Lesson 1 – God, Our Teacher
Q. Who can teach us how to serve God according to His will?
A. Either God Himself, or he to whom God has made His will known.
Q. Has God ever spoken to men, and made His will known to them?
A. Yes; very often.
Q. To whom did he speak?
A. To the patriarchs and the prophets.
Q. What do you mean by “patriarchs?”
A. All those holy men who lived before Moses.
Q. Name some of them.
A. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.
Q. What did God say to them?
A. He told them who He was, why He had made them, in what manner they must worship Him, and what they must believe and do to be happy with Him in heaven, and escape the everlasting pains of hell.
Q. What else did God say to those holy men?
A. He commanded them to tell their fellow-men what he had spoken to them.
Q. What do you mean by “prophets?”
A. Men filled with the Spirit of God.
Q. What Spirit was this?
A. The Holy Ghost, the Lord and Life-giver.
Q. Name some of the prophets.
A. Moses, Elias, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, Daniel, Malachias, etc.
Q. Why are they called prophets?
A. Because they foretold things to come.
Q. How could they know things to come?
A. Because God made them known to them.
Q. What did they foretell?
A. They foretold especially the time of the coming of the Redeemer, the circumstances of His birth, of His life, passion, and death.
Q. What else did the prophets foretell of the Redeemer?
A. His resurrection and Ascension, and the sending down of the Holy Ghost, the destruction of Jerusalem, the rejection of the Jews, the conversion of the Gentiles, and the founding, spreading, and duration of His Church.
Q. Why was all this foretold by the prophets?
A. That all men might prepare for the coming of the Redeemer, know Him by the prophecies, and believe and do all that He would command them.
Q. How were men to know for certain that God had spoken to the patriarchs and prophets?
A. Because God Himself bore witness to the truth of their words by miracles.
Q. What do you mean by a miracle?
A. Miracles are most extraordinary works which cannot be done by mere natural powers, but by the power of God alone; such as the raising of the dead to life, giving sight to the blind, and the like.
Q. If holy men work miracles in confirmation of the truth of their words, must we, then, believe that God has spoken through them?
A. Yes; because God cannot permit a miracle except in confirmation of the truth, and therefore, when God speaks, whether it be through man, or in His own divine person, we must listen and obey, simply because it is the voice of God.
Q. Why cannot God permit a miracle in confirmation of error?
A. Because He cannot deceive us.
Q. When did God begin to speak to men?
A. When He first created man.
Q. How long did God continue to speak to men through the patriarchs and prophets?
A. For about four thousand years.
Q. Did God, after that time, speak no more?
A. At the end of that time, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to teach men.
Q. Who is Jesus Christ?
A. Jesus Christ is the son of God, true God and true man in one divine person.
Q. In what condition was mankind when the Redeemer came?
A. The grossest darkness of the understanding, and the most lamentable depravity of the will prevailed almost over the entire world.
Q. What was the consequence of this darkness and depravity?
A. All mankind, with the exception of the Jews, having lost the knowledge of God, worshiped creatures, even the very demons, as gods, and the most shameful vices were praised as virtues.
Q. Why did not the Jews also worship false gods?
A. Because the Jews or Israelites were a people chosen by God from the corrupt mass of mankind, and watched over with special care.
Q. Why did God choose the Jews for his people, and watch over them with special care?
A. Because, notwithstanding their sins, God took pity on men, and wished that through the Jews all those laws and truths which He had made known to mankind should be preserved, and that through them salvation might come to the whole world.
Q. For what other reason did God choose the Jews for his people?
A. God also wished that from them at last should be born one holy enough to be the mother of the Redeemer.
Q. What remedy did Jesus Christ apply to heal those universal evils of the understanding?
A. He enlightened men by His divine doctrine and example.
Q. What remedy did our blessed Redeemer apply to heal the great evils of the will?
A. He gave us the sacraments and prayer as means to obtain those graces which He merited for us by His life and death, whereby we would be enabled to believe and practise what he had taught us.