Catechism of Pope St. Pius V (Spirago)

Explained by Fr. Spirago
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Father Francis (Franz) Spirago (1862-1942) was a 19th century Bohemian theologian with a sense of humor who wrote several works to remedy inadequate catechesis among the faithful. Born in the modern Czech Republic, Spirago was ordained a priest for the diocese of Trutnov in 1884 at the age of 22. He worked as a chaplain and a catechist before beginning teaching, during which he began to be a successful writer. Little was written about him, but the surviving anecdotes describe him as an unconventional man who used humor and a more colloquial style of speaking to convey the truths of the faith to the extent that he was called “a pioneer of popular catechesis.” He allegedly “hated being bored,” so, when he taught, his lessons were described as “an amusing recreation” as he sought to bring the heady truths of the faith down to a level anyone could understand by parables, anecdotes, explanations, and proverbs. Fr. Spirago wrote seven types of catechisms, the chief of which is The Catechism Explained, but he also wrote on a multitude of topics, ranging from works on the end times and prophecies, to rules of prudence and pastoral care.


๐ŸŽž symbol signifies intermittent instances of video commentary by Fr. Celestine Maria, F.SS.R. coordinated by page number with the text.

PREFACE 5
DEVOTIONS 59
I. Prayers and Precepts of the Church. 59
1. The Sign of the Cross 59
2. The Lord’s Prayer 59
3. The Angelical Salutation 59
4. The Apostles’ Creed 59
5. The Two Precepts of Charity 60
6. The Ten Commandments of God 60
7. The Six Precepts of the Church 60
II. Prayers which may be used Daily at Different Times. 61
1. A Morning Prayer 61
2. A Night Prayer 61
3. An Act of Good Intention 61
4. Grace before Meals 61
5. Grace after Meals 61
6. Prayer for One’s Parents 62
III. Prayers to be said at Different Times when the Church Bell is Heard. 62
1. The Angelus 62
2. Prayer in Commemoration of Our Lord’s Passion, to be said at Three O’clock on Fridays 62
3. Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory, to be said when the Church Bell is Tolled 63
4. Prayers to be said when the Bell is rung at Mass 63
5. Prayer at the Offertory 63
6. At the Consecration 63
7. At the Communion 64
IV. Devotions for Confession and Communion. 64
1. The Form for Confession 64
2. Acts of the Three Theological Virtues 64
3. An Act of Contrition 65
4. Renewal of Baptismal Vows 65
V. Devotions to the Holy Ghost. 66
1. Prayer to the Holy Ghost 66
2. Hymn to the Holy Ghost 66
VI. Special Prayers. 67
1. The Salve Regina 67
2. The Memorare 67
3. The Holy Rosary 67
4. Prayer to St. Joseph 68
5. Prayer to Our Guardian Angel 68
GENERAL SURVEY 69
Introduction
I. FOR WHAT END ARE WE ON THIS EARTH?
We are upon this earth in order that we may glorify God, and so win for ourselves eternal happiness 73
๐ŸŽž Introduction 73 (F.SS.R.)
II. HOW ARE WE TO ATTAIN TO ETERNAL HAPPINESS?
We shall attain to eternal happiness by the following means:
1. We must strive to know God by means of faith in the truths He has revealed to us 74
2. We must fulfil the will of God by keeping His commandments 74
3. We must, therefore, avail ourselves of the means of grace; of which the chief are holy Mass, the sacraments and prayers 75
III. CAN WE ATTAIN PERFECT HAPPINESS ON EARTH?
1. Earthly goods, such as riches, honor, pleasure, cannot by themselves make us happy; for they cannot satisfy our soul; they often only make life bitter, and invariably forsake us in death 75
๐ŸŽž Happiness On Earth? 76 (F.SS.R.)
2. Only the Gospel of Christ is capable of giving us a partial happiness on earth, for he who follows the teaching of Christ is certain to have peace in his soul 76
3. He who follows Christ will have to endure persecution; but these persecutions can do him no harm 76
4. Hence perfect happiness is impossible on earth; for no man can entirely avoid suffering 77
PART I.
Faith.
I. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
1. The happiness of the angels and saints consists in the knowledge of God 79
2. The knowledge of God is all important, for without it there cannot be any happiness on earth, or a well-ordered life 79
3. We arrive at a right knowledge of God through faith in the truths which God has revealed 80
II. DIVINE REVELATION.
God has in His mercy in the course of ages often revealed Himself to men (Heb. i. 1,2) 80
๐ŸŽž Divine Revelation 80 (F.SS.R.)
III. THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL.
1. The truths revealed by God to men were by God’s command proclaimed to all nations of the earth by the Catholic Church, and especially by means of the living word โ€” that is, by preaching 83
2. The Catholic Church derives from Holy Scripture and from Tradition the truths that God has revealed 84
IV. HOLY SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION.
1. Holy Scripture or the Bible consists of seventy-two books, which were written by men inspired by God, and under the guidance and influence of the Holy Ghost. These seventy-two books are recognized by the Church as “The Word of God.” 84
๐ŸŽž Reading Holy Scripture 87 (F.SS.R.)
2. The truths of divine revelation, which have not been written down in the pages of Holy Scripture, but have been transmitted by word of mouth, are called Tradition 88
V. THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
1. Christian faith is the firm conviction arrived at with the grace of God, that all that Jesus Christ taught on earth is true, as well as all that the Catholic Church teaches by the commission she has received from Him 89
2. Faith is concerned with many things which we cannot perceive with our senses and cannot grasp with our understanding 89
3. We act quite in accordance with reason when we believe, because we trust ourselves to God’s truthfulness, and because we know for certain that the truths of faith are revealed to us by God 90
๐ŸŽž The Christian Faith 90 (F.SS.R.)
4. The Christian faith comprises all the doctrines of the Catholic faith 91
5. Faith is a gift of God, since the power to believe can only be attained through the grace of God 92
6. Faith is necessary to eternal salvation 93
๐ŸŽž Faith is necessary to eternal salvation 93 (F.SS.R.)
7. Faith alone is not sufficient for salvation 94
VI. THE MOTIVES OF FAITH.
1. The external motives which move us to believe are chiefly miracles and prophecy 95
2. Miracles are such extraordinary works as cannot be performed by the mere powers of nature, but are brought about by the intervention of a higher power 95
3. Miracles are wrought by almighty God only for His own glory, and especially for the confirmation of true doctrine 96
4. In working miracles God usually makes use of the intervention of man, sometimes even of wicked men 96
5. Prophecies are clear and definite predictions of future events that can be known to God alone 97
6. God for the most part entrusts the prophesying of future events to His messengers, for the confirmation of the true faith or for the benefit of men 97
๐ŸŽž The Gift of Prophecy 97 (F.SS.R.)
VII. ON THE ABSENCE AND LOSS OF FAITH.
1. Those who do not possess Christian faith are either: (1), Heretics, or (2), Infidels 98
2. Faith is for the most part lost either: (1), by indifference to the doctrines of faith; (2), by wilful doubt respecting the truths of faith; (3), by reading books or other literature that is hostile to the faith; (4), by frequenting the assemblies of those who are hostile to the faith; (5), by neglecting the practice of one’s religion 100
3. All men who through their own fault die without Christian faith are by the just judgment of God sentenced to eternal perdition 101
๐ŸŽž Final Unbelief Leads to Perdition 101 (F.SS.R.)
VIII. ON THE DUTY OF CONFESSING OUR FAITH.
1. God requires of us that we should make outward profession of our faith 102
2. Our Lord has promised eternal life to him who fearlessly makes profession of his faith 103
๐ŸŽž “Denial of Faith in Christ, Apostasy” 104 (F.SS.R.)
IX. THE SIGN OF THE CROSS.
1. In making the sign of the cross we make profession of the most important of all the mysteries of our holy religion; viz., the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity and of the incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ 105
2. By means of the sign of the cross we obtain a blessing from God; and especially by it are we protected from the assaults of the devil and from all dangers both to body and to soul 106
X. THE APOSTLES’ CREED.
1. The Apostles’ Creed contains in brief all that a Catholic must know and believe 108
2. The Apostles’ Creed may be divided into three several parts 108
๐ŸŽž Divisions of the Apostles’ Creed 108 (F.SS.R.)
3. The Apostles’ Creed may also be divided into twelve articles 109
FIRST ARTICLE OF THE CREED: “I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY.”
1. THE EXISTENCE OF A SUPREME BEING.
1. We can infer from the created world around us that there exists a supreme Being 109
2. The existence of God is also proved from revelation 111
2. THE DIVINE ESSENCE.
1. God is a self-existent Being, infinite in His perfections, glory, and beatitude, the Creator and Ruler of the whole world 112
๐ŸŽž The Essence of God 112 (F.SS.R.)
2. We cannot see God3 because He is a spirit, i.e., a being without body, immortal, possessed of intellect and free will 113
3. There is one God, and one only 114
3. THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES.
1. God is eternal, i.e., always was, is, and ever will be 114
2. God is omnipresent, i.e., He is in every place 115
๐ŸŽž God’s Omnipresence 115 (F.SS.R.)
3. God is immutable, i.e., He ever remains the same 117
4. God is omniscient, i.e., He knows all things, the past, the present, and the future, and also our inmost thoughts (Jer. xvii. 10) 117
5. God is supremely wise, i.e., He knows how to direct everything for the best, in order to carry out His designs 119
๐ŸŽž God’s Omniscience 119 (F.SS.R.)
6. God is almighty, i.e., God can do all that He wills, and that by a mere act of His will 120
7. God is supremely good, i.e., He loves His creatures far more than a father loves his children 121
๐ŸŽž God’s Infinite Beneficence and Charity 121 (F.SS.R.)
8. God is very patient, i.e., He leaves the sinner time for repentance and a change of life 123
9. God is full of mercy and compassion, i.e., He very readily forgives our sins when we are sincerely sorry for them 124
10. God is infinitely holy, i.e., He loves good and hates all evil 125
11. God is infinitely just, i.e., He rewards all good and punishes all evil deeds 125
๐ŸŽž God’s Infinite Justice 125 (F.SS.R.)
12. God is a God of perfect truth, i.e., all that He reveals to man is true 127
13. God is faithful, i.e., He keeps His promises and carries out His threats 127
4. THE BLESSED TRINITY.
1. The Blessed Trinity is one God in three persons 128
2. We cannot with our feeble understanding grasp the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, and it is therefore called a mystery 128
๐ŸŽž The Blessed Trinity 128 (F.SS.R.)
3. The nature, the attributes, and the works of the three persons of the Blessed Trinity are common to all of them 129
4. The three divine persons are divided only in their origin 180
5. We are taught the mystery of the Blessed Trinity by Christ Himself, but it was partly known in the time of the Old Testament 181
6. The belief in the Blessed Trinity is expressed in the Apostles’ Creed, in Baptism, and in the other sacraments, in all consecrations and blessings, and in the feast of the Most Holy Trinity 131
5. HISTORY OF CREATION.
1. In the beginning God created the spiritual and material universe 132
2. The material world was at the first without form, without inhabitants, and without light 132
3. God gave to the material universe its present form in the course of six days 133
4. On the seventh day God rested from all His work that He had done 134
FROM WHAT, AND FOR WHAT END, HAS GOD CREATED THE WORLD?
1. God made the world out of nothing, simply because it pleased Him to make it 135
2. God was moved to make the world by His great goodness 136
3. The end of creation is necessarily to proclaim to men the glory of God 136
6. DIVINE PROVIDENCE.
We call by the name of divine providence, God’s preservation and government of the world 137
๐ŸŽž Divine Providence 137 (F.SS.R.)
1. God maintains the world, i.e., He preserves all creatures in existence as long as He wills 137
2. God governs the world, i.e., He conducts all things in the world, so that they contribute to His glory and to our advantage 137
3. For this reason a pious Christian should resign himself entirely to the will of God 138
HOW ARE THE MISFORTUNES OF THE GOOD AND THE PROSPERITY OF THE WICKED TO BE RECONCILED WITH THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD?
No sinner has true happiness, and his good fortune is only transitory 139
๐ŸŽž Only the Servant of God is Happy 139 (F.SS.R.)
HOW IS SIN TO BE RECONCILED WITH THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD?
God is not responsible for sin 140
7. THE CHRISTIAN UNDER SUFFERING.
1. No one can attain to eternal salvation without suffering 141
2. All suffering comes from God, and is a sign of His love and favor 141
3. God sends suffering to the sinner to bring him back into the right way, and to save him from eternal death 142
4. God sends suffering to the just man to try him, whether he loves God most or creatures 143
๐ŸŽž The Purpose & Value of Suffering 143 (F.SS.R.)
5. Sufferings then are no real evil, but are benefits from the hand of God 144
6. For this reason we should be patient under suffering, and should resign ourselves to the will of God 144
8. THE ANGELS.
1. The angeis are pure spirits 146
๐ŸŽž The Angels 146 (F.SS.R.)
2. All the angels whom God created were at the beginning in the grace of God and well pleasing to Him. But many of the angels sinned through pride, and were cast down by God into hell for ever (2 Pet. ii. 4) 147
3. The evil angels are our enemies; they envy us, seek to lead us to sin, and can, with God’s permission, injure us in our bodies or in our worldly goods 147
๐ŸŽž Demonic Possession 149 (F.SS.R.)
4. The angels who remained faithful to God behold the face of God continually and sing His praises 150
5. The holy angels are also called guardian angels, because they watch over us (Heb. i. 14) 150
9. MAN.
The Creation of Man.
1. God made the body of man out of the dust of the earth, and breathed into him a living soul 152
๐ŸŽž The Soul of Man 152 (F.SS.R.)
2. The first human beings that God created were Adam and Eve 153
10. THE SOUL OF MAN.
1. The soul of man is made in the image of God, since it is a spirit like to God 154
2. The soul of man is immortal, i.e., it can never cease to exist 154
11. THE SUPERNATURAL ENDOWMENTS OF MAN.
1. Our first parents were created in the grace of God, and therefore possessed singular perfections of soul and body 156
๐ŸŽž Immortality of the Soul 156 (F.SS.R.)
2. These special perfections of our first parents we call supernatural gifts, because they are something altogether beyond, and were added, to human nature 157
12. ORIGINAL SIN.
1. God imposed on man in paradise a precept; He forbade him to eat the fruit of one of the trees, which stood in the midst of the Garden of Eden 158
2. Man allowed himself to be led astray by the devil, and transgressed the precept of his Creator 158
3. The transgression of the precept of God had disastrous consequences; man lost sanctifying grace and all his supernatural gifts, and also suffered injuries both in soul and body 159
๐ŸŽž The Consquences of Original Sin 159 (F.SS.R.)
4. The sin of our first parents with all its evil consequences has passed on to their descendants 161
SECOND TO SEVENTH ARTICLE OF THE CREED: JESUS CHRIST.
1. THE REDEMPTION.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, has freed us from the evil consequences of sin 162
๐ŸŽž Christ Freed Us From the Consequences of Sin 162 (F.SS.R.)
2. THE PROMISE OF THE REDEEMER.
1. Immediately after the Fall God promised man a Redeemer 163
2. Two thousand years later God promised to Abraham that the Redeemer should be one of his descendants 164
๐ŸŽž The Promise to Abraham 164 (F.SS.R.)
3. At a later time God sent the prophets, and through their mouth foretold many things about the coming, the birth, the person, the sufferings, the death, and the final triumph and glory of the Redeemer 164
4. Of the advent of the Messias 165
5. Of the person of the Messias 167
๐ŸŽž Prophesies of the Person of the Messias 167 (F.SS.R.)
6. Of the sufferings of the Messias 168
7. Of the glory of the Messias 169
8. The Messias was announced through many types 169
๐ŸŽž Old Testament Types of the Messias 170 (F.SS.R.)
3. PREPARATION OF MANKIND FOR THE REDEEMER.
1. God chose for Himself a special nation and prepared it for the coming of a Redeemer; this chosen people was the seed of Abraham, usually called by the name of Israelites or Jews 171
๐ŸŽž Historical Preparation for the Coming of Christ 171 (F.SS.R.)
2. The other nations of the earth were prepared for the coming of the Redeemer by contact with the chosen people, or by the influence of exceptionally gifted men or by other extraordinary methods 174
3. Before the arrival of the Redeemer God permitted that mankind should experience the deepest misery in order to rouse it to a longing for a Redeemer 174
4. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE REDEEMER.
1. The Redeemer lived some nineteen hundred years ago and remained thirty-three years on the earth 175
2. The work of the Redeemer was confined for the most part to Palestine 175
5. JESUS OF NAZARETH IS THE REDEEMER OR CHRIST.
1. Jesus of Nazareth is the Redeemer because all the prophecies have their fulfilment in Him 178
๐ŸŽž Jesus of Nazareth is the Redeemer or Christ 178 (F.SS.R.)
2. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messias because the kingdom founded by Him on earth has been enduring 178
3. Jesus Himself claimed the name of Redeemer 178
4. The angels announced Him as the Redeemer 178
6. THE LIFE OF CHRIST.
The Childhood of Christ.
1. Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a stable at Bethlehem 179
๐ŸŽž Chronicles of the Newborn Christ Child 181 (F.SS.R.)
2. Christ spent the first years of His childhood in Egypt, and after that lived at Nazareth till He was thirty 182
๐ŸŽž The Flight into Egypt & the Life of the Christ Child in Nazareth 182 (F.SS.R.)
The Public Life of Christ.
1. When Christ was thirty years old, He was baptized by John in the Jordan (Matt. iii. 13), and fasted forty days in the desert, where He was tempted by the devil (Matt, iv.) 183
2. Christ taught for about three and a half years, gathered some seventy-two disciples, and from these chose twelve apostles 183
3. Christ proved His divine mission and the truth of His doctrine by many miracles, by His knowledge of all things, and by the holiness of His life 185
The Sufferings of Christ.
1. On the Sunday preceding the feast of Easter Christ made a solemn entry into Jerusalem, and taught in the Temple during the days following 185
๐ŸŽž Psalm Sunday 185 (F.SS.R.)
2. On Holy Thursday evening Christ ate the Pasch with His disciples, instituted the Blessed Sacrament, and then went out to the Mount of Olives, where He suffered His agony and bloody sweat 185
3. On Good Friday at noon Christ was nailed to the cross, on the hill of Calvary, just outside Jerusalem, and died on the cross about three o’clock 187
4. During Easter Saturday, that is, on the greatest feast day of the Jews, Our Lord remained in the sepulchre 188
๐ŸŽž Lighting Tenebrae Saturday Candles & the Pascal Candle 188 (F.SS.R.)
The Exaltation of Christ.
1. Immediately after the death of Christ His soul went down in triumph into the place where the souls of those justified under the Old Law were detained 188
2. On Easter Sunday before sunrise Christ rose glorious from the tomb by His own almighty power 189
3. Forty days after His resurrection Our Lord ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives and now sits at the right hand of God the Father 191
4. On the tenth day after His ascending into heaven Christ sent down the Holy Ghost on the apostles 192
๐ŸŽž Christ Ascended into Heaven 192 (F.SS.R.)
7. THE PERSON OF THE REDEEMER.
Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, is the Son of God made man; hence He is God Himself 193
The Incarnation of the Son of God.
1. The second divine person became man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the action of the Holy Ghost at the moment of the Annunciation 193
2. The Father of Jesus is therefore God the Father in heaven; Joseph, the spouse of Mary, is only the foster-father of Jesus 194
3. The Incarnation of the Son of God is a mystery which we cannot understand, but only admire and honor 194
๐ŸŽž The Incarnation of the Son of God 195 (F.SS.R.)
4. The Incarnation of the Son of God was necessary to give perfect satisfaction to the injured majesty of God 195
5. The Second Person always remained God though He became man, and by the Incarnation He lost none of His dignity 196
6. By the Incarnation of the Son of God all the members of the human race have acquired a special dignity 196
WHAT TRUTHS FOLLOW FROM THE MYSTERY OF THE REDEMPTION?
1. Christ is true God and true man; hence we call Him the God-man 197
2. In Christ there are two natures, human and divine, which, despite their intimate union, are quite distinct 197
3. In Christ there is only one person, and that person is divine 198
๐ŸŽž Truths which follow from the Mystery of the Redemption 198 (F.SS.R.)
Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
1. Jesus Christ solemnly declared before the high priest that He was the Son of God (Matt. xxvi. 64) 200
2. God the Father called Jesus Christ His Son on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan and of the transfiguration on Mount Thabor (Matt. iii. 17; xvii. 5) 200
Jesus Christ is God Himself.
1. That Jesus Christ is God we learn from His own words and from those of His apostles 201
2. That Jesus Christ is God we conclude from His miracles and prophecies 201
๐ŸŽž Christ’s Omniscient Divinity Shown by His Prophecies & Miracles 202 (F.SS.R.)
3. That Jesus Christ is God we conclude from the elevation of His teaching and His character 202
4. That Jesus Christ is God we conclude from the rapid spread of His teaching 203
Jesus Christ is Our Lord.
We call Christ “Our Lord” because He is our Creator, Redeemer, Lawgiver, Teacher, and Judge 204
EIGHTH ARTICLE OF THE CREED: THE HOLY GHOST.
1. THE GRACE OF THE HOLY GHOST IS NECESSARY TO US.
1. The Holy Ghost is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, and is therefore God Himself 205
๐ŸŽž Only through the Holy Ghost do the Father & Son enter into Communication with Man 205 (F.SS.R.)
2. The Holy Ghost dispenses the graces which Christ merited by the sacrifice of the cross 205
3. Hence the assistance of the Holy Ghost is absolutely necessary for salvation 205
2. ACTION OF THE HOLY GHOST.
Actual Grace.
1. The Holy Ghost influences our lives by enlightening the mind and strengthening the will. Such passing influence of the Holy Spirit is called “actual grace” 207
2. The action of the Holy Spirit sometimes makes itself perceptible to the senses 208
3. The Holy Ghost does not force us, but leaves us in perfect possession of our free will 208
๐ŸŽž The Holy Ghost respects Man’s Freedom for Cooperation but Man Must Answer for Wasted Graces 208 (F.SS.R.)
4. The Holy Ghost acts on every man: on the sinner as well as on the just; and more on Catholics than on non-Catholics and unbelievers 209
5. Actual graces are obtained by the performance of good works, especially by prayer, fasting, and almsdeeds; and more especially by the use of the means of grace provided by the Church, by hearing of holy Mass, worthy reception of the Sacraments, and attendance at sermons 210
Sanctifying Grace.
1. When the sinner co-operates with actual grace, the Holy Ghost enters his soul, and confers on it a brightness and beauty which claim the friendship of God. This indwelling beauty of the soul is due to the presence of the Holy Spirit and is called “sanctifying grace.” 211
2. Usually, however, the Holy Spirit makes His entry on the reception of the Sacraments of Baptism or Penance 212
3. When the Holy Spirit enters into us He brings with Him a new spiritual life 212
๐ŸŽž The Holy Ghost Gives Us New Life through these Sacraments 212 (F.SS.R.)
4. Sanctifying grace is secured and increased by doing good works, and using the means of grace offered by the Church; it is lost by a single mortal sin 215
๐ŸŽž Mortal Sin Darkens Understanding & Weakens the Will 215 (F.SS.R.)
5. He who has not sanctifying grace is spiritually dead, and will suffer eternal ruin 216
6. No one knows for certain whether he have sanctifying grace or will receive it at the hour of death 216
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost and the Extraordinary Graces.
1. The Holy Ghost gives to all who have sanctifying grace the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, that is, the seven virtues of the soul, by which it easily responds to His light and inspirations 216
๐ŸŽž The Holy Ghost Gives the 7 & Other Extraordinary Gifts to Develop His Gifts & Graces 218 (F.SS.R.)
2. The Holy Ghost gives to many graces of a rarer kind, for instance the gift of tongues, of miracles, of prophesy, of discernment of spirits, of visions, of ecstasies, etc. 218
3. The gifts of the Holy Spirit were conspicuous in a special degree in Jesus Christ, His holy Mother, the apostles, the patriarchs and the prophets of the Old Law, and all the saints of the Catholic Church 219
The Holy Ghost as Guide of the Church.
The Holy Ghost maintains and guides the Catholic Church 219
3. APPARITIONS OF THE HOLY GHOST.
The Holy Ghost has appeared under the form of a dove, of fire, and of tongues, to signify His office in the Church 220
NINTH ARTICLE OF THE CREED: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
1. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND ITS INSTITUTION.
1. The Catholic Church is a visible institution founded by Christ, in which men are trained for heaven 221
๐ŸŽž The Church is to the Catholic Religion as the body to the soul 221 (F.SS.R.)
2. The Church prepares man for heaven by carrying out the three-fold office which Christ conferred upon her; the office of teacher, of priest, and of shepherd 222
3. The Lord and King of the Church is Christ 222
4. The Catholic Church consists of a teaching and a hearing body; to the former belong the Pope, bishops, and priests; to the latter the faithful 223
2. THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH.
1. Christ conferred on St. Peter the primacy over the apostles and the faithful 223
2. St. Peter was Bishop of Rome for some twenty-five years, and died Bishop of Rome; and the dignity and power of St. Peter descended to the succeeding Bishops of Rome 224
๐ŸŽž The Pope is the Prince among Bishops 224 (F.SS.R.)
3. The Bishop of Rome is called Pope or Holy Father 224
3. BISHOPS, PRIESTS, THE FAITHFUL.
1. The bishops are the successors of the apostles 226
๐ŸŽž Archbishops are Bishops who have Powers over other Bishops 227 (F.SS.R.)
2. The priests are the assistants of the bishops 228
3. A Catholic is one who has been baptized and professes himself to be a member of the Catholic Church 228
4. FOUNDATION AND SPREAD OF THE CHURCH.
1. Christ laid the foundation of the Church when in the course of His teaching He gathered a number of disciples and chose twelve of these to preside over the rest and one to be Head of all 230
2. The Church first began its life on Pentecost, when some three thousand people were baptized 230
3. Soon after the descent of the Holy Ghost the apostles began to preach the Gospel throughout the world, in accordance with the commands of Christ, and founded Christian communities in many places 230
4. When the great persecutions broke out the Church spread more rapidly over the earth 231
๐ŸŽž Entry into the Catholic Church became too easy after Constantine 231 (F.SS.R.)
5. In the Middle Ages nearly all the heathen nations began to enter the Church 233
6. In later times many nations of the newly-discovered countries were converted 233
7. At present the Catholic Church numbers about 260,000,000 members 234
5. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS INDESTRUCTIBLE AND INFALLIBLE.
Indestructibility of the Church.
The Catholic Church is indestructible, i.e., it will remain till the end of the world 235
๐ŸŽž The Gates of Hell shall not Prevail against the Church until the end of Time 235 (F.SS.R.)
The Infallibility of the Church.
1. The Catholic Church is infallible in her teaching, i.e., the Holy Spirit assists the Church in such a manner that she cannot err in the preserving and announcing of revealed doctrine 237
2. The Church delivers her infallible decisions through general councils and through the Pope 237
๐ŸŽž The Pope’s Ratification of Conciliar Decrees is Necessary, not the Bishops 237 (F.SS.R.)
3. The Church pronounces infallible judgments in the following cases: on doctrines of faith and morals, and their meaning and interpretation; on the Holy Scripture and Tradition and their interpretation 240
๐ŸŽž Christ certified the Church’s Infallibility on Faith & Morals 240 (F.SS.R.)
6. THE HIERARCHY OF THE CHURCH.
1. The ministers of the Church fall into three classes of distinct dignity and power, bishops, priests, and deacons 241
๐ŸŽž Authority Resides in the Bishops; the Priesthood & Diaconate Subsists in It 241 (F.SS.R.)
2. This hierarchy was in force in the time of the apostles 241
3. The episcopal and priestly office was instituted by Christ Himself; the diaconate by the apostles 242
4. Besides these three classes there are other degrees varying in their powers; for example, Pope, cardinals, and archbishops 242
7. NOTES OF THE TRUE CHURCH.
1. The true Church is that one which is most persecuted by the world, and which has received God’s seal in the form of miracles 242
2. The true Church is that one in which the successor of St. Peter is to be found 243
๐ŸŽž The True Church is that in which the Successor of Peter Resides 243 (F.SS.R.)
3. The true Church is known by the following four marks: she is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic 243
8. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ALONE GIVES SALVATION.
1. The Catholic Church alone gives salvation; i.e., the Catholic Church alone possesses those means which lead to salvation; viz., the doctrine of Christ, the means of salvation appointed by Christ, and the teachers and guides of the Church established by Christ 245
๐ŸŽž Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus 245 (F.SS.R.)
2. Hence every man is bound to become a member of the Catholic Church 245
3. Whoever through his own fault remains outside the Church will not be saved 246
9. THE RELATIONS BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE.
1. The Church is, in its own department, absolutely independent of the State, for Christ left the teaching and government of His Church to the apostles and their successors, not to any temporal sovereign 247
2. The Church is an essential factor in promoting the welfare of the State, for she teaches obedience to authority, prevents many crimes, incites men to noble endeavor, and unites together various nations 248
3. The Church was from the earliest times the patron of true education and culture 249
๐ŸŽž The Church fostered all Civilization 249 (F.SS.R.)
10. THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS.
1. The communion of saints is the union and intercourse of Catholics on earth, of the souls in purgatory, and of the saints in heaven 251
2. Catholics on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the blessed in heaven, are united with Christ, just as are the members of a body with the head 251
3. All the members of the communion of saints have a share in the spiritual goods of the Catholic Church, and can help one another by their prayers and other good works. The saints alone in heaven have no need of help 251
๐ŸŽž Members of the Communion of Saints Share in the Church’s Benefits 251 (F.SS.R.)
TENTH ARTICLE OF THE CREED: THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
(See the Chapter on Sin.)
ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH ARTICLES OF THE CREED: THE LAST THINGS.
1. DEATH.
1. At death the soul is separated from the body and enters the world of spirits; the body decays and falls into dust 254
2. All men must die, because death is the consequence of original sin 254
๐ŸŽž Even Those who Survive till the Day of Judgment Shall Die 254 (F.SS.R.)
3. Death is terrible only to the sinner, in no wise to the just 255
๐ŸŽž Daily We Ought to Ask God for a Happy Death 255 (F.SS.R.)
2. THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT
1. Immediately after death follows the particular judgment 256
๐ŸŽž In the hour of death God will say to us: “Give an account of Thy Stewardship” 256 (F.SS.R.)
2. After the particular judgment the souls of men go into hell, or heaven, or purgatory 257
3. HEAVEN.
Heaven is the abode of everlasting joy 257
๐ŸŽž The joys of Heaven are Unspeakably Great 258 (F.SS.R.)
๐ŸŽž The Happiness of the Blessed Varies According to Their Merits 259 (F.SS.R.)
4. HELL.
1. Hell is the abode of everlasting torment 261
๐ŸŽž Hell is the Continuation of the State in which the Sinner is Found at Death 261 (F.SS.R.)
2. The souls of those who die in mortal sin go to hell 263
๐ŸŽž Christ Tells Us that the Pains of Hell are Eternal 263 (F.SS.R.)
5. PURGATORY.
1. Purgatory is a place where the souls of those must suffer for a time who, though dying without grave sin on their souls, have not done complete penance for their offences against God 264
๐ŸŽž The Holy Souls in Purgatory Suffer Purification in all Resignation to God’s Will 264 (F.SS.R.)
2. That there is a purgatory we learn from the teachings of Christ and especially from the practice and doctrine of the Church 265
๐ŸŽž The Idea of Purgatory is Common Among Nearly All Nations 265 (F.SS.R.)
3. The faithful on earth can help the holy souls in purgatory by good works 266
๐ŸŽž We Can Help to Diminish the Pains of the Holy Souls in Purgatory 266 (F.SS.R.)
6. THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.
Christ on the Last Day will raise the bodies of all men from the dead and unite them to the soul forever 268
๐ŸŽž The Bodies of the Resurrected Just Will Resemble the Glorified Body of Christ 269 (F.SS.R.)
7. THE GENERAL JUDGMENT.
1. Immediately after the resurrection the general judgment will take place 270
๐ŸŽž Christ Will Separate the Sheep and the Goats 270 (F.SS.R.)
๐ŸŽž At the General Judgment, the Secrets of Men’s Hearts shall be Known 272 (F.SS.R.)
2. The Day of Judgment is unknown to us, though certain signs have been revealed which are to herald its approach 273
CHRISTIAN HOPE.
1. THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAN HOPE.
Christian hope is the confident expectation of all those things which Christ promised us with regard to the fulfilment of God’s will 274
1. As the reward of carrying out God’s will, Christ has promised us eternal happiness and the means required for obtaining it 274
๐ŸŽž Forgiveness of Sin is Assured to Us If We Wish to Amend 274 (F.SS.R.)
2. Christian hope is based on faith 275
3. He only who carries out God’s will can hope for the good things promised by Christ 276
4. A wholesome fear of falling into sin must always accompany Christian hope 276
๐ŸŽž Hope Makes Us Strong & Fear Makes Us Prudent 276 (F.SS.R.)
5. Christian hope is necessary for salvation 277
6. Christian hope is a gift of God 277
2. THE ADVANTAGE OF CHRISTIAN HOPE.
1. He who hopes in God enjoys the special protection of God 277
2. He who hopes in God can obtain everything from Him 278
3. He who hopes in God is strengthened by God 278
๐ŸŽž Hope Rises above the Cares & Sorrows of Earth 278 (F.SS.R.)
4. He who hopes in God is impelled to the performance of good works and heroic acts 278
3. THE OBJECT OF CHRISTIAN HOPE.
1. The Christian may not rely on his own powers, on his fellow-men, nor on earthly things more than on God 279
๐ŸŽž It is Better to Trust in the Lord than in Men 279 (F.SS.R.)
2. The Christian may not despair 279
3. The Christian must never presume on his trust in God’s mercy 280
4. The Christian may never tempt God 280
๐ŸŽž He Who is Indifferent to God’s Will & Acts with Thoughtless Rashness is Deserted by God 280 (F.SS.R.)
PART II.
A. The Commandments
I. WHAT COMMANDMENTS (OR LAWS) HAS GOD GIVEN US?
1. God has imprinted the natural law on the heart of every man; this forms the fundamental rule of human actions 281
2. In addition to this natural law God gave to man solemn precepts, more especially the Ten Commandments, and the two precepts of charity. These are known as the revealed law 282
3. Finally, God gives us commandments through His representatives upon earth, through the ecclesiastical and secular authorities. These laws are called ecclesiastical and civil laws 282
4. From the knowledge of the law comes conscience; the consciousness, that is, whether an act is permitted or prohibited by the law 283
๐ŸŽž Conscience as a Practical Act of the Intellect is Called the Voice of God within Us 283 (F.SS.R.)
5. God’s commandments do not deprive men in any way of true freedom 284
II. THE TWO COMMANDMENTS OF CHARITY.
1. The most important commandments are the two commandments of charity, that is to say, the love of God and the love of one’s neighbor, for all the other commandments are comprised in them 284
2. Without the love of God and of our neighbor no man can be saved. 285
III. THE PRECEPT OF THE LOVE OF GOD.
1. We ought to love God (1), because Christ commands this; (2), because He is in Himself essentially the highest beauty and sovereign perfection; (3), because He loves us and continually bestows benefits upon us 286
๐ŸŽž The very fact that we owe our existence to God lays us under the obligation of loving Him above all things 286 (F.SS.R.)
2. Our love to God is chiefly manifested by thinking of Him constantly, by avoiding whatever might separate us from Him, by laboring to promote His glory, and willingly accepting all that comes from His hand 287
3. We must love God with all our faculties, and above all things else in the whole world 289
๐ŸŽž Christ gives the First Commandment, to love God with all our Heart & Mind & Soul & Strength 289 (F.SS.R.)
4. The love of God is of great advantage to us: through it we are united to God here on earth, our minds are enlightened, our will is strengthened, we obtain pardon of sin, peace of soul, manifold proofs of God’s favor, and after death celestial joys 290
๐ŸŽž The Holy Ghost, Who Takes up His Dwelling in the Heart that Loves God, Bings Peace to that Heart 290 (F.SS.R.)
5. The merit of our good works and the degree of our future felicity is in proportion to the magnitude of our love for God 291
IV. THE LOVE OF THE WORLD IS OPPOSED TO THE LOVE OF GOD.
1. The love of the world consists in loving above all, money, or the gratification of one’s appetite, or earthly honors, or anything else in the world, instead of giving the first place to God 292
๐ŸŽž All Who Love Creatures More than God are Idolaters 292 (F.SS.R.)
2. Through love of the world we incur the loss of sanctifying grace, and eternal felicity 292
๐ŸŽž “Choose Him for Thy Friend Who, when All Others Forsake Thee, will not Abandon Thee” 294 (F.SS.R.)
V. THE COMMANDMENT OF CHARITY TOWARDS OUR NEIGHBOR.
1. We ought to love our neighbor because this is Christ’s command; furthermore because he is a child of God, made after His image; and also because we are all descended from the same parents, and we are all called to attain eternal felicity 295
2. The love of our neighbor shows itself in desiring the good of our neighbor from our heart; in abstaining from injuring him, and in doing him good 295
3. We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves; but we are by no means obliged to love him better than ourselves 296
๐ŸŽž No One is Bound to Deprive Himself of what is Necessary to Relieve His Neighbor’s Wants 296 (F.SS.R.)
4. All that we do to our neighbor, whether it be good or evil, we do to Christ Himself, for He has said, “What you did to one of these My least brethren, ye did it to Me.” (Matt. xxv. 40) 297
VI. LACK OF CHARITY TO ONE’S NEIGHBOR.
1. He who does not desire the good of his neighbor, but is envious of him, does not possess the love of his neighbor 298
๐ŸŽž We Call a Man Envious who Merely through Ill-will is Vexed at the Prosperity of Another or Rejoices when Misfortune Overtakes Him 298 (F.SS.R.)
๐ŸŽž Do All the Good You Can to the Person whom You Envy; at Least Pray for Him that His Happiness may be Increased 299 (F.SS.R.)
2. He does not love his neighbor who injures him, whether in regard to his life, his innocence, his property, his honor, or his household 300
3. Nor does he love his neighbor who performs no works of mercy 300
VII. LOVE OF ONE’S FRIENDS.
Those are our friends whose principles are the same, and whose love is mutual, and based on religion 300
๐ŸŽž “Blessed is He that Findeth a True Friend” 302 (F.SS.R.)
VIII. THE COMMANDMENT TO LOVE OUR ENEMY.
1. We ought to love our enemies because Christ commands it; He says: “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, pray for them that persecute and calumniate you ” (Matt. v. 44) 303
2. The love of our enemy is shown in this: that we do not revenge ourselves on him, that we return good for evil, that we pray for him, and forgive him willingly 304
๐ŸŽž “By Conferring Benefits on Your Enemy, You Will Heap Coals of Fire upon His Head” 304 (F.SS.R.)
IX. THE LOVE OF ONE’S SELF.
The true love of one’s self shows itself herein, that we strive to attain that which will procure our real happiness; first and foremost our eternal felicity, and then such earthly things as are conducive to the attainment of eternal felicity 306
X. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.
1. The Ten Commandments were given by God to the Jews on Mount Sinai 306
๐ŸŽž What Man Would no Longer Read in His Own Heart, was Inscribed on Tables of Stone on Mt. Sinai 307 (F.SS.R.)
2. We Christians are bound to observe the Ten Commandments of God, both because God has imprinted them upon the human heart, and because Christ laid them upon us anew in a more full and perfect form 307
3. The Ten Commandments of God are arranged in order 307
4. He who keeps all these commandments receives a great reward from God on earth, and after death he may look forward to eternal felicity as his portion 308
5. Temporal and eternal chastisements await the man who grievously violates a single one of these commandments 308
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
In the First Commandment God enjoins upon us to worship Him, and forbids idolatry and every false form of worship 309
๐ŸŽž “The Lord thy God shalt thou Adore, and Him only shalt thou Serve” 309 (F.SS.R.)
1. THE ADORATION OR WORSHIP or GOD.
1. The adoration we pay to God consists in this: That we acknowledge both in our hearts and by our actions that He is Our Lord and we are His creatures and His servants 310
2. We worship God interiorly by acts of faith, hope, and charity 310
3. We adore God exteriorly by vocal prayer, sacrifice, genuflections, prostrations, folding of hands, striking the breast, etc. 311
๐ŸŽž Prostrating one’s self, we acknowledge our own insignificance before God, deserving of chastisement 311 (F.SS.R.)
4. We must pay supreme worship to God only, for He alone is the sovereign Lord of heaven and of earth 312
๐ŸŽž It Would Not be Right to Allow Any Object but God to Engross Our Mind and Thoughts 312 (F.SS.R.)
2. IDOLATRY OR THE WORSHIP OF FALSE GODS.
1. Idolatry is the worship of a creature which is regarded as a deity: e.g., the sun, fire, animals, images, etc. 313
2. Another form of idolatry is when a human being gives up his whole self to a creature 314
3. The service of idols is high treason against the majesty of God, and the most heinous of sins 314
3. FOOLISH OR PERVERTED WORSHIP.
1. Superstition, fortune-telling, spiritualism, and magic, are foolish and irrational forms of worship 315
๐ŸŽž Proper Use of Sacramentals is Beneficial, but to an Excess They Can be Religious-Superstitious 315 (F.SS.R.)
2. This perverted form of worship is a grievous sin 316
SINS AGAINST THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.
We sin against the First Commandment by neglecting prayer, by opposing religion, etc. 317
๐ŸŽž Catholics Too Often Deny the True God the Homage Due to Him by Neglect 317 (F.SS.R.)
4. THE VENERATION OF SAINTS.
1. We honor the saints because they are the friends of God, princes of the heavenly court, and benefactors to ourselves; also be cause we obtain great graces from God through venerating them 318
๐ŸŽž God Wills that the Innocence and Virtue of the Saints in Heaven Should be Made Clear & that They Should be Venerated by All Christendom 318 (F.SS.R.)
2. We venerate ‘the saints if we entreat their intercession with God; if we celebrate their feasts, reverence their images and their relics; if we bear their name, claim their protection in matters of importance, and praise them in word and song. The best manner in which to venerate them is to imitate their virtues 319
๐ŸŽž We Honor the Saints because in Them the Divine Image is Reflected 319 (F.SS.R.)
๐ŸŽž It is Advisable Different Circumstances of Life to Invoke the Saints in Times of Special Need 321 (F.SS.R.)
5. THE VENERATION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD.
We pay greater honor to Mary, the Mother of Christ, than to any other saint 323
1. We hold Mary in such great veneration because she is the Mother of God and our Mother 323
๐ŸŽž The Obedience of Mary Restores the Human Race to a State of Grace 323 (F.SS.R.)
2. Another reason why Mary is so highly honored throughout Christendom is because God has exalted her above all men and angels 324
๐ŸŽž Of All Created Beings None Ever Loved God so Intensely as Mary Did 325 (F.SS.R.)
3. Finally, we entertain this great veneration for Mary, because her intercession is more powerful with God than that of any other saint 325
๐ŸŽž Mary Defends Those Who Place Themselves under Her Care from the Assaults of the Devil 325 (F.SS.R.)
๐ŸŽž Those Who Honor Mary Daily Will Assuredly Be Saved 327 (F.SS.R.)
6. THE VENERATION OF IMAGES OF THE SAINTS.
๐ŸŽž Miracles Involved with Devotion to Miraculous Pictures or Statues of Saints are Permitted by God as an Attestation to the Truth of the Catholic Church, and It Would Be a Sin on the Part of Any Catholic to Deny Their Authenticity 328 (F.SS.R.)
1. We honor the images of the saints by giving them a place in our dwellings; we say our prayers before them, we salute them respectfully, we adorn them with offerings, we make pilgrimages to their shrines 329
2. Through venerating the images of the saints, efficacious and often times supernatural graces are obtained; they are also useful as a means of avoiding distractions in prayer, and affording us a silent admonition 330
7. THE VENERATION OF RELICS.
๐ŸŽž Churches and Altars for the Celebration of Divine Worship were Erected for Housing Holy Relics 330 (F.SS.R.)
1. We honor the relics of the saints by preserving them with reverence, and visiting the spot where they are deposited 331
2. We obtain many blessings from God by venerating relics 332
8. THE EXTRAORDINARY WORSHIP OF GOD.
We can, moreover, honor God by taking an oath or by making a vow 332
๐ŸŽž A Vow is Made When We Voluntarily Pledge Ourselves to Do Something for God 332 (F.SS.R.)
The Oath.
1. To swear or take an oath is to call God to witness that one is speaking the truth, or that one will keep a promise 333
๐ŸŽž Oaths May be Dispensed under Certain Circumstances 335 (F.SS.R.)
The Vow (Solemn Promise).
1. A vow is a promise voluntarily made to God to perform some good action 336
2. The most important vows are the religious vows, that is to say, the solemn promise made voluntarily by persons entering a religious Order, to follow the evangelical counsels 336
๐ŸŽž Man Entirely Gives Up the World, in Order to Serve God Better by the Vows, the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity & Obedience 336 (F.SS.R.)
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
We owe reverence to almighty God, because He is a Lord of infinite majesty and of infinite bounty 339
1. In the Second Commandment, God commands us in the first place to show due respect to His divine majesty. This we must do in the following manner: We should call frequently upon the name of God with true and heartfelt devotion, especially at the commencement of all we do, and in time of trouble 339
๐ŸŽž Thou Shalt not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain, but Only with Reverence: A Mixture of Fear, Love, and Esteem 339 (F.SS.R.)
2. We ought to show respect for all that appertains to divine worship; more especially for the servants of God, for holy places, sacred things, and religious ceremonies 340
๐ŸŽž In The Hour of Death Above All We Should Breathe the Name of Jesus 340 (F.SS.R.)
3. We ought frequently to praise and magnify almighty God, on account of His infinite perfections and goodness, especially when He reveals His perfections in a special manner, or confers a benefit upon us 341
๐ŸŽž In Praising God, We Do the Best For Ourselves, For Thereby We Draw Down upon Ourselves the Divine Blessings in Great Abundance 341 (F.SS.R.)
4. Furthermore, God prohibits everything which is a violation of the reverence due to His divine majesty, and in particular: Taking the name of God in vain 341
5. Swearing. By this is meant the use of holy names in a moment of anger as an imprecation against certain persons or things 342
6. Indecorous behavior towards persons who are consecrated to the service of God, holy places, sacred objects or actions 343
๐ŸŽž As We Treat a Priest, in His Priestly Capacity, so We Treat God Himself 343 (F.SS.R.)
7. Blasphemy. Of this sin those are guilty who revile God, His saints, or speak contemptuously of objects connected with His worship 343
๐ŸŽž By All Other Sins One Offends against God Indirectly, But by Blasphemy One Offends against the Most High Himself 344 (F.SS.R.)
8. Simony. This consists in selling spiritualities for money or the equivalent of money 345
๐ŸŽž To Those Excommunicated due to Simony, the Words of St. Paul Apply: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” 345 (F.SS.R.)
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
๐ŸŽž On Holydays We Have the Opportunity of Expiating by Prayer What We Have Done Amiss, and of Rendering to God the Thanks Due to Him for the Benefits He Has Conferred on Us During the Week 346 (F.SS.R.)
In the Third Commandment of the Decalogue God commands us to sanctify the Sunday and to work six days in the week 347
1. THE PRECEPT TO SANCTIFY SUNDAYS AND HOLYDAYS.
1. God commands us to sanctify the seventh day, because on the seventh day He rested from the work of creation 347
2. God commanded the Jews to keep holy the Sabbath day 347
3. Sunday was appointed by the apostles as the day of rest instead of the Sabbath, because Christ rose from the dead on Sunday 348
4. We are bound on Sunday to abstain from servile work and to assist at the public Mass; we ought moreover to employ this day in providing for the salvation of our soul, that is to say by approaching the Sacraments, by prayer, hearing sermons, reading spiritual books, and performing works of mercy 348
๐ŸŽž Only Absolutely Necessary Works of Mercy Are Exempt from the Obligation of Attendance at Public Worship; They Are in Themselves an Act of Worship 348 (F.SS.R.)
SINS AGAINST THE THIRD COMMANDMENT.
This commandment is transgressed by performing servile work, by carelessness at public worship, etc. 350
Motives for the Sanctification of Sunday.
God rewards those who keep holy His day, and its profanation is frequently punished 351
๐ŸŽž God Often Increases the Gains of Those Who Abstain from the Pursuit of Their Calling on Sundays 351 (F.SS.R.)
2. THE PRECEPT OF LABOR.
๐ŸŽž He Who Serves His Fellow-Man Because It is the Will of God, Really Serves God Who Lays the Obligation upon Him 352 (F.SS.R.)
1. The obligation to work was laid upon mankind by God after the Fall as a penance 353
2. Every individual who can work is bound to work. St. Paul says: “If any man will not work, neither let him eat.” (2 Thess. iii. 10) 353
3. Every man is bound primarily to perform the work appertaining to his calling or station 353
๐ŸŽž In Vain Those Pray Who Will not Work; All Piety is False Which Is not Sub Ordinated to the Claims of Our Calling, For No State of Life, If Lawful, Is a Hindrance to Salvation 354 (F.SS.R.)
4. We must not forget God in what we do; before and during our work we should implore His aid and renew our intention 354
5. Labor obtains a temporal and an eternal recompense, because it is a kind of divine worship. The temporal recompense is contentment and earthly happiness 355
THE RELAXATIONS PERMITTED TO THE CHRISTIAN.
It is lawful to seek relaxation, but one must not overdo it 356
๐ŸŽž When Enjoying Innocent Pleasures We Should Think of God, and Our High Destiny 356 (F.SS.R.)
THE SIX COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH.
1. The six precepts of the Church are an amplification of the Third Commandment of the Decalogue 357
2. We are under a rigorous obligation to keep the commandments of the Church, for disobedience to the Church is disobedience to Christ 357
1. THE FIRST COMMANDMENT OF THE CHURCH: THE OBSERVANCE OF SUNDAYS AND HOLYDAYS.
1. In the first commandment of the Church the solemn observance of the holydays is enjoined upon us. There are seven festivals of Our Lord, five of Our Lady, and three of the saints 358
๐ŸŽž The Great Number of Festivals Observed by the Early Christians Were Instituted that the Events They Commemorate Might Be Remembered to All Time by the Faithful, and Praise and Thanksgiving Be Rendered to God for Them 358 (F.SS.R.)
2. The holydays of obligation ought to be kept in the same manner as the Sundays; we must abstain from servile work and assist at holy Mass 359
The Ecclesiastical Year.
1. The ecclesiastical year is an annual commemoration and representation of the life of Christ, and of the time before and after His birth 359
2. The ecclesiastical year begins upon the first Sunday in Advent. Its three principal feasts are Christmas, when the birth of Christ is celebrated; Easter, the day of His resurrection; and Pentecost, when the coming of the Holy Spirit is commemorated 360
๐ŸŽž The Preparation for Lent Includes the Three Sundays Called Respectively, Septuagesima (70), Sexagesima (60), and Quinquagesima (50). They Were So Named Because in the Early Days of Christianity Many Communities Began the Fast Fifty, Sixty, or Seventy Days before Easter, in Order not to Have to Fast Every Day of the Forty 360 (F.SS.R.)
3. The aspect of nature corresponds to the three principal festivals 361
2. THE SECOND COMMANDMENT OF THE CHURCH.
By the second commandment of the Church the precept of fasting is laid upon us 361
In the second commandment of the Church we are ordered to abstain on all Fridays of the year; to fast during the forty days of Lent, on the Ember days, and on the vigils of certain feasts 362
1. We are forbidden to eat meat on Friday, because on that day Our Lord died for us 352
2. During the forty days of Lent only one full meal is to be taken, as a partial imitation of Our Lord’s fast of forty days, and as a suitable preparation for celebrating the festival of Easter 363
3. We ought to keep the fast of, the Ember days strictly, in order to implore almighty God to send us good priests, and to thank Him for the benefits received during the past quarter 363
4 We are also bound to fast on the vigils of certain feasts, in order the better to prepare ourselves for celebrating those feasts 363
5. It is by no means the desire of the Church that we should fast to the injury of our health, or that we should thereby be hindered from performing the duties of our station 364
6. Fasting is beneficial both for the soul and the body 365
3. THE THIRD AND FOURTH COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH.
1. In the third and fourth commandments the Church enjoins upon us the duty of approaching the Sacrament of Penance and receiving holy communion at Easter 366
4. THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT OF THE CHURCH.
By the fifth commandment of the Church we are bound to contribute to the support of our pastors 368
5. THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT OF THE CHURCH.
In the sixth commandment marriage with non-Catholics is forbidden, also the marriage of those who are related within the, fourth degree of kindred. Marriages are not solemnized during fixed seasons. These penitential times are from the beginning of Advent until the Epiphany, and from Ash Wednesday until Low Sunday 368
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
In the Fourth Commandment God enjoins upon us to honor His representatives upon earth, that is to say, our parents, and both the ecclesiastical and secular authorities 368
1. OUR DUTY TOWARDS OUR PARENTS.
1. Our parents are to be honored, because they are God’s representatives and our greatest benefactors 368
2. We ought to honor our parents by respectful behavior, love, and obedience 369
3. Our duty is the same in regard to those who are in authority over us, as it is to our parents; our teachers and governors, masters and employers, and our elders in general 371
Transgressions of the Fourth Commandment.
1. He transgresses the Fourth Commandment of God who is disrespectful towards his parents; who behaves rudely to them, is ashamed of them, etc. 371
How does God Reward the Observance of the Fourth Commandment?
1. God promises long life, happiness, and blessings upon earth to children who honor their parents 372
2. God threatens to send upon those who do not honor their parents shame upon earth, a miserable end, everlasting damnation 372
2. OUR DUTY TOWARDS THOSE IN AUTHORITY.
1. God has appointed two powers, the spiritual and the secular, for the direction of human society. To the spiritual power He has committed the guidance of souls, to the secular the maintenance of peace and order 373
2. The highest spiritual authority was given by God to the Pope, the highest secular authority to the monarch of the land; in most countries the people have a share in the secular government 374
3. Our duties towards Pope and king are similar to our duties towards God, for they are both His representatives 374
4. He who grossly offends against either the ecclesiastical or secular authorities, has to expect the severe chastisement of God on earth, and punishment in the world to come 377
3. THE DUTIES OF THOSE WHO ARE IN AUTHORITY.
No Christian should strive for a position he is not competent to fill 378
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
In the Fifth Commandment almighty God forbids us to destroy our own life, or that of our neighbor, or to treat the lower animals with cruelty 380
1. OUR DUTY IN RESPECT TO OUR OWN LIFE.
1. Our body was created by God as an abode for our immortal soul 380
2. Since the life and health of the body are of great importance for the life of the soul, and for our eternal salvation, we are bound to take precautions for the preservation of our health and of our life 381
3. Furthermore we are under a strict obligation to do nothing that tends to destroy health or life. Consequently it is a sin to rashly hazard one’s life, wantonly to injure one’s health, or to take one’s own life 382
2. OUR DUTY IN REGARD TO THE LIFE OF OUR NEIGHBOR.
A strict obligation is laid upon us to avoid everything that may destroy the health or life of our neighbor 384
1. Accordingly it is sinful to wish ill to one’s neighbor, to injure his health, to challenge him or accept a duel, or to put him to death unjustly and willingly 384
2. He commits a still greater sin who destroys the spiritual life of his neighbor, either by tempting him to evil or by giving scandal 386
3. It is, however, lawful to wound or even to kill our fellow-man if he threatens to take our life by violence, or anything that is absolutely indispensable to our life, and we have no other means of defence. This is called the right of self-defence 388
4. He who has wrongfully injured his neighbor either physically or spiritually, is bound to repair the harm done to the utmost of his power 389
3. OUR CONDUCT IN REGARD TO THE LOWER ANIMALS.
In our relations to animals it is our duty to care for their well-being, to refrain from tormenting them, not to kill any useful animal without a special reason, and finally not to treat them with exaggerated tenderness 391
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
1. In the Sixth Commandment almighty God prohibits everything that might stain our own purity or that of our neighbor 392
2. Sins against the Sixth Commandment of God are for the most part very grievous in God’s sight and accordingly are severely punished by Him 393
THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
I. In the Seventh Commandment almighty God forbids us to wrong our neighbor in his goods and property 393
1. THE RIGHT OF POSSESSION.
1. Earthly goods are necessary to man’s subsistence, such as food, clothes, a dwelling-place, money, etc. 394
2. Personal property is justly obtained when it is either acquired by labor or by gift 394
Sins against the Seventh Commandment.
The Seventh Commandment expressly forbids: theft, robbery, cheating, usury, injuring the property of another, detention of goods that have been found or lent, and the non-payment of debts 395
1. We are in danger of committing mortal sin if we take from our neighbor as much as he requires to support him one day in a manner suitable to his position 397
2. RESTITUTION OR SATISFACTION.
1. He who has purloined from his neighbor or wronged him in his property, is under a strict obligation to restore the stolen goods or make compensation for the damage done (Lev. vi. 1-5) 397
2. If any one has unwittingly got stolen goods in his possession, he is bound to give them up to the rightful owner, as soon as he becomes aware that they were stolen 398
3. He who refuses either to give up the stolen property or to compensate for the loss sustained, will not obtain pardon of his sins from God nor absolution from the priest 398
WHAT ARE THE REASONS WHICH OUGHT TO DETER US FROMย  TRANSGRESSING THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT?
People who wrong their neighbor in his property generally come to shame and poverty, often die unrepentant, and are in danger of everlasting damnation 399
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
In the Eighth Commandment God forbids us to detract from our neighbor’s honor, or bear false witness of any kind 400
1. THE PROHIBITION AGAINST INJURING OUR NEIGHBOR IN HIS HONOR.
1. A good reputation is a precious possession, for it enables us to gain riches for time and for eternity 400
2. Above all we ought to strive to acquire a good name among men, and for that reason we ought to let our good works be known, and we ought to defend our character if it be aspersed to any great extent 401
3. Furthermore, we ought to refrain from everything that may wound our neighbor’s honor: thus suspicion, detraction, slander, and abuse are forbidden, also listening with pleasure when our neighbor is spoken against 402
4. He who has injured his neighbor’s reputation is strictly bound to restore his good name; either by apologizing, if the offence was committed in private, or by publicly retracting his words, if they were spoken before others 405
5. Those who do not endeavor to repair the harm they have done by slandering their neighbor, cannot obtain pardon from God, nor absolution from the priest 406
WHAT ARE THE REASONS WHICH SHOULD DETER US FROM INJURING OUR NEIGHBOR’S GOOD NAME?
1. He who is severe in his judgment of his neighbor, will in his turn be judged severely by God 406
2. THE COMMAND AGAINST UNTRUTHFULNESS.
God is truth itself; consequently He forbids every kind of falsehood, especially lying, hypocrisy, and flattery 407
WHAT ARE THE REASONS WHICH SHOULD MAKE US REFRAIN FROM UNTRUTHFULNESS?
1. The liar is like the devil and displeasing to God 409
2. The pernicious habit of lying leads a man into mortal sin and to eternal perdition 410
3. Whoso is really upright is like almighty God, is pleasing in His sight, and is esteemed by his fellow-men 411
3. THE MEANS OF PREVENTING SINS OF THE TONGUE.
Sins of the tongue are avoided by checking talkativeness and being guarded in speech 412
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
(See the Sixth Commandment.)
THE TENTH COMMANDMENT OF GOD.
In the Tenth Commandment God forbids us to endeavor to possess ourselves of the property of another by unlawful means 413
1. SOCIALISM.
1. In our own day a large proportion of the so-called Socialists or social democrats aim at depriving their fellow-men of their private property by unjust means 414
2. All who endeavor by unlawful means to deprive their neighbor of his personal property, live in a state of mortal sin 417
XI. THE WORKS OF MERCY.
1. THE VALUE OF EARTHLY GOODS AND THE USE TO BE MADE OF THEM.
1. Earthly riches do not of themselves make us better in God’s sight 418
2. Earthly goods have their value, however, because with them we can earn eternal felicity 418
3. God is the Lord of all earthly riches; we are only His stewards 418
2. THE PRECEPT TO PERFORM WORKS OF MERCY.
1. Christ has strictly enjoined upon us to assist our neighbor who is in need with our earthly goods; for He will only grant ever lasting happiness to those who have helped their fellow-men who were in need 419
2. The assistance we give to the needy, of whatever nature it may be, is an alms, or work of mercy 420
3. The works of mercy are either spiritual or corporal, according as the necessities we relieve are spiritual or corporal 420
3. THE SEVERAL WORKS OF MERCY.
1. The corporal works of mercy are: (1), To feed the hungry; (2), To give drink to the thirsty; (3), To clothe the naked; (4), To harbor the stranger; (5) To visit the sick; (6) To ransom the captive; (7), To bury the dead 421
2. The spiritual works of mercy are: (1), To instruct the ignorant; (2), To counsel the doubtful; (3), To admonish sinners; (4), To bear wrongs patiently; (5), To forgive offences willingly; (6), To comfort the afflicted; (7), To pray for the living and the dead 422
4. IN WHAT SPIRIT SHOULD THE WORKS OF MERCY BE PERFORMED?
We ought not to do good to our neighbor in order to be seen and praised by men 435
5. OF WHAT BENEFIT ARE THE WORKS OF MERCY TO US?
1. Almsgiving obtains for us the remission of our sins; that is to say, the sinner obtains the grace of repentance, while the just man receives the pardon of venial sin, and the remission of the temporal penalty 437
2. By almsgiving we obtain an eternal recompense, provided that at the time we are in a state of grace 428
3. Almsgiving brings down upon us temporal blessings; God in creases our means and gives us bodilyย  health 428
XII. THE DUTY OF GRATITUDE.
1. For every act of mercy done to us, we are bound to render thanks, first to God and then to our benefactor; for God requires of us that we should be grateful tor the benefits we receive 429
2. By our gratitude we obtain fresh favors, whereas ingratitude brings misfortunes upon us 430
XIII. THE POVERTY OF THE CHRISTIAN.
Poverty is no disgrace in God’s sight; the poor are beloved by God and save their souls more easily 431
B. Good Works, Virtue, Sin, Vice.
I. GOOD WORKS.
1. The name of good works is given to such voluntary actions on the part of man as are in conformity with the will of God, are performed for the love of God, and consequently will be rewarded by God 434
2. The good works most pleasing in God’s sight are these: Prayer, fasting, and almsdeeds 435
3. Even the most trifling works are pleasing to God if they are done with the intention of promoting His glory 436
4. Good works are necessary to salvation 436
5. Through good works the sinner obtains the actual graces which are necessary for his conversion; the just man obtains an increase of sanctifying grace, eternal felicity, and the remissionof the temporal penalty of sin; furthermore his prayers are heard, and sometimes earthly blessings are bestowed on him 437
6. We can apply to others, either to the living or to the dead, the merit of our good works 433
II. VIRTUE.
1. Virtue consists in proficiency in the practice of good works, and the tendency of the will towards what is good, resulting from persevering exercise 439
2. It is only perfect virtue, i.e., those acts of virtue which are performed for the glory of God, which will be rewarded after death 439
3. Virtue can only be acquired and increased by dint of struggle and self-conquest; for many obstacles have to be encountered, inward hindrances, the evil proclivities of the human heart, and outward hindrances, the contempt and persecution of men 440
4. Virtue procures for us real happiness both in time and in eternity 440
THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE.
1. The virtues that unite our soul to God are the three theological virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity 443
2. Those virtues which have the effect of bringing our actions into conformity with the moral law, are called moral virtues. These we gain for ourselves by our own exertions and the assistance of divine grace, after we have received sanctifying grace 443
3. The principal moral virtues are the seven capital virtues: Humility, obedience, meekness, liberality, temperance, chastity, diligence in what is good 444
4. All the moral virtues proceed from the four cardinal virtues: Prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude (Wisd. viii. 7) 444
5. All perfect virtues spring from the love of God and are inseparably united together by that same love (1 Cor. xiii.) 445
6. The greatest and noblest of all the virtues is charity 447
7. The virtues can always be increased 447
8. All perfect virtue is lost immediately upon falling into mortal sin, for thereby the love of God is lost, without which there can be no perfect virtue 448
III. SIN.
1. He who wittingly and willingly transgresses one of God’s commandments is guilty of sin 449
2. Sin is in its essence an unlawful turning towards the creature and turning away from God 450
THE DEVELOPMENT OF SIN.
In the development of sin temptation first arises, then comes the resolutions to commit sin; after that, if opportunity offers, the exterior act is committed 451
THE KINDS OF SIN.
There are different kinds of sin.
1. Sins are generally divided into sins of word, of thought, and of deed 454
2. A distinction also exists between our own sins, and the sins in which we co-operate 454
THE COMPARATIVE MAGNITUDE OF SIN.
1. All sins are not equally great 456
2. Many sins are so great that they separate us entirely from God, and deprive us of His friendship; they are called mortal or deadly sins. Sins of lesser moment are called venial sins 456
3. He commits a mortal sin who consciously and of his own free will does grievous dishonor to God, or wrong to his neighbor in a weighty matter; who does injury to his own life, or to the life, the property, or the reputation of his neighbor 453
4. He commits a venial sin who only injures something of trifling consequence, or who, though he injures something of great importance, injures it very slightly, or does so almost unconsciously and to some extent unwittingly 458
5. All mortal sins are not of equal magnitude, nor are all venial sins of the same importance. The most heinous sins are the sins against the Holy Ghost, and those that cry to heaven for vengeance 459
6. He commits a sin against the Holy Ghost who persistently and wilfully resists the action of the Holy Ghost 459
7. Sins that cry to heaven for vengeance are sins of great malice. They are: Wilful murder, oppression of the poor, defrauding laborers of their wages, and the sin of Sodom 460
8. A distinction must be made between venial sins and imperfections. Imperfections are faults which are due not to a bad will, but to human frailty 461
THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN.
1. Mortal sin deprives a man of sanctifying grace, and delivers him into the power of the devil 462
2. Mortal sin brings down upon the sinner both eternal damnation and temporal chastisement 463
THE CONSEQUENCES OF VENIAL SIN.
1. Venial sin gradually leads to mortal sin, and eventuates in the loss of sanctifying grace 465
2. There are temporal penalties due to venial sin, and these will come down upon us either on earth or after death in purgatory 465
IV. VICE.
1. Vice is proficiency in the practice of evil, and the confirmed tendency of the will towards evil which is acquired by habitual sin. 466
2. Habitual sin makes a man supremely unhappy, because it deprives him completely of sanctifying grace, subjects him entirely to the dominion of the devil, and brings down on him many temporal judgments as well as eternal damnation 467
3. The most ordinary sins are the seven capital sins: Pride, disobedience, anger, avarice, intemperance in eating and drinking, unchastity, sloth. 468
V. THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN.
1. There is no man upon earth without sin; consequently there is none who does not need the forgiveness of sin 469
2. We can obtain forgiveness of sin, because Christ merited it for us by the death of the cross; and because He gave power to forgive sins to His apostles and their successors 469
3. Mortal sin is remitted y Baptism and penance; venial sin, and the temporal penalties due to it, by good works done in a state of grace. These good works are: Prayer, fasting, almsgiving, hearing holy Mass, receiving holy communion, use of the sacramentals, gaining indulgences, forgiving offences 470
4. There is no sin too great for God to forgive here below, if it be sincerely repented of and humbly confessed 470
VI. TEMPTATION.
1. Temptation is the action of the evil spirit upon our soul, in order to induce us to sin; he excites within us the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, or the pride of life 471
2. God allows us to be tempted out of mercy, and for the good of our souls 472
3. We ought to protect ourselves from temptation by assiduous work, by keeping our thoughts fixed upon God, and by continual self-conquest 473
4. When we are tempted we ought to betake ourselves immediately to prayer, or think of our last end or of the evil consequences of sin 474
VII. OCCASIONS OF SIN.
1. By occasions of sin are meant such places, persons, or things, which as a rule are the means of leading us into sin, if we go in quest of them 475
2. To expose one’s self heedlessly to an occasion of sin, is in itself a sin; it entails the loss of divine grace and leads to mortal sin 475
3. He who finds himself in circumstances which are an occasion of sin to him, and does not instantly leave them, although it is in his power to do so, commits a sin; he will be deprived of the assistance of divine grace and will fall into mortal sin 476
4. He who refuses to give up what is to him an occasion of sin, cannot expect to obtain pardon of sin here, or eternal salvation here after 476
5. The most common and the most dangerous occasions of sin are: Liquor saloons, dancing saloons, bad theatres, bad periodicals and bad novels 477
VIII. THE SEVEN PRINCIPAL VIRTUES AND THE SEVEN PRINCIPAL VICES.
1. HUMILITY.
1. The humble man is he who acknowledges his own nothingness and the nothingness of all earthly things, and comports himself in accordance with this conviction 479
2. Christ gave us in Himself the grandest example of humility, for He, being the Son of God, took the form of a servant, chose to live in great lowliness, was most condescending in His intercourse with men, and finally, voluntarily endured the ignominious death of the cross 481
3. Humility leads to greater sanctity, to exaltation, and to everlasting felicity 482
2. THE OPPOSITE OF HUMILITY: PRIDE.
1. He is proud who overestimates his own worth, or the value of his earthly possessions and shows openly that he does so 483
2. Pride leads to all manner of vices, to degradation here, and eternal damnation hereafter; it also destroys the value of all our good works 484
3. OBEDIENCE.
1. Obedience consists in being ready to fulfil the behest of one’s superior 435
2. Obedience is the most difficult and at the same time the most excellent of all the moral virtues (St. Thomas Aquinas) 486
3. By our obedience we accomplish the will of God most surely, and we attain certainly and quickly to a high degree of perfection 487
4. DISOBEDIENCE.
1. Disobedience consists in not fulfilling the commands of one’s superiors 487
2. Disobedience brings temporal misfortune and eternal misery upon man 488
5. PATIENCE, MEEKNESS, PEACEABLENESS.
Patience.
1. Patience consists in preserving one’s serenity of mind amid all the contrarieties of this life, for the love of God 488
2. Patience produces many virtues and leads to salvation 489
Meekness.
1. Meekness consists in showing for the love of God, no irritation when wrong is done us 490
2. By meekness we gain power over our fellow-men, we attain peace of mind, and eternal salvation 490
Peaceableness.
1. Peaceableness consists in willingly making a sacrifice for the sake of remaining at peace with one’s neighbor or reconciling one’s self with him 492
2. Peacemakers enjoy the special protection of God and receive a hundredfold as the reward of all that they give up for the sake of peace 492
6. THE OPPOSITE OF MEEKNESS: WRATH.
1. Wrath consists in exciting one’s self about something at which one is displeased 493
2. Those who indulge anger injure their health, temporarily lose the use of reason, make themselves hated, and incur the danger of losing eternal salvation 493
7. LIBERALITY.
1. Liberality consists in being ready and willing, for the love of God, to give pecuniary assistance to those who are in need 495
2. By liberality we obtain forgiveness of sin and eternal reward, and temporal blessings, besides a speedy answer to prayer and the friendship of our fellow-men 495
8. THE OPPOSITE OF LIBERALITY: AVARICE.
1. Avarice consists in an inordinate craving for riches, which makes a man not only strive after them, but refuse to give any portion of his goods to the poor 495
2. The avaricious are miserable both in time and in eternity; for the sake of money they commit all manner of sins, they lose the faith and their peace of mind, they are cruel to themselves and hardhearted to their neighbor, and finally perish eternally 496
9. TEMPERANCE IN EATING AND DRINKING.
1. Temperance consists in not eating and drinking more than is necessary, and not being either too greedy or too dainty in regard to the nourishment one takes 498
2. Temperance is highly advantageous to soul and body: it improves the health, lengthens life, strengthens the faculties of the mind, fosters virtue, and leads to everlasting life 498
10. INTEMPERANCE IN EATING AND DRINKING.
1. Intemperance consists in eating and drinking much more than is necessary, and in being greedy or dainty in regard to one’s food 498
2. By intemperance a man injures his health, weakens his mental faculties, destroys his reputation, and reduces himself to poverty; falls into vice, often comes to a miserable end, and is eternally lost 499
11. CHASTITY.
1. Chastity consists in preserving the mind and body free from everything that might stain their innocence 500
2. Those who lead a life of chastity, possess the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit in abundant measure; they will be happy here on earth, and will enjoy special distinction in heaven hereafter 501
12. UNCHASTITY.
1. Unchastity consists in thoughts, words or deeds, which are destructive of innocence 504
2. Unchaste persons do not possess the sanctifying grace of the Holy Ghost, they are severely chastised by God in this life, and after death are condemned to eternal perdition 504
13. ZEAL IN WHAT is GOOD.
1. Zeal in what is good consists in working out one’s salvation with all earnestness and fervor 505
2. Without zeal in what is good we cannot be saved, for the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence 506
14. THE OPPOSITE OF ZEAL: SLOTH.
1. Sloth consists in shunning everything that conduces either to our temporal or eternal well-being, provided it be toilsome 507
2. Idleness leads to all kinds of vice; it brings misery in this life and eternal damnation in the life to come 507
C. Christian Perfection.
I. THE ASPIRATION AFTER CHRISTIAN PERFECTION.
1. God requires of all the just that they should aspire to Christian perfection 509
2. The most sublime example of Christian perfection is found in Our Lord. After Him, the saints are also patterns of perfection 509
3. The perfection of the Christian consists in charity towards God and his neighbor, and in detachment of heart from the things of this world 510
II. GENERAL MEANS FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF PERFECTION.
In order to make sure of attaining Christian perfection, the following means should be adopted 512
1. Fidelity in small things 512
2. A habit of self-control 512
3. Abstinence from all that is superfluous, especially in regard to eating and drinking. 513
4. Order and regularity 514
5. Unremitting prayer 514
6. Frequent confession and communion 515
7. Reading attentively the life of Our Lord and the lives of the saints, and meditation on the truths of religion 515
8. Love of solitude 515
III. SPECIAL MEANS FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF PERFECTION.
1. He who aspires to a higher degree of perfection must follow the three evangelical counsels: Perfect obedience, perpetual chastity, and voluntary poverty 516
2. These three counsels are called the evangelical counsels, because Our Lord gave them to us when He preached the Gospel, and followed them Himself 518
3. The evangelical counsels lead to higher perfection, because by their means the three evil concupiscences in man are completely destroyed, and the chief obstacles in the way of his salvation are removed 518
4. Not every one is called of God to follow the evangelical counsels; for Our Lord says : “All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given.” (Matt. xix. 11) 519
5. The members of religious Orders are bound to follow the evangelical counsels, and likewise all persons living in the world, who have taken a vow to do so 519
IV. THE EIGHT BEATITUDES.
Those who scrupulously keep God’s commandments are happy even on earth. Therefore God declared blessed those who are poor in spirit, the meek, they that mourn, they that hunger for His justice, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, and they that suffer persecution for the right 521
PART III.
The Means of Grace.
I. THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS.
1. ON SACRIFICE IN GENERAL.
1. The word sacrifice signifies the voluntary surrender or the destruction of an object which we value, to give honor to God as our supreme Lord 526
2. THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST UPON THE CROSS.
1. The sacrifice which reconciled God with man was that which Christ offered upon the cross 529
2. The sacrifice of Christ upon the cross was a vicarious sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, and a sacrifice of superabundant value 530
3. The graces which Christ merited for us by His death are communicated to us by the means of grace; that is to say, the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the sacraments, the sacramentals, and prayer 531
3. THE INSTITUTION, NATURE, AND PRINCIPAL PARTS OF THE MASS.
1. The Son of God offered a sacrifice at the Last Supper, because He gave His body and blood to be offered up, in order to reconcile His heavenly Father with man 532
2. We call the sacrifice instituted by Our Lord at the Last Supper, holy Mass, or the sacrifice of the Mass 535
3. What takes place in the sacrifice of the Mass is this: The priest at the altar, as the representative of Christ, offers up bread and wine to almighty God; he changes these substances into the body and blood of Christ, and destroys them by consuming them. 536
4. There are three distinct parts in the sacrifice ยปof the Mass: The offertory, the consecration, and the communion 537
4. THE CEREMONIAL OF THE MASS.
1. In the course of time many ceremonies of deep significance grouped themselves around the holy sacrifice of the Mass, which were not to be omitted without absolute necessity 539
2. The whole story of the Redemption is symbolically represented by the ceremonies of the Mass 540
5. THE RELATION WHICH THE MASS BEARS TO THE SACRIFICE OF THE CROSS.
1. The sacrifice of the Mass is a living renewal of the sacrifice of the cross, for in the Mass, as upon the cross, Christ immolates Himself 541
2. In the sacrifice of the Mass all the sacrifices made by Our Lord are also renewed 543
6. THE PROFIT TO BE DERIVED FROM THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS.
1. By means of the holy sacrifice of the Mass the fruits of the sacrifice of the cross are applied to us in most abundant measure; more particularly we obtain thereby forgiveness of sin, certitude that our prayers are heard, temporal blessings, and eternal rewards 543
2. Those who participate in the fruits of the holy sacrifice of the Mass are: First, the individual for whom it is celebrated; then the priest and all who are present; finally, all the faithful both living and dead; moreover the holy sacrifice gives joy to all the angels and saints 545
7. THE CELEBRATION OF HOLY MASS.
1. The holy sacrifice of the Mass is only offered to God; it may be offered to Him with a fourfold intention: By way of atonement, of petition, of praise, or of thanksgiving 547
2. The holy sacrifice of the Mass may also be offered in honor of the angels or saints 548
3. The holy sacrifice of the Mass can also be offered for the souls of the departed who have been members of the Catholic Church, and have not died in a state of mortal sin 548
4. The holy sacrifice of the Mass can, however, be offered for the living, whether Catholics or non-Catholics 549
8. THE VALUE OF THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS.
1. As the holy sacrifice of the Mass is an oblation of infinite value, to celebrate or to hear Mass is a good work which surpasses all other good works in excellence 550
9. THE DEVOTION AT HOLY MASS.
We ought to be very devout at Mass; that is, we ought to banish from our minds all that may cause distraction, and endeavor to unite our supplications to those of the priest, especially in the three principal parts of the Mass 551
1. Whispering, laughing, looking about at the time of Mass must be carefully avoided; moreover it is unseemly to come to Mass overdressed 551
2. When assisting at the holy sacrifice, we ought to unite our supplications to those of the priest, but it is not necessary to use the same prayers as he does 553
3. At the three principal parts of the Mass we should to a certain extent suspend our private devotions, and fix our attention upon what is done at the altar 553
4. It is an excellent practice immediately after the consecration to make to our heavenly Father a definite act of offering of His divine Son sacrificed upon the altar, and of His Passion and death 555
5. At the communion, if we do not communicate actually, we ought to do so spiritually 555
6. It is not possible to hear two or more Masses at the same time; therefore when in church we ought to follow one Mass attentively and not more than one 555
10. THE OBLIGATION OF HEARING MASS.
1. Every Catholic is bound, under pain of mortal sin, to hear the whole of one Mass devoutly every Sunday and holyday of obligation 556
2. To hear Mass on week-days, if possible, is a highly commendable practice, for it may be the means of gaining the greatest graces 557
11. THE TIME WHEN MASS is TO BE CELEBRATED.
The holy sacrifice of the Mass is generally to be celebrated between sunrise and noon 558
12. THE PLACE WHERE MASS is TO BE CELEBRATED.
The apostles celebrated the holy sacrifice on a table; during the persecution of the Christians Mass was offered on the tombs of the martyrs 559
13. THE VESTMENTS AND SACRED VESSELS USED AT MASS.
The various portions of the sacerdotal vestments are commemorative of Our Lord’s Passion 562
14. THE COLORS OF THE VESTMENTS.
1. In the vestments worn by the priest at Mass, the Church makes use of five colors: White, red, green, purple and black 563
2. These colors not only depict the course of Our Lord’s life on earth, but serve as a constant admonition to us to lead a pious life 564
15. THE LANGUAGE OF THE MASS.
The Latin language is used in the services of the Church; it helps to maintain her unity and preserves her from many evils 565
16. SINGING AT MASS.
The singing of which the Church makes use is called the Gregorian chant, congregational, and choir singing 566
17. HEARING THE WORD OF GOD.
1. The Word of God is said to be the food of the soul, because it sustains the life and strength of the soul, as bread does that of the body 569
2. Hence it is the duty of every Christian either to hear sermons frequently, or to read spiritual books and make a practical application of what he hears or reads 570
3. Those who are assiduous in hearing sermons or reading spiritual books, will not have great difficulty in attaining eternal salvation 571
II. THE SACRAMENTS.
1. The sacraments are sensible signs instituted by Christ, by means of which the graces of the Holy Spirit are communicated to us 572
2. Christ instituted seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction,, Holy Orders and Matrimony 573
3. By the three sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, there is imprinted upon the soul a certain spiritual and indelible mark or character, on account of which they cannot be repeated 574
4. Two of the sacraments, Baptism and Penance, are instituted principally with the object of conferring sanctifying grace where it was not already given; the five others with the object of increasing that gift 574
5. Due preparation must be made before receiving the sacraments, in order to obtain the graces they convey 575
6. Supposing the priest who administers the sacrament to be unworthy, the graces of the Holy Spirit will still be communicated by means of the sacrament 576
1. BAPTISM.
1. This is what takes place at Baptism: Water is poured upon the head of the person to be baptized, and at the same time the words appointed by Our Lord are repeated; the person is thereby cleansed from original sin and all other sins, he is gifted with habitual and sanctifying grace, and becomes a child of God, an heir of heaven, and a member of the Church 577
2. Baptism acts spiritually as water does materially 578
3. Baptism is indispensably necessary to salvation. Hence children who die unbaptized cannot enter heaven 579
4. Hence it follows that parents ought to have their children baptized immediately after their birth, because new-born infants hover between life and death 580
5. In case of necessity any one can administer Baptism and without the usual ceremonies 580
6. If baptism by water is impossible, it may be replaced by the baptism of desire, or by the baptism of blood, as in the case of those who suffer martyrdom for the faith of Christ 580
7. In the early ages of the Church solemn Baptism was administered on three days of the year: Holy Saturday, the eve of Whitsunday, and in the East on the eve of the Epiphany 581
2. CONFIRMATION.
1. The ceremonial of Confirmation is as follows: The bishop lays his hands upon the candidates and anoints each one severally with chrism upon the forehead, with prayer; and those who are so anointed receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost, especially courage to profess their faith 535
2. The supernatural effect of Confirmation is similar to the natural effect of oil 535
3. Christians ought to be confirmed at the age when they pass from childhood to youth, because at that period temptations thicken around them, and they need strength of will to resist them 586
4. The candidate for Confirmation ought previously to go to confession, and if possible to holy communion; for to receive this sacrament one must be in a state of grace 587
5. Confirmation is usually administered about Whitsuntide, as the bishop visits the whole of his diocese at intervals of a few years 587
3. THE HOLT EUCHARIST.
INSTITUTION AND NATURE OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST.
1. The body of Christ under the appearance of bread, and the blood of Christ under the appearance of wine, is called the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar 589
2. The presence of the body and blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine is a mystery, because our feeble reason can not comprehend it 590
3. It is most true that under the species of bread, as also under the species of wine, Christ is present, God and man, whole and entire 591
4. Our Lord is present in every particle,, however minute, of the consecrated bread and wine 592
5. Christ is present in the consecrated elements as long as the accidents of bread and wine remain 592
6. The duties of the Christian in regard to the Holy Sacrament of the Altar are these: He ought to visit it frequently, to adore it, and to receive it 592
THE NECESSITY OF HOLY COMMUNION.
1. The Holy Sacrament of the Altar is the nourishment of our souls 594
2. We are bound under pain of mortal sin to communicate at least once a year, and that at Easter; also in case of dangerous illness. It is, moreover, the wish of the Church that the faithful should, if possible, receive holy communion on Sundays and holydays 595
THE EFFECTS OF HOLY COMMUNION.
Holy communion acts spiritually, as bread and wine act materially 597
1. By holy communion we are united more closely to Christ. Our Lord says: “He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.” (John vi. 57) 587
2. Holy communion imparts actual graces, and also maintains and increases sanctifying grace in the soul 598
3. The force of evil concupiscence is lessened by holy communion, and we are freed from venial sin by means of it 598
4. Holy communion often affords much refreshment to the soul 599
PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION.
1. We must make a suitable preparation of body and soul before receiving holy communion 599
2. The manner in which we should prepare our soul is this: We must cleanse our souls from mortal sin by confession, perform good works and adorn ourselves with the virtues 600
3. Our body must be prepared for holy communion by fasting from midnight; by dressing in a neat and suitable manner, and by a reverent deportment at the time of communion 602
BEHAVIOR AFTER RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION.
After receiving communion we should make our thanksgiving, and proffer our petitions to almighty God, praying for the Pope, for the authorities, secular and ecclesiastical, for our relatives, friends, and benefactors, and for the holy souls in purgatory 603
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.
Spiritual communion consists in awakening within the heart a lively desire to receive holy communion 604
4. THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE.
THE NATURE AND THE NECESSITY OF PENANCE.
1. In the Sacrament of Penance the repentant Christian confesses his sin to a duly-authorized priest, who, standing in the place of God, pronounces the absolution by means of which they are forgiven 605
2. The Sacrament of Penance is indispensably necessary for those who have fallen into sin after Baptism,, for without this sacrament they are unable to recover the justice they have lost 606
3. Let no one be deterred by a feeling of shame from confessing his sins; the priest dare not, under any pretext, reveal what is said in the confessional, and he is ever ready to receive the contrite sinner kindly 607
4. He who from a sense of shame conceals a mortal sin in confession, does not obtain forgiveness, but only adds to his other sins that of sacrilege, and exposes himself to the grave risk of dying impenitent 608
THE CONFESSOR.
1. No priest can give absolution who has not received the faculties for hearing confessions from the bishop of the diocese 609
2. Priests who are duly authorized to hear confessions, have not power to absolve from all sins, since there are certain sins which the Pope or the bishop has reserved to himself for judgment 609
3. In the confessional the priest stands in the place of God; therefore the penitent is bound to yield him obedience 609
4. Under no possible conditions may the priest repeat anything out of the confessional 610
6. Every Catholic is perfectly free to choose his own confessor 611
THE EFFECTS OF PENANCE.
By worthily receiving the Sacrament of Penance we obtain the following graces 612
1. The guilt of sin is remitted and the debt of eternal punishment; yet there remains the debt of temporal punishment to be discharged 612
2. The Holy Spirit returns to the repentant sinner, and imparts to him sanctifying grace; and the merits of all the good works he formerly performed while in a state of grace are restored to him again 613
3. Through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost we obtain great peace of mind, nay, great consolations, if our conversion be sincere 613
4. The Holy Ghost imparts to us the strength necessary to overcome sin 614
THE WORTHY RECEPTION OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE.
In order to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily, we must do as follows: 615
1. We must examine our conscience, i.e., we must carefully consider what sins we have committed and not yet confessed 615
2. We must truly repent of our sins, that is, we must grieve from our heart that we have offended God by them, and the thought of offending Him must be abhorrent to us 617
The means of awakening true contrition is to reflect that by our sins we have grievously offended the infinite majesty of God, and have displeased our loving Father, our greatest Benefactor 619
The consideration that we must expect the just judgments of God on account of our sins, also disposes us to true contrition 620
Confession without contrition does not obtain the divine forgiveness 621
3. We must make a firm resolution, that is, we must steadfastly determine with the help of God to desist from all sin, and to avoid the occasions of sin for the future 621
4. We are under the obligation of confessing our sins, that is, we must secretly to the priest enumerate all the mortal sins of which we are conscious, accurately, simply, and humbly; with the number of times we have committed them, besides all that is necessary to make known the nature of the sin 622
5. Satisfaction must be made: i.e., we must perform the penance enjoined upon us by the confessor 623
The confessor generally enjoins upon the penitent, prayer, almsdeeds, and fasting as works of penance, in order that he may thereby discharge the temporal penalties, and weaken the power of evil tendencies 624
We should, besides, make satisfaction by punishments voluntarily undertaken of ourselves; and also by bearing patiently the temporal scourges inflicted of God 625
The works of penance which we perform and the sufferings which we bear patiently do not only cancel the temporal punishment due to our sins, but they contribute to the increase of our eternal happiness 625
GENERAL CONFESSION.
By general confession is meant confession of all the sins we have committed within, a considerable period of time 625
CONFESSION A DIVINE INSTITUTION.
1. Confession of sins was instituted by Our Lord, and has been the practice of the Church in all centuries 626
2. The institution of confession affords us proof of the infinite mercy and wisdom of God 628
THE ADVANTAGES OF CONFESSION.
Confession is extremely useful both to individuals and to society in general 628
THE SIN OF RELAPSE.
1. He who after his conversion, relapses into mortal sin, is in danger of dying impenitent, because the devil acquires great power over him and the influence of the Holy Spirit is lessened 630
2. If any one should relapse into mortal sin, let him forthwith repent and go to confession; for the longer penance is delayed, the more difficult, the more uncertain conversion will be 630
3. If, through frailty, we fall into venial sin, we must not be disquieted on that account, but humble ourselves before God 630
4. Since we cannot possibly continue in a state of grace until death without the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, let us fervently implore of God the grace of final perseverance 631
INDULGENCES.
1. God has granted to the Church the power, after the reconciliation of the sinner with God, of changing the punishments yet remaining due to sin into works of penance, or of remitting them altogether 632
2. The remission of the temporal punishment due to us on account of our sins is called an indulgence, and is obtained by the performance, while in a state of grace, of certain good works enjoined on us by the Church 634
3. An indulgence is either plenary, when a full and entire remission of all the temporal punishment due to sin is gained, or partial, when only a portion of the temporal punishment is remitted 636
4. The Pope alone has power to grant indulgences which are for the whole Church; for in him alone jurisdiction over the whole Church is vested, and he is the steward of the Church’s treasures 639
5. Indulgences may also be applied by way of suffrage to the suffering souls in purgatory, if this be expressly stated respecting the indulgence; a plenary indulgence is gained for them every time the holy sacrifice of the Mass is offered on a privileged altar 639
6. The gaining of indulgences is most salutary, because we thereby keep far from us temporal evils, and are stimulated to the accomplishment of good works 639
5. EXTREME UNCTION.
1. In administering Extreme Unction the priest anoints the Christian who is in danger of death with the holy oils upon the organs of his five senses, and prays over him; by means of which the spiritual and not infrequently the bodily malady of the sick man is cured 640
2. Extreme Unction acts spiritually as oil does materially; it strengthens, heals, and aids the soul to attain eternal salvation 640
3. Extreme Unction can only be administered to persons who are in danger of death; and they ought to receive it without delay for the sake both of their physical and spiritual health 642
4. Before being anointed the sick man ought to confess his sins, and receive holy communion and afterwards the Papal blessing is generally given to him 642
6. HOLY ORDERS.
1. At the administration of Holy Orders the bishop lays his hands on the candidates for ordination, calls down upon them the Holy Ghost, anoints their hands, and presents the sacred vessels to them 643
2. The office of the priesthood, to which a man is raised by Holy Orders, is one of great dignity, but likewise one of no slight difficulty and of vast responsibility 644
3. The Sacrament of Holy Orders only confers the perpetual power, not the right, to exercise the functions of a priest. The newly-ordained cannot therefore make use in any place of their sacerdotal powers, until they have received ecclesiastical authorization 646
4. No one can be admitted to priest’s Orders who has not attained the age of twenty-four years 647
5. Six other orders of ministry precede the priesthood, four lesser and two greater 647
7. MATRIMONY.
THE INSTITUTION AND NATURE OF MATRIMONY.
1. God Himself instituted matrimony in the beginning of the world, for the procreation of the human race, and the mutual assistance of husband and wife 649
2. Christian marriage is a contract between man and woman, binding them to an undivided and indissoluble partnership, and conferring on them at the same time grace to fulfil all the duties required of them 650
3. Civil marriage is to be distinguished from Christian marriage, inasmuch as it is no sacrament, and consequently in the sight of God no true and real marriage for Catholics 650
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MATRIMONY.
According to the ordinance of Christ, Christian marriage is strictly a union of two persons only, and it is indissoluble 652
THE GRACES CONFERRED IN MATRIMONY.
The Sacrament of Matrimony confers upon Christians who embrace that state both an increase of sanctifying grace, and in addition the special graces necessary to enable them to discharge the duties required of them 653
IMPEDIMENTS TO MATRIMONY.
A marriage can only be concluded in the absence of all impediments to it. The impediments may be such as nullify marriage, or such as render it unlawful 654
THE CELEBRATION or MATRIMONY.
1. Marriage must be preceded by betrothal, by the publication of the banns, and by the reception of the Sacraments of Penance and of the Altar 656
2. The Church expressly commands that the marriage be concluded in the presence of the priest of the parish, and two witnesses; or the parish priest may authorize another priest to act in his place 658
3. Marriages are, as a rule, celebrated in the forenoon, in the house of God, with solemn ceremonies, and Mass is usually said at the same time 658
THE DUTIES OF THE MARRIED.
It is the duty of the wife to obey her husband; it is the duty of the husband to protect and shield his wife 659
MIXED MARRIAGES.
1. Mixed marriages, by which is understood the marriage of Catholics to non-Catholics, have always been disapproved of by the Church 664
2. The Church tolerates mixed marriages on three conditions 665
3. The Catholic who contracts a mixed marriage without the benediction of the Church, commits a mortal sin, and cannot be admitted to the sacraments 666
THE UNMARRIED STATE.
1. The unmarried state is better than the married, because those who do not marry have far more opportunity for attending to their spiritual welfare, and can attain a higher degree of glory hereafter 667
III. THE SACRAMENTALS.
The sacramentals are rites which have some outward resemblance to the sacraments instituted by Christ, but which are not of divine institution. The name is applied both to the blessing or consecration given by the Church, and to the objects blessed or consecrated 668
The blessing consists in this, that the minister ยซof the Church invokes the divine benediction upon certain persons or things 668
1. Consecration by the Church consists in this: That the ecclesiastic empowered for this purpose, sets apart some person or some object, and dedicates him or it to the exclusive service of God 669
2. Our Lord sanctioned the use of sacramentals, but the rites themselves are an institution of the Church 670
3. The use of blessed or consecrated objects is profitable; for if used with pious dispositions, they increase our fear and love of God, remit venial sins, and preserve us from many temptations and from bodily harm; excepting such temptations and ills of the body as are for our spiritual welfare 670
IV. PRAYER.
1. THE NATURE OF PRAYER.
1. Prayer is the elevation of the heart to God 671
2. We may pray either in spirit only, or with the lips as well 672
3. Our prayers have a threefold object: That of praise, of supplication, and of thanksgiving 673
2. THE UTILITY AND NECESSITY OF PRAYER.
1. By means of prayer we can obtain all things from God: but He does not always grant our petitions immediately 674
2. By means of prayer sinners become just, and the just are enabled to continue in a state of grace 676
3. By prayer we obtain the remission of the temporal penalty due to sin, and merit an eternal recompense 677
4. He who never prays cannot save his soul; for without prayer he will fall into grievous sins 677
3. HOW OUGHT WE TO PRAY?
If prayer is to be of utility to us, we must pray:
1. In the name of Jesus, that is, we must ask what is in accordance with Our Lord’s desires 678
2. We must pray with devotion, that is we must fix our thoughts on God when we pray 678
3. We must pray with perseverance, that is, we ought not to desist from prayer, if our petition is not immediately granted 679
4. WHEN OUGHT WE TO PRAY?
1. As a matter of fact we ought to pray continually, for Our Lord requires of us “Always to pray and not to faint” (Luke xviii. 1) 681
2. We ought to pray more especially every morning and evening, before and after meals, and when we hear the Angelus 682
3. Furthermore we ought to pray in the hour of affliction, distress, or temptation, when entering upon an important undertaking, and when we feel an inspiration and desire to pray 684
5. WHERE OUGHT WE TO PRAY?
1. We can and ought to pray in every place, because God is every where present 684
2. The house of God is the place especially set apart for prayer 685
3. A solitary place is also suitable for prayer 685
6. FOR WHAT OUGHT WE TO PRAY?
1. We ought to implore of God many things and great things; benefits not appertaining to time so much as to eternity 685
2. We ought more especially to beseech almighty God to grant us such things as are conducive to His glory, and to our salvation, and in no wise to ask for what will only serve to gratify our earthly desires 685
7. MEDITATION.
Meditation consists in dwelling on the truths of religion in order to awaken good resolutions in our mind 686
THE MOST IMPORTANT PRAYERS.
The Our Father.
1. The Our Father takes precedence of all other prayers; it is especially distinguished by its power, its simplicity, and its comprehensiveness 687
The Our Father consists of an address, seven petitions, and the word Amen 688
2. The address places the soul in the right disposition for prayer; it awakens within us confidence in God and raises our thoughts to Him 688
3. In the first petition we pray that God may be glorified 688
4. In the next three petitions we ask for these blessings: Eternal salvation, grace to fulfil the divine will, and the possession of those things which are indispensable to the maintenance of our earthly existence 688
5. In the next three petitions we pray that three evils may be averted from us: The evil of sin, the evil of temptation, and those evils which are prejudicial to life 689
6. The word Amen is the answer of God to the suppliant: in this place it is equivalent to the words: Be assured that thy prayer is heard 689
The Ave Maria.
1. The Ave Maria consists of three parts: The salutation of the archangel Gabriel, the greeting of Elizabeth, and the words of the Church 690
2. The Ave Maria is a most potent prayer, and one which is full of meaning 690
The Angelus.
The Angelus is a prayer which is to be recited morning, noon, and night, when the bell rings, in honor of the Mother of God and in adoration of the mystery of the Incarnation 693
The Rosary.
1. The Rosary is a prayer in which the Our Father, followed by ten Hail Marys, is repeated five or fifteen times, accompanied by meditation on the life, the Passion, and the exaltation of the Redeemer 694
The Litany of Loretto and the Salve Regina.
The litany takes its origin and name from the place of pilgrimage, Loretto, in Italy. The Salve Regina was composed in 1009 696
THE PRINCIPAL DEVOTIONAL EXERCISES.
1. There are ordinary and extraordinary practices of devotion 697
2. The regular services held in the parish church on Sundays and holydays both in the forenoon and the afternoon, as well as week-day services, belong to the ordinary practices of devotion 697
3. Processions, pilgrimages, the Way of the Cross, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and missions, belong to the extraordinary practices of devotion 697
Processions.
1. Processions are a solemn religious ceremony, during which prayers are recited in common by those who take part in them 697
The ceremonial observed in our Christian processions is intended to portray the truth that we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one to come (Heb. xiii. 14) 697
2. The Church holds processions either for the purpose of setting be fore us more forcibly certain events in the life of Christ, certain doctrines of the faith, or in order to obtain speedy help from God; on these occasions an opportunity is afforded us of testifying in a public manner our faith and our loyalty to the Church 698
3. The following processions form part of the ritual of the Church everywhere 698
The procession on the feast of the Purification 698
The procession on Palm Sunday 699
The procession on Holy Saturday 699
The procession on the feast of Corpus Christi 699
The procession on St. Mark’s Day 699
The procession on the three Rogation days 700
Christian Burial.
1. Christian burial is a solemn service accompanied by special ceremonies in which the remains of a departed Catholic are carried in procession to the place of interment 700
Pilgrimages.
1. Pilgrimages are journeys made to sacred places, where God often times vouchsafes to give miraculous assistance to the suppliant 703
2. The places of pilgrimage are either the holy places in Palestine, spots sacred to the holy apostles, or shrines of the blessed Mother of God 703
3. The object for which, as a rule, Christian people visit places of pilgrimage is to beseech the divine assistance in seasons of deep affliction, or to fulfil a vow 705
The Way of the Cross.
1. The Way of the Cross is the name given to the fourteen stations which depict the way along which Our Redeemer passed, bearing His cross, from Pilate’s palace to Mount Calvary 706
Exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament.
The solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament consists in placing the sacred Host in a monstrance, unveiled, for the worship of the faithful 707
Missions and Retreats.
Missions consist of sermons and other religious exercises; retreats have much the same effect as missions 708
Catholic Congresses and Passion Plays.
1. Catholic congresses are public meetings of Catholics for the purpose of taking counsel together and passing resolutions suited to the times and to the present needs of the Church 709
2. Passion play is the name given to the portrayal of Our Lord’s Passion, and other biblical events in a series of tableaux vivants 710
Religious Associations.
1. Religious associations are voluntary societies formed among the faithful, with the object of furthering their own salvation or the salvation of their fellow-men 711
2. Religious associations may be divided into confraternities or sodalities and charitable societies 711
The Third Order of St. Francis.
The Third Order was founded by St. Francis of Assisi for the sake of seculars 713
The More Widespread Confraternities.
The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, of the Holy Childhood, the Confraternity of St. Michael, the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, the Holy Scapular, the Holy Ghost, etc., etc., are the widest known in the Church 714
The Apostleship of Prayer.
The Apostleship of Prayer is a league of prayers in union with the Sacred Heart 718
Charitable Societies.
Charitable societies are the best embodiments of God’s second precept of charity 719

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