HAIL MARY: The prayer known in Latin as the Ave Maria. The first part of the prayer praises God for the gifts he gave to Mary as Mother of the Redeemer; the second part seeks her maternal intercession for the members of the Body of Christ, the Church, of which she is the Mother (2676).
HAPPINESS: Joy and beatitude over receiving the fulfillment of our vocation as creatures: a sharing in the divine nature and the vision of God. God put us into the world to know, love, and serve him, and so come to the happiness of paradise (1720).
HEAVEN: Eternal life with God; communion of life and love with the Trinity and all the blessed. Heaven is the state of supreme and definitive happiness, the goal of the deepest longings of humanity (1023).
HELL: The state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed, reserved for those who refuse by their own free choice to believe and be converted from sin, even to the end of their lives (1033).
HERESY: The obstinate denial after Baptism of a truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith (2089; cf. 465).
HERMIT: One who lives the eremitical life. Through silence and solitude, in prayer and penance, the hermit or anchorite vows, although not necessarily publicly, to follow the evangelical counsels out of love for God and desire for the salvation of the world (920).
HIERARCHY: The Apostles and their successors, the college of bishops, to whom Christ gave the authority to teach, sanctify, and rule the Church in his name (873).
HIERARCHY OF TRUTHS: The order (hierarchy) of the truths in Catholic doctrine, insofar as they vary in their relation to the central mystery and foundation of Christian faith, the mystery of the Holy Trinity (90, 234).
HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION: Principal feast days on which, in addition to Sundays, Catholics are obliged by Church law to participate in the Eucharist; a precept of the Church (2043, 2180).
HOLY ORDERS: See Orders, Holy
HOLY SEE: The seat of the central administration of the worldwide Catholic Church; the name is taken from the seat or diocese of the Pope, Bishop of Rome and successor of St. Peter as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the universal Church (cf. 882).
HOLY SPIRIT: The third divine Person of the Blessed Trinity, the personal love of Father and Son for each other. Also called the Paraclete (Advocate) and Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the divine plan for our salvation (685; cf. 152, 243).
HOLY WATER: Blessed water, a sacramental whose sprinkling or use is a reminder of Baptism and a means of sanctification (1668).
HOLY WEEK: The week preceding Easter, beginning with Palm (Passion) Sunday, called the “Great Week” in the liturgies of the Eastern Churches. It marks the Church’s annual celebration of the events of Christ’s Passion, death, and Resurrection, culminating in the Paschal Mystery (1169).
HOMILY: Preaching by an ordained minister to explain the Scriptures proclaimed in the liturgy and to exhort the people to accept them as the Word of God (132, 1100, 1349).
HOMOSEXUALITY: Sexual attraction or orientation toward persons of the same sex and/or sexual acts between persons of the same sex. Homosexual acts are morally wrong because they violate God’s purpose for human sexual activity (2357).
HOPE: The theological virtue by which we desire and expect from God both eternal life and the grace we need to attain it (1817).
HUMILITY: The virtue by which a Christian acknowledges that God is the author of all good. Humility avoids inordinate ambition or pride, and provides the foundation for turning to God in prayer (2559). Voluntary humility can be described as “poverty of spirit” (2546).
HYMN: Sacred poetry set to music and meant to raise the hearts of Christian people to God, especially during liturgical services (1156).
HYPOSTATIC UNION: The union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person (Greek: hypostasis) of the Son of God, Jesus Christ (252, 468).