated; of the Son, that he is generated; and of the Holy Spirit, that he proceeds."[33] Likewise, the most holy incarnation of the Son is his personal attribute, which neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit has assumed. And so the holy apostolic orthodox-catholic Church teaches the belief and confession in one God in the most Holy Trinity, concerning which the First Council at Nicaea and the Second Ecumenical Council, Constantinople, the first in the city of that name, spoke.
Q. 13. Which are the divine attributes of essence?
R. The divine attributes of essence are those which conform equally to God the Father as well as to the Son and the Holy Spirit: that God is eternal, that he is without beginning and end, that he is good, that he is the creator and governor, present everywhere and filling all things, uncircumscribible. Moreover, as grasped by only a few, besides those three personal attributes, that is, the Father is ungenerated or the cause; the Son is generated or Word incarnate; and the Holy Spirit proceeds� about which we already spoke � whatever can be said about God, relates to the attribute of the divine essence and is equally common to the three persons with no distinction.
Q. 14. Why does the first article of faith mention "almighty" or "all-governing" and omit all other attributes?
R. Because by this one expression the property of God is best described, since no creature can be called omnipotent. This is so for two reasons: first, it does not have its essence from itself, but from a creator; secondly, it cannot produce any creature from nothing. Both these traits always pertain to the divine omnipotence, as he speaks about himself in the Apocalypse: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."[34] Similarly, theArchangel in Luke: "No word shall be impossible with God."[35] Nevertheless, this omnipotence is limited only by his own will and good pleasure, so that certainly whatever he himself wishes, only this can he and does he effect, and not that of which he is simply able, as the Psalmist says: "Our God is in heaven; he has done all that he has desired."[36] He could create a million worlds of this type, but this he does not wish. And then this omnipotence must be understood in terms of perfection, removed from all imperfection and weakness, as is evident in this example: God cannot be evil and commit sin, for this denotes imperfection, even as St. Paul gives witness: "It is impossible for God to lie."[37] For if God were evil and had committed sin, then he would not be omnipotent, for these things are evidence in themselves of imperfection. And so, God is omnipotent by virtue of his will and his perfect goodness, as the Psalmist recollects: "Who is the great God like our God? You are the God who does wonders; you made your power known among the nations."[38] Finally, he is called omnipotent, because all things are in his power and he created the world with no difficulty, with no labor, by his will alone.
Q. 15. If God is uncircumscribed and everywhere, how can he be said to be in heaven and particularly in certain other places?
R. It is not as if heaven or Sion or any other place circumscribes the immaterial and incorporeal divinity, because God has no place, but is unto himself a place. But it is because he works especially in those places and his operations and graces are more often and more clearly made manifest therein, that he is said to dwell in them, for example, in heaven, as St. John Damascene says,[39] because there are found the angels, who always do his will and continually glorify the Lord God. Also on earth, because here he lived in the flesh; so too, in the church, because his glory is proclaimed in a special way and his grace is bestowed upon the faithful. Similarly, God's place is said to be wherever his grace appears in any manner.
Q. 16. But, if you say that omniscience is a divine attribute, because God obviously knows both the hidden and the manifest, then how is it that some men and angels also know the hidden?
R. God knows of his own self all the hidden mysteries of men and angels, not only then and now, but also before the creation of the world, as Scripture says: "The eyes of the Lord are far brighter than the sun, beholding round about all the ways of men."[40] And in another place: "For the Lord knows all knowledge, and has beheld the signs of the world; he declares the things already past and the things that are to come, and reveals the traces of hidden things."[41] Also, St. John in the Apocalypse: "I am he who searches loins and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works."[42] Angels and men, however, if they sometimes know the hidden future, they know it through the revelation of God, as Sacred Scripture witnesses: "God reveals the deep and hidden things."[43] It was in this manner that he revealed to Elizeus what his servant secretly received on the journey from Neaman, and to the Apostle Peter concerning Ananias and Saphira, and really all the prophets had such knowledge.
Q. 17. Are there any other attributes that belong exclusively to God?
R. The attributes of God are without number, but those already mentioned, in as much as they pertain to our salvation, suffice to show how we must think about God. For this reason, overlooking everything else, believe firmly and constantly that God is one and omnipotent in the Holy Trinity, who is found everywhere and is omniscient and absolutely unchangeable in his essence.
Q. 18. Is God the Creator of all things, since the same article calls him "Creator"?
R. Without any doubt, God is the Creator of all things, that is, of both visible and invisible creatures. But first he created from nothing all the powers of heaven by his own will, as they are the main extollers of his glory. Then he created that intelligible world, which recognized God through his bestowed grace and conforms completely to his will. Then he created from nothing this visible and material world; finally, God created man, composed of a rational and immaterial soul and a material body, so that God might be recognized as the creator of both the visible and invisible world through this composition of man. Man is called, therefore, a microcosm, since he contains in himself an examplar of the great world. (12)
Q. 19. How can one know about the angels, if they were created first by God?
R. The angels are spirits created from nothing to praise God, as they themselves serve. Then too they are created to aid man gain in this world the divine kingdom. They are assigned to guard provinces, kingdoms, cities, monasteries, churches, as well as religious and secular persons. There is an example of this in the Acts of the Apostles: "But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison and leading them out said: 'Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life."'[44] And in another place: "And an angel of the Lord stood beside him and said to Peter: 'Wrap your cloak about you and follow me.' Then Peter came to himself and said: 'Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews."'[45] In the same manner the angels keep watch over children, according to the teaching of the Savior who said: "For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."[46] In addition, they offer to the divine majesty our prayers, almsgivings and other good works, not because God fails to see our almsgiving and hear our prayers, but because they intercede with him for us. In the Old Testament, before the Law was given to Moses, they used to teach God's law and will to our fathers, showing them the way of salvation, as Dionysius asserts.[47] After the law was given they used to teach the leaders to do good. Sacred Scripture itself is in agreement with this fact, indicating that the angels appeared to the Prophets and foretold the future to them. Just as the angel warned Joseph concerning the plan of Herod by saying: "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you. For Herod is about to seek the child to destroy him."[48] Since Joseph was anxious to defend the virgin, the Lord's angel instructed him and restored his certitude.(13) Angels also reveal God's acts; for example, at the time of the nativity the shepherds were informed that Christ was born in Bethlehem. So by divine command they aid man in the manner of a guardian and free us from all danger; they always drive back and put to flight our soul's enemy, who torments man without mercy�for as long as he knows God will tolerate it. And because the Angel watches over us, the Psalmist can say: "For he has given his angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. They will carry you in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone."[49]
Q. 20. Into how many ranks are the Angels divided?
R. Dionysius reports[50] that they are divided into nine choirs, with these nine divided into three orders. In the first order (14) are found those who serve the Lord God more closely than the others, as the Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. The Powers, Dominations and Virtues are in the second order. In the third are the Angels, Archangels and Principalities. They are arranged in these orders because the lesser angels receive God's teaching and gifts from the greater. These angels have remained in the eternal favor of God, because they did not agree with Lucifer to oppose God. And it is because of this received grace that they cannot sin; it is not through a natural gift, but only the grace of God. These introductory notes suffice for an idea of angels in as much as they teaching of the "Orthodox Confession" might demand. Since we know that they guard us and intercede for us, to the degree that we invoke them in our prayer to beg God in our behalf, so we most certainly should seek the aid of our Guardian Angel.
Q. 21. What is to be thought of the bad Angels?
R. The bad angels were also created good by God, since whatever God creates, he creates good; but they became bad by their own free will, as the Lord himself says of their chief: "From the beginning he stood not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is speaking of his own, for he is a liar and the father thereof."[51] They are the authors of all evil, blasphemers of the divine majesty, temptors of human souls, both through themselves and their instruments, as Sacred Scripture says: "Be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour."[52] Nevertheless, it must be realized that the demons cannot exercise their power over man or any creature without the permission of God, of which fact Scripture bears witness saying: "Then the devils besought him saying: 'If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.' And he said to them: 'Go'."[53] Finally, it must be known that they cannot force man to sin, but only deceive him through temptation, since man has free will and not even God himself imposes any force upon this will. And since the devils are eternally condemned, they are never receptive of divine grace, as it is said: "Depart from me you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels."[54]
Q. 22. What is to be thought of the rest of creation?
R. God created everything from nothing by his command. Lastly, he created man as lord over all creation under the heavens, when he said: "Let us make man to our image and likeness; let him have dominion over the fish in the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts and the whole earth."[55] Repeating the very same thing, the holy Prophet says: "You set him over the works of your hands. You subjected all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, moreover the beasts also of the field. The birds of the air and the fish of the sea, that pass along the paths of the sea."[56] And earlier: "You made him a little less than an angel (15), and have crowned him with glory and honor."[57] But, since man did not keep the commandment in Paradise, by taking fruit from the forbidden tree while still in the state of innocence, he was expelled from Paradise and became such as described by the Prophet: "Man, when he was in honor, did not understand; he is compared to senseless beasts, and has become similar to them."[58] Add to this the saying: "Dust you are, and into dust you shall return."[59]
 
Q. 23. What is the state of man's innocence?
R. The state of innocence is twofold, according to St. Basil. ( 16) First of all, there is the detachment in mind and intention from all sins through the lengthy practice of good deeds. Secondly, there is the absence of the experience of evil, either because of age or other reasons. It is in this second way that Adam's state of innocence before sin is taken, in all perfection and original justice as regards the intellect as well as the will. All knowledge is present in the intellect as is all goodness in the will. For since Adam knew God very well (to the degree that he was fittingly allowed), in knowing God he knew everything through him, this being a mark of the divine being. And when the animals were brought forward to be properly named, he assigned each one a name through his knowledge of their natures. His only concern was the knowledge of God and the pondering of his graces. As far as the will was concerned, it followed the principle that it was truly free and that man was free to sin or not to sin, as treated in Sacred Scripture: Do not say that God is the source of my lie, because "you must not do the things which he hates."[60] And later: "God made man from the beginning in the hand of his own counsel, if you wish to keep the commandments and perform the accepted fidelity." And later: "Before man are life and death, good and evil; whatever he chooses will be given to him. God commanded nobody to do wickedly and gave nobody the license to sin."[61] And so in this state of innocence, man was similar to the angels. As soon as he sinned, he became mortal that very instant through deception in the state of sin. For so says Sacred Scripture: "The wages of sin are death."[62] Then he immediately lost the perfection of reason and knowledge, his will becoming more inclined to evil than to good. Thus was the state of innocence changed, through the experience of evil, into the state of sin, and perfect man appeared so worthless that he could now say with the Psalmist: "I am a worm, not a man."[63]
Q. 24. Are all men subject to the same sin of Adam?
R. Just as all men were in the state of innocence with Adam, so when he sinned, all men sinned in him and have remained in that state of sin. They are subject, therefore, not only to sin but also the punishment for sin, which is expressed in God's decree: "On whatever day you shall eat of it, you will die the death."[64] Repeating the same, the holy Apostle says: "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin - death, so death passed upon all men in whom all have sinned."[65] For this reason we are conceived in the maternal womb and born even today in this sin, as the Psalmist says: "For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me."[66] This sin is called original for these reasons: first, because before this time man was stained by no sin, although the devil sinned, through whose initiative the sin known as original arose in man. Adam, the perpetrator of the sin, is subject to it as also are we, his posterity. Secondly, it is called original because no man is conceived without it.
Q. 25. If God foresaw Adam's sin, why did he create him?
R. God knew very well not only that Adam would sin, but also the evil of Lucifer himself, even before the latter was created; in fact, he knows the most insignificant thoughts of every creature, what they think and what they do. But since he did not want the sin of man and the evil of the Devil to overcome the Divine goodness, he created, as a sign of his greater goodness, that Angel as good, who later became evil by his own free will. It is the same with man, who sinned by his own initiative. But because with man's sin God foresaw that his divine goodness would shine forth more brightly, when he would send forth his only-born Son to this earthly vale in order to redeem man, taking his flesh from the most pure Virgin through the activity of the Holy Spirit, thereby gathering man-to the confounding of the Devil - into the kingdom of God, in greater honor than that of Paradise, therefore, that sin did not stop God from creating man. (17)
Q. 26. If God foreknew all things before he created the world, then did he predestine all things, both good and evil, to come about as they now do?
R. God foreknew all things before the creation of the world, but he predestined only the good, as St. Damascene says,[67] for it is contrary to the divine goodness to predestine evil. Understand evil, however, as sin, since there is in the world nothing really evil save sin alone, which is the transgression of the divine law and Will.[68] For the rest, they are the ways of God's punishing our sins, such as plagues, famines, war and others, which are evil in relation to us. (18) These latter cause afflictions which we bear with much difficulty. But, they are not evil in relation to God, for they contain in themselves the power of goodness. For, by so punishing us, he calls forth the good. Such evil is called the just punishment of God,[69] as Scripture says: "Shall there be evil in the city, which the Lord has not done?"[70] Likewise, God predestined solely according to his own wisdom and justice those things which do not have reference to our free will. But he predestined those things that do refer to our free will through the agreement of his good pleasure with our will, because he does not take away our free will.[71]
Q. 27. What is free will?
R. Free will is man's unrestricted deciding from reason that arises and leads to the doing of good and evil, since a rational creature should have in its capacity such a nature and guide it freely by its mandating reason. This reason was complete in its perfection during the state of man's innocence, but it became damaged on account of sin. Nevertheless, the will remained no less inclined to evil in some things than to good in other things in the totality of its appetite, whether of the good or evil, on which matter St. Basil the Great[72] speaks thus: "From one's intention and free will anyone can be holy or the opposite. Hear what Paul says: 'In Jesus Christ by the gospel I begot you.'[73] And these words: 'As many as received him, he gave them power to be made sons of God."'[74] The Holy Doctor teaches that even though the human will has been spoiled through original sin, nevertheless, it still remains now in the will of every man to be good and the son of God, or to be evil and the son of the devil. All this remains in the power and the hands of man, with divine grace helping unto the good and averting from the evil, but not forcing that which pertains to the free will of man.
Q. 28. Since men are begotten in the state of sin, do they have both body and soul from the seed of Adam or only the body?
R. The body itself proceeds from this seed, but the soul is from God, as Scripture says: "Thus says the Lord who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth, and forms the spirit of man in him."[75] "And the dust returns into the earth, from whence it was, and the spirit returns to God, who gave it."[76] To wit, if the soul were from the stock of man, it would have to die at the same time as he and be turned into dust with the body, the opposite of which is found in Sacred Scripture, as Christ spoke on the cross to the thief: "Amen, I say to you: this day you shall be with me in Paradise."[77] His body remained on the cross, but his soul, as an immortal spirit, went with the Lord to Paradise. But, if the soul were from the stock of man, it would have died together with the body on the cross. And then, how could these words of God be true? "Have you not read what was spoken to you by God: 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob?' He is not the God of the dead, but of the living."[78] This is to be understood as relating to the soul and not the body, since the bodies of the dead turn into ashes. But it is true in relation to the soul, which always remains alive in the sight of God. If the soul were of the same stock as the body, it would die with the body. The soul is given by God, however, when the body is prepared to receive it. And when it is infused in it, it exists in the whole body, just as fire exists in the glowing iron, but it is more properly in the head and the heart. (19)
Q. 29. If, indeed, God is the Creator of all things, then should not he provide for them?
R. Indeed, so it is, for he knows well all things, the least as well as the greatest, and provides for all that he made, as can be seen in these words of Christ: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? But yet not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."[79] This providence of God is expressed in the Old Law through the mouth of the Psalmist: "The eyes of all hope in you, O Lord, and you give them meat in due season. You open your hand and fill with blessing every living creature."[80]
Q. 30. Are foreknowledge, predestination and providence found also in the divine persons?
R. Foreknowledge, predestination and providence are separate acts in the divine persons. For providence is ordered toward created things, but foreknowledge and predestination are in God himself before the existence of all creatures, although they are found in a different manner. Foreknowledge is the knowledge itself of future events of all types; predestination, however, is the determination according to the foreknowledge of all things in regard to the good but not evil. For if it were unto evil, it would be against true divine goodness. On which account we can deservedly say that, as far as we are concerned, foreknowledge is first in God and then predestination. But providence of created things follows after creation, as the Apostle evidently teaches us when he says: "For whom he foreknew, he also predestined; (20) whom he predestined, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified."[8l] Such a consideration should concern only man himself, since the other creatures (with the exception of the angels, who are in a definite state) do not pertain to this consideration of predestination. For, indeed, since they lack a free will, there is no evil in them; whatever they do is completely the result of their own nature, because of which they pay no penalty and receive no reward.
Q. 31. What further should be perceived about God and creation from this article?
R. Whatever good you can come by, you should ascribe completely to the best and highest God as cause and author; whatever evil there be, you should consider totally foreign to him, not locally, but naturally so. In regard to creation, consider it good, just as it was produced by the good. Nevertheless, consider that creation, which has reason and free will but is rebellious, to be clearly evil, not because of its creaturliness but because of its immense crime. But, that creation which is irrational and devoid of free will, account it to be good in its nature from every aspect. (21)
Q. 32. Which is the second article of faith?
R. "And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, light of light, true God of true God, begotten and not created, co-essential with the Father, through whom all things were made."(22)
Q. 33. What does this orthodox article teach?
R. Two things: first, that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is eternal God, begotten by the Father of his very essence, and is of the same honor and glory with the Father, as he speaks of himself: "Father, glorify me now with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was."[82] Secondly, there is found in this article the teaching that Christ certainly is the creator, not only of things, but of this very world and time, in which these created things are found, as the Apostle says: "By whom also he made the world."[83] But of these things St. John the Evangelist says: "The world was made by him, and the world knew him not."[84]
Q. 34. What do these two names "Jesus Christ" signifies, as found in this article?
R. "Jesus" signifies Savior, just as the Archangel was explaining to Joseph: "She will bring forth a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins."[85] Yet, this name can be given to no one in the world, and rightly so, except to the Lord our Savior, who freed the entire human race from the eternal captivity of the devils. And "Christ" signifies anointed, because in the Old Law anointed people are referred to as "Christi", namely, the priests, kings and prophets. Christ is anointed into these three offices in a special way, above all other anointed people, as the Psalmist says of him: "You have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows."[86] But, this anointing should be understood as coming from the Holy Spirit, as the Prophet says: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to preach to the meek."[87] Christ applies these words to himself when he says: "This day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears."[88] Christ, however, surpasses his companions according to three very great distinctions. His first distinction is the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek, about which the Apostle says: "Called by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek."[89] The same author elsewhere calls Christ a priest, because he sacrificed himself to God the Father, as he says: "Christ, who by the eternal Spirit offered himself unspotted to God."[90] And later: "Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many."[91] The second distinction is his kingdom, which the Archangel Gabriel, while he was fulfilling his mission to the most pure Virgin, demonstrated by saying: "The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever; of his kingdom there shall be no end."[92] The Magi also gave witness to him by offering gifts at the time of his birth, as they said: "Where is he that is born king of the Jews?"[93] The title of his crime at the time of his very death proves the same thing� "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."[94] Moses prophesized from God, however, concerning the third distinction, when he said: "The Lord your God will raise up to you a prophet from your brothers similar to me."[95] This distinction was shown through his holy teaching where he adequately taught about his divinity and other things pertaining to eternal salvation, as he says of himself: "I have made known your name to them."[96] And earlier: "The words which you gave me I gave to them; and they have received them, and have known in very deed that I came from you, and they have believed that you had sent me."[97] This prophecy � the third distinction � should be understood as the foretelling of future events not by a certain revelation, but from his knowledge as true God and true man.
Q. 35. For what reason is the Son of God called "only-begotten"?
R. Sacred Scripture clearly teaches that the Son of God is only-begotten, when it asserts: "We saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father."[98] And later: "The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father."[99] And he is called only-begotten for this reason, that he is the one Son of God according to the divine nature; but certain others are called sons of God by virtue of his freely given grace (23) as all the faithful and the elect of God; this grace of adoption (24) is given to them through Christ, as Sacred Scripture says: "As many as received him, he gave them power to become sons of God."[100]
Q. 36. What do the words "light of light" mean?
R. Light must be understood, by way of knowledge, to have a double meaning � created and uncreated. Scripture speaks thus of created light: "And God said: 'Be light made.' And light was made. And God saw that light was good; and he divided the light from the darkness."[l01] About uncreated light, however, the Prophet says: "You shall no more have the sun for your light by day, neither shall the brightness of the moon enlighten you; but the Lord shall be unto you for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory. Your sun shall go down no more, and your moon shall not decrease: for the Lord shall be unto you for an everlasting light"[l02] and your God unto your glory, etc. (25) This should be understood as uncreated light, as is evident from the words mentioned later in the same article: "True God from true God, begotten and not created." Again, created light is from nothing, but begotten light is from the essence of the Father, about whom the Apostle said: "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, making by himself (26) purgation of sins, sits on the right hand of the majesty on high."[l03] And he himself avers: "I am the light of the world: he that follows me walks not in darkness, but shall have the light of life."[104] But he is called "light of light" because he has his total essence from the Father, just as when a light is lit from another light, it receives therefrom the entire substance of light. And also these words mentioned in the same article�"through whom all things were made" - should be understood to mean that he is co-essential with God the Father. And He is also the creator, not as if this were through him as a servant or an instrumentality, but as Scripture holds: "He was in the world, and the world was made through him."[l05] �that is, by Him.
Q. 37. Which is the third article of faith?
R. "Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and from the Virgin Mary became man." (27)
Q. 38. What does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches four things. First that the Son of God came down from heaven for our salvation, as was promised, into the womb of the most pure Virgin Mary, as he speaks of himself: "And no man has ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven."[l06] He came down from heaven not to change places, since as God he is everywhere and fills all things; but because it so pleased him, he humbled himself in accepting humanity. This article teaches secondly that Christ the Lord assumed true humanity and not some appearance or phantasy of the same. This body was formed then in the womb of the Blessed Virgin when she answered the Archangel: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word."[l07] Immediately the whole man with all his members and rational soul was joined with the divinity, so that there existed simultaneously true God and true man in one person. (28) Thus, the most pure Virgin was said to be the Mother of God, for Elizabeth said to her: "And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"[l08] One must understand that neither the divinity was transformed into the humanity, nor humanity into divinity, but that both complete natures came to exist with all their properties in one person, with the sole exception of sin in regard to the humanity.
Q. 39. What does this article teach thirdly?
R. It teaches that the incarnation of Christ came about by the activity of the Holy Spirit, such that Mary remained a virgin before, during and after conception, and in birth, because he was born of her with the seal of her virginity preserved intact; after birth she remained a virgin eternally. (29)
Q. 40. What else is contained in this article?
 R. Concerning the most blessed Virgin, since she was worthy to accomplish such a mystery, all orthodox are bound to render her due honor and reverence as to the mother of the Lord and our Savior, or rather the Theotokos. Hence, the Church composed the greeting formed from the words of the Archangel and of St. Elizabeth, as well as several of its own: "Theotokos Virgin, Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, for you brought forth the Savior of our souls." (30)
Q. 41. How is this greeting to be understood?
R. One should believe first that this greeting has its source and origin from God himself, through the Archangel divinely commissioned to the Virgin on earth; for the Archangel would not have dared announce it, if God did not so instruct him. The words, however, which St. Elizabeth spoke, were uttered under the influence of the Holy Spirit, which appears obvious with the saying of the Evangelist: "And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit: and she cried out with a loud voice, and said: 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."'[l09] The Church added the remaining words under the influence of the Holy Spirit and by her own authority instructed us to venerate often the blessed Virgin in time of prayer with this greeting.
Q. 42. What teaching is found in this greeting?
R. In the salutation itself there is found a commemoration of the incarnation of God's Son and the blessings given to us through his incarnation. Again it is certainly taught here that the eternal Word of God did not bring with himself his flesh from heaven, but took it within the womb of the most blessed Virgin, from her own blood, formed by the Holy Spirit; he was born of her as his own Mother. This indeed must be believed. The Church judged and condemned as heretics, however, those who say that he bore his flesh from heaven and simply passed through the most pure Virgin as through some sort of channel. We are taught in the same salutation to call her "Theotokos"; for it was she who bore God for us in his humanity and from her was born Christ, true God and true man.[110] And it is this very teaching that is found in this same greeting. By the words "full of grace", it is to be understood that she has become a greater participant in divine grace than all other creatures; because she is the Theotokos, the Church raises her above the Cherubim and Seraphim. Thus, she surpasses all the choirs of angels and is at the right hand of her Son in all honor and adornment as the Psalm reads: "The queen stood at your right hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety."[111] All orthodox should beg her intercession by means of this customary greeting, for this prayer of the Mother is very powerful in pleasing the Son. And whoever is devoted to her in such a manner, willingly chants the Acathist (31) and the Paraclisis (32) and other church hymns written to her glory.
Q. 43. Which is the fourth article of faith?
R. "Who was crucified for us, under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried." (33)
Q. 44. What does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches six things. First, that he suffered and really died on the cross for us in his true humanity taken from the most pure Virgin. This is seen from Sacred Scripture where it says: "And Jesus crying with a loud voice, said: 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.' And saying this, he gave up the spirit."[112] In addition, he truly shed his most precious blood for our sake, through which he redeemed us, as the Apostle says: "Who has predestined us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of his grace."[113]
Q. 45. What else does this article teach?
 R. It teaches that he suffered innocently because of our sins, as the Apostle puts it: "knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain way of the tradition of your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled."[114] John the Baptist testifies to the very same thing, that he, innocent as a lamb, suffered because of our sins, when he says: "Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins (34) of the world."[115] But, he suffered voluntarily, as he himself bears witness: "I have the power to lay it down, and the power to take it up again."[116]
Q. 46. What does this article teach thirdly?
R. It teaches that Christ suffered on the cross according to the flesh, but not according to his divinity. For, the divinity neither suffered, nor was fastened to the cross, nor struck by spittle, nor hit by blows, nor did it die. As the Apostle clearly asserts, the flesh alone underwent all this: "Yet, now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through] death, to present you holy and unspotted, and blameless before him."[117 But, the divinity assumed by the humanity was never separated from the body nor from the soul, whether during the suffering and death on the cross or even after death, although the soul was separated from the body. For this reason the person of Christ was one and the same even at the time of death. (35)
Q. 47. What does this article teach fourthly?
R. It teaches that the death of Christ was more distinctive than that of all other men and this for the following reasons. First, there is the seriousness of our sins, as the Prophet speaks about him: "Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows; and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins."[118] And yet another Prophet speaks in the person of Christ: "All you that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow,"[119] which has been thrust upon me. (36) Another reason for the distinctive type of death that was Christ's is the following. He perfected on the cross the priesthood by sacrificing his very self to God the Father for the redemption of the human race, as the Apostle describes him: "Who gave himself a redemption for all."[120] And in another place: "Christ also loved us and delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness."[121] And still elsewhere: "Because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time, Christ died for US."[122] There he perfected also the office of mediator between God and man, as the same Apostle describes him: "And through him to reconcile to himself all things, making peace through the blood of his cross."[123] And still elsewhere: "Blotting out the handwriting of the decree against us, which was contrary to us, he has taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross."[124]
Q. 48. What does this article teach in the fifth place?
R. It teaches of the burial of Christ, that is, just as he really suffered on the cross, so he truly died thereupon. And he was really buried in the designated place. And the reason this was done was so that nobody would later doubt the true resurrection of Christ from the dead. If, however, he were buried in some hidden and private place, then the Jews would have used this occasion to disgrace the fact. But, on account of the greater faith in and the glory of the glorious resurrection of Christ, the minds of the Jews were so perturbed as to have come to Pilate and say: "Command, therefore, the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day."[125] Pilate said to them: "You have a guard; go, guard it as you know. And they departing, made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone and setting guards."[126] And it is this very guard of the Jews that displayed the best testimony that Christ rose from the dead. For indeed they were then very terrified, as Scripture says: "And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone (from the entrance of the grave) and sat upon it. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men."[127] The same ones later "came into the city and told the chief priests all things that had been done."[128] Whereby they were forced to utter the very same words that the angel of the Lord said to the women: "You seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. And going quickly, tell his disciples that he is risen."[129] It is for this reason that his burial is mentioned, so that everyone might be certain (37), that the disciples did not secretly take and bury him in an hidden place, as the evil Jews might have spread about, after having bribed the soldiers. The-grave in which he lay removes the suspicion of such a thing, as also does the sealing of the stone with the Jewish guards, as well as Joseph and Nicodemus, men of honor among the Jewish people, so too the shroud in which he was wrapped and the headcloth left in the grave after Christ's resurrection, which was not secretly washed by the disciples. Together with this teaching, one must also consider that according to the prophecy it was necessary that his burial be glorious,[l30] and such it was and so it remains even until today. And so, whoever approaches Christ with faith and great love, receives the great remission of sins, by virtue of which he comes to Christ.
Q. 49. Besides these and other things, might one god-willingly ask, where could the soul of Christ is found after his death and before the resurrection?
R. The soul of Christ was joined to the divinity, existing separately from the body, and with this same divinity it descended into Hell (38), although there is no mention here of this matter (39); nevertheless, as is affirmed in all church hymns, Christ descended into Hell in his soul and divinity. It is most obviously asserted in that church hymn: "You were in the tomb, O Christ, according to the flesh, but in Hell with your soul as God, in heaven with the thief in majesty, with the Father and the Holy Spirit." (40) He led out from Hell the souls of the Holy Fathers and brought them to Paradise, along with the thief who believed in him on the cross.
Q. 50. What does this article teach in the sixth place?
R. Since mention was made of the cross of Christ, on which Christ died and purchased our salvation, we are provided the opportunity to consider this cross, about which the Apostle says: "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world."[131] And in another place: "For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God."[132] We must, therefore, revere for these important reasons the holy cross, the sign of Christ, which has been given the power to turn away evil spirits through the shedding of the blood of the Son of God and the death which he accepted on it. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, therefore, says: "Whenever we sign ourselves with the holy cross, the devil cannot be present and endure this, for he realizes that Jesus Christ was fastened to the cross for the sake of our salvation and the destruction of the power of the devil, for the name of Christ is usually thereby invoked, but the evil one flees from us and tempts no more; and so we should cross ourselves very often, for not rarely are we tempted by the devil, which temptations we can repell only through the holy cross and calling upon the name of Jesus Christ; but not only from ourselves can we repell him, but from everything else, as our food and drink."[133] Therefore, the same St. Cyril also teaches: "Make the sign of the Holy Cross when eating, drinking, sitting, standing, speaking and even walking."[134] And no affair should be undertaken, unless first the sign of the cross is made, at home or on the road, day or night, everywhere.
 
Q. 51. How should we sign ourselves with the Holy Cross?
R. You should make the sign of the cross with the right hand, touching the forehead with three fingers and saying the words: "In the name of the Father." Secondly, you should say the words "and the Son," as you place the same hand on the breast. Thirdly, you say "and the Holy Spirit" at your right shoulder and "holy" at your left. (41) When you have crossed yourself thusly with the sign of the Holy Cross, you should finish with the word "Amen". After having made the sign of the holy cross, you ought to say: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner, Amen."
Q. 52. Which is the fifth article of faith?
R. "Who resurrected from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures." (42)
Q. 53. What does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches two things: first, that Christ the Lord resurrected from the dead by the power of his divinity (43), just as the Prophets and the Psalms speak of him; secondly, it teaches that he really resurrected from the dead in the same body in which he was born.
Q. 54. Where is it written in Scripture that Christ had to suffer so and die, as well as rise from the dead on the third day?
R. The Scripture is twofold: part in the old law, part in the new. The former announced that Christ was going to come, as well as how and why he would save the human race through his suffering, death and resurrection from the dead; according to these Scriptures Christ the Lord was bound to accomplish all things. From the Scripture of the new law it can be determined that he accomplished all these things and that he came in the manner it is written about him, as he even says of himself: "And the Son of Man goes indeed, as it is written about him."[135] Even after his resurrection from the dead, he says to the two traveling Apostles: "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures, the things that were concerning him."[136] And since the Scriptures of the old law ought to have authority for us, the Apostle says of them: "And we have the more firm prophetical word; whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the day star arises in your hearts."[137] And the Evangelists assure us of the fact that what was accomplished is in accord with these Scriptures, as the Apostle says: "And Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures: and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures; and that he was seen by Cephas; and after that by the eleven. Then was he seen by more than five hundred brothers at once, of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. And last of all, he was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time."[138] The Prophet Jonas was a figure of the resurrection of Christ, which figure Christ the Lord applied to his own self, speaking to the Hebrews: "An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the Prophet. For as Jonas was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights."[139]
Q. 55. Which is the sixth article of faith?
R. "Who ascended into the heavens, and sits at the right hand of God the Father." (44)
Q. 56. How many things does this article of faith teach?
R. This article teaches four things. First (sic), that he ascended into heaven in the same body, in which he suffered and resurrected from the dead, and sits at the right hand of the Father, in glory and praise. (45) Secondly, it teaches that he ascended into heaven only as man, since as God he always was in heaven and everywhere. Thirdly, it teaches that he never abandoned that humanity, which he once took from the Virgin Mary, and in which he will come again in judgment, just as the Angels announced to the Apostles: "This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven."[140] Fourthly, it teaches that Christ is in heaven according to his humanity, but not on earth (46), the singular exception being the most holy Eucharist, wherein Christ himself is really present through transubstantiation of the substance of bread into the substance of his holy body and through the transubstantiation of the substance of wine into the substance of his most precious blood Wherefore should we revere the most holy Eucharist and adore it by the worship of latria, because such is due the Savior himself.
Q. 57. Which is the seventh article of faith?
R. "Who will come again with glory in order to judge the living and the dead, of whose kingdom there will be no end." (47)
Q. 58. What does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches three things. First, that Christ will return in order to judge the living and the dead, as he describes himself: "And when the Son of man shall come in his Majesty, and all the angels with him . . .[141] And he will come as swiftly as "lightning comes out of the east and appears even in the west."[142] "But of that day and hour nobody knows, not even the Angels."[143] Nevertheless, these things should precede that day: the gospel is to be preached to all nations; the Anti-Christ will come; great wars will occur along with famines, plagues and other kindred things. One might express this succinctly in accord with Christ's words: "For there shall be then great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be."[144] The Apostle speaks expressly of this judgment with these words: "I charge you before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and dead, by his coming, and his kingdom."[145]
Q. 59. Secondly, what does this article teach?
R. It teaches of the last judgment, when men will give an account of their thoughts, words and deeds, according to Scripture: "But I say to you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it on the day of judgment."[146] And the Apostle says: "Therefore, judge not before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then every men shall have praise from God.[147]
Q. 60. Thirdly, what does this article teach?
R. It teaches that on that day everyone will receive eternal and perfect payment for their deeds. Some will hear the verdict "Come, you blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."[148] But others will hear this verdict: "Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels."[149] "Where their worm does not die and the fire is not extinguished."[150]
Q. 61. Will all men then give an account of their works, each one individually (48) giving an account, and will there be a particular judgment?
R. Although there will not be rendered an account of one's life on that day of last judgment, since God knows all things, yet anyone knowing his sins at the time of death will recognize even more so after his death what he has merited. For if indeed one's works will be known to a man, even also will he be aware of the verdict of God, as St. Gregory of Nazianzus says: "I am persuaded by the words of the wise to believe that every fair and God-beloved soul, when freed from the chains of the body, departs hence and immediately rejoices in the total perception and contemplation of the good which awaits it (in as much as that which covered the mind with darkness has been wiped away or cast aside of whatever other word this reality should be called �I don't know) and experiences a wonderful pleasure and happily flies to the Lord, this life having been fled, as from a grave prison, and having shaken off the fetters by which the wings of the mind were accustomed to be held down, and enters into the happiness concealed in the image which it now perceives; and later when it receives its recognized flesh from the earth, which both gave it and accepted it in faith (how this happens is known to him who joined them together and dissolved them) and then it also will be allowed to enter the inheritance of the heavenly glory."[151] So also in regard to the souls of the sinners, it is to be thought that certainly they themselves are aware of the damnation that they are to receive. Although both good and evil do not have perfect payment for their deeds before the last judgment, nevertheless, because they are not in the same state, they are not sent to the same place. But, it is clear that this would be impossible before the last judgment without a particular judgment. Therefore, there is a particular judgment. And when we say that God does not demand from us an account of our life, it must be understood that an account of our life will not be given according to our manner.
Q. 62. Are the souls of the blessed in equal rank after death?
R. Just as the souls depart from the world in unequal grace, so too they are not found to be in the same rank after their departure from the world, in accord with the teaching of Christ: "In my Father's house there are many mansions.''[152] And elsewhere: "Many Sins are forgiven her because she has loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loves ."[153] And the Apostle says: "Who will render to every man according to his works.''[154]
Q. 63. How must one consider those who die in the wrath of God?
R. One must consider them in the same fashion, that some will suffer less punishment and some greater after the last judgment, as it is said: "And that servant who knew the will of his lord, and prepared not himself, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes."[155]
Q. 64. Are there intermediate souls, between the blessed and the damned?
R. No men of this type are found; nevertheless, many sinners are freed from the prisons of hell, but not though their own penitence or confession, just as Scripture says: "Who shall confess to you in hell?"[156] And elsewhere: "The dead shall not praise you, O Lord, nor any of them that go down to hell."[157] But they are freed through the good works of the living and the Church's prayers for them, most of all through the unbloody sacrifice, which is offered on certain days for all the living and the dead, even as Christ the Lord died for the very same. That such souls are not freed by their own power, St. Theophylactus, in explaining those words of Christ, speaks thus: "'But that you may know that the Son has power on earth to forgive sin.'[158] But see," he says, "that on this earth sins are forgiven. For as long as we are on earth, we will be able to blot out our sins: after we shall have traveled from this earth, we shall no longer be able to wipe away our sins through confession, for the gate is closed."[159] And elsewhere before those words: "Our hands and feet have been tied; that is, his powers alone", he says, "are in operation. For in the present age we can function, but in the future age all the operative powers of the soul are bound, and nothing good can come about through the forgiveness of sinners."[160] And elsewhere: "After this very life there is no time for penance and works."[161] It is evident from these words that the soul after death can neither free itself, nor do penance, nor do any good, by means of which it might be delivered from the prisons of hell, but only through the unbloody sacrifice, the prayers of the Church and almsgiving, which the living are accustomed to perform for them. It is by means of these that the souls receive the greatest aid and are freed from the prisons of hell.
Q. 65. If, indeed, prayers and pious works are customarily performed for the dead, how is one to regard them?
R. The same Theophylactus speaks about this in explaining the words of Christ the Lord: "'Fear him who has power to cast into hell.'[162] Be mindful", he say, "that he did not say: 'Fear him, whom after he has killed, I will send into hell,' but that he has the power to send. For the sinners who die are not cast into hell; but it rests in the power of God such that he may even pardon them. But I say this because of the sacrifices and almsgivings made for the sake of the dead, which works are of no small benefit even for those who have died in grave sins. It is not so certain, therefore, that God sends to hell one who has killed, but rather that he does have the power to send him. And so let us not cease working hard through almsgiving and prayers to win over him, who has indeed the power of sending, so that he may not use this power fully but be able to pardon."[163] And so, it is deduced from the teaching of Sacred Scripture and this Father that we are obliged to pray to God certainly for such deceased, to offer the unbloody sacrifices and give alms, since they cannot do the same for themselves.
Q. 66. How must one consider the purgatorial fire?
R. No Scripture makes mention of the fact that after death there is a temporal punishment that cleanses souls; what is more, the opinion of Origen was condemned by the Church at the second Council of Constantinople because of this. Also, the soul can receive no sacraments after death; and if it were then to make satisfaction for its sins, it would have to perform a part of the sacrament of holy Penance, which would be contrary to the orthodox teaching. Therefore, the Church rightly performs for them the unbloody sacrifice and prayers, but they do not cleanse themselves by suffering something. But, the Church never maintained that which pertains to the fanciful stories of some concerning the souls of their dead, who have not done penance and are punished, as it were, in streams, springs and swamps.
Q. 67. Which particular place is intended for the souls of those who die in the grace of God?
R. The Hand of God is the place of those souls that depart from this life in the grace of God after having done penance for their sins. For so says Sacred Scripture: "But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment (of death) shall not touch them."[164] Their place is also called "Paradise", as Christ himself the Lord says to the thief on the cross: "Amen I say to you, this day you shall be with me in paradise."[165] Their place is also called the "Bosom of Abraham". (49) Finally, it is known as the "Kingdom of heaven", even as Christ the Lord taught: "And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."[166] And so, one will not err if he calls this place by any of the above names, as long as he knows that the souls are in the grace of God and the kingdom of heaven, and just as the church hymns repeatedly sing� "and in heaven".
Q. 68. But where is the place of those souls that leave the body in the wrath of God?
R. There place is called various names. First, it is called "hell", to which the devil was chased from heaven, as the Prophet says: "I will be like the most High," the devil said; "but yet you shall be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit."[167] It is called "eternal fire", for Scripture says: "Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels."[168] It is called "darkness", for the Lord said in the same place: "And cast out the unprofitable servant into the exterior darkness; there shall be the weeping and gnashing of teeth."[169] It is also called other names, all of which indicate that it is a place of God's wrath and condemnation, where all those souls go that leave this life in the wrath of God without hope of salvation. Nevertheless, it might well be declared that the souls of the just, granted that they are in heaven, have not received the perfect crown before the last judgment, just as the souls of the condemned do not suffer perfect punishment; but, after the last judgment, these souls together with their bodies will have received the crown of glory and perfect punishment.
Q. 69. Which is the eighth article of faith?
R. "And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, and who spoke through the prophets."
Q. 70. What does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches three things. First, that the Holy Spirit is God, co-essential with the Father and Son, which fact is evident from the words of the Apostle who says: "Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who works all in all."[170] And elsewhere: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity of God, and the communication of the Holy Spirit."[171] Between them there is no other causality except that which the Father has immediately and equally in regard to the Son and the Holy Spirit, although sometimes the Holy Spirit is placed first and sometimes it is the Son, for they are of the same nature and glory. Peter proclaims this very thing, speaking in the Acts of the Apostles: "Ananias, why has Satan tempted your heart, that you should lie to the Holy Spirit?"[172] And in conclusion he adds the words: "You have not lied to men, but to God."[173] Therefore, the Holy Spirit is God; more extensively was this treated in the first article.
Q. 71. Secondly, what does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, as principle and origin of divinity, which the Savior himself teaches us, when he says: "But when the Paraclete comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father."[174] St. Athanasius (50) professes this teaching in his Creed: "The Holy Spirit is from the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. God the Father himself alone is principle of both and he is unbegotten. But the Son is caused and begotten of the Father alone, and the Holy Spirit is caused by and proceeds from the Father alone, but is sent to the world through the Son."[175] St. Gregory speaks of the same thing thus: "The Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, is no creature, in as much as he proceeds from the Father; in as much as he is not begotten, he is not the Son; but in as much as he is between the Unbegotten and the Begotten, he is God."[176] This matter is treated more extensively in the first article. And so let it suffice now, as indeed Christ himself taught and the Eastern Orthodox- catholic Church believes, and was professed in the Second Ecumenical Council, which determined the Creed without the addition "and from the Son", as the Creed itself declares; and the Church opposed those who added "and from the Son", not only the Eastern Orthodox-catholic Church, but also the Western Roman Church. Bearing witness to this are the two silver tablets, one in Greek script, the other in Latin, whereupon the Symbol of faith was observed without the addition of the particle � "and from the Son." These tablets were placed in the Church of SS. Peter and Paul (sic) at the command of Leo III. (51) Thus, whoever remains steadfastly and resolutely in this faith, is certain of his eternal salvation, and is certain of it because he is in close agreement with the Church.
Q. 72. Thirdly, what does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches that the Holy Spirit, through sundry authors, is the composer of Sacred Scripture, both the Old Law as well as the New. In such a manner, therefore, the Scripture of the Old Testament as well as the New is the teaching of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, believe that whatever was determined in all the General Councils and the orthodox local councils, is completely from the Holy Spirit, as was declared in the Council of the Apostles: "For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us."[177] All the other orthodox councils were concluded by this example.
Q. 73. How many and which are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
R. Seven, as mentioned by Scripture in the Apocalypse: "There were seven lamps burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God."[178] These gifts, therefore, or rather the Holy Spirit himself is found more abundantly and more perfectly in Christ the Lord than in man, as the Prophet says: "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord."[179] John the Evangelist confirms this: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth; and of his fullness we all have received, and grace for grace."[180] Since the Spirit was in him, being co-essential to him according to divinity, it filled him with wisdom, as it was said: "And the child grew, and waxed strong in the Spirit (52), full of wisdom; and the grace of God was in him."[181] All these things should be understood in accord with his humanity.
Q. 74. Which is the first gift of the Holy Spirit?
R. The first gift is wisdom, that wisdom from above, about which the Apostle says: "But the wisdom, that is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation."[182] Opposed to this wisdom is carnal wisdom, according to the Apostle: "In simplicity of heart and sincerity of God, and not in carnal wisdom, but in the grace of God, we have conversed in this world."[183] Citing Scripture of the Old Law, the same Apostle speaks thus against this carnal and worldly wisdom: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent I will reject. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?"[184]
Q. 75. Which is the second gift of the Holy Spirit?
R. The gift of understanding, or the comprehension of the mysteries as of the divine will, about which Scripture says: "God gave wisdom and understanding,"[185] in every book and wisdom. (53) In addition: "God gave Daniel the understanding also of all visions and dreams."[186] Yet in another place: "Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures."[187] And the holy Apostle says: "For the Lord will give you in all things understanding."[188] Contrary to this understanding is foolishness, unbelief, about which the Savior himself speaks: "O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the Prophets have spoken."[189] Elsewhere the Apostle says: "Are you so foolish, that, whereas you began in the spirit, you would now be made perfect by the flesh?"[190]
Q. 76. Which is the third gift of the Holy Spirit?
R. The third gift of the Holy Spirit is counsel, because it is in harmony with the divine glory and the salvation of the human soul and with its very own justice, concerning which Holy Scripture says: "For I have not spared to declare to you all the counsel of God."[191] Opposed to this is the counsel of the wicked, spoken of in the Psalm: "Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly"[192] And elsewhere: "The Lord brings to naught the counsels of nations; and he rejects the devices of people."[193]
Q. 77. Which is the fourth gift of the Holy Spirit?
R. It is fortitude. For by this strength maintained in the faith all temptations are turned back. Holy Scripture speaks of this thus: "Watch, stand fast in the faith, do manfully and be strengthened."[194] In another place: "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, in all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take for yourself the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God."[195] The opposite of fortitude is fear. Christ the Lord enjoins us not to have such fear when he says: "Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do"[196] The Psalmist speaks of this: "There have they trembled for fear, where there was no fear "[197]
Q. 78 Which is the fifth gift of the Holy Spirit?
R. Knowledge The Psalm expresses this knowledge: "He that chastises nations, shall he not rebuke, he that teaches man knowledge?"[198] Another Prophet says: "And I will give you pastors according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine."[199] This knowledge should include recognizing and knowing the will of God as well as his law; opposed to this knowledge is ignorance of the law and will of God, as expressed by the Psalm: "Pour out your wrath upon the nations that have not known you, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your name."[200]
Q. 79. Which is the sixth gift of the Holy Spirit?
R. Piety, which with correct faith is based on continuous prayer and good works; the Apostle speaks about it thus: "But godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."[201] But those are truly called pious who avoid all wickedness and sin, having perseveringly completed their prayers. Piety is not superficial as that of the Pharisees, but should be sincere and internal of the heart, lest it be said: "These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me"[202] Or: "You blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and the dish, that the outside may become clean."[203]
Q. 80. Which is the seventh gift of the Holy Spirit?
R. Fear of the Lord, which ought to be childlike and not servile, and as the Psalm says of it: "Fear the Lord, all you his saints, for there is no want to them that fear him."[204] But servile fear is that which the Apostle describes: "Fear is not in charity, but perfect charity casts our fear, because fear has pain; and he that fears, is not perfected in charity "[205] In such a manner, therefore, Sacred Scripture commands to fear God out of love, when it says: "you that fear the Lord, praise him; all you the seed of Jacob, glorify him Let all the seed of Israel fear him "[206] Everyone who shall fear the Lord with this fear, observes thereby his precepts, in accord with the saying: "If anyone love me, he will keep my word "[207]
Q. 81. How many are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
R. The Apostle Paul numbers the fruits of the Holy Spirit or the signs of the grace of God as nine: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, mercy, faith, gentleness and continence. ( 54) It ought also to be believed that even the other virtues may be referred to as fruits of the Holy Spirit, because they come from him, and he himself presides over the works of man that they might be perfected; Paul does not contradict this point, but "against such there is no law."[208]
Q. 82. Which is the ninth article of faith?
R. "In one holy catholic and apostolic Church."
Q. 83. What does the holy Church teach in this article of faith?
R. It teaches four things. First, that the Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, in accord with the teaching of the Apostle, when he says: "For I promised you to one man, to present a pure virgin to Christ."[209] And just as Christ is one, so also is his spouse one, as is evident from Chapter 4 of the Ephesians, Verse 5: "One Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God."
Q. 84. What is the second thing taught in this article?
R. This article teaches secondly that the catholic Church receives its name and title from no place, more important than any other, since these Churches are particular, such as those of Ephesus, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Antioch, Jerusalem, Rome, Alexandria , Malankara etc. (55) But, from among these Churches, that one is called the Mother, which first held the presence of Christ, with eternal salvation as well as the forgiveness of sins having been established there; likewise, the preaching of the Gospel throughout the entire world had its beginning from there, as Scripture testifies: "Thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day; and that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."[210] And elsewhere: "You shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth."[211] Similarly, it was this one church whose light shone before all other churches in both teaching and living, and it was therein that the Apostles rendered their accounts, as Scripture bears witness: "And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying: 'Why did you go into men uncircumcised and eat with them?"'[212] Peter answered them: "Who was I, that could withstand God?' Having heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying: 'God then has also to the gentiles given repentance unto life."'[213] And later: "And the tidings came to the ears of the church that was at Jerusalem, touching these things, and they sent Barnabas as far as Antioch."[214] And elsewhere: "They determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain others of the other side, should go up to the Apostles and Priests to Jerusalem about this question."[215] Then it seemed good to the Apostles and Priests even of the entire Church to send men chosen from their midst to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas with these words: "For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us, to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things."[216] The same is even clearer in another passage: "And as they passed through the cities, they delivered unto them the decrees for to keep, that were decreed by the Apostles and the ancients who were at Jerusalem."[217] The Church of Jerusalem, therefore, is the Mother of all churches and the first, (although the rulers later gave primacy to the Old and the New Rome because of the seat of the Empire, according to the third Canon of the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople) because the spreading of the Gospel to all the lands of the earth began there; and because of this, the Church has become catholic, since it was accepted in its teaching of the faith by all the nations.
Q. 85. What is taught thirdly in this article of faith?
R. Thirdly, it is taught that the Church has no other foundation except Christ, according to the Apostle: "For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus."[218] On occasion, however, in Sacred Scripture the Apostles and Prophets are called the foundations of the Church, as is evident from the Apocalypse: "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them, the twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb."[219] And from the Epistle: "Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets."[220] It must be understood here that the Apostles and Prophets are not absolutely and primarily the foundation of the faith, for such a foundation is Christ the Lord, but they are subsequent and secondary, in as much as they, more recently established in the saving doctrine of Jesus Christ, were the first to preach the Gospel of the spreading Christian faith in all the lands of the earth. For Christ the Lord did not found his Church on men, but rather on himself, as true God, and on his teaching. Equally, the head of the Church is Christ himself, according to the teaching of the Apostle: "Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church. He is the Savior of the body."[221] Still elsewhere: "And he is the head of the body, the Church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things he may hold the primacy."[222] But, when the bishops are called the heads of the churches, it must be understood that they are representatives of Christ in their own dioceses and individual heads, according to Scripture: "Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood."[223] So, Christ himself, the Lord, is the Archpastor, as the Apostle says: "And when the Prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never fading crown."[224]
Q. 86. What is taught fourthly in this article of faith?
R. It is taught that all orthodox should be obedient to the Church, following the teaching of Christ: "And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to you as the heathen and publican."[225] Furthermore, the Church exercises such authority as approving writings in General Councils, judging Patriarchs, Popes and Bishops, punishing canonically those aware of guilt, since the Church is the pillar and ground of truth, according to the Apostle: "That you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."[226]
Q. 87. Which are the precepts of the Church?
R. There are nine special precepts of the Church. The first is to offer prayers to God every day, with piety and sorrow of heart; to hear with devotion the church services, if not daily, at least on Sundays and Feast days, including Matins, Divine Liturgy, Vespers, and the sermon, as Scripture says: "That we ought always to pray and not to faint."[227] And elsewhere: "Praying at all times in the spirit, and in the same watching with all justice and supplication for all the saints."[228] And in another place: "Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks."[229]
Q. 88. What is the second precept of the Church?
R. The second precept is to fast four times every year. The first fast is before the Nativity of Christ, which begins November 15. The second is the Forty- day Fast (56), the authority for which is Christ himself, the Lord, as Sacred Scripture testifies: "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry."[230] The third is the Fast of the Apostles, which begins the week after the Feast of Pentecost; it is called "Apostolic", because the Apostles fasted that same time, when they were being sent out to preach the Gospel, as it appears from the Acts of the Apostles: "Then they, lasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away."[231] The fourth fast is before the Feast of the Dormition (57) of the Virgin Mary, which begins the first day of August and ends the 15th of the same month. Moreover, one must fast the fourth and sixth day of the week (58), but not on Saturday or Sunday, according to the 66th Apostolic Canon, Great Saturday (59) being the exception. The fast must also be maintained on September 14, when we fast because of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and in memory of the suffering of Christ, the Lord; on that day the Passion Gospel is read. Likewise, there is a fast on August 29, when the beheading of St. John the Baptist is commemorated. Furthermore, it is our tradition not to fast on the prescribed days from the Nativity (60) of Christ until Epiphany, the entire holy week of Easter, the week after Pentecost, the week of the reading of the Gospel of the Publican and Pharisee (61), and then the week of Carnival.
Q. 89. What is the third precept of the Church?
R. Churchmen must be held in the due reverence as the servants of God and our mediators; especially must the confessor be honored as a spiritual father and be consulted in regard to the salvation of the soul. Scripture speaks of this precept thus: "Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God."[232] And elsewhere: "And we beseech you, brothers, to know them who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and we admonish you that you esteem them more abundantly in charity, for their work's sake. Have peace with them."[233] Similarly: "Know you not, that they who work in the holy place, eat the things that are of the holy place; and they that serve the altar, partake with the altar? So also the Lord ordained that they who preach the gospel, should live by the gospel."[234] In still another place: "Let the priests who rule well, be esteemed worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine."[235] Seculars should not become involved in spiritual matters, according to the Apostle: "Brothers, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness."[236] (62)
Q. 90. What is the fourth ecclesiastical precept?
R. We should go to confession at least one times a year before a priest, who is properly ordained and orthodox; those more advanced spiritually should confess with devotion and holiness every month; the less advanced are bound to confess their sins at least once a year, during the Forty-day Fast. The first concern of the sick should be to cleanse their conscience as soon as possible by confession and the participation in the Holy Eucharist, receiving piously the anointing of holy oil. (63)
Q. 91. What is the fifth precept of the Church?
R. Books of heretics are not to be read, nor should one listen to their blasphemous teachings; anyone not trained in God's Scriptures and the sciences should not enter into disputation with heretics; nor are their gatherings to be attended, in accord with the Psalmist: "Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners."[237] And elsewhere: "A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid."[238]
Q. 92. What is the sixth precept of the Church?
R. One must pray to God, the Highest and Greatest, for men in all states of life; first of all, for those in the religious state, the most blessed Father Patriarch and Metropolitan, as well as the bishop in one's diocese, and for all the clergy; secondly, for his Lordship the King, the whole Senate, the entire Republic and the soldiers (64), especially, however, for those who have done well by the churches and effected an increase of the orthodox-catholic faith, according to the Apostle: "l desire, therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in high station, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all piety and chastity; for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior."[239] One must also pray for the deceased, who have died in the orthodox faith. Likewise, for heretics and schismatics, that they might be converted to the orthodox faith before they depart this life.
Q. 93. What is the seventh precept of the Church?
R. Fasting and prayer, as prescribed particularly by the Metropolitan or bishop of one's own diocese, must be performed in order to avert the imminent wrath of God, as plague, famine, war, drought, flood, or for the healing of the sick and the consolation of the afflicted, as is evident from the Acts of the Apostles: "Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him"[240]
Q. 94. What is the eighth precept of the Church?
R. Laymen ought not take the property and estates of the Church by violence, nor transform them to their own use. Religious, especially the prelates, should provide for the furnishing of the Church from the goods of the Church, also provide for the poor and traveling, in accord with the teachings of Sacred Scripture: "And the disciples, every man according to his ability, proposed to send relief to the brothers who dwelled in Judea. Which also they did, sending it to the ancients, by the hands of Barnabas and Saul."[241] Likewise, laymen as well as religious prelates of any church should not take away monetary sums nor any moveable property, whether gained by legacy or gift, from that church and turn the same into private or personal use, nor should such an intention of the giver be tolerated.
Q. 95. What is the ninth ecclesiastical precept?
R. Marriages are not to be celebrated on days prohibited by the Church; likewise, orthodox should not participate in forbidden games, nor follow barbarian practices, but rather abstain from such things.
Q. 96. How can we speak of believing in the Church, which is a creature, when we ought to believe only in God?
R. Although the Church is spoken of as a creature, in as much as it is formed of men, nevertheless, it has as its head the same Christ, true God; also, there is the Holy Spirit who continually teaches it and makes pure the spouse of Christ, which the Apostle says is the "pillar and ground of the truth."[242] Its dogmas and teaching are not human but divine; and so, when we say that we believe in the Church, it is to be understood that we believe in the divinely given words of Christ and the dogmas inspired by the Holy Spirit, as Scripture says: "But the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Spirit."[243] And elsewhere: "You received it not as the word of men, but (as it is indeed) the word of God."[244] By this we are admonished to believe not only in the Gospel, which the Church has chosen, about which Christ the Lord spoke: "Repent, and believe the Gospel,"[245] but also in all the conciliar decrees.
Q. 97. Which is the tenth article of faith?
R. "I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins."
Q. 98. What does this article of faith teach?
R. While it does make mention of baptism, the first sacrament, it offers us the opportunity to consider the seven sacraments, that is: baptism, chrismation, eucharist, penance, priesthood, matrimony and the anointing of oil. These seven sacraments go back to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, because it is through these sacraments that the Holy Spirit infuses the gifts into the soul of those who worthily receive them, and also grace, concerning which Patriarch Jeremias wrote extensively in his work to the Lutherans that they might be converted. (65)
Q. 99. What is a mystery? (66)
R. Mystery is the reality through which the invisible grace of God is effected in or conferred upon the souls of the faithful under a perceptible form; it was established by Christ the Lord as the means through which the faithful gain the grace of God.
Q. 100. How many things are necessary for a mystery?
R. Three things: proper matter, such as water, bread, wine, etc. according to the type of mystery; and then a properly ordained priest or bishop; thirdly, there is the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the form of the words, through which the priest consecrates the mystery by the power of the Holy Spirit with the proper intention to so consecrate.
Q. 101. For what purpose have the mysteries been established?
R. First, that they may be signs of the true sons of God, surely of the orthodox- catholic Apostolic Church; whoever rightly makes use of the mysteries, is a true member of the Church of God and through grace a son of God. Secondly, that we may have a sure sign of our faith in God, being certain of our eternal salvation through faith and good works. Thirdly, that we might have unfailing remedies for removing our sins.
Q. 102. Which is the first mystery?
R. Baptism is the removal and annulment of original sin through the triple immersion in water by the priest, pronouncing the words: "In the name of the Father amen, and of the Son amen, and of the Holy Spirit amen." But, "Amen" ought to be said by the godparents and not the priest. The reconciliation of man with God occurs through this (re) generation from water and the Holy Spirit, and entrance into the heavenly kingdom is granted in accord with the words of the Savior: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."[246] Once received, this mystery cannot be repeated, as the one baptizing believes in the orthodox manner that there is one God in the Trinity, by employing the words cited above distinctly and formally: "In the name of the Father amen, and of the Son amen, and of the Holy Spirit amen," according to the intention of the orthodox-catholic Church.
Q. 103. What should be mentioned about this mystery?
R. First, there is the fact that the infant denies the devil with all his works through his godparent, who should be orthodox; but if he be of advanced age, it is required that he himself of his own deny the devil, repeating the words of the priest and spurning the devil and all his works. And then he professes the Symbol of Faith. But, if he be an infant, his godfather acts in his stead by professing the Symbol of Faith and promising Christ for him. Furthermore, it should be noted that unmixed pure water is to be used in baptism, not made artificially, nor any other liquid. Regular baptism is not to be performed by anyone else except a legitimate priest. But, in case of necessity, a secular person of either sex can administer this mystery, the proper matter being used, pure and natural water, as also the form of the words cited above: "In the name of the Father amen, and of the Son amen, and of the Holy Spirit amen," along with the triple immersion, This baptism, however, is of such authority, that, besides being incapable of repetition, it is a certain and doubtless sign of eternal salvation. The fruits of this mystery are readily visible to everyone: first, this mystery removes all sins, original in infants, and both original and actual in adults; then, man is renewed and gains that justification, which he possessed in the state of innocence, as the Holy Apostle testifies: "But you are washed, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God."[247] Besides this, they are made members of the body of Christ and we are clothed in Christ the Lord, as the Apostle bears witness: "For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ."[248]
Q. 104. Which is the second mystery of the Church of Christ?
R. The second mystery is the anointing of chrism. This mystery began when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, strengthening them by his divine grace so that they might preach the Christian Faith firmly and perseveringly and so that the baptized might act by this power. And just as before, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in the form of fire and poured his gifts upon them, so too now, as the priest anoints the baptized with holy chrism, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are poured upon him; this is apparent from the words, which the priest is bound to recite when administering this mystery: "The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit," for the firmness and the strengthening of the Christian Faith; this agrees with the words of the Apostle: "Now he that confirms us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God: who also has sealed us, and given the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts."[249] This anointing of chrism occurred at the time of the Apostles through the laying on of hands, as Sacred Scripture witnesses: "Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit."[250] Afterwards, this was done through the anointing of chrism, as known through the witness of the disciple of the holy Apostle Paul, Saint Dionysius the Aeropagite.[251]
Q. 105. How many things are necessary for this mystery?
R. First, it is required that the chrism be consecrated by the superior bishop himself. Secondly, the proper matter is to be used, namely olive oil and the oil of the balsam tree along with other pungent oils. Thirdly, the priest anoints the baptized on the prescribed places, immediately after the baptism is performed, by pronouncing these words: "Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit." The fruits resulting from this mystery are these. First, just as we are regenerated through baptism, so through chrism we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in order to become strong in the Christian faith, and an increase of divine grace, in accord with the Apostle: "But according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Spirit, whom he has poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior."[252] Secondly, we become so firm and strong by the power of the Holy Spirit, that nothing inimical to our soul can harm us. This mystery cannot be repeated, except with those who have denied Christ and later been converted.
Q. 106. Which is the third mystery?
R. It is the Eucharist or the body and blood of Christ the Lord under the form of bread and wine and the real presence. This sacrament excels the others and leads greatly to the salvation of the soul. For in this sacrament all the graces and the goodness of Christ are revealed and offered to the faithful, as will be later apparent.
Q. 107. What should be mentioned about this mystery?
R. First, nobody else can administer this mystery except a legitimate priest himself, even in the direst necessity. Secondly, it must be seen to that there be an altar, or as we call it � "antimension" (67), in the absence of which the unbloody sacrifice can in no way be enacted. Thirdly, provision must be made that there be the proper matter, that is, the most pure leaven bread of wheat and wine devoid of any other substance, by itself. During the "proskomedia" (68), however, water is poured in so that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water."[253] Fourthly, attention must be paid that the priest have, at the time of consecration, the intention that the real substance of the bread and the substance of wine be transubstantiated into the real body and blood of Christ through the operation of the Holy Spirit. He makes this invocation when he confects this mystery by praying and saying: "Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts here offered and make this bread the precious body of your Christ, and that which is in this chalice the precious blood of your Christ, changing them by your Holy Spirit." (69) Transubstantiation occurs immediately with these words, and the bread is transubstantiated into the real body of Christ and the wine into the real blood of Christ, with the visible appearances alone remaining; and this happens in accord with the divine disposition for two reasons. First, so that we do not see the body of Christ, but rather believe that it is so, because of the words spoken by Christ the Lord: "This is my body", etc. and "This is my blood . . .", spoken not to our senses, since he promised us happiness for this with the words: "Blessed are they who do not see, but believe."[254] Secondly, because human nature recoils from the eating of live flesh, yet man should be united to Christ the Lord by the communion of the flesh of Christ the Lord and the blood of Christ the Lord; so that man, therefore, would not turn away, the Lord determined to give his flesh and blood to eat and drink to the faithful under the appearance of bread and wine. The saintly Damascene and Gregory of Nyssa discoursed at length on this point.[255] Participation in this mystery should take place under two species, for the religious as well as seculars, since Christ so commended, excluding no one, when he said: "Amen, amen I say to you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you."[256] Likewise: "He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him"[257] It was this manner of communicating under two species for both religious and seculars that the Apostles, as they received from Christ the Lord, so handed down, on which point the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians: "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke and said: 'Take you, and eat; this is my body, which shall be delivered for you; do this for the commemoration of me.' In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: 'This chalice is the new testament in my blood; do this, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me."'[258] Reverence shown to this mystery is that which is due Christ himself, as said earlier, just as St. Peter, in the name of all the apostles, spoke about him: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God."[259] And so we also speak in terms of the worship of latria: "I believe, O Lord, and confess that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (70) This mystery is also a sacrifice for the living and the dead, for those who have died in the hope of resurrection, which sacrifice will not cease until the last judgment. But, the advantages of this mystery are these. First, it is the commemoration of the innocent suffering and death of Christ the Lord, in accord with the saying: "For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he comes."[260] The second advantage is that this mystery effects a propitiation for the sins of the living as well as the dead, such that no sacred liturgy is celebrated that the Lord God is not beseeched for our sins. The third advantage is: whoever is present often at this sacrifice and frequently partakes of this mystery, is himself freed of all temptations and threats of the devil; for the enemy of the soul does not dare persecute such men, since he really perceives that Christ is present in them. Preparation for these most sacred mysteries should be made according to the rite of the Orthodox Church, that is: perform holy confession, fast, make peace with all and other such things.
Q. 108. Which is the fourth mystery?
R. The priesthood, which is twofold: spiritual and sacramental. All orthodox- catholic Christians are honored as spiritual priests, as St. Peter teaches: "But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people."[261] And John in the Apocalypse says: "Because you were slain, and have redeemed us to God, in your blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation; and have made us to our God a kingdom and priests."[262] There should be, in accord with this priesthood, sacrifices, prayers, thanksgivings, mortifications of body, putting ourselves forth even to martyrdom for Christ and things similar to these; the Apostle urges us to this as he says: "Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."[263] And another Apostle: "I beseech you, therefore, brothers, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, your reasonable service."[264]
Q. 109. How has the sacramental priesthood come about?
R. The sacramental priesthood was established by Christ on the Apostles, and through the laying on of their hands, and even now the episcopal hands, there occurs the consecration of a person for the dispensing of the divine mysteries and the administering of men's salvation, just as the Apostle says: "Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God."[265] Two things are included in this dispensation. First, there is the power of absolution, as it is said: "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in heaven."[266] ( 71 ) And then there is the power and authority to teach, which is expressed in these words: "Going, therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."[267] Christ, therefore, sent the Apostles in order to teach; but the Apostles, laying their hands on others, sent them to the same task, as is gathered from the words of St. Luke: "Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit."[268] It is for this same reason that they were making public sacrifice to the Lord and fasting, when the Holy Spirit said: "Separate for me Saul and Barnabas for the work whereunto I have taken them. Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away."[269] And Paul: "Impose not hands lightly upon any man."[270] Those who were sent have the power to teach the salvific dogmas through, therefore, the imposition of hands and the unbroken succession; but those who have not been sent nor chosen for the task, should by no means dare, according to the saying: "And how shall they preach, unless they be sent?"[271]
Q. 110. What should be remarked about this mystery?
R. Consideration must be taken of those persons to be admitted to this mystery, so that there be found in these persons three things: first, that they have an upright conscience, devoid of the kind of sins that would obstruct the priesthood; secondly, it must be seen to that they have knowledge and wisdom, both in the performing of the divine mysteries and in the teaching of the people; thirdly, that they have all the necessary and suitable bodily members.
Q. 111. Are there any other orders before the priesthood?
R. The priesthood contains in itself all the grades (which, nevertheless, should be properly performed), sub-deacon and deacon, Priest. (72) Here it suffices to mention, in regard to the teaching of our Orthodox Confession, that the bishop does indeed explain each order during its conferral by the form of consecration, the handing over of the vessels and by the sacred vestments, because each order has its own form and sign, by means of which each one is distinguished, which the bishop certainly should make known.
Q. 112. Which is the fifth mystery?
R. The fifth mystery is sacred penance, which is sorrow of heart for sins with the confession of the same before a priest and the unchangeable resolution to better one's life, along with the intention of performing the satisfaction designated by the priest. This mystery takes effect, when absolution is given by the priest according to the rite of the Church; the second it is pronounced, one's sins are remitted, as goes the saying: "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."[272]
Q. 113. What should be noted about this mystery?
R. First, it should be noticed that the penitent should be a Christian of the orthodox-catholic faith, for penance without faith is not true penance and not pleasing to God. Secondly, it should be noted that the one who hears the confession ought to be an Orthodox confessor, because the heretic and the apostate lack the power to absolve. Thirdly, it is required that the penitent have contrition of heart, or sorrow for the sins by which he offended God or neighbor, about which contrition the Prophet speaks thus: "A contrite and humble heart God does not despise."[273] This contrition should be followed by an oral confession of individual sins. For the confessor cannot absolute unless he knows what ought to be absolved and which penance to prescribe. Such a confession is expressed in Sacred Scripture, when it states: "And many of them that believed, came confessing and declaring their deeds."[274] Similarly, in another place: "Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be saved."[275] Likewise, those who were baptized by John were confessing their sins, as Scripture testifies: "And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all they of Jerusalem, and were baptized by him in the River Jordan, confessing their sins."[276] This confession should have such qualities as humility, modesty, truth and sincerity, self-accusation and sorrow in the act of confessing. The third part of penance should be the satisfaction, assigned by the confessor, such as prayers, almsgivings, fasts, pilgrimages to holy places, prostrations and similar such things, which the confessor should designate in accord with good judgment. Nevertheless, the person who has made his confession should ponder the words spoken in the Psalm: "Turn away from evil and do good."[277] The Savior himself also mentions the same: "Go, and now sin no more,[278] lest some worse thing happen to you."[279] Although it is impossible for man to completely avoid sin, still all orthodox are bound in conscience to make some improvement in life from one confession to the next.
Q. 114. What are the advantages of this mystery?
R. The first advantage is this: just as we lose through sin the innocence gained in baptism, so do we return thereunto in penance; and just as we lose grace through sin, so through penance do we regain it; and just as we enter the devil's captivity through sin, so are we freed from it through penance; and just as chaos and fear overcome our conscience through sin, so through penance peace and our filial trust return.
Q. 115. Which is the sixth mystery?
R. Matrimony, which transpires, first of all, through the mutual consent of both man and woman, being without impediment; this consent cannot be taken in the sense of a true marriage until they give witness in turn before the priest of their promise and extend their hands to show that they will keep unto each other faith, honor and matrimonial love, even until the final end of life, not foresaking each other in any danger. Their promise is then confirmed and blessed by the priest. Thus occurs "marriage honorable in all, and the bed undefiled."[280]
Q. 116. What are the advantages of this mystery?
R. First, that man obviously avoids through matrimony all danger of fornication, because matrimony was established to extinguish con cupiscence, as the Apostle says: "But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."[281] The second advantage is that it confers honor to the offspring because of the respectable generation. The third advantage is that in times of sickness or other danger, the husband and wife offer themselves as the most faithful companions, because there is between them the greatest bond of love and also friendship; therefore, Scripture avers: "Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be two in one flesh."[282]
Q. 117. Which is the seventh mystery?
R. The consecration with oil, which mystery was founded by Christ himself, when he sent his disciples two by two: "They anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."[283] Later the Apostles and the entire Church kept this in practice, which is evident from the Epistle of James the Apostle, when he says: "Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick man, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him."[284]
Q. 118. What should be noted about this mystery?
R. First, it should be observed that the priests themselves, and no other, perform this mystery with due preparation. Secondly, the oil is to be pure with no additive; the sick person should be orthodox-catholic and should make his confession before his own confessor. Thirdly, care must be taken that there be read during the anointing that prayer in which the form of this sacrament is expressed.
Q. 119. What are the advantages of this mystery?
R. The Apostle James expressed the advantages which come from this mystery: the forgiveness of sins or the salvation of the soul, and then the health of the body, although not always of the body, but of the soul, there always being the forgiveness of the penitent's sins.
Q. 120. Which is the eleventh article of faith?
R. "I hope for the resurrection of the dead." (73)
Q. 121. What does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches the undeniable resurrection after death of the bodies of men, both the upright as well as the evil, in accord with the saying of the Lord: "All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that have done good things, shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment."[285] But the bodies are the same in which men lived in this world, as Job relates: "For I know that my redeemer lives, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth; and I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God. Whom I myself shall see, and my eyes shall behold, and not another; this my hope is laid up in my bosom."[286] Yet, the same should be incorruptible and immortal after the resurrection, according to the saying: "We shall all indeed not sleep, but we shall all be changed. (74) In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for it shall sound and the dead shall rise again incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."[287] And it should be known that every soul must return to its same body and together will receive eternal and perfect payment for its deeds; the bodies of the evil, also being immortal, will be tormented eternally.
Q. 122. Secondly, what does this article of faith teach?
R. It teaches every Christian to commit to memory four things, that is, to remember death, last judgment, the punishment of hell and the eternal kingdom.
Q. 123. What advantages accrue to man from the consideration of these four things?
R. Godliness, avoidance of sin, fear of the Lord, fear of Gehenna's hell and love of the heavenly kingdom�are gained. One should be prepared for death by the consideration of these things. By remembering the last day, one ought to be prepared to render an account to the Lord God of one's thoughts, words and deeds; by remembering hell one should be careful not to fall therein; by remembering the kingdom of heaven one ought to take care to gain the same.
Q. 124. Which is the twelfth article of faith?
R. "And the life of the world to come."
Q. 125. What does the holy Church teach in this article?
R. It teaches first that the elect shall receive blessing in the future world, eternal life, and will never have an end to their joy, as the Apostle says: "That eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for them that love him."[288] Likewise in another place: "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but justice and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."[289]
Q. 126. Is eternal happiness enjoyed by the soul itself or together with the body?
R. Certainly together, because they have merited together and not separately, for there will be one joy of body and soul. And when man will be in his glorified body, he will be considered similar to the Angels, as the saying goes: "For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the Angels of God in heaven."[290] But the glorified body is immortal and incorruptible, not needing food and drink, similar to the spirit according to Sacred Scripture: "The dead shall rise again incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."[291] And as the Apostle says, this joy and gladness will be no other than the beatific vision of the Holy Trinity and the exultation in the spirit and with the angels: "We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know even as I am known."[292] Yet, it was said to Moses: "For man shall not see my face and live."[293] But this must be understood to mean before the resurrection in this body, corruptible and not glorified; but, after the resurrection God will give us, now in the glorified body and the state of eternal life after the day of the last judgment, the light of glory, by which we will see the light of God, on which point the Psalm says: "For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we shall see light."[294] Every desire of wisdom and all goodness will cease in this vision; for by gazing attentively upon God, we will see all things in him and we will experience all joy, as the same Psalmist says: "I shall be satisfied when your glory shall appear."[295]
 
FOOTNOTES FOR PART I
 
[1] James 2:24 (This and all other Scriptural citations are taken from the Douay-Rheims translation of the Latin Vulgate.
For the sake of greater readability, however, we have substituted modern grammatical forms for the archaic ones found in this
translation, e.g. "he has" for "he hast".) 
[2] James 2:26 
[3] I Tim 1:19 
[4] I Tim 3:9 
[5] Hebrews 11:6 
[6] Hebrews 11:1-2 
[7] Romans 10:10 
[8] II Thess 2:14 
[9] I Cor. 11:2 
[10] Ps. Dion., De Eccles. Hier., 1,4 PG 3, 376 (trans. R.P.) 
[11] Ps 15:1 
[12] II Cor 4:13 
[13] Ps 148:5 
[14] Eph 4:6 
[15] Cyril of Jerus. in Catech. vi, 7. PG 33, 548 B (trans. R.P.) 
[16] Is 44:6 
[17] Deut 6:4 
[18] Matt 28:19 
[19] F.O. 1, 8 PG 94, 829 A (trans. R.P.) 
[20] Ibid.,821 D (trans- R-P ) 
[21] Rom 11:36 
[22] Although given as Greg. of Naz., Or. 39, 12, the Schaff-Wace edition of 1893 (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2nd series, Vol. Vll, p. 356) has no trace of it. 
[23] I John 5:7 
[24] Is 46:5 
[25] II Cor 10:5 
[26] Ecclus 3:22 
[27] Gen 1:26 
[28] Gen 3:22 
[29] Gen 11:7 
[30] Is 6:3 
[31] Ps 32:6 
[32] Ps 109:3 
[33] Gregory of Naz., Or. 25, n. 17. PG 33, 1221 B (trans. R.P.) 
[34] Apoc 1:8 
[35] Luke 1:37 
[36] Ps 113-bis:3 
[37] Heb 6: 18 
[38] Ps 76:14-15 
[39] FO, L , 1,c. xiii, PG94, 852 B 
[40] Ecclus 23:28 
[41] Ecclus 42:19 
[42] Apoc 2:23 
[43] Dan 2:22 
[44] Acts 5:19 
[45] Acts 12:7, 8, 11 
[46] Matt 18:10 
[47] De Cael. hier. C IV, PG 3,180 B 
[48] Matt 2:13 
[49] Ps 91:11-12 
[50] Dion., De cael. hier. C VI, PG 3, 200 
[51] John 8:44 
[52] I Peter 5:8 
[53] Matt 8:31-32 
[54] Matt 25:41 
[55] Gen 1:26 
[56] Ps 8:7-9 
[57] Ps. 8:6 
[58] Ps 48:13 
[59] Gen 3:19 
[60] Ecclus 15:11 
[61] Ecclus 15:14, 16, 18 and21 
[62] Rom 6:23 
[63] Ps 21:7 
[64] Gen 2:17 
[65] Rom 5:12 (Mohila here obviously follows the Vulgate translation of the Greek "eph ho" as "in quo", referring to Adam. This is not the traditional reading of the Greek Fathers, who give "eph ho" as "because".) 
[66] Ps 50:7 
[67] FO, II, XXX, PG 94, 969 
[68] "De Duabus in Christo Voluntatibus", John Damascene, Ch. 40, PG 95, 180 B 
[69] Cf. FO, IV, XIX, PG 94, 1193 A 
[70] Amos 3:6 
[71] Cf. FO, II, XIX, PG 94, 972 A 
[72] Basil, "in Is".,14, PG 30, 612 C 
[73] I Cor 4:15 
[74] John 1:12 
[75] Zach 12:1 
[76] Ecclus 12:7 
[77] Luke 23:43 
[78] Matt 22:31-32 
[79] Matt 10:29-30 
[80] Ps 144:15-16 
[81] Rom 8:29-30 
[82] John 17:5 
[83] Heb 1:2 
[84] John 1:10 
[85] Matt 1:21 
[86] Ps 44:8 
[87] Is 61:1 
[88] Luke 4:21 
[89] Heb 5:10 
[90] Heb 9:14 
[91] Heb 9:28 
[92] Luke 1:32-33 
[93] Matt 2:2 
[94] John 19:19 
[95] Deut 18:15 
[96] John 17:26 
[97] John 17:8 
[98] John 1:14 
[99] John 1:18 
[100] John 1:12 
[101] Gen 1:3-4 
[102] Is 60:19 
[103] Heb 1:3 
[104] John 8:12 
[105] John 1:10 
[106] John 3:13 
[107] Luke 1:38 
[108] Luke 1:43 
[109] Luke 1:41-42 
[110] Cyril of Jerus., Catech. 4, PG 33, 468 A. Cf. Damasc. I, III c. xii PG 94, 1028 
[111] Ps 44: 10 
[112] Luke 23:46 
[113] Eph 1:5, 7 
[114] I Peter 1:18-19 
[115] John 1:29 
[116] John 10:18 
[117] Col 1:22 
[118] Is 53:4-5 
[119] Lament 1:12 
[120] I Tim 2:6 
[121] Eph 5:2 
[122] Rom 5:8-9 
[123] Col 1:20 
[124] Col 2:14 
[125] Matt 27:64 
[126] Matt 27:65-66 
[127] Matt 28:2, 4 
[128] Matt 28:11 
[129] Matt 28:5-7 
[130] Is 11:10 
[131] Gal 6:14 
[132] I Cor 1:18 
[133] Cyril of Jerus., "Catech"., XIII, 36. (PG 33, 816 B, trans. R.P.) 
[134] Ibid., IV. 14 (PG 33, 472 B) 
[135] Mark 14:21 
[136] Luke 24:26-27 
[137] II Peter 1:19 
[138] I Cor 15:3-8 
[139] Matt 12:39-40 
[140] Acts 1:11 
[141] Matt 25:31 
[142] Matt 24:27 
[143] Matt 24:36 
[144] Matt 24:21 
[145] II Tim 4:1 
[146] Matt 12:36 
[147] I Cor 4: 5
[48] Matt 25:34 
[149] Matt 25:41 
[50] Mark 9:47 
[151] Greg. of Naz., Or. Vll, n. 21. PG 35, 781-84. (trans. R.P.) 
[152] John 14:2 
[153] Luke 7:47 
[154] Rom 2:6 
[155] Luke 12:47-48 
[156] Ps 6:6 
[157] Ps 113 : 17 
[158] Luke 5:24 
[159] Theophyl. in Luc. 5:24. PG 123, 764 D (trans. R.P.) 
[160] Theophyl. in Matt .22:13. PG 123, 388 B-C . 
[161] Theophyl. in Matt 25:10. PG 123, 425 A. 
[162] Luke 12:5 
[163] Theophyl. in Luke 12:5 PG 123,880. 
[164] Wisdom 3:1 
[165] Luke 23:43 
[166] Matt 8:11 
[167] Is 14:14-15 
[168] Matt 25:41 
[169] Matt 25:30 
[170] I Cor 12:4-6 
[171] II Cor 13:13 
[172] Acts 5:3 
[173] Acts 5:4 
[174] John 15:26 
[175] Pseudo Athanasian Creed,4,20 PG 28,177 B (trans. RP.) 
[176] Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 31, Vlll, PG 36, 141 B (trans. R.P.) 
[177] Acts 15:28 
[178] Apoc 4:5 
[179] Is 11:2-3 
[180] John 1:14,16 
[181] Luke2:40 
[182] James 3:17 
[183] II Cor 1:12 
[184] I Cor 1:19-20 [185] Exodus 36:1 
[186] Dan 1:17 
[187] Luke 24:45 
[188] II Tim 2:7 
[189]Luke 24:25 
[190]Gal 3:3 
[191] Acts 20:27 
[192] Ps 1:1 
[193] Ps 32:10 
[194] I Cor 16:13 
[195] Eph 6:14-17 
[196] Luke 12:5 
[197] Ps 13:5 
[198] Ps 93:10 
[199] Jer 3:15 
[200] Ps 78:6 
[201] I Tim 4:8 
[202] Matt 15:8 
[203] Matt 23:26 
[204] Ps 33:10 
[205] I John 4:18 
[206] Ps 21:24-25 
[207] John 14:23 
[208] Gal 5:23 
[209] Eph 5:27 (a paraphrase�R.P.) 
[210] Luke 24:46-48 
[211] Acts 1:8 
[212] Acts 11:2-3 
[213] Acts 11: 17- 18 (This citation actually supports the opposite of Mohila's intimation, i.e. that Peter rendered his "accounts" before the Jerusalem assembly). 
[214] Acts 11:22 
[215] Acts 15:2 
[216] Acts 15:28 
[217] Acts 16:4 
[218] I Cor 3:11 
[219] Apoc 21:14 
[220] Eph 2:20 
[221] Eph 5:23 
[222] Col 1:18 
[223] Acts 20:28 
[224] I Pet 5:4 
[225] Matt 18:17 
[226] lI Tim 3:15 
[227] Luke 18:1 
[228] Eph 6:18 
[229] I Thess 5:17-18 
[230] Matt 4:2 
[231] Acts 13:3 
[232] I Cor 4:1 
[233] I Thess 5:12-13 
[234] I Cor 9:13-14 
[235] I Tim 5:17 
[236] Gal 6:1 
[237] Ps 1:1 
[238] Tit 3:10 
[239] I Tim 2:1-3 
[240] Acts 12:5 
[241] Acts 11:29-30 
[242] I Tim 3:15 
[243] II Peter 1:21 
[244] I Thess 2:13 
[245] Mark 1:15 
[246] John 3:5 
[247] I Cor 6:11 
[248] Gal 3:27 
[249] II Cor I1:21-22 
[250] Acts 8:17 
[251] Ps. Dion., "De eccl. hier"., IV, 4. PG 3, 461 
[252] Tit 3:5-6 
[253] John 19:34 
[254] John 20:29 
[255] Dam. FO, I, 4, 14 PG 94, 1135. Nyss., "in Or. Cat. magna", c. 37. PG 45, 93. 
[256] John 6:54 
[257] John 6:57 
[258] I Cor 11:23-25 
[259] Matt 16:16 
[260] I Cor 11:26 
[261] I Peter 2:9 
[262] Apoc 5:9-10 
[263] I Peter 2:5 
[264] Rom 12:1 
[265] I Cor 4:1 
[266] Matt 18:18 
[267] Matt 28:19 
[268] Acts 8:17 
[269] Acts 13:2-3 
[270] I Tim 5:22 
[271] Rom 10:15 
[272] John 20:22-23 
[273] Ps 50:19 
[274] Acts 19:18 
[275] James 5:16 
[276] Mark 1:5 
[277] Ps 33:15 
[278] John 8:11 
[279] John 5:14 
[280] Heb 13:4 
[281] ICor 7:2 
[282] Gen 2:24 
[283] Mark 6:13 
[284] James 5:14-15 
[285] John 5:28-29 
[286] Job 19:25-27 
[287] I Cor 15:51-53 
[288] I Cor 2:9 
[289] Rom 14:17 
[290] Matt 22:30 
[291] I Cor 15 :52-53 
[292] I Cor 13:12 
[293] Ex 33:20 
[294] Ps 35:10 
[295] Ps 16:15
Part II
(1) The Malvy/Viller edition, Paris, 1927, has "Dei" instead of "fidei", an obvious inadvertance, since the Greek Ms. text reads the latter in accord with S.S. 
(2) In the Ms. margin there is reference to I Cor 13:13. 
(3) Margin here carries reference to Matt 22:39-40. 
(4) In Ms. margin: Sixth Council, canon 82. Seems to refer to Trullo in 692. 
(5) This parenthetic phrase is not in the Greek Ms. and refers to St. Basil's classical text on tradition in "De Spiritu Sancto", c. 27, n 66. PG 32, 188. This is clearly Mohila's own reference to St. Basil, not that of Dionysius. 
(6) Malvy and Viller see a clear reference here to the 'filioque' and its later Western introduction into the Creed. Op. cit., p. 4, n. 2. 
(7) Margin of Ms. reads: Deut 6. 
(8) This line, missing from the Latin Ms. was gained from the Greek Ms. parallel. 
(9) The Ms. refers to Basil, "contra Eunom"., Lib. lll. 
(10) A reference to the ancient Creed "Quicunque", traditionally ascribed to St. Athanasius. This creed was both known and accepted by the medieval Eastern Church. See Ch. IV, "On the Holy Spirit". 
(11) The Ms. refers to St. John Damascene, l, l c 11 (PG 94, 792 C) 
(12) The Ms. refers to St. John Damascene, l, ll, c. iii. 
(13) Here the Latin Ms. refers to Matt 1. 
(14) The Latin text reads "choir", but the context clearly demands "order". 
(15) The Vulgate reads "angelis", the plural. 
(16) Basil, "Hom. in princ. Prov". n. 1, PG 31, 408-409. 
(17) The Latin Ms. reads in the margin: I Peter 1. 
(18) In margin: Basil, "Hom 9", "Quod Deus non sit auctor mali." (PG 31, 333) 
(19) Cited in the Ms. margin is Damasc. l, l, c. xvii. (PG 94, 853 A) 
(20) The Latin text omits the end of verse 29: "to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." 
(21) Cited in the Latin Ms. margin are: Matt 19; Gen 3; Basil, Ser. 9; Damascene. 
(22) 'Textus Receptus' reads: "And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only- begotten Son of God. And born of the Father before all ages. God of God, light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father: through whom all things were made." (D. 150). 
(23) Noted in the Latin Ms. margin is: Damascene 1, IV, c. viii (PG 94, 117 A) 
(24) The Latin reads "gratia adoptivis", a miscopy of "gratia adoptionis". 
(25) These last words are not found in the Greek Ms. 
(26) This last prepositional phrase was added to the Vulgate text. 
(27) "Textus Receptus" reads: "... was incarnate of the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary, and became man." (D. 150) 
(28) The margin refers to Damascene 1,11, c. iiu (PG 94, 988). 
(29) Here the margin notes: Isaias 7. Presumably verse 14 is meant. 
(30) The Slavonic version adds the words "Christ the Deliverer" to the last phrase. This, the Eastern version of the "Ave", is found in the ancient liturgies of St. Basil, St. James and St. Mark. 
(31) This is the classical hymn of praise written in honor of Mary to commemorate her aid in raising the siege of Constantinople in 626 under Emperor Heraclius. Authorship is most commonly attributed to George Pisides. 
(32) This is the liturgical Canon or hymn of praise written by Theodore Lascaris. 
(33) The "Received Text" reads: "was crucified also for us: suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried." 
(34) The Vulgate reads "sin" (peccatum) and not "sins", a point not without theological significance in the understanding of sin in the Johanine tradition. 
(35) In the margin: Dam. Hom. de S. Salva. The reference is to Damascene's "Homily on Holy Saturday", n. 29. PG 96,632 B. 
(36) This last phrase is an addition found in the Greek Ms. There is no trace of it in the Vulgate, although it is found in the Septuagint. 
(37) This phrase "ut omnibus certum sit" was added here to complete the sense in accord with the Greek Ms. 
(38) Latin Ms. refers to John Damascene, "Hoary. in Sanctum Sabbatum", n. 25 PG 96,625. 
(39) Christ's descent into hell ("in inferna"), while absent in the MceneConstantinopolitan and primitive Apostles' Creeds, is found in the later Western version of the latter Creed. Scriptural basis for the descent is that of 1 Pet 3:19; 4:6. 
(40) This text is found in Goar's "Euchologion", p.63; this prayer is recited by the deacon during the first incensation of the Liturgy of John Chrysostom. 
(41) This method of the sign of the cross varies from the Greek usage as also from the Greek Ms. Therein, the words "and the Holy Spirit" are described as being said at the right shoulder and "Amen" at the left. Interestingly, until today, Polish Catholics of the Latin Rite cross themselves by saying "Holy" after "Spirit". The latter, of course, use the Western style, from left to right side. 
(42) "Textus Receptus" reads: "And he resurrected on the third day, according to the Scriptures." (D. 150). 
(43) The Latin Ms. refers to Luke 24:6. 
(44) "Textus Receptus" reads: "and he ascended into heaven: he sits at the right hand of the Father." (D.150). 
(45) The word "glory" is absent in the Latin but present in the Greek Ms. Malvy/Viller sees the Latin accusatives ("gloriam et laudem'') as indications of a borrowing from Damascene, perhaps from his FO, IV, 2. PG 94,1104 B. 
(46) The Lutheran teaching of the ubiquity of Christ's body lies behind this affirmation, according to editors Malvy/Viller, Ibid., p. 34. 
(47) "Textus Receptus" reads: "and again will come with glory to judge the living and the dead: of whose kingdom there will be no end." (D.150). 
(48) The Latin reads "sigillatim", an obvious miscopy of "singillatim". 
(49) Margin refers here to Luke 16:22, the parable of the rich fool. 
(50) This refers to the so-called Athanasian Creed or the "Quicunque", after the statement's opening word. The Westem version carries the "filioque", whereas the Eastern form omits the same. ~ Denzinger Edition 35, p. 41. 
(51) The Ms. margin reads: Bar. A.D. 809, N. 6. This is a reference to the Annales of Baronius, Romanian Edition, 1600, p. 554. Pope St. Leo III (795-816) was the contemporary of Charlemagne, who presided over the introduction of the ''filioque''in Western Europe through the Carolingian reform. 
(52) The phrase "in the Spirit" is not found in the noted Vulgate text and may have been taken unconsciously from the parallel text of Luke 1:80 that refers to the Baptist. 
(53) These concluding words are not in the Exodus citation but in Daniel 1:17. 
(54) This catalogue of fruits differs from the Vulgate's list of twelve in Gal. 5:23, which is the usual Western scholastic account. Mohila follows the Eastern listing of nine, just as found in the Greek New Testament. 
(55) The Ms. margin refers to Apoc. 2, wherein the seven churches are named. 
(56) "Forty-day Fast" is the typical Eastern "terminus technicus" for Lent. 
(57) "Dormition" is the ancient Eastern term, still in use today, for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (August 15). 
(58) Since Sunday is the first day of the week, according to Eastern liturgical computation, the fast-days are Wednesday and Friday. 
(59) Great Saturday, known in the West as "Holy Saturday", takes its name from "Great Week", the seven days preceding Easter Sunday in the Eastern Church. 
(60) The preceding part of this sentence is missing in the Latin Ms., but added here in accord with the Greek Ms. 
(61) This is the thirty third Sunday after Pentecost, three weeks before Lent. 
(62) This citation was obviously meant to indict members of exempt pare-religious lay groups, so prominent in Ukraine in the form of Brotherhoods during Mohila's time. Answerable solely to the Patriarch of Constantinople, they enjoyed the privilege of"stauropegia". 
(63) This anointing is not that of the seventh sacrament, but that which is commonly administered by the priest at the conclusion of every Divine Liturgy. Today, it is administered only on Feastdays by Eastern priests. 
(64) These objects of prayer witness the cultural and political scene of Ukraine in the 17th century, especially the Polish structure of political hegemony. 
(65) This refers to the first of three letters or responses of Patriarch Jeremias II of Constantinople (1586-95), written to explain the true orthodox teaching on grace and the Holy Spirit to the Lutheran theologians at Tubingen. These letters fomm one of the "Symbolical Books" of the Eastern Church. 
(66) The Greek term for sacrament is "mysterion", translated into Slavonic as "Tayna". Both terms underscore the role of God in the sacramental system. 
(67) This is the silk cloth, laid on the altar, upon which the gifts are consecrated in the Eastern Church. It is inscribed with the name of the church and relics of the saints are sewn into it. It is blessed by the bishop on Holy or Great Thursday. 
(68) This is the preparatory ritual and first part of the Divine Liturgy. It is customarily celebrated silently by the priest on the side altar. 
(69) This is the prayer of the Epiclesis of the Liturgy of John Chrysostom. (trans. Rr.) 
(70) These are the opening words of the Communion Prayer in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. 
(71) The context demands the second half of this citation, which, in fact, is found in the Greek Ms. - "Whatever you shall loose upon earth, shall also be loosed in heaven." 
(72) The Euckologion is the general encyclopedia Service Book containing all the sacraments; the Hieratikon contains the rituals of the sacrament of Holy Orders. 
(73) The official "Received Text" reads: "I await the resurrection of the dead." (D. 150). 
(74) This sentence follows the Greek New Textament and not the Vulgate, which reads: "We shall all indeed rise again, but we shall not all be changed."
 
 
THE ORTHODOX CONFESSION OF THE APOSTOLIC  EASTERN AND UNIVERSAL CHURCH
On Hope
Q. 1. What is hope?
R. Hope is true confidence in God, inspired by God and without trace of despair of his grace, for the forgiveness of sins and every other request in respect to present goods as well as those to come; the Apostle speaks of it so: "Do not therefore lose your confidence, which has a great reward.'' [l] And elsewhere: "For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man sees, why does he hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience." [2]
Q. 2. How does man's hope become certain and infallible?
R. Our entire hope is Jesus Christ, as the Apostle says: "According to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus our hope," [3] for we received everything through him, even as he himself teaches: "And whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do; that the Father may be glorified in the Son." [4] Recognized here also is the grace of God, since it was given through Christ, as Scripture says: "For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." [5] And our entire hope is based on this grace. First, there is the following of God's will, that is, the commandments, for Christ himself say: "He that has my commandments, and keeps them; he it is that loves me. And he that loves me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." [6] Then through the communion of the holy mysteries of the body and blood of Christ, through which Christ the Lord abides in us, as he says: "He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him." [7] And then through persevering prayer, as the Apostle teaches: "Is any of you sad? Let him pray." [8] And in another way: "But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting." [9]
Q. 3. What must be considered in order to understand this second part of the Confession?
R. It would seem to be appropriate to consider the Lord's Prayer and the nine beatitudes, since we are obliged to beg God with faith and hope, which things he certainly will give us, as the Apostle says: "He is faithful who called you, who also will do it.'' [10] But, concerning the beatitudes, we also strive for them through hope, by following the virtues with hope of attaining the promised blessings.
Q. 4. What is prayer?
R. Prayer is petition directed to God from fervent faith and hope of receiving the things according to his will; or, prayer is the raising of our mind and will to God, in which we either praise God, or ask him or give thanks for blessings.
Q. 5. What first must be done before man comes to perform his prayer?
R. It ought to be known that prayers are three-fold. First, there is the one by which we thank God for his blessings, as Israel did for the deliverance from Egypt; we also are obliged to always do this for all the blessings of God, most of all that we have been freed from the enemy of our soul, as the Apostle says: "Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all." [11] And elsewhere: "I give thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus." [12] Still elsewhere: "Giving thanks to God the Father, who made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light, who delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love.' [13] The second is that prayer through which we ask God to forgive us our sins, so that he may even overlook our punishment, and pour upon us the gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to the need of our soul and our temporal life. And we perform this prayer for ourselves and our neighbors, as the Apostle says: "Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding." [14] The third prayer is that by which we glorify the Lord God because of his unattainable majesty and eternal glory, as the Psalm reads: "Every day will I bless you and I will praise your name for ever, yea, for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and of his greatness there is no end. Generation and generation shall praise your works and they shall declare your power." [15] The Great Doxology (l) particularly expresses this prayer, which we read or sing in church each day.
Q. 6. Which things are still necessary for prayer?
R. Appropriate preparation, so that we might perform our prayer sensibly and devoutly, as the Apostle teaches: "Denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly and justly, and godly in this world." [16] And with sorrow of heart, as the Apostle teaches: "Let the Word of the Lord dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God." [17] Also, without anger and any ill-will, according to the saying: "But if you will not forgive men their sins, neither will your Father forgive you your offenses. [18] We should even entreat him who is angry with us, as Sacred Scripture teaches: "If therefore you offer your gift at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has anything against you, leave there your offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to your brother, and then coming you shall offer your gift. [19] We should exclude all other thoughts when we pray, so that the prayer may be pure and pleasing to God, lest it be said of us: "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." [20] And let the Psalmist's words be not known of us: "And may his prayer be turned to sin."
Q. 7. What is the Lord's Prayer?
R. "Our Father who art in heaven", etc.
Q. 8. Into which parts is this Lord's Prayer divided?
R. Three: the introduction, the petition itself and the epilogue. (2)
Q. 9. What is the introduction?
R. "Our Father who art in heaven."
Q. 10. What is signified by this introduction?
R. It is indicated, first of all, that whoever wishes to pray to God, approaches him not only as a creature, but also as a son through grace; for if he were not a son, he would never have been able to call him "Father"; this grace of adoption is given by Jesus Christ to those who believe in him, just as Scripture says: "But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made sons of God." [22] Still elsewhere: "And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father." [23] Therefore, we call him our Father. Secondly, it is indicated that he is a son of the orthodox-catholic Church; for whoever does not recognize the Church as his mother, cannot recognize God as Father (3), in accord with the saying: "Tell the Church; and if he will not hear the Church, let him be to you as the heathen and publican." [24] Thirdly, it indicates that one should have no doubt of obtaining that which he seeks, since one is asking the common Father of all, a Father generous and merciful, as Scripture says: "Be therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful," [25] who not only does not deny us those things for which we importune him with our prayers, but himself offers means of prayer and generously receives our prayers; so, prayers should be only sincere from our innermost hearts. For whatever any of us will ask of him, it follows the saying: "For your Father knows what is needful for you, before you ask him. [26] If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him!" [27] Fourthly, this introduction teaches that, just as he is the Father of us all, so among us faithful we are brothers. We pray, then, not only for ourselves, but also one prays for the other, even as Sacred Scripture teaches: "And pray for one another, that you may be saved;" [28] that he is certainly our common Father, it says: "And call none your father upon earth: for one is your Father, who is in heaven."[29] He himself will hear us out sooner, having grasped our brotherly love, which he commends everywhere in the holy gospel and in which the Father rejoices In the fifth place, in particular by the words "in heaven", we are taught to raise our mind in prayer to heaven and heavenly things; granted that the Lord God is not only in heaven, but is everywhere and fills all things; nevertheless, his grace and fullness are much more evident in heaven. Wherefore heaven is called his seat, as the Prophet says: "The Lord's throne is in heaven." [30] And elsewhere: "The Lord has prepared his throne in heaven, and his kingdom shall rule over all " [31]
Q. 11. How many petitions are in the second part of the prayer?
R. There are seven petitions.
Q. 12. Which is the first petition in the Lord's prayer?
R. "Hallowed be thy name."
Q. 13. What does this petition contain in itself?
R. First, there is contained in it this, that we should ask the Lord to give us a life that is holy and embellished with virtues and good works, under the influence of which men might praise the name of God for our holy life, in accord with the saying: "So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." [32] Secondly, there is included in this prayer this: that not only our life be unto the glory of God, but also that all of those who are infidels and do not know the true God be converted and recognize him, so that the name of God might be glorified in and through them We beg the Lord God also for those who have the name of true Christianity, but live dissolutely bringing frequent reproach upon the holy faith, about whom it is taught: "Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof." [33] And in another place: "For the name of God through you is blasphemed among the gentiles." [34] Converts should live well even now, having cast aside the evil in their life, so that the name of God can be sanctified thereby. To this point, it ought to be known that the name of God is holy of itself, but it begins to be sanctified in and for us through our holy life.
Q. 14. Which is the second petition?
R. "Thy kingdom come."
Q. 15. Which things are contained in this second part?
R. We ask the Lord God that he may rule over all of us and, most of all, over our heart through his grace and justice as well as his holy mercy, so that sin may not rule over any of us, according to the saying: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof." [35] Then this petition contains in itself this: that man, remaining in the grace of God, the heavenly joy having been grasped, should condemn this world and desire to attain the palace of God, that is, the kingdom of heaven, according to the saying: "Having the desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ." [36] Thirdly, this petition contains in itself our asking the Lord God for his second coming, when he will come in his majesty and glory. (4) There is also the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment, by which the kingdom of this world and the enemy of our souls can be abolished; then will come the kingdom of heaven, in accord with the saying: "That God may be all in all." [37]
Q. 16. Which is the third petition?
R. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Q. 17. What does this petition contain-in itself?
R. First, we ask the Lord God not to allow us to live in this world according to our will, but that he might so do with us as it is pleasing to him. Secondly, we ask that there be no opposition to his will from us and other men, and, just as the Angels in heaven are subject to the divine will in all things, so may all men be obedient to God without sadness with every operation of grace. Thirdly, we indicate by this our petition that nothing certainly happens to us, the elect of God, both in the leading of a godly life and in persecution from the enemy, without the divine forbearance and will, since God provides even for our hair, not only for us ourselves, as Scripture says: "The very hairs of your head are all numbered." [38] Still, in another place: "But a hair of your head shall not perish." [39]
Q. 18. Which is the fourth petition?
R. "Give us today our supersubstantial bread." (5)
Q. 19. What does this petition contain in itself?
R. First, it includes the food for our soul, which is beyond nature, the word of God; Scripture speaks of it: "Not in bread alone does man live, but in every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." [40] We ask for that reason that he free us from the famine of his holy word, that is, the teaching of Christ, without which the soul of man dies as if crushed by hunger. To be considered here is the death of the soul; this pertains particularly to those who are unwilling to listen to sermons and provide an evil example to others. Secondly, it includes in itself another food for the soul, that is, the communion of the body and blood of Christ, about which Christ the Lord speaks: "For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him." [41] We beg by this our petition that we might worthily, therefore, take this food, and when we become partakers of these two foods, we will have the kingdom of heaven within us. [42] And then all temporal things will be given us, according to the saying: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." [43] Thirdly, in this petition there is contained in the word "bread" everything necessary for the conservation of our life in this world, so in regard to food as well as other things necessary for living. To be observed in this matter is fairness and not extravagance, which produces sin, as Saint Paul says: "Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities."[44] And elsewhere: "But having food, and wherewith to be convered, with these we are content." [45] Our age is designated by the word "today", while we live in this world, since in the future age we will enjoy the very presence and vision of God and his holy grace, and we will also experience joy.
Q. 20. Which is the fifth petition?
R. "And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors."
Q. 21. What does this petition contain in itself?
R. First, this petition includes in itself our asking the Lord God thereby for the forgiveness of our sins, especially those we have committed after holy baptism, mortal and venial, by which we offended the Lord God or neighbor, whether by consent or word or other deed. Secondly, we oblige ourselves by this petition when we say these words: "As we forgive our debtors, so also forgive our debts." Whoever, therefore, does not forgive his neighbor what he has committed against him, recites this prayer in vain, since his sins.(6) will not be forgiven him, rather will his prayer turn into sin: "And may his prayer be turned to sin." [46] And this is self-evidently just. For if we are unwilling to forgive our brothers their smaller sins, by which they offended us, how will the Lord God, therefore, forgive ours sins committed to an incomparable extent, whom we offend every day, hour and minute?
Q. 22. Which is the sixth petition?
R. "And lead us not into temptation."
Q. 23. What is contained in this petition?
R. First, we ask the Lord God that we might be free from all temptations; and these are two-fold: some come from the world, devil and the flesh, and incite us to sin; but others come from those tyrants who attack the holy Church with false teaching and flattering deceptions, false miracles, promises of riches and fame, and again by despotism, confiscation of goods and dishonor, all of which we see in our days. We also ask the Lord God in this petition to strengthen us by his grace, if it befalls us to suffer martyrdom for his name and the holy Church, his spouse, and the truth of his holy Gospel, by which grace we will be able to finish in strong spirit and obtain in heaven the crown of martyrdom; then that he permit nothing beyond our powers.
Q. 24. Which is the seventh petition?
R. "But deliver us from evil."
Q. 25. Which things are contained in this petition?
R. First, we ask that the Lord God save us from all evil, that is, from sin and all baseness, which provokes the wrath and vengeance of God. Then we ask him to yield to us when we come before the rage of his wrath, so that he would not punish us in his rage for our sins, as the Psalmist says: "Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms." [47] Yet in another place: "Rebuke me not, O Lord, in your indignation, nor chastise me in your wrath." [48] To be understood in this same petition is every evil that causes men annoyance, such as famine, plague, war, fire and other similar things, that God may drive them away from us through his mercy and holy grace. Here also we ask that he drive off all temptations of the enemy of our soul from us at the time of our death and grant us to struggle in a godly and holy manner under the protection of his holy grace and our guardian Angel; for happy is he who dies in such a manner. Wherefore, all of us are bound to ask fervently the Lord God to free us at the time of death from the temptations and insults of the devil. Finally, we ask through this petition that we may be free from the eternal punishment of hell and the devil.
Q. 26. Which is the third part of the Lord's prayer?
R. This epilogue: "For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory unto ages. Amen "(7)
Q. 27. What is contained in this epilogue?
R. There are two parts to this epilogue. The first is that which is joined to the introduction; for, just as the introduction assures us that we will obtain everything which we shall have properly asked of God, since we are asking the Father, so also does the epilogue teach that we will receive everything which we have asked, since the whole world belongs to the same Father and he himself rules, and every creature obeys him, for his is the power and the glory, which nobody in heaven and on earth can resist; therefore, he is capable of doing all things which we ask of him in faith and hope, but not on account of anything of yours, but only on account of the eternal glory of his holy name, which itself is contained in this expression: "Glory unto ages." The second part of the epilogue is in this particle: "Amen." Expressed here is the thought that all things might be just as we have asked; for we have asked with faith and hope, according to his will, just as the Apostle says: "And this is the confidence which we have toward him: that whatsoever we shall ask according to his will, he hears US." [49] And we know that he hears us; we know what we ask, because we have the petitions which we request of him.
Q. 28. Does this epilogue belong to the Lord's prayer?
R. Christ the Lord himself said these words in finishing his prayer, as we have in St. Matthew. (8) Reason itself also asserts that there is nothing here contrary to the Lord's Prayer, and, what is more, it is considered more assuredly a prayer, since we petition him, whose power extends throughout the whole world, and all things are subject to him. And there is nothing contradictory in the fact that laymen do not recite these words (9), because, due to the greater authority of this prayer, the priest himself recites them, whenever he is present during public and private prayers. But even if any layman recites it privately, he commits no sin, as in the case of the rest of the Gospel. Wherefore, these words are never excluded from the Lord's prayer, because reason itself convinces one that the priest himself recites them at public prayer only through the authority from the mandate of the Church.
Q. 29. Since the beatitudes pertain to hope, I ask: how many are there?
R. The beatitudes, which Christ the Lord determined in the Gospel, are nine; [50] the holy Chrysostom announced the same thing in these words: "Moses indeed gave ten commandments, but Jesus, the Lord of Moses, gave nine beatitudes." And later: "The law gave ten commandments, but Jesus nine beatitudes, preparing the crown with a triple threesome." (10)
Q. 30. Which is the first beatitude?
R. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." [51]
Q. 31. Which teaching does the first beatitude contain in itself?
R. It contains in itself the teaching in respect to the world and riches, which, even if they are bestowed abundantly upon someone by the grace of God, one must use nevertheless not as a real despot but as a dispensor of the same, lest one become attracted to them by a very great desire within his heart, as says the Psalmist: "If riches abound, set not your heart upon them" [52] And we should care nothing for our own glory in accord with Christian perfection, but all things should be communal, as the first Christians had done, concerning whom Sacred Scripture witnesses thus: "And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them"[53] And later: "For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the price of the things they sold, and laid it down before the feet of the Apostles; and distribution was made to every one, according as he had need." [54] And elsewhere: "And all they that believed, were together, and had all things common." [55] This virtue is called poverty of spirit and demands, nevertheless, that each member of the community has his necessary supply of food and clothing, with honesty and fairness without excess, according to discretion. Religious have the primary role in this virtue, for they should not be concerned with convenience nor use the required amount of food and clothing, but should suffer a lack of both of these for the sake of having a greater reward in heaven, using the words of the Apostle: "Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode, and we labor, working with our own hands; we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it; we are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all even unto now." [56] Christ promises the kingdom of heaven, therefore, for this type of suffering; nevertheless, those that have possessions and riches are not excluded from eternal life and salvation, when they use them justly, certainly by proffering their income for the needs of the Churches and by providing alms for the needs of the poor, the traveling, the sick and the abandoned, just as Zaccheus did, declaiming before Christ the Lord in these words: "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man of anything, I restore him fourfold." [57] Those, however, who have come to extreme poverty through gluttony and extravagance, should expect no reward from God for it, but rather are to do penance for the loss of their goods and unfair management, but, nevertheless, should not be deprived of the mercy of the orthodox; if they turn back to moderation of virtue, they will not be without reward.
Q. 32. Which is the second beatitude?
R. "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (11)
Q. 33. What does this beatitude teach?
R. This beatitude teaches first that those orthodox men are blessed, who during the entire time of their life grieve and weep for their sins, committed in offense to God and their neighbor, according to the words of the Prophet: "The children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping they shall make haste, and shall seek the Lord their God." [58] Those who weep because of some worldly suffering, as, for example, the criminals, have no share in this beatitude, since they are not mourning their sins, but rather out of dread of punishment, which they are obliged to suffer for their crimes, or lose some other temporal good or something similar. Secondly, this beatitude teaches that happy and blessed are those men who please God by their weeping and sorrow of heart for the sins of their neighbors, praying to God that he may grant them recovery, as conversion to the Church of heretics and an amelioration of life to those living dissolutely. Thirdly, this beatitude teaches that blessed are those who suffer oppression from the rich and powerful, being deprived unjustly and illegally of their goods; remaining in this state, they should not seek vengeance, but should please God by praying in tears and sorrow of heart, directing all their hope and confidence to the mercy of God, which they have as a consolation, as long as they are really orthodox and receptive to divine grace. Mentioned also in this beatitude are those who suffer for the orthodox faith and the Church of Christ, as all the martyrs and similar ones.
 
Q. 34. Which is the third beatitude?
R. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land." [59]
Q. 35. What does this beatitude teach?
R. This beatitude teaches first the virtue of meekness, temperance and obedience�which we freely and ardently manifest without hesitation to the Lord God, the Church of Christ and our superiors (12), by imitating the meek Christ the Lord; and if we shall have been submissive to our superiors, then we have been obedient, as it were, to Christ himself the Lord; and when we offer honor and reverence to our elders, we manifest the same to Christ himself the Lord. Secondly, this beatitude teaches that those men are blessed who cause no one trouble, nor dishonor, nor harm with injurious words, nor condemn, but regard themselves as humbly as possible by always blaming their own life-deeds; excluded here are those whose obligation it is to admonish others; they use this office without passion of heart and detracting words, but unto charity, and not harm or hatred, but the spiritual edification of one's neighbor, according to the teaching of the Apostle: "Brothers, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted." [60] Nevertheless, this wrath ought to be directed not against one's brother, but against the devil, who moves and provokes the will to perform every evil. Those who are strong in this virtue, will be masters over the land of promise, enjoying in this life the generous temporal blessings of God, and in the future life will abide to enjoy eternal comforts, as the Psalmist says: "I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living."
Q. 36. Which is the fourth beatitude?
R. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill." [62]
Q. 37. What does this beatitude teach?
R. First, it teaches that those men are blessed, who, having been wronged, now cannot obtain justice, and this for unjust considerations, certainly because of religion, poverty, inconvenience, or that they are of different birth and similar reasons. Those who preside over judgments and enjoy the power of pleading cases should here check their consciences, lest they oppress the poor, widows and orphans by prejudice in opinions and unjust decrees. Sacred Scripture addresses these men: "Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow." [63] If this is not done, the wronged indeed become worthy of beatitude, as they hunger and thirst for justice, but the judges incur the wrath of the Lord God, as Scripture witnesses: "The Lord has heard the desire of the poor; your ear has heard the preparation of their heart, to judge for the fatherless and the humble, that man may no more presume to magnify himself upon earth." [64]
Q. 38. Which is the fifth beatitude?
R. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." [65]
Q. 39. What does this beatitude teach?
R. It teaches that those men are blessed who perform works of mercy.
Q. 40. Which are the works of mercy?
R. The works of mercy are twofold: those which concern the body, and others which pertain to the soul. (13)
Q. 41. How many works of mercy concern the body?
R. Seven. The first work of mercy is to give food to the hungry, poor and oppressed, who cannot provide food for themselves by their own labor. This offering is to be made from those goods acquired by one's own honest labor. (14) Not only must alms be given to the poor who ask for a handout or lie to sleep in guest houses, but also to those who cannot ask for alms because of shame, with this caution: let not this work of mercy become known to other men and thereby provoke robbery, as Christ the Lord says: "Therefore, when you do an alms-deed, sound not a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honored by men. Amen l say to you, they have received their reward." [66]
Q. 42. What is the second work of mercy?
R. Giving drink to the thirsty, namely those who cannot get water to quench their thirst because of either poverty or sickness; included in this point is every type of drink whenever there is a thirst; if anyone shall have taken pains to drive away the thirst from a thirsty neighbor by a cup of cold water, he will acquire beatitude, in accord with the words of the Savior in Sacred Scripture: "For whosoever shall give you to drink a cup of water in my name, because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward." [67] This refers to all duties performed in any manner for the sake of the poor and the sick, who are unable to gain support by their own labor.
Q. 43. What is the third work of mercy?
R. To clothe the naked. Acquiring this beatitude are those who have regard for their pitiable neighbor and the latter's poverty, by clothing his nakedness; Christ the Lord holds out to them a reward on the day of judgment, as he says: "Come, you blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." [68] Considered here are also those who may have clothing, yet not enough to chase the cold, and are otherwise endangered in their health; there is also provided, in regard to these people, a work of mercy, in the offering to them shelter useful for resisting the cold.
Q. 44. What is the fourth work of mercy?
R. To visit the imprisoned. This work should not be concerned with the reason for which someone may be imprisoned nor with the person who is being held; whoever the person may be, even if he has committed an abominable crime, nevertheless, we are obliged to visit and comfort him, lest he be broken by despair.
Q. 45. What is the fifth work of mercy?
R. To visit the sick. This work of mercy ought to be performed without any respect to consanguinity, affinity, friendship or relationship; but whatever person becomes sick, especially in a guest-house, on the street, known by nobody, he should be visited in this manner. First, offer him verbal consolation by sympathizing from the heart with his affliction. Secondly, caution the sick person to bear his affliction with a patient spirit, lest he undergo this divine visitation with bitterness of heart and so that he does not complain in heart and tongue, but rather may bless God, who has manifested his will in this man, and place strong hope in his mercy that he will be returned to health. Besides this, he should be convinced to confess his committed sins with contrition and sorrow of heart and receive the most holy Viaticum of the Eucharist, as also seeing to it that he be anointed with holy oil according to the rite of the Church. These two mysteries lead not only to the health of the soul, but greatly to the recuperation of the body. In addition, the sick person is to be urged to say intermittent prayers, and he should be commended to the public prayers of the whole Church, especially since he himself is unable to notify the Church of his sickness due to his helplessness; then his own spiritual director should be called to perform his duty. Lastly, it must be earnest]y impressed upon the sick person that he is not to employ superstitious practices condemned by the Church, as a definite agreement with the devil made through the intercession of witches, in order to gain his health, but he should place all confidence in the mercy of God and take medicines from the doctors trained in their art. This visiting of the sick is wont to make men blessed, both here and in heaven. But if someone is suffering from a contagious disease, this work can be done through persons suitable and protected for such a thing, especially for the protection of one's own health.
Q. 46. What is the sixth work of mercy?
R. To receive in your home guests and strangers. This work should be performed with both internal and external cheerfulness; but one should receive into his home especially those guests, who are wandering about out of their vow to visit the holy places; such are all strangers and all the impoverished, whose needs must be provided in accord with circumstances and duties, in as much as one's own capacity allows; but, one is obliged to receive into his home particularly those who are lying sick in the streets and in the public road begging for help.
Q. 47. What is the seventh work of mercy?
R. To bury the dead. This work must be performed generously, especially for those who have died in the most abject poverty, by providing them what is required for burial according to the Christian custom, just as Tobias was doing; but if one of your friends or acquaintances dies, this work will be performed by the devout conveying of the body to the place of burial with prayers for the soul of the deceased.
Q. 48. Which are the spiritual works of mercy and how many are there?
R. They are seven. First, to dissuade the sinner from sin and encourage him to a better life, as Scripture witnesses: "If any of you err from the truth, and one convert him, he must know that he who causes a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins." [69] This work of mercy is the primary motive for the orthodox to offer mercy to their neighbor, for it consists of the eternal good and not the temporal. One must be careful in the performing of this work, however, lest he provoke the sinner to despair by some harm or elicit in him an excessive confidence in the divine mercy; for in both of these cases, the sinner is more hindered than helped. The middle way, therefore, must be maintained with discretion; and if, perhaps, one be incapable in this work, let him seek advice of someone wiser. One should proceed in like manner also in the conversion of heretics and schismatics.
 
Q. 49. What is the second spiritual work of mercy?
R. To teach the uneducated. However, one performs this work worthily, whenever he teaches the unlearned how he might believe in one God in the Trinity, the presupposition being that he himself is capable of teaching; otherwise, let him consult someone wiser and more experienced, lest they both fall into the pit, with the blind leading the blind. Then, he should teach the uneducated how to pray to God, and by what method he should perform prayers and petitions to God; besides this, he will instruct the uneducated in the divine commandments and how he can easily observe them. Finally, this work considers that we concern ourselves with the education of orphans and children, who, in the passage of time, prayers having been offered for their benefactor, will benefit the Church and the State. Otherwise, one must fear the verdict, by which the one who receives one talent is crushed when he returns it without increase.
Q. 50. What is the third spiritual work of mercy?
R. To comfort the poor with good counsel. This work is performed when men of a dissolute life are restored to a better way of life by devout and Christian instruction and advice. Then, whenever those in any affliction do not know how to find comfort, this work of counsel must be offered freely for the sake of the integrity of their life and honor. Also, this work considers that one warns his neighbor of any imminent danger of life and honor, of which he is unaware; nevertheless, let there not arise between them any enmity or further dangers.
Q. 51. What is the fourth spiritual work of mercy?
R. One must pray to the Lord God for his neighbor. This work of mercy is primarily the duty of the spiritual prelates of the Church, but also, of the laity, discussed extensively earlier in the sixth precept of the church. (Part I, Q. 92)
Q. 52. What is the fifth spiritual work of mercy?
R. To console the sorrowful. This work of mercy is to be accomplished in such a way that we do not create annoyances for anyone and thereby offer the occasion for sadness, according to the Apostle: "If it be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men. Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: 'Revenge is mine, I will repay,' says the Lord." [70] But, this work is to be performed, whenever someone is weighed down by huge sins, or suffers with a great sickness, or is beset by the worst affliction; then we should comfort such a one.
Q. 53. What is the sixth spiritual work of mercy?
R. To suffer injuries patiently. This work of mercy is performed everywhere for Christ, whenever anything is suffered; it is to be performed patiently and generously, since Christ the Lord endured for us even greater injuries, as it is said: "Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps." [71] In addition, it is not for us to wish evil on all our persecutors nor to return evil for evil, in accord with the Apostle: "To no man rendering evil for evil."[72] Rather, if we, being innocent, suffer something, then God must be blessed and beseeched to forgive our enemies.
Q. 54. What is the seventh spiritual work of mercy?
R. To pardon our injuries. We enjoy this work of mercy whenever we forgive our enemies their committed offenses, whatever they may be, but especially with a preceding plea for forgiveness and lenience for the offender. But, this pardoning of offenses must be granted not only once every day, but seventy times seven every day, as the Savior teaches Peter: "I say not to you, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times." [73]
Q. 55. Which is the sixth beatitude?
R. "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God." [74]
 
Q. 56. What does this beatitude teach?
R. Chastity is recommended in this beatitude. Whoever wishes to see God, must be chaste, in body as well as soul and in all thoughts, since unclean thoughts disfigure the image of God and expel the grace of God from the soul.
Q. 57. Which is the seventh beatitude?
R. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. [75] Q. 58. What does this beatitude teach?
R. Those first are called blessed, who remove the enmity between men and God by unbloodly sacrifices, fasts and prayers, and thereby win God's favor. Secondly, it refers to those who remove and silence the strife and mutual hatred that exist among men, by their wise and suitable intervention, and thus make friends out of enemies. Thirdly, it has in mind those who oppose by their plans the occasions of war among kings and princes, so that the shedding of blood and the killing of men do not ensue.
Q. 59. Which is the eighth beatitude?
R. "Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." [76]
Q. 60. What does this beatitude teach?
R. Possessing this beatitude are they who speak the truth in chastising the faults of the guilty; they suffer great ill-will, such that even their life is sometimes taken, just as John the Baptist suffered from Herod, and others. All teachers, doctors of the Church, preachers and confessors should regard this, for they often suffer hatred, ingratitude, etc. of their assigned students and penitents because of their teaching and beneficial warnings.
Q. 61. Which is the ninth beatitude?
R. "Blessed are you when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven." [77]
Q. 62. What is contained in this beatitude?
R. In possession of this beatitude are the apostles, martyrs and all who bear persecution, insults and slander for the sake of the orthodox catholic faith, and are deprived of their possessions, honor and blessings, are expelled from the cities, and are even violently robbed of their life by bloodshed.
Q. 63. What should be thought of those works, for which the beatitudes are promised?
R. First, the good works are connected among themselves by such a tight bond, that whoever truly possesses one virtue, will posses even all the others, but whoever truly lacks one, will be completely lacking also in all the others. Secondly, these good works, already mentioned, must be so considered, that whoever excels in them, will gain not only the eternal beatitude in heaven, but also will be blessed in the possession of temporal goods, according to the words of Christ: "And every one that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting." [78] And elsewhere: "There is no man who has left house or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who shall not receive a hundred times as much, now in this time: houses and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions, and in the world to come life everlasting." [79]
Q. 51. Who sins against this commandment, and in what manner?
R. Sinning mortally against this commandment are all those who, first of all, recognize no God, according to the Psalmist: "The fool said in his heart: 'There is no God.'" [85] Then, sinning against this command, in the second place, are they who posit many gods, to whom they show worship and honor as if to the true God, as the pagans did. Thirdly, there are those who surrender themselves to the devil, as sorcerers and those that invoke them and bear their charms. Fourthly, there are those who hold to superstitions and believe in them. Likewise with those who in illness have recourse to the mutterings of old women, etc. In the fifth place are they who take auguries from all things. In the sixth place are the heretics who do not believe, in the orthodox manner, that God is one in nature and three in persons. In the seventh place are they who confide their cares more in their association of friends than in the grace and providence of God, and then in his teaching, genius and strength. In the eighth place are they who love themselves, temporal goods and other things more than the Lord God. In a word, one sins against this commandment, whenever he acknowledges in any fashion anything else in place of the true God, in which he places all his faith and hope.
Q. 52. What must be understood concerning the invocation of the Saints, since this is an appropriate place for discussing this matter?
R. We invoke the Saints that they might intercede for us with the Lord God, but not as other gods, but as friends of God; whom they serve, praise and worship. We stand in need of their help, however, not because they aid us by their own power, but because they bring about the grace of God for us by their intercessory prayers. For Sacred Scripture so instructs us, who are wanderers here, to ask the saints to intercede for us with the Lord God, as the Apostle did, in saying: "I beseech you, therefore, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the charity of the Holy Spirit, that you help me in your prayers for me to God. [86] And elsewhere: "In whom we trust that he will yet also deliver us; you helping withal in prayer for us, that for this gift obtained for us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many in our behalf." [87] But, he prayed to the Lord God for others, with the same one giving testimony: "In my prayers making supplication for you all, with joy." [88] Two things are gathered from this evidence: first, that the Saints in this life asked others to intercede with the Lord God; secondly, that they said prayers and interceded for one another, not only privately, but also publicly, as Scripture gives evidence: "Peter, therefore, was kept in prison; but prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him." [89] Since they have no obstacle, so much more after death do the same Saints pray to God for us. And if they pray to God much more for their brothers, particularly for those who need their intercession to him. To this point Scripture says: "And the four and twenty ancients, who sit on their seats in the sight of God, fell on their faces and adored God, saying: "We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty.'" [91] And later? "And that you should render reward to your servants, the Prophets and the Saints, and to them that fear your name, little and great." [92]
But one may say: "they are unaware and do not listen to our prayers."
Response: Granted, that they of themselves do not know nor hear our prayers; nevertheless, though revelation and divine grace, which is abundantly bestowed upon them by God, they do know and hear. Just as Eliseus knew, what his servant did on the road, [93] so also do all the Saints know and hear the needs of petitioners through divine revelation. In addition: we implore the Angels to intercede with God for us, because they carry to the divine majesty prayers, almsgivings and all our good works; but the Saints after death are as angels; therefore, they can know our needs and hear our prayers and intercede for us. From this it is evident that through the innovation of the Saints, who, as faithful servants waiting upon the divine majesty, intercede for use with the one true God, the divine commandment is not broken by us; it is rather by the disregard of the intervention of the Saints that the divine majesty is greatly outraged. And in conclusion of the teaching on this commandment, two things must be mentioned in the orthodox-catholic manner: first, the authority of the commandment of the Decalogue is not impaired by the invocation of the Saints, nor is this against the intercession of Him, since the very honor which we offer the Saints, redounds and refers to the divine majesty, which the Saints have pleased by their faith and exemplary life; we justly, therefore, honor the Saints of God, in accord with the Psalmist: "But to me your friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable." [94] So through them we beg divine help. Secondly, this commandment forbids us to worship any creature; so we do not revere the Saints of God with the worship of latria, but invoke them as our brothers and friends of God, so that they might beg divine assistance for us their brothers and intercede for us with the majesty of God; This is not in contradiction to the teaching of the Decalogue. For just as the Israelites did not sin in asking Moses to intercede to God for them, so we also do not sin in invoking the aid of the Saints.
Q. 53. What is the second commandment?
R. "You shall not make to yourself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. You shall not adore them, nor serve them." [95]
Q. 54. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. This commandment is distinct from the first (6); for it teaches about the true God, who is one, and forbids a host of gods. In regard, however, to external and ritual matters, there is found in it, to be sure, that not only are we bound not to worship false gods, but also not to make graven images in their honor, nor to revere them by the worship of latria. They sin against this commandment, who worship idols as true gods and offer them sacrifices and place all their trust and hope in them, as the Psalmist witnesses: "The idols of the gentiles are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have a mouth, but they speak not; they have eyes, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. Let them that make them be like to them, and everyone that trusts in them." [96] Sinning against this commandment are those who are given to avarice, about whom the Scripture says: "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence and covetousness, which is the service of idols." [97] They also sin who are occupied with gluttony, by the witness of Sacred Scripture: "Whose God is their belly; whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." [98] They also sin against this who employ incantations, who believe fate to be true, who follow the omens and palmistry or cast spells on men, cattle and other animals, who carry around scribblings or place letters about their bodies, and show confidence in those letters, or prayers, or the characters in the same writings, since, whenever they scrutinize or pray to them, or even carry them about, they believe that they cannot be burned, or drowned or wounded. They also sin, who apply bandages and other cures, which medical practice condemns, whether by words or signs or any other forbidden things, whether by ligatures or loosenings, such as earrings or finger rings and similar things.
Q. 55. What must be understood about icons, which the orthodox Church reveres?
R. There is a great difference between idols and icons. For idols are artificial things and the invention of men, as the Apostle testifies: "For we know that an idol is nothing in the world." [99] But, an icon is the representation of a real thing, that existed in the world, as the icon of our Savior, the most Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints. In addition, the pagans were worshipping the idols as God and even bringing sacrifices to them, thinking that silver and gold were gods, as Nebuchodonosor. But we, while we revere the icons and worship them, do not honor the colors or wood, but mentally venerate and respect with the devotion of dulia those saints whose icons there are, recalling their presence with our eyes: so that, when we worship the crucifix, we recall in our mind Christ hanging on the cross for our salvation, to whom we bow our heads and bend our knees in thanksgiving. Similarly, when we revere the icon of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, as certainly we mentally bend our knees and heads before the Holy Mother of God, so we make her blessed above all women, proclaiming this with the Archangel Gabriel. Therefore, the cult of holy icons in the orthodox catholic Church does not violate this commandment, because it is not the same thing which we offer to God; and this is rendered by the orthodox not to artificial things, but to the holy persons whom they represent. For, just as the Cherubim, overshadowing the arc of the covenant, represented real Cherubim in heaven, serving the Divine Majesty, and received worship and honor from the Israelites without the breaking of the divine commandment, and similarly, just as the Israelites worshipped the arc of the covenant and attended it with proper honor, committing no crime nor breaking the commandment of the decalogue, but rather rendering glory to God, so also we, when we revere the icons, are nor transgressors of the commandment of the decalogue, but rather proclaim God wondrous in his saints. It must be seen to, however, that every icon has an inscription, of whoever it is, so that the worshipper's intention might be more conveniently satisfied. But, for the greater establishment of the cult of icons, the Church of God struck with an anathema all the iconoclasts at the Seventh Ecumenical Council and determined forever the cult of icons, as is evident from the Ninth Canon of the same Council.
Q. 56. Why, then, was the one in the Old Testament worthy of praise, who broke the bronze serpent raised by Moses?
R. Because the Jews began to fall away from the worship of the true God, worshipping, to be sure, the serpent as true God. Wherefore, in removing further evil, he broke the serpent so that they would not have the occasion for idolatry; but, when the Israelites did not worship that serpent with the cult of latria, they were rebuked by no one. But Christians do not worship icons as gods with the cult of latria, nor do they fail in the worship of the true God, but only revere the Saints, as friends of God, in their image by the cult of dulia, begging for themselves their intercession with God. But, if one does otherwise out of simple ness, he should be instructed, rather than discard the cult of images from the Church.
Q. 57. What is the third commandment?
R. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain." [100]
Q. 58. What does this commandment teach?
R. It teaches first that the name of the Lord God should be held in highest honor, not using it in jest, nor at frivolous and improper occasion. Secondly, it teaches us not to take the name of the Lord God when we are inclined to assert falsehoods and commit perjury. Thirdly, we are taught not to provide anyone with a reason and opportunity for committing perjury. Fourthly, we are taught that those who take his name are to satisfy and fulfill their oath, as Scripture says: "When you have made a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, because the Lord your God will require it, and if you delay, it shall be imputed to you for a sin." [101] This regards all of those who vow in baptism to God to keep the orthodox faith until death and later fall away from it because of some personal reasons, whether threats to their person, or loss of goods or privation of life, by which they incur evident perjury, from which the Apostle Paul was free, as when he speaks of himself: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." [102]
Q. 59. What is the fourth commandment?
R. "Remember that you keep holy the Sabbath day. Six days shall you labor, and shall do all your works. But on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God: you shall do no work on it, you or your son, or your daughter, or your manservant, or your maidservant, or your beast, or the stranger that is within your gates." [103]
Q. 60. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. This must be considered a sign of the collective blessing of men, in so far as the day was established by God in order that men might reflect upon with lively memory the divine blessings they have received; such that, while he created in six days the whole world from nothing and on the seventh day he refrained from work, he made holy the seventh day, so that men on that day, having put aside all their works, might recall the blessings of God conferred on the creation of the world and bless and glorify the Lord God. Also, when he led the Israelites out of Egypt, he established the feast of the Passover through Moses in memory of the deliverance of Israel from the slavery of Pharaoh. Mention is often made of other days to be observed even in other places of the Old Testament. We Christians, however, in place of the Sabbath, observe Sunday, because the renewal of the whole world took place on Sunday through the resurrection of Christ, as well as the deliverance of the human race from the slavery of the devil. But, during the entire day we should abstain from all works and labors and should spend the whole day in prayers and devout meditations on the divine blessings conferred upon us, so that even the servants and captives of either sex should not perform labor on that day, but attend the divine services and pray by glorifying God. We are bound by this commandment to observe all those days designated by the Church to be kept holy, as the solemn feasts of the Nativity of Christ the Lord, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification, Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ. Likewise, in regard to the feasts of the most Blessed Virgin, the Apostles, Martyrs and other Saints. The Church teaches about the celebration of Sunday in Canon 91 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. (7) But, the reason for the transferal of the Sabbath to Sunday is because Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath, in accord with Sacred Scripture: "For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath." [104] If, therefore, Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath, then the Sabbath was transferred to Sunday for a just reason, partly so that Christ the Lord would not be subject to substitution, and partly because on this and no other day Christ the Lord rose from the dead, at which time the renewal of the world came about in regard to the nearness of eternal salvation.
Q. 61. What is the fifth commandment?
R. "Honor your father and your mother, that you may be long-lived upon the land, which the Lord your God will give you." [105]
Q. 62. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. This commandment directs us to honor our parents and show them all worthy respect, since they begot and educated us. Even natural reason itself, if we would not have had a divine commandment, convinces us that is right for us to love and honor our parents, because we are indebted to them for blessings we have received, which we cannot give back, since it is impossible for us to generate them in turn. But, because we receive our common blessings (except spiritual ones) from no one, God excepted, but our parents, so we are bound to show them more love and respect than to anyone else. Also, this commandment includes by the word "parents" all those from whom we received any benefits, such as Religious, Teachers, Masters, Authorities, Kings and Officials and such similar to these. The Apostle expressed this with the words: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers.'' [106] And later: "Honor, to whom honor." [107] And he calls them fools, who fail to obey their parents. Nevertheless, this should be noted: when it is a question of the glory of God, or his holy commandment, parents are not to be listened to more than God, according to the saying of Christ: "He that loves father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me." [108] This also must be understood in regard to all authorities. Finally, this respect and esteem for authorities are of the type that there always should be good-will in words, obedience and other things.
Q. 63. What is the sixth commandment?
R. "You shall not kill." [109]
Q. 64. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. Teaching is given in this commandment that no one walking in the fear of God may perpetrate murder, but not only in regard to the body, but also in regard to the soul. Those who kill according to the body, take away temporal life; but those who kill according to the soul, rob one of eternal life, and the latter are greater murderers, such as falsely teaching heretics, as well as evil Christians proffering the example of a dissolute life, since they certainly scandalize, about whom Scripture says: "But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea." [110] Murder is wont to be committed not only in the deed itself, but also by plan, assistance, encouragement and agreement. Finally, included in this commandment are all the mental states, from which murder proceeds, certainly pride, envy, hatred, greed and others of this type.
Q. 65. What is the seventh commandment?
R. "You shall not commit adultery." [111]
Q. 66. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. Christ the Lord ordered this commandment to be more perfectly observed, when he says: "Whoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart." [112] Fornication is two-fold. The first is spiritual, the second carnal. Spiritual fornication is when someone denies the true catholic orthodox faith and embraces diverse sects, about which Sacred Scripture teaches: "You have destroyed all them that are disloyal to you." [113] But carnal fornication is an act of lust, performed with another's wife, and nearly every fornication applies here. Forbidden by this commandment are shamlessness, lustful songs, base dances, obscene jokes, in describing which the Apostle says: "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becomes saints; or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose." [114]
Q. 67. What is the eighth commandment?
R. "You shall not steal." [115]
Q. 68. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. It is taught in this commandment that we should keep nothing of another person obtained in any unjust manner, which is wont to occur through plunder, robbery or the holding back of another's property. Here also should be understood the detractors of one's honor beyond fairness and those that receive, as they do, bribery from their subjects, as well as usury, concerning all of whom the Apostle says: "Neither thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God." [116] And this concerns, finally, all those agreements, in which trust must be kept. Q. 69. What is the ninth commandment? R. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." [117]
Q. 70. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. Forbidden by this commandment are all lies brought forward against one's neighbor, or through detraction of someone's good reputation because of some ill-will or vengeance; in a word, we say that we should avoid every vice, lest we become sons of the devil, similar to those about whom Christ the Lord says: "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father thereof." [118] Those engaged in law must, to the greatest degree, observe this commandment, so that they do not transgress justice by false evidence, brought forward either in writing or in witnesses; otherwise, they become sons of the devil and sons of eternal Gehenna.
Q. 71. What is the tenth commandment?
R. "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his house, nor his field, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his." [119] (8)
Q. 72. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. This commandment is the most perfect in regard to love of neighbor, because it forbids one to do, even as Christian perfection itself requires, not only the external, but also the internal things, which lead to evil from both mind and will; and the one that keeps this commandment, fulfills justice in regard to neighbor, since you would not do to another, what you do not wish for yourself. For the salvation of all Christians consists in this, that nothing is desired against the Lord God and neighbor, but rather that one should love the Lord God more than himself, and his neighbor even as himself. And when we shall have performed these works in this world, by the help of the grace of God, and with the orthodox-catholic faith, we shall be praising in heaven without doubt in the age to come, when the perfection of love is received, One God in the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Unto ages of ages. Amen.
THE ORTHODOX CONFESSION 
 
 
Q. 1. Which is the third part of the Orthodox Confession?
R. The third part of the Orthodox Confession is that which treats the love of God and neighbor and is found in the divine Decalogue, which Christ the Lord ratified in the New Law and taught, in a more perfect manner, when he said: "He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." [1]
Q. 2. What is required for the consideration of these divine precepts?
R. There are certain precepts that command us to do good, and others that forbid us to do evil. Wherefore, whoever wishes to understand the precepts, first must know what is good and what is evil. By "good" is characteristically understood every virtue; by "evil" is indicated every sin. Therefore, first the virtues and sins must be treated, and then the ten commandments of God.
Q. 3. How must one understand good works, that is, Christian virtues?
R. Good works (that is, Christian virtue) are the fruit that comes from faith, as from a good tree, according to Scripture: "Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them." [2] And elsewhere: "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." [3] Still elsewhere: "And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments." [4] But, for the sake of easier understanding, we say that good works are the fulfilling of the commandments of God, with divine help and the disposition of our mind that comes from our own will, with eagerness and love for God and neighbor, where there is no obstacle, which can be properly called an impediment.
Q. 4. Which of those Christian virtues are more necessary?
R. There are three Christian virtues, without which no one can be saved: faith, hope and charity, mentioned by the Apostle when he says: "And now there remain faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." [5] The first two virtues have been sufficiently treated, in accord with our intent, in the first two parts of the "Orthodox Confession". We will speak of the third in the present part, which also concerns the divine commandments.
Q. 5. Do certain others proceed from these general virtues?
R. First of all, from these virtues proceed these three: prayer, fasting and almsgiving, which are pleasing to God from faith through hope unto charity.
Q. 6. What is prayer?
R. Sufficient teaching on prayer is found in the second part of the "Orthodox Confession".
Q. 7. What is fasting?
R. According to the meaning of the Christian virtues, fasting is abstinence from all food, or some food because of illness, as well as from all drink, all wordly pleasures and evil sensations, so as to more easily discharge one's prayer and please the Lord God, as well as to mortify the concupiscence of the flesh and obtain God's grace. Sacred Scripture makes mention of this fasting when it says: "But let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labors, in watchings, in fastings." [6] And elsewhere: "Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather together the people." [7] And later: "Spare, O Lord, spare your people; and give not your inheritance to reproach." [8] If it is worthily performed, this fasting is the highest satisfaction to God for our sins, as it was in the city of Nineve, about which there is more extensive treatment among the precepts of the Church.
Q. 8. How many types of fasting are there?
R. Fasting is two-fold: the first is accustomed to be performed at certain times, as are the four fasts of every year, as well as on the fourth and sixth day of the week (I); the second fast is occasional, which is wont to be maintained at times because of certain reasons of state or some city, but, nevertheless, promulgated by the Primate of the Church. This type of fast should also be maintained for this reason: that obedience might be given to the Church. There is also one fast that is public, another that is private. The public one is that which the entire Church observes; the private one is that which a certain province, or a certain city, or some person by himself observes; this latter comes about from some personal vow, or from the command of the confessor.
Q. 9. What is almsgiving?
R. Almsgiving is a work of mercy, for the sake of the total spiritual and temporal good, without respect of person, who requests this type of almsgiving. This virtue is very much necessary for the Christian man, as Sacred Scripture teaches: "For alms delivers from death, and the same is that which purges away sins, and those who give alms and act justly, will enjoy life." [9] (2) Even in the New Testarnent, in recommending almsgiving, it is taught: "Go sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven." [10] Christ the Lord promised that he will give a great reward at the last judgment, when he said: "Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brothers, you did it to me." [11] Then he will say: "Come, you blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." [12] Holy almsgiving together with fasting makes a prayer pleasing to God, so that it will be answered by God, just as the Angel said to Cornelius: "Your prayers and your alms have ascended for a memorial in the sight of God." [13] All the works of mercy, concerning which there is teaching in the second part of this "Orthodox Confession" (QQ. 40-54), are contained in this virtue.
Q.10. Which others also proceed from these virtues?
R. Four general virtues: wisdom or prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.
Q. 11. What is Christian wisdom or prudence?
R. Christian wisdom is diligent and premeditated consideration, in all knowledge and in every work, that the Lord God and neighbor might not be offended. Christ the Lord teaches of this prudence: "Be therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves." [14] In explaining this, St. Paul speaks thus: "See, therefore, brothers, how you walk circumspectly: not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore, become not unwise, but understanding what is the will of God." [15]This Christian prudence is based on sincerity, total propriety and complete good judgment, lest we be deceived by the enemy of our soul and by those that persecute us.
Q. 12. What is justice?
R. Holy justice is to render to each man what is his, in accord with equality, without distinction of persons, not only in regard to possessions, but also in regard to honor; but, Christian justice is not only to return good for good, but also never allows us to wish evil for evil upon one who has done us evil, in accord with the teaching of the Apostle: "To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things in the sight of all men." [16] And it is in accord with this very justice that the Apostle says: "Render therefore to all men their dues. Tribute, to whom tribute is due; custom, to whom custom; fear, to whom fear; honor, to whom honor. Owe no man anything, but to love one another. For he that loves his neighbor, has fulfilled the law." [17]
Q. 13. Do the authorities sin against justice, when they duly punish sinners?
R. To be sure "there is no power but from God," [18] just as St. Paul says. (3) "For princes are not a terror to those of the good work, but of the evil Will you then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and you shall have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you, for good. But, if you do that which is evil, fear; for he bears not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil." [19]
 
Q. 14. What is temperance?
R. Temperance is to maintain balance in food, drink, clothing, words and all deeds, and by it is chosen the most upright way, as the Apostle says: "Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy." [20] And elsewhere in the same vein: "But let all things be done decently, and according to order." [21]
Q. 15. What is fortitude?
R. Fortitude, the Christian virtue, is strength of spirit, (which one has against) (4) the distress of all temptations, which we bear because of Christ from visible and invisible enemies; in explaining this fortitude, the Apostle speaks thus: "Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakeness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?" [22] Still later: "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?" [23] There was teaching on these virtues, when we spoke of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part 1, Q. 77) and other virtues.
Q. 16. What is sin?
R. Sin does not have its own being, for it is not a creature of God; wherefore, what it is, cannot be expressed; nevertheless, it can be said that it is the impudent will of man and the devil; or, as Sacred Scripture says: "sin is iniquity." [24] Iniquity, however, is transgression of the law, but this transgression is properly the contradiction of the divine will, which arises from one's mind and will; from this contradiction come death and all the divine wrath, as Sacred Scripture says: "Then when concupiscence has conceived, it brings forth sin; but sin, when it is completed, begets death." [25]
Q. l 7. In how many parts is sin divided?
R. According to Sacred Scripture, one sin is unto death and another is not unto death; [26] hence, some sins are mortal, others are venial or not mortal.
Q. 18. What is mortal sin?
R. Mortal sin is inordinate concupiscence, which arises from one's own mind and will, doing something expressly forbidden by God through a commandment and failing to do that which is ordered by the same commandments; love of God or neighbor is transgressed through this concupiscence, which also removes man from the grace of God and kills him, if it is total; wherefore, it is traditionally called "mortal sin", as the Apostle teaches: "Wages of sin is death." [27] But, consent alone wounds man.
Q. l9. Into how many parts is mortal sin divided?
R. One type of mortal sin is original, the other is acquired for ourselves or made.
Q. 20. What is original sin?
R. Original sin is the breaking of the divine law given to Adam, our ancestor, in Paradise, when it was said: "But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat. For on whatever day you shall eat of it, you shall die the death." [28] This original sin passed from Adam into the whole nature of man, for we were all in Adam; and so, sin passed to all of us through this one Adam. Wherefore, we are conceived and we are born in this sin, as Sacred Scripture teaches: "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned." [29] This original sin can be erased by no penance, but is destroyed only by the grace of God because of the merits and the shedding of the most precious blood of Jesus Christ our Lord; and this comes about through the sacrament (5), to be sure, of holy baptism. For whoever is not baptized, is not free from sin, but is the son of wrath and eternal condemnation, according to the saying: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." [30]
Q. 21. What is mortal sin acquired by ourselves?
R. Acquired mortal sin is that which we commit in mature mind after baptism, from our own will and intention against a definite divine commandment, in transgression of love for God and neighbor, through which we lose the divine grace received in baptism and the kingdom of heaven, and we are given back as captives to eternal death, as the Apostle says: "Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are whom you obey, whether it be of sin unto death, or of obedience unto Justice?" [31] This sin is wont to be removed by holy penance and the mercy of God, also by the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the priest forgives sin during confession.
Q. 22. Into how many parts can this mortal sin be divided?
R. Into three parts: in the first part we can place the chief sins, that is, those from which the others flow; in the second part are those against the Holy Spirit; in the third part are the sins which more often cry out for God's vengeance in this world.
Q. 23. How many are the chief mortal sins?
R. These: pride, avarice, profligacy or fornication, envy, gluttony in food and drink, anger or hardened hatred and laziness or sloth.
Q. 24. What is pride?
R. Pride is the excessive longing for one's own glory beyond fairness, proceeding from whatever true or false perfection. Such sin first arose in that Lucifer, from which sin all the others flow as if from a poisoned spring. Wisdom speaks of it: "The fear of the Lord hates evil, arrogance and pride and the wicked way." [32] And elsewhere: "Pride is hateful before God and men." [33] Opposed to this sin is the virtue of humility, which Christ the Lord commended; in urging us to embrace it, he says: "Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart; and you shall find rest for your souls." [34]
Q. 25. Which individual sins arise from this wickedness?
R. These: to suspect evil of one's neighbor, or detract from the clergy and laity, disobedience to the Church and authorities, boasting, hypocrisy, quarrels, obstinacy, dissension, inordinate curiosity, pleasure with oneself, breaking of the commandments of God, perseverance in evil and similar others. Whoever wishes to be free from this sin, should always have before his eyes God's work spoken to Adam:"Dust you are, and unto dust you shall return." [35] Also, to be remembered is the last judgment, punishment and those words of the Apostle, who says: "God resists the proud, but to the humble he gives grace." [36]
Q. 26. What is avarice?
R. Avarice is the excessive desire of having riches, estates, etc. Scripture speaks about this sin: "He that hates covetousness, shall prolong his days." [37] And the Apostle:"Having their heart exercised with covet ousness, children of malediction." [38] The virtue of generosity is the opposite, according to the saying: "He has distributed, he has given to the poor, his justice remains for ever and ever." [39]
Q. 27. Which sins flow from this one?
R. From avarice are born these sins: robbery, homicide, deceit, cheating, assault, violence, mercilessness, inhumanity, hardness of heart, envy, infidelity, injury to the poor and others, cheapness, theft and similar others. Whoever wishes to avoid this sin, should remember the voluntary poverty of Christ the Lord, as he himself speaks of himself: "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests, but the Son of man has not where to lay his head." [40] Finally, it must be considered that man is made the distributor and not the master of the riches, an account of the distribution of which he will make to God at the last judgment.
Q. 28. What is profligacy or fornication?
R. It is the immoderate desire of the flesh, against the commandment of God, which sin is committed against one's own body, as the Apostle says: "Every sin that a man does, is without the body; but he that commits fornication, sins against his own body." [41] To the point, since every Christian is a member of the body of Christ, they defile themselves by intercourse with prostitutes in fornication and pro fligacy. And that he is a member of the body of Christ, the Apostle teaches: "Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid!" [42] And later: "Flee fornication." [43] Chastity is opposed to this sin.
Q. 29. Which other ones proceed from this sin?
R. Mental blindness, hatred toward God, godlessness, despair, extravagancy, sloth, hatred toward neighbor and similar others. But, whoever wishes to avoid this sin, let him always think that the Lord God rests only in a pure and chaste heart; wherefore, the Psalmist asks that his heart may be made pure: "Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a right spirit within my bowels." [44]
Q. 30. What is envy?
R. Envy is sadness and sorrow of heart over the neighbor's good, but delight and joy over his evil It customarily occurs, either because he is richer, or because he is equally rich. It runs the same in relation to good reputation, honors, knowledge and other virtues Scripture speaks about this sin: "Wherefore, laying away all malice, and all guile, and dissimulations, and envies, and all detractions, as newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow." [45]
Q. 31. Which sins arise from envy?
R. Hatred, detractions, contempt, deceit, deceptions and homicide. Whoever really wishes to avoid this sin, should consider that every good is given by the grace of God, in accord with the saying: "What have you that you have not received? And if you have received, why do you glory, as if you have not received it?" [46] And whoever is envious of another's good given by the Lord God, blasphemes God himself, and becomes similar to the one to whom it was said: "Is your eye evil because I am good? Or, is it not lawful for me to do what I will?" [47] The opposite of this sin is good-will.
Q. 32. What is gluttony?
R. Gluttony is the excessive use of food and drink, about which sin Scripture says: "Take heed to yourselves, lest perhaps your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly." [48] And elsewhere: "Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness." [49]
Q. 33. Which sins are derived from gluttony?
R. Sloth, or sluggishness in devotion, carnal concupiscence, indecent jokes and laughter, excessive boldness, low estimation of neighbor, scandal, quarrels, impolite manners, grave illnesses and extravagence. Opposed to this is abstinence and moderation in use, according to the saying: "But let all things be done decently, and according to order." [50] Q. 34. What is anger?
R. Anger or unyielding hatred is the desire, impassioned with rage, to avenge an accused or innocent person, about which Sacred Scripture says: "And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger, for the anger of man works not the justice of God." [51] And elsewhere: "Let all bitterness, and anger, and indignation, and clamor, and blasphemy, be put away from you, with all malice." [52]
Q. 35.Which sins are derived from anger or unyielding hatred?
R. Quarrels, envies, homicides, madness, vengeance and similar condemned sins are derived. Opposed to this is patience, about which the Apostle speaks thus: "For patience is necessary for you, that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise." [53]
Q. 36. What is sloth?
R. Sloth is a certain coolness of soul for eternal salvation, because of which man is loath to do good for the sake of avoiding the work, which produces a readiness and aptitude for the good; against this sin the Apostle speaks thus: "That you become not slothful, but followers of them, who through faith and patience shall inherit the promise." [54] The Savior himself, in expressing the same, says to the slothful: "Wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sow not, and gather where I have not strewed." [55] Likewise, a little later: "And the unprofitable servant, cast out into the exterior darkness There shall be weeping and the gnashing of teeth." [56]
Q. 37. Which sins are derived from sloth?
R. Willful inactivity, justification of evil, excessive indulgence, scandal, suspicion and things similar to these. Watchfulness and diligence are opposed to this sin, in encouraging us to which virtue the Lord says: "Watch therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour," [57] in which the Son of man will come. And the Apostle says: "Be sober and watch, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour; being strong in faith, resist him." [58]
Q. 38. Which sins are against the Holy Spirit?
R. Excessive confidence in the grace of God, despair of the mercy of God, opposition to an obvious and recognized truth, or denial of the Christian orthodox faith.
Q. 39. What is excessive confidence in the grace of God?
R. Excessive confidence is the presumption of the expectation of God's mercy, by which one expects that he cannot be excluded from the grace of God, even if a sinner, or that he cannot be punished; by this sin divine justice is devalued. The Apostle warns those aware of this sin when he says: "Do you despise the riches of his goodness, and patience and long-suffering? Do you not know that the kindness of God leads to penance? But, according to your hardness and impenitent heart, you treasure up to yourself wrath, against the day of wrath, and revelation of the just judgment of God." [59] Such are those who boldly make known: "since God wished that I be saved and was unwilling that I be condemned; therefore, let them not worry about bettering their life and gaining eternal salvation." Sacred Scripture warns them saying: "Even so it is not the will of your Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." [60] And the Lord speaks through the Prophet: "As I live, says the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live." [61] And elsewhere, the Apostle: "Who wills that all men be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." [62] They likewise sin who hope to be saved by faith alone without good works.
Q. 40. What is despair of the mercy of God?
R. Despair is the sinner's lack of confidence in the mercy of God because of a false consideration, by which, in regarding his evil as surpassing the mercy of God, he thinks that God cannot have mercy on him, as Cain said: "My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon." [63] This blasphemy of Cain very much deprecated the divine mercy. Therefore, even though one be burdened by the most serious sins, he should never despair of the infinite mercy of God, knowing that the prodigal son was received by the father. And Christ the Lord teaches us to spare our brother, who has sinned against us, not only seven times when he is converted, but seventy times seven each day. [64] And the Prophet says: "Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. And rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil." [65]
Q. 41. What is opposition to a recognized truth?
R. It is when someone stubbornly opposes in word and deed a good thought, so as to err openly, against his own conscience; Sacred Scripture says of such sinners: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice." [66] And they likewise sin who slander the good works of their neighbor, saying that they are not from God, as the Pharisees and Jews blasphemed Christ the Lord, when he was driving out by his word the unclean spirits and performing miracles. He also commits this sin, who is envious of the grace of God in his neighbor and fails through malice to instruct the unlettered in the articles of faith, from which malice may the Lord God deliver all the orthodox. And the same thing is to be said also about those, who say that someone's devotion and all other good works, which are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, are hypocrisy. Finally, they sin against the Holy Spirit, who deny the Christian orthodox faith, according to Sacred Scripture: "Everyone therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. [67]
Q. 42. Which sins more often cry out for God's vengeance in this world?
R. These. Willful homicide, about which Sacred Scripture says: "The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me from earth."[68] The sin of sodomy, about which the Lord says: "The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous. I will go down and see whether they have done according to the cry that is come to me, or whether it be not so, that I may know." [69] It is the same in regard to the oppression of widows and orphans and the withholding of wages of laborers, according to the Prophet: "And I will come to you in judgment, and will be a speedy witness against sorcerers, and adulterers, and false swearers, and them that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widows and the fatherless, and oppress the stranger and have not feared me, says the Lord of hosts." [70] "He that strikes his father or mother, shall be put to death." [71] Still later: "He that curses his father, or mother, shall die the death." [72]
Q. 43. What is non-mortal sin?
R. Non-mortal sin (which is called venial by others) is that which no man can avoid, with the exception of Christ the Lord and the most Blessed Virgin Mary, but it does not deprive us of divine grace nor make us accused of eternal death; Sacred Scripture says of such sin: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." [73] Such sinners are numberless, but their sins are a special type and are not numbered among the mortal. And they are not to be despised, but, in going to bed, should be recalled and lamented daily along with other sins, according to the Psalmist: "The things you say in your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds." [74] And elsewhere: "Every night I will wash my bed, and I will water my couch with my tears." [75] And pardon must be sought through the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, for even the divine majesty holds them in hatred, and if these sins are not erased by penance, they easily lead one to mortal sin, as they bring to man coolness, sloth and negligence in following the divine commands.
Q. 44. Are there any ways by which man shares in the sins of others?
R. The sins of others are shared in, first, when we urge someone to sin, especially one who cannot take counsel for himself, or completely places his trust in us; such as confessors, who allow men to live impudently against the divine commandments and church traditions; likewise, the master in regard to his servants, married men in regard to their wives, parents in regard to their children, and teachers in regard to their students. All these and those similar to them will give an account on the day of judgment of those whom they have under their authority; therefore, the Apostle warns: "Impose not hands lightly upon any man, neither be partaker of other men's sins. Keep yourself chaste. " [76]
Q. 45. In which other way do men share in the sins of others?
R. Whenever someone offers the occasion of sin by some scandal, provoking one to sin by deeds, shameless words, praising evil and castigating good works. In regard here also is the one who willfully incites, but does not forbid nor encourage, since he is bound by his office; then he becomes a sharer in the sin of others.
Q. 46. Since the virtues and vices have been discussed, there is question now of the commands of God?
R. The divine commandments are ten, in which still others are included.
Q. 47. And are the commandments of the old Testament abrogated?
R. The commandments of the Old Law which pertained to rituals and shaped all the works of Christ are abrogated and have withdrawn, as a shadow, with the coming of truth itself; and Christians are not bound to fulfill them. But the commandments which pertain to the keeping of love for God and neighbor, these must be fulfilled by Christians, more perfectly, however, than by the Israelites of the old Law, since the former have become sharers in the greater blessings of God, and have gained, in an unparalleled fashion, the grace of the Holy Spirit through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, our good works should be superior to the works of the Jews, in accord with the saying: "Unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." [77] Likewise: "You have heard that it was said to them of old: 'You shall not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of judgment ' But l say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. Ar-d whosoever shall say to his brother 'Raca', shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say 'You fool', shall be in danger of hell fire." [78] The same thing is said even in other places. Therefore, all the command ments must be kept, which look to the maintaining of love for God and neighbor, because the whole Law and the Prophets are based on these two, as it is said: "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is similar to this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets." [79]
Q. 48. How are there Ten Commandments, since Christ the Lord gives only two?
R. These two commandments are the most important and fundamental, on which all others are based; therefore, they are divided into two accounts, In the first are expressed those which instruct us in the observance of love toward God. In the second are those which teach how we ought to observe love toward neighbor Therefore, Christ authorized all ten through these two. And he speaks of this law: "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fall. [80]
Q. 49. What is the first commandment of the prior account?
R. The first commandment of the prior account is this: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall not have strange gods before me."
Q. 50. How is this commandment to be understood?
R. This first commandment begins by itself to show man that he must know, for man is created rational on this account, that he might know the Lord and his Creator and praise him. It does not begin from the creation of the world, but "I am God who brought you out of the land of Egypt," because it was more appropriate to begin with a later miraculous event, which remained before the eyes of the Jews, so that they might better recognize the Lord God and serve him, glorifying him more devotedly. He can elsewhere give witness to himself: "I made the earth, and I created man upon it, my hands stretched forth the heavens, and I have commanded all their host." [82] "I am the Lord and there is none else; there is no God besides me." [83] Christians are bound more than Jews by this commandment, since greater deliverance was given by the Lord God to the Christians than to them, even as the Apostle says: "Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins." [84] In the second part of this commandment, Israel is forbidden to worship and offer the devotion of latria to any but God alone. Therefore, included in this commandment is the glory of God on earth, which begins from acknowledging him.
 
Our Children 
 
1. What are the most important elements that a student needs to learn in school? 
 
Answer: Most parents agreed that there are basically two aspects to be learned in school: The academic and the social. They also agreed that the academic aspect of education includes gaining knowledge and information, learning how to think through problems, and be able to further one�s education and get a good job. 
 
However, trying to define the second aspect of education � social skills � there were a variety of answers. The answers varied from learning how to get along with people, to how to listen to others, to how to assert themselves in society. In fact, it was interesting to sense that parents wanted their children to gain in school the social skills which they felt they could not provide within the home environment. For example, one parent who admitted that she could not control her son at home, insisted that the school ought to teach children how to listen to others. Thus this parent expected the school to do that which she could not do at home! The implications are numerous to discuss here, but few important ones are the following. First, every parent has a different definition and expectation of the social skills that a student ought to learn in school, which makes the educators job extremely difficult and uncertain. Second, sometimes parents expect the teacher or the school to do in a few hours per week that which they cannot accomplish having the youngster living at home. This raises false expectations by parents towards education and school. Third, if a parent expects the school to do that which he or she cannot accomplish at home, then that parent will not be able to observe significant growth and progress in the youngster, thus concluding that the school system or the teachers are not accomplishing their tasks effectively. 
 
It must be added however that just because a parent is unhappy with a teacher or a school, it does not necessarily mean that they will not support the school or the teacher. 
 
2. What is the students responsibility towards his or her education? 
 
Answer:  The parents agreed that it is mainly up to the student to apply himself to his studies, especially as he becomes older. Parents also felt reassured, for some unknown reason, that if their youngster was not interested in education now, he will eventually outgrow that lack of interest, and someday he will want to learn: He ll learn when he comes to his senses! 
 
3. What is the parents role in the youngsters education, if any? 
 
Answer: Parents agreed that their roles are significant as providers, security nurturers, guides, and role models without which a youngster simply cannot get the appropriate education. I cannot imagine how a child can concentrate on his studies if he does not have the basic necessities in life. Another parent pointed out: Being a youngster in these days is a very difficult and confusing task. We as parents have to provide them with the sense of security  assuring that they are on the right track and that they will be successful in life  so they can continue focusing on their education. All parents recognized that they have the responsibility to motivate or push the youngster towards higher goals and expectations in life. If they did not have expectations, they felt the youngsters may never excel in life. If they do not set a structure in life, their youngsters may never be disciplined. Also parents recognized that what they are doing now for their youngsters may not be appreciated until later on. Our children understand that they are going to Christian school because there are benefits over public schools. They understand and see our dedicated efforts as parents, but I still dont expect them to appreciate the full impact of our effort until later on in life, pointed out a parent who has four children in a religious school. 
 
Parents also admitted some of their shortcomings which they needed to overcome. Highest on the list was the lack of time to spend with the youngster. My energy is drained when I get home, so I cannot listen to my youngsters. Besides there are home responsibilities which I need to carry out. I know it is not good, but this is the best I can do! Especially parents from overseas recognized their inability to help their youngsters with their homework. Some parents pointed out that they make every effort to pick up their youngsters from school, because Immediately after school is the best time when my girls want to talk about education and school events. By the time they get to the dinner table, they have already forgotten about what happened and are thinking about other things. 
 
The parents were also unanimous about the obstacles to raising the youngsters: Entertainment and computers. There is a need for entertainment, but they see this as excessive and placing false expectations in their youngsters: They tell the youngster he can make more money and be famous by doing less within a shorter period of time. That just isnt what life is about! But what about not letting the child watch the programs on TV? What difference does it make if your youngster doesn�t when the rest of the school is talking about it? claims an angry parent. These programs are creating larger than life personalities, role models, heroes who do not encourage the youngsters to develop the positive characteristics of life which they will need later on! They reduce life to a few moments of jokes, expressing emotion, and having superficial relationships and values! 
 
The computers were another area where parents recognize that sometimes there are greater losses than benefits gained from having them in the home. I can see the computer as a tool to build greater technical and working skills. But having it at home, isolates my daughter from the rest of our family. I know later on she will have trouble getting along with people because people are not machines and you cannot talk to and have expectations of other humans as you would of a machine. Communication through e-mail can be cute but is short and in terms of incomplete statements and thoughts. In real life we do not communicate that way. You cannot use half sentences or codes in carrying out a meaningful conversation. Some parents are beginning to see that although the computer has advanced human technical capabilities, but may have also created unrealistic barriers to meaningful human communication and relationships. 
 
Parents spoke of an area of great concern, which students and teachers did not touch: A prevailing sense and pressure upon the youngsters to not listen to their parents. This is recognized by the parents who are born in this country as well as those from overseas. When the youngsters come home, it seems that they are already wound up and set on not listening to us. A parent summarized the concern of many when she said: It seems that by stressing the rights of the students in the school, they make us as parents subordinates and subject to our youngsters. Of course we do not want to see abuse of children by the parents, but their information is so one sided that even the youngster is confused as to who has what right? Who is responsible for raising the youngster?! Is it the parents, or the school, or even the government? This makes disciplining the youngster very difficult because he is already set to disagree, rationalize, and find you wrong even before you utter your first word! 
 
It was apparent that raising and nurturing their children is a major responsibility which parents expect of themselves, and they felt the need to share their concerns and joys. Without any exception, they all resonated: If I knew that I will have to go through this as a parent, I would have still had my children! I know that someday I will look on these times with satisfaction. 
 
4. What is the role of the teacher in the education of the student, if any? 
 
Answer:  All parents recognized that there are very capable and effective teachers in all schools and they hoped that their children will at least have one such teacher so that their interest in education will be awakened and maintained. These parents always appreciated when they were called by a teacher about concerns or ways of improving their youngsters learning habits or conduct or to speak of new opportunities. These gave parents the sense of team work in raising the children. 
 
However, these same parents also pointed out that such dedicated teachers are very few: �Most teachers approach their profession as a job where they put in the hours and then go home. They don�t really care about the youngsters. Another: In our days the teachers cared about us! But not today! They seem to say: We all got problems, and I dont want to hear about yours! It was clear that those parents who emphasized spirituality, saw its benefits, sent their children to religious schools, and recognized the team effort put forth by the teachers. The religious theme and prayers with the students in the school gave the parents the sense that the teachers cared. It is as if the teachers are extended members of our family, added a parent. 
 
The added rules and regulations in schools over the passed few decades, as well as the added difficulties in disciplining children these days, helped parents realize that perhaps these are not the good old days�: You cant discipline children today as you could when we were growing up. Here is where the love of God helps me overcome a major obstacle, which the teacher cannot. Although most parents said they attended the Back to School Night and briefly conversed with the teachers, yet it had not occurred to them that teachers were under pressure from all angles  the students, the parents, the school system, and their own personal life. 
 
5. Does spirituality help a youngster do better in school? If so, then how? 
 
Answer: As mentioned earlier, all the parents interviewed regularly attend Church. Yet, more than half the parents stated that they did not see a connection between Church attendance and success or fulfillment in everyday life circumstances. Church attendance is important to build ones faith and belief, but they do not see how this growth affects their youngsters education or achievements. 
 
However, those parents who were sending their youngsters to a religious school, were set on the view that religious education makes a great deal of difference in the students life now and later as an adult. They cited everyday living circumstances where their children were very caring and helpful towards them as parents as well as non-family members. A great sense of satisfaction came when the youngsters themselves discerned the difference between themselves and others: My daughter said Dad, I can tell those students from the other school are rude towards one another, and they dont seem to be like a big family. I knew there and then that all my efforts were paying off! My daughters eyes had opened to values and virtues. Another parent pointed out: More than winning the game, my son was happy about the fact that they prayed before a difficult play. It is a Christian school and they are encouraged to pray and collect themselves before they do something important. I was happy for him. 
 
Sending a youngster to a Christian school is not easy because of the high tuition. Yet, I dont know how everything works out, but I guess the Lord opens the way for the finances. I never envisioned that I could place three children through Christian schools on our income, but somehow we are paying all the bills and I am confident that we will continue to do so. This summation regarding tuition was typical:It is probably my most important and worthy investment which I know will keep paying back forever!
 
Explaining 'Sexuality' to our Teenager
 
 
Sexuality is one of the most difficult subjects to discuss with our teenager for three reasons. First, because people often confuse sexuality with the act of sex. As a result, it becomes a taboo, a topic that cannot be discussed between parents and their teen. Second, because it is a life-changing and unavoidable aspect of human existence that is physically, mentally, and spiritually overwhelming. It is not the type of a topic that can be discussed while watching TV nor a discussion that can be scheduled. Rather, it requires time, patience, and the ability to recognize when it is the right time to bring up and discuss the topic. Third, since it is difficult to convey the context within which it has to be discussed and understood, the teen hears bits and pieces of information from both accurate and inaccurate sources. As a result, it is difficult to know the preconceived notions of our teen when discussing the topic. For these reasons, sexuality creates a totally new dimension and view of life for the teen which he or she could have never imagined before. 
 
It is recognized that pre-adolescent children do become curious about sexuality and sexual organs, but the issue is never that serious. Only as they begin to go through puberty, and experience the new sensations and feelings does sexuality suddenly take on new and real significance. For the first time a youngster begins realizing that he or she is not in control of his or her body, and that there are certain changes that affect ones mood, energy level, and appearance. 
 
Along with his or her own lack of control, a teen recognizes another reality: Ones valuation or devaluation because of his or her appearance. Thus, the consequence of the sexual development not only affects the teen, but also his or her relationships with others. For the teen who is looking to establish lasting and meaningful relationships, sexuality adds a whole new uncontrollable dimension.
 
Another reason as to why sexuality creates such a new dimension is because it can overpower the direction, the meaning, and the expression of the previous stages. For example, identity can become synonymous with sexual labeling  since a teen perceives that his or her identity and even self worth in others perspective is dependent upon the physical appearance. Likewise, autonomy can become synonymous with: I am grown. I can do anything! In a similar manner, intimacy is most easily demonstrated through sexual permissiveness. 
 
Although we will not discuss it here, it is important to realize that sexuality related implications and labeling have different impacts upon males than females. This adds another dimension to the identity, autonomy, and intimacy of a teenager. For example, society tends to emphasize and pay more attention to the sexual development of the female. How does this affect the female teens identity? The female teens tend to be more protected by their parents and allowed less decisions. Does this help or deter from the female teens sense of autonomy? As the teen develops physically and appears more attractive than others, how does this physical attractiveness add to or take away from her ability to form sharing and trusting relationships? Can a female teen be intimate with a male without being asked for sexual favors? There are obviously numerous questions that face a teen, especially a female one. Male teens have their unique issues as well. But we will leave this discussion for another time and location.
 
The earlier personality development stages allow for parental assistance, input, and significant support. However, when the teen begins developing sexually, the physique and peer relationships become much more affected by ones sexuality. Thus a parent has no choice but to be forced into a guiding role as opposed to a controlling one.
 
A crisis develops within the teen generativity versus self-absorption. In other words, sexuality with the ability of the human being to generate new experiences in life. This can be seen as generating and being creative in any and all aspects of human experience. Sexuality is the energy to create, one expression of which is bringing forth children. However, some may choose to expend this energy through art, literature, corporate success, or whatever they believe is important in life. If a person is uncomfortable with his or her sexuality, he or she also becomes absorbed with one�s own self. This leads to isolation and exaggerated self-awareness that stresses the teen, and makes it very difficult for parents to guide him or her.
 
Student-Parent-Teacher Relationship in Education 
 
1. The most spoken about and moving relationship is the parent-youngster relationship. Education is an arena where the parent-youngster relationship has an opportunity to be expressed and shaped for the first time outside of the family unit. Both, parents as well as youngsters express their love towards each other, express desire to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the other, and yet recognize their frustration in not being able to �live up� to the expectations of the other. Parents want to give the best to their youngster, but they are often seen as over-expecting and pushy. Youngsters want to please their parents, but fail because their parents often dont have the time and attention to devote to them. 
 
2. A most effective way of developing a close and supportive parent-youngster relationship is through spirituality  recognizing the presence, guidance, and empowerment of God in everyday circumstances. Families in which spirituality is emphasized, the parents have a greater tendency to understand and appreciate what their youngsters experience. Likewise in those families, the youngsters appreciate their parents dedication, and try to excel in education because of it. Both parents and youngsters express great satisfaction of the parent-youngster relationship. This is not due to magic. Rather it is the result of parents and youngsters sharing the depths of their thoughts and feelings about a very foundational reality  the Eternal life, the long term vision of life! 
 
3. All groups recognize that if a student wants to study, learn, and progress  he or she can do so, and no one can stand in his or her way. However, even though the responsibility falls on the student, yet the support of parents and the vision forming ability of teachers play key and irreplaceable roles in the extent to which a student will develop his or her unique capabilities. 
 
4. The teachers role is the most uncertain one. Although all expect teachers to simply teach students, yet teachers recognize that their task is far wider. They have to also educate the students parents in order for them to understand and appreciate their youngsters progress. Further, they have to facilitate the communication between the parents and the school system  an unrecognized and a most frustrating responsibility, and yet one that is not appreciated by any. There are two major frustrations by teachers: First, the expectation of them disciplining children whose parents have failed. Second, the lack of appreciation and support by majority of parents. 
 
5. Students and teachers recognize that those children who have a sense of spirituality know the right from the wrong in life and school activities, are more courteous to teachers and peers, and are better able to focus on their studies. However, majority of the parents fail to recognize this connection. Only those parents who send their children to religious school are aware of the importance of spirituality, and recognize their youngsters religious education as the greatest and most important investment in life! 
 
6. Once the above findings are brought to their attention, all groups are interested in being enlightened about various aspects of education, including the importance of spirituality. They all say that there is a lack of education and guidance in the attempt to bring students, parents, and teachers together, and strengthen those bonds through spirituality.
 
The teacher ? 
 
1. What are the most important elements that a student needs to learn in school? 
 
Answer: There are two elements that teachers emphasized are necessary for the student to learn in school  the educational and the human relational. The educational aspect is the objective side of academics which is required by all teachers to convey to their students. However, this generally cannot be accomplished unless the human aspect of caring and supportive communication takes place between teachers and students. Consequently, an important additional aspect of a capable teachers responsibility is to reveal the variety of ways that persons can care for one another. 
 
2. What is a students responsibility towards his or her education? 
 
Answer: A student can only do so much by himself. The remainder depends on the environment. All I can do is help a youngster develop his abilities. But I do not have time to discipline each one points out an experienced teacher. There are many tools such as television which can be helpful in passing information to the student. However, these tools can also set false expectations of school for the student he may think that school is a place of entertainment, or that a teacher is a comedian or a talk show host  and forget that school requires learning which is based on hard dedicated work. We are not entertainers. We are teachers!!! It appears from the teachers perspective that students have varying and confused set of expectations from their teachers and school. They also have a varied set of capabilities with diverse set of family backgrounds. All these make a teachers task complicated and chaotic. There are very few students who truly want to study and are interested in a subject matter as opposed to a grade or simply killing time. 
 
3. What is the parents� role in the education of the youngster, if any? 
 
Answer:  The parent plays a key role in the youngsters education from two perspectives: By influencing the youngster at home and by supporting the teacher in his or her effort to teach. First, education starts at home. By the time the student reaches school, he has already set patterns of discipline, attention span, ability to listen and follow directions. Further, the more interested the parent is in the youngsters education, the better the student will perform. Some parents dedicate themselves, others dont have the time, the ability, or the interest. The parents attitude is reflected in the student. A teacher points out that studies have shown that the more education oriented are the parents, the more likely it is that their youngsters will do better in their studies. 
 
Second, and just as importantly, parents play a key role by having, maintaining, and developing a set of expectations from the teacher and the school. Often parents have the wrong expectation of us. They dont take the time to discipline their children and then they send them to us expecting us to do what they need to have done at home. And when we try to discipline them, some come in with the attitude of Why are you picking on my son or daughter? Do you think the child of such a parent will ever listen to the teacher? Of course not! And then the claim is made that we as teachers dont care or are incompetent. I have to admit that not too many parents are that way, but let me tell you, it takes very few of them to get you bad reviews from administration! Its easy to say that As a teacher you need to stand up and be counted, but when it affects my income and my ability to take care of my family, I have to think twice! The consensus is that it is the parents who stand in the way of their children�s education rather than the student himself! Therefore, most teachers pointed out that it is very enjoyable to work with the supportive parents and see themselves as a team make a difference in a youngster�s child. 
 
4. What is the teacher�s role in the education of the child, if any? 
 
Answer: Teachers perceive most professionals in their field as caring, trying, and able. They care for the student and want to do a good job in helping them shape a bright future. This is perceived as the norm by teachers. I would say all teachers begin their career trying to make a difference, and some continue to do so throughout the rest of their teaching career. When a teacher becomes ineffective, everyone immediately points the finger towards her. This is using the teacher as a scapegoat! Often a teacher becomes ineffective in a youngsters education because either the parent or the school system, or both have made it so!
 
The teacher sees the intentional educational process as much more complicated and wider in scope than any student or parent will ever see, unless they too get involved in the educational process as well.As teachers we are often the middle person on whom all the responsibility falls, and very little of the credit is given. For example, people often say: Make the class more interesting! Do you know how hard it is to justify teaching curriculum, methods, progress in teaching and other administrative tasks? Often we succeed, but that is because of our dedicated long hours of facilitating with the student, the parent, and the school system. It is a lot of pressure. Not only do we educate the student, but we also have to educate the parents and the system! Our toughest responsibility is not teaching the student, but the parents and administrators who think that they know how to teach better than we do! 
 
It is apparent to most teachers that their satisfaction in teaching is more of an investment in the future. They realize that the teacher as the paid professional� will always take the blame when something goes wrong, and will be given the least credit when everything is running smoothly. However, teachers realize that there are numerous students whose minds and wills they help mold. They are most grateful for those instances! 
 
5. Does spirituality help a youngster do well in school, and if so, how? 
 
Answer: Spirituality definitely has a positive effect on the student in the perspective of every teacher. You can tell the students who come from religious families, who live an ethical and moral life because these youngsters are more caring and courteous, and have a greater confidence and willingness to take on responsibilities and complete them successfully, assesses a teacher who teaches in a public school.Although I do not mention the name of Jesus or speak of Christianity in the classroom because we are not allowed to by law (in a public school), yet the caring students come up to me with great appreciation and say: You are Christian, arent you?! 
 
Teachers often find students who come from religious families easier and more fun to teach since the parents are involved and are helping direct the childs expectations and education. You can tell a student whose parents care and are involved because in class they ask intelligent questions which we had not discussed previously. You know that the main source of such questions have to be the parents. Those who are rooted in spirituality tend to ask more meaningful questions, and greatly appreciate your responses!
 
Some Spiritual Issues Facing the Young
 
The whole world is facing a major spiritual crisis. Life seemed to have been so much easier in past centuries or even decades. Today it seems that there are hardly any persons who can be looked up to, and be held as role models in life. Everyone seems to have a dark side, and every success seems to have some disappointment. In such a world, who can we turn to? Who can we trust? Who can we follow in our everyday living circumstances? The youth are generally the most affected and disturbed by these questions. Here are some of their spiritual concerns:
 
 
 
Trust Who do I trust?! Unless I trust someone I cannot open up and talk to that person! People say trust takes time, but if someone betrays you in the meantime, it hurts even more deeply, and I know that after that I will never trust again! Trust is a very basic and a most foundational ingredient for any relationship in life. Unless there is trust between two persons, there cannot be a true sharing relationship. A child develops trust at a very young age, perhaps around the age of two or three. This trust is developed within the parent-child relationship, as the child comes to realize through repeated situations that his or her parents can be trusted because they are present to meet his or her needs. As the child grows, this fundamental form of trust expands into other relationships and becomes the basis for future relationship development. If a person has not developed this trust, then he or she needs to visit earlier childhood relationships and resolve the conflicts that led to the inability to form trusting relationships.
 
As adults, this latter  visiting past relationships, resolving conflicts, and learning to trust again  are not very easy, or may not even be possible. In other words, if ones parents have passed away, then some conflicts may never be resolved. Further, as children we tend to view our parents as perfect, unerring, and therefore, tend to trust them more because we question them less, especially at the age of two or three. But can we do this at a later age, say twenty, thirty or forty? The answer is likely No! So where do we turn? We turn to spirituality  The relationship between God and I. As adults, if we begin to develop a trust in God, it is then, and only then that we can begin to develop a trust in human beings and relationships. When we believe with heart, mind, and soul that as long as we love, God will guide us, and that no matter how badly we may be betrayed, it is still better to love than to die without having experienced love, it is then that we begin to gain the confidence, the courage, and the inspiration to trust another person, and give our self to a relationship wholeheartedly. Therefore, as adults we can begin to trust others when we gain the spiritual strength by first trusting Gods relationship with us!
 
 
 
Forgiveness 
How often do you forgive someone who has angered or betrayed you? Can you really forgive and forget? It is one thing to say I forgive you, it is something else to actually be able to love that person as though nothing has happened. Forgiveness is a very difficult and important issue in the Christian way of life. We are reminded frequently in the Bible to forgive our enemy. However no place in the Bible are we told that we should or even can forget another persons betrayal or hurt towards us. In fact, what makes forgiveness such a difficult task is that we hardly ever forget how another person has hurt us. If we forgot another persons betrayal, then we would not need to forgive. The reason we need to forgive is because we cannot forget others betrayals!
 
Forgiveness comes in few steps: First, in placing ourselves in the other persons shoes and attempting to understand what led to that situation. Secondly, believing that the other person took that step of betrayal or hurt because he or she has high regard for us. Third, by placing our faith in God, and through it being secure that the other persons action actually helped our longer term relationship and objectives in life. Fourth, by placing ourselves back in our shoes, trying to re-view the others actions in a new light, and asking: Am I a better person because of the other persons betrayal? We will discover that our sense of hurt has actually made us a better person! These steps generally lead to forgiveness. However, even when we forgive the other person, we see his or her perspective in life, and even believe that what the other did was actually good for our relationship, there is no guarantee that we will want to begin an intimate or even a long term friendship with that person. (If a relationship is already present, such as the case for already wedded spouses, that is a different matter.) The reason we need to go through the forgiveness process is to be at spiritual peace with God, the others, and our own self. To know that we have dealt with anger and the sense of vengeance. However, we cannot guarantee that we will want a long term or even a short term relationship with that person to whom we have not already made a commitment
 
 
 
Anger �Seeing some of the unjust and cruel behavior around me makes me angry. If I express my anger then I commit a sin according to the Church? If I don�t express my anger, then I become dysfunctional according to psychologists. So what do I do?� As we had mentioned in the previous issue, anger is natural and expected. God becomes angry. Christ became angry in the Temple and drove the merchants out of the House of Worship. What the Church finds sinful is the misuse of anger since the Bible states: �Be angry, but sin not.� [Psalms 4:4] In other words, if you become angry, express it in a constructive rather than a destructive manner. However, this is easier said than done because when we are angry, a tremendous burst of physical energy comes to us. As an illustration, a person of small stature whose house was burning down became extremely angry because he had just bought a large refrigerator which was going to be burnt down with the rest of the house. His anger gave him such physical energy that he single-handedly carried out the refrigerator from the burning house. Imagine the tremendous physical energy that anger unleashes in us. How will we deal with this energy generated through anger? It is this very fact that the Bible and the Church is concerned about. The reason why �anger� is part of the confession prior to receiving the Holy Communion, the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is because we need God�s help in properly directing that anger and the energy created by it. This redirection is a spiritual feat and struggle in itself, that requires a Spiritual Director�s help.
 
 
Parents on educating teenagers 
 
1. Listen to them when they are ready to talk! If you wait until you are ready to listen, they may not want to talk. Their attention and thoughts may have dispersed. Sometimes they want to simply speak to you and not necessarily want to hear your advice or even any advice from anyone else. You need to give them the opportunity to shape and express what is on their mind. 
 
2. They want you to be interested in what they are doing and what they are thinking. You need to give them the respect of asking and have the patience to listen without interrupting or making a value judgment. 
 
3. Young people will be going to Church and taking part in religious studies mainly because you as a parent want them to. So you need to set the example! 
 
4. We don�t expect our youngsters to fully appreciate the meaning of religious education as yet. However, as they grow up and face tough decisions in life, then they will appreciate it. The point is, don�t expect them to be thankful to you now. Be patient for a few years, then you�ll see the results. 
 
5. I know the costs involved in religious education are very demanding � both in terms of your time as well as of financial resources. But believe me, when they learn to be calm enough to listen to you as a parent, it is then that raising youngsters becomes a joy! God always provides a way if you want to provide spiritual education for your youngsters. You got to have faith in God and the courage to take that step!
 
 

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