Sunday, November 29, 2009

Little Gems No.2

This is a follow-up post to Little Gems No.1. I will skip over the Ten Commandments and the Eight Beatitudes, for obvious reasons. I wish the RCIA would teach this stuff. You can never over-emphasize the basics. Some of us bookish converts, in the rush for all the nuanced teaching delicacies offered by this magnificent Church, we sometimes neglect the bread and butter. I find myself reaching for this little book time and again whenver I feel distressed or lost.
All italics are mine.

Six Precepts of the Church: 1) To hear Mass on Sundays and all holydays of obligation. 2)To fast and abstain on the days commanded. 3)To confess our sins at least once a year. 4)*To receive the Blessed Eucharist at Easter, or within the time appointed. 5)To contribute to the support of our pastors. 6)Not to solemnize marriage at the forbidden times; not to marry persons within the forbidden degrees of kindred, or otherwise prohibited by the Church, nor clandestinely.
*Has there been change since the Vatican II?

Seven Sacraments: 1)Baptism. 2)Confirmation. 3)Eucharist. 4)Penance (or Confession). 5)Extreme Unction (or Anointing of the Sick). 6)Holy Orders. 7)Matrimony

Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity

Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and the Fear of the Lord

Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, *Longanimity (FORBEARANCE), Goodness, Benignity (KINDNESS), Mildness, Fidelity, Modesty, Continency (SELF-RESTRAINT), and Chastity.
*I found this word in the third (Webster's Third New International) dictionary I consulted: a disposition to bear injuries patiently. - You gotta love old(er) English!

Spiritual Works of Mercy: To give counsel to the doubtful. -To instruct the ignorant. -To admonish sinners (You mean to judge??). -To comfort the afflicted. -To forgive offenses. -To bear patiently the troublesome (Give thanks for this one for the sake of you and me!). -To pray for the living and the dead.

Corporal Works of Mercy: To feed the hungry. -To give drink to the thirsty. -To clothe the naked. -To harbor the harborless. -To visit the sick. -To visit the imprisoned. -To bury the dead.

Seven Deadly Sins: Pride. -Covetousness (AVARICE, GREED). -Lust. - Anger. -Gluttony. -Envy. -Sloth.

Contrary Virtues: Humility. -Liberality. -Chastity. -Meekness. -Temperance. -Brotherly Love. -Diligence.

Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance: Wilful murder. -The sin of Sodom. -Oppression of the poor. - Defrauding laborers of their wages.

Nine Ways of Being Accessory to Another's Sin: By counsel. -By command. -By consent. -By provocation. -By praise or flattery. -By concealment. -By partaking. -By silence. -By defence of the ill done. (All deserving our deepest reflection. I think most of us would be surprised by our own implications. I, for one, am scared to go there.)

Three Eminently Good Works: Alms-deeds, or works of mercy. Prayer. Fasting

Three Evangelical Counsels: Voluntary Poverty. Chastity. Obedience.


  1. Are you saying that RCIA does NOT teach these fundamentals?

  2. Maria, I honestly don't remember what I learned in RCIA. Yes they did teach the Sacraments,Church history,Mary and the saints etc. Topics such as church precepts,sins and virtues, coporal/spiritual good works, etc. were not included. My overall impression of the RCIA program was inch deep and mile long. Bless the hearts of the people who run it, they all want to make an impact. I don't have an answer to why it seemed so lacklustre. I pretty much resigned to getting through the hoops and looking elsewhere for being fed. Thanks for caring to ask.

  3. I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Thanks for the response. It is ironic, but, I could not have been raised in a more Catholic family--all men educated by Jesuits. I was educated by the Madames of the Sacred Heart,both of my mother's sisters were nuns. And yet. And yet... I did not know any of the above, as you listed, well I knew some, until I read my Grandmother's prayer book. Imagine my surprise when I discovered all of the above. And, guess what, it is all still true. To me that is the great beauty of the church. She does not change.

    The church fails to teach the fundamentals. I am certain that there is a need for evanangelizing with regard to the same.

    Great Post!!!

  4. Merry Christmas to you, Maria! Thanks for checking back in. My experience with many craddle Catholics isn't that they don't live their faith faithfully, but that they generally can't (neither can I)give cogent accounts of their beliefs. This is why I love these "little gems": they don't appologize, they teach "with authority." Period. Appologetics are necessary, to be sure. But anyone who's willing to pay these "little gems" due thoughts, aided by the Sacraments and the Spirit, will eventually see the wonderful cohesion in them.

    Yes, the Church doesn't change, She's forever young and dangerous :) And we love Her, don't we?


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