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Program terms and definitions, with audio.

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A

anoint

to use oil to mark someone as chosen for a special purpose. In biblical times, the priests, the kings, and sometimes the prophets were anointed as a sign of God's favor.

apocalyptic literature a type of writing that reveals what humans cannot see, including the spiritual world or future events
Apostolic Succession the term used to describe how the authority and power to lead and teach the Church is passed down from the Apostles to their successors, the bishops

B

Beatitudes

teachings of Jesus that show the way to true happiness and tell the way to live in God's Kingdom now and always

Body of Christ a name for the Church of which Christ is the head. All the baptized are members of the body.

C

charity

the theological virtue of love. It directs us to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves, for the love of God

chastity

a moral virtue and Fruit of the Holy Spirit that helps us express our sexuality in the right ways for our call in life. In religious life or Holy Orders, chastity includes being celibate.

Christ a title for Jesus, the One anointed by God as Messiah
Church the community of all baptized people who believe in God and follow Jesus. The word is often used for the Catholic Church because we trace our origins back to the Apostles.
common good the good of everyone, with particular concern for those who might be most vulnerable to harm
Communion of Saints

when referring to holy persons, the Communion of Saints includes the pilgrim Church on Earth, those being purified  in Purgatory, and the blessed already in Heaven

conscience

the God-given ability that helps us judge whether actions are right or wrong. It is important for us to know God's laws so our conscience can help us make good decisions.

consecrated religious life a state of life lived in community and characterized by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience
conversion

the continual process of becoming the people God intends us to be through change and growth. It is a response to God’s love and forgiveness.

Corporal Works of Mercy

actions that show care for the physical needs of people

covenant

a sacred promise or agreement between God and humans

D

Decalogue

another name for the Ten Commandments; the summary of laws that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. They tell us what must be done to live by God's covenant.

Divine Revelation

the process by which God makes himself known. The chief sources of Divine Revelation are Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

domestic Church a name for the Catholic family, because it is the community of Christians in the home. God made the family to be the first place we learn about loving others and following Christ.

E

ecumenism an organized effort to bring Christians together in cooperation as they look forward in hope to the restoration of the unity of the Christian Church
Epistles letters written by Paul and several of the other Apostles to new Christian communities that they established. There are twenty-one letters in the New Testament.
Eucharist the Sacrament in which Jesus gives himself and the bread and wine become his Body and Blood
evangelization

giving witness to the faith by proclaiming the Good News of Christ through words and deeds in a way that invites people to accept the Gospel

exile the time when Judah, the southern kingdom, was conquered by the Babylonians (586 B.C.). As a result, the people of Judah were sent into Babylon, away from their homeland.
Exodus

the Israelites' journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land, accomplished and directed by God

F

faith

the theological virtue that makes it possible for us to believe in God and the things that he has revealed to us. Faith leads us to obey him. It is both a gift from him and something we choose.

faithfulness the loyalty and steadfastness that God shows to all humans, even when they sin. God?s offer of friendship is never withdrawn.

G

Gospel

a word that means "Good News." The Gospel message is the Good News of God's Kingdom and his saving love.

grace

God’s free, loving gift of his own life and help to do what he calls us to do. It is participation in the life of the Holy Trinity.

H

Holy Orders the Sacrament in which a baptized man is ordained to teach the faithful, lead divine worship, and govern the Church; ordained ministers serve as bishops, priests, or deacons
Holy Trinity the mystery of one God in three divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
human dignity

the worth each person has because he or she is made in the image of God

I

Incarnation

the mystery that the Son of God took on a human nature in order to save all people

intercession

a form of prayer that involves praying to God on behalf of another; also called intercessory prayer

J

justice giving God what is due him. This virtue also means giving each person what he or she is due because that person is a child of God.

K

Kingdom of God

God's rule of peace, justice, and love that exists in Heaven, but has not yet come in its fullness on Earth

M

Marks of the Church

the essential characteristics that distinguish Christ's Church and her mission: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic

Matrimony a Sacrament at the Service of Communion in which a baptized man and a baptized woman make a permanent covenant of love with each other and with God
Messiah

the promised one who would lead God's people. The word Messiah means "God's anointed," or "God's chosen one." Jesus is the Messiah.

mission

a job or purpose. The Church's mission is to announce the Good News of God's Kingdom.

modesty

a moral virtue and one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit  that helps us to dress, talk, and move in appropriate ways

morality living in right relationship with God, yourself, and others. It is putting your beliefs into action.
mortal sin a very serious sin by which someone turns completely away from God

N

natural moral law rules about goodness that are written in our hearts and are natural to follow. However, our awareness of natural law can be clouded by Original Sin.
new Adam

a title for Jesus. By his obedience to the Father, and willingness to give his life, Jesus made amends for Adam's disobedience, overcame sin, and brought us eternal life.

New Commandment

Jesus' command for his disciples to love one another as he has loved us

new creation the future of justice, love, and peace promised by God, in which good will be rewarded and evil punished
New Testament the second part of the Bible, about the life and teaching of Jesus, his followers, and the early Church

O

Old Testament

the first part of the Bible, about God's relationship with the Hebrew people before Jesus was born. It includes the laws, history, and stories of God's People.

Original Holiness

the state of goodness that humanity enjoyed before our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose to sin against God

Original Sin

the sin of the first humans and its effect on all humans. Sin and death are part of the human condition because of the first humans' choice.

P

Passover the Jewish holy day that celebrates God?s leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt
peace a state of calm or harmony when things are in their proper order and people settle problems with kindness and justice
Precepts of the Church

some of the minimum requirements given by Church leaders for deepening our relationship with God and the Church

prophet

a messenger from God who speaks the truth and calls the people to follow the laws of God's covenant and act with justice

Protestant Reformation

a sixteenth-century religious separation from the Catholic Church that began with Martin Luther's preaching against what he felt were errors in the Church

providence

God's loving care for all things; God's will and plan for creation

psalms

poems and hymns that were first used in the liturgy of the Israelites. Today, the psalms are also prayed and sung in the public prayer of the Church.

Purgatory a state of final cleansing after death and before entering into Heaven

R

Real Presence

the phrase used to describe the Catholic teaching that Jesus Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist—Body, Blood, soul, and Divinity

Redeemer

a title for Jesus, because by his Death on the Cross, he “bought back” the human race from the slavery of sin

Resurrection the event of Jesus being raised from death to new life by God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit

S

Sabbath the seventh day of the week in the Jewish calendar. It is still observed by Jews as a day of rest, prayer and worship.
Sacrament at the Service of Communion

Holy Orders and Matrimony. These Sacraments celebrate people's commitment to serve God and community and help build up the People of God.

sacramental seal the rule that a priest is not to share anything he hears in confession
Sacred Scripture

the Word of God written by humans acting under the Holy Spirit's inspiration and guidance; another name for the Bible

Sacred Tradition

God's Word to the Church, safeguarded by the Apostles and their successors, the bishops, and handed down verbally – in her Creeds, Sacraments, and other teachings – to future generations

salvation

the loving action of God's forgiveness of sins and the restoration of friendship with him brought by Jesus

Savior

a title for Jesus, who came into the world to save all people who were lost through sin and to lead them back to God the Father

schism a break or division
Seven Sacraments

effective signs of God’s life, instituted by Christ and given to the Church. In the celebration of each Sacrament, there are visible signs and Divine actions that give grace and allow us to share in God’s work.

sin

an offense against God as well as against reason, truth, and conscience

social sin unjust structures that can occur as the result of personal sin. One person?s sin can cause others to sin, and the sin can spread through a whole society.
soul the spiritual part of a human that lives forever
Spiritual Works of Mercy actions that address the needs of the heart, mind, and soul

T

Tabernacle the special place in the church where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved after Mass for those who are ill or for Eucharistic Adoration
Temperance

is the cardinal virtue that helps us use moderation, be disciplined, and have self-control

temptation

an attraction to sin, those actions and omissions that go against right reason and against God's law

Transfiguration the revelation of Jesus in glory to the Apostles Peter, James, and John

V

venial sin

a sin that weakens a person's relationship with God but does not destroy it

virtues

good spiritual habits that strengthen you and enable you to do what is right and good. They develop over time with our practice and openness to God’s grace.

vocation

the purpose for which God made us and a particular way to answer his call, whether as a lay person (married or single), a member of a religious community, or a member of the ordained ministry

vows solemn promises that are made to or before God

W

wisdom

a gift from God that helps us see God's purpose and plan for our lives. Wisdom leads us to see things as God sees so that we might live holy lives.