EASTER: The greatest and oldest Christian feast, which celebrates Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. Easter is the “feast of feasts,” the solemnity of solemnities, the “Great Sunday.” Christians prepare for it during Lent and Holy Week, and catechumens usually receive the Sacraments of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil (1169; cf. 647).
EASTERN CHURCHES: Churches of the East in union with Rome (the Western Church), but not of Roman rite, with their own liturgical, theological, and administrative traditions, such as those of the Byzantine, Alexandrian or Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite, and Chaldean rites. The variety of particular churches with distinctive traditions witnesses to the catholicity of the one Church of Christ, which takes root in distinct cultures (1202-1203; cf. 835).
ECCLESIASTIC/ECCLESIASTICAL: Pertaining to or of the Church (Greek/Latin: ecclesia). Hence ecclesiastical government is church government (857); an ecclesiastical province is a grouping of church jurisdictions or dioceses (887); an ecclesiastic is a church official.
ECONOMY: The structure and organization of productive work or activity in a society, forming the basis for financial support and stability of individuals, families, and society. The morality of economic activity is judged according to the seventh commandment; economic activity is one of the principal points addressed by the Church’s social doctrine.
the Church’s social doctrine and, 2420-21, 2423, 2458 goals of the, 2426 inequalities and injustices in economy and their consequences, 1938, 2317, 2437 man in economic life, 2459 regulation of economy is necessary, 2425, 2431 and respect for human dignity, 2407 right to economic activity, 2429 social justice and economic activity, 2426-36 solidarity and justice in, 1941, 2438, 2440, 2832 unacceptable economic theories, 2424
ECONOMY OF SALVATION (DIVINE ECONOMY): From a Greek word (oikonomia, literally “management of a household” or “stewardship”) which refers to God’s revelation and communication of himself to the world in time for the sake of the salvation of all humanity; hence, the economy of salvation (258, 1066). The Fathers of the Church distinguished oikonomia from theologia; the latter term refers to the mystery of the internal life of the Trinity (236). The economy of salvation, on the other hand, refers to God’s activity in creating and governing the world, particularly with regard to his plan for the salvation of the world in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a plan which is being accomplished through his Body the Church, in its life and sacraments; hence, the “sacramental economy”.
beginning of the, 56, 489, 705 definitive propriety of the, 66 economy of creation and salvation in Jesus prayer, 2604, 2606, 2746, 2758 economy of Revelation realized in words and deeds, 1103 goals of the divine economy, 122, 260 of the Law and grace frees the human heart, 2541 perversions that threaten the divine economy, 57 prayer and the, 2850 of the sacraments, 1076-1209 (see also Sacrament[s]) whole divine economy is the common work of the three divine persons, 258-59, 1066
ECUMENICAL COUNCIL: See Council, Ecumenical.
ECUMENISM: Promotion of the restoration of unity among all Christians, the unity which is a gift of Christ and to which the Church is called by the Holy Spirit. For the Catholic Church, the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council provides a charter for ecumenical efforts.
Baptism as the foundation of, 818, 1271 causes for the ecumenical rifts, 817 consequences of the ecumenical rifts, 855 effects of ecumenical dialogue, 1636 reasons for achieving ecumenical unity, 816, 819-22
ENCYCLICAL: A pastoral letter written by the Pope and sent to the whole Church and even to the whole world, to express Church teaching on some important matter. Encyclicals are expressions of the ordinary papal magisterium (cf. 892).
ENVY: Resentment or sadness at another’s good fortune, and the desire to have it for oneself. One of the seven capital sins, envy is contrary to the tenth commandment.
EPARCHY: See Diocese.
EPICLESIS: The prayer petitioning God to send the Holy Spirit so that the offerings at the Eucharist may become the Body and Blood of Christ and thus the faithful, by receiving them, may themselves become a living offering to God. In every sacrament, the prayer asking for the sanctifying power of God’s Holy Spirit is an “epiclesis”.
in the celebration of the Anointing of the Sick, 1519 in the celebration of marriage, 1624 effects of the prayer of, 1238, 1297 as the heart of the Eucharistic celebration, 1106 meaning of, 1105, 1109, 1353 the “Our Father” as a summary of, 2770 signs and motions in, 699
EPIPHANY: The feast which celebrates the manifestation to the world of the newborn Christ as Messiah, Son of God, and Savior of the world. The feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast of Cana in Galilee (528; cf. 535).
EPISCOPAL/EPISCOPATE: Pertaining to the office of bishop (Greek: episkopos), hence episcopal consecration, the episcopal college, episcopal conferences (883, 887, 1557). “Episcopate” is a collective noun referring to all those who have received sacramental ordination as bishops.
authority and, 883-84 Bishop of Rome and, 936 bishops and, 877 the Church and, 857, 869 consecration of the bishop and, 1559 expression of, 885 infallibity of, 891 particular churches and collegial spirit, 886-87
EREMITICAL LIFE: The life of a hermit, separate from the world in praise of God and for the salvation of the world, in the silence of solitude, assiduous prayer, and penance (920).
ESCHATOLOGY: From the Greek word eschaton, meaning “last.” Eschatology refers to the area of Christian faith which is concerned about “the last things,” and the coming of Jesus on “the last day”: our human destiny, death, judgment, resurrection of the body, heaven, purgatory, and hell–all of which are contained in the final articles of the Creed (1001, 1020-1050; cf. 2771).
ETERNAL LIFE: Living forever with God in the happiness of heaven, entered after death by the souls of those who die in the grace and friendship of God (988, 1020). In preaching the kingdom of heaven, Jesus called all people to eternal life, which is anticipated in the grace of union with Christ: “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3).
EUCHARIST: The ritual, sacramental action of thanksgiving to God which constitutes the principal Christian liturgical celebration of and communion in the paschal mystery of Christ. The liturgical action called the Eucharist is also traditionally known as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is one of the seven sacraments of the Church; the Holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation (1322 ff.). The Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life (2l77). See Mass.
effects of the Eucharist
cleanses and separates us from sin, 1393-95, 1436, 1846 commits us to the poor, 1397 communicates the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity, 950, 2845 establishes the community of believers, 805, 1396, 2637 as a foretaste of the future life, 1000, 1326, 1402-05, 1419 as growth in Christian life, 1392, 1397, 1644 as an increase of the grace received in Baptism, 1392 as the source of conversion and penance, 1436 as spiritual food, 1212, 1275, 1436, 2837 transforms man through Christ, 1074 unites with Christ, 790, 1003, 1391 unites Christians, 1398 unites with the heavenly liturgy, 1370 we participate in Christ’s sacrifice, 1322
access to Eucharist prohibited, 1650 first Holy Communion, 1244 frequency of, 1388-89 minister of, 1411 necessary preparation for receiving, 1385-87 requirements for receiving, 1355, 1415 sacrilege against, 2120 under two species, 1390
Liturgy of the Word because of the impossibility of celebrating the Eucharist, 2183 necessity of the Eucharist and receiving Communion, 1384 participation in, 2042, 2181-82 place for celebration of, 1180-81 places reserved for, 1181, 1379 Sunday, 2177, 2181 and the unity of Christians, 838, 1398-1401 history of the Eucharist
ancient celebration of the Lord’s Day, 1342-43, 2178 Mass of all ages, 1345 origins of the Eucharistic celebration, 2176 prefigurings of the Eucharist, 1094, 1335 structure of the Eucharistic celebration preserved throughout the centuries, 1346
identity of the Eucharist
act of thanksgiving and praise to the Father, 1358-61 communion of the Lord’s body and blood, 1097, 1382 memorial of Christ’s sacrifice, 611, 1337, 1357-58, 1362-72, 1382 memorial of the New Covenant, 1621 mystery of Christ’s action, 2718 presence of Christ, 1357-58 presence of the coming Kingdom, 1405, 2861 sacrament of
institution of the Eucharist
the Breaking of Bread, 1329 Daily bread, 2837 the Eucharist, 1328 the Eucharistic assembly, 1329 Holy Communion, 1331 the holy and Divine Liturgy, 1330 Holy Mass, 1332 the Holy Sacrifice, 1330 the Lord’s Supper, 1329 Memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, 1330 the Most Blessed sacrament, 1330 the sacrament of sacraments, 1169, 1211 the sacrifice of the Mass, 1330 the sacrifice of praise, 2643
presence of Christ in the Eucharist
enduring Eucharistic presence of Christ, 1377 in the Eucharistic assembly, 1348 in the Eucharistic species, 1373 faith in Christ, 1381 in the Liturgy of the Word, 1088, 1349 in the priest, 1348 significance of, 1380 transubstantiation of Christ declared by the Tridentine Council, 1376 true and mysterious, 1357, 1373-77 true, real, and substantial, 1374 veiled presence of Christ in the Eucharist, 1404 worship of latria and the adoration of, 1378-79
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER: See Canon of the Mass.
EUTHANASIA: An action or an omission which, of itself or by intention, causes the death of handicapped, sick, or dying persons–sometimes with an attempt to justify the act as a means of eliminating suffering. Euthanasia violates the fifth commandment of the law of God.
EVANGELICAL COUNSELS: In general, the teachings of the New Law proposed by Jesus to his disciples which lead to the perfection of Christian life. In the New Law, the precepts are intended to remove whatever is incompatible with charity; the evangelical counsels are to remove whatever might hinder the development of charity, even if not contrary to it (1973). The public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience is a constitutive element of state of consecrated life in the Church.
the Church and, 2103 Commandments and, 2053 consecrated life and, 914-16, 918, 944 eremitic life and, 920 mission and, 931 New Law and, 1973-74, 1986 religious life and, 925 secular institutes and, 929 society of Apostolic Life and, 903
EVANGELIST: One of the four authors to whom is ascribed the writing of the Gospels, i.e., Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (125, 120). The term is also used for one who works actively to spread and promote the Christian faith.
EVANGELIZATION: The proclamation of Christ and his Gospel (Greek: evangelion) by word and the testimony of life, in fulfillment of Christ’s command.
the Church and the missionary mandate, 849 as the Church’s right and duty, 848 collaborators in, 927-933 and the liturgy, 1072 mission of the laity in, 905 missionary paths, 852-56 motive of, 851 origin and purposes of, 850 parents and the evangelization of children, 2225 and the sacraments, 1122 source of the desire for, 429 and the witness of the baptized, 2044, 2472
EVE: According to the creation story in Genesis, the first woman; wife of Adam. God did not create man a solitary being; from the beginning, “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:29) (369, 375). Because she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, Jesus Christ the “new Adam,” Mary is called the “new Eve,” the “mother of the living” in the order of grace. See Adam.
consequences of the disobedience of Adam and, 399, 404, 417 God’s promise to, 489 Mary as the “new Eve,” 411, 489, 726, 2618, 2853 original state of Adam and, 375 reparation for Eve’s disobedience, 494
EVIL: The opposite or absence of good. One form of evil, physical evil, is a result of the “state of journeying” toward its ultimate perfection in which God created the world, involving the existence of the less perfect alongside the more perfect, the constructive and the destructive forces of nature, the appearance and disappearance of certain beings (310). Moral evil, however, results from the free choice to sin which angels and men have; it is permitted by God, who knows how to derive good from it, in order to respect the freedom of his creatures (311). The entire revelation of God’s goodness in Christ is a response to the existence of evil (309, 385, 1707). The devil is called the Evil One. See Devil/Demon.
aids to avoiding, 1806, 1889, 1950, 1962, 2527 attack of evil after the first sin, 401, 1707 choice between good and, 1732-33 Christ frees man from, 549, 1505 Christian faith as a response to, 309, 385 in the doctrines of Dualism and Manichaeism, 285 God’s power to bring good from the consequences of, 312-13, 412 God’s reign still under attack by, 671 God’s victory over, 272, 410, 677 ignorance and imputability of evil committed, 1791, 1793, 1860 immorality of doing evil for the sake of obtaining the good, 1789 Last Judgment for those who have committed, 1039 leading another to, 1869, 2284 moral, 311-12 and morality of human actions, 1749-56 not wishing evil on one’s neighbor, 2303, 2539 original sin as the origin of, 403, 407, 1607, 1707 physical, 310 prayer of delivery from, 2846, 2850-54 (see also “Our Father,” the prayer) providence and the scandal of, 309-14 question of the origin of, 385 reason and the discernment of good and, 1954 in the religious behavior of men, 844 repetition of evil and its consequences, 1865 resurrection of judgment, 998 sin as the gravest, 1488 turning away from, 1427, 1431, 1706, 1776 universality of evil in the history of man, 401 See also Good
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE: Prayerful self-reflection on our words and deeds in the light of the Gospel to determine how we may have sinned against God. The reception of the Sacrament of Penance ought to be prepared for by such an examination of conscience (1454).
EXCOMMUNICATION: A severe ecclesiastical penalty, resulting from grave crimes against the Catholic religion, imposed by ecclesiastical authority or incurred as a direct result of the commission of an offense. Excommunication excludes the offender from taking part in the Eucharist or other sacraments and from the exercise of any ecclesiastical office, ministry, or function (1463).
as a penalty that impedes reception of the sacraments, 1463
EXODUS: God’s saving intervention in history by which he liberated the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt, made a covenant with them, and brought them into the Promised Land. The Book of Exodus, the second of the Old Testament, narrates this saving history (62). The exodus is commemorated by the Jewish people at Passover, which for Christians is a foreshadowing of the “passover” of Jesus Christ from death to life and is celebrated in the memorial of the Eucharist.
EXORCISM: The public and authoritative act of the Church to protect or liberate a person or object from the power of the devil (e.g., demonic possession) in the name of Christ (1673). A simple exorcism prayer in preparation for Baptism invokes God’s help in overcoming the power of Satan and the spirit of evil (1237).
EXPIATION: The act of redemption and atonement for sin which Christ won for us by the pouring out of his Blood on the cross, by his obedient love “even to the end” (Jn 13:1) (433, 616, 1475). The expiation of sins continues in the mystical body of Christ and the communion of saints by joining our human acts of atonement to the redemptive action of Christ, both in this life and in Purgatory.
EXTREME UNCTION: See Anointing of the Sick.