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ARK Glossary: Grade 4


One of the patriarchs of Israel to whom God promised his descendants would be “as numerous as the stars in the sky” (Genesis 26:4). He is known as “our father in faith” because of the faith he exemplified in God’s promises.


The first Sacrament we receive. Baptism makes us members of the Church, forgives our sins, and gives us new life in Christ. It is necessary for salvation. The celebration of Baptism involves being immersed in water or having water poured over one’s head in the name of the Holy Trinity.


Happiness or fulfillment. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave the Beatitudes as the perfection of the Ten Commandments. They teach us how to be truly happy, or reach human perfection and fulfillment, which we ultimately find in Heaven.


Virtues acquired by human effort. They are the key moral virtues which all other moral virtues are grouped around. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts and help prepare the powers of human beings for communion with God’s love. They are prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.


The Theological Virtue by which we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. Also called “love.” It is the greatest Theological Virtue because it is eternal.


A title for the Eucharist. When we receive the Eucharist we are united to Jesus Himself. All who receive the Eucharist participate in the one bread and one cup, which makes us one People of God, united to Christ and each other. The Church teaches that we should receive Holy Communion frequently and while in a state of grace.


The gift God gave human beings to be able to use reason in order to judge right from wrong. Conscience is God’s voice in our hearts. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and inform our conscience with prayer and God’s word, about what is truly good. A poorly-formed conscience will lead us to sin.


Sorrow. We must be truly sorry for our sins in order to be forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. The priest will ask us to pray an act of contrition after we confess our sins as a sign of our sorrow.


A sacred permanent bond of family relationship. God entered in a series of covenants with mankind throughout Salvation History to invite us to be part of His divine family and to prepare us gradually and in stages and in words and deeds to receive the gift of salvation.


A disordered inclination or desire for pleasure or possessions. One of the capital sins, it is proscribed by the ninth and tenth commandments (2514, 2534). 


A form of prayer in which we ask for God’s help for others.


Serious sin that we choose to commit even though we know it is wrong. Mortal sin breaks our friendship with God and completely rejects His love for us. We can restore our friendship with God by turning away from sin and receiving the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.


The man God called to be His prophet and through whom He made a covenant with Israel. God gave Moses the mission of leading His people out of slavery in Egypt. God delivered the Ten Commandments and the whole of the Law to Moses to teach the Israelites how to love Him and how to love their neighbor.


The first sin of Adam and Eve that brought pain, suffering, and death into the world. Because we are all descendants of Adam and Eve we are all born with Original Sin in our souls. We need to be baptized to remove the stain of Original Sin. The effects of Original Sin remain, however. For example, we tend to sin, we suffer, and we die.


Jesus’ suffering and Death on the Cross for our salvation.


The bishop of Rome and successor of St. Peter. The pope has the special responsibility of being the head of the entire Church on earth. He unites and guides all of the world’s bishops and leads all of God’s people on earth. He is Christ’s chief representative on earth.


The state of being after death in which those who “die in God’s grace and friendship, but [are] still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of Heaven” (CCC 1030).


A special prayer in which we reflect on the Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous, and Glorious Mysteries – important events in the lives of Jesus and Mary. A string of beads of the same name is usually used to aid the prayer.


A brief blessing in word and action in which a person marks themselves with a symbolic gesture of the cross. It is made by first touching the forehead with one’s hand, then touching the lower chest or stomach, and then, starting with the left, touching both shoulders. These actions are accompanied by the Trinitarian formula: “In the name of the Father (at the forehead), and of the Son (at the chest or stomach), and of the Holy Spirit (on each shoulder). Amen.” Catholics begin and end times of prayer with this blessing.


A deliberate offense against God and/or neighbor. It is something we say, think, do, or fail to do that is against the eternal law of God.


Something that attracts or lures a person to sin.


The word used to describe the change of the bread and wine at Mass into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. (CCC, 1413)


Less serious sin than mortal sin. Venial sin hurts our relationship with God, but does not destroy it.


A habit of doing what is good. We build virtues through our own efforts and with God’s grace.


Virtues infused directly into the human soul by God that help human beings relate to God. They are the foundation of Christian moral activity by animating it and giving it its special character. They inform and give life to all other virtues. They are faith, hope, and love (charity). The greatest of which is love.


Corporal means “body.” The corporal works of mercy help us meet a person’s physical needs. They are: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, ransom the captive, and bury the dead.


The spiritual works of mercy help us meet a person’s spiritual needs. They are: instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses willingly, comfort the afflicted, and pray for the living and the dead.