The Precepts of the Catholic Church are a description of the absolute minimum actions required of Catholics regarding the Church.

The Church uses these precepts to remind us that Christian life requires a commitment to prayer and active participation in the liturgy and sacraments. If we fall below this bare-minimum level, we can’t rightly consider ourselves to be in full communion with the Catholic Church.

Each of these precepts of the Catholic Church is a requirement. Together with the Ten Commandments, they represent the minimum level of moral living. Intentional violation of the precepts or the Commandments is a grave matter, meaning a mortal sin.

The precepts of the Church are:

  1. To attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation
  2. To fast and abstain from meat on appointed days
  3. To confess one’s sins at least once a year
  4. To receive Holy Eucharist during the Easter time
  5. To contribute to the support of the Church
  6. To observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage
  7. To join in the missionary spirit and apostolate of the Church


Pentecost is known as the “birthday of the Church.” On that day the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, giving them the graces they needed to go forth and teach the Gospel to all nations. This is one meaning of the word “catholic:” the Church is found in every land, therefore it is “universal” or worldwide.

Capital Sins

The capital sins are the source of all sins. The word capital derives from the Latin “caput,” meaning “head.” Each Christian must realize how susceptible he is to these vices due to the effects of original sin. Nevertheless, with God’s grace, given especially through the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Penance, adherence to the commandments, and the practice of virtue, the Christian will stay on the path of holiness. As Jesus said, “You must be made perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” – Matthew 5:48.

The seven capital sins are:

  1. Pride
  2. Covetousness
  3. Lust
  4. Anger
  5. Gluttony
  6. Envy
  7. Sloth

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. – 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are:

  1. Wisdom
  2. Understanding
  3. Counsel
  4. Fortitude
  5. Knowledge
  6. Piety
  7. Fear of the Lord

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. – Galatians 5:16-26

Fruits of the Holy Spirit

  1. Charity
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Patience
  5. Benignity
  6. Goodness
  7. Longanimity
  8. Mildness
  9. Fidelity
  10. Modesty
  11. Continence
  12. Chastity