Catholic Reference Lists

Our parish recently had one of the Father’s of Mercy visiting for a retreat. He brought several Examination of Conscience brochures. There are many resources to help with examinations of conscience, but I really liked all the reference material on this brochure. You can download a free PDF copy of the brochure from their store page (Click one of the Red Buttons in the description [or direct link]). For more convenience I have copied the reference material onto this page. Thank you to the Father’s of Mercy for this great reference. I have added Bible and Catholic Catechism (CCC) citations to the sections that didn’t have them. Please contact me if you see any errors.

The Commandments

The Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-17, Deut 5:6-21)

  1. I am the Lord Thy God. Thou shall not have strange gods before Me.
  2. Thou shall not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
  4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  5. Thou shall not kill.
  6. Thou shall not commit adultery.
  7. Thou shall not steal.
  8. Thou shall not bear false witness.
  9. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
  10. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

The Two Greatest Commandments (Mt 22:37-40, Mk 12:29-31)

  1. You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul and with all your mind.
  2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The Precepts of the Church (CCC 2041-2043)

  1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation and rest from servile labor.
  2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
  3. You shall receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter Season.
  4. You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
  5. You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

The Way of Darkness (Sin)

The Seven Capital Sins (CCC 1866)

  1. Pride: Preoccupation with one’s own excellence or misery. (CCC 2538)
  2. Avarice/Greed: Disordered desire for possessions; setting our hearts on material things; selfishness. (CCC 2536)
  3. Lust: Disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. (CCC 2351)
  4. Anger: Uncontrolled emotion which results in desire for revenge; holding resentment. (CCC 2302-2303)
  5. Gluttony: Putting the pleasures of the body (food, drink, makeup, Internet, TV, etc.) over the goods of the soul. (CCC 2290)
  6. Envy: Sadness at the good of another. (CCC 2539-2540)
  7. Sloth: Bodily or Spiritual laziness or neglect. (CCC 2429)

Sins Against the Theological Virtues

  • Presumption on God’s Mercy. (CCC 2092)
  • Despair of God’s Mercy. (CCC 2091)
  • Resisting and/or Attacking the known truth. (CCC 2094)
  • Envy at another’s spiritual good. (CCC 2540)
  • Obstinacy in sin. (CCC 2840)
  • Final impenitence (refusal to repent). (CCC 1864)

Sins Crying to Heaven (CCC 1867)

  1. Willful murder.
  2. Sodomy.
  3. Oppression of the poor.
  4. Defrauding laborers of their wages.

Being an Accessory to Another’s Sin (CCC 1868-1869, 2480)

  1. By counsel.
  2. By command.
  3. By consent.
  4. By provocation.
  5. By praise or flattery.
  6. By concealment.
  7. By partaking.
  8. By silence.
  9. By defense of the sinful action.

The Works of the Flesh (Gal 5:19-21)

  • Immorality
  • Impurity
  • Licentiousness
  • Idolatry
  • Sorcery
  • Hatreds
  • Rivalry
  • Jealousy
  • Outbursts of fury
  • Acts of selfishness
  • Dissensions
  • Factions
  • Occasions of envy
  • Drinking bouts
  • Orgies

The Way of Light (Holiness)

The Seven Capital Virtues

  1. Humility: Acknowledgment of truth about
    God, oneself and others. (CCC 2546-2547)
  2. Generosity: Doing actions for the benefit of
    others; selflessness. (CCC 1937)
  3. Chastity: Proper integration of sexuality
    within the human person according to the
    mind of God and one’s state in life. (CCC 2337-2350)
  4. Meekness: Gentleness of spirit that gives
    power of self-possession; governs anger. (CCC 716, 1716, 2219)
  5. Temperance: Moderation of the desire for
    pleasure. (CCC 1809)
  6. Brotherly Love: Desire for the true good of
    one’s neighbor, which leads one to act rightly
    toward him. (CCC 2219, 2540)
  7. Diligence: Consistency in doing what is right. (CCC 1808, fortitude)

The Theological Virtues (CCC 1812-1829)

Faith, Hope and, Charity

The Cardinal Virtues (CCC 1805-1809)

Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude.

The Corporal Works of Mercy (Mt 25:31-46, CCC 2447)

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Visit the imprisoned
  5. Shelter the homeless
  6. Visit the sick
  7. Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy (Isa 58:6-7, Heb 13:3, CCC 2447)

  1. Admonish the sinner
  2. Instruct the ignorant
  3. Counsel the doubtful
  4. Comfort the sorrowful
  5. Bear wrongs patiently
  6. Forgive all injuries
  7. Pray for the living and the dead

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Isa 11:1-2, CCC 1831)

Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23, CCC 1832)

Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control and Chastity.

The Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12, Lk 6:20-26, CCC 1716)

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  2. Blessed are the meek; for they shall possess the land.
  3. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.
  4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for justice; for they shall be filled.
  5. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
  8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’s sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  9. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Three Eminent Good Works to Overcome our Sinfulness (Tob 12:8, Mt 6:1-18, CCC 1434)

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.

The Evangelical Counsels (CCC 2103)

Chastity, Poverty and Obedience.


The Depth of the Commandments According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

While The Ten Commandments are popularly known as God’s rules for Christians to live by, there really is just one commandment: the commandment to love. All the others follow from just this one overarching commandment. The commandment to love can be split into two more specific commandments: love God and love one another. The commandments to love God and one another can then be expanded further into The Ten Commandments. The first through third commandments involve loving God. The fourth through tenth commandments involve loving one another.

Every single sin can be described by how it opposes one of these commandments. There are no sins that do not fit under a commandment. In some cases, it’s not clear why a sin fits under a commandment, but that’s where the Catechism of the Catholic Church fits in. It explains each commandment in detail including all the opposing sins.

Interesting is the fact that the ninth and tenth commandments are more extensions of the sixth and seventh commandments than entirely new commandments. The sixth commandment (“You shall not commit adultery.”) covers the sinful actions related to impurity while the ninth commandment (“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.”) covers the sinful thoughts related to impurity. The seventh and tenth commandments follow the same model except covering sinful actions (seventh) and thoughts (tenth) related to stealing.

I have summarized this information in the chart below. It starts at the top with the commandment to love, then to love God and one another, then to the ten commandments, and finally, the sins that oppose those commandments. I have made the ninth and tenth commandments extensions of the sixth and seventh commandments, all under Love One Another. The commandments are in circles with orange text while the sins are in rectangles with red text. In parentheses next to each sin is the reference number of the corresponding passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church for further reading.

The commandments and their opposing sins.

Click image to view full screen.

May God bless you with his abundant grace,

God’s Will vs God’s will

It can be confusing when studying the faith because there are many words and phrases that seem to have more than one meaning. God’s will is one example. Many times I will see it used in this way:

If you do God’s Will, you will get to heaven.

Here, “God’s Will” is just a shorthand way of referring to God’s overall set of rules for us to follow. There’s the commandments and other rules from the Bible, plus all the rules from the Church’s doctrine. Those would all be God’s Will, in a sense. God truly will’s us to follow these rules. The reward is a place in heaven. To do God’s Will would then be to follow God’s laws (CCC 2825). Here is another way I see God’s will used:

It was God’s will that I got hired for the job.

In this sense, “God’s will” is used like the idea of destiny. “It was my destiny that I got the job.” This is a much more bold claim to make. Anyone can say we need to follow God’s laws, but for a person to say God personally directed something to happen in their life is a little arrogant in my eyes. It may be completely true that God did make something happen for the person, but there’s no way to know for sure. For the most part, God does not predetermine what’s going to happen in our lives. He gives people free will to make decisions (CCC 1036).

I think it is best to avoid using God’s will to refer to destiny. Better to say, “God answered my prayer, and I got the job.” Even then, however, the reality is God did not force the manager to hire the person. At most, God planted the idea in his head that this person would be a good hire. The manager still had the free will to choose who to hire (CCC 311, 1705). Prayers are not useless — they have an effect — but they will never force someone to do something.

Throughout this article, I used a capital ‘W’ to refer to the phrase meaning God’s laws and a lowercase ‘w’ to refer to the meaning about destiny. I will try to remember to use capital and lowercase letters if I write any future articles using both phrases. I like my writing to be as clear as possible though, so I doubt I will refer to destiny using “God’s will”. I will only use it as the Church does, about what God wants Catholics to be doing.

May God bless you with his abundant grace,