From the Pastor: Can You Pass This Test?
On Saturday, we held a one day retreat for the children who are about to be confirmed. After a good beginning, with Mass, confessions, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we got down to business. I passed out a quiz to see just how much they already knew about the basics of Catholicism, so that I would know how best to aim the talks of the day. Most of you have already been confirmed and, after seeing the test results, I wonder how you would fare. So here goes. Take it if you dare!
—How many Gifts of the Holy Ghost are there? Name them. What is the purpose of each one?
—What are the 12 fruits of the Holy Ghost and where are they found in sacred scripture?
—Why do some lists only include 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit? (Tip: note the change from Holy Spirit to Holy Ghost!)
—What is the difference between a Gift and a Fruit of the Holy Ghost?
—Write out the 10 commandments.
—Name the 7 sacraments. Put an asterisk next to those which, once all are received, fully initiate a Catholic into the Church.
—Give the definition of a Sacrament.
—Answer (honestly!) yes or no to the questions below:
Can you recite the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer)?
Can you recite the Hail Mary?
Can you recite the Glory be?
Can you recite the Angelus?
Can you recite the Hail Holy Queen?
Can you recite the Blessing Before Meals?
Can you recite the Grace (thanksgiving) After Meals?
Can you recite the St. Michael the Archangel prayer?
Can you recite the Guardian Angel prayer?
Can you recite the Act of Contrition?
Can you recite the Apostles Creed?
Do you know all of the mysteries of the Rosary?
Do you know all of the Stations of the Cross?
Now, obviously this was not meant to be an in-depth examination of their Catholic knowledge. With the exception of the questions about the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Ghost, which they certainly should have been studying in preparation for Confirmation, they (and you!) should have been able to breeze their way through the rest of the test. After all, I expect even our First Holy Communion recipients to know the basic prayers and to be able to list the 10 Commandments and seven Sacraments. How do you think they did? I cannot tell you here, since I had to write this for the bulletin before the retreat took place! I assume they all passed with flying colors. How did you do? Would you like to know the answers to the first questions?
—Which are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?
A. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.
—What purpose do these gifts serve?
A. The gifts of the Holy Ghost serve to establish us in Faith, Hope and Charity, and to render us prompt in the exercise of those acts of virtue necessary towards attaining the perfection of a Christian life.
—What is the Fear of the Lord?
A. The Fear of the Lord is a gift which makes us respect God and fear to offend His Divine Majesty, and which detaches us from evil while inciting us to good.
—Why do we receive the gift of Fear of the Lord?
A. We receive the gift of Fear of the Lord to fill us with a dread of sin. On account of the goodness of God and the punishment He can inflict.
—What is Piety?
A. Piety is a gift enabling us to venerate and love God and His Saints, and to preserve a pious and benevolent mind towards our neighbour for the love of God.
—Why do we receive the gift of Piety?
A. We receive the gift of Piety to make us love God as a Father, and obey Him because we love Him.
—What is Knowledge?
A. Knowledge is a gift enabling us to estimate created things at their proper worth, and to learn how to use them rightly and to direct them to our last end, which is God.
—Why do we receive the gift of Knowledge?
A. We receive the gift of Knowledge to enable us to discover the will of God in all things.
—What is Fortitude?
A. Fortitude is a gift which inspires us with valour and courage to observe faithfully the holy law of God and of the Church, by conquering all obstacles and all the assaults of our enemies.
—Why do we receive the gift of Fortitude?
A. We receive the gift of Fortitude to strengthen us to do the will of God in all things. Some know the will of God--what they should do--but they have not the courage to follow the dictates of their conscience. For example, a person goes with bad company: the gift of knowledge will teach him that he should give it up; but the gift of fortitude will enable him to do what his conscience shows him to be right.
—What is Counsel?
A. Counsel is a gift by which, amidst the doubts and uncertainties of human life, we are enabled to recognise those things that redound more to God's glory, to our own salvation, and to that of our neighbour.
—Why do we receive the gift of Counsel?
A. We receive the gift of Counsel to warn us of the deceits of the devil, and of the dangers to salvation. The devil is much wiser than we are, and has much more experience, being among the people of the world ever since the time of Adam--about 6,000 years. He could therefore easily deceive and overcome us if God Himself by the gift of counsel did not enable us to discover his tricks and expose his plots. When at times we are tempted, our conscience warns us, and if we follow the warning we shall escape the sin. Counsel tells us when persons or places are dangerous for our salvation.
—What is Understanding?
A. Understanding is a gift which facilitates, as far as this is possible to mortal man, the understanding of the truths of faith and of the mysteries of God, which we are unable to know by the natural light of the intellect.
—Why do we receive the gift of Understanding?
A. We receive the gift of Understanding to enable us to know more clearly the mysteries of faith. "Mysteries," truths we could never know by reason, but only by the teaching of God; and the gift of understanding enables us to know better what His teaching means. The Apostles heard and knew what Our Lord taught, but they did not fully understand the whole meaning till the Holy Ghost had come.
—What is Wisdom?
A. Wisdom is a gift by which the mind is lifted up from earthly and transitory things, enabling us to contemplate things eternal, that is to say, God Himself, the eternal truth, and to relish and love Him, in which consists all our good.
—Why do we receive the gift of Wisdom?
A. We receive the gift of Wisdom to give us a relish for the things of God, and to direct our whole life and all our actions to His honor and glory.
I hope everyone passed the test!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka