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Enrich Your Catholic Vocabulary

  • Denise Bates Enos, Curriculum Editor
  • |
  • July 11 2012
(CNS Photo/Paul Haring)

Quick: If a student asks you, what’s the difference between sanctifying grace and actual grace, how would you answer? It’s tricky, isn’t it? It sure would be handy to have a quick faith word reference right at your fingertips—and thanks to Our Sunday Visitor, you do.

Emily Stimpson has adapted a quick reference list of 19 key terms from the Diocese of Harrisburg’s “Basic Catholic Vocabulary” list for new catechists.This listwill help you clarify meanings and enhance understanding for your students. A few of them are listed here:

Holy Trinity: The mystery of one God in Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Incarnation: When the Son of God assumed human nature and became man.

Transubstantiation: When, in the consecration of the bread and wine, there occurs the change of the entire substance of the bread into the Body of Christ, and the entire substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ.

Angel: A spiritual, personal and immortal creature, with intelligence and free will, who glorifies God without ceasing and who serves God as a messenger of his saving plan. Not a person who has died and gone to heaven.

Sanctifying grace: Grace that heals our wounded human nature by giving us a share in the divine life of the Trinity. A habitual and supernatural gift that perfects and makes us holy.

Actual grace: Temporary supernatural intervention by God to enlighten the mind or strengthen the will to perform supernatural actions that lead to heaven.

For the complete list, click here.


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