Classic Christian Fundamentals

Here’s a refresher in the Basics from an excellent “Western” resource: The Practice of Religion … followed by (subsequent post) a worthwhile guide to preparing for Confession by another worthy “Western” resource, St Augustine’s Prayer Book.

Christian Duties, Virtues, Etc.

The Three Theological Virtues
Faith. Hope. Charity.

The Four Cardinal Virtues
Prudence. Justice. Temperance. Fortitude.

The Christian Duties.
Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving.

The Ecclesiastical Duties.
To keep the Festivals and Fasts of the Church.
To observe the commands, customs, and ceremonies of the Church.
To attend public worship and receive the Holy Communion.

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.
The Spirit of Counsel and Ghostly Strength.
The Spirit of Knowledge and True Godliness.
The Spirit of Holy Fear.

The Twelve Fruits of the Spirit.
Love. Gentleness. Patience.
Joy. Goodness. Modesty.
Peace. Truth. Temperance.
Longsuffering. Meekness. Chastity.

The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy.
To instruct the ignorant.
To counsel the doubtful.
To correct offenders.
To endure injury.
To forgive wrong.
To pray for others.
To comfort the afflicted.

The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy.
To feed the hungry. To visit the sick.
To clothe the naked. To help prisoners.
To shelter the stranger. To bury the dead.
To visit the widows and the fatherless.

The Seven Capital Sins*
Pride
Anger
Lust
Envy
Gluttony
Avarice
Sloth

The Seven Godly Virtues
Humility
Forgiveness
Generosity
Purity
Love
Diligence
Temperance

Ways of Sharing in the Sins of Others.
By evil counsel. By command. By defense.
By provocation. By silence. By praise.
By concealment. By flattery. By consent.


Seven Stages of Sin.

1. Suggestion.
2. Pleasure.
3. Consent.
4. Act.
5. Habit.
6. Slavery.
7. Spiritual blindness.

Three Dangers to the Soul.
The World. The Flesh. The Devil.

The Four Last Things.
Death. Judgment. Heaven. Hell.

The Seven Sacraments.**
Baptism.
Confession.
Chrismation.
Communion.
Matrimony.
Ordination.
Unction.


The Marks of a Real Repentance.

I. In the Heart: Contrition.
II. In the Mouth: Confession.
III. In the Life: Amendment.

* – changed “Covetousness” to “Avarice” in order to form the memorable anagram: PALE GAS (Pride, Anger, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Avarice, Sloth).

** – changed “Confirmation” to “Chrismation” to reflect Orthodox belief & practice. Also, though the Orthodox do recognize these 7 Sacraments, the number of the Holy Mysteries is not limited to seven.

Taken from The Practice of Religion, Morehouse-Gorham, NY (1944).

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