Sunday, June 02, 2013

What Catholics Believe, The Creed Part I

I believe in one God,

This is a belief of all Christians, as far as I know.  It is the one commonality between three major world religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  Not only do we, Christians, believe in one God but in the oneness of God.  “The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence.” (CCC 200 quoting Roman Catechism I, 2, 2) We believe that God is one but that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God—The Blessed Trinity.  “To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith.  This is not contrary to belief in the One God.  Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as “Lord and giver of life” introduce any division into the One God.” (CCC 202)

We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal infinite (immensus) and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple.
(CCC202, footnote 8: Lateran Council IV: DS 800)

Frederick Hart's "Creation of the World" (National Cathedral, Washington, DC)

the Father almighty,

While the mystery of the Holy Trinity is “the central mystery of Christian faith and life” (CCC 234), the Creed addresses God as Father first.  In fact, it was Jesus, God the Son, Who revealed God as the loving Father. 
maker of heaven and earth,

    of all things visible and invisible.

The Church teaches that God created the visible world of creation and the invisible world of angels and souls.  He created everything from nothing.  This statement was made in the creed, despite Scriptural support because early heretics such as the Gnostics and Marcionites thought that God only created the invisible or spiritual world.  They believed that there was an evil God who created the evil material world.   Here, in the creed, Christians acknowledge one Creator of all.  
 God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.  Gen 1:31

“Look to the heavens and the earth and see all that is in them; then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things.  In the same way humankind came into existence.”  2 Maccabees 7:28
Added, so readers can see the entire Nicene Creed used in the Catholic Liturgy today, one can see how the above fits in the Creed as a whole.

****************************************************************************End Part 1
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
        the Only Begotten Son of God,
        born of the Father before all ages.
    God from God, Light from Light,
        true God from true God,
    begotten, not made, consubstantial
       with the Father;
        Through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation
        he came down from heaven,
        and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
        of the Virgin Mary,
        and became man.

    For our sake he was crucified
      under Pontius Pilate,
        he suffered death and was buried,
        and rose again on the third day
        in accordance with the Scriptures.
    He ascended into heaven
        and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory
        to judge the living and the dead
        and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
        the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
    who with the Father and the Son
        is adored and glorified,
        who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic,
     and apostolic Church.
    I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins
        and I look forward to the resurrection
        of the dead and the life of the world to come.


  1. I have added this series to the "Indices" page. Keep up the good work! I'll probably be adding to this myself.


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