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Chapter 25. First Commandment: Believe in the True God • 347

tion, diverse forms of prayer, and devotional practices. With Augustine,

they can say, “You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”


1. Most people in our culture say they believe in the existence of God.

What causes the disconnection between that belief and the behavior

of many?

2. How do you find that acts of faith, hope, and love bring you closer

to God and make your behavior an act of praise to the Lord?

3. How can we discover the presence of God in our lives? How can we

share an awareness of this reality with others?


• “I, the Lord am your God. . . . You shall not have other gods besides

me. . . . You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and

with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Ex 20:2-3; Dt 6:5).

• The positive invitation of the First Commandment calls us to practice

the Theological Virtues of faith, hope, and charity by believing in,

hoping in, and loving God, and by our willingness to adore the Holy

Trinity. The Theological Virtues relate directly to the living God.

• “Adoring God, praying to him, offering him the worship that belongs

to him, fulfilling the promises and vows made to him are acts of the

virtue of religion which fall under obedience to the first command-

ment” (CCC, no. 2135).

• Based on our faith in the Incarnation of Christ, we venerate images

of Christ, Mary, the angels, and the saints. We do not worship the

images themselves, but in venerating the image, we venerate who-

ever is portrayed—Jesus Christ, Mary, a saint, or an angel. This in

turn can lead us to a deeper contemplation of God himself.

• The First Commandment forbids idolatry, which is the worship of a

creature or an object.

• Other sins against the First Commandment include tempting God,

which means that we put his power to the test as Satan did with