The Baltimore Catechism
Revised Edition (1941)
The Virtues and the Gifts of the Holy Ghost
119. What are the chief supernatural powers that are bestowed on our souls with sanctifying grace?
The chief supernatural powers that are bestowed on our souls with sanctifying grace are the three theological virtues and the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.
120. Why are these virtues called theological virtues?
These virtues are called theological virtues because they have God for their proper object.
121. What are the three theological virtues?
The three theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity.
So there abide faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (I Corinthians 13:13)
122. What is faith?
Faith is the virtue by which we firmly believe all the truths God has revealed, on the word of God revealing them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:29)
123. What is hope?
Hope is the virtue by which we firmly trust that God, who is all-powerful and faithful to His promises, will in His mercy give us eternal happiness and the means to obtain it.
But hope that is seen is not hope. For how can a man hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:24-25)
124. What is charity?
Charity is the virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
If I should speak with the tongues of men and angels, but do not have charity, I have become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, yet do not have charity, I am nothing. (I Corinthians 13:1-2)
125. Which are the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost?
The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2-3)
126. How do the gifts of the Holy Ghost help us?
The gifts of the Holy Ghost help us by making us more alert to discern and more ready to do the will of God.
127. Which are some of the effects in us of the gifts of the Holy Ghost?
Some of the effects in us of the gifts of the Holy Ghost are the fruits of the Holy Ghost and the beatitudes.
128. Which are the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost?
The twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.
But the fruit of the Spirit is: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, modesty, continency. (Galatians 5:22-23)
129. Which are the eight beatitudes?
The eight beatitudes are:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of
Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(See Matthew 5:3-10.)
130. Are there any other virtues besides the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity?
Besides the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity there are other virtues, called moral virtues.
131. Why are these virtues called moral virtues?
These virtues are called moral virtues because they dispose us to lead moral, or good lives, by aiding us to treat persons and things in the right way, that is, according to the will of God.
132. Which are the chief moral virtues?
The chief moral virtues are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance; these are called cardinal virtues.
And if a man love justice, her labors have great virtues. For she teacheth temperance and prudence and justice and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life. (Wisdom 8:7)
133. Why are these virtues called cardinal virtues?
These virtues are called cardinal virtues because they are like hinges on which hang all the other moral virtues and our whole moral life. The word “cardinal” is derived from the Latin word “cardo” meaning hinge.
134. How do prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance dispose us to lead good lives?
Prudence disposes us in all circumstances to form right judgments about what we must do or not do. Justice disposes us to give everyone what belongs to him. Fortitude disposes us to do what is good in spite of any difficulty. Temperance disposes us to control our desires and to use rightly the things which please ourselves.
He that followeth justice and mercy shall find life, justice, and glory. (Proverbs 21:21)
135. Which are some of the other moral virtues?
Some of the other moral virtues are:
Filial piety and patriotism, which dispose us to honor, love, and respect our parents and our country.
Obedience, which disposes us to do the will of our superiors.
Veracity, which disposes us to tell the truth.
Liberality, which disposes us rightly to use worldly goods.
Patience, which disposes us to bear up under trials and difficulties.
Humility, which disposes us to acknowledge our limitations.
Chastity, or purity, which disposes us to be pure in soul and body.
Besides these, there are many other moral virtues.