The First Commandment of God
198. What is the first commandment of God?
The first commandment of God is: I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
199. What are we commanded by the first commandment?
By the first commandment we are commanded to offer to God alone the supreme worship that is due Him.
200. How do we worship God?
We worship God by acts of faith, hope, and charity, and by adoring Him and praying to Him.
201. What does faith oblige us to do?
Faith obliges us: first, to make efforts to find out what God has revealed; second, to believe firmly what God has revealed; third, to profess our faith openly whenever necessary.
202. What does hope oblige us to do?
Hope obliges us to trust firmly that God will give us eternal life and the means to obtain it.
203. What does charity oblige us to do?
Charity obliges us to love God above all things because He is infinitely good, and to love our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
204. How can a Catholic best safeguard his faith?
A Catholic can best safeguard his faith by making frequent acts of faith, by praying for a strong faith, by studying his religion very earnestly, by living a good life, by good reading, by refusing to associate with the enemies of the Church, and by not reading books and papers opposed to the Church and her teaching.
205. How does a Catholic sin against faith?
A Catholic sins against faith by apostasy, heresy, indifferentism, and by taking part in non-Catholic worship.
206. Why does a Catholic sin against faith by taking part in non-Catholic worship.
A Catholic sins against faith by taking part in non-Catholic worship when he intends to identify himself with a religion he knows is defective.
207. What are the sins against hope?
The sins against hope are presumption and despair.
208. When does a person sin by presumption?
A person sins by presumption when he trusts that he can be saved by his own efforts without God's help, or by God's help without his own efforts.
209. When does a person sin by despair?
A person sins by despair when he deliberately refuses to trust that God will give him the necessary help to save his soul.
210. What are the chief sins against charity?
The chief sins against charity are hatred of God and of our neighbor, envy, sloth, and scandal.
211. Besides the sins against faith, hope, and charity, what other sins does the first commandment forbid?
Besides the sins against faith, hope, and charity, the first commandment forbids also superstition and sacrilege.
212. When does a person sin by superstition?
A person sins by superstition when he attributes to a creature a power that belongs to God alone, as when he makes use of charms or spells, believes in dreams or fortune-telling, or goes to spiritists.
213. When does a person sin by sacrilege?
A person sins by sacrilege when he mistreats sacred persons, places, or things.