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Baltimore Catechism

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A CATECHISM OF

CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE

No. 3

{For Two Years' Course for Post-Confirmation Classes}

 

PREPARED AND ENJOINED

BY ORDER OF THE

THIRD PLENARY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE

(In Accordance with the New Canon Law)

 

SUPPLEMENTED BY

Rev. THOMAS L. KINKEAD

Author of "An Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism"

 

Published by Ecclesiastical Authority

 

NEW YORK, BOSTON, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO, SAN FRANCISCO

BENZIGER BROTHERS, INC.

PRINTERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE

 

Imprimatur:

JOHN CARDINAL McCLOSKEY, Archbishop of New York.

NEW YORK, April 6, 1885

 

The Catechism ordered by the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, having

been diligently compiled and examined, is hereby approved.

+ JAMES GIBBONS, Archbishop of Baltimore, Apostolic Delegate.

BALTIMORE, April 6, 1885.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nihil obstat:

REV. REMIGIUS LAFORT, S.T.L., Censor Librorum.

 

Imprimatur:

+ MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York.

NEW YORK, February 21, 1901.

 

Nihil obstat:

ARTHUR J. SCANLAN, S.T.D., Censor Librorum.

 

Imprimatur:

+ PATRICK J. HAYES, D.D., Archbishop of New York.

NEW YORK, June 29, 1921.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

{Transcriber's Note: This book is commonly known as "The Baltimore

Catechism No. 3" and is part of a four volume e-text collection. See

the author's note below for the background and purpose of the series.

This e-text collection is substantially based on files generously

provided by http://www.catholic.net/ with some missing material

transcribed and added for this release. Transcriber's notes in this

series are placed within braces, and usually prefixed "T.N.:".}

 

NOTE

These Catechisms of the Baltimore Series are arranged on a progressive

plan. No. 00 gives the Prayers and Acts to be learned before the study

of the Catechisms begins:--No. 0 contains one half the questions of No.

1; No. 1 half the questions of No. 2; No. 2 one-third the questions of

No. 3, and No. 4 (an Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism) furnishes

much additional information with copious explanations and examples.

 

The same questions bear the same numbers throughout the series, and

their wording is identical. The different sizes of type make the

Catechisms more suitable to their respective grades, smaller children

usually requiring larger print.

 

Apart from its educational advantages, the progressive plan aims at

lessening the expense in providing children with Catechisms, by

furnishing just what is necessary for each grade; it aims also at

encouraging the children to learn, by affording opportunity for

promotion from book to book.

 

These Catechisms are intended to furnish a complete course of religious

instruction, when, used as follows:

 

No. 00 for Prayer classes.

No. 0 for Confession classes and certain adults.

No. 1 for First Communion classes.

No. 2 for Confirmation classes.

No. 3 for two years' course for Post-Confirmation classes.

No. 4 for Teachers and Teachers' Training classes.

 

PREFACE TO NO. 3

I have been requested by several priests to prepare an abridgment of the

"Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism" that would be suitable as a

classbook for children who have been confirmed or who have completed the

study of the Baltimore Catechism No. 2. The "Explanation" itself

contains more matter than some of these children can master and it costs

a little more than many of them can afford to pay. I have, therefore,

selected from the list given in the back of the "Explanation" a large

number of the more practical and important questions, to which I have

added others, with answers, as full, brief and simple as the matter will

permit. These questions and answers are added to those of the Baltimore

Catechism No. 2, but with such distinction in type that all may see they

are not a part of the Catechism prepared by the Council, but only a

development of its meaning.

 

{T.N.: It is not practical below to mimic "such distinction in type"

that exists in the original book. To indicate the questions prepared by

the Council I have added in braces their corresponding numbers from

Baltimore Catechism No. 2. For example, question 130 below is question 1

in Baltimore Catechism No. 2. Fr. Kinkead's supplemental questions lack

this double numbering.}

 

Whenever questions on the same subject are repeated in the book their

object is to bring out some new point or to show their connection with

the subject-matter there explained.

AUTHOR.

 

CONTENTS

 

PRAYERS.

The Lord's Prayer

The Angelical Salutation

The Apostles' Creed

The Confiteor

An Act of Faith

An Act of Hope

An Act of Love

An Act of Contrition

The Blessing before Meals

Grace after Meals

The Manner in Which a Lay Person Is to Baptize in Case of Necessity

 

 

CATECHISM.

Lesson FIRST--On the End of Man

Lesson SECOND--On God and His Perfections

Lesson THIRD--On the Unity and Trinity of God

Lesson FOURTH--On Creation

Lesson FIFTH--On Our First Parents and the Fall

Lesson SIXTH--On Sin and Its Kinds

Lesson SEVENTH--On the Incarnation and Redemption

Lesson EIGHTH--On Our Lord's Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension

Lesson NINTH--On the Holy Ghost and His Descent Upon the Apostles

Lesson TENTH--On the Effects of the Redemption

Lesson ELEVENTH--On the Church

Lesson TWELFTH--On the Attributes and Marks of the Church

Lesson THIRTEENTH--On the Sacraments in General

Lesson FOURTEENTH--On Baptism

Lesson FIFTEENTH--On Confirmation

Lesson SIXTEENTH--On the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Ghost

Lesson SEVENTEENTH--On the Sacrament of Penance

Lesson EIGHTEENTH--On Contrition

Lesson NINETEENTH--On Confession

Lesson TWENTIETH--On the Manner of Making a Good Confession

Lesson TWENTY-FIRST--On Indulgences

Lesson TWENTY-SECOND--On the Holy Eucharist

Lesson TWENTY-THIRD--On the Ends for which the Holy Eucharist was

  Instituted

Lesson TWENTY-FOURTH--On the Sacrifice of the Mass

Lesson TWENTY-FIFTH--On Extreme Unction and Holy Orders

Lesson TWENTY-SIXTH--On Matrimony

Lesson TWENTY-SEVENTH--On the Sacramentals

Lesson TWENTY-EIGHTH--On Prayer

Lesson TWENTY-NINTH--On the Commandments of God

Lesson THIRTIETH--On the First Commandment

Lesson THIRTY-FIRST--The First Commandment--On the Honor and Invocation

  of the Saints

Lesson THIRTY-SECOND--From the Second to the Fourth Commandment

Lesson THIRTY-THIRD--From the Fourth to the Seventh Commandment

Lesson THIRTY-FOURTH--From the Seventh to the Tenth Commandment

Lesson THIRTY-FIFTH--On the First and Second Commandments of the Church

Lesson THIRTY-SIXTH--On the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Commandments

  of the Church

Lesson THIRTY-SEVENTH--On the Last Judgment and Resurrection, Hell,

  Purgatory and Heaven

 

Catechism of Christian Doctrine

 

PRAYERS

 

THE LORD'S PRAYER.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come;

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily

bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass

against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

THE ANGELICAL SALUTATION.

Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou

amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary,

Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

 

THE APOSTLES' CREED.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and

in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy

Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was

crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day

He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the

right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to

judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy

Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the

resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

THE CONFITEOR.

I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to blessed

Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles

Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in

thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my

most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary, ever Virgin,

blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy

Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, to pray to the Lord our God

for me.

 

May the Almighty God have mercy on me, and forgive me my sins, and bring

me to everlasting life. Amen.

 

May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and

remission of all my sins. Amen.

 

AN ACT OF FAITH.

O my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine

persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son

became man, and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the

living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy

Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst

neither deceive nor be deceived.

 

AN ACT OF HOPE.

O my God! relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to

obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting,

through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

 

AN ACT OF LOVE.

O my God! I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul,

because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as

myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask

pardon of all whom I have injured.

 

AN ACT OF CONTRITION.

O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all

my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but

most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and

deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,

to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.

 

THE BLESSING BEFORE MEALS.

+ Bless us, O Lord! and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive

from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

GRACE AFTER MEALS.

+ We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest

and reignest for ever; and may the souls of the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

 

THE MANNER IN WHICH A LAY PERSON IS TO BAPTIZE IN CASE OF NECESSITY:

Pour common water on the head or face of the person to be baptized and

say while pouring it:

 

"I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the

Holy Ghost."

 

N.B. Any person of either sex who has reached the use of reason can

baptize in case of necessity.

 

 

CATECHISM

 

THE LORD'S PRAYER.

 

Q. 1. Say the Lord's Prayer.

A. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom

come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our

daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who

trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us

from evil. Amen.

 

Q. 2. Who made the Lord's Prayer?

A. Our Lord Himself made the Lord's Prayer for the use of His disciples

and of all the faithful.

 

Q. 3. Why is the "Our Father" the most excellent of all Prayers?

A. The "Our Father" is the most excellent of all prayers because Our

Lord Himself made it and because its petitions ask for all we can need

for soul or body.

 

Q. 4. How is the Lord's Prayer divided?

A. The Lord's Prayer is divided into seven requests or petitions. Three

of these petitions refer to God's honor and glory, and the remaining

four to our corporeal or spiritual wants.

 

Q. 5. Whom do we address as "Our Father" when we say the Lord's Prayer?

A. When we say "Our Father" in the Lord's Prayer we address Almighty

God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost united in the adorable Trinity.

 

Q. 6. Why do we say "our" and not "my" Father?

A. We say "our" and not "my" Father to remind us that through our

creation and redemption, we are all members of the great human family of

which God is the Father; and that we should pray for and help one

another.

 

Q. 7. Why do we call God Father?

A. We call God Father because He does for us what a good father should

do for his children. He gives us our existence; He protects us; He

provides for us and teaches us; and because the name of "Father" fills

us with love and reverence for him, and with confidence in Him.

 

Q. 8. Why do we say "Who art in heaven" if God be everywhere?

A. We say "who art in heaven" to put us in mind (1) that heaven is our

true home for which we were created; (2) that in heaven we shall see God

face to face as He is; (3) that heaven is the place where God will be

for all eternity, with the blessed.

 

Q. 9. What does "Hallowed be Thy Name" mean?

A. Hallowed means set apart for a holy or sacred use, and thus comes to

mean treated or praised as holy or sacred. "Thy name" means God Himself

and all relating to Him, and by this petition we ask that God may be

known, loved and served by all.

 

Q. 10. What do we ask for in the petition: "Thy kingdom come"?

A. In the petition "Thy kingdom come" we ask (1) that God may reign in

the souls of all men by His grace, so that they may attain eternal

salvation; (2) that the true Church--Christ's kingdom--may spread upon

earth till all men embrace the true religion.

 

Q. 11. Who do God's Will in heaven?

A. In heaven the Angels and Saints do God's Will perfectly. They never

disobey, or even wish to disobey Him. In the petition, "Thy Will be done

on earth as it is in heaven," we pray that all God's creatures may

imitate the Angels and Saints in heaven by never offending Him.

 

Q. 12. What do we ask for by "our daily bread"?

A. In the petition for "our daily bread" we ask not merely for bread,

but for all that we need for the good of our body or soul.

 

Q. 13. Why do we say "daily"?

A. We say "daily" to teach us that we are not to be avaricious but only

prudent in providing for our wants; and that we are to have great

confidence in the providence of God.

 

Q. 14. What do "trespasses" mean?

A. "Trespasses" mean here injuries done or offenses given to another,

and when God is the person offended, "trespasses" mean sins.

 

Q. 15. What do you mean by "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive

those who trespass against us"?

A. In this petition we declare to God that we have forgiven all who have

injured or offended us, and ask Him to reward us by pardoning our sins.

 

Q. 16. When may we be said to forgive those who trespass against us?

A. We may be said to forgive our enemies when we act, and, as far as

possible, feel toward them as if they had never injured us.

 

Q. 17. What is temptation?

A. A temptation is anything that incites, provokes, or urges us to

offend God.

 

Q. 18. What is the best means of overcoming temptation?

A. The best means of overcoming temptation is to resist its very

beginning, by turning our attention from it; by praying for help to

resist it; and by doing the opposite of what we are tempted to do.

 

Q. 19. Does God tempt us to sin?

A. God does not tempt us to sin; but He permits us to be tempted to try

our fidelity or punish our pride; and to give us an opportunity of

meriting rewards for ourselves by overcoming the temptations.

 

Q. 20. Can we always resist temptation?

A. We can always resist temptation if we wish, for God always gives us

sufficient grace and never permits us to be tempted above our strength.

 

Q. 21. Is it a sin to be tempted?

A. It is not a sin to be tempted, because we cannot prevent it. It is

sinful only to consent or yield to the temptation or needlessly expose

ourselves to it.

 

Q. 22. From what do our temptations come?

A. Our temptations come either from the devil, our spiritual enemy, or

from the world; that is, the wicked persons, places, or things in the

world; or from the flesh; that is, our body with its strong passions and

evil inclinations.

 

Q. 23. Should we seek temptation for the sake of overcoming it?

A. We must not expose ourselves to temptation, but, on the contrary,

carefully avoid it, yet resist it bravely when it assails us.

 

Q. 24. From what evil do we ask to be delivered?

A. We ask to be delivered from every evil of body and mind, but

particularly to be delivered from sin, which is the greatest of all

evils.

 

Q. 25. What does "Amen" mean?

A. "Amen" means so be it; and expresses a desire that the petition may

be granted.

 

Q. 26. What does Christian mean?

A. A Christian is a baptized person who professes to believe all that

Christ has taught, and to do all that He has commanded as necessary for

our salvation.

 

 

THE ANGELICAL SALUTATION.

 

Q. 27. Say the Angelical Salutation.

A. Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou

amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary,

Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

 

Q. 28. What is a salutation?

A. A salutation is the customary words or actions by which the people of

a country greet one another.

 

Q. 29. Why is this salutation called Angelical?

A. This salutation is called Angelical because it was given by an angel.

 

Q. 30. What does "hail" mean?

A. "Hail" means, I wish you health. It is an exclamation of respectful

greeting.

 

Q. 31. How is the "Hail Mary" divided?

A. The "Hail Mary" is divided into two parts. The first part, made by

the Angel Gabriel and St. Elizabeth, contains the praises of the Mother

of God; and the second part, added by the Church, begs her intercession

for sinners.

 

Q. 32. Why is the "Hail Mary" usually placed after the Lord's Prayer?

A. The "Hail Mary" is usually placed after the Our Father because it is

an inspired prayer, the most excellent after the Lord's Prayer, and also

that the Blessed Mother may, by her powerful intercession, aid us in

obtaining what we ask.

 

Q. 33. Who was St. Elizabeth?

A. St. Elizabeth was the mother of St. John the Baptist and the cousin

of the Blessed Virgin.

 

Q. 34. What answer did the Blessed Virgin make to the words of St.

Elizabeth?

A. The Blessed Virgin answered St. Elizabeth in the words of the

beautiful Magnificat.

 

Q. 35. What is the Magnificat?

A. The Magnificat is the splendid canticle or hymn in which the Blessed

Virgin praises God and returns Him thanks for the great things He has

done for her. It is usually sung at Vespers in the Church.

 

Q. 36. Why do we address Mary as "full of grace"?

A. We address Mary as "full of grace" because she was never guilty of

the slightest sin; was endowed with every virtue, and blessed with a

constant increase of grace in her soul.

 

Q. 37. Why do we say "the Lord is with thee"?

A. We say "the Lord is with thee," for besides being with her as He is

with all His creatures on account of His presence everywhere; and as He

is with the good on account of their virtue, He is with Mary in a very

special manner on account of her dignity as Mother of His Son.

 

Q. 38. Why is Mary called "blessed amongst women"?

A. Mary is called "blessed amongst women" on account of her personal

holiness, her great dignity as Mother of God, and her freedom from

original sin.

 

Q. 39. Why is Mary called "holy"?

A. Mary is called "holy" because one full of grace and endowed with

every virtue must be holy.

 

Q. 40. Why do we need Mary's prayers at the hour of death?

A. We need Mary's prayers at the hour of death because at that time our

salvation is in greatest danger, and our spiritual enemies most anxious

to overcome us.

 

Q. 41. Why do we say the "Hail Mary"?

A. We say the "Hail Mary" to put us in mind of the Incarnation, and to

show our devotion to the Mother of God, and our confidence in her

assistance.

 

Q. 42. In what form of prayer is the "Hail Mary" most frequently

repeated?

A. The "Hail Mary" is most frequently repeated in the recitation of the

rosary or beads.

 

Q. 43. What is the Angelus?

A. The Angelus is a prayer giving a brief history of the Incarnation.

 

Q. 44. Say the Angelus.

A. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. And she conceived of the

Holy Ghost. Hail Mary, &c. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done

unto me according to Thy Word. Hail Mary, &c. And the Word was made

flesh. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary, &c. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of

God! That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

Let us pray:

 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts that we

to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message

of an angel, may, by His Passion and cross, be brought to the glory of

His resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

 

Q. 45. At what time is the Angelus usually said?

A. The Angelus is said in the evening, it memory of the Incarnation; in

the morning, in memory of the Resurrection, and at noon in memory of the

Passion of Our Lord.

 

Q. 46. What does "the Word was made flesh" mean in the Angelus?

A. "The Word" means the second person of the Blessed Trinity, and "made

flesh" means became man.

 

Q. 47. What is the Litany of the Blessed Virgin?

A. The Litany is a form of prayer in which we address our Blessed Lady

by many beautiful titles, such as Mother of God, Virgin Most Pure,

Refuge of Sinners, &c., asking her after each to pray for us.

 

Q. 48. Are there any other Litanies in use besides the Litany of the

Blessed Virgin?

A. Besides the Litany of the Blessed Virgin there are other Litanies in

use, especially the Litany of the Saints, the Litany of the Holy Name of

Jesus, the Litany of the Sacred Heart, &c.

 

THE APOSTLES' CREED.

 

Q. 49. Say the Apostles' Creed.

A. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the

Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was

crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into hell: the third day

He arose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the

right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to

judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy

Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the

resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

Q. 50. What is a creed?

A. A creed is a summary or list of the chief truths we believe or

profess to believe. It is a compendium of doctrine.

 

Q. 51. Why is this creed called the Apostles'?

A. This creed is called the Apostles' because it came down to us from

the Apostles, and also to distinguish it from longer creeds in use in

the Church, such as the Nicene Creed, which is said in the Mass; the

Athanasian Creed, which is said in the priests' divine Office, and the

Creed of Pope Pius IV, which is used on solemn occasions.

 

Q. 52. Do all these creeds teach the same doctrines?

A. All these creeds teach the same doctrines, for the longer creeds are

only a fuller explanation of the truths contained in the Apostles'

Creed.

 

Q. 53 Who were the Apostles?

A. The Apostles were the twelve men selected by Our Lord to be the first

bishops of His Church.

 

Q. 54. How do you know the Apostles were bishops?

A. I know the Apostles were bishops because they could administer the

Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders and make laws for the Church,

as we learn from Holy Scripture, and these powers belong to bishops

alone.

 

Q. 55. Who were the disciples of Our Lord?

A. The disciples were the seventy-two chosen followers of Our Lord, whom

He sent to preach and perform good works in every city and place whither

He Himself was to come. The Apostles also are frequently called "the

disciples."

 

Q. 56. Why did the Apostles leave us a creed?

A. The Apostles left us a creed that all who wished to become Christians

might have a standard of the truths they must know and believe before

receiving Baptism.

 

Q. 57. How many articles or parts in the Apostles' Creed?

A. There are twelve articles or parts in the Apostles' Creed. They refer

to God the Father in the works of creation; to God the Son in the works

of redemption; to God the Holy Ghost in the works of sanctification; and

each article contradicts one or more false doctrines on these subjects.

 

Q. 58. What does Creation mean?

A. To create means to produce out of nothing. God alone has this power,

and He alone can be called "Creator."

 

Q. 59. Had Jesus Christ more than one Father?

A. God the Father, the First Person of the Blessed Trinity, is the only

real and true Father of Jesus Christ, as the Blessed Virgin is His true

Mother. St. Joseph, whom we also call His father, was only His

foster-father or guardian upon earth.

 

Q. 60. By what names is Our Lord called?

A. Our Lord is called by many names, such as Our Saviour, Our Redeemer,

Jesus Christ, Son of God; Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the

Messias, Son of David, Lamb of God and others to be found in the

litanies. Each name recalls to our mind some benefit received or

prophesy fulfilled.

 

Q. 61. Of what religion was Pontius Pilate?

A. Pontius Pilate was a pagan; that is, a worshiper of false gods.

 

Q. 62. Why do we say "died" instead of "was put to death"?

A. We say "died" to show that Our Lord gave up His life willingly; for

how could He be put to death against His will, who could always restore

His life as He did at His resurrection?

 

Q. 63. What is death?

A. Death in man is caused by the separation of the soul from the body,

for Adam was made a living being by the union of his soul and body.

 

Q. 64. Why do we say of Christ "He was buried"?

A. We say that "He was buried" to show that He was really dead.

 

Q. 65. Did "hell" always mean only that state in which the damned are

punished?

A. The word "hell" was sometimes used to signify the grave or a low

place. In the Apostles' Creed it means Limbo.

 

Q. 66. Is Limbo the same place as Purgatory?

A. Limbo is not the same place as Purgatory, because the souls in

Purgatory suffer, while those in Limbo do not.

 

Q. 67. Who were in Limbo when Our Lord descended into it?

A. There were in Limbo when Our Lord descended into it the souls of all

those who died the friends of God, but could not enter heaven till the

Ascension of Our Lord.

 

Q. 68. Name some holy persons who died before Christ ascended into

heaven.

A. Among the holy persons who died before Christ ascended into heaven,

we may mention: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, the Prophets, St.

Ann, St. John the Baptist, and St. Joseph.

 

Q. 69. What do we mean by "Judge the living and the dead"?

A. By the "living" we mean all those who shall be alive upon the earth

at the last day, and by the "dead" those who have died before that time.

Or the "living" may also mean those who are in a state of grace; and the

"dead" those who are in mortal sin.

 

Q. 70. How many branches or parts of the Church are there?

A. There are three branches or parts of the Church, called the Church

Militant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Triumphant.

 

Q. 71. What do we mean by the "Church Militant"?

A. By the "Church Militant" or "fighting Church" we mean all the

faithful who are still upon earth struggling for their salvation by

warring against their spiritual enemies.

 

Q. 72. What do we mean by the "Church Suffering"?

A. By the "Church Suffering" we mean the faithful in Purgatory, who are

being purified from the last stains and consequences of their sins.

 

Q. 73. What do we mean by the "Church Triumphant"?

A. By the "Church Triumphant" we mean all the faithful now in heaven,

rejoicing with God that they have defeated their spiritual enemies and

attained their salvation.

 

Q. 74 Explain the "Communion of Saints."

A. The "Communion of Saints" means that the members of the three

branches of the Church can help one another. We can assist the souls in

Purgatory by our prayers and good works, while the Saints in heaven

intercede for us.

 

Q. 75. Does the "Communion of Saints" mean anything else?

A. The "Communion of Saints" means also that we all share in the merits

of Our Lord and in the superabundant satisfaction of the Blessed Virgin

and of the Saints, as well as in the prayers and good works of the

Church and of the faithful.

 

Q. 76. Have the Saints their bodies in heaven?

A. The Saints have not yet their bodies in heaven, as they will have

them after the resurrection on the last day. Our Divine Lord and His

blessed Mother are the only persons whose bodies are now in heaven.

 

Q. 77. Are there Saints in heaven whose names we do not know?

A. There are many Saints in heaven whose names we do not know, because

all who are admitted into heaven are truly Saints.

 

Q. 78. To whom do we usually give the name of "Saints"?

A. We usually apply the name of "Saints" to those only whom the Church

has Canonized.

 

Q. 79. What is the Canonization of a Saint?

A. Canonization is a solemn ceremony by which the Church declares that a

certain person, now dead, was remarkable for extraordinary holiness

while on earth, and is now in heaven worthy of our veneration.

 

Q. 80. How does the Canonization of a Saint take place?

A. In the Canonization of a Saint (1) the accounts of the person's holy

life, heroic virtue, and miracles are collected and sent to the Holy

See; (2) those accounts are examined by the Holy Father or his

cardinals, and, if found to be true and sufficient, (3) the Saint is

Canonized or perhaps only beatified.

 

Q. 81. What is the difference between the honors conferred on a person

by beatification and Canonization?

A. Beatification limits the honor to be given to the beatified by

restricting it to certain places or persons; whereas Canonization is the

highest honor and permits all to venerate the Saint everywhere.

 

Q. 82. Why does the Church Canonize Saints?

A. The Church Canonizes Saints (1) to honor them, and (2) to make us

certain that they are in heaven, and may, therefore, be invoked in our

prayers.

 

Q. 83. Can the Church err in the Canonization of a Saint?

A. The Church cannot err in matters of faith or morals, and the

Canonization of a Saint is a matter of faith and morals.

 

Q. 84. What is the difference between a Saint and an Angel?

A. The Saints lived upon the earth in bodies like our own. The Angels

never inhabited the earth, though they visit it and remain for a time

with us. They have not now and never will have bodies.

 

Q. 85. Through what means may we obtain the "forgiveness of sins"?

A. We may obtain the "forgiveness of sins" especially through the

Sacraments of Baptism and Penance.

 

Q. 86. What do we mean by the "resurrection of the body"?

A. By the "resurrection of the body" we mean that the bodies of the dead

shall be restored to life, rise again on the last day, and be united to

the souls from which they were separated by death.

 

Q. 87. How is the resurrection possible when the bodies are reduced to

ashes and mingled with the soil?

A. The resurrection is possible to God, who can do all things, and who,

having created the bodies out of nothing in the beginning, can easily

collect and put together their scattered parts by an act of His

all-powerful will.

 

Q. 88. What does "life everlasting" mean?

A. "Life everlasting" means endless happiness in heaven; as endless

misery in hell may be called "everlasting death."

 

Q. 89. Is the Apostles' Creed an act of faith?

A. The Apostles' Creed is an act of faith, because by it we profess our

belief in the truths it contains.

 

THE CONFITEOR.

 

Q. 90. Say the Confiteor and verses after it.

A. I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to blessed

Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles

Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in

thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my

most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary, ever Virgin,

blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy

Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, to pray to the Lord our God

for me.

 

May the Almighty God have mercy on me, and forgive me my sins, and bring

me to ever-lasting life. Amen.

 

May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and

remission of all my sins. Amen.

 

Q. 91. What does "Confiteor" mean?

A. "Confiteor" is the first word of this prayer in Latin, and means "I

Confess."

 

Q. 92. How is the Confiteor divided?

A. The Confiteor is divided into two parts. In the first part we

acknowledge our sins in the presence of God and of His Saints and

Angels. In the second part we beg the Saints and Angels to aid us in

obtaining forgiveness.

 

Q. 93. What should we bear in mind in saying any prayer, and especially

the Confiteor?

A. While saying any prayer, and especially the Confiteor, we should bear

in mind that we are in the presence of God, and of His Saints and

Angels, who see us and hear us, though we can not see or hear them.

 

AN ACT OF FAITH.

 

Q. 94. Say the Act of Faith.

A. O my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine

persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son

became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the

living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy

Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst

neither deceive nor be deceived.

 

Q. 95. Give the substance of an Act of Faith.

A. The substance of an Act of Faith is: I believe all that God has

revealed and the Catholic Church teaches.

 

Q. 96. Why do we find Acts of Faith of different lengths?

A. We find Acts of Faith of different lengths, because some state more

fully than others what God has revealed and the Church teaches.

 

AN ACT OF HOPE.

 

Q. 97. Say the Act of Hope.

A. O my God! relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to

obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life ever-lasting,

through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

 

Q. 98. Give the substance of an Act of Hope.

A. The substance of an Act of Hope is: I hope for heaven and the means

to obtain it.

 

AN ACT OF LOVE.

 

Q. 99. Say the Act of Love.

A. O my God! I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul,

because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as

myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask

pardon of all whom I have injured.

 

Q. 100. Give the substance of an Act of Love.

A. The substance of an Act of Love is: I love God above all things for

His own sake, and my neighbor as myself for the love of God.

 

Q. 101. How do we show that we love God above all things?

A. We show that we love God above all things by keeping His commandments

and by never offending Him for any person or thing.

 

Q. 102. What does loving your neighbor as yourself mean?

A. Loving my neighbor as myself does not mean that I must love him as

much as myself; but that I must love him with the same kind of love,

that is, I must never do to my neighbor what I would not wish my

neighbor to do to me; but, on the contrary, do unto others as I would

have others do unto me.

 

Q. 103. Do an "Act of Love" and an "Act of Charity" mean the same thing?

A. An "Act of Love" and "Act of Charity" do mean the same thing, because

Charity means love, or it means an act of kindness that comes from love.

 

Q. 104. How may all persons show Charity to their neighbor?

A. All persons may show Charity to their neighbor by never injuring his

character and by always speaking well of him.

 

Q. 105. Are we bound to make Acts of Faith, Hope and Love?

A. We are bound from time to time during our lives to make Acts of

Faith, Hope and Love; otherwise we risk our salvation.

 

AN ACT OF CONTRITION.

 

Q. 106. What does "Contrition" mean?

A. "Contrition" means a state of grief or deep sorrow for our sins.

 

Q. 107. Say the Act of Contrition.

A. O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest

all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell,

but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and

deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,

to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.

 

Q. 108. Give the substance of an Act of Contrition.

A. The substance of an Act of Contrition is: I am sorry for my sins,

because they have offended God, and I will never sin again.

 

Q. 109. Why do we find Acts of Hope, Love, and Contrition of different

lengths?

A. We find Acts of Hope, Love, and Contrition of different lengths,

because some explain more fully than others what we hope for, why we

love God and why we are sorry for our sins.

 

THE BLESSING BEFORE MEALS.

 

Q. 110. Say the Blessing before Meals.

A. Bless us, O Lord! and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive

from Thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

 

GRACE AFTER MEALS.

 

Q. 111. Say the Grace after Meals.

A. We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest

and reignest for ever; and may the souls of the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

 

Q. 112. What does "Grace" at meals mean?

A. "Grace" at meals means the thanks we offer God for the food we are

about to receive or have just taken.

 

Q. 113. Why should we say "Grace" at meals.

A. We should say "Grace" at meals to show our gratitude to God, who has

given us all we possess and daily supplies our wants.

 

Q. 114. Is it wrong to despise or waste our food?

A. It is wrong to despise or waste our food, because we thereby slight

the goodness of God, who owes us nothing.

 

Q. 115. Is it a sin to neglect "Grace" at meals?

A. It is not a sin to neglect "Grace" at meals, but only a mark of our

ingratitude; for if we are to thank God for all His gifts we should do

so especially at the time they are given.

 

THE MANNER IN WHICH A LAY PERSON IS TO BAPTIZE IN CASE OF NECESSITY.

 

Q. 116. What do you mean here by a "lay person"?

A. By a "lay person" I mean here any one who is not a priest.

 

All such persons and those not dedicated to the service of the Altar,

taken together, are called the "laity," as all those who have received

sacred orders or who are dedicated to the service of the Altar, taken

together, are called the "clergy."

 

Q. 117. What is meant by "in case of necessity?"

A. In "case of necessity" means here that a person not baptized is in

danger of death and there is no priest present to administer the

Sacrament.

 

Q. 118. How is Baptism given by a "lay person"?

A. Whoever baptizes must:--

 

Pour common water on the head or face of the person to be baptized, and

say while pouring it:

 

"I baptize thee, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the

Holy Ghost."

 

N.B.--Any person of either sex who has, reached the use of reason can

baptize in case of necessity.

 

Q. 119. What else is to be observed?

A. In baptizing: (1) The water must touch the skin and flow; (2) the

same person who pours the water must say the words; (3) parents should

not baptize their own children, if there be any other person present who

knows how to baptize; (4) a man, if he be present and knows how to

administer the Sacrament, should baptize in preference to a woman; (5)

the person baptizing must have the intention of doing what the Church

does; (6) he must not repeat the baptism after giving it once correctly.

 

Q. 120. What is this baptism called?

A. The baptism given in case of necessity is called private baptism to

distinguish it from solemn baptism, which is given in the church with

all the ceremonies proper to it.

 

Q. 121. What do you mean by either sex?

A. "Either sex" means man or woman; boy or girl; any person competent to

baptize.

 

Q. 122. When may we say one "has reached the use of reason"?

A. We may say one "has reached the use of reason" when he knows the

difference between good and bad or right and wrong. Persons acquire this

knowledge at about the age of seven years.

 

CATECHISM.

 

Q. 123. What is a Catechism?

A. A Catechism is a book in the form of questions and answers treating

of any subject, especially of religion.

 

Q. 124. Of what subject does our Catechism treat?

A. Our Catechism treats of religion; that is, of the truths we must

believe and of the things we must do to serve God.

 

Q. 125. Why is it important for us to learn the Catechism?

A. It is important for us to learn the Catechism because it teaches us

how to serve God: and unless we serve God in this world we can not be

saved in the next; therefore, our knowledge of the Catechism affects our

whole existence.

 

LESSON FIRST.

ON THE END OF MAN.

 

Q. 126. What do we mean by the "end of man"?

A. By the "end of man" we mean the purpose for which he was created:

namely, to know, love, and serve God.

 

Q. 127. How do you know that man was created for God alone?

A. I know that man was created for God alone because everything in the

world was created for something more perfect than itself: but there is

nothing in the world more perfect than man; therefore, he was created

for something outside this world, and since he was not created for the

Angels, he must have been created for God.

 

Q. 128. In what respect are all men equal?

A. All men are equal in whatever is necessary for their nature and end.

They are all composed of a body and soul; they are all created to the

image and likeness of God; they are all gifted with understanding and

free will; and they have all been created for the same end--God.

 

Q. 129. Do not men differ in many things?

A. Men differ in many things, such as learning, wealth, power, etc.; but

these things belong to the world and not man's nature. He came into this

world without them and he will leave it without them. Only the

consequences of good or evil done in this world will accompany men to

the next.

 

Q. 130. {1} Who made the world?

A. God made the world.

 

Q. 131. What does "world" mean in this question?

A. In this question "world" means the universe; that is, the whole

creation; all that we now see or may hereafter see.

 

Q. 132. {2} Who is God?

A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

 

Q. 133. {3} What is man?

A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image

and likeness of God.

 

Q. 134. Does "man" in the Catechism mean all human beings?

A. "Man" in the Catechism means all human beings, either men or women,

boys, girls, or children.

 

Q. 135. What is a creature?

A. A creature is anything created, whether it has life or not; body or

no body. Every being, person, or thing except God Himself may be called

a creature.

 

Q. 136. {4} Is this likeness in the body or in the soul?

A. This likeness is chiefly in the soul.

 

Q. 137. {5} How is the soul like to God?

A. The soul is like to God because it is a spirit that will never die,

and has understanding and free will.

 

Q. 138. Is every invisible thing a spirit?

A. Every spirit is invisible--which means can not be seen; but every

invisible thing is not a spirit. The wind is invisible, and it is not a

spirit.

 

Q. 139. Has a spirit any other quality?

A. A spirit is also indivisible; that is, it can not be divided into

parts, as we divide material things.

 

Q. 140. What do the words "will never die" mean?

A. By the words "will never die" we mean that the soul, when once

created, will never cease to exist, whatever be its condition in the

next world. Hence we say the soul is immortal or gifted with

immortality.

 

Q. 141. Why then do we say a soul is dead while in a state of mortal

sin?

A. We say a soul is dead while in a state of mortal sin, because in that

state it is as helpless as a dead body, and can merit nothing for

itself.

 

Q. 142. What does our "understanding" mean?

A. Our "understanding" means the "gift of reason," by which man is

distinguished from all other animals, and by which he is enabled to

think and thus acquire knowledge and regulate his actions.

 

Q. 143. Can we learn all truths by our reason alone?

A. We can not learn all truths by our reason alone, for some truths are

beyond the power of our reason and must be taught to us by God.

 

Q. 144. What do we call the truths God teaches us?

A. Taken together, we call the truths God teaches us revelation, and we

call the manner by which He teaches them also revelation.

 

Q. 145. What is "Free Will"?

A. "Free Will" is that gift of God by which we are enabled to choose

between one thing and another; and to do good or evil in spite of reward

or punishment.

 

Q. 146. Have brute animals "understanding" and "free will"?

A. Brute animals have not "understanding" and "free will." They have not

"understanding" because they never change their habits or better their

condition. They have not "free will" because they never show it in their

actions.

 

Q. 147. What gift in animals supplies the place of reason?

A. In animals the gift of "instinct" supplies the place of reason in

guiding their actions.

 

Q. 148. What is instinct?

A. "Instinct" is a gift by which all animals are impelled to follow the

laws and habits that God has given to their nature.

 

Q. 149. Have men as well as brutes "instinct"?

A. Men have "instinct," and they show it when placed in sudden danger,

when they have not time to use their reason. A falling man instantly

grasps for something to support him.

 

Q. 150. {6} Why did God make you?

A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world,

and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

 

Q. 151. Why is it necessary to know God?

A. It is necessary to know God because without knowing Him we cannot

love Him; and without loving Him we cannot be saved. We should know Him

because He is infinitely true; love Him because He is infinitely

beautiful; and serve Him because He is infinitely good.

 

Q. 152. {7} Of which must we take more care, our soul or our body?

A. We must take more care of our soul than of our body.

 

Q. 153. {8} Why must we take more care of our soul than of our body?

A. We must take more care of our soul than of our body, because in

losing our soul we lose God and everlasting happiness.

 

Q. 154. {9} What must we do to save our souls?

A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity;

that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our

heart.

 

Q. 155. What does "worship" mean?

A. "Worship" means to give divine honor by acts such as the offering of

prayer or sacrifice.

 

Q. 156. {10} How shall we know the things which we are to believe?

A. We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic

Church, through which God speaks to us.

 

Q. 157. What do we mean by the "Church, through which God speaks to us"?

A. By the "Church, through which God speaks to us," we mean the

"teaching Church"; that is, the Pope, Bishops, and priests, whose duty

it is to instruct us in the truths and practices of our religion.

 

Q. 158. {11} Where shall we find the chief truths which the Church

teaches?

A. We shall find the chief truths which the Church teaches in the

Apostles' Creed.

 

Q. 159. If we shall find only the "chief truths" in the Apostles' Creed,

where shall we find the remaining truths?

A. We shall find the remaining truths of our Faith in the religious

writings and preachings that have been sanctioned by the authority of

the Church.

 

Q. 160. Name some sacred truths not mentioned in the Apostles' Creed.

A. In the Apostles' Creed there is no mention of the Real Presence of

Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, nor of the Infallibility of the Pope,

nor of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nor of some

other truths that we are bound to believe.

 

Q. 161. {12} Say the Apostles' Creed.

A. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the

Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was

crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into hell: the third day

He arose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the

right hand of God, the Father Almighty: from thence He shall come to

judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy

Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the

resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

LESSON SECOND.

ON GOD AND HIS PERFECTIONS.

 

Q. 162. What is a perfection?

A. A perfection is any good quality a thing should have. A thing is

perfect when it has all the good qualities it should have.

 

Q. 163. {13} What is God?

A. God is a spirit infinitely perfect.

 

Q. 164. What do we mean when we say God is "infinitely perfect"?

A. When we say God is "infinitely perfect" we mean there is no limit or

bounds to His perfection; for He possesses all good qualities in the

highest possible degree and He alone is "infinitely perfect."

 

Q. 165. {14} Had God a beginning?

A. God had no beginning; He always was and He always will be.

 

Q. 166. {15} Where is God?

A. God is everywhere.

 

Q. 167. How is God everywhere?

A. God is everywhere whole and entire as He is in any one place. This is

true and we must believe it, though we cannot understand it.

 

Q. 168. {16} If God is everywhere, why do we not see Him?

A. We do not see God, because He is a pure spirit and cannot be seen

with bodily eyes.

 

Q. 169. Why do we call God a "pure spirit"?

A. We call God a pure spirit because He has no body. Our soul is a

spirit, but not a "pure" spirit, because it was created for union with

our body.

 

Q. 170. Why can we not see God with the eyes of our body?

A. We cannot see God with the eyes of our body because they are created

to see only material things, and God is not material but spiritual.

 

Q. 171. {17} Does God see us?

A. God sees us and watches over us.

 

Q. 172. Is it necessary for God to watch over us?

A. It is necessary for God to watch over us, for without His constant

care we could not exist.

 

Q. 173. {18} Does God know all things?

A. God knows all things, even our most secret thoughts, words, and

actions.

 

Q. 174. {19} Can God do all things?

A. God can do all things, and nothing is hard or impossible to Him.

 

Q. 175. When is a thing said to be "impossible"?

A. A thing is said to be "impossible" when it cannot be done. Many

things that are impossible for creatures are possible for God.

 

Q. 176. {20} Is God just, holy, and merciful?

A. God is all just, all holy, all merciful, as He is infinitely perfect.

 

Q. 177. Why must God be "just" as well as "merciful"?

A. God must be just as well as merciful because He must fulfill His

promise to punish those who merit punishment, and because He cannot be

infinite in one perfection without being infinite in all.

 

Q. 178. Into what sins will the forgetfulness of God's justice lead us?

A. The forgetfulness of God's justice will lead us into sins of

presumption.

 

Q. 179. Into what sins will the forgetfulness of God's mercy lead us?

A. The forgetfulness of God's mercy will lead us into sins of despair.

 

LESSON THIRD.

ON THE UNITY AND TRINITY OF GOD.

 

Q. 180. What does "unity," and what does "trinity" mean?

A. "Unity" means being one, and "trinity" means three-fold or three in

one.

 

Q. 181. Can we find an example to fully illustrate the mystery of the

Blessed Trinity?

A. We cannot find an example to fully illustrate the mystery of the

Blessed Trinity, because the mysteries of our holy religion are beyond

comparison.

 

Q. 182. {21} Is there but one God?

A. Yes; there is but one God.

 

Q. 183. {22} Why can there be but one God?

A. There can be but one God because God, being supreme and infinite,

cannot have an equal.

 

Q. 184. What does "supreme" mean?

A. "Supreme" means the highest in authority; also the most excellent or

greatest possible in anything. Thus in all things God is supreme, and in

the Church the Pope is supreme.

 

Q. 185. When are two persons said to be equal?

A. Two persons are said to be equal when one is in no way greater than

or inferior to the other.

 

Q. 186. {23} How many persons are there in God?

A. In God there are three Divine persons, really distinct, and equal in

all things--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

 

Q. 187. What do "divine" and "distinct" mean?

A. "Divine" means pertaining to God, and "distinct" means separate; that

is, not confounded or mixed with any other thing.

 

Q. 188. {24} Is the Father God?

A. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.

 

Q. 189. {25} Is the Son God?

A. The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

 

Q. 190. {26} Is the Holy Ghost God?

A. The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

 

Q. 191. Do "first," "second," and "third" with regard to the persons of

the Blessed Trinity mean that one person existed before the other or

that one is greater than the other?

A. "First," "second," and "third" with regard to the persons of the

Blessed Trinity do not mean that one person was before the other or that

one is greater than the other; for all the persons of the Trinity are

eternal and equal in every respect. These numbers are used to mark the

distinction between the persons, and they show the order in which the

one proceeded from the other.

 

Q. 192. {27} What do you mean by the Blessed Trinity?

A. By the Blessed Trinity I mean one God in three Divine Persons.

 

Q. 193. {28} Are the three Divine Persons equal in all things?

A. The three Divine Persons are equal in all things.

 

Q. 194. {29} Are the three Divine Persons one and the same God?

A. The three Divine Persons are one and the same God, having one and the

same Divine nature and substance.

 

Q. 195. What do we mean by the "nature" and "substance" of a thing?

A. By the "nature" of a thing we mean the combination of all the

qualities that make the thing what it is. By the "substance" of a thing

we mean the part that never changes, and which cannot be changed without

destroying the nature of the thing.

 

Q. 196. {30} Can we fully understand how the three Divine Persons are

one and the same God?

A. We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and

the same God, because this is a mystery.

 

Q. 197. {31} What is a mystery?

A. A mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand.

 

Q. 198. Is every truth which we cannot understand a mystery?

A. Every truth which we cannot understand is not a mystery; but every

revealed truth which no one can understand is a mystery.

 

Q. 199. Should we believe truths which we cannot understand?

A. We should and often do believe truths which we cannot understand when

we have proof of their existence.

 

Q. 200. Give an example of truths which all believe, though many do not

understand them.

A. All believe that the earth is round and moving, though many do not

understand it. All believe that a seed planted in the ground will

produce a flower or tree often with more than a thousand other seeds

equal to itself, though many cannot understand how this is done.

 

Q. 201. Why must a divine religion have mysteries?

A. A divine religion must have mysteries because it must have

supernatural truths and God Himself must teach them. A religion that has

only natural truths, such as man can know by reason alone, fully

understand and teach, is only a human religion.

 

Q. 202. Why does God require us to believe mysteries?

A. God requires us to believe mysteries that we may submit our

understanding to Him.

 

Q. 203. By what form of prayer do we praise the Holy Trinity?

A. We praise the Holy Trinity by a form of prayer called the Doxology,

which has come down to us almost from the time of the Apostles.

 

Q. 204. Say the Doxology.

A. The Doxology is: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the

Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world

without end. Amen."

 

Q. 205. Is there any other form of the Doxology?

A. There is another form of the Doxology, which is said in the

celebration of the Mass. It is called the "Gloria in excelsis" or "Glory

be to God on high," &c., the words sung by the Angels at the birth of

Our Lord.

 

LESSON FOURTH.

ON CREATION.

 

Q. 206. What is the difference between making and creating?

A. "Making" means bringing forth or forming out of some material already

existing, as workmen do. "Creating" means bringing forth out of nothing,

as God alone can do.

 

Q. 207. Has everything that exists been created?

A. Everything that exists except God Himself has been created.

 

Q. 208. {32} Who created heaven and earth, and all things?

A. God created heaven and earth, and all things.

 

Q. 209. From what do we learn that God created heaven and earth and all

things?

A. We learn that God created heaven and earth and all things from the

Bible or Holy Scripture, in which the account of the Creation is given.

 

Q. 210. Why did God create all things?

A. God created all things for His own glory and for their or our good.

 

Q. 211. Did God leave all things to themselves after He had created

them?

A. God did not leave all things to themselves after He had created them;

He continues to preserve and govern them.

 

Q. 212. What do we call the care by which God preserves and governs the

world and all it contains?

A. We call the care by which God preserves and governs the world and all

it contains His providence.

 

Q. 213. {33} How did God create heaven and earth?

A. God created heaven and earth from nothing by His word only; that is,

by a single act of His all-powerful will.

 

Q. 214. {34} Which are the chief creatures of God?

A. The chief creatures of God are angels and men.

 

Q. 215. How may God's creatures on earth be divided?

A. God's creatures on earth may be divided into four classes: (1) Things

that exist, as air; (2) Things that exist, grow and live, as plants and

trees; (3) Things that exist, grow, live and feel, as animals; (4)

Things that exist, grow, live, feel and understand, as man.

 

Q. 216. {35} What are angels?

A. Angels are pure spirits without a body, created to adore and enjoy

God in heaven.

 

Q. 217. If Angels have no bodies, how could they appear?

A. Angels could appear by taking bodies to render themselves visible for

a time; just as the Holy Ghost took the form of a dove and the devil

took the form of a serpent.

 

Q. 218. Name some persons to whom Angels appeared.

A. Angels appeared to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph; also to

Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Tobias and others.

 

Q. 219. {36} Were the angels created for any other purpose?

A. The angels were also created to assist before the throne of God and

to minister unto Him; they have often been sent as messengers from God

to man; and are also appointed our guardians.

 

Q. 220. Are all the Angels equal in dignity?

A. All the Angels are not equal in dignity. There are nine choirs or

classes mentioned in the Holy Scripture. The highest are called Seraphim

and the lowest simply Angels. The Archangels are one class higher than

ordinary Angels.

 

Q. 221. Mention some Archangels and tell what they did.

A. The Archangel Michael drove Satan out of heaven; the Archangel

Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin that she was to become the

Mother of God. The Archangel Raphael guided and protected Tobias.

 

Q. 222. Were Angels ever sent to punish men?

A. Angels were sometimes sent to punish men. An Angel killed 185,000 men

in the army of a wicked king who had blasphemed God; an Angel also slew

the first-born in the families of the Egyptians who had persecuted God's

people.

 

Q. 223. What do our guardian Angels do for us?

A. Our guardian Angels pray for us, protect and guide us, and offer our

prayers, good works and desires to God.

 

Q. 224. How do we know that Angels offer our prayers and good works to

God?

A. We know that Angels offer our prayers and good works to God because

it is so stated in Holy Scripture, and Holy Scripture is the Word of

God.

 

Q. 225. Why did God appoint guardian Angels if He watches over us

Himself?

A. God appointed guardian Angels to secure for us their help and

prayers, and also to show His great love for us in giving us these

special servants and faithful friends.

 

Q. 226. {37} Were the angels, as God created them, good and happy?

A. The angels, as God created them, were good and happy.

 

Q. 227. {38} Did all the angels remain good and happy?

A. All the angels did not remain good and happy; many of them sinned and

were cast into hell, and these are called devils or bad angels.

 

Q. 228. Do we know the number of good and bad Angels?

A. We do not know the number of the good or bad Angels, but we know it

is very great.

 

Q. 229. What was the devil's name before he fell, and why was he cast

out of heaven?

A. Before he fell, Satan, or the devil, was called Lucifer, or

light-bearer, a name which indicates great beauty. He was cast out of

heaven because through pride he rebelled against God.

 

Q. 230. How do the bad Angels act toward us?

A. The bad Angels try by every means to lead us into sin. The efforts

they make are called temptations of the devil.

 

Q. 231. Why does the devil tempt us?

A. The devil tempts us because he hates goodness, and does not wish us

to enjoy the happiness which he himself has lost.

 

Q. 232. Can we by our own power overcome the temptations of the devil?

A. We cannot by our own power overcome the temptations of the devil,

because the devil is wiser than we are; for, being an Angel, he is more

intelligent, and he did not lose his intelligence by falling into sin

any more than we do now. Therefore, to overcome his temptations we need

the help of God.

 

LESSON FIFTH.

ON OUR FIRST PARENTS AND THE FALL.

 

Q. 233. {39} Who were the first man and woman?

A. The first man and woman were Adam and Eve.

 

Q. 234. Are there any persons in the world who are not the descendants

of Adam and Eve?

A. There are no persons in the world now, and there never have been any,

who are not the descendants of Adam and Eve, because the whole human

race had but one origin.

 

Q. 235. Do not the differences in color, figure, &c., which we find in

distinct races indicate a difference in first parents?

A. The differences in color, figure, &c., which we find in distinct

races do not indicate a difference in first parents, for these

differences have been brought about in the lapse of time by other

causes, such as climate, habits, etc.

 

Q. 236. {40} Were Adam and Eve innocent and holy when they came from the

hand of God?

A. Adam and Eve were innocent and holy when they came from the hand of

God.

 

Q. 237. What do we mean by saying Adam and Eve "were innocent" when they

came from the hand of God?

A. When we say Adam and Eve "were innocent" when they came from the hand

of God we mean they were in the state of original justice; that is, they

were gifted with every virtue and free from every sin.

 

Q. 238. How was Adam's body formed?

A. God formed Adam's body out of the clay of the earth and then breathed

into it a living soul.

 

Q. 239. How was Eve's body formed?

A. Eve's body was formed from a rib taken from Adam's side during a deep

sleep which God caused to come upon him.

 

Q. 240. Why did God make Eve from one of Adam's ribs?

A. God made Eve from one of Adam's ribs to show the close relationship

existing between husband and wife in their marriage union which God then

instituted.

 

Q. 241. Could man's body be developed from the body of an inferior

animal?

A. Man's body could be developed from the body of an inferior animal if

God so willed; but science does not prove that man's body was thus

formed, while revelation teaches that it was formed directly by God from

the clay of the earth.

 

Q. 242. Could man's soul and intelligence be formed by the development

of animal life and instinct?

A. Man's soul could not be formed by the development of animal instinct;

for, being entirely spiritual, it must be created by God, and it is

united to the body as soon as the body is prepared to receive it.

 

Q. 243. {41} Did God give any command to Adam and Eve?

A. To try their obedience, God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of a

certain fruit which grew in the garden of Paradise.

 

Q. 244. What was the Garden of Paradise?

A. The Garden of Paradise was a large and beautiful place prepared for

man's habitation upon earth. It was supplied with every species of plant

and animal and with everything that could contribute to man's happiness.

 

Q. 245. Where was the Garden of Paradise situated?

A. The exact place in which the Garden of Paradise--called also the

Garden of Eden--was situated is not known, for the deluge may have so

changed the surface of the earth that old landmarks were wiped out. It

was probably some place in Asia, not far from the river Euphrates.

 

Q. 246. What was the tree bearing the forbidden fruit called?

A. The tree bearing the forbidden fruit was called "the tree of

knowledge of good and evil."

 

Q. 247. Do we know the name of any other tree in the garden?

A. We know the name of another tree in the Garden called the "tree of

life." Its fruit kept the bodies of our first parents in a state of

perfect health.

 

Q. 248. {42} Which were the chief blessings intended for Adam and Eve

had they remained faithful to God?

A. The chief blessings intended for Adam and Eve, had they remained

faithful to God, were a constant state of happiness in this life and

everlasting glory in the next.

 

Q. 249. {43} Did Adam and Eve remain faithful to God?

A. Adam and Eve did not remain faithful to God, but broke His command by

eating the forbidden fruit.

 

Q. 250. Who was the first to disobey God?

A. Eve was the first to disobey God, and she induced Adam to do

likewise.

 

Q. 251. How was Eve tempted to sin?

A. Eve was tempted to sin by the devil, who came in the form of a

serpent and persuaded her to break God's command.

 

Q. 252. Which were the chief causes that led Eve into sin?

A. The chief causes that led Eve into sin were: (1) She went into the

danger of sinning by admiring what was forbidden, instead of avoiding

it; (2) She did not fly from the temptation at once, but debated about

yielding to it. Similar conduct on our part will lead us also into sin.

 

Q. 253. {44} What befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin?

A. Adam and Eve, on account of their sin, lost innocence and holiness,

and were doomed to sickness and death.

 

Q. 254. What other evils befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin?

A. Many other evils befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin. They

were driven out of Paradise and condemned to toil. God also ordained

that henceforth the earth should yield no crops without cultivation, and

that the beasts, man's former friends, should become his savage enemies.

 

Q. 255. Were we to remain in the Garden of Paradise forever if Adam had

not sinned?

A. We were not to remain in the Garden of Paradise forever even if Adam

had not sinned, but after passing through the years of our probation or

trial upon earth we were to be taken, body and soul, into heaven without

suffering death.

 

Q. 256. {45} What evil befell us on account of the disobedience of our

first parents?

A. On account of the disobedience of our first parents, we all share in

their sin and punishment, as we should have shared in their happiness if

they had remained faithful.

 

Q. 257. Is it not unjust to punish us for the sin of our first parents?

A. It is not unjust to punish us for the sin of our first parents,

because their punishment consisted in being deprived of a free gift of

God; that is, of the gift of original justice to which they had no

strict right and which they wilfully forfeited by their act of

disobedience.

 

Q. 258. But how did the loss of the gift of original justice leave our

first parents and us in mortal sin?

A. The loss of the gift of original justice left our first parents and

us in mortal sin because it deprived them of the Grace of God, and to be

without this gift of Grace which they should have had was to be in

mortal sin. As all their children are deprived of the same gift, they,

too, come into the world in a state of mortal sin.

 

Q. 259. {46} What other effects followed from the sin of our first

parents?

A. Our nature was corrupted by the sin of our first parents, which

darkened our understanding, weakened our will, and left in us a strong

inclination to evil.

 

Q. 260. What do we mean by "our nature was corrupted"?

A. When we say "our nature was corrupted" we mean that our whole being,

body and soul, was injured in all its parts and powers.

 

Q. 261. Why do we say our understanding was darkened?

A. We say our understanding was darkened because even with much learning

we have not the clear knowledge, quick perception and retentive memory

that Adam had before his fall from grace.

 

Q. 262. Why do we say our will was weakened?

A. We say our will was weakened to show that our free will was not

entirely taken away by Adam's sin, and that we have it still in our

power to use our free will in doing good or evil.

 

Q. 263. In what does the strong inclination to evil that is left in us

consist?

A. This strong inclination to evil that is left in us consists in the

continual efforts our senses and appetites make to lead our souls into

sin. The body is inclined to rebel against the soul, and the soul itself

to rebel against God.

 

Q. 264. What is this strong inclination to evil called, and why did God

permit it to remain in us?

A. This strong inclination to evil is called concupiscence, and God

permits it to remain in us that by His grace we may resist it and thus

increase our merits.

 

Q. 265. {47} What is the sin called which we inherit from our first

parents?

A. The sin which we inherit from our first parents is called original

sin.

 

Q. 266. {48} Why is this sin called original?

A. This sin is called original because it comes down to us from our

first parents, and we are brought into the world with its guilt on our

soul.

 

Q. 267. {49} Does this corruption of our nature remain in us after

original sin is forgiven?

A. This corruption of our nature and other punishments remain in us

after original sin is forgiven.

 

Q. 268. {50} Was any one ever preserved from original sin?

A. The Blessed Virgin Mary, through the merits of her Divine Son, was

preserved free from the guilt of original sin, and this privilege is

called her Immaculate Conception.

 

Q. 269. Why was the Blessed Virgin preserved from original sin?

A. The Blessed Virgin was preserved from original sin because it would

not be consistent with the dignity of the Son of God to have His Mother,

even for an instant, in the power of the devil and an enemy of God.

 

Q. 270. How could the Blessed Virgin be preserved from sin by her Divine

Son, before her Son was born?

A. The Blessed Virgin could be preserved from sin by her Divine Son

before He was born as man, for He always existed as God and foresaw His

own future merits and the dignity of His Mother. He therefore by His

future merits provided for her privilege of exemption from original sin.

 

Q. 271. What does the "Immaculate Conception" mean?

A. The Immaculate Conception means the Blessed Virgin's own exclusive

privilege of coming into existence, through the merits of Jesus Christ,

without the stain of original sin. It does not mean, therefore, her

sinless life, perpetual virginity or the miraculous conception of Our

Divine Lord by the power of the Holy Ghost.

 

Q. 272. What has always been the belief of the Church concerning this

truth?

A. The Church has always believed in the Immaculate Conception of the

Blessed Virgin and to place this truth beyond doubt has declared it an

Article of Faith.

 

Q. 273. To what should the thoughts of the Immaculate Conception lead

us?

A. The thoughts of the Immaculate Conception should lead us to a great

love of purity and to a desire of imitating the Blessed Virgin in the

practice of that holy virtue.

 

LESSON SIXTH.

ON SIN AND ITS KINDS.

 

Q. 274. How is sin divided?

A. (1) Sin is divided into the sin we inherit called original sin, and

the sin we commit ourselves, called actual sin. (2) Actual sin is

sub-divided into greater sins, called mortal, and lesser sins, called

venial.

 

Q. 275. In how many ways may actual sin be committed?

A. Actual sin may be committed in two ways: namely, by wilfully doing

things forbidden, or by wilfully neglecting things commanded.

 

Q. 276. What is our sin called when we neglect things commanded?

A. When we neglect things commanded our sin is called a sin of omission.

Such sins as wilfully neglecting to hear Mass on Sundays, or neglecting

to go to Confession at least once a year, are sins of omission.

 

Q. 277. {51} Is original sin the only kind of sin?

A. Original sin is not the only kind of sin; there is another kind of

sin, which we commit ourselves, called actual sin.

 

Q. 278. {52} What is actual sin?

A. Actual sin is any wilful thought, word, deed, or omission contrary to

the law of God.

 

Q. 279. {53} How many kinds of actual sin are there?

A. There are two kinds of actual sin--mortal and venial.

 

Q. 280. {54} What is mortal sin?

A. Mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God.

 

Q. 281. {55} Why is this sin called mortal?

A. This sin is called mortal because it deprives us of spiritual life,

which is sanctifying grace, and brings everlasting death and damnation

on the soul.

 

Q. 282. {56} How many things are necessary to make a sin mortal?

A. To make a sin mortal, three things are necessary: a grievous matter,

sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will.

 

Q. 283. What do we mean by "grievous matter" with regard to sin?

A. By "grievous matter" with regard to sin we mean that the thought,

word or deed by which mortal sin is committed must be either very bad in

itself or severely prohibited, and therefore sufficient to make a mortal

sin if we deliberately yield to it.

 

Q. 284. What does "sufficient reflection and full consent of the will"

mean?

A. "Sufficient reflection" means that we must know the thought, word or

deed to be sinful at the time we are guilty of it; and "full consent of

the will" means that we must fully and wilfully yield to it.

 

Q. 285. What are sins committed without reflection or consent called?

A. Sins committed without reflection or consent are called material

sins; that is, they would be formal or real sins if we knew their

sinfulness at the time we committed them. Thus to eat flesh meat on a

day of abstinence without knowing it to be a day of abstinence or

without thinking of the prohibition, would be a material sin.

 

Q. 286. Do past material sins become real sins as soon as we discover

their sinfulness?

A. Past material sins do not become real sins as soon as we discover

their sinfulness, unless we again repeat them with full knowledge and

consent.

 

Q. 287. How can we know what sins are considered mortal?

A. We can know what sins are considered mortal from Holy Scripture; from

the teaching of the Church, and from the writings of the Fathers and

Doctors of the Church.

 

Q. 288. Why is it wrong to judge others guilty of sin?

A. It is wrong to judge others guilty of sin because we cannot know for

certain that their sinful act was committed with sufficient reflection

and full consent of the will.

 

Q. 289. What sin does he commit who without sufficient reason believes

another guilty of sin?

A. He who without sufficient reason believes another guilty of sin

commits a sin of rash judgment.

 

Q. 290. {57} What is venial sin?

A. Venial sin is a slight offense against the law of God in matters of

less importance, or in matters of great importance it is an offense

committed without sufficient reflection or full consent of the will.

 

Q. 291. Can we always distinguish venial from mortal sin?

A. We cannot always distinguish venial from mortal sin, and in such

cases we must leave the decision to our confessor.

 

Q. 292. Can slight offenses ever become mortal sins?

A. Slight offenses can become mortal sins if we commit them through

defiant contempt for God or His law; and also when they are followed by

very evil consequences, which we foresee in committing them.

 

Q. 293. {58} Which are the effects of venial sin?

A. The effects of venial sin are the lessening of the love of God in our

heart, the making us less worthy of His help, and the weakening of the

power to resist mortal sin.

 

Q. 294. How can we know a thought, word or deed to be sinful?

A. We can know a thought, word or deed to be sinful if it, or the

neglect of it, is forbidden by any law of God or of His Church, or if it

is opposed to any supernatural virtue.

 

Q. 295. {59} Which are the chief sources of sin?

A. The chief sources of sin are seven: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger,

Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth, and they are commonly called capital sins.

 

Q. 296. What is pride?

A. Pride is an excessive love of our own ability; so that we would

rather sinfully disobey than humble ourselves.

 

Q. 297. What effect has pride on our souls?

A. Pride begets in our souls sinful ambition, vainglory, presumption and

hypocrisy.

 

Q. 298. What is covetousness?

A. Covetousness is an excessive desire for worldly things.

 

Q. 299. What effect has covetousness on our souls?

A. Covetousness begets in our souls unkindness, dishonesty, deceit and

want of charity.

 

Q. 300. What is lust?

A. Lust is an excessive desire for the sinful pleasures forbidden by the

Sixth Commandment.

 

Q. 301. What effect has lust on our souls?

A. Lust begets in our souls a distaste for holy things, a perverted

conscience, a hatred for God, and it very frequently leads to a complete

loss of faith.

 

Q. 302. What is anger?

A. Anger is an excessive emotion of the mind excited against any person

or thing, or it is an excessive desire for revenge.

 

Q. 303. What effect has anger on our soul?

A. Anger begets in our souls impatience, hatred, irreverence, and too

often the habit of cursing.

 

Q. 304. What is gluttony?

A. Gluttony is an excessive desire for food or drink.

 

Q. 305. What kind of a sin is drunkenness?

A. Drunkenness is a sin of gluttony by which a person deprives himself

of the use of his reason by the excessive taking of intoxicating drink.

 

Q. 306. Is drunkenness always a mortal sin?

A. Deliberate drunkenness is always a mortal sin if the person be

completely deprived of the use of reason by it, but drunkenness that is

not intended or desired may be excused from mortal sin.

 

Q. 307. What are the chief effects of habitual drunkenness?

A. Habitual drunkenness injures the body, weakens the mind, leads its

victim into many vices and exposes him to the danger of dying in a state

of mortal sin.

 

Q. 308. What three sins seem to cause most evil in the world?

A. Drunkenness, dishonesty and impurity seem to cause most evil in the

world, and they are therefore to be carefully avoided at all times.

 

Q. 309. What is envy?

A. Envy is a feeling of sorrow at another's good fortune and joy at the

evil which befalls him; as if we ourselves were injured by the good and

benefited by the evil that comes to him.

 

Q. 310. What effect has envy on the soul?

A. Envy begets in the soul a want of charity for our neighbor and

produces a spirit of detraction, back-biting and slander.

 

Q. 311. What is sloth?

A. Sloth is a laziness of the mind and body, through which we neglect

our duties on account of the labor they require.

 

Q. 312. What effect has sloth upon the soul?

A. Sloth begets in the soul a spirit of indifference in our spiritual

duties and a disgust for prayer.

 

Q. 313. Why are the seven sources of sin called capital sins?

A. The seven sources of sin are called capital sins because they rule

over our other sins and are the causes of them.

 

Q. 314. What do we mean by our predominant sin or ruling passion?

A. By our predominant sin, or ruling passion, we mean the sin into which

we fall most frequently and which we find it hardest to resist.

 

Q. 315. How can we best overcome our sins?

A. We can best overcome our sins by guarding against our predominant or

ruling sin.

 

Q. 316. Should we give up trying to be good when we seem not to succeed

in overcoming our faults?

A. We should not give up trying to be good when we seem not to succeed

in overcoming our faults, because our efforts to be good will keep us

from becoming worse than we are.

 

Q. 317. What virtues are opposed to the seven capital sins?

A. Humility is opposed to pride; generosity to covetousness; chastity to

lust; meekness to anger; temperance to gluttony; brotherly love to envy,

and diligence to sloth.

 

LESSON SEVENTH.

ON THE INCARNATION AND REDEMPTION.

 

Q. 318. What does "incarnation" mean, and what does "redemption" mean?

A. "Incarnation" means the act of clothing with flesh. Thus Our Lord

clothed His divinity with a human body. "Redemption" means to buy back

again.

 

Q. 319. {60} Did God abandon man after he fell into sin?

A. God did not abandon man after he fell into sin, but promised him a

Redeemer, who was to satisfy for man's sin and reopen to him the gates

of heaven.

 

Q. 320. What do we mean by the "gates of heaven"?

A. By the "gates of heaven" we mean the divine power by which God keeps

us out of heaven or admits us into it, at His pleasure.

 

Q. 321. {61} Who is the Redeemer?

A. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of mankind.

 

Q. 322. What does the name "Jesus" signify and how was this name given

to Our Lord?

A. The name "Jesus" signifies Saviour or Redeemer, and this name was

given to Our Lord by an Angel who appeared to Joseph and said: "Mary

shall bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus."

 

Q. 323. What does the name "Christ" signify?

A. The name "Christ" means the same as Messias, and signifies Anointed;

because, as in the Old Law, Prophets, High Priests and Kings were

anointed with oil; so Jesus, the Great Prophet, High Priest and King of

the New Law, was anointed as man with the fullness of divine power.

 

Q. 324. How did Christ show and prove His divine power?

A. Christ showed and proved His divine power chiefly by His miracles,

which are extraordinary works that can be performed only by power

received from God, and which have, therefore, His sanction and

authority.

 

Q. 325. What, then, did the miracles of Jesus Christ prove?

A. The miracles of Jesus Christ proved that whatever He said was true,

and that when He declared Himself to be the Son of God He really was

what He claimed to be.

 

Q. 326. Could not men have been deceived in the miracles of Christ?

A. Men could not have been deceived in the miracles of Christ because

they were performed in the most open manner and usually in the presence

of great multitudes of people, among whom were many of Christ's enemies,

ever ready to expose any deceit. And if Christ performed no real

miracles, how, then, could He have converted the world and have

persuaded sinful men to give up what they loved and do the difficult

things that the Christian religion imposes?

 

Q. 327. Could not false accounts of these miracles have been written

after the death of Our Lord?

A. False accounts of these miracles could not have been written after

the death of Our Lord; for then neither His friends nor His enemies

would have believed them without proof. Moreover, the enemies of Christ

did not deny the miracles, but tried to explain them by attributing them

to the power of the devil or other causes. Again, the Apostles and the

Evangelists who wrote the accounts suffered death to testify their

belief in the words and works of Our Lord.

 

Q. 328. Did Jesus Christ die to redeem all men of every age and race

without exception?

A. Jesus Christ died to redeem all men of every age and race without

exception; and every person born into the world should share in His

merits, without which no one can be saved.

 

Q. 329. How are the merits of Jesus Christ applied to our souls?

A. The merits of Jesus Christ are applied to our souls through the

Sacraments, and especially through Baptism and Penance, which restore us

to the friendship of God.

 

Q. 330. {62} What do you believe of Jesus Christ?

A. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of

the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man.

 

Q. 331. Cannot we also be called the Children of God, and therefore His

sons and daughters?

A. We can be called the Children of God because He has adopted us by His

grace or because He is the Father who has created us; but we are not,

therefore, His real Children; whereas, Jesus Christ, His only real and

true Son, was neither adopted nor created, but was begotten of His

Father from all eternity.

 

Q. 332. {63} Why is Jesus Christ true God?

A. Jesus Christ is true God because He is the true and only Son of God

the Father.

 

Q. 333. {64} Why is Jesus Christ true man?

A. Jesus Christ is true man because He is the Son of the Blessed Virgin

Mary and has a body and soul like ours.

 

Q. 334. Who was the foster father or guardian of Our Lord while on

earth?

A. St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin, was the foster-father

or guardian of Our Lord while on earth.

 

Q. 335. Is Jesus Christ in heaven as God or as man?

A. Since His Ascension Jesus Christ is in heaven both as God and as man.

 

Q. 336. {65} How many natures are there in Jesus Christ?

A. In Jesus Christ there are two natures, the nature of God and the

nature of man.

 

Q. 337. {66} Is Jesus Christ more than one person?

A. No. Jesus Christ is but one Divine Person.

 

Q. 338. From what do we learn that Jesus Christ is but one person?

A. We learn that Jesus Christ is but one person from Holy Scripture and

from the constant teaching of the Church, which has condemned all those

who teach the contrary.

 

Q. 339. {67} Was Jesus Christ always God?

A. Jesus Christ was always God, as He is the second person of the

Blessed Trinity, equal to His Father from all eternity.

 

Q. 340. {68} Was Jesus Christ always man?

A. Jesus Christ was not always man, but became man at the time of His

Incarnation.

 

Q. 341. {69} What do you mean by the Incarnation?

A. By the Incarnation I mean that the Son of God was made man.

 

Q. 342. {70} How was the Son of God made man?

A. The Son of God was conceived and made man by the power of the Holy

Ghost, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

Q. 343. {71} Is the Blessed Virgin Mary truly the Mother of God?

A. The Blessed Virgin Mary is truly the Mother of God, because the same

Divine Person who is the Son of God is also the Son of the Blessed

Virgin Mary.

 

Q. 344. {72} Did the Son of God become man immediately after the sin of

our first parents?

A. The Son of God did not become man immediately after the sin of our

first parents, but was promised to them as a Redeemer.

 

Q. 345. How many years passed from the time Adam sinned till the time

the Redeemer came?

A. About 4,000 years passed from the time Adam sinned till the time the

Redeemer came.

 

Q. 346. What was the moral condition of the world just before the coming

of Our Lord?

A. Just before the coming of Our Lord the moral condition of the world

was very bad. Idolatry, injustice, cruelty, immorality and horrid vices

were common almost everywhere.

 

Q. 347. Why was the coming of the Redeemer so long delayed?

A. The coming of the Redeemer was so long delayed that the

world--suffering from every misery--might learn the great evil of sin

and know that God alone could help fallen man.

 

Q. 348. When was the Redeemer promised to mankind?

A. The Redeemer was first promised to mankind in the Garden of Paradise,

and often afterward through Abraham and his descendants, the patriarchs,

and through numerous prophets.

 

Q. 349. Who were the prophets?

A. The prophets were inspired men to whom God revealed the future, that

they might with absolute certainty make it known to the people.

 

Q. 350. What did the prophets foretell concerning the Redeemer?

A. The prophets, taken together, foretold so accurately all the

circumstances of the birth, life, death, resurrection and glory of the

Redeemer that no one who carefully studied their writings could fail to

recognize Him when He came.

 

Q. 351. Have all these prophecies concerning the Redeemer been

fulfilled?

A. All the prophecies concerning the Redeemer have been fulfilled in

every point by the circumstances of Christ's birth, life, death,

resurrection and glory; and He is, therefore, the Redeemer promised to

mankind from the time of Adam.

 

Q. 352. Where shall we find these prophecies concerning the Redeemer?

A. We shall find these prophecies concerning the Redeemer in the

prophetic books of the Bible or Holy Scripture.

 

Q. 353. If the Redeemer's coming was so clearly foretold, why did not

all recognize Him when He came?

A. All did not recognize the Redeemer when He came, because many knew

only part of the prophecies; and taking those concerning His glory and

omitting those concerning His suffering, they could not understand His

life.

 

Q. 354. {73} How could they be saved who lived before the Son of God

became man?

A. They who lived before the Son of God became man could be saved by

believing in a Redeemer to come, and by keeping the Commandments.

 

Q. 355. {74} On what day was the Son of God conceived and made man?

A. The Son of God was conceived and made man on Annunciation Day--the

day on which the Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that

she was to be the Mother of God.

 

Q. 356. {75} On what day was Christ born?

A. Christ was born on Christmas Day, in a stable at Bethlehem, over

nineteen hundred years ago.

 

Q. 357. Why did the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph go to Bethlehem just

before the birth of Our Lord?

A. The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph went to Bethlehem in obedience to

the Roman Emperor, who ordered all his subjects to register their names

in the towns or cities of their ancestors. Bethlehem was the City of

David, the royal ancestor of Mary and Joseph, hence they had to register

there. All this was done by the Will of God, that the prophecies

concerning the birth of His Divine Son might be fulfilled.

 

Q. 358. Why was Christ born in a stable?

A. Christ was born in a stable because Joseph and Mary were poor and

strangers in Bethlehem, and without money they could find no other

shelter. This was permitted by Our Lord that we might learn a lesson

from His great humility.

 

Q. 359. In giving the ancestors or forefathers of Our Lord, why do the

Gospels give the ancestors of Joseph, who was only Christ's

foster-father, and not the ancestors of Mary, who was Christ's real

parent?

A. In giving the ancestors of Our Lord, the Gospels give the ancestors

of Joseph: (1) Because the ancestors of women were not usually recorded

by the Jews; and (2) Because Mary and Joseph were members of the same

tribe, and had, therefore, the same ancestors; so that, in giving the

ancestors of Joseph, the Gospels give also those of Mary; and this was

understood by those for whom the Gospels were intended.

 

Q. 360. Had Our Lord any brothers or sisters?

A. Our Lord had no brothers or sisters. When the Gospels speak of His

brethren they mean only His near relations. His Blessed Mother Mary was

always a Virgin as well before and at His birth as after it.

 

Q. 361. Who were among the first to adore the Infant Jesus?

A. The shepherds of Bethlehem, to whom His birth was announced by

Angels; and the Magi or three wise men, who were guided to His crib by a

miraculous star, were among the first to adore the Infant Jesus. We

recall the adoration of the Magi on the feast of the Epiphany, which

means appearance or manifestation, namely, of Our Saviour.

 

Q. 362. Who sought to kill the Infant Jesus?

A. Herod sought to kill the Infant Jesus because he thought the

influence of Christ--the new-born King--would deprive him of his throne.

 

Q. 363. How was the Holy Infant rescued from the power of Herod?

A. The Holy Infant was rescued from the power of Herod by the flight

into Egypt, when St. Joseph--warned by an Angel--fled hastily into that

country with Jesus and Mary.

 

Q. 364. How did Herod hope to accomplish his wicked designs?

A. Herod hoped to accomplish his wicked designs by murdering all the

infants in and near Bethlehem. The day on which we commemorate the death

of these first little martyrs, who shed their blood for Christ's sake,

is called the feast of Holy Innocents.

 

Q. 365. How may the years of Christ's life be divided?

A. The years of Christ's life may be divided into three parts: (1) His

childhood, extending from His birth to His twelfth year, when He went

with his parents to worship in the Temple of Jerusalem. (2) His hidden

life, which extends from His twelfth to His thirtieth year, during which

time He dwelt with His parents at Nazareth. (3) His public life,

extending from His thirtieth year--or from His baptism by St. John the

Baptist to His death; during which time He taught His doctrines and

established His Church.

 

Q. 366. Why is Christ's life thus divided?

A. Christ's life is thus divided to show that all classes find in Him

their model. In childhood He gave an example to the young; in His hidden

life an example to those who consecrate themselves to the service of God

in a religious state; and in His public life an example to all

Christians without exception.

 

Q. 367. {76} How long did Christ live on earth?

A. Christ lived on earth about thirty-three years, and led a most holy

life in poverty and suffering.

 

Q. 368. {77} Why did Christ live so long on earth?

A. Christ lived so long on earth to show us the way to heaven by His

teachings and example.

 

LESSON EIGHTH.

ON OUR LORD'S PASSION, DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND ASCENSION.

 

Q. 369. What do we mean by Our Lord's Passion?

A. By Our Lord's Passion we mean His dreadful sufferings from His agony

in the garden till the moment of His death.

 

Q. 370. {78} What did Jesus Christ suffer?

A. Jesus Christ suffered a bloody sweat, a cruel scourging, was crowned

with thorns, and was crucified.

 

Q. 371. When did Our Lord suffer the "bloody sweat"?

A. Our Lord suffered the "bloody sweat" while drops of blood came forth

from every pore of His body, during His agony in the Garden of Olives,

near Jerusalem, where He went to pray on the night His Passion began.

 

Q. 372. Who accompanied Our Lord to the Garden of Olives on the night of

His Agony?

A. The Apostles Peter, James and John, the same who had witnessed His

transfiguration on the mount, accompanied Our Lord to the Garden of

Olives, to watch and pray with Him on the night of His agony.

 

Q. 373. What do we mean by the transfiguration of Our Lord?

A. By the transfiguration of Our Lord we mean the supernatural change in

His appearance when He showed Himself to His Apostles in great glory and

brilliancy in which "His face did shine as the sun and His garments

became white as snow."

 

Q. 374. Who were present at the transfiguration?

A. There were present at the transfiguration--besides the Apostles

Peter, James and John, who witnessed it--the two great and holy men of

the Old Law, Moses and Elias, talking with Our Lord.

 

Q. 375. What caused Our Lord's agony in the garden?

A. It is believed Our Lord's agony in the garden was caused: (1) By his

clear knowledge of all He was soon to endure; (2) by the sight of the

many offenses committed against His Father by the sins of the whole

world; (3) by His knowledge of men's ingratitude for the blessings of

redemption.

 

Q. 376. Why was Christ cruelly scourged?

A. Christ was cruelly scourged by Pilate's orders, that the sight of His

bleeding body might move His enemies to spare His life.

 

Q. 377. Why was Christ crowned with thorns?

A. Christ was crowned with thorns in mockery because He had said He was

a King.

 

Q. 378. Could Christ, if He pleased, have escaped the tortures of His

Passion?

A. Christ could, if He pleased, have escaped the tortures of His

Passion, because He foresaw them and had it in His power to overcome His

enemies.

 

Q. 379. Was it necessary for Christ to suffer so much in order to redeem

us?

A. It was not necessary for Christ to suffer so much in order to redeem

us, for the least of His sufferings was more than sufficient to atone

for all the sins of mankind. By suffering so much He showed His great

love for us.

 

Q. 380. Who betrayed Our Lord?

A. Judas, one of His Apostles, betrayed Our Lord, and from His sin we

may learn that even the good may become very wicked by the abuse of

their free will.

 

Q. 381. How was Christ condemned to death?

A. Through the influence of those who hated Him, Christ was condemned to

death, after an unjust trial, at which false witnesses were induced to

testify against Him.

 

Q. 382. {79} On what day did Christ die?

A. Christ died on Good Friday.

 

Q. 383. {80} Why do you call that day "good" on which Christ died so

sorrowful a death?

A. We call that day good on which Christ died because by His death He

showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing.

 

Q. 384. How long was Our Lord hanging on the cross before He died?

A. Our Lord was hanging on the Cross about three hours before He died.

While thus suffering, His enemies stood around blaspheming and mocking

Him. By His death He proved Himself a real mortal man, for He could not

die in His divine nature.

 

Q. 385. What do we call the words Christ spoke while hanging on the

Cross?

A. We call the words Christ spoke while hanging on the Cross "the seven

last words of Jesus on the Cross." They teach us the dispositions we

should have at the hour of death.

 

Q. 386. Repeat the seven last words or sayings of Jesus on the Cross.

A. The seven last words or sayings of Jesus on the Cross are: (1)

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," in which He

forgives and prays for His enemies. (2) "Amen, I say to thee, this day

thou shalt be with Me in Paradise," in which He pardons the penitent

sinner. (3) "Woman, behold thy Son"--"Behold thy Mother," in which He

gave up what was dearest to Him on earth, and gave us Mary for our

Mother. (4) "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" from which we

learn the suffering of His mind. (5) "I thirst," from which we learn the

suffering of His body. (6) "All is consummated," by which He showed the

fulfillment of all the prophecies concerning Him and the completion of

the work of our redemption. (7) "Father, into Thy hands I commend my

spirit," by which He showed His perfect resignation to the Will of His

Eternal Father.

 

Q. 387. What happened at the death of Our Lord?

A. At the death of Our Lord there were darkness and earthquake; many

holy dead came forth from their graves, and the veil concealing the Holy

of Holies, in the Temple of Jerusalem, was torn asunder.

 

Q. 388. What was the Holy of Holies in the temple?

A. The Holy of Holies was the sacred part of the Temple, in which the

Ark of the Covenant was kept, and where the high priest consulted the

Will of God.

 

Q. 389. What was the "Ark of the Covenant"?

A. The Ark of the Covenant was a precious box in which were kept the

tablets of stone bearing the written Commandments of God, the rod which

Aaron changed into a serpent before King Pharao, and a portion of the

manna with which the Israelites were miraculously fed in the desert. The

Ark of the Covenant was a figure of the Tabernacle in which we keep the

Holy Eucharist.

 

Q. 390. Why was the veil of the Temple torn asunder at the death of

Christ?

A. The veil of the Temple was torn asunder at the death of Christ

because at His death the Jewish religion ceased to be the true religion,

and God no longer manifested His presence in the Temple.

 

Q. 391. Why did the Jewish religion, which up to the death of Christ had

been the true religion, cease at that time to be the true religion?

A. The Jewish religion, which, up to the death of Christ, had been the

true religion, ceased at that time to be the true religion, because it

was only a promise of the redemption and figure of the Christian

religion, and when the redemption was accomplished and the Christian

religion established by the death of Christ, the promise and the figure

were no longer necessary.

 

Q. 392. Were all the laws of the Jewish religion abolished by the

establishment of Christianity?

A. The moral laws of the Jewish religion were not abolished by the

establishment of Christianity, for Christ came not to destroy these

laws, but to make them more perfect. Its ceremonial laws were abolished

when the Temple of Jerusalem ceased to be the House of God.

 

Q. 393. What do we mean by moral and ceremonial laws?

A. By "moral" laws we mean laws regarding good and evil. By "ceremonial"

laws we mean laws regulating the manner of worshipping God in Temple or

Church.

 

Q. 394. {81} Where did Christ die?

A. Christ died on Mount Calvary.

 

Q. 395. Where was Mount Calvary, and what does the name signify?

A. Mount Calvary was the place of execution, not far from Jerusalem; and

the name signifies the "place of skulls."

 

Q. 396. {82} How did Christ die?

A. Christ was nailed to the Cross, and died on it between two thieves.

 

Q. 397. Why was Our Lord crucified between thieves?

A. Our Lord was crucified between thieves that His enemies might thus

add to His disgrace by making Him equal to the worst criminals.

 

Q. 398. {83} Why did Christ suffer and die?

A. Christ suffered and died for our sins.

 

Q. 399. How was Our Lord's body buried?

A. Our Lord's body was wrapped in a clean linen cloth and laid in a new

sepulchre or tomb cut in a rock, by Joseph of Arimathea and other pious

persons who believed in Our Divine Lord.

 

Q. 400. {84} What lessons do we learn from the sufferings and death of

Christ?

A. From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn the great evil of

sin, the hatred God bears to it, and the necessity of satisfying for it.

 

Q. 401. {85} Whither did Christ's soul go after His death?

A. After Christ's death His soul descended into hell.

 

Q. 402. {86} Did Christ's soul descend into the hell of the damned?

A. The hell into which Christ's soul descended was not the hell of the

dammed, but a place or state of rest called Limbo, where the souls of

the just were waiting for Him.

 

Q. 403. {87} Why did Christ descend into Limbo?

A. Christ descended into Limbo to preach to the souls who were in

prison--that is, to announce to them the joyful tidings of their

redemption.

 

Q. 404. {88} Where was Christ's body while His soul was in Limbo?

A. While Christ's soul was in Limbo His body was in the holy sepulchre.

 

Q. 405. {89} On what day did Christ rise from the dead?

A. Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday,

the third day after His death.

 

Q. 406. Why is the Resurrection the greatest of Christ's miracles?

A. The Resurrection is the greatest of Christ's miracles because all He

taught and did is confirmed by it and depends upon it. He promised to

rise from the dead and without the fulfillment of that promise we could

not believe in Him.

 

Q. 407. Has any one ever tried to disprove the miracle of the

resurrection?

A. Unbelievers in Christ have tried to disprove the miracle of the

resurrection as they have tried to disprove all His other miracles; but

the explanations they give to prove Christ's miracles false are far more

unlikely and harder to believe than the miracles themselves.

 

Q. 408. What do we mean when we say Christ rose "glorious" from the

dead?

A. When we say Christ rose "glorious" from the dead we mean that His

body was in a glorified state; that is, gifted with the qualities of a

glorified body.

 

Q. 409. What are the qualities of a glorified body?

A. The qualities of a glorified body are: (1) Brilliancy, by which it

gives forth light; (2) Agility, by which it moves from place to place as

rapidly as an angel; (3) Subtility, by which material things cannot shut

it out; (4) Impassibility, by which it is made incapable of suffering.

 

Q. 410. Was Christ three full days in the tomb?

A. Christ was not three full days, but only parts of three days in the

tomb.

 

Q. 411. {90} How long did Christ stay on earth after His resurrection?

A. Christ stayed on earth forty days after His resurrection, to show

that He was truly risen from the dead, and to instruct His apostles.

 

Q. 412. Was Christ visible to all and at all times during the forty days

He remained on earth after His resurrection?

A. Christ was not visible to all nor at all times during the forty days

He remained on earth after His resurrection. We know that He appeared to

His apostles and others at least nine times, though He may have appeared

oftener.

 

Q. 413. How did Christ show that He was truly risen from the dead?

A. Christ showed that He was truly risen from the dead by eating and

conversing with His Apostles and others to whom He appeared. He showed

the wounds in His hands, feet and side, and it was after His

resurrection that He gave to His Apostles the power to forgive sins.

 

Q. 414. {91} After Christ had remained forty days on earth, whither did

He go?

A. After forty days Christ ascended into heaven, and the day on which he

ascended into heaven is called Ascension Day.

 

Q. 415. Where did the ascension of Our Lord take place?

A. Christ ascended into heaven from Mount Olivet, the place made sacred

by His agony on the night before His death.

 

Q. 416. Who were present at the ascension and who ascended with Christ?

A. From various parts of Scripture we may conclude there were about 125

persons--though traditions tell us there was a greater number--present

at the Ascension. They were the Apostles, the Disciples, the pious women

and others who had followed Our Blessed Lord. The souls of the just who

were waiting in Limbo for the redemption ascended with Christ.

 

Q. 417. Why is the paschal candle which is lighted on Easter morning

extinguished at the Mass on Ascension Day?

A. The paschal candle which is lighted on Easter morning signifies

Christ's visible presence on earth, and it is extinguished on Ascension

Day to show that He, having fulfilled all the prophecies concerning

Himself and having accomplished the work of redemption, has transferred

the visible care of His Church to His Apostles and returned in His body

to heaven.

 

Q. 418. {92} Where is Christ in heaven?

A. In heaven Christ sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

 

Q. 419. {93} What do you mean by saying that Christ sits at the right

hand of God?

A. When I say that Christ sits at the right hand of God I mean that

Christ as God is equal to His Father in all things, and that as man He

is in the highest place in heaven next to God.

 

LESSON NINTH.

ON THE HOLY GHOST AND HIS DESCENT UPON THE APOSTLES.

 

Q. 420. {94} Who is the Holy Ghost?

A. The Holy Ghost is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

 

Q. 421. Did the Holy Ghost ever appear?

A. The Holy Ghost appeared at times under the form of a dove, and again

under the form of tongues of fire; for, being a pure spirit without a

body, He can take any form.

 

Q. 422. Is the Holy Ghost called by other names?

A. The Holy Ghost is called also the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the

Spirit of Truth and other names given in Holy Scripture.

 

Q. 423. {95} From whom does the Holy Ghost proceed?

A. The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.

 

Q. 424. {96} Is the Holy Ghost equal to the Father and the Son?

A. The Holy Ghost is equal to the Father and the Son, being the same

Lord and God as they are.

 

Q. 425. {97} On what day did the Holy Ghost come down upon the Apostles?

A. The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles ten days after the

Ascension of our Lord; and the day on which He came down upon the

Apostles is called Whitsunday, or Pentecost.

 

Q. 426. Why is the day on which the Holy Ghost came down upon the

Apostles called Whitsunday?

A. The day on which the Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles is called

Whitsunday or White Sunday, probably because the Christians who were

baptized on the eve of Pentecost wore white garments for some time

afterward, as a mark of the purity bestowed upon their souls by the

Sacrament of Baptism.

 

Q. 427. Why is this feast called also Pentecost?

A. This feast is called also Pentecost because Pentecost means the

fiftieth; and the Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles fifty days

after the resurrection of Our Lord.

 

Q. 428. {98} How did the Holy Ghost come down upon the Apostles?

A. The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles in the form of tongues of

fire.

 

Q. 429. What did the form of tongues of fire denote?

A. The form of tongues of fire denoted the sacred character and divine

authority of the preaching and teaching of the Apostles, by whose words

and fervor all men were to be converted to the love of God.

 

Q. 430. {99} Who sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles?

A. Our Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.

 

Q. 431. Did the Apostles know that the Holy Ghost would come down upon

them?

A. The Apostles knew that the Holy Ghost would come down upon them; for

Christ promised His Apostles that after His Ascension He would send the

Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, to teach them all truths and to abide

with them forever.

 

Q. 432. Has any one ever denied the existence of the Holy Ghost?

A. Some persons have denied the existence of the Holy Ghost; others have

denied that He is a real person equal to the Father and the Son; but all

these assertions are shown to be false by the words of Holy Scripture

and the infallible teaching of the Church.

 

Q. 433. What are the sins against the Holy Ghost which Our Lord said

will not be forgiven either in this world or in the next?

A. The sins against the Holy Ghost which Our Lord said will not be

forgiven either in this world or in the next, are sins committed out of

pure malice, and greatly opposed to the mercy of God, and are,

therefore, seldom forgiven.

 

Q. 434. {100} Why did Christ send the Holy Ghost?

A. Christ sent the Holy Ghost to sanctify His Church, to enlighten and

strengthen the Apostles, and to enable them to preach the Gospel.

 

Q. 435. How was the Church sanctified through the coming of the Holy

Ghost?

A. The Church was sanctified through the coming of the Holy Ghost by

receiving those graces which Christ had merited for His ministers, the

bishops and priests, and for the souls of all those committed to their

care.

 

Q. 436. How were the Apostles enlightened through the coming of the Holy

Ghost?

A. The Apostles were enlightened through the coming of the Holy Ghost by

receiving the grace to remember and understand in its true meaning all

that Christ had said and done in their presence.

 

Q. 437. How were the Apostles strengthened through the coming of the

Holy Ghost?

A. The Apostles were strengthened through the coming of the Holy Ghost

by receiving the grace to brave every danger, even death itself, in the

performance of their sacred duties.

 

Q. 438. What does "Apostle," and what does "Gospel" mean?

A. "Apostle" means a person sent, and "Gospel" means good tidings or

news. Hence the name "Gospel" is given to the inspired history of Our

Lord's life and works upon earth.

 

Q. 439. Name the Apostles.

A. The Apostles were: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,

Thomas, Matthew, James, Thaddeus, Simon, and Judas Iscariot, in whose

place Mathias was chosen.

 

Q. 440. Was St. Paul an Apostle?

A. St. Paul was an Apostle, but as he was not called till after the

Ascension of Our Lord he is not numbered among the twelve. He is called

the Apostle of the Gentiles; that is, of all those who were not of the

Jewish religion or members of the Church of the Old Law.

 

Q. 441. How did St. Paul become an Apostle?

A. While on his way to persecute the Christians St. Paul was

miraculously converted and called to be an Apostle by Our Lord Himself,

who spoke to him. St. Paul was called Saul before his conversion.

 

Q. 442. Who were the Evangelists?

A. St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John are called Evangelists,

because they wrote the four Gospels bearing their names, and Evangelia

is the Latin name for Gospels. St. Mark and St. Luke were not Apostles,

but St. Matthew and St. John were both Apostles and Evangelists.

 

Q. 443. Why did not the Apostles fully understand when Christ Himself

taught them?

A. The Apostles did not fully understand when Christ Himself taught them

because during His stay with them on earth they were only preparing to

become Apostles; and their minds were yet filled with many worldly

thoughts and desires that were to be removed at the coming of the Holy

Ghost.

 

Q. 444. {101} Will the Holy Ghost abide with the Church forever?

A. The Holy Ghost will abide with the Church forever, and guide it in

the way of holiness and truth.

 

Q. 445. What benefit do we derive from the knowledge that the Holy Ghost

will abide with the Church forever?

A. From the knowledge that the Holy Ghost will abide with the Church

forever we are made certain that the Church can never teach us

falsehood, and can never be destroyed by the enemies of Our Faith.

 

Q. 446. What visible power was given to the Apostles through the coming

of the Holy Ghost?

A. Through the coming of the Holy Ghost the Apostles received the "gift

of tongues," by which they could be understood in every language, though

they preached in only one.

 

Q. 447. Why did such wonderful gifts accompany Confirmation, or the

coming of the Holy Ghost, in the first ages of the Church?

A. Such wonderful gifts accompanied Confirmation in the first ages of

the Church to prove the power, truth and divine character of

Christianity to those who otherwise might not believe, and to draw the

attention of all to the establishment of the Christian Church.

 

Q. 448. Why are these signs not continued everywhere at the present

time?

A. These signs are not continued everywhere at the present time, because

now that the Church is fully established and its divine character and

power proved in other ways, such signs are no longer necessary.

 

Q. 449. Were such powers as the "gift of tongues" a part of the

Sacrament of Confirmation?

A. Such powers as the "gift of tongues" were not a part of the Sacrament

of Confirmation, but they were added to it by the Holy Ghost when

necessary for the good of the Church.

 

LESSON TENTH.

ON THE EFFECTS OF THE REDEMPTION.

 

Q. 450. What is an effect?

A. An effect is that which is caused by something else, as smoke, for

example, is an effect of fire.

 

Q. 451. What does redemption mean?

A. Redemption means the buying back of a thing that was given away or

sold.

 

Q. 452. What did Adam give away by his sin, and what did Our Lord buy

back for him and us?

A. By his sin Adam gave away all right to God's promised gifts of grace

in this world and of glory in the next, and Our Lord bought back the

right that Adam threw away.

 

Q. 453. {102} Which are the chief effects of the Redemption?

A. The chief effects of the Redemption are two: The satisfaction of

God's justice by Christ's sufferings and death, and the gaining of grace

for men.

 

Q. 454. Why do we say "chief effects"?

A. We say "chief effects" to show that these are the most important but

not the only effects of the Redemption--for all the benefits of our holy

religion and of its influence upon the world are the effects of the

redemption.

 

Q. 455. Why did God's justice require satisfaction?

A. God's justice required satisfaction because it is infinite and

demands reparation for every fault. Man in his state of sin could not

make the necessary reparation, so Christ became man and made it for him.

 

Q. 456. {103} What do you mean by grace?

A. By grace I mean a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us, through

the merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation.

 

Q. 457. What does "supernatural" mean?

A. Supernatural means above or greater than nature. All gifts such as

health, learning or the comforts of life, that affect our happiness

chiefly in this world, are called natural gifts, and all gifts such as

blessings that affect our happiness chiefly in the next world are called

supernatural or spiritual gifts.

 

Q. 458. What do you mean by "merit"?

A. Merit means the quality of deserving well or ill for our actions. In

the question above it means a right to reward for good deeds done.

 

Q. 459. {104} How many kinds of grace are there?

A. There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying grace and actual grace.

 

Q. 460. What is the difference between sanctifying grace and actual

grace?

A. Sanctifying grace remains with us as long as we are not guilty of

mortal sin; and hence, it is often called habitual grace; but actual

grace comes to us only when we need its help in doing or avoiding an

action, and it remains with us only while we are doing or avoiding the

action.

 

Q. 461. {105} What is sanctifying grace?

A. Sanctifying grace is that grace which makes the soul holy and

pleasing to God.

 

Q. 462. {106} What do you call those graces or gifts of God by which we

believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him?

A. Those graces or gifts of God by which we believe in Him, and hope in

Him, and love Him, are called the Divine virtues of Faith, Hope, and

Charity.

 

Q. 463. What do you mean by virtue and vice?

A. Virtue is the habit of doing good, and vice is the habit of doing

evil. An act, good or bad, does not form a habit; and hence, a virtue or

a vice is the result of repeated acts of the same kind.

 

Q. 464. Does habit excuse us from the sins committed through it?

A. Habit does not excuse us from the sins committed through it, but

rather makes us more guilty by showing how often we must have committed

the sin to acquire the habit. If, however, we are seriously trying to

overcome a bad habit, and through forgetfulness yield to it, the habit

may sometimes excuse us from the sin.

 

Q. 465. {107} What is Faith?

A. Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which

God has revealed.

 

Q. 466. {108} What is Hope?

A. Hope is a Divine virtue by which we firmly trust that God will give

us eternal life and the means to obtain it.

 

Q. 467. {109} What is Charity?

A. Charity is a Divine virtue by which we love God above all things for

His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

 

Q. 468. Why are Faith, Hope and Charity called virtues?

A. Faith, Hope and Charity are called virtues because they are not mere

acts, but habits by which we always and in all things believe God, hope

in Him, and love Him.

 

Q. 469. What kind of virtues are Faith, Hope and Charity?

A. Faith, Hope and Charity are called infused theological virtues to

distinguish them from the four moral virtues--Prudence, Justice,

Fortitude and Temperance.

 

Q. 470. Why do we say the three theological virtues are infused and the

four moral virtues acquired?

A. We say the three theological virtues are infused; that is, poured

into our souls, because they are strictly gifts of God and do not depend

upon our efforts to obtain them, while the four moral virtues--Prudence,

Justice, Fortitude and Temperance--though also gifts of God, may, as

natural virtues, be acquired by our own efforts.

 

Q. 471. Why do we believe God, hope in Him, and love Him?

A. We believe God and hope in Him because He is infinitely true and

cannot deceive us. We love Him because He is infinitely good and

beautiful and worthy of all love.

 

Q. 472. What mortal sins are opposed to Faith?

A. Atheism, which is a denial of all revealed truths, and heresy, which

is a denial of some revealed truths, and superstition, which is a misuse

of religion, are opposed to Faith.

 

Q. 473. Who is our neighbor?

A. Every human being capable of salvation of every age, country, race or

condition, especially if he needs our help, is our neighbor in the sense

of the Catechism.

 

Q. 474. Why should we love our neighbor?

A. We should love our neighbor because he is a child of God, redeemed by

Jesus Christ, and because he is our brother created to dwell in heaven

with us.

 

Q. 475. {110} What is actual grace?

A. Actual grace is that help of God which enlightens our mind and moves

our will to shun evil and do good.

 

Q. 476. {111} Is grace necessary to salvation?

A. Grace is necessary to salvation, because without grace we can do

nothing to merit heaven.

 

Q. 477. {112} Can we resist the grace of God?

A. We can, and unfortunately often do, resist the grace of God.

 

Q. 478. Is it a sin knowingly to resist the grace of God?

A. It is a sin, knowingly, to resist the grace of God, because we

thereby insult Him and reject His gifts without which we cannot be

saved.

 

Q. 479. Does God give His grace to every one?

A. God gives to everyone He creates sufficient grace to save his soul;

and if persons do not save their souls, it is because they have not used

the grace given.

 

Q. 480. {113} What is the grace of perseverance?

A. The grace of perseverance is a particular gift of God which enables

us to continue in the state of grace till death.

 

Q. 481. Can we merit the grace of final perseverance or know when we

possess it?

A. We cannot merit the grace of final perseverance, or know when we

possess it, because it depends entirely upon God's mercy and not upon

our actions. To imagine we possess it would lead us into the sin of

presumption.

 

Q. 482. Can a person merit any supernatural reward for good deeds

performed while he is in mortal sin?

A. A person cannot merit any supernatural reward for good deeds

performed while he is in mortal sin; nevertheless, God rewards such good

deeds by giving the grace of repentance; and, therefore, all persons,

even those in mortal sin, should ever strive to do good.

 

Q. 483. Does God reward anything but our good works?

A. God rewards our good intention and desire to serve Him, even when our

works are not successful. We should make this good intention often

during the day, and especially in the morning.

 

LESSON ELEVENTH.

ON THE CHURCH.

 

Q. 484. How was the true religion preserved from Adam till the coming of

Christ?

A. The true religion was preserved from Adam till the coming of Christ

by the patriarchs, prophets and other holy men whom God appointed and

inspired to teach His Will and Revelations to the people, and to remind

them of the promised Redeemer.

 

Q. 485. Who were the prophets, and what was their chief duty?

A. The prophets were men to whom God gave a knowledge of future events

connected with religion, that they might foretell them to His people and

thus give proof that the message came from God. Their chief duty was to

foretell the time, place and circumstances of Our Saviour's coming into

the world, that men might know when and where to look for Him, and might

recognize Him when He came.

 

Q. 486. How could they be saved who lived before Christ became man?

A. They who lived before Christ became man could be saved by belief in

the Redeemer to come and by keeping the Commandments of God.

 

Q. 487. Was the true religion universal before the coming of Christ?

A. The true religion was not universal before the coming of Christ. It

was confined to one people--the descendants of Abraham. All other

nations worshipped false gods.

 

Q. 488. {114} Which are the means instituted by Our Lord to enable men

at all times to share in the fruits of the Redemption?

A. The means instituted by Our Lord to enable men at all times to share

in the fruits of His Redemption are the Church and the Sacraments.

 

Q. 489. {115} What is the Church?

A. The Church is the congregation of all those who profess the faith of

Christ, partake of the same Sacraments, and are governed by their lawful

pastors under one visible Head.

 

Q. 490. How may the members of the Church on earth be divided?

A. The members of the Church on earth may be divided into those who

teach and those who are taught. Those who teach, namely, the Pope,

bishops and priests, are called the Teaching Church, or simply the

Church. Those who are taught are called the Believing Church, or simply

the faithful.

 

Q. 491. What is the duty of the Teaching Church?

A. The duty of the Teaching Church is to continue the work Our Lord

began upon earth, namely, to teach revealed truth, to administer the

Sacraments and to labor for the salvation of souls.

 

Q. 492. What is the duty of the faithful?

A. The duty of the faithful is to learn the revealed truths taught; to

receive the Sacraments, and to aid in saving souls by their prayers,

good works and alms.

 

Q. 493. What do you mean by "profess the faith of Christ"?

A. By "profess the faith of Christ" we mean, believe all the truths and

practice the religion He has taught.

 

Q. 494. What do we mean by "lawful pastors"?

A. By "lawful pastors" we mean those in the Church who have been

appointed by lawful authority and who have, therefore, a right to rule

us. The lawful pastors in the Church are: Every priest in his own

parish; every bishop in his own diocese, and the Pope in the whole

Church.

 

Q. 495. {116} Who is the invisible Head of the Church?

A. Jesus Christ is the invisible Head of the Church.

 

Q. 496. {117} Who is the visible Head of the Church?

A. Our Holy Father the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the Vicar of Christ

on earth and the visible Head of the Church.

 

Q. 497. What does "vicar" mean?

A. Vicar is a name used in the Church to designate a person who acts in

the name and authority of another. Thus a Vicar Apostolic is one who

acts in the name of the Pope, and a Vicar General is one who acts in the

name of the bishop.

 

Q. 498. Could any one be Pope without being Bishop of Rome?

A. One could not be Pope without being Bishop of Rome, and whoever is

elected Pope must give up his title to any other diocese and take the

title of Bishop of Rome.

 

Q. 499. {118} Why is the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the visible Head of

the Church?

A. The Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the visible Head of the Church

because he is the successor of St. Peter, whom Christ made the chief of

the Apostles and the visible Head of the Church.

 

Q. 500. Why are Catholics called "Roman"?

A. Catholics are called Roman to show that they are in union with the

true Church founded by Christ and governed by the Apostles under the

direction of St. Peter, by divine appointment the Chief of the Apostles,

who founded the Church of Rome and was its first bishop.

 

Q. 501. By what name is a bishop's diocese sometimes called?

A. A bishop's diocese is sometimes called his see. The diocese of Rome,

on account of its authority and dignity, is called the Holy See, and its

bishop is called the Holy Father or Pope. Pope means father.

 

Q. 502. What do we call the right by which St. Peter or his successor

has always been the head of the Church and of all its bishops?

A. We call the right by which St. Peter or his successor has always been

the head of the Church, and of all its bishops, the Primacy of St. Peter

or of the Pope. Primacy means holding first place.

 

Q. 503. How is it shown that St. Peter or his successor has always been

the head of the Church?

A. It is shown that St. Peter or his successor has always been the head

of the Church: (1) From the words of Holy Scripture, which tell how

Christ appointed Peter Chief of the Apostles and head of the Church. (2)

From the history of the Church, which shows that Peter and his

successors have always acted and have always been recognized as the head

of the Church.

 

Q. 504. How do we know that the rights and privileges bestowed on St.

Peter were given also to his successors--the Popes?

A. We know that the rights and privileges bestowed on St. Peter were

given also to his successors, the Popes, because the promises made to

St. Peter by Our Lord were to be fulfilled in the Church till the end of

time, and as Peter was not to live till the end of time, they are

fulfilled in his successors.

 

Q. 505. Did St. Peter establish any Church before he came to Rome?

A. Before he came to Rome, St. Peter established a Church at Antioch and

ruled over it for several years.

 

Q. 506. {119} Who are the successors of the other Apostles?

A. The successors of the other Apostles are the Bishops of the Holy

Catholic Church.

 

Q. 507. How do we know that the bishops of the Church are the successors

of the Apostles?

A. We know that the bishops of the Church are the successors of the

Apostles because they continue the work of the Apostles and give proof

of the same authority. They have always exercised the rights and powers

that belonged to the Apostles in making laws for the Church, in

consecrating bishops and ordaining priests.

 

Q. 508. {120} Why did Christ found the Church?

A. Christ founded the Church to teach, govern, sanctify, and save all

men.

 

Q. 509. {121} Are all bound to belong to the Church?

A. All are bound to belong to the Church, and he who knows the Church to

be the true Church and remains out of it cannot be saved.

 

Q. 510. Is it ever possible for one to be saved who does not know the

Catholic Church to be the true Church?

A. It is possible for one to be saved who does not know the Catholic

Church to be the true Church, provided that person: (1) has been validly

baptized; (2) firmly believes the religion he professes and practices to

be the true religion, and (3) dies without the guilt of mortal sin on

his soul.

 

Q. 511. Why do we say it is only possible for a person to be saved who

does not know the Catholic Church to be the true Church?

A. We say it is only possible for a person to be saved who does not know

the Catholic Church to be the true Church, because the necessary

conditions are not often found, especially that of dying in a state of

grace without making use of the Sacrament of Penance.

 

Q. 512. How are such persons said to belong to the Church?

A. Such persons are said to belong to the "soul of the church"; that is,

they are really members of the Church without knowing it. Those who

share in its Sacraments and worship are said to belong to the body or

visible part of the Church.

 

Q. 513. Why must the true Church be visible?

A. The true Church must be visible because its founder, Jesus Christ,

commanded us under pain of condemnation to hear the Church; and He could

not in justice command us to hear a Church that could not be seen and

known.

 

Q. 514. What excuses do some give for not becoming members of the true

Church?

A. The excuses some give for not becoming members of the true church

are: (1) They do not wish to leave the religion in which they were born;

(2) There are too many poor and ignorant people in the Catholic Church;

(3) One religion is as good as another if we try to serve God in it, and

be upright and honest in our lives.

 

Q. 515. How do you answer such excuses?

A. (1) To say that we should remain in a false religion because we were

born in it is as untrue as to say we should not heal our bodily diseases

because we were born with them; (2) To say there are too many poor and

ignorant in the Catholic Church is to declare that it is Christ's

Church; for He always taught the poor and ignorant and instructed His

Church to continue the work; (3) To say that one religion is as good as

another is to assert that Christ labored uselessly and taught falsely;

for He came to abolish the old religion and found the new in which alone

we can be saved as He Himself declared.

 

Q. 516. Why can there be only one true religion?

A. There can be only one true religion, because a thing cannot be false

and true at the same time, and, therefore, all religions that contradict

the teaching of the true Church must teach falsehood. If all religions

in which men seek to serve God are equally good and true, why did Christ

disturb the Jewish religion and the Apostles condemn heretics?

 

LESSON TWELFTH.

ON THE ATTRIBUTES AND MARKS OF THE CHURCH.

 

Q. 517. What is an attribute?

A. An attribute is any characteristic or quality that a person or thing

may be said to have. All perfections or imperfections are attributes.

 

Q. 518. What is a mark?

A. A mark is a given and known sign by which a thing can be

distinguished from all others of its kind. Thus a trademark is used to

distinguish the article bearing it from all imitations of the same

article.

 

Q. 519. How do we know that the Church must have the four marks and

three attributes usually ascribed or given to it?

A. We know that the Church must have the four marks and three attributes

usually ascribed or given to it from the words of Christ given in the

Holy Scripture and in the teaching of the Church from its beginning.

 

Q. 520. Can the Church have the four marks without the three attributes?

A. The Church cannot have the four marks without the three attributes,

because the three attributes necessarily come with the marks and without

them the marks could not exist.

 

Q. 521. Why are both marks and attributes necessary in the Church?

A. Both marks and attributes are necessary in the Church, for the marks

teach us its external or visible qualities, while the attributes teach

us its internal or invisible qualities. It is easier to discover the

marks than the attributes; for it is easier to see that the Church is

one than that it is infallible.

 

Q. 522. {122} Which are the attributes of the Church?

A. The attributes of the Church are three: authority, infallibility, and

indefectibility.

 

Q. 523. What is authority?

A. Authority is the power which one person has over another so as to be

able to justly exact obedience. Rulers have authority over their

subjects, parents over their children, and teachers over their scholars.

 

Q. 524. From whom must all persons derive whatever lawful authority they

possess?

A. All persons must derive whatever lawful authority they possess from

God Himself, from whom they receive it directly or indirectly.

Therefore, to disobey our lawful superiors is to disobey God Himself,

and hence such disobedience is always sinful.

 

Q. 525. {123} What do you mean by the authority of the Church?

A. By the authority of the Church I mean the right and power which the

Pope and the Bishops, as the successors of the Apostles, have to teach

and to govern the faithful.

 

Q. 526. {124} What do you mean by the infallibility of the Church?

A. By the infallibility of the Church I mean that the Church can not err

when it teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.

 

Q. 527. What do we mean by a "doctrine of faith or morals"?

A. By a doctrine of faith or morals we mean the revealed teaching that

refers to whatever we must believe and do in order to be saved.

 

Q. 528. How do you know that the Church can not err?

A. I know that the Church can not err because Christ promised that the

Holy Ghost would remain with it forever and save it from error. If,

therefore, the Church has erred, the Holy Ghost must have abandoned it

and Christ has failed to keep His promise, which is a thing impossible.

 

Q. 529. Since the Church can not err, could it ever be reformed in its

teaching of faith or morals?

A. Since the Church can not err, it could never be reformed in its

teaching of faith or morals. Those who say the Church needed reformation

in faith or morals accuse Our Lord of falsehood and deception.

 

Q. 530. {125} When does the Church teach infallibly?

A. The Church teaches infallibly when it speaks through the Pope and

Bishops united in general council, or through the Pope alone when he

proclaims to all the faithful a doctrine of faith or morals.

 

Q. 531. What is necessary that the Pope may speak infallibly or

ex-cathedra?

A. That the Pope may speak infallibly, or ex-cathedra, (1) He must speak

on a subject of faith or morals; (2) He must speak as the Vicar of

Christ and to the whole Church; (3) He must indicate by certain words,

such as, we define, we proclaim, &c., that he intends to speak

infallibly.

 

Q. 532. Is the Pope infallible in everything he says and does?

A. The Pope is not infallible in everything he says and does, because

the Holy Ghost was not promised to make him infallible in everything,

but only in matters of faith and morals for the whole Church.

Nevertheless, the Pope's opinion on any subject deserves our greatest

respect on account of his learning, experience and dignity.

 

Q. 533. Can the Pope commit sin?

A. The Pope can commit sin and he must seek forgiveness in the Sacrament

of Penance as others do. Infallibility does not prevent him from

sinning, but from teaching falsehood when he speaks ex-cathedra.

 

Q. 534. What does ex-cathedra mean?

A. "Cathedra" means a seat, and "ex" means out of. Therefore,

ex-cathedra means speaking from the seat or official place held by St.

Peter and his successors as the head of the whole Church.

 

Q. 535. Why is the chief Church in a diocese called a Cathedral?

A. The chief Church in a diocese is called a Cathedral because the

bishop's cathedra, that is, his seat or throne, is erected in it, and

because he celebrates all important feasts and performs all his special

duties in it.

 

Q. 536. How many Popes have governed the Church from St. Peter to

Pius XI.?

A. From St. Peter to Pius XI., 261 Popes have governed the Church; and

many of them have been remarkable for their zeal, prudence, learning and

sanctity.

 

Q. 537. What does anti-pope mean, and who were the anti-popes?

A. Anti-pope means a pretended pope. The anti-popes were men who by the

aid of faithless Christians or others unlawfully seized and claimed the

papal power while the lawful pope was in prison or exile.

 

Q. 538. Why must the Pope sometimes warn us on political and other

matters?

A. The Pope must sometimes warn us on political and other matters,

because whatever nations or men do is either good or bad, just or

unjust, and wherever the Pope discovers falsehood, wickedness or

injustice he must speak against it and defend the truths of faith and

morals. He must protect also the temporal rights and property of the

Church committed to his care.

 

Q. 539. What do we mean by the "temporal power" of the Pope?

A. By the temporal power of the Pope we mean the right which the Pope

has as a temporal or ordinary ruler to govern the states and manage the

properties that have rightfully come into the possession of the Church.

 

Q. 540. How did the Pope acquire and how was he deprived of the temporal

power?

A. The Pope acquired the temporal power in a just manner by the consent

of those who had a right to bestow it. He was deprived of it in an

unjust manner by political changes.

 

Q. 541. How was the temporal power useful to the Church?

A. The temporal power was useful to the Church (1) because it gave the

Pope the complete independence necessary for the government of the

Church and for the defense of truth and virtue. (2) It enabled him to do

much for the spread of the true religion by giving alms for the

establishment and support of Churches and schools in poor or pagan

countries.

 

Q. 542. What name do we give to the offerings made yearly by the

faithful for the support of the Pope and the government of the Church?

A. We call the offerings made yearly by the faithful for the support of

the Pope and government of the Church "Peter's pence." It derives its

name from the early custom of sending yearly a penny from every house to

the successor of St. Peter, as a mark of respect or as an alms for some

charity.

 

Q. 543. {126} What do you mean by the indefectibility of the Church?

A. By the indefectibility of the Church I mean that the Church, as

Christ founded it, will last till the end of time.

 

Q. 544. What is the difference between the infallibility and

indefectibility of the Church?

A. When we say the Church is infallible we mean that it can never teach

error while it lasts; but when we say the Church is indefectible, we

mean that it will last forever and be infallible forever; that it will

always remain as Our Lord founded it and never change the doctrines He

taught.

 

Q. 545. Did Our Lord Himself make all the laws of the Church?

A. Our Lord Himself did not make all the laws of the Church. He gave the

Church also power to make laws to suit the needs of the times, places or

persons as it judged necessary.

 

Q. 546. Can the Church change its laws?

A. The Church can, when necessary, change the laws it has itself made,

but it cannot change the laws that Christ has made. Neither can the

Church change any doctrine of faith or morals.

 

Q. 547. {127} In whom are these attributes found in their fullness?

A. These attributes are found in their fullness in the Pope, the visible

Head of the Church, whose infallible authority to teach bishops,

priests, and people in matters of faith or morals will last to the end

of the world.

 

Q. 548. {128} Has the Church any marks by which it may be known?

A. The Church has four marks by which it may be known: it is One; it is

Holy; it is Catholic; it is Apostolic.

 

Q. 549. {129} How is the Church One?

A. The Church is One because all its members agree in one faith, are all

in one communion, and are all under one head.

 

Q. 550. How is it evident that the Church is one in government?

A. It is evident that the Church is one in government, for the faithful

in a parish are subject to their pastors, the pastors are subject to the

bishops of their dioceses, and the bishops of the world are subject to

the Pope.

 

Q. 551. What is meant by the Hierarchy of the Church?

A. By the Hierarchy of the Church is meant the sacred body of clerical

rules who govern the Church.

 

Q. 552. How is it evident that the Church is one in worship?

A. It is evident that the Church is one in worship because all its

members make use of the same sacrifice and receive the same Sacraments.

 

Q. 553. How is it evident that the Church is one in faith?

A. It is evident the Church is one in faith because all Catholics

throughout the world believe each and every article of faith proposed by

the Church.

 

Q. 554. Could a person who denies only one article of our faith be a

Catholic?

A. A person who denies even one article of our faith could not be a

Catholic; for truth is one and we must accept it whole and entire or not

at all.

 

Q. 555. Are there any pious beliefs and practices in the Church that are

not articles of faith?

A. There are many pious beliefs and practices in the Church that are not

articles of faith; that is, we are not bound under pain of sin to

believe in them; yet we will often find them useful aids to holiness,

and hence they are recommended by our pastors.

 

Q. 556. Of what sin are persons guilty who put firm belief in religious

or other practices that are either forbidden or useless?

A. Persons who put a firm belief in religious or other practices that

are forbidden or useless are guilty of the sin of superstition.

 

Q. 557. Where does the Church find the revealed truths it is bound to

teach?

A. The Church finds the revealed truths it is bound to teach in the Holy

Scripture and revealed traditions.

 

Q. 558. What is the Holy Scripture or Bible?

A. The Holy Scripture or Bible is the collection of sacred, inspired

writings through which God has made known to us many revealed truths.

Some call them letters from Heaven to earth, that is, from God to man.

 

Q. 559. What is meant by the Canon of the Sacred Scriptures?

A. The Canon of Sacred Scriptures means the list the Church has prepared

to teach us what sacred writings are Holy Scripture and contain the

inspired word of God.

 

Q. 560. Where does the Church find the revealed traditions?

A. The Church finds the revealed traditions in the decrees of its

councils; in its books of worship; in its paintings and inscriptions on

tombs and monuments; in the lives of its Saints; the writings of its

Fathers, and in its own history.

 

Q. 561. Must we ourselves seek in the Scriptures and traditions for what

we are to believe?

A. We ourselves need not seek in the Scriptures and traditions for what

we are to believe. God has appointed the Church to be our guide to

salvation and we must accept its teaching us our infallible rule of

faith.

 

Q. 562. How do we show that the Holy Scriptures alone could not be our

guide to salvation and infallible rule of faith?

A. We show that the Holy Scripture alone could not be our guide to

salvation and infallible rule of faith: (1) Because all men cannot

examine or understand the Holy Scripture; but all can listen to the

teaching of the Church; (2) Because the New Testament or Christian part

of the Scripture was not written at the beginning of the Church's

existence, and, therefore, could not have been used as the rule of faith

by the first Christians; (3) Because there are many things in the Holy

Scripture that cannot be understood without the explanation given by

tradition, and hence those who take the Scripture alone for their rule

of faith are constantly disputing about its meaning and what they are to

believe.

 

Q. 563. {130} How is the Church Holy?

A. The Church is Holy because its founder, Jesus Christ, is holy;

because it teaches a holy doctrine; invites all to a holy life; and

because of the eminent holiness of so many thousands of its children.

 

Q. 564. {131} How is the Church Catholic or universal?

A. The Church is Catholic or universal because it subsists in all ages,

teaches all nations, and maintains all truth.

 

Q. 565. How do you show that the Catholic Church is universal in time,

in place, and in doctrine?

A. (1) The Catholic Church is universal in time, for from the time of

the Apostles to the present it has existed, taught and labored in every

age; (2) It is universal in place, for it has taught throughout the

whole world; (3) It is universal in doctrine, for it teaches the same

everywhere, and its doctrines are suited to all classes of persons. It

has converted all the pagan nations that have ever been converted.

 

Q. 566. Why does the Church use the Latin language instead of the

national language of its children?

A. The Church uses the Latin language instead of the national language

of its children: (1) To avoid the danger of changing any part of its

teaching in using different languages; (2) That all its rulers may be

perfectly united and understood in their communications; (3) To show

that the Church is not an institute of any particular nation, but the

guide of all nations.

 

Q. 567. {132} How is the Church Apostolic?

A. The Church is Apostolic because it was founded by Christ on His

Apostles, and is governed by their lawful successors, and because it has

never ceased, and never will cease, to teach their doctrine.

 

Q. 568. Does the Church, by defining certain truths, thereby make new

doctrines?

A. The Church, by defining, that is, by proclaiming certain truths,

articles of faith, does not make new doctrines, but simply teaches more

clearly and with greater effort truths that have always been believed

and held by the Church.

 

Q. 569. What, then, is the use of defining or declaring a truth an

article of faith if it has always been believed?

A. The use of defining or declaring a truth an article of faith, even

when it has always been believed, is: (1) To clearly contradict those

who deny it and show their teaching false; (2) To remove all doubt about

the exact teaching of the Church, and to put an end to all discussion

about the truth defined.

 

Q. 570. {133} In which Church are these attributes and marks found?

A. These attributes and marks are found in the Holy Roman Catholic

Church alone.

 

Q. 571. How do you show that Protestant Churches have not the marks of

the true Church?

A. Protestant Churches have not the marks of the true Church, because:

 

(1) They are not one either in government or faith; for they have no

chief head, and they profess different beliefs; (2) They are not holy,

because their doctrines are founded on error and lead to evil

consequences; (3) They are not catholic or universal in time, place or

doctrine. They have not existed in all ages nor in all places, and their

doctrines do not suit all classes; (4) They are not apostolic, for they

were not established for hundreds of years after the Apostles, and they

do not teach the doctrines of the Apostles.

 

Q. 572. {134} From whom does the Church derive its undying life and

infallible authority?

A. The Church derives its undying life and infallible authority from the

Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, who abides with it forever.

 

Q. 573. {135} By whom is the Church made and kept One, Holy, and

Catholic?

A. The Church is made and kept One, Holy, and Catholic by the Holy

Ghost, the spirit of love and holiness, who unites and sanctifies its

members throughout the world.

 

LESSON THIRTEENTH.

ON THE SACRAMENTS IN GENERAL.

 

Q. 574. {136} What is a Sacrament?

A. A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

 

Q. 575. Are these three things, namely: An outward or visible sign, the

institution of that sign by Christ, and the giving of grace through the

use of that sign, always necessary for the existence of a Sacrament?

A. These three things, namely: An outward or visible sign, the

institution of that sign by Christ, and the giving of grace through the

use of that sign, are always necessary for the existence of a Sacrament,

and if any of the three be wanting there can be no Sacrament.

 

Q. 576. Why does the Church use numerous ceremonies or actions in

applying the outward signs of the Sacraments?

A. The Church uses numerous ceremonies or actions in applying the

outward signs of the Sacraments to increase our reverence and devotion

for the Sacraments, and to explain their meaning and effects.

 

Q. 577. {137} How many Sacraments are there?

A. There are seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist,

Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

 

Q. 578. Were all the Sacraments instituted by Our Lord?

A. All the Sacraments were instituted by Our Lord, for God alone has

power to attach the gift of grace to the use of an outward or visible

sign. The Church, however, can institute the ceremonies to be used in

administering or giving the Sacraments.

 

Q. 579. How do we know there are seven Sacraments and no more or less?

A. We know there are seven Sacraments and no more or less because the

Church always taught that truth. The number of the Sacraments is a

matter of faith, and the Church cannot be mistaken in matters of faith.

 

Q. 580. Why have the Sacraments been instituted?

A. The Sacraments have been instituted as a special means through which

we are to receive the grace merited for us by Christ. As Christ is the

giver of the grace, He has the right to determine the manner in which it

shall be given, and one who refuses to make use of the Sacraments will

not receive God's grace.

 

Q. 581. Do the Sacraments recall in any way the means by which Our Lord

merited the graces we receive through them?

A. The Sacraments recall in many ways the means by which Our Lord

merited the graces we receive through them. Baptism recalls His profound

humility; Confirmation His ceaseless prayer; Holy Eucharist His care of

the needy; Penance His mortified life; Extreme Unction His model death;

Holy Orders His establishment of the priesthood, and Matrimony His close

union with the Church.

 

Q. 582. Give, for example, the outward sign in Baptism and Confirmation.

A. The outward sign in Baptism is the pouring of the water and the

saying of the words of Baptism. The outward sign in Confirmation is the

anointing with oil, the saying of the words of Confirmation and the

placing of the bishop's hands over the person he confirms.

 

Q. 583. What is the use of the outward signs in the Sacraments?

A. Without the outward signs in the Sacraments we could not know when or

with what effect the grace of the Sacraments enters into our souls.

 

Q. 584. Does the outward sign merely indicate that grace has been given,

or does the use of the outward sign with the proper intention also give

the grace of the Sacrament?

A. The outward sign is not used merely to indicate that grace has been

given, for the use of the outward sign with the proper intention also

gives the grace of the Sacrament. Hence the right application of the

outward sign is always followed by the gift of internal grace if the

Sacrament be administered with the right intention and received with the

right dispositions.

 

Q. 585. What do we mean by the "right intention" for the administration

of the Sacraments?

A. By the right intention for the administration of the Sacraments we

mean that whoever administers a Sacrament must have the intention of

doing what Christ intended when He instituted the Sacrament and what the

Church intends when it administers the Sacrament.

 

Q. 586. Is there any likeness between the thing used in the outward sign

and the grace given in each Sacrament?

A. There is a great likeness between the thing used in the outward sign

and the grace given in each Sacrament; thus water is used for cleansing;

Baptism cleanses the soul; Oil gives strength and light; Confirmation

strengthens and enlightens the soul; Bread and wine nourish; the Holy

Eucharist nourishes the soul.

 

Q. 587. What do we mean by the "matter and form" of the Sacraments?

A. By the "matter" of the Sacraments we mean the visible things, such as

water, oil, bread, wine, &c., used for the Sacraments. By the "form" we

mean the words, such as "I baptize thee," "I confirm thee," &c., used in

giving or administering the Sacraments.

 

Q. 588. Do the needs of the soul resemble the needs of the body?

A. The needs of the soul do resemble the needs of the body; for the body

must be born, strengthened, nourished, healed in affliction, helped at

the hour of death, guided by authority, and given a place in which to

dwell. The soul is brought into spiritual life by Baptism; it is

strengthened by Confirmation; nourished by the Holy Eucharist; healed by

Penance; helped at the hour of our death by Extreme Unction; guided by

God's ministers through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and it is given a

body in which to dwell by the Sacrament of Matrimony.

 

Q. 589. {138} Whence have the Sacraments the power of giving grace?

A. The Sacraments have the power of giving grace from the merits of

Jesus Christ.

 

Q. 590. Does the effect of the Sacraments depend on the worthiness or

unworthiness of the one who administers them?

A. The effect of the Sacraments does not depend on the worthiness or

unworthiness of the one who administers them, but on the merits of Jesus

Christ, who instituted them, and on the worthy dispositions of those who

receive them.

 

Q. 591. {139} What grace do the Sacraments give?

A. Some of the Sacraments give sanctifying grace, and others increase it

in our souls.

 

Q. 592. When is a Sacrament said to give, and when is it said to

increase, grace in our souls?

A. A Sacrament is said to give grace when there is no grace whatever in

the soul, or in other words, when the soul is in mortal sin. A Sacrament

is said to increase grace when there is already grace in the soul, to

which more is added by the Sacrament received.

 

Q. 593. {140} Which are the Sacraments that give sanctifying grace?

A. The Sacraments that give sanctifying grace are Baptism and Penance;

and they are called Sacraments of the dead.

 

Q. 594. {141} Why are Baptism and Penance called Sacraments of the dead?

A. Baptism and Penance are called Sacraments of the dead because they

take away sin, which is the death of the soul, and give grace, which is

its life.

 

Q. 595. May not the Sacrament of Penance be received by one who is in a

state of grace?

A. The Sacrament of Penance may be and very often is received by one who

is in a state of grace, and when thus received it increases--as the

Sacraments of the living do--the grace already in the soul.

 

Q. 596. {142} Which are the Sacraments that increase sanctifying grace

in our soul?

A. The Sacraments that increase sanctifying grace in our souls are:

Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and

Matrimony; and they are called Sacraments of the living.

 

Q. 597. What do we mean by Sacraments of the dead and Sacraments of the

living?

A. By the Sacraments of the dead we mean those Sacraments that may be

lawfully received while the soul is in a state of mortal sin. By the

Sacraments of the living we mean those Sacraments that can be lawfully

received only while the soul is in a state of grace--i.e., free from

mortal sin. Living and dead do not refer here to the persons, but to the

condition of the souls; for none of the Sacraments can be given to a

dead person.

 

Q. 598. {143} Why are Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction,

Holy Orders, and Matrimony called Sacraments of the living?

A. Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and

Matrimony are called Sacraments of the living because those who receive

them worthily are already living the life of grace.

 

Q. 599. {144} What sin does he commit who receives the Sacraments of the

living in mortal sin?

A. He who receives the Sacraments of the living in mortal sin commits a

sacrilege, which is a great sin, because it is an abuse of a sacred

thing.

 

Q. 600. In what other ways besides the unworthy reception of the

Sacraments may persons commit sacrilege?

A. Besides the unworthy reception of the Sacraments, persons may commit

sacrilege by the abuse of a sacred person, place or thing; for example,

by wilfully wounding a person consecrated to God; by robbing or

destroying a Church; by using the sacred vessels of the Altar for

unlawful purposes, &c.

 

Q. 601. {145} Besides sanctifying grace do the Sacraments give any other

grace?

A. Besides sanctifying grace the Sacraments give another grace, called

sacramental grace.

 

Q. 602. {146} What is sacramental grace?

A. Sacramental grace is a special help which God gives, to attain the

end for which He instituted each Sacrament.

 

Q. 603. Is the Sacramental grace independent of the sanctifying grace

given in the Sacraments?

A. The Sacramental grace is not independent of the sanctifying grace

given in the Sacraments; for it is the sanctifying grace that gives us a

certain right to special helps--called Sacramental grace--in each

Sacrament, as often as we have to fulfill the end of the Sacrament or

are tempted against it.

 

Q. 604. Give an example of how the Sacramental grace aids us, for

instance, in Confirmation and Penance.

A. The end of Confirmation is to strengthen us in our faith. When we are

tempted to deny our religion by word or deed, the Sacramental Grace of

Confirmation is given to us and helps us to cling to our faith and

firmly profess it. The end of Penance is to destroy actual sin. When we

are tempted to sin, the Sacramental Grace of Penance is given to us and

helps us to overcome the temptation and persevere in a state of grace.

The sacramental grace in each of the other Sacraments is given in the

same manner, and aids us in attaining the end for which each Sacrament

was instituted and for which we receive it.

 

Q. 605. {147} Do the Sacraments always give grace?

A. The Sacraments always give grace, if we receive them with the right

dispositions.

 

Q. 606. What do we mean by the "right dispositions" for the reception of

the Sacraments?

A. By the right dispositions for the reception of the Sacraments we mean

the proper motives and the fulfillment of all the conditions required by

God and the Church for the worthy reception of the Sacraments.

 

Q. 607. Give an example of the "right dispositions" for Penance and for

the Holy Eucharist.

A. The right dispositions for Penance are: (1) To confess all our mortal

sins as we know them; (2) To be sorry for them, and (3) To have the

determination never to commit them or others again. The right

dispositions for the Holy Eucharist are: (1) To know what the Holy

Eucharist is; (2) To be in a state of grace, and (3)--except in special

cases of sickness--to be fasting from midnight.

 

Q. 608. {148} Can we receive the Sacraments more than once?

A. We can receive the Sacraments more than once, except Baptism,

Confirmation, and Holy Orders.

 

Q. 609. {149} Why can we not receive Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy

Orders more than once?

A. We cannot receive Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders more than

once, because they imprint a character in the soul.

 

Q. 610. {150} What is the character which these Sacraments imprint in

the soul?

A. The character which these Sacraments imprint in the soul is a

spiritual mark which remains forever.

 

Q. 611. {151} Does this character remain in the soul even after death?

A. This character remains in the soul even after death; for the honor

and glory of those who are saved; for the shame and punishment of those

who are lost.

 

Q. 612. Can the Sacraments be given conditionally?

A. The Sacraments can be given conditionally as often as we doubt

whether they were properly given before, or whether they can be validly

given now.

 

Q. 613. What do we mean by giving a Sacrament conditionally?

A. By giving a Sacrament conditionally we mean that the person

administering the Sacrament intends to give it only in case it has not

been given already or in case the person has the right dispositions for

receiving it, though the dispositions cannot be discovered.

 

Q. 614. Give an example of how a Sacrament is given conditionally.

A. In giving Baptism, for instance, conditionally--or what we call

conditional Baptism--the priest, instead of saying absolutely, as he

does in ordinary Baptism: "I baptize thee," &c., says: "If you are not

already baptized, or if you are capable of being baptized, I baptize

thee," &c., thus stating the sole condition on which he intends to

administer the Sacrament.

 

Q. 615. Which of the Sacraments are most frequently given conditionally?

A. The Sacraments most frequently given conditionally are Baptism,

Penance and Extreme Unction; because in some cases it is difficult to

ascertain whether these Sacraments have been given before or whether

they have been validly given, or whether the person about to receive

them has the right dispositions for them.

 

Q. 616. Name some of the more common circumstances in which a priest is

obliged to administer the Sacraments conditionally.

A. Some of the more common circumstances in which a priest is obliged to

administer the Sacraments conditionally are: (1) When he receives

converts into the Church and is not certain of their previous baptism,

he must baptize them conditionally. (2) When he is called--as in cases

of accident or sudden illness--and doubts whether the person be alive or

dead, or whether he should be given the Sacraments, he must give

absolution and administer Extreme Unction conditionally.

 

Q. 617. What is the use and effect of giving the Sacraments

conditionally?

A. The use of giving the Sacraments conditionally is that there may be

no irreverence to the Sacraments in giving them to persons incapable or

unworthy of receiving them; and yet that no one who is capable or worthy

may be deprived of them. The effect is to supply the Sacrament where it

is needed or can be given, and to withhold it where it is not needed or

cannot be given.

 

Q. 618. What is the difference between the powers of a bishop and of a

priest with regard to the administration of the Sacraments?

A. The difference between the powers of a bishop and of a priest with

regard to the administration of the Sacraments is that a bishop can give

all the Sacraments, while a priest cannot give Confirmation or Holy

Orders.

 

Q. 619. Can a person receive all the Sacraments?

A. A person cannot, as a rule, receive all the Sacraments; for a woman

cannot receive Holy Orders, and a man who receives priesthood is

forbidden to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony.

 

LESSON FOURTEENTH.

ON BAPTISM.

 

Q. 620. When was baptism instituted?

A. Baptism was instituted, very probably, about the time Our Lord was

baptized by St. John, and its reception was commanded when after His

resurrection Our Lord said to His Apostles: "All power is given to Me in

heaven and in earth. Going, therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

 

Q. 621. {152} What is Baptism?

A. Baptism is a Sacrament which cleanses us from original sin, makes us

Christians, children of God, and heirs of heaven.

 

Q. 622. What were persons called in the first ages of the Church who

were being instructed and prepared for baptism?

A. Persons who were being instructed and prepared for baptism, in the

first ages of the Church, were called catechumens, and they are

frequently mentioned in Church history.

 

Q. 623. What persons are called heirs?

A. All persons who inherit or come lawfully into the possession of

property or goods at the death of another, are called heirs.

 

Q. 624. Why, then, are we the heirs of Christ?

A. We are the heirs of Christ because at His death we came into the

possession of God's friendship, of grace, and of the right to enter

heaven, provided we comply with the conditions Our Lord has laid down

for the gaining of this inheritance.

 

Q. 625. What conditions has Our Lord laid down for the gaining of this

inheritance?

A. The conditions Our Lord has laid down for the gaining of this

inheritance are: (1) That we receive, when possible, the Sacraments He

has instituted; and (2) That we believe and practice all He has taught.

 

Q. 626. Did not St. John the Baptist institute the Sacrament of Baptism?

A. St. John the Baptist did not institute the Sacrament of Baptism, for

Christ alone could institute a Sacrament. The baptism given by St. John

had the effect of a Sacramental; that is, it did not of itself give

grace, but prepared the way for it.

 

Q. 627. {153} Are actual sins ever remitted by Baptism?

A. Actual sins and all the punishment due to them are remitted by

Baptism, if the person baptized be guilty of any.

 

Q. 628. That actual sins may be remitted by baptism, is it necessary to

be sorry for them?

A. That actual sins may be remitted by baptism it is necessary to be

sorry for them, just as we must be when they are remitted by the

Sacrament of Penance.

 

Q. 629. What punishments are due to actual sins?

A. Two punishments are due to actual sins: one, called the eternal, is

inflicted in hell; and the other, called the temporal, is inflicted in

this world or in purgatory. The Sacrament of Penance remits or frees us

from the eternal punishment and generally only from part of the

temporal. Prayer, good works and indulgences in this world and the

sufferings of purgatory in the next remit the remainder of the temporal

punishment.

 

Q. 630. Why is there a double punishment attached to actual sins?

There is a double punishment attached to actual sins, because in their

commission there is a double guilt: (1) Of insulting God and of turning

away from Him; (2) Of depriving Him of the honor we owe Him, and of

turning to His enemies.

 

Q. 631. {154} Is Baptism necessary to salvation?

A. Baptism is necessary to salvation, because without it we cannot enter

into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Q. 632. Where will persons go who--such as infants--have not committed

actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism?

A. Persons, such as infants, who have not committed actual sin and who,

through no fault of theirs, die without baptism, cannot enter heaven;

but it is the common belief they will go to some place similar to Limbo,

where they will be free from suffering, though deprived of the happiness

of heaven.

 

Q. 633. {155} Who can administer Baptism?

A. A priest is the ordinary minister of baptism; but in case of

necessity anyone who has the use of reason may baptize.

 

Q. 634. What do we mean by the "ordinary minister" of a Sacrament?

A. By the "ordinary minister" of a Sacrament we mean the one who usually

does administer the Sacrament, and who has always the right to do so.

 

Q. 635. Can a person who has not himself been baptized, and who does not

even believe in the Sacrament of baptism, give it validly to another in

case of necessity?

A. A person who has not himself been baptized, and who does not even

believe in the Sacrament of baptism, can give it validly to another in

case of necessity, provided: (1) He has the use of reason; (2) Knows how

to give baptism, and (3) Intends to do what the Church intends in the

giving of the Sacrament. Baptism is so necessary that God affords every

opportunity for its reception.

 

Q. 636. Why do the consequences of original sin, such as suffering,

temptation, sickness, and death, remain after the sin has been forgiven

in baptism?

A. The consequences of original sin, such as suffering, temptation,

sickness and death, remain after the sin has been forgiven in baptism:

(1) To remind us of the misery that always follows sin; and (2) To

afford us an opportunity of increasing our merit by bearing these

hardships patiently.

 

Q. 637. Can a person ever receive any of the other Sacraments without

first receiving baptism?

A. A person can never receive any of the other Sacraments without first

receiving baptism, because baptism makes us members of Christ's Church,

and unless we are members of His Church we cannot receive His

Sacraments.

 

Q. 638. {156} How is Baptism given?

A. Whoever baptizes should pour water on the head of the person to be

baptized, and say, while pouring the water: "I baptize thee in the name

of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

 

Q. 639. If water cannot be had, in case of necessity, may any other

liquid be used for baptism?

A. If water cannot be had, in case of necessity or in any case, no other

liquid can be used, and the baptism cannot be given.

 

Q. 640. If it is impossible, in case of necessity, to reach the head,

may the water be poured on any other part of the body?

A. If it is impossible, in case of necessity, to reach the head, the

water should be poured on whatever part of the body can be reached; but

then the baptism must be given conditionally; that is, before

pronouncing the words of baptism, you must say: "If I can baptize thee

in this way, I baptize thee in the name of the Father," &c. If the head

can afterward be reached, the water must be poured on the head and the

baptism repeated conditionally by saying: "If you are not already

baptized, I baptize thee in the name," &c.

 

Q. 641. Is the baptism valid if we say: "I baptize thee in the name of

the Holy Trinity," without naming the Persons of the Trinity?

A. The baptism is not valid if we say: "I baptize thee in the name of

the Holy Trinity," without naming the Persons of the Trinity; for we

must use the exact words instituted by Christ.

 

Q. 642. Is it wrong to defer the baptism of an infant?

A. It is wrong to defer the baptism of an infant, because we thereby

expose the child to the danger of dying without the Sacrament.

 

Q. 643. Can we baptize a child against the wishes of its parents?

A. We cannot baptize a child against the wishes of its parents; and if

the parents are not Catholics, they must not only consent to the

baptism, but also agree to bring the child up in the Catholic religion.

But if a child is surely dying, we may baptize it without either the

consent or permission of its parents.

 

Q. 644. {157} How many kinds of Baptism are there?

A. There are three kinds of Baptism: Baptism of water, of desire, and of

blood.

 

Q. 645. {158} What is Baptism of water?

A. Baptism of water is that which is given by pouring water on the head

of the person to be baptized, and saying at the same time, "I baptize

thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

 

Q. 646. In how many ways was the baptism of water given in the first

ages of the Church?

A. In the first ages of the Church, baptism of water was given in three

ways, namely, by immersion or dipping, by aspersion or sprinkling, and

by infusion or pouring. Although any of these methods would be valid,

only the method of infusion or pouring is now allowed in the Church.

 

Q. 647. What are the chief ceremonies used in solemn baptism, and what

do they signify?

A. The chief ceremonies used in solemn baptism are: (1) A profession of

faith and renouncement of the devil to signify our worthiness; (2) The

placing of salt in the mouth to signify the wisdom imparted by faith;

(3) The holding of the priest's stole to signify our reception into the

Church; (4) The anointing to signify the strength given by the

Sacrament; (5) The giving of the white garment or cloth to signify our

sinless state after baptism; and (6) The giving of the lighted candle to

signify the light of faith and fire of love that should dwell in our

souls.

 

Q. 648. Should one who, in case of necessity, has been baptized with

private baptism, be afterwards brought to the Church to have the

ceremonies of solemn baptism completed?

A. One who, in case of necessity, has been baptized with private baptism

should afterwards be brought to the Church to have the ceremonies of

solemn baptism completed, because these ceremonies are commanded by the

Church and bring down blessings upon us.

 

Q. 649. Is solemn baptism given with any special kind of water?

A. Solemn baptism is given with consecrated water; that is, water mixed

with holy oil and blessed for baptism on Holy Saturday and on the

Saturday before Pentecost. It is always kept in the baptismal font in

the baptistry--a place near the door of the Church set apart for

baptism.

 

Q. 650. {159} What is Baptism of desire?

A. Baptism of desire is an ardent wish to receive Baptism, and to do all

that God has ordained for our salvation.

 

Q. 651. {160} What is Baptism of blood?

A. Baptism of blood is the shedding of one's blood for the faith of

Christ.

 

Q. 652. What is the baptism of blood most commonly called?

A. The baptism of blood is most commonly called martyrdom, and those who

receive it are called martyrs. It is the death one patiently suffers

from the enemies of our religion, rather than give up Catholic faith or

virtue. We must not seek martyrdom, though we must endure it when it

comes.

 

Q. 653. {161} Is Baptism of desire or of blood sufficient to produce the

effects of Baptism of water?

A. Baptism of desire or of blood is sufficient to produce the effects of

the Baptism of water, if it is impossible to receive the Baptism of

water.

 

Q. 654. How do we know that the baptism of desire or of blood will save

us when it is impossible to receive the baptism of water?

A. We know that baptism of desire or of blood will save us when it is

impossible to receive the baptism of water, from Holy Scripture, which

teaches that love of God and perfect contrition can secure the remission

of sins; and also that Our Lord promises salvation to those who lay down

their life for His sake or for His teaching.

 

Q. 655. {162} What do we promise in Baptism?

A. In Baptism we promise to renounce the devil, with all his works and

pomps.

 

Q. 656. What do we mean by the "pomps" of the devil?

A. By the pomps of the devil we mean all worldly pride, vanities and

vain shows by which people are enticed into sin, and all foolish or

sinful display of ourselves or of what we possess.

 

Q. 657. {163} Why is the name of a saint given in Baptism?

A. The name of a saint is given in Baptism in order that the person

baptized may imitate his virtues and have him for a protector.

 

Q. 658. What is the Saint whose name we bear called?

A. The saint whose name we bear is called our patron saint--to whom we

should have great devotion.

 

Q. 659. What names should never be given in baptism?

A. These and similar names should never be given in baptism: (1) The

names of noted unbelievers, heretics or enemies of religion and virtue;

(2) the names of heathen gods, and (3) nick-names.

 

Q. 660. {164} Why are godfathers and godmothers given in Baptism?

A. Godfathers and godmothers are given in Baptism in order that they may

promise, in the name of the child, what the child itself would promise

if it had the use of reason.

 

Q. 661. By what other name are godfathers and godmothers called?

A. Godfathers and godmothers are usually called sponsors. Sponsors are

not necessary at private baptism.

 

Q. 662. Can a person ever be sponsor when absent from the baptism?

A. A person can be sponsor even when absent from the baptism, provided

he has been asked and has consented to be sponsor, and provided also

some one answers the questions and touches the person to be baptized in

his name. The absent godfather or godmother is then said to be sponsor

by proxy and becomes the real godparent of the one baptized.

 

Q. 663. With whom do godparents, as well as the one baptizing, contract

a relationship?

A. Godparents, as well as the one baptizing, contract a spiritual

relationship with the person baptized (not with his parents), and this

relationship is an impediment to marriage that must be made known to the

priest in case of their future marriage with one another. The godfather

and godmother contract no relationship with each other.

 

Q. 664. What questions should persons who bring a child for baptism be

able to answer?

A. Persons who bring a child for baptism should be able to tell: (1) The

exact place where the child lives; (2) The full name of its parents,

and, in particular, the maiden name, or name before her marriage, of its

mother; (3) The exact day of the month on which it was born; (4) Whether

or not it has received private baptism, and (5) Whether its parents be

Catholics. Sponsors must know also the chief truths of our religion.

 

Q. 665. {165} What is the obligation of a godfather and a godmother?

A. The obligation of a godfather and a godmother is to instruct the

child in its religious duties, if the parents neglect to do so or die.

 

Q. 666. Can persons who are not Catholics be sponsors for Catholic

children?

A. Persons who are not Catholics cannot be sponsors for Catholic

children, because they cannot perform the duties of sponsors; for if

they do not know and profess the Catholic religion themselves, how can

they teach it to their godchildren? Moreover, they must answer the

questions asked at baptism and declare that they believe in the Holy

Catholic Church and in all it teaches; which would be a falsehood on

their part.

 

Q. 667. What should parents chiefly consider in the selection of

sponsors for their children?

A. In the selection of sponsors for their children parents should

chiefly consider the good character and virtue of the sponsors,

selecting model Catholics to whom they would be willing at the hour of

death to entrust the care and training of their children.

 

Q. 668. What dispositions must adults or grown persons, have that they

may worthily receive baptism?

A. That adults may worthily receive baptism: (1) They must be willing to

receive it; (2) they must have faith in Christ; (3) they must have true

sorrow for their sins, and (4) they must solemnly renounce the devil and

all his works; that is, all sin.

 

Q. 669. What is the ceremony of churching?

A. The ceremony of churching is a particular blessing which a mother

receives at the Altar, as soon as she is able to present herself in the

Church after the birth of her child. In this ceremony the priest invokes

God's blessing on the mother and child, while she on her part returns

thanks to God.

 

LESSON FIFTEENTH.

ON CONFIRMATION.

 

Q. 670. {166} What is Confirmation?

A. Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost

to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.

 

Q. 671. When was Confirmation instituted?

A. The exact time at which Confirmation was instituted is not known. But

as this Sacrament was administered by the Apostles and numbered with the

other Sacraments instituted by Our Lord, it is certain that He

instituted this Sacrament also and instructed His Apostles in its use,

at some time before His ascension into heaven.

 

Q. 672. Why is Confirmation so called?

A. Confirmation is so called from its chief effect, which is to

strengthen or render us more firm in whatever belongs to our faith and

religious duties.

 

Q. 673. Why are we called soldiers of Jesus Christ?

A. We are called soldiers of Jesus Christ to indicate how we must resist

the attacks of our spiritual enemies and secure our victory over them by

following and obeying Our Lord.

 

Q. 674. May one add a new name to his own at Confirmation?

A. One may and should add a new name to his own at Confirmation,

especially when the name of a saint has not been given in Baptism.

 

Q. 675. {167} Who administers Confirmation?

A. The bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation.

 

Q. 676. Why do we say the bishop is the "ordinary minister" of

Confirmation?

A. We say the bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation because in

some foreign missions, where bishops have not yet been appointed, the

Holy Father permits one of the priests to administer Confirmation with

the Holy Oil blessed by the bishop.

 

Q. 677. {168} How does the bishop give Confirmation?

A. The bishop extends his hands over those who are to be confirmed,

prays that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and anoints the forehead of

each with holy chrism in the form of a cross.

 

Q. 678. In Confirmation, what does the extending of the bishop's hands

over us signify?

A. In Confirmation, the extending of the bishop's hands over us

signifies the descent of the Holy Ghost upon us and the special

protection of God through the grace of Confirmation.

 

Q. 679. {169} What is holy chrism?

A. Holy chrism is a mixture of olive-oil and balm, consecrated by the

bishop.

 

Q. 680. What do the oil and balm in Holy Chrism signify?

A. In Holy Chrism, the oil signifies strength, and the balm signifies

the freedom from corruption and the sweetness which virtue must give to

our lives.

 

Q. 681. How many holy oils are used in the Church?

A. Three holy oils are used in the Church, namely, the oil of the sick,

the oil of catechumens, and holy chrism.

 

Q. 682. What constitutes the difference between these oils?

A. The form of prayer or blessing alone constitutes the difference

between these oils; for they are all olive oil, but in the Holy Chrism,

balm is mixed with the oil.

 

Q. 683. When and by whom are the holy oils blessed?

A. The holy oils are blessed at the Mass on Holy Thursday by the bishop,

who alone has the right to bless them. After the blessing they are

distributed to the priests of the diocese, who must then burn what

remains of the old oils and use the newly blessed oils for the coming

year.

 

Q. 684. For what are the holy oils used?

A. The holy oils are used as follows: The oil of the sick is used for

Extreme Unction and for some blessings; the oil of catechumens is used

for Baptism and Holy Orders. Holy Chrism is used at Baptism and for the

blessing of some sacred things, such as altars, chalices, church-bells,

&c., which are usually blessed by a bishop.

 

{T.N.: The above answer omits that Holy Chrism is used also at

Confirmation. See Q. 677.}

 

Q. 685. {170} What does the bishop say in anointing the person he

confirms?

A. In anointing the person he confirms the bishop says: "I sign thee

with the sign of the cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of

salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy

Ghost."

 

Q. 686. {171} What is meant by anointing the forehead with chrism in the

form of a cross?

A. By anointing the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross is meant

that the Christian who is confirmed must openly profess and practice his

faith, never be ashamed of it; and rather die than deny it.

 

Q. 687. When must we openly profess and practice our religion?

A. We must openly profess and practice our religion as often as we

cannot do otherwise without violating some law of God or of His Church.

 

Q. 688. Why have we good reason never to be ashamed of the Catholic

faith?

A. We have good reason never to be ashamed of the Catholic Faith because

it is the Old Faith established by Christ and taught by His Apostles; it

is the Faith for which countless Holy Martyrs suffered and died; it is

the Faith that has brought true civilization, with all its benefits,

into the world, and it is the only Faith that can truly reform and

preserve public and private morals.

 

Q. 689. {172} Why does the bishop give the person he confirms a slight

blow on the cheek?

A. The bishop gives the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek,

to put him in mind that he must be ready to suffer everything, even

death, for the sake of Christ.

 

Q. 690. Is it right to test ourselves through our imagination of what we

would be willing to suffer for the sake of Christ?

A. It is not right to test ourselves through our imagination of what we

would be willing to suffer for the sake of Christ, for such tests may

lead us into sin. When a real test comes we are assured God will give to

us, as He did to the Holy Martyrs, sufficient grace to endure it.

 

Q. 691. {173} To receive Confirmation worthily is it necessary to be in

the state of grace?

A. To receive Confirmation worthily it is necessary to be in the state

of grace.

 

Q. 692. {174} What special preparation should be made to receive

Confirmation?

A. Persons of an age to learn should know the chief mysteries of faith

and the duties of a Christian, and be instructed in the nature and

effects of this Sacrament.

 

Q. 693. Why should we know the chief mysteries of faith and the duties

of a Christian before receiving Confirmation?

A. We should know the Chief Mysteries of Faith and the duties of a

Christian before receiving Confirmation because as one cannot be a good

soldier without knowing the rules of the army to which he belongs and

understanding the commands of his leader, so one cannot be a good

Christian without knowing the laws of the Church and understanding the

commands of Christ.

 

Q. 694. {175} Is it a sin to neglect Confirmation?

A. It is a sin to neglect Confirmation, especially in these evil days

when faith and morals are exposed to so many and such violent

temptations.

 

Q. 695. What do we mean by "these evil days"?

A. By "these evil days" we mean the present age or century in which we

are living, surrounded on all sides by unbelief, false doctrines, bad

books, bad example and temptation in every form.

 

Q. 696. Is Confirmation necessary for salvation?

A. Confirmation is not so necessary for salvation that we could not be

saved without it, for it is not given to infants even in danger of

death; nevertheless, there is a divine command obliging all to receive

it, if possible. Persons who have not been confirmed in youth should

make every effort to be confirmed later in life.

 

Q. 697. Are sponsors necessary in Confirmation?

A. Sponsors are necessary in Confirmation, and they must be of the same

good character as those required at Baptism, for they take upon

themselves the same duties and responsibilities. They also contract a

spiritual relationship, which, however, unlike that in Baptism, is not

an impediment to marriage.

 

LESSON SIXTEENTH.

ON THE GIFTS AND FRUITS OF THE HOLY GHOST.

 

Q. 698. {176} Which are the effects of Confirmation?

A. The effects of Confirmation are an increase of sanctifying grace, the

strengthening of our faith, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

 

Q. 699. {177} Which are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?

A. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel,

Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.

 

Q. 700. {178} Why do we receive the gift of Fear of the Lord?

A. We receive the gift of Fear of the Lord to fill us with a dread of

sin.

 

Q. 701. {179} Why do we receive the gift of Piety?

A. We receive the gift of Piety to make us love God as a Father, and

obey Him because we love Him.

 

Q. 702. {180} Why do we receive the gift of Knowledge?

A. We receive the gift of Knowledge to enable us to discover the will of

God in all things.

 

Q. 703. {181} Why do we receive the gift of Fortitude?

A. We receive the gift of Fortitude to strengthen us to do the will of

God in all things.

 

Q. 704. {182} Why do we receive the gift of Counsel?

A. We receive the gift of Counsel to warn us of the deceits of the

devil, and of the dangers to salvation.

 

Q. 705. How is it clear that the devil could easily deceive us if the

Holy Ghost did not aid us?

A. It is clear that the devil could easily deceive us if the Holy Ghost

did not aid us, for just as our sins do not deprive us of our knowledge,

so the devil's sin did not deprive him of the great intelligence and

power which he possessed as an angel. Moreover, his experience in the

world extends over all ages and places, while ours is confined to a few

years and to a limited number of places.

 

Q. 706. {183} Why do we receive the gift of Understanding?

A. We receive the gift of Understanding to enable us to know more

clearly the mysteries of faith.

 

Q. 707. {184} Why do we receive the gift of Wisdom?

A. We receive the gift of Wisdom to give us a relish for the things of

God, and to direct our whole life and all our actions to His honor and

glory.

 

Q. 708. {185} Which are the Beatitudes?

A. The Beatitudes are:

 

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.

3. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall

   be filled.

5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

6. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.

7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of

   God.

8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for

   theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Q. 709. What are the Beatitudes and why are they so called?

A. The Beatitudes are a portion of Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, and

they are so called because each of them holds out a promised reward to

those who practice the virtues they recommend.

 

Q. 710. Where did Our Lord usually preach?

A. Our Lord usually preached wherever an opportunity of doing good by

His Words presented itself. He preached at times in the synagogues or

meeting-houses but more frequently in the open air--by the seashore or

on the mountain, and often by the wayside.

 

Q. 711. What is the meaning and use of the Beatitudes in general?

A. (1) In general the Beatitudes embrace whatever pertains to the

perfection of Christian life, and they invite us to the practice of the

highest Christian virtues; (2) In different forms they all promise the

same reward, namely, sanctifying grace in this life and eternal glory in

the next; (3) They offer us encouragement and consolation for every

trial and affliction.

 

Q. 712. What does the first Beatitude mean by the "poor in spirit"?

A. The first Beatitude means by the "poor in spirit" all persons, rich

or poor, who would not offend God to possess or retain anything that

this world can give; and who, when necessity or charity requires it,

give willingly for the glory of God. It includes also those who humbly

submit to their condition in life when it cannot be improved by lawful

means.

 

Q. 713. Who are the mourners who deserve the consolation promised in the

third Beatitude?

A. The mourners who deserve the consolation promised in the third

Beatitude are they who, out of love for God, bewail their own sins and

those of the world; and they who patiently endure all trials that come

from God or for His sake.

 

Q. 714. What lessons do the other Beatitudes convey?

A. The other Beatitudes convey these lessons: The meek suppress all

feelings of anger and humbly submit to whatever befalls them by the Will

of God; and they never desire to do evil for evil. The justice after

which we should seek is every Christian virtue included under that name,

and we are told that if we earnestly desire and seek it we shall obtain

it. The persecuted for justice' sake are they who will not abandon their

faith or virtue for any cause.

 

Q. 715. Who may be rightly called merciful?

A. The merciful are they who practice the corporal and spiritual works

of mercy, and who aid by word or deed those who need their help for soul

or body.

 

Q. 716. Why are the clean of heart promised so great a reward?

A. The clean of heart, that is, the truly virtuous, whose thoughts,

desires, words and works are pure and modest, are promised so great a

reward because the chaste and sinless have always been the most intimate

friends of God.

 

Q. 717. What is the duty of a peacemaker?

A. It is the duty of a peacemaker to avoid and prevent quarrels,

reconcile enemies, and to put an end to all evil reports of others or

evil speaking against them. As peacemakers are called the children of

God, disturbers of peace should be called the children of the devil.

 

Q. 718. Why does Our Lord speak in particular of poverty, meekness,

sorrow, desire for virtue, mercy, purity, peace and suffering?

A. Our Lord speaks in particular of poverty, meekness, sorrow, desire

for virtue, mercy, purity, peace and suffering because these are the

chief features in His own earthly life; poverty in His birth, life and

death; meekness in His teaching; sorrow at all times. He eagerly sought

to do good, showed mercy to all, recommended chastity, brought peace,

and patiently endured suffering.

 

Q. 719. {186} Which are the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost?

A. The twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are Charity, Joy, Peace,

Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Long-suffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty,

Continency, and Chastity.

 

Q. 720. Why are charity, joy, peace, &c., called fruits of the Holy

Ghost?

A. Charity, joy, peace, &c., are called fruits of the Holy Ghost because

they grow in our souls out of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.

 

LESSON SEVENTEENTH.

ON THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE.

 

Q. 721. {187} What is the Sacrament of Penance?

A. Penance is a Sacrament in which the sins committed after Baptism are

forgiven.

 

Q. 722. Has the word Penance any other meaning?

A. The word Penance has other meanings. It means also those punishments

we inflict upon ourselves as a means of atoning for our past sins; it

means likewise that disposition of the heart in which we detest and

bewail our sins because they were offensive to God.

 

Q. 723. How does the institution of the Sacrament of Penance show the

goodness of Our Lord?

A. The institution of the Sacrament of Penance shows the goodness of Our

Lord, because having once saved us through Baptism, He might have left

us to perish if we again committed sin.

 

Q. 724. What are the natural benefits of the Sacrament of Penance?

A. The natural benefits of the Sacrament of Penance are: It gives us in

our confessor a true friend, to whom we can go in all our trials and to

whom we can confide our secrets with the hope of obtaining advice and

relief.

 

Q. 725. {188} How does the Sacrament of Penance remit sin, and restore

to the soul the friendship of God?

A. The Sacrament of Penance remits sin and restores the friendship of

God to the soul by means of the absolution of the priest.

 

Q. 726. What is Absolution?

A. Absolution is the form of prayer or words the priest pronounces over

us with uplifted hand when he forgives the sins we have confessed. It is

given while we are saying the Act of Contrition after receiving our

Penance.

 

Q. 727. Does the priest ever refuse absolution to a penitent?

A. The priest must and does refuse absolution to a penitent when he

thinks the penitent is not rightly disposed for the Sacrament. He

sometimes postpones the absolution till the next confession, either for

the good of the penitent or for the sake of better

preparation--especially when the person has been a long time from

confession.

 

Q. 728. What should a person do when the priest has refused or postponed

absolution?

A. When the priest has refused or postponed absolution, the penitent

should humbly submit to his decision, follow his instructions, and

endeavor to remove whatever prevented the giving of the absolution and

return to the same confessor with the necessary dispositions and

resolution of amendment.

 

Q. 729. Can the priest forgive all sins in the Sacrament of Penance?

A. The priest has the power to forgive all sins in the Sacrament of

Penance, but he may not have the authority to forgive all. To forgive

sins validly in the Sacrament of Penance, two things are required: (1)

The power to forgive sins which every priest receives at his ordination,

and (2) the right to use that power which must be given by the bishop,

who authorizes the priest to hear confessions and pass judgment on the

sins.

 

Q. 730. What are the sins called which the priest has no authority to

absolve?

A. The sins which the priest has no authority to absolve are called

reserved sins. Absolution from these sins can be obtained only from the

bishop, and sometimes only from the Pope, or by his special permission.

Persons having a reserved sin to confess cannot be absolved from any of

their sins till the priest receives faculties or authority to absolve

the reserved sin also.

 

Q. 731. Why is the absolution from some sins reserved to the Pope or

bishop?

A. The absolution from some sins is reserved to the Pope or bishop to

deter or prevent, by this special restriction, persons from committing

them, either on account of the greatness of the sin itself or on account

of its evil consequences.

 

Q. 732. Can any priest absolve a person in danger of death from reserved

sins without the permission of the bishop?

A. Any priest can absolve a person in danger of death from reserved sins

without the permission of the bishop, because at the hour of death the

Church removes these restrictions in order to save, if possible, the

soul of the dying.

 

Q. 733. {189} How do you know that the priest has the power of absolving

from the sins committed after Baptism?

A. I know that the priest has the power of absolving from the sins

committed after Baptism, because Jesus Christ granted that power to the

priests of His Church when He said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose

sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall

retain, they are retained."

 

Q. 734. How do we know that Our Lord, while on earth, had the power to

forgive sins?

A. We know that Our Lord, while on earth, had the power to forgive sins:

(1) because He was always God, and; (2) because He frequently did

forgive sins and proved their forgiveness by miracles. Since He had the

power Himself, He could give it to His Apostles.

 

Q. 735. Was the power to forgive sins given to the apostles alone?

A. The power to forgive sins was not given to the apostles alone,

because it was not given for the benefit merely of those who lived at

the time of the apostles, but for all who, having grievously sinned,

after Baptism, should need forgiveness. Since, therefore, Baptism will

be given till the end of time, and since the danger of sinning after it

always remains the power to absolve from such sins must also remain in

the Church till the end of time.

 

Q. 736. When was the Sacrament of Penance instituted?

A. The Sacrament of Penance was instituted after the resurrection of Our

Lord, when He gave to His apostles the power to forgive sins, which He

had promised to them before His death.

 

Q. 737. Are the enemies of our religion right when they say man cannot

forgive sins?

A. The enemies of our religion are right when they say man cannot

forgive sins if they mean that he cannot forgive them by his own power,

but they are certainly wrong if they mean that he cannot forgive them

even by the power of God, for man can do anything if God gives him the

power. The priest does not forgive sins by his own power as man, but by

the authority he receives as the minister of God.

 

Q. 738. {190} How do the priests of the Church exercise the power of

forgiving sins?

A. The priests of the Church exercise the power of forgiving sins by

hearing the confession of sins, and granting pardon for them as

ministers of God and in His name.

 

Q. 739. How does the power to forgive sins imply the obligation of going

to confession?

A. The power to forgive sins implies the obligation of going to

confession because as sins are usually committed secretly, the priest

could never know what sins to forgive and what not to forgive, unless

the sins committed were made known to him by the persons guilty of them.

 

Q. 740. Could God not forgive our sins if we confessed them to Himself

in secret?

A. Certainly, God could forgive our sins if we confessed them to Himself

in secret, but He has not promised to do so; whereas He has promised to

pardon them if we confess them to His priests. Since He is free to

pardon or not to pardon, He has the right to establish a Sacrament

through which alone He will pardon.

 

Q. 741. {191} What must we do to receive the Sacrament of Penance

worthily?

A. To receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily we must do five things:

 

1. We must examine our conscience.

2. We must have sorrow for our sins.

3. We must make a firm resolution never more to offend God.

4. We must confess our sins to the priest.

5. We must accept the penance which the priest gives us.

 

Q. 742. What should we pray for in preparing for confession?

A. In preparing for confession we should pray to the Holy Ghost to give

us light to know our sins and to understand their guilt; for grace to

detest them; for courage to confess them and for strength to keep our

resolutions.

 

Q. 743. What faults do many commit in preparing for confession?

A. In preparing for confession many commit the faults: (1) of giving too

much time to the examination of conscience and little or none in

exciting themselves to true sorrow for the sins discovered; (2) of

trying to recall every trifling circumstance, instead of thinking of the

means by which they will avoid their sins for the future.

 

Q. 744. What, then, is the most important part of the preparation for

confession?

A. The most important part of the preparation for confession is sincere

sorrow for the sins committed and the firm determination to avoid them

for the future.

 

Q. 745. What is the chief reason that our confessions do not always

amend our way of living?

A. The chief reason that our confessions do not always amend our way of

living is our want of real earnest preparation for them and the fact

that we have not truly convinced ourselves of the need of amendment. We

often confess our sins more from habit, necessity or fear than from a

real desire of receiving grace and of being restored to the friendship

of God.

 

Q. 746. What faults are to be avoided in making our confession?

A. In making our confession we are to avoid: (1) Telling useless

details, the sins of others, or the name of any person; (2) Confessing

sins we are not sure of having committed; exaggerating our sins or their

number; multiplying the number of times a day by the number of days to

get the exact number of habitual sins; (3) Giving a vague answer, such

as "sometimes," when asked how often; waiting after each sin to be asked

for the next; (4) Hesitating over sins through pretented modesty and

thus delaying the priests and others; telling the exact words in each

when we have committed several sins of the same kind, cursing, for

example; and, lastly, leaving the confessional before the priest gives

us a sign to go.

 

Q. 747. Is it wrong to go to confession out of your turn against the

will of others waiting with you?

A. It is wrong to go to confession out of our turn against the will of

others waiting with us, because (1) it causes disorder, quarreling and

scandalous conduct in the Church; (2) it is unjust, makes others angry

and lessens their good dispositions for confession; (3) it annoys and

distracts the priest by the confusion and disorder it creates. It is

better to wait than go to confession in an excited and disorderly

manner.

 

Q. 748. What should a penitent do who knows he cannot perform the

penance given?

A. A penitent who knows he cannot perform the penance given should ask

the priest for one that he can perform. When we forget the penance given

we must ask for it again, for we cannot fulfill our duty by giving

ourselves a penance. The penance must be performed at the time and in

the manner the confessor directs.

 

Q. 749. {192} What is the examination of conscience?

A. The examination of conscience is an earnest effort to recall to mind

all the sins we have committed since our last worthy confession.

 

Q. 750. When is our confession worthy?

A. Our confession is worthy when we have done all that is required for a

good confession, and when, through the absolution, our sins are really

forgiven.

 

Q. 751. {193} How can we make a good examination of conscience?

A. We can make a good examination of conscience by calling to memory the

commandments of God, the precepts of the Church, the seven capital sins,

and the particular duties of our state in life, to find out the sins we

have committed.

 

Q. 752. {194} What should we do before beginning the examination of

conscience?

A. Before beginning the examination of conscience we should pray to God

to give us light to know our sins and grace to detest them.

 

LESSON EIGHTEENTH.

ON CONTRITION.

 

Q. 753. {195} What is contrition, or sorrow for sin?

A. Contrition, or sorrow for sin, is a hatred of sin and a true grief of

the soul for having offended God, with a firm purpose of sinning no

more.

 

Q. 754. Give an example of how we should hate and avoid sin.

A. We should hate and avoid sin as one hates and avoids a poison that

almost caused his death. We may not grieve over the death of our soul as

we do over the death of a friend, and yet our sorrow may be true;

because the sorrow for sin comes more from our reason than from our

feelings.

 

Q. 755. {196} What kind of sorrow should we have for our sins?

A. The sorrow we should have for our sins should be interior,

supernatural, universal, and sovereign.

 

Q. 756. {197} What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be

interior?

A. When I say that our sorrow should be interior, I mean that it should

come from the heart, and not merely from the lips.

 

Q. 757. {198} What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be

supernatural?

A. When I say that our sorrow should be supernatural, I mean that it

should be prompted by the grace of God, and excited by motives which

spring from faith, and not by merely natural motives.

 

Q. 758. What do we mean by "motives that spring from faith" and by

"merely natural motives" with regard to sorrow for sin?

A. By sorrow for sin from "motives that spring from faith," we mean

sorrow for reasons that God has made known to us, such as the loss of

heaven, the fear of hell or purgatory, or the dread of afflictions that

come from God in punishment for sin. By "merely natural motives" we mean

sorrow for reasons made known to us by our own experience or by the

experience of others, such as loss of character, goods or health. A

motive is whatever moves our will to do or avoid anything.

 

Q. 759. {199} What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be

universal?

A. When I say that our sorrow should be universal, I mean that we should

be sorry for all our mortal sins without exception.

 

Q. 760. Why cannot some of our mortal sins be forgiven while the rest

remain on our souls?

A. It is impossible for any of our mortal sins to be forgiven unless

they are all forgiven, because as light and darkness cannot be together

in the same place, so sanctifying grace and mortal sin cannot dwell

together. If there be grace in the soul, there can be no mortal sin, and

if there be mortal sin, there can be no grace, for one mortal sin expels

all grace.

 

Q. 761. {200} What do you mean when you say that our sorrow should be

sovereign?

A. When I say that our sorrow should be sovereign, I mean that we should

grieve more for having offended God than for any other evil that can

befall us.

 

Q. 762. {201} Why should we be sorry for our sins?

A. We should be sorry for our sins because sin is the greatest of evils

and an offense against God our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer, and

because it shuts us out of heaven and condemns us to the eternal pains

of hell.

 

Q. 763. How do we show that sin is the greatest of all evils?

A. We show that sin is the greatest of evils because its effects last

the longest and have the most terrible consequences. All the misfortunes

of this world can last only for a time, and we escape them at death,

whereas the evils caused by sin keep with us for all eternity and are

only increased at death.

 

Q. 764. {202} How many kinds of contrition are there?

A. There are two kinds of contrition; perfect contrition and imperfect

contrition.

 

Q. 765. {203} What is perfect contrition?

A. Perfect contrition is that which fills us with sorrow and hatred for

sin, because it offends God, who is infinitely good in Himself and

worthy of all love.

 

Q. 766. When will perfect contrition obtain pardon for mortal sin

without the Sacrament of Penance?

A. Perfect contrition will obtain pardon for mortal sin without the

Sacrament of Penance when we cannot go to confession, but with the

perfect contrition we must have the intention of going to confession as

soon as possible, if we again have the opportunity.

 

Q. 767. {204} What is imperfect contrition?

A. Imperfect contrition is that by which we hate what offends God

because by it we lose heaven and deserve hell; or because sin is so

hateful in itself.

 

Q. 768. What other name is given to imperfect contrition and why is it

called imperfect?

A. Imperfect contrition is called attrition. It is called imperfect only

because it is less perfect than the highest grade of contrition by which

we are sorry for sin out of pure love of God's own goodness and without

any consideration of what befalls ourselves.

 

Q. 769. {205} Is imperfect contrition sufficient for a worthy

confession?

A. Imperfect contrition is sufficient for a worthy confession, but we

should endeavor to have perfect contrition.

 

Q. 770. {206} What do you mean by a firm purpose of sinning no more?

A. By a firm purpose of sinning no more I mean a fixed resolve not only

to avoid all mortal sin, but also its near occasions.

 

Q. 771. {207} What do you mean by the near occasions of sin?

A. By the near occasions of sin I mean all the persons, places and

things that may easily lead us into sin.

 

Q. 772. Why are we bound to avoid occasions of sin?

A. We are bound to avoid occasions of sin because Our Lord has said: "He

who loves the danger will perish in it"; and as we are bound to avoid

the loss of our souls, so we are bound to avoid the danger of their

loss. The occasion is the cause of sin, and you cannot take away the

evil without removing its cause.

 

Q. 773. Is a person who is determined to avoid the sin, but who is

unwilling to give up its near occasion when it is possible to do so,

rightly disposed for confession?

A. A person who is determined to avoid the sin, but who is unwilling to

give up its near occasion when it is possible to do so, is not rightly

disposed for confession, and he will not be absolved if he makes known

to the priest the true state of his conscience.

 

Q. 774. How many kinds of occasions of sin are there?

A. There are four kinds of occasions of sin: (1) Near occasions, through

which we always fall; (2) remote occasions, through which we sometimes

fall; (3) voluntary occasions or those we can avoid; and (4) involuntary

occasions or those we cannot avoid. A person who lives in a near and

voluntary occasion of sin need not expect forgiveness while he continues

in that state.

 

Q. 775. What persons, places and things are usually occasions of sin?

A. (1) The persons who are occasions of sin are all those in whose

company we sin, whether they be bad of themselves or bad only while in

our company, in which case we also become occasions of sin for them; (2)

the places are usually liquor saloons, low theaters, indecent dances,

entertainments, amusements, exhibitions, and all immoral resorts of any

kind, whether we sin in them or not; (3) the things are all bad books,

indecent pictures, songs, jokes and the like, even when they are

tolerated by public opinion and found in public places.

 

LESSON NINETEENTH.

ON CONFESSION.

 

Q. 776. {208} What is Confession?

A. Confession is the telling of our sins to a duly authorized priest,

for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness.

 

Q. 777. Who is a duly authorized priest?

A. A duly authorized priest is one sent to hear confessions by the

lawful bishop of the diocese in which we are at the time of our

confession.

 

Q. 778. Is it ever allowed to write our sins and read them to the priest

in the confessional or give them to him to read?

A. It is allowed, when necessary, to write our sins and read them to the

priest, as persons do who have almost entirely lost their memory. It is

also allowed to give the paper to the priest, as persons do who have

lost the use of their speech. In such cases the paper must, after the

confession, be carefully destroyed either by the priest or the penitent.

 

Q. 779. What is to be done when persons must make their confession and

cannot find a priest who understands their language?

A. Persons who must make their confession and who cannot find a priest

who understands their language, must confess as best they can by some

signs, showing what sins they wish to confess and how they are sorry for

them.

 

Q. 780. {209} What sins are we bound to confess?

A. We are bound to confess all our mortal sins, but it is well also to

confess our venial sins.

 

Q. 781. Why is it well to confess also the venial sins we remember?

A. It is well to confess also the venial sins we remember (1) because it

shows our hatred of all sin, and (2) because it is sometimes difficult

to determine just when a sin is venial and when mortal.

 

Q. 782. What should one do who has only venial sins to confess?

A. One who has only venial sins to confess should tell also some sin

already confessed in his past life for which he knows he is truly sorry;

because it is not easy to be truly sorry for slight sins and

imperfections, and yet we must be sorry for the sins confessed that our

confession may be valid--hence we add some past sin for which we are

truly sorry to those for which we may not be sufficiently sorry.

 

Q. 783. Should a person stay from confession because he thinks he has no

sin to confess?

A. A person should not stay from confession because he thinks he has no

sin to confess, for the Sacrament of Penance, besides forgiving sin,

gives an increase of sanctifying grace, and of this we have always need,

especially to resist temptation. The Saints, who were almost without

imperfection, went to confession frequently.

 

Q. 784. Should a person go to Communion after confession even when the

confessor does not bid him go?

A. A person should go to Communion after confession even when the

confessor does not bid him go, because the confessor so intends unless

he positively forbids his penitent to receive Communion. However, one

who has not yet received his first Communion should not go to Communion

after confession, even if the confessor by mistake should bid him go.

 

Q. 785. {210} Which are the chief qualities of a good Confession?

A. The chief qualities of a good Confession are three: it must be

humble, sincere, and entire.

 

Q. 786. {211} When is our Confession humble?

A. Our Confession is humble when we accuse ourselves of our sins, with a

deep sense of shame and sorrow for having offended God.

 

Q. 787. {212} When is our Confession sincere?

A. Our Confession is sincere when we tell our sins honestly and

truthfully, neither exaggerating nor excusing them.

 

Q. 788. Why is it wrong to accuse ourselves of sins we have not

committed?

A. It is wrong to accuse ourselves of sins we have not committed,

because, by our so doing, the priest cannot know the true state of our

souls, as he must do before giving us absolution.

 

Q. 789. {213} When is our Confession entire?

A. Our Confession is entire when we tell the number and kinds of our

sins and the circumstances which change their nature.

 

Q. 790. What do you mean by the "kinds of sin?"

A. By the "kinds of sin," we mean the particular division or class to

which the sins belong; that is, whether they be sins of blasphemy,

disobedience, anger, impurity, dishonesty, &c. We can determine the kind

of sin by discovering the commandment or precept of the Church we have

broken or the virtue against which we have acted.

 

Q. 791. What do we mean by "circumstances which change the nature of

sins?"

A. By "circumstances which change the nature of sins" we mean anything

that makes it another kind of sin. Thus to steal is a sin, but to steal

from the Church makes our theft sacrilegious. Again, impure actions are

sins, but a person must say whether they were committed alone or with

others, with relatives or strangers, with persons married or single,

&c., because these circumstances change them from one kind of impurity

to another.

 

Q. 792. {214} What should we do if we cannot remember the number of our

sins?

A. If we cannot remember the number of our sins, we should tell the

number as nearly as possible, and say how often we may have sinned in a

day, a week, or a month, and how long the habit or practice has lasted.

 

Q. 793. {215} Is our Confession worthy if, without our fault, we forget

to confess a mortal sin?

A. If without our fault we forget to confess a mortal sin, our

Confession is worthy, and the sin is forgiven; but it must be told in

Confession if it again comes to our mind.

 

Q. 794. May a person who has forgotten to tell a mortal sin in

confession go to Holy Communion before going again to confession?

A. A person who has forgotten to tell a mortal sin in confession may go

to communion before again going to confession, because the forgotten sin

was forgiven with those confessed, and the confession was good and

worthy.

 

Q. 795. {216} Is it a grievous offense wilfully to conceal a mortal sin

in Confession?

A. It is a grievous offense wilfully to conceal a mortal sin in

Confession, because we thereby tell a lie to the Holy Ghost, and make

our Confession worthless.

 

Q. 796. How is concealing a sin telling a lie to the Holy Ghost?

A. Concealing a sin is telling a lie to the Holy Ghost, because he who

conceals the sin declares in confession to God and the priest that he

committed no sins but what he has confessed, while the Holy Ghost, the

Spirit of Truth, saw him committing the sin he now conceals and still

sees it in his soul while he denies it.

 

Q. 797. Why is it foolish to conceal sins in confession?

A. It is foolish to conceal sins in confession: (1) Because we thereby

make our spiritual condition worse; (2) We must tell the sin sometime if

we ever hope to be saved; (3) It will be made known on the day of

judgment, before the world, whether we conceal it now or confess it.

 

Q. 798. {217} What must he do who has wilfully concealed a mortal sin

in Confession?

A. He who has wilfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession must not

only confess it, but must also repeat all the sins he has committed

since his last worthy Confession.

 

Q. 799. Must one who has wilfully concealed a mortal sin in confession

do more than repeat the sins committed since his last worthy confession?

A. One who has wilfully concealed a mortal sin in confession must,

besides repeating all the sins he has committed since his last worthy

confession, tell also how often he has unworthily received absolution

and Holy Communion during the same time.

 

Q. 800. {218} Why does the priest give us a penance after Confession?

A. The priest gives us a penance after Confession, that we may satisfy

God for the temporal punishment due to our sins.

 

Q. 801. Why should we have to satisfy for our sins if Christ has fully

satisfied for them?

A. Christ has fully satisfied for our sins and after our baptism we were

free from all guilt and had no satisfaction to make. But when we

wilfully sinned after baptism, it is but just that we should be obliged

to make some satisfaction.

 

Q. 802. Is the slight penance the priest gives us sufficient to satisfy

for all the sins confessed?

A. The slight penance the priest gives us is not sufficient to satisfy

for all the sins confessed: (1) Because there is no real equality

between the slight penance given and the punishment deserved for sin;

(2) Because we are all obliged to do penance for sins committed, and

this would not be necessary if the penance given in confession satisfied

for all. The penance is given and accepted in confession chiefly to show

our willingness to do penance and make amends for our sins.

 

Q. 803. {219} Does not the Sacrament of Penance remit all punishment due

to sin?

A. The Sacrament of Penance remits the eternal punishment due to sin,

but it does not always remit the temporal punishment which God requires

as satisfaction for our sins.

 

Q. 804. {220} Why does God require a temporal punishment as a

satisfaction for sin?

A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin to teach

us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.

 

Q. 805. {221} Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the

temporal punishment due to sin?

A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment

due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving; all spiritual and corporal

works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.

 

Q. 806. What fasting has the greatest merit?

A. The fasting imposed by the Church on certain days of the year, and

particularly during Lent, has the greatest merit.

 

Q. 807. What is Lent?

A. Lent is the forty days before Easter Sunday, during which we do

penance, fast and pray to prepare ourselves for the resurrection of Our

Lord; and also to remind us of His own fast of forty days before His

Passion.

 

Q. 808. What do we mean by "almsgiving"?

A. By almsgiving we mean money, goods, or assistance given to the poor

or to charitable purposes. The law of God requires all persons to give

alms in proportion to their means.

 

Q. 809. What "ills of life" help to satisfy God for sin?

A. The ills of life that help to satisfy God for sin are sickness,

poverty, misfortune, trial, affliction, &c., especially, when we have

not brought them upon ourselves by sin.

 

Q. 810. How did the Christians in the first ages of the Church do

Penance?

A. The Christians in the first ages of the Church did public penance,

especially for the sins of which they were publicly known to be guilty.

Penitents were excluded for a certain time from Mass or the Sacrament,

and some were obliged to stand at the door of the Church begging the

prayers of those who entered.

 

Q. 811. What were these severe Penances of the First Ages of the Church

called?

A. These severe penances of the first ages of the Church were called

canonical penances, because their kind and duration were regulated by

the Canons or laws of the Church.

 

Q. 812. How can we know spiritual from corporal works of mercy?

A. We can know spiritual from corporal works of mercy, for whatever we

do for the soul is a spiritual work, and whatever we do for the body is

a corporal work.

 

Q. 813. {222} Which are the chief spiritual works of mercy?

A. The chief spiritual works of mercy are seven: To admonish the sinner,

to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the

sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, and to

pray for the living and the dead.

 

Q. 814. When are we bound to admonish the sinner?

A. We are bound to admonish the sinner when the following conditions are

fulfilled: (1) When his fault is a mortal sin; (2) When we have

authority or influence over him, and (3) When there is reason to believe

that our warning will not make him worse instead of better.

 

Q. 815. Who are meant by the "ignorant" we are to instruct, and the

"doubtful" we are to counsel?

A. By the ignorant we are to instruct and the doubtful we are to

counsel, are meant those particularly who are ignorant of the truths of

religion and those who are in doubt about matters of faith. We must aid

such persons as far as we can to know and believe the truths necessary

for salvation.

 

Q. 816. Why are we advised to bear wrong patiently and to forgive all

injuries?

A. We are advised to bear wrongs patiently and to forgive all injuries,

because, being Christians, we should imitate the example of Our Divine

Lord, who endured wrongs patiently and who not only pardoned but prayed

for those who injured Him.

 

Q. 817. If, then, it be a Christian virtue to forgive all injuries, why

do Christians establish courts and prisons to punish wrongdoers?

A. Christians establish courts and prisons to punish wrongdoers, because

the preservation of lawful authority, good order in society, the

protection of others, and sometimes even the good of the guilty one

himself, require that crimes be justly punished. As God Himself punishes

crime and as lawful authority comes from Him, such authority has the

right to punish, though individuals should forgive the injuries done to

themselves personally.

 

Q. 818. Why is it a work of mercy to pray for the living and the dead?

A. It is a work of mercy to aid those who are unable to aid themselves.

The living are exposed to temptations, and while in mortal sin they are

deprived of the merit of their good works and need our prayers. The dead

can in no way help themselves and depend on us for assistance.

 

Q. 819. {223} Which are the chief corporal works of mercy?

A. The chief corporal works of mercy are seven: To feed the hungry, to

give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to ransom the captive,

to harbor the harborless, to visit the sick, and to bury the dead.

 

Q. 820. How may we briefly state the corporal works of mercy?

A. We may briefly state the corporal works of mercy by saying that we

are obliged to help the poor in all their forms of want.

 

Q. 821. How are Christians aided in the performance of works of mercy?

A. Christians are aided in the performance of works of mercy through the

establishment of charitable institutions where religious communities of

holy men or women perform these duties for us, provided we supply the

necessary means by our almsgiving and good works.

 

Q. 822. Who are religious?

A. Religious are self-sacrificing men and women who, wishing to follow

more closely the teachings of Our Lord, dedicate their lives to the

service of God and religion. They live together in societies approved by

the Church, under a rule and guidance of a superior. They keep the vows

of chastity, poverty and obedience, and divide their time between prayer

and good works. The houses in which they dwell are called convents or

monasteries, and the societies in which they live are called religious

orders, communities or congregations.

 

Q. 823. Are there any religious communities of priests?

A. There are many religious communities of priests, who, besides living

according to the general laws of the Church, as all priests do, follow

certain rules laid down for their community. Such priests are called the

regular clergy, because living by rules to distinguish them from the

secular clergy who live in their parishes under no special rule. The

chief work of the regular clergy is to teach in colleges and give

missions and retreats.

 

Q. 824. Why are there so many different religious communities?

A. There are many different religious communities (1) because all

religious are not fitted for the same work, and (2) because they desire

to imitate Our Lord's life on earth as perfectly as possible; and when

each community takes one of Christ's works and seeks to become perfect

in it, the union of all their works continues as perfectly as we can the

works He began upon earth.

 

LESSON TWENTIETH.

ON THE MANNER OF MAKING A GOOD CONFESSION.

 

Q. 825. {224} What should we do on entering the confessional?

A. On entering the confessional we should kneel, make the sign of the

Cross, and say to the priest, "Bless me, father"; then add, "I confess

to Almighty God and to you, father, that I have sinned."

 

Q. 826. {225} Which are the first things we should tell the priest in

Confession?

A. The first things we should tell the priest in Confession are the time

of our last Confession, and whether we said the penance and went to Holy

Communion.

 

Q. 827. Should we tell anything else in connection with our last

confession?

A. In connection with our last confession we should tell also what

restrictions--if any--were placed upon us with regard to our occasions

of sin, and what obligations with regard to the payment of debts,

restitution, injuries done to others and the like, we were commanded to

fulfill.

 

Q. 828. {226} After telling the time of our last Confession and

Communion what should we do?

A. After telling the time of our last Confession and Communion we should

confess all the mortal sins we have since committed, and all the venial

sins we may wish to mention.

 

Q. 829. What is a general confession?

A. A general confession is the telling of the sins of our whole life or

a great part of it. It is made in the same manner as an ordinary

confession, except that it requires more time and longer preparation.

 

Q. 830. When should a General Confession be made?

A. A general confession (1) is necessary when we are certain that our

past confessions were bad; (2) it is useful on special occasions in our

lives when some change in our way of living is about to take place; (3)

it is hurtful and must not be made when persons are scrupulous.

 

Q. 831. What are the signs of scruples and the remedy against them?

A. The signs of scruples are chiefly: (1) To be always dissatisfied with

our confessions; (2) To be self-willed in deciding what is sinful and

what is not. The chief remedy against them is to follow exactly the

advice of the confessor without questioning the reason or utility of his

advice.

 

Q. 832. {227} What must we do when the confessor asks us questions?

A. When the confessor asks us questions we must answer them truthfully

and clearly.

 

Q. 833. {228} What should we do after telling our sins?

A. After telling our sins we should listen with attention to the advice

which the confessor may think proper to give.

 

Q. 834. What duties does the priest perform in the confessional?

A. In the confessional the priest performs the duties (1) of a judge, by

listening to our self-accusations and passing sentence upon our guilt or

innocence; (2) Of a father, by the good advice and encouragement he

gives us;

(3) Of a teacher, by his instructions, and (4) Of a physician, by

discovering the afflictions of our soul and giving us the remedies to

restore it to spiritual health.

 

Q. 835. Why is it beneficial to go always if possible to the same

confessor?

A. It is beneficial to go always, if possible, to the same confessor,

because our continued confessions enable him to see more clearly the

true state of our soul and to understand better our occasions of sin.

 

Q. 836. Should we remain away from confession because we cannot go to

our usual confessor?

A. We should not remain away from confession because we cannot go to our

usual confessor, for though it is well to confess to the same priest, it

is not necessary to do so. One should never become so attached to a

confessor that his absence or the great inconvenience of going to him

would become an excuse for neglecting the Sacraments.

 

Q. 837. {229} How should we end our Confession?

A. We should end our Confession by saying, "I also accuse myself of all

the sins of my past life," telling, if we choose, one or several of our

past sins.

 

Q. 838. {230} What should we do while the priest is giving us

absolution?

A. While the priest is giving us absolution we should from our heart

renew the Act of Contrition.

 

LESSON TWENTY-FIRST.

ON INDULGENCES.

 

Q. 839. {231} What is an Indulgence?

A. An Indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal

punishment due to sin.

 

Q. 840. What does the word "indulgence" mean?

A. The word indulgence means a favor or concession. An indulgence

obtains by a very slight penance the remission of penalties that would

otherwise be severe.

 

Q. 841. {232} Is an Indulgence a pardon of sin, or a license to commit

sin?

A. An Indulgence is not a pardon of sin, nor a license to commit sin,

and one who is in a state of mortal sin cannot gain an Indulgence.

 

Q. 842. How do good works done in mortal sin profit us?

A. Good works done in mortal sin profit us by obtaining for us the grace

to repent and sometimes temporal blessings. Mortal sin deprives us of

all our merit, nevertheless God will bestow gifts for every good deed as

He will punish every evil deed.

 

Q. 843. {233} How many kinds of Indulgences are there?

A. There are two kinds of Indulgences--Plenary and Partial.

 

Q. 844. {234} What is Plenary Indulgence?

A. A Plenary Indulgence is the full remission of the temporal punishment

due to sin.

 

Q. 845. Is it easy to gain a Plenary Indulgence?

A. It is not easy to gain a Plenary Indulgence, as we may understand

from its great privilege. To gain a Plenary Indulgence, we must hate

sin, be heartily sorry for even our venial sins, and have no desire for

even the slightest sin. Though we may not gain entirely each Plenary

Indulgence we seek, we always gain a part of each; that is, a partial

indulgence, greater or less in proportion to our good dispositions.

 

Q. 846. Which are the most important Plenary Indulgences granted by the

Church?

A. The most important Plenary Indulgences granted by the Church are (1)

The Indulgences of a jubilee which the Pope grants every twenty-five

years or on great occasions by which he gives special faculties to

confessors for the absolution of reserved sins; (2) The Indulgence

granted to the dying in their last agony.

 

Q. 847. {235} What is a Partial Indulgence?

A. A Partial Indulgence is the remission of part of the temporal

punishment due to sin.

 

Q. 848. How long has the practice of granting Indulgences been in use in

the Church, and what was its origin?

A. The practice of granting Indulgences has been in use in the Church

since the time of the apostles. It had its origin in the earnest prayers

of holy persons, and especially of the martyrs begging the Church for

their sake to shorten the severe penances of sinners, or to change them

into lighter penances. The request was frequently granted and the

penance remitted, shortened or changed, and with the penance remitted

the temporal punishment corresponding to it was blotted out.

 

Q. 849. How do we show that the Church has the power to grant

Indulgences?

A. We show that the Church has the power to grant Indulgences, because

Christ has given it power to remit all guilt without restriction, and if

the Church has power, in the Sacrament of penance, to remit the eternal

punishment--which is the greatest--it must have power to remit the

temporal or lesser punishment, even outside the Sacrament of Penance.

 

Q. 850. How do we know that these Indulgences have their effect?

A. We know that these Indulgences have their effect, because the Church,

through her councils, declares Indulgences useful, and if they have no

effect they would be useless, and the Church would teach error in spite

of Christ's promise to guide it.

 

Q. 851. Have there ever existed abuses among the faithful in the manner

of using Indulgences?

A. There have existed, in past ages, some abuses among the faithful in

the manner of using Indulgences, and the Church has always labored to

correct such abuses as soon as possible. In the use of pious practices

we must be always guided by our lawful superiors.

 

Q. 852. How have the enemies of the Church made use of the abuse of

Indulgences?

A. The enemies of the Church have made use of the abuse of Indulgences

to deny the doctrine of Indulgences, and to break down the teaching and

limit the power of the Church. Not to be deceived in matters of faith,

we must always distinguish very carefully between the abuses to which a

devotion may lead and the truths upon which the devotion rests.

 

Q. 853. {236} How does the Church by means of Indulgences remit the

temporal punishment due to sin?

A. The Church, by means of Indulgences, remits the temporal punishment

due to sin by applying to us the merits of Jesus Christ, and the

superabundant satisfactions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the

saints; which merits and satisfactions are its spiritual treasury.

 

Q. 854. What do we mean by the "superabundant satisfaction of the

Blessed Virgin and the Saints"?

A. By the superabundant satisfaction of the Blessed Virgin and the

saints, we mean all the satisfaction over and above what was necessary

to satisfy for their own sins. As their good works were many and their

sins few--the Blessed Virgin being sinless--the satisfaction not needed

for themselves is kept by the Church in a spiritual treasury to be used

for our benefit.

 

Q. 855. Does the Church, by granting Indulgences, free us from doing

Penance?

A. The Church, by granting Indulgences, does not free us from doing

penance, but simply makes our penance lighter that we may more easily

satisfy for our sins and escape the punishments they deserve.

 

Q. 856. Who has the power to grant Indulgences?

A. The Pope alone has the power to grant Indulgences for the whole

Church; but the bishops have power to grant partial Indulgences in their

own diocese. Cardinals and some others, by the special permission of the

Pope, have the right to grant certain Indulgences.

 

Q. 857. Where shall we find the Indulgences granted by the Church?

A. We shall find the Indulgences granted by the Church in the

declarations of the Pope and of the Sacred Congregation of Cardinals.

These declarations are usually put into prayer books and books of

devotion or instruction.

 

Q. 858. {237} What must we do to gain an Indulgence?

A. To gain an Indulgence we must be in the state of grace and perform

the works enjoined.

 

Q. 859. Besides being in a state of grace and performing the works

enjoined, what else is necessary for the gaining of an Indulgence?

A. Besides being in a state of grace and performing the works enjoined,

it is necessary for the gaining of an Indulgence to have at least the

general intention of gaining it.

 

Q. 860. How and why should we make a general intention to gain all

possible Indulgences each day?

A. We should make a general intention at our morning prayers to gain all

possible Indulgences each day, because several of the prayers we say and

good works we perform may have Indulgences attached to them, though we

are not aware of it.

 

Q. 861. What works are generally enjoined for the gaining of

Indulgences?

A. The works generally enjoined for the gaining of Indulgences are: The

saying of certain prayers, fasting, and the use of certain articles of

devotion; visits to Churches or altars, and the giving of alms. For the

gaining of Plenary Indulgences it is generally required to go to

confession and Holy Communion and pray for the intention of the Pope.

 

Q. 862. What does praying for a person's intention mean?

A. Praying for a person's intention means praying for whatever he prays

for or desires to obtain through prayer--some spiritual or temporal

favors.

 

Q. 863. What does an Indulgence of forty days mean?

A. An Indulgence of forty days means that for the prayer or work to

which an Indulgence of forty days is attached, God remits as much of our

temporal punishment as He remitted for forty days' canonical penance. We

do not know just how much temporal punishment God remitted for forty

days' public penance, but whatever it was, He remits the same now when

we gain an Indulgence of forty days. The same rule applies to

Indulgences of a year or any length of time.

 

Q. 864. Why did the Church moderate its severe penances?

A. The Church moderated its severe penances, because when

Christians--terrified by persecution--grew weaker in their faith, there

was danger of some abandoning their religion rather than submit to the

penances imposed. The Church, therefore, wishing to save as many as

possible, made the sinner's penance as light as possible.

 

Q. 865. To what things may Indulgences be attached?

A. Plenary or Partial Indulgences may be attached to prayers and solid

articles of devotion; to places such as churches, altars, shrines, &c.,

to be visited; and by a special privilege they are sometimes attached to

the good works of certain persons.

 

Q. 866. When do things lose the Indulgences attached to them?

A. Things lose the Indulgences attached to them: (1) When they are so

changed at once as to be no longer what they were; (2) When they are

sold. Rosaries and other indulgenced articles do not lose their

indulgences, when they are loaned or given away, for the indulgence is

not personal but attached to the article itself.

 

Q. 867. Will a weekly Confession suffice to gain during the week all

Indulgences to which Confession is enjoined as one of the works?

A. Weekly confession will suffice to gain during the week all

Indulgences to which confession is enjoined as one of the works,

provided we continue in a state of grace, perform the other works

enjoined and have the intention of gaining these Indulgences.

 

Q. 868. How and when may we apply Indulgences for the benefit of the

souls in Purgatory?

A. We may apply Indulgences for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory by

way of intercession; whenever this application is mentioned and

permitted by the Church in granting the Indulgence; that is, when the

Church declares that the Indulgence granted is applicable to the souls

of the living or the souls in Purgatory; so that we may gain it for the

benefit of either.

 

LESSON TWENTY-SECOND.

ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST.

 

Q. 869. What does the word Eucharist strictly mean?

A. The word Eucharist strictly means pleasing, and this Sacrament is so

called because it renders us most pleasing to God by the grace it

imparts, and it gives us the best means of thanking Him for all His

blessings.

 

Q. 870. {238} What is the Holy Eucharist?

A. The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament which contains the body and

blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances

of bread and wine.

 

Q. 871. What do we mean when we say the Sacrament which contains the

Body and Blood?

A. When we say the Sacrament which contains the Body and Blood, we mean

the Sacrament which is the Body and Blood, for after the Consecration

there is no other substance present in the Eucharist.

 

Q. 872. When is the Holy Eucharist a Sacrament, and when is it a

sacrifice?

A. The Holy Eucharist is a Sacrament when we receive it in Holy

Communion and when it remains in the Tabernacle of the Altar. It is a

sacrifice when it is offered up at Mass by the separate Consecration of

the bread and wine, which signifies the separation of Our Lord's blood

from His body when He died on the Cross.

 

Q. 873. {239} When did Christ institute the Holy Eucharist?

A. Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the night

before He died.

 

Q. 874. {240} Who were present when our Lord instituted the Holy

Eucharist?

A. When Our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist, the twelve Apostles were

present.

 

Q. 875. {241} How did our Lord institute the Holy Eucharist?

A. Our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist by taking bread, blessing,

breaking, and giving to His Apostles, saying: "Take ye and eat. This is

my body"; and then, by taking the cup of wine, blessing and giving it,

saying to them: "Drink ye all of this. This is my blood which shall be

shed for the remission of sins. Do this for a commemoration of me."

 

Q. 876. {242} What happened when our Lord said, "This is my body; this

is my blood"?

A. When Our Lord said, "This is my body," the substance of the bread was

changed into the substance of His body; when He said, "This is my

blood," the substance of the wine was changed into the substance of His

blood.

 

Q. 877. How do we prove the Real Presence, that is, that Our Lord is

really and truly present in the Holy Eucharist?

A. We prove the Real Presence--that is, that Our Lord is really and

truly present in the Holy Eucharist--(1) By showing that it is possible