SUNDAY SCHOOL: The Holy Ghost and Grace


The Baltimore Catechism
Revised Edition (1941)

Lesson 9
The Holy Ghost and Grace

105. Who is the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

106. From whom does the Holy Ghost proceed?
The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.

But when the Advocate has come, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness concerning me. (John 15:26)

107. Is the Holy Ghost equal to the Father and the Son?
The Holy Ghost is equal to the Father and the Son, because He is God.

108. What does the Holy Ghost do for the salvation of mankind?
The Holy Ghost dwells in the Church as the source of its life and sanctifies souls through the gift of grace.

Guard the good trust through the Holy Ghost, who dwells in us. (II Timothy 1:14)

109. What is grace?
Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

And of his fullness we have all received, grace for grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17)

110. How many kinds of grace are there?
There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying grace and actual grace.

111. What is sanctifying grace?
Sanctifying grace is that grace which confers on our souls a new life, that is, a sharing in the life of God Himself.

But to as many as received him he gave the power of becoming sons of God. (John 1:12)

112. What are the chief effects of sanctifying grace?
The chief effects of sanctifying grace are:

it makes us holy and pleasing to God;
it makes us adopted children of God;
it makes us temples of the Holy Ghost;
it gives us the right to heaven.
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)

113. What is actual grace?
Actual grace is a supernatural help of God which enlightens our mind and strengthens our will to do good and to avoid evil.

For it is God who of his good pleasure works in you both the will and the performance. (Philippians 2:13)

114. Can we resist the grace of God?
We can resist the grace of God, for our will is free, and God does not force us to accept His grace.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often I would have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but thou wouldst not! (Matthew 23:37)

115. Why is sanctifying grace necessary for salvation?
Sanctifying grace is necessary for salvation because it is the supernatural life, which alone enables us to attain the supernatural happiness of heaven.

116. Is actual grace necessary for all who have attained the use of reason?
Actual grace is necessary for all who have attained the use of reason, because without it we cannot long resist the power of temptation or perform other actions which merit a reward in heaven.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God. (II Corinthians 3:5)

117. What are the principal ways of obtaining grace?
The principal ways of obtaining grace are prayer and the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist.

For we were buried with him by means of Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ has arisen from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we may also walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

118. How can we make our most ordinary actions merit a heavenly reward?
We can make our most ordinary actions merit a heavenly reward by doing them for the love of God and by keeping ourselves in the state of grace.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or do anything else, do all for the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)

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