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Catholic Basics: Selected Definitions

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Catholic Basics:

Selected Definitions

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Definitions [G-H]

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 Item

Description

- G -

Gehenna

Synonym for "hell". Note: For 'Hell / Eternal Damnation' Reflections, click here

General Judgment

The General Judgment is the judgment of all persons by Christ which will occur on the last day. It will confirm each individual's particular judgment (the judgment faced by each person upon their death). Note: Click here for 'Judgment' Reflections

"The general resurrection or rising of all the dead will take place at the general judgment, when the same bodies in which we lived on earth will come forth from the grave and be united to our souls and remain united with them forever either in heaven or in hell." (Baltimore Catechism)

Genuflect

Refers to the practice of kneeling on one knee (the right knee, which touches the ground) while (generally) making the Sign of the Cross. It is customary to genuflect upon entering a church (towards the Tabernacle), before passing a Tabernacle, at certain points of the Traditional Latin Mass, etc. Note: For more on this topic, try here ('Kneeling / Prostrating / Bowing / Genuflecting' Reflections / Church Talk Section)

Gifts of the Holy Ghost

Click here for 'Gifts & Fruits of the Holy Spirit'

Gluttony

"Gluttony is an excessive desire for food or drink." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Gluttony is an inordinate love of eating and drinking." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. Note: For more information on deadly sins, try here

God

"God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things." (Baltimore Catechism) God is an infinitely perfect spirit. He is eternal, almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, all just, all holy, all loving, all good, all merciful. There is but one God, in Three Divine Persons (The Holy Trinity). "In God there are three Divine Persons, really distinct, and equal in all things - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." (Baltimore Catechism) Note: Click here for Reflections for topic 'God' . Click here for 'Scriptural Litany' of God. Click here for Topical Scripture for topic 'God'

Godparents

Godparents assist at Baptism and are charged with fulfilling certain responsibilities throughout the godchild's life. As stated in the Baltimore Catechism: "The duty of a godparent after Baptism is to see that the child is brought up a good Catholic, if this is not done by the parents." Note: For more information on Baptism, click here.

Good Friday

Good Friday is the day on which Christ died, nailed to the cross. "We call that day 'good' on which Christ died because by His death He showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing." (Baltimore Catechism) Note: Click here for 'The Passion / The Cross' Reflections

Good Works

"[The principal good works are]: 1. Prayer; 2. Fasting; and 3. Almsgiving." (Catechism of St. John Neumann) Note: For 'Good Works' Reflections, click here. For 'Obligation to Perform Good Works' Reflections, click here. For 'Works of Mercy', click here

Gospel

"['Good Tidings'] The life and teaching of Jesus Christ as recorded by the Evangelists, and the books wherein it is set down, namely in the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John... [May also refer to the] whole teaching of Christianity at any given moment, whether contained explicitly or implicitly in the deposit of faith, recorded by Scripture or tradition or made clear by definition (as in the expression 'to preach the gospel')." (Catholic Dictionary) Note: For more information, try the 'Scripture / Parables Section (click here)

Grace

"[Grace is a] supernatural gift of God bestowed on us, through the merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation." (Baltimore Catechism) Grace may be generally categorized as sanctifying grace (or habitual grace) or actual grace. Grace is received through the Sacraments. Note: For more information on grace, click here. For 'Grace' Reflections, click here. For information on the Sacraments, click here.

Grace (mealtime)

Refers to prayers said before and after meals. Note: For mealtime prayers, try here

Grave Matter

Grave matter is one of the conditions of a mortal sin. Grave matter may involve or touch upon one of the commandments or the precepts of the Church. The gravity of the matter may be affected by who is wronged (e.g. to slap a priest is graver than to slap a lay person, stealing from the Church is graver than stealing from an individual, etc.).

"The matter is grave when the thing under examination is seriously contrary to the laws of God and His Church." (Catechism of Pope St Pius X) 

"Knowingly to transgress a Precept of the Church in grave matter is a mortal sin." (Catechism of Pope St Pius X) 

Greatest Commandments

Refers to Jesus' two commandments which "sum up the whole law" (cf. Mt. 22:40), as indicated in Holy Scripture. Note: Click here for more information.

Gregorian Calendar

Refers to the calendar as reformed by Pope Gregory XIII in the 16th century. His calendar corrected the Julian Calendar previously in use (necessitating the skipping of 10 days in October of 1582 and modifying leap years). The Gregorian Calendar is more accurate and is the calendar in use in the Western world, the most widely used calendar worldwide, and "the standard international calendar for civil use."

Gregorian Masses / Trental

Refers to the traditional practice of having 30 consecutive daily Masses said for a deceased person upon their death. These Masses may be referred to as the "30 Masses of St. Gregory", Gregorian Masses, or a "Trental". These Masses are offered to assist a particular soul, with the hope of obtaining its release from Purgatory. Note: For more information regarding Purgatory, try here (Purgatory Release Project). For more information on The Mass / The Holy Eucharist, click here (Sacraments Section)

Guardian Angel

Angels appointed as our guardians. "Our guardian Angels pray for us, protect and guide us, and offer our prayers, good works and desires to God." (Baltimore Catechism) Note: For 'Angels' Reflections, click here 

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- H -

Habitual Grace

Synonym for sanctifying grace. Note: For information on grace, click here. For 'Grace' Reflections, click here.

Hagiography

Click here for 'Hagiography' information (Saints Section / Facts)

Heaven

"Heaven is a state of everlasting life in which we see God face to face, are made like unto Him in glory, and enjoy eternal happiness." (Baltimore Catechism) Note: Click here for 'Heaven' Reflections

Hell

"Hell is a state to which the wicked are condemned, and in which they are deprived of the sight of God for all eternity, and are in dreadful torments." (Baltimore Catechism) Should a person die in the state of mortal sin (that is, be guilty of a single unrepented mortal sin), he or she will go to Hell for all eternity, along with all the evil spirits. Note: For 'Hell / Eternal Damnation' Reflections, click here

Hell (As Used in the Apostles' Creed)

"The hell into which Christ's soul descended was not in the hell of the damned, but a place or state of rest...where the souls of the just were waiting for Him." (Baltimore Catechism)

Heresy

"Heresy is a culpable error of the intellect by which some truth of faith is obstinately denied." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and Catholic faith." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

Heresy is a grave matter, and a sin against the faith. Note: Click here for 'Heresy / Heretic' Reflections

Heretical

That which is opposed to a truth revealed by God. Note: Click here for 'Heresy / Heretic' Reflections

Heretics

"Those who do not believe all that God has taught are the heretics and infidels." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Heretics...have been baptized Christians, but do not believe all the articles of faith" (Baltimore Catechism)

"The denial of only one article of faith will make a person a heretic and guilty of mortal sin, because the Holy Scripture says: 'whoever shall keep the whole law but offend in one point is become guilty of all.'" (Baltimore Catechism)

"He who refuses to accept the solemn definitions of the Pope, or who even doubts them, sins against faith; and should he remain obstinate in this unbelief, he would no longer be a Catholic, but a heretic." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

Objectively speaking, Protestants (who have reached the age of reason) and all others who claim to be Christian but deny articles of faith are heretics. Heretics have always been excommunicated, and, as Holy Scripture teaches, "After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned." (St. Paul, Ti. 3:10-11)

Note: Click here for 'Heresy / Heretic' Reflections

Heroic Virtue

Click here for information on 'Heroic Virtue' (Saints Section / Facts)

Hierarchical Priesthood

Click here for information on the Hierarchical Priesthood (Priests & Vocations Section / Facts)

High Altar

The principal altar in a church. Note: Click here for 'Altars' Reflections

Holy Communion

"The reception and consumption of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist or Blessed Sacrament" (Catholic Dictionary) May also be used as a synonym for the Holy Eucharist. Note: For more information on the Holy Eucharist, click here

Holy Days of Obligation

Click here for information on Holy Days of Obligation

Holy Eucharist

"The Holy Eucharist is the true Body and the true Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine." (Catechism of St. John Neumann) Note: For more information on the Holy Eucharist, click here

The Holy Family

Refers to Jesus and his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster-father, St. Joseph. Note: Click here for 'Holy Family' Reflections 

Holy Father

Synonym for Pope. For more information on the Pope, see the Vatican View Section (click here)

Holy Ghost

See "Holy Spirit"

Holy Hour

"A devotion consisting of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for the space of one hour to enable the faithful to meditate before it, especially upon the Passion. Hymns, litanies and other prayers are sometimes sung, and the exposition is terminated by Benediction." (Catholic Dictionary) May also, informally, refer to an individual's hour-long adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Holy Orders

"Holy Orders is a sacrament which gives power to exercise the sacred duties connected with the worship of God and the salvation of souls, and which imprints the character of Minister of God on the soul of him who receives it." (Catechism of St. Pius X) Note: Click here for more information on Holy Orders

Holy Saturday

"The eve of Easter, a day of mourning for Christ in the tomb, until the vigil of the Resurrection in the late evening or during the night." (Catholic Dictionary)

Holy See

Click here for 'Holy See' Information (Vatican View Section / Facts)

Holy Spirit

"The Holy Ghost (also called Holy Spirit) is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity" (Baltimore Catechism). The Holy Spirit may also be called the Paraclete. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Note: Click here for more 'Holy Spirit' Reflections

Holy Thursday

The Thursday in Holy Week (the Thursday before Easter). Also called "Maundy Thursday." It commemorates the day in which Christ instituted the Blessed Sacrament at the Last Supper. It is also the day on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas.

Holy Trinity

"By the Blessed Trinity [or Holy Trinity] we mean, one and the same God in three Divine Persons." (Baltimore Catechism) Note: Click here for more 'Holy Trinity' Reflections

Holy Water

Refers to water blessed by a priest according to a specified form. It is a sacramental which may be used to remit venial sin. Not only is holy water a reminder of one's baptism, but it is also a powerful 'weapon' against evil spirits. Note: For 'Sacramentals' Reflections, click here

Holy Week

"The week immediately preceding Easter Sunday in which is recalled the memory of our Lord's last days and passion before the resurrection." (Catholic Dictionary)

Hosanna

"A Hebrew shout of triumph and rejoicing arising from the words in Ps. cxvii, 25, meaning 'save [us], we pray.' It was used by the crowd at our Lord's entry into Jerusalem (St. John xii, 13)." (Catholic Dictionary)

Host

From the Latin "hostia", meaning "victim". "The consecrated eucharistic Elements, particularly the species of bread (e.g. the elevation of the Host)." (Catholic Dictionary) May also refer to an unconsecrated wafer (e.g. in anticipation of the consecration). 

Humility

"A moral virtue prompting in its possessor an appreciation and external expression of his true position with respect to God and his neighbor; opposed, therefore, both to pride and to immoderate self-abjection. As pride devastates the Christian character, so humility builds it up, or rather, is an absolutely necessary prerequisite and the first of the virtues to the extent that it removes the greater obstacles to faith, upon which all rests. But affected humility is odious and the virtue does not require that a man should depreciate his ability against his knowledge; for, says St. Thomas, 'that a person should recognize and appreciate his own good qualities is no sin' and 'humility consists in keeping oneself within one's own bounds'; to do this one must know those bounds, neither narrower nor wider than they really are." (Catholic Dictionary) Note: Click here for 'Humility' Reflections

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