The Catechism sections for today deal with the implications of faith in one God. A homily by St. John Chrysostom provides the supplemental material. Enjoy!


222 Believing in God, the only One, and loving him with all our being has enormous consequences for our whole life.

223 It means coming to know God's greatness and majesty: "Behold, God is great, and we know him not."46 Therefore, we must "serve God first".47

224 It means living in thanksgiving: if God is the only One, everything we are and have comes from him: "What have you that you did not receive?"48 "What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?"49

225 It means knowing the unity and true dignity of all men: everyone is made in the image and likeness of God.50

226 It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from him:

My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.51

227 It means trusting God in every circumstance, even in adversity. A prayer of St. Teresa of Jesus wonderfully expresses this trust:

Let nothing trouble you / Let nothing frighten you Everything passes / God never changes Patience / Obtains all Whoever has God / Wants for nothing God alone is enough.52

St. John Chrysostom’s homily on 1 Corinthians 4:7 elaborates on the thought that everything we have is a gift from God.

3. For who makes you to differ? For what have you which thou did not receive?

From this point, dismissing the governed, he turns to the governors. What he says comes to this: From whence is evident that you are worthy of being praised? Why, has any judgment taken place? Any inquiry proceeded? Any essay? Any severe testing? Nay, you can not say it: and if men give their votes, their judgment is not upright. But let us suppose that thou really art worthy of praise and hast indeed the gracious gift, and that the judgment of men is not corrupt: yet not even in this case were it right to be high-minded; for you have nothing of yourself but from God received it. Why then do you pretend to have that which you have not? You will say, you have it: and others have it with you: well then, you have it upon receiving it: not merely this thing or that, but all things whatsoever you have.

For not to you belong these excellencies, but to the grace of God. Whether you name faith, it came of His calling; or whether it be the forgiveness of sins which you speak of, or spiritual gifts, or the word of teaching, or the miracles; you received all from thence. Now what have you, tell me, which you have not received, but hast rather achieved of your own self? You have nothing to say. Well: you have received; and does that make you high-minded? Nay, it ought to make you shrink back into yourself. For it is not yours, what has been given, but the giver's. What if you received it? You received it of him. And if you received of him, it was not yours which you received, and if you but received what was not your own, why are you exalted as if you had something of your own? Wherefore he added also, Now if you received it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it?


46 ⇒ Job 36:26.
47 St. Joan of Arc.
48 I Cor 4:7.
49 ⇒ Ps 116:12.
50 ⇒ Gen 1:26.
51 St. Nicholas of Flue; cf. ⇒ Mt 5:29-30; ⇒ 16:24-26.
52 St. Teresa of Jesus, Poesias 30 in the Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, vol. III, tr. K. Kavanaugh OCD and O. Rodriguez OCD (Washington DC Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1985), 386 no. 9. tr. John Wall.