This lesson is based on the text, Life in Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults, by Rev. Gerard Weber and Rev. James Killgallon (Acta Publications, 1995). The question in bold type is followed by a short answer taken from the text. The text in italics is another answer from the RCIA teacher, Jim Collins. Hyperlinks in red will direct you to documents or websites related to the topic. The entire sequence of lessons forms a comprehensive approach to basic RCIA instruction.

Preparation: Opening Prayer

Proclamation: Isaiah 54:5-14 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great             tenderness I will take you back.”

Song: Though the Mountains May Fall (Earthen Vessels--St. Louis Jesuits)

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust, yet the love of the Lord will stand as a shelter for all who will call on His name.  Sing the praise and the glory of God.  Could the Lord ever leave you?  Could the Lord forget His love?  Though a mother forsake her child, He will not abandon you.  Should you turn and forsake Him, He will gently call your name.  Should you wander away from Him, He will always take you back.  As He swore to your Fathers, when the flood destroyed the land, He will never forsake you.  He will swear to you again.


                        Questions: Anathema

                        All Saints, All Souls, Halloween (All Hallows)

                        Prayer: See changes in Catechism page/section references below

Questions and answers about Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2558-2865

What is prayer? (2558-2565) A gift from God: the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God; the encounter of God’s thirst with ours; the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God. Simply: our encounter with God and His encounter with us.

What are the five main types of prayer? (2626-2643) (1) Blessing (We bless the One who is the source of all blessing) and adoration (We acknowledge ourselves as creature before the Creator); (2) Petition; (3) Intercession; (4) Thanksgiving; (5) Praise (We laud God for his own sake).

What are three expressions of prayer? (2700-2719) (1) Vocal prayer; (2) Meditation; (3) Contemplation

What are some problems we face in prayer? (2725-2737)

            Erroneous notions: psychological activity, concentration to achieve mental void, ritual words and postures, scientifically verifiable, productive, escape from reality, divorce from life, source of great delight.

            Difficulties: Distraction, focus on ourselves versus God, dryness, darkness, lack of conversion, temptations (lack of faith, presumption), acedia (depression due to lack of discipline—ascetic practice), lack of filial trust (giving up on God).

What do the various parts of the Lord’s Prayer mean? (2777-2856)

            We Dare to Say: How dare we even approach God like Moses did the burning bush when he removed his sandals (Exodus 3:5) 


            Father! If He is our Father, we are his little children. He is Father by invitation of Jesus who encourages us to pray to Him as Father. He is Father as our creator but far beyond our cultural conception of father, both intimate (immanent) and evoking awe (transcendent).  


            “Our” Father: We are his people and He is our God. He is not our possession but we are intended to be part of His family, part of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We leave individualism behind, joining in prayer with all of our brothers and sisters, especially those who share in a common Baptism.


            Who Art in Heaven: We are seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6). We are there insofar as we are holy. At the same time we seek to be with Him for all eternity in the homeland, the dwelling place of the Trinity.


            Hallowed Be Thy Name: We recognize that God is all holy even as we seek to be holy and blameless before him in love (Eph 1:9,4)


            Thy Kingdom Come: refers primarily to the final coming of the reign of God through Christ’s return (Titus 2:13). We desire that the Father’s plan will happen as He as always wished, that all creation will be part of the eternal Kingdom.


            Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven: Prefect love exists within the Trinity. God wishes that we will learn to love this same way among ourselves on Earth: “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Jn 13:34.


            Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread: a petition for the nourishment that life requires which shows our faith in God’s goodness and our responsibility to help one another. It refers to our need for earthly food and the Eucharist for physical and spiritual survival.


            And Forgive Us our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass against Us: We must show mercy to others if we expect the Father to be merciful to us (Mt 18:23-35).


            And Lead Us Not into Temptation: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, so that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Cor 10:13


            But Deliver Us from Evil: We seek delivery from the power of the Evil One. “We know that anyone born of god does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.” 1 Jn 5:18-19.


Introduction of a Saint’s life: St. Maria Goretti

Prayer: Apostles Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

See also: Prayers