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A new year is upon us, and, in the spirit of bettering ourselves, here is a selection from “An Abridgement of Christian Doctrine” as found in the 1962 Missal available from Baronius Press. Each of us should ponder what is truly expected of us so that we may better live the faith.

The Six Precepts of the Church

  1. To hear Mass on Sundays and 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; nor to marry persons within the forbidden degrees of kindred, or otherwise prohibited by the Church, nor secretly.

The Seven Sacraments
Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, Holy Matrimony.

The Three Theological Virtues
Faith, Hope, and Charity.

The Four Cardinal Virtues
Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance.

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost
Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and the Fear of the Lord.

The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Ghost
Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Longanimity, Goodness, Benignity, Mildness, Fidelity, Modesty, Continence, and Chastity.

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
To give counsel to the doubtful.—To instruct the ignorant.—To admonish sinners.—To comfort the afflicted.—To forgive offences.—To bear patiently the troublesome.—To pray for the living and the dead.

The Corporal Works of Mercy
To feed the hungry.—To give drink to the thirsty.—To clothe the naked.—To shelter the needy.—To visit the sick.—To visit the imprisoned.—To bury the dead.

The Eight Beatitudes

  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 after justice; for they shall be filled.
  5. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the clean 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.

The Seven Deadly Sins
Pride.—Covetousness.—Lust.—Anger.—Gluttony.—Envy.—Sloth.

Contrary Virtues
Humility.—Liberality.—Chastity.—Meekness.—Temperance.—Brotherly Love.—Diligence.

Sins against the Holy Ghost
Presumption upon God’s mercy.—Despair.—Impugning the known truth.—Envy of another’s spiritual good.—Obstinacy in sin.—Final impenitence.

Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance
Wilful murder.—The sin of Sodom.—Oppression of the poor.—Defrauding labourers 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.

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

Three Evangelical Counsels
Voluntary Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.

Subjects for Daily Meditation
Remember, Christian soul, that thou has this day, and every day of thy life:

God to glorify,
Jesus to imitate,
The Angels and Saints to invoke.
A soul to save,
A body to mortify,
Sins to expiate,
Virtues to acquire,
Hell to avoid,
Heaven to gain,
Eternity to prepare for,
Time to profit by.
Neighbours to edify,
The world to despise,
Devils to combat,
Passions to subdue,
Death perhaps to suffer,
Judgment to undergo.