THE CATECHISM OF ST. PIUS X: The First Article of the Creed
God the Father Almighty
1 Q: What does the First Article of the Creed: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, teach us?
A: The First Article of the Creed teaches us that there is one God, and only one; that He is omnipotent and has created heaven and earth and all things contained in them, that is to say, the whole Universe.
2 Q: How do we know that there is a God?
A: We know that there is a God because reason proves it and faith confirms it.
3 Q. Why do we call God the Father?
A: We call God the Father because by nature He is the Father of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, that is to say, of the Son begotten of Him; because God is the Father of all men, whom He has created and whom He preserves and governs; finally, because by grace He is the Father of all good Christians, who are hence called the adopted sons of God.
4 Q: Why is the Father the First Person of the Blessed Trinity?
A: The Father is the First Person of the Blessed Trinity, because He does not proceed from any other Person, but is the Principle of the other two Persons, that is, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
5 Q: What is meant by the word Omnipotent?
A: The word Omnipotent means that God can do all that He wills.
6 Q: God can neither sin nor die, how then do we say He can do all things?
A: Though He can neither sin nor die, we say God can do all things, because to be able to sin or die is not an effect of power, but of weakness which cannot exist in God who is most perfect.
On the Creation
7 Q: What is meant by the words: Creator of heaven and earth?
A: To create means to make out of nothing; hence, God is called the Creator of heaven and of earth, because He made heaven and earth and all things contained therein, that is, the whole Universe, out of nothing.
8 Q: Was the world created by the Father alone?
A: The world was created by all the Three Divine Persons, because whatever one Person does with regard to creatures is done by the other two Persons in one and the selfsame act. 9
9 Q: Why then is creation specially attributed to the Father?
A: Creation is specially attributed to the Father because creation is a work of Divine Omnipotence, which is specially attributed to the Father, just as wisdom is attributed to the Son, and goodness to the Holy Ghost, though all three Persons possess the same Omnipotence, Wisdom, and Goodness.
10 Q: Does God take any interest in the world and in the things created by Him?
A: Yes, God takes an interest in the world and in all things created by Him; He preserves them, and governs them by His infinite goodness and wisdom; and nothing happens here below that He does not either will or permit.
11 Q: Why do you say that nothing happens here below that He does not either will or permit?
A: We say that nothing happens here below that He does not either will or permit, because there are some things which God wills and commands, while there are others which He simply does not prevent, such as sin.
12 Q: Why does not God prevent sin?
A: God does not prevent sin, because even from the very abuse man makes of the liberty with which He is endowed, God knows how to bring forth good and to make His mercy or His justice become more and more resplendent.
13 Q: Which are the noblest of God’s creatures?
A: The noblest creatures created by God are the Angels.
14 Q: Who are the Angels?
A: The Angels are intelligent and purely spiritual creatures.
15 Q: Why did God create the Angels?
A: God created the Angels so as to be honored and served by them, and to give them eternal happiness.
16 Q: What form and figure have the Angels?
A: The Angels have neither form nor material figure of any kind, because they are pure spirits created by God in such a way as to exist without having to be united to a body.
17 Q: Why then are the angels represented under sensible forms?
A: The Angels are represented under sensible forms: (1) As a help to our imagination; (2) Because they have thus appeared many times to men, as we read in Sacred Scripture.
18 Q: Were all the angels faithful to God?
A: No, the Angels were not all faithful to God, many of them through pride claimed to be His equals and independent of Him — for which sin they were banished for ever from Paradise and condemned to hell.
19 Q: What are the Angels called who were banished for ever from Paradise and condemned to hell?
A: The Angels banished for ever from Paradise and condemned to hell are called demons, and their chief is called Lucifer or Satan.
20 Q: Can the demons do us any harm?
A: Yes, the demons can do us great harm both in soul and body, especially by tempting us to sin, provided God permits them to do so.
21 Q: Why do they tempt us?
A: The demons tempt us because of the envy they bear us, which makes them desire our eternal damnation; and because of their hatred of God. whose image is reflected in us. God on the other hand permits these temptations in order that we may overcome them by His grace, and thus practice virtue and acquire merit for Heaven.
22 Q: How are temptations conquered?
A: Temptations are conquered by watchfulness, prayer and Christian mortification.
23 Q: What are the angels called who remained faithful to God?
A: The Angels who remained faithful to God are called the good Angels, heavenly Spirits, or simply Angels.
24 Q: What became of the Angels who remained faithful to God?
A: The Angels who remained faithful to God were confirmed in grace, for ever enjoy the vision of God, love Him, bless Him, and praise Him eternally.
25 Q: Does God use the Angels as His ministers?
A: Yes, God uses the Angels as His ministers, and especially does He entrust to many of them the office of acting as our guardians and protectors.
26 Q: Should we have a particular devotion to our Guardian Angel?
A: Yes, we should have a particular devotion to our Guardian Angel; we should honor him, invoke his aid, follow his inspirations, and be grateful to him for the continual assistance he affords us.
27 Q: Which is the noblest creature God has placed on earth?
A: The noblest creature God has placed on earth is man.
28 Q: What is man?
A: Man is a rational creature composed of soul and body.
29 Q: What is the soul?
A: The soul is the noblest part of man, because it is a spiritual substance, endowed with intelligence and will, capable of knowing God and of possessing Him for all eternity.
30 Q: Can the human soul be seen and touched?
A: Our soul can neither be seen nor touched, because it is a spirit.
31 Q: Does the human soul die with the body?
A: The human soul never dies; faith and our very reason prove that it is immortal.
32 Q: Is man free in his actions?
A: Yes, man is free in his actions and each one feels within himself that he can do a thing or leave it undone, or do one thing rather than another.
33 Q: Explain human liberty by an example.
A: If I voluntarily tell a lie, I know that I could have left it unsaid or that I could have remained silent, and that, on the other hand, I could also speak differently and tell the truth.
34 Q: Why do we say that man was created to the image and likeness of God?
A: We say that man was created to the image and likeness of God because the human soul is spiritual and rational, free in its operations, capable of knowing and loving God and of enjoying Him for ever — perfections which reflect a ray of the infinite greatness of the Lord in us.
35 Q: In what state did God place our first parents, Adam and Eve?
A: God placed our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the state of innocence and grace; but they soon fell away by sin.
36 Q: Besides innocence and sanctifying grace did God confer any other gifts on our first parents?
A: Besides innocence and sanctifying grace, God conferred on our first parents other gifts, which, along with sanctifying . grace, they were to transmit to their descendants; these were: (1) Integrity, that is, the perfect subjection of sense and reason; (2) Immortality; (3) Immunity from all pain and sorrow; (4) A knowledge in keeping with their state.
37 Q: What was the nature of Adam’s sin?
A: Adam’s sin was a sin of pride and of grave disobedience.
38 Q: What chastisement was meted out to the sin of Adam and Eve?
A: Adam and Eve lost the grace of God and the right they had to Heaven; they were driven out of the earthly Paradise, subjected to many miseries of soul and body, and condemned to death.
39 Q: If Adam and Eve had not sinned, would they have bee exempt from death?
A: If Adam and Eve had not sinned and if they had remained faithful to God, they would, after a happy and tranquil sojourn here on earth, and without dying, have been transferred by God into Heaven, to enjoy a life of unending glory.
40 Q: Were these gifts due to man?
A: These gifts were in no way due to man, but were absolutely gratuitous and supernatural; and hence, when Adam disobeyed the divine command, God could without any injustice deprive both Adam and his posterity of them.
41 Q: Is this sin proper to Adam alone?
A: This sin is not Adam’s sin alone, but it is also our sin, though in a different sense. It is Adam’s sin because he committed it by an act of his will, and hence in him it was a personal sin. It is our sin also because Adam, having committed it in his capacity as the head and source of the human race, it was transmitted by natural generation to all his descendants: and hence in us it is original sin.
42 Q: How is it possible for original sin to be transmitted to all men?
A: Original sin is transmitted to all men because God, having conferred sanctifying grace and other supernatural gifts on the human race in Adam, on the condition that Adam should not disobey Him; and Adam having disobeyed, as head and father of the human race, rendered human nature rebellious against God. And hence, human nature is transmitted to all the descendants of Adam in a state of rebellion against God, and deprived of divine grace and other gifts.
43 Q: Do all men contract original sin?
A: Yes, all men contract original sin, with the exception of the Blessed Virgin, who was preserved from it by a singular privilege of God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior.
44 Q: Could not men be saved after Adam’s sin?
A: After Adam’s sin men could not be saved, if God had not shown mercy towards them.
45 Q: What was the mercy shown by God to the human race?
A: The mercy shown by God to the human race was that of immediately promising Adam a divine Redeemer or Messiah, and of sending this Messiah in His own good time to free men from the slavery of sin and of the devil.
46 Q: Who is the promised Messiah?
A: The promised Messiah is Jesus Christ, as the Second Article of the Creed teaches.