A Creed We Must Live By
The Apostles' Creed is the blueprint for the foundation of faith that we must all follow in building our case for Heaven.

    Editor's Note: This series is an effort to return to basics since too often we all make the holy Faith complicated, whereas in reality the truths and traditions of the Catholic Faith are quite simple. God doesn't complicate things, man does. Realizing the fact that, for many generations indoctrinated by conciliar ambiguities, it all seems so confusing, we are introducing this series which is an adaptation of an earlier series titled "Appreciating the Precious Gift of the Faith" in utilizing a combination of the excellent compendium of the late Bishop Morrow's pre-Vatican II Manual of Religion My Catholic Faith and Dom Prosper Gueranger's incomparable The Liturgical Year as well as the out-of-print masterpieces The Catholic Church Alone The One True Church(1902) and the Cabinet of Catholic Information (1903). Through prayer and discussions, we've decided to employ this revised series to simplify the tenets of the Faith for those who continue to wallow in what they think is the 'Catholic Church' out of obedience to a man and his hierarchy who long ago betrayed Christ and His flocks. This then, is an affirmation of the basic truths the Spotless Bride of Christ has always taught and cannot change or evolve as "living documents" for truth is truth. As we say every day in the Act of Faith, "We believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived." If you have been deceived, and the vast majority have been, then realize what you've been indoctrinated with over the past 50 years cannot be from God but from His adversary. Our advice: flee the conciliar confines as well as other man-made religions which do not teach these truths without compromise. Seek out a traditional chapel nearest to you. There is a list of churches you can absolutely trust at Traditional Latin Masses

      "In religion we carry out in our lives what we learn about the duties we owe to God, about His commands and wishes. Mere knowledge is not religion, and will avail us nothing. The devil has knowledge, but he has no religion. Religion includes the service of God in fulfilling what we have learned of our duties towards Him. Religion is not a matter of feeling; it is a matter of will and of action, and the Creed is our blueprint to keeping the true Faith."

    The Apostles, before they parted, gathered together in Jerusalem in the first Council of the Church. There they decided to put down in a brief statement theirprincipal doctrines, so that their teachings might be uniform wherever they preached. This statement of the articles of faith we call today "The Apostles' Creed." It was formulated in order to put into fruition the command of Our Lord Jesus Christ to "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days" (St. Matthew 28:19-20). We find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church in The Apostles' Creed.

    A creed is a summary or statement of what one believes. "Creed" comes from the Latin credo, which means I believe; that is, I accept or hold true something on the word of another. "I believe," with relation to The Apostles' Creed, means that I firmly assent to everything contained in it. I believe it exactly as if I had seen those truths with my own eyes. I believe it on the authority or word of God, Who cannot deceive or be deceived.

    The Apostles' Creed is so called because it has come down to us from apostolic times, and contains a summary of the principal truths taught by the Apostles. The Apostles' Creed is repeated at Baptism, as a declaration of faith. In ancient times it was required before Baptism, as a sign of fitness for reception into the Church.

    The Apostles' Creed has come down to us intact, except for a few clauses added by the Church later, in order to counteract various heresies. These additions, however, are not new doctrines, but a clarification of what the Creed already contained. Thus the words "Creator of Heaven and earth" were added to counteract the Manichaean heresy that the world was created by the principle of evil; and the word "Catholic" was added, to distinguish the True Church from churches springing up around it. As our Lord said, "And you also bear witness, because from the beginning you are with Me" (St. John 15:27).

    There are several other creeds used by the Church, in substance identical with The Apostles' Creed. The Nicene Creed, which is said in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for all Sundays and feasts above Double Feasts, was mainly drawn up at the Council of Nicaea, in the year 325. The Athanasian Creed is said by priests in the Divine Office on the feast of the Blessed Trinity.

    The Apostles' Creed may be divided into twelve articles. All the articles are absolutely necessary to faith; if even one article is omitted or changed, faith would be destroyed. It is symbolical to divide The Apostles' Creed into twelve articles, because the Apostles numbered twelve; thus we are reminded that the Creed comes to us and was taught by the Apostles of Our Lord.

    The following are the articles:

      • (1) I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth;

      • (2) And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord;

      • (3) Who was conceivbed by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;

      • (4) Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

      • (5) He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead;

      • (6) He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;

      • (7) From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

      • (8) I believe in the Holy Ghost;

      • (9) The Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints;

      • (10) The forgiveness of sins;

      • (11) The resurrection of the body;

      • (12) And life everlasting. Amen.

    The twelve articles of The Apostles' Creed contain the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, one God in three distince Divine Persons, - Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, - with the particular operations attributed to each Person. The Creed contains three distince parts. The first part treats of God the Father and creation. The second part treats of God the Son and our redemption. And the third part treats of God the Holy Ghost and our sanctification.

    When we say the Apostles' Creed we make an act of faith. Christian faith is a supernatural gift of God which enables us to believe firmly whatever God has revealed, on the testimony of His word. By it we believe in the truth of many things which we cannot fully grasp with our understanding.

    For examply, we believe in God, although we cannot see Him. We believe in the Trinity, although it is beyond our understanding. "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).

    Faith does not require us to believe in anything contrary to reason. When we believe what we cannot perceive or understand, we act according to reason, which tells us that God cannot err, lie, or deceive us. We therefore put our trust in God's word. In many natural things we often believe what we do not see, as sound waves and atoms, on the testimony of scientists who have studied them. Thus we act within reason; but how much more reasonable it is to believe on the word of God!

    A great reward in Heaven awaits those who suffer persecution or die for the faith or some Christian virtue. The number of martyrs who have died for the Catholic faith is estimated at more than tens of millions.

    Neglect of the study of the truths of our religion is frequently the cause of lukewarmness, a bad life, and final apostasy and impenitence. We should be zealous in studying the Christian doctrine, in the catechism and religion lessons, in sermons, missions, and retreats, in prayer groups, confraternities and sodalities. If we have any doubts, we should consult our priests; God will not forgive ignorance if we voluntarily neglect the means He has granted to dissipate it.

    God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, Who made all things and keeps them in existence. God made everything - men, beasts, plants, planets, stars, everything. Not only that; God keeps everything in existence. Were He to take away His hand from what He created, everything would disappear into nothingness quicker than thought. Without a cause, there could be no effects. Without God, could there be anything at all?

    "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). "In Him were created all things" (Colossians 1:16). "It is He Who gives to all men life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).

    The traditions of all nations and races support the idea of the existence of God. All nations and peoples have an inner conviction of God's existence; their intellect supports their instinctive trust. Even among the wildest, most remote, and most degraded pagans there is invariably found the worship of some deity recognized as supreme, on whom man depends. There are savage peoples without ruler, laws, or even settlements, but never without some god that they worship with prayer and sacrifice.

    When we say that God is the Supreme Being, we mean that He is above all creatures, the self-existing and infinitely perfect Spirit. "I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no god" (Isaiah 44:6). 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end,' says the Lord God, 'Who is and Who was and Who is coming'" (Apocalypse/Revelation 1:18).

    A spirit is a being that has understanding and free will, but no body, and will never die. God is a pure spirit. As God has no body, when we speak of His eyes and His hands, we only speak in a figurative manner, in order to make ourselves more understandable according to our human way of speaking. Our Lord said to the Samaritan woman at the well: "God is spirit; and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth" (St. John 4:24). Yet God has often taken on visible forms, in order to be seen by men. Thus He showed Himself in the form of a dove at the baptism of Jesus, and in the form of tongues of fire on Pentecost. God is neither a dove nor tongues of fire; He merely assumed those forms in order to be seen by mortal eyes.

    Angels and devils are pure spirits also. Men are only partly spiritual, because they have a body. Man's soul is a spirit, absolutely independent of matter, and by creatures indestructible. As spirits, God and man have this in common, though in different degrees; both have understanding, intellect, and free will. By his free will man can even defy his Creator, God.

    When we say that God is self-existing we mean that He does not owe His existence to any other being. God made us, but who made God? God said to Moses, "I AM Who Am" (Exodus 3:14). He exists of Himself, deriving His Being from no other. God is the First Cause. All other beings and things owe their existence to God. In comparison to Him, we are nothing.

    Man can never have a complete knowledge of God. Man is finite and cannot fully understand the infinite. A cup can contain the immensity of the ocean more easily than man can fully understand the Infinite God. We know God only partly, from the order, harmony, and existence of things, from our conscience, and from God's revelations to man.

    When we say that God is infinitely perfect, we mean that He has all perfections without limit. God is immense and eternal, "an ocean without shore or bottom," the unchangeable Being that only Himself can fully understand: "His greatness is unsearchable" (Psalm 144:3). God is so great and wonderful that He needs nothing to make Him greater or more wonderful. He possesses all perfections, countless, innumerable, illimitable, boundless, the cause of perfection in all.

    God cannot be better, more holy, or more perfect than He already is. He is at the acme of perfection, the uncreated, the Infinite. "Heaven and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain thee" (3 Kings 8:27). So perfect is God that He is infinitely incomprehensible, incapable of being completely understood. Reason can verify the revelation that God made of Himself. But when we make our reason or our emotions the final authority, we make ourselves our own god, and shut the road to the supernatural, the Infinite.

    God alone can bridge the chasm that yawns between the finite and the infinite. When we take advantage of His grace to seek Him in loving trust, He holds our His hand, a Father calling to children, to cross the chasm safely to Him.

    The Creator is above all the created, though something of Him, some likeness of His Being, may be found in every creature. But even were all creaturs, from the most glorious seraphim to the lowliest of moss, to combine their powers and perfections, theirs would be a faint shadow of God's all-encompassing supremacy. Some of the perfections of God are: God is eternal, all-good, all knowing, all-present, and almighty.

    God's perfections do not exist separately in Him, but are one and identical with Himself. They are only various manifestations of His one nature and perfection. In God, for example, His goodness is one with His wisdom and power. His perfections, besides being one and the same in Him, are also identical with Him: that is, God Himself is infinity, wisdom, goodness, power.

    Man is, of course, imperfect and therefore totally dependent upon God. That is why man needs a blueprint, a creed to gage his life for to return to God is man's ultimate goal, his destiny. Yes, we owe our Creator. In creating us, God gave us the power and right to choose which path we should follow in life: either the path of obedience, or the path of disobedience to His commandments. The first seems wearisome and full of thorns, but reward comes in the end: happiness with God. The second seems full of pleasures and roses, but punishment awaits the traveler at the end: eternal damnation in hell. Each must choose for himself. We may find the choice a hard struggle. We shall be strengthened in the choice of the difficult path if we remember that we belong to God, that He loves us, that He will help us and is waiting for us at the end of the road if we but obey Him and carry out the articles of the Apostles' Creed.

    In creating us, God gave us the power and right to choose which path we should follow in life: either the path of obedience, or the path of disobedience to His commandments. The first seems wearisome and full of thorns, but reward comes in the end: happiness with God. The second seems full of pleasures and roses, but punishment awaits the traveler at the end: eternal damnation in hell. Each must choose for himself. We may find the choice a hard struggle. We shall be strengthened in the choice of the difficult path if we remember that we belong to God, that He loves us, that He will help us and is waiting for us at the end of the road-of obedience.

    Man's high destiny is to go to God, because man comes from God, and belongs entirely to God. Our reason tells us that Someone made us. That Someone is God. Nothing can proceed from nothing. If there had ever been a moment when nothing existed, nothing would ever have existed. Therefore, because we exist, we know Someone who made us also exists; that Someone is God. "He made us, and not we ourselves" (Psalms 99:3). "All things have been created through and unto Him" (Colossians 1:16).

    Our reason also tells us that God must have made us for some purpose. God made man to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy forever with Him in the next. God made us for Himself. The end of man, as of all creation, is the glory of God; to manifest the divine perfections, to proclaim the goodness, majesty, and power of God. "The Lord hath made all things for Himself" (Proverbs 16:4). Whether he wishes to or not, man must manifest God's perfections, dominion, and glory. Man's very existence does this; even his sins will in the end show forth God's infinite holiness and justice. Through glorifying God, man is destined to share His everlasting happiness in Heaven. Man was created chiefly for the life beyond the grave; this present one is merely a preparation for the eternal life. In this life we are exiles, wanderers, pilgrims. Heaven, the Home of God, is our true country, our true Home. There God wants to share with us His own unmeasured bliss. "For here we have no permanent city, but we seek for the City that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14).

    We belong to God. Since we are His creatures, we have certain duties towards God which we must fulfill. Religion teaches us what these duties are. Religion is the virtue by which we give to God the honor and service due to Him alone as our Creator, Master, and Supreme Lord. It is by religion that we know, love, and serve God as He commands us to know, love and serve Him. It is by religion, then, that we fulfill the end for which we were made, and so save our soul. In order to practice this virtue, we must: Believe all the truths revealed by God.

    In religion we learn about God and His perfections. We learn something about His great love for us. We learn what is right and what is wrong. We learn what God commands us to do. We learn about the future that He has prepared for us.

    In religion we carry out in our lives what we learn about the duties we owe to God, about His commands and wishes. Mere knowledge is not religion, and will avail us nothing. The devil has knowledge, but he has no religion. Religion includes the service of God in fulfilling what we have learned of our duties towards Him. Religion is not a matter of feeling; it is a matter of will and of action, and the Creed is our blueprint to keeping the true Faith.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ says: "Blessed are they who hear the world of God and keep it" (St. Luke 11:28). The Apostle Saint James said: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (St. James 1).