Instruction 1: The form of the question
87. What is Tradition? (78)Tradition is all that the Church is and believes handed on by the apostles and their successors the bishops until the end of time.
Tradition comes from Latin trádere which means “to hand on”.
ExplanationEvery question/answer follows a similar form.
1. First comes the question.
2. At its end is a number in brackets that leads to the corresponding paragraph of the CCC.
3. On a new line follows the answer to the question.
4. A small print on a new line may sometimes add a commentary, a reference or another information.
Instruction 2: The names of Councils
473. What does Nicaea I confess in its Creed about the Son of God? (465)Nicaea I confesses in its Creed about the Son of God that He is “begotten, not made, of the same substance as the Father.”
ExplanationCouncils are sometimes quoted only by the name of the place where they have happened, e.g. the first Council of Nicaea is quoted as “Nicaea I”. If there has been more than one Council at one place, the name of the place is followed by a number in order to specify the Council, e.g. Nicaea I, Lateran IV.
Instruction 3: Mnemotecnical devices
469. For what four reasons did the Word become flesh for us men? (457-460)The four reasons for which the Word became flesh for us men are:
1. to save us
2. to show us God’s love
3. to become a model for us
4. to make us partakers of the divine nature.
A mnemonic is “Sa-lo-mo-n”: “sa” like “save”, “lo” like “love”, “mo” like modell and “n” like nature.
ExplanationMnemotechnical devices can help the beginner. Memorizing is the first step to knowing and understanding. Once the learner has understood, the mnemotechnical device is not necessary any more.
Instruction 4: The number in brackets after the question
1672. What is a sacramental? (1667)A sacramental is a sacred sign, resembling a sacrament and instituted, as a rule, by the Church.
ExplanationThe number in brackets after each question indicate the paragraph in the CCC to which the question/ answer refers.
Instruction 5: Locus classicus
216. What is the locus classicus for the oneness of God in the Old Testament? (201)
The locus classicus for the oneness of God in the Old Testament is Deut 6,4.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one.”
ExplanationLocus classicus is Latin and means “the typical place”, i.e. the best quotation from a corpus of texts in order to prove a theological truth. In the Q/A-Catechism most loci classici are taken from the Bible, the Fathers of the Church or other theologians.
Instruction 6: Red print
1769. What are the three sources of morality of human acts? (1750)The three sources of morality of human acts, are:
1. the object chosen
2. the intention
3. the circumstances of the action.
ExplanationSome questions contain parts that are printed in red. These red parts reflect the subtitles in the CCC that begin with Roman numbers. They allow the reader to see what questions belong together and what topic they are dealing with.