An Exhaustive Explanation
of the Catholic Religion.
REV. Francis Spirago
Professor of Theology
Rev. Richard F. Clarke, S.J.
Nihil Obstat: Arthur J. Scanlan S.T.D.
Imprimatur: †Patrick J. Hayes, D.D.
Archbishop of New York, New York
October 18, 1921
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1st Book of Timothy Chapter 3 vs 15
“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know
how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the
house of God, which is the church of the
living God, the pillar and ground of truth.”
I. Prayers and Precepts of the Church 59
1. The Sign of the Cross
2. The Lords Prayer
3. The Angelical Salutation
4. The Apostles’ Creed
5. The Two Precepts of Charity
6. The Ten Commandments of God
7. The Six Precepts of the Church
II. Prayers which may be used Daily at Different Times 61
1. A Morning Prayer
2. A Night Prayer
3. An Act of Good Intention
4. Grace before Meals
5. Grace after Meals
6. Prayer for One’s Parents
III. Prayers to be said at Different Times when the Church Bell is Heard. 62
1. The Angelus
2. Prayer in Commemoration of Our Lord’s Passion, to be said at Three O’clock on Fridays
3. Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory, to be said when the Church Bell is Tolled.
4. Prayers to be said when the Bell is rung at Mass.
5. Prayer at the Offertory.
6. At the Consecration
7. At the Communion.
IV. Devotions for Confession and Communion 64
1. The Form for Confession
2. Acts of the Three Theological Virtues
3. An Act of Contrition
4. Renewal of Baptismal Vows.
V. Devotions to the Holy Ghost 66
1. Prayer to the Holy Ghost
2. Hymn to the Holy Ghost
VI. Special Prayers. 67
1. The Salve Regina
2. The Memorare
3. The Holy Rosary
4. Prayer to St. Joseph
5. Prayer to Our Guardian Angel
I. For What End Are We On This Earth? 73
1. We are upon the earth in order that we may glorify God, and so win for ourselves eternal happiness.
II. How Are We To Attain To Eternal Happiness? 74
1. We must strive to know God by means of faith in the truths He has revealed to us.
2. We must fulfil the will of God by keeping His Commandments
3. We must, therefore, avail ourselves of the means of grace; of which the chief are holy Mass,
the Sacraments and prayers.
III. Can We Attain Perfect Happiness On Earth? 75
1. Earthly goods, such as riches, honor, pleasure, cannot by themselves make us happy; for they
cannot satisfy our soul; they often only make life bitter, and invariably forsake us in death.
2. Only the Gospel of Christ is capable of giving us a partial happiness on earth, for he who follows
the teaching of Christ is certain to have peace in his soul.
3. He who follows Christ will have to endure persecution; but these persecutions can do him no harm.
4. Hence perfect happiness is impossible on earth; for no man can entirely avoid suffering.
I. The Knowledge of God. 79
1. The happiness of the angels and saints consists in the knowledge of God.
2. The knowledge of God is all important, for without it there cannot be any happiness
on earth, or a well – ordered life.
3. We arrive at a right knowledge of God through faith in the truths which God has revealed.
II. Divine Revelation 80
1. God has in His mercy in the course of ages often revealed Himself to men. (Heb. i. 1,2)
III. The Preaching of The Gospel 83
1. The truths revealed by God to men were by God’s command proclaimed to all nations of the earth
by the Catholic Church, and especially by means of the living word – that is, by preaching.
2. The Catholic Church derives from Holy Scripture and from Tradition the truths that God has revealed.
IV. Holy Scripture and Tradition 84
1. Holy Scripture or the Bible consists of seventy-two books, which were written by men inspired by God,
and under the guidance and influence of the Holy Ghost. These seventy-two books are recognized by the
Church as “The Word of God.”
2. The truths of divine revelation, which have not been written down in the pages of Holy Scripture, but
have been transmitted by word of mouth, are called Tradition.
V. The Christian Faith. 89
1. Christian faith is the firm conviction arrived at with the grace of God, that all that Jesus Christ taught
on earth is true, as well as all that the Catholic Church teaches by the commission she has received from Him.
2. Faith is concerned with many things which we cannot perceive with our senses and cannot grasp with our
3. We act quite in accordance with reason when we believe, because we trust ourselves to God’s truthfulness,
and because we know for certain that the truths of faith are revealed to us by God.
4. The Christian faith comprises all the doctrines of the Catholic faith.
5. Faith is a gift of God, since the power to believe can only be attained through the grace of God.
6. Faith is necessary to eternal salvation
7. Faith alone is not sufficient for salvation.
VI. The Motives of Faith 95
1. The external motives which move us to believe are chiefly miracles and prophecy.
2. Miracles are such extraordinary works as cannot be performed by the mere powers of nature, but are brought
about by the intervention of a higher power.
3. Miracles are wrought by Almighty God only for His own glory, and especially for the confirmation of true doctrine.
4. In working miracles, God usually makes use of the intervention of man, sometimes even of wicked men.
5. Prophecies are clear and definite predictions of future events that can be known to God alone.
6. God for the most part entrusts the prophesying of future events to His messengers, for the confirmation of the true
faith or for the benefit of men.
VII. On The Absence And Loss of Faith 98
1. Those who do not possess Christian faith are either: (1), Heretics, or (2), Infidels.
2. Faith is for the most part lost either: (1), by indifference to the doctrines of faith; (2), by wilful doubt respecting
the truths of faith; (3), by reading books of other literature that is hostile to the faith; (4), by frequenting the
assemblies of those who are hostile to the faith; (5), by neglecting the practice of one’s religion.
3. All men who through their own fault die without Christian faith are by the just judgement of God sentenced
to eternal perdition.
VIII. On The Duty of Confessing Our Faith 102
1. God requires of us that we should make outward profession of our faith.
2. Our Lord has promised eternal life to him who fearlessly makes profession of his faith.
IX. The Sign of The Cross. 105
1. In making the sign of the cross we make profession of the most important of all the mysteries of our holy religion;
viz., the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity and of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. By means of the sign of the cross we obtain a blessing from God; and especially by it are we protected from
the assaults of the devil and from all dangers both to body and to soul.
X. The Apostles Creed. . 108
1. The Apostles’ Creed contains in brief all that a Catholic must know and believe.
2. The Apostles’ Creed may be divided into three several parts.
3. The Apostles’ Creed may also be divided into twelve articles.
First Article of the Creed: “I Believe in God, The Father Almighty.”
Section 1. The Existence of a Supreme Being. 109
1. We can infer from the created world around us that there exists a supreme Being.
2. The existence of God is also proved from revelation.
Section 2. The Divine Essence. 112
1. God is a self-existent Being, infinite in His perfections, glory, and beatitude, the Creator and Ruler of the whole world.
2. We cannot see God, because He is a spirit, i.e., a being without body, immortal, possessed of intellect and free will.
3. There is one God, and one only.
Section 3. The Divine Attributes. 114-127
1. God is eternal, i.e., always was, is , and ever will be.
2. God is omnipresent, i.e., He is in every place.
3. God is immutable, i.e., He ever remains the same.
4. God is omniscient, i.e., He knows all things, the past, the present, and the future, and also our inmost thoughts.
(Jer. xvii. 10)
5. God is supremely wise, i.e., He knows how to direct everything for the best, in order to carry out His designs.
6. God is almighty, i.e., God can do all that He wills, and that by a mere act of His will.
7. God is supremely good, i.e., He loves His creatures far more than a father loves his children.
8. God is very patient, i.e., He leaves the sinner time for repentance and a change of life.
9. God is full of mercy and compassion, i.e., He very readily forgives our sins when we are sincerely sorry for them.
10. God is infinitely Holy, i.e., He loves good and hates all evil.
11. God is infinitely just, i.e., He rewards all good and punishes all evil deeds.
12. God is a God of perfect truth, i.e., all that He reveals to man is true.
13. God is faithful, i.e., He keeps His promises and carries out His threats.
Section 4. The Blessed Trinity. 128-131
1. The Blessed Trinity is one God in three persons.
2. We cannot with our feeble understanding grasp the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, and it is therefore called
3. The nature, the attributes, and the works of the three persons of the Blessed Trinity are common to all of them.
4. The three divine persons are divided only in their origin.
5. We are taught the mystery of the Blessed Trinity by Christ Himself, but it was partly known in the time of the
6. The belief in the Blessed Trinity is expressed in the Apostles’ Creed, in Baptism, and in the other sacraments,
in all consecrations and blessings, and in the feast of the Most holy Trinity.
Section 5. History of Creation 132
1. In the beginning God created the spiritual and material universe.
2. The material world was at the first without form, without inhabitants, and without light.
3. God gave to the material universe its present form in the course of six days.
4. On the seventh day God rested from all His work that He had done.
FROM WHAT, AND FOR WHAT END, HAS GOD CREATED THE WORLD?
1. God made the world out of nothing, simply because it pleased Him to make it.
2. God was moved to make the world by His great goodness.
3. The end of creation is necessarily to proclaim to men the glory of God.
Section 6. Divine Providence. 137
We call by the name of divine providence, God’s preservation and government of the world.
1. God maintains the world. i.e., He preserves all creatures in existence as long as He wills.
2. God governs the world, i.e., He conducts all things in the world, so that they contribute to His glory and to our advantage.
3. For this reason, a pious Christian should resign himself entirely to the will of God.
HOW ARE THE MISFORTUNES OF THE GOOD AND THE PROSPERITY OF
THE WICKED TO BE RECONCILED WITH THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD?
No sinner has true happiness, and his good fortune is only transitory.
HOW IS SIN TO BE RECONCILED WITH THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD?
God is not responsible for sin.
Section 7. The Christian under Suffering. 141
1. No one can attain to eternal salvation without suffering.
2. All suffering comes from God, and is a sign of His love and favor.
3. God sends suffering to the sinner to bring him back into the right way, and to save him from eternal death.
4. God sends suffering to the just man to try him, whether he loves God most or creatures.
5. Sufferings then are no real evil, but are benefits from the hand of God.
6. For this reason we should be patient under suffering, and should resign ourselves to the will of God.
Section 8. The Angels. 146
1. The angels are pure spirits.
2. All the angels whom God created were at the beginning in the grace of God and well pleasing to Him.
But many of the angels sinned through pride, and were cast down by God into hell forever. (2 Pet. ii. 4)
3. The evil angels are our enemies; they envy us, seek to lead us to sin, and can, with God’s permission,
injure us in our bodies or in our worldly goods.
4. The angels who remained faithful to God behold the face of God continually and sing His praises.
5. The holy angels are also called guardian angels, because they watch over us (Heb. i. 14)
Section 9. Man.
The Creation of Man 152
1. God made the body of man out of the dust of the earth, and breathed into him a living soul.
2. The first human beings that God created were Adam and Eve.
Section 10. The Soul of Man. 154
1. The soul of man is made in the image of God, since it is a spirit like to God.
2. The soul of man is immortal, i.e., it can never cease to exist.
Section 11. The Supernatural Endowments of Man. 156
1. Our first parents were created in the grace of God, and therefore possessed singular perfections of soul and body.
2. These special perfections of our first parents we call supernatural gifts, because they are something altogether beyond, and were added, to human nature
Section 12. Original Sin. 158
1. God imposed on man in paradise a precept; He forbade him to eat the fruit of one of the trees, which stood in the midst
of the Garden of Eden.
2. Man allowed himself to be led astray by the devil, and transgressed the precept of his Creator.
3. The transgression of the precept of God had disastrous consequences; man lost sanctifying grace and all his supernatural gifts, and also suffered injuries both in soul and body.
4. The sin of our first parents with all its evil consequences has passed on their descendants.
Second to Seventh Article of the Creed: Jesus Christ.
Section 1. The Redemption. 162
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, has freed us from the evil consequences of sin.
Section 2. The Promise of the Redeemer. 163
1. Immediately after the Fall, God promised man a Redeemer.
2. Two Thousand years later God promised to Abraham that the Redeemer should be one of his descendants.
3. At a later time God sent the prophets, and through their mouth foretold many things about the coming, the birth, the person, the sufferings, the death, and the final triumph and glory of the Redeemer.
4. Of the advent of the Messias.
5. Of the person of the Messias.
6. Of the sufferings of the Messias
7. Of the glory of the Messias.
8. The Messias was announced through many types.
Section 3. Preparation of Mankind for the Redeemer. 171
1. God chose for Himself a special nation and prepared it for the coming of a Redeemer; this chosen people was the seed
of Abraham, usually called by the name of Israelites of Jews.
2. The other nations of the earth were prepared for the coming of the Redeemer by contact with the chosen people, or by
the influence of exceptionally gifted men or by other extraordinary methods.
3. Before the arrival of the Redeemer God permitted that mankind should experience the deepest misery in order to rouse it to a longing for a Redeemer.
Section 4. The Life And Times of the Redeemer. 175
1. The Redeemer lived some nineteen hundred years ago and remained thirty-three years on the earth.
2. The work of the Redeemer was confined for the most part to Palestine.
Section 5. Jesus of Nazareth is the Redeemer of Christ. 178
1. Jesus of Nazareth is the Redeemer because all the prophecies have their fulfillment in Him.
2. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messias because the kingdom founded by Him on earth ahs been enduring.
3. Jesus Himself claimed the name of Redeemer.
4. The angels announced Him as the Redeemer.
Section 6. The Life of Christ. 179-192
The Childhood of Christ
1. Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a stable at Bethlehem.
3. Christ spent the first years of His childhood in Egypt, and after that lived at Nazareth till He was thirty.
The Public Life of Christ
1. When Christ was thirty years old, He was baptized by John in the Jordan (Matt. iii. 13), and fasted forty days in the desert, where He was tempted by the devil (Matt. iv.)
2. Christ taught for about three and a half years, gathered some seventy-two disciples, and from these chose twelve apostles.
3. Christ proved His divine mission and the truth of His doctrine by many miracles, by His knowledge of all things, and by the holiness of His life.
The Sufferings of Christ
1. On the Sunday preceding the feast of Easter Christ made a solemn entry into Jerusalem, and taught in the Temple during the days following.
2. On Holy Thursday evening Christ ate the Pasch with His disciples, instituted the Blessed Sacrament, and then went out to the Mount of Olives, where He suffered His agony and bloody sweat.
3. On Good Friday at noon Christ was nailed to the cross, on the hill of Calvary, just outside Jerusalem, and died on the cross about three o’clock.
4. During Easter Saturday, that is, on the greatest feast day of the Jews, Our Lord remained in the sepulchre.
The Exaltation of Christ
1. Immediately after the death of Christ His Soul went down in triumph into the place where the souls of those justified under the Old Law were detained.
2. On Easter Sunday before sunrise Christ rose glorious from the tomb by His own almighty power.
3. Forty days after His resurrection Our Lord ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives and now sits at the right hand of God the Father.
4. On the tenth day after His ascending into heaven Christ sent down the Holy Ghost on the apostles.
Section 7. The Person of the Redeemer. 193-204
Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, is the Son of God made man; hence He is God Himself.
The Incarnation of the Son of God.
1. The second divine person became man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the action of the Holy Ghost at the moment of the Annunciation.
2. The Father of Jesus is therefore God the Father in heaven; Joseph, the spouse of Mary, is only the foster-father of Jesus.
3. The Incarnation of the Son of God is a mystery which we cannot understand, but only admire and honor.
4. The Incarnation of the Son of God was necessary to give perfect satisfaction to the injured majesty of God.
5. The Second Person always remained God though He became man, and by the Incarnation He lost none of His dignity.
6. By the Incarnation of the Son of God all the members of the human race have acquired a special dignity.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
1. Jesus Christ solemnly declared before the high priest that He was the Son of God. (Matt. xxvi. 64)
2. God the Father called Jesus Christ His Son on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan and ot the transfiguration on Mount Thabor (Matt. iii. 17; xvii. 5)
Jesus Christ is God Himself.
1. That Jesus Christ is God we learn form His own words and from those of His apostles.
2. That Jesus Christ is God we conclude from His miracles and prophecies.
3. That Jesus Christ is God we conclude from the elevation of His teaching and His character.
Jesus Christ is Our Lord.
We call Christ “Our Lord” because He is our Creator, Redeemer, Lawgiver, Teacher, and Judge.
Eight Article of the Creed: The Holy Ghost.
Section 1. The Grace of the Holy Ghost is Necessary to us. 205
1. The Holy Ghost is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, and is therefore God Himself.
2. The Holy Ghost dispenses the graces which Christ merited by the sacrifice of the cross.
3. Hence the assistance of the Holy Ghost is absolutely necessary for salvation.
Section 2. Action of the Holy Ghost. 207-219
1. The Holy Ghost influences our lives by enlightening the mind and strengthening the will. Such passing
influence of the Holy Spirit is called “actual grace”.
2. The action of the Holy Spirit sometimes makes itself perceptible to the senses.
3. The Holy Ghost does not force us, but leaves us in perfect possesion of our free will.
4. The Holy Ghost acts on every man: on the sinner as well as on the just; and more on Catholics than on non-Catholics and un-believers.
5. Actual graces are obtained by the performance of good works, especially by prayer, fasting, and almsdeeds: and more especially by the use of the means of grace provided by the Church, by hearing of holy Mass, worthy reception of the Sacraments, and attendance at sermons.
1. When the sinner co-operates with actual grace, the Holy Ghost enters his soul, and confers on it a brightness and beauty which claim the friendship of God. This indwelling beauty of the soul is due to the presence of the Holy Spirit and is called “sanctifying grace.”
2. Usually, however, the Holy Spirit makes His entry on the reception of the Sacraments of Baptism or Penance.
3. When the Holy Spirit enters into us He brings with Him a new spiritual life.
4. Sanctifying grace is secured and increased by doing good works, and using the means of grace offered by the Church; it is lost by a single mortal sin.
5. He who has not sanctifying grace is spiritually dead, and will suffer eternal ruin.
6. No one knows for certain whether he have sanctifying grace or will receive it at the hour of death.
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost and the Extraordinary Graces.
1. The Holy Ghost gives to all who have sanctifying grace the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, that is, the seven virtues of the soul, by which it easily responds to His light and inspirations.
2. The Holy Ghost gives to many graces to a rarer kind, for instance the gift of tongues, of miracles, of prophesy, of discernment of spirits, of visions, of ecstasies, etc.
3. The gifts of the Holy Spirit were conspicuous in a special degree in Jesus Christ, His Holy Mother, the apostles, the patriarchs and the prophets of the Old Law, and all the saints of the Catholic Church.
The Holy Ghost as Guide of the Church.
The Holy Ghost maintains and guides the Catholic Church.
Section 3. Apparitions of the Holy Ghost. 220
The Holy Ghost has appeared under the form of a dove, of fire, and of tongues, to signify His office in the Church.
Ninth Article of the Creed: The Catholic Church.
Section 1. The Catholic Church and its Institution. 221
1. The Catholic Church is a visible institution founded by Christ. in which men are trained for heaven.
2. The Church prepares man for heaven by carrying out the threefold office which Christ conferred upon her;
the office of teacher, of priest, and of shepherd.
3. The Lord and King of the Church is Christ
4. The Catholic Church consists of a teaching and a hearing body
Section 2. The Head of the Church. 223
1. Christ conferred on St. Peter the primacy over the apostles and the faithful.
2. St. Peter was Bishop of Rome for some twenty five years, and died Bishop of Rome; and the dignity and power of St. Peter descended to the succeeding Bishops of Rome.
3. The Bishop of Rome is called the Pope, or Holy Father.
Section 3. Bishops, Priests, The Faithful. 226
1. The bishops are the successors of the apostles.
2. The priests are the assistants of the bishops.
3. A Catholic is one who has been baptized and professes himself to be a member of the Catholic Church.
Section 4 Foundation and Spread of the Church. 230
1. Christ laid the foundation of the Church when in the course of His teaching He gathered a number of disciples and chose twelve of these to preside over the rest and one to be Head of all.
2. The Church first began its life on Pentecost, when some three thousand people were baptized.
3. Soon after the descent of the Holy Ghost the apostles began to preach the Gospel throughout the world, in accordance with the commands of Christ, and founded Christian communities in many places.
4. When the great persecutions broke out the Church spread more rapidly over the earth.
5. In the Middle Ages nearly all the heathen nations began to enter the Church.
6. In later times many nations of the newly-discovered countries were converted.
7. At present the Catholic Church numbers about 288,000,000 members.
Section 5. The Catholic Church is Indestructible and Infallible. 235
Indestructibility of the Church.
The Catholic Church is indestructible, i.e., it will remain till the end of the world.
The Infallibility of the Church.
1. The Catholic Church is infallible in her teaching, i.e., the Holy Ghost assists the Church in such a manner that she cannot err in the preserving and announcing of revealed doctrine.
2. The Church delivers her infallible decisions through general councils and through the Pope.
3. The Church pronounces infallible judgments in the following cases: on doctrine of faith and morals, and their meaning and interpretation; on the Holy Scripture and Tradition and their interpretation.
Section 6. The Hierarchy of the Church. 241
1. The ministers of the Church fall into three classes of distinct dignity and power, bishops, priests, and deacons.
2. This hierarchy was in force in the time of the apostles.
3. The episcopal and priestly office was instituted by Christ Himself; the diaconate by the apostles.
4. Besides the three classes, there are other degrees varying in their powers; for example, Pope, cardinals, archbishops.
Section 7. Notes of the True Church. 242
1. The true Church is that one which is most persecuted by the world, and which has received God’s seal in the form of miracles.
2. The true Church is that one in which the successor of St. Peter is the be found.
3. The true Church is known by the following four marks: she is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic.
Section 8. The Catholic Church Alone Gives Salvation. 245
1. The Catholic Church alone gives salvation; i.e., the Catholic Church alone possesses those means which lead to salvation; viz, the doctrine of Christ, the means of salvation appointed by Christ, and the teachers and guides of the Church established by Christ.
2. Hence every man is bound to become a member of the Catholic Church.
3. Whoever through his own fault remains outside the Church will not be saved.
Section 9. The Relations Between Church And State. 247
1. The Church is, in its own department, absolutely independent of the State, for Christ left the teaching and government of His Church to the apostles and their successors, not to any temporal sovereign.
2. The Church is an essential actor in promoting the welfare of the State, for she teaches obedience to authority, prevents many crimes, incites men to noble endeavor, and unites together various nations.
3. The Church was from the earliest times the patron of true education and culture.
Section 10. The Communion of Saints. 251
1. The communion of saints is the union and intercourse of Catholics on earth, of the souls in purgatory, and of the saints in heaven.
2. Catholics on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the blessed in heaven, are united with Christ, just as are the members of a body with the head.
3. All the members of the communion of saints have a share in the spiritual goods of the Catholic Church, and can help one another by their prayers and other good works. The saints alone in heaven have no need of help.
Tenth Article of the Creed: The Forgiveness of Sins.
(See the Chapter on Sin)
Eleventh And Twelfth Articles of the Creed: The Last Things.
Section 1. Death. 254
1. At death the soul is separated from the body and enters the world of spirits; the body decays and falls into dust.
2. All men must die, because death is the consequence of original sin.
3. Death is terrible only to the sinner, in no wise to the just.
Section 2. The Particular Judgment. 256
1. Immediately after death follows the particular judgment.
2. After the particular judgment the souls of men go into hell, or heaven, or purgatory.
Section 3. Heaven. 257
Heaven is the abode of everlasting joy.
Section 4. Hell. 261
1. Hell is the abode of everlasting torment.
2. The souls of those who die in mortal sin go to hell.
Section 5. Purgatory. 264
1. Purgatory is a place where the souls of those must suffer for a time who, through dying without grave sin on their souls, have not done complete penance for their offences against God.
2. That there is a purgatory we learn from the teachings of Christ and especially from the practice and doctrine of the Church.
3. The faithful on earth can help the holy souls in purgatory by good works.
Section 6. The Resurrection of the Body. 268
Christ on the Last Day will raise the bodies of all men from the dead and unite them to the soul forever.
Section 7. The General Judgment. 270
1. Immediately after the resurrection the general judgment will take place.
2. The Day of Judgment is unknown to us, though certain signs have been revealed which are to herald its approach.
Section 1. The Essence of Christian Hope. 274
Christian hope is the connfident expectation of all those things which Christ promised us with regard to the fulfillment of God’s Will.
1. As the reward of carrying out God’s will, Christ has promised us eternal happiness and the means required for obtaining it.
2. Christian hope is based on faith.
3. He only who carries out God’s will can hope for the good things promised by Christ.
4. A wholesome fear of falling into sin must always accompany Christian hope.
5. Christian hope is necessary for salvation
6. Christian hope is a gift of God.
Section 2. The Advantage of Christian Hope. 277
1. He who hopes in God enjoys the special protection of God.
2. He who hopes in God can obtain everything from Him.
3. He who hopes in God is strengthened by God.
4. He who hopes in God is impelled to the performance of good works and heroic acts.
Section 3. The Object of Christian Hope. 279
1. The Christian may not rely on his own powers, on his fellow-men, nor on earthly things more than on God.
2. The Christian may not despair.
3. The Christian must never presume on his trust in God’s mercy.
4. The Christian may never tempt God.
A. The Commandments.
Section 1. What Commandments (or Laws) Has God Given Us! 281
1. God has imprinted the natural law on the heart of every man; this forms the fundamental rule of human actions.
2. In addition to this natural law God gave to man solemn precepts, more especially the Ten Commandments, and the two precepts of charity. These are known as the revealed law.
3. Finally, God gives us commandments through His representatives upon earth, through the ecclesiastical and secular authorities. These laws are called ecclesiastical and cival laws.
4. From the knowledge of the law comes conscience; the consciousness, that is whether an act is permitted or prohibited by the law.
5. God’s commandments do not deprive men in any way of true freedom.
Section 2. The Two Commandments of Charity. 284
1. The most important commandments are the two commandments of charity, that is to say, the love of God and the love of one’s neighbor, for all the other commandments are comprised in them.
2. Without the love of God and of our neighbor no man can be saved.
Section 3. The Precept of the LOVE OF GOD. 286
1. We ought to love God (1), because Christ commands this; (2), because He is in Himself essentially the highest beauty and sovereign perfection; (3), because He loves us and continually bestows benefits upon us.
2. Our love to God is chiefly manifested by thinking of Him constantly, by avoiding whatever might weparate us from Him, by laboring to promote His Glory, and willingly accepting all that comes from His hand.
3. We must love God with all our faculties, and above all things else in the whole world.
4. The love of God is of great advantage to us: through it we are united to God here on earth, our minds are enlightened, our will is strengthened, we obtain pardon of sin, peace of soul, manifold proofs of God’s favor, and after death celestial joys.
5. The merit of our good works and the degree of our future felicity is in proportion to the magnitude of our love for God.
Section 4. The Love of the World is Opposed to the Love Of God. 292
1. The love of the world consists in loving above all, money, or gratification of one’s appetite, or earthly honors, or anything else in the world, instead of giving the first place to God.
2. Through love of the world, we incur the loss of sanctifying grace, and eternal felicity.
Section 5. The Commandment of Charity Towards Our Neighbor. 295
1) We ought to love our neighbor because this is Christ’s command; furthermore because he is a child of God, made after His image; and also because we are all descended from the same parents, and we are all called to attain eternal felicity.
2) The love of our neighbor shows itself in desiring the good of our neighbor from our heart; in abstaining from injuring him, and in doing him good.
3) We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves; but we are by no means obliged to love him better than ourselves.
4) All that we do to our neighbor, whether it be good or evil, we do to Christ Himself, for He has said, “What you did to one of these My least brethren, ye did it to Me” (Matt. xxv. 40)…
Section 6. Lack of Charity to Ones Neighbor. 298
1. He who does not desire the good of his neighbor, but is envious of him, does not possess the love of his neighbor.
2. He does not love his neighbor who injures him, whether in regard to his life, his innocence, his property, his honor, or his household.
3. Nor does he love his neighbor who performs no works of mercy.
Section 7. Love of Ones Friends. 300
Those are our friends whose principles are the same, and whose love is mutual, and based on religion.
Section 8. The Commandment to Love Our Enemy. 303
1. We ought to love our enemies because Christ commands it; He says: “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, pray for them that persecute and calumniate you” (Matt. v. 44).
2. The love of our enemy is shown in this : that we do not revenge ourselves on him, that we return good for evil, that we pray for him, and forgive him willingly.
Section 9 The Love of One’s Self. 306
The true love of one’s self shows itself herein, that we strive to attain that which will procure our real happiness; first and foremost our eternal felicity, and then such earthly things as are conducive to the attainment of eternal felicity.
Section 10. The Ten Commandments of God. 306
1. The Ten Commandments were given by God to the Jews on Mount Sinai.
2. We Christians are bound to observe the Ten Commandments of God, both because God has imprinted them upon the human heart, and because Christ laid them upon us anew in a more full and perfect form.
3. The Ten Commandments of God are arranged in order.
4. He who keeps all these commandments receives a great reward from God on earth, and after death he may look forward to eternal felicity as his portion.
5. Temporal and eternal chastisements await the man who grievously violates a single one of these commandments.
The First Commandment of God.
In the First Commandment God enjoins upon us to worship Him, and forbids idolatry and every false form of worship.
Chapter 1. The Adoration or Worship of God. 310
1. The adoration we pay to God consists in this: That we acknowledge both in our hearts and by our actions that He is Our Lord, and we are His creatures and His servants.
2. We worship God interiorly by acts of faith, hope, and charity.
3. We adore God exteriorly by vocal prayer, sacrifice, genuflections, prostrations, folding of hands, striking the breast, etc.
4. We must pay supreme worship to God only, for He alone is the sovereign Lord of heaven and of earth.
Chapter 2. Idolatry or the Worship of False Gods. 313
1. Idolatry is the worship of a creature which is regarded as a deity: e.g., the sun, fire, animals, images, etc.
2. Another form of idolatry is when a human being gives up his whole self to a creature.
3. The service of idols is high treason against the majesty of God, and the most heinous of sins.
Chapter 3. Foolish or Perverted Worship. 315
1. Superstition, fortune-telling, spiritualism, and magic, are foolish and irrational forms of worship.
2. This perverted from of worship is a grievous sin.
Sins against the First Commandment.
We sin against the First Commandment by neglecting prayer, by opposing religion, etc.
Chapter 4. The Veneration of Saints. 318
1. We honor the saints because they are the friends of God, princes of the heavenly court , and benefactors to ourselves; also because we obtain great graces from God through venerating them.
2. We venerate the saints if we entreat their intercession with God; if we celebrate their feasts, reverence their images and their relics; if we bear their name, claim their protection in matters of importance, and praise them in word and song. The best manner in which to venerate them is to imitate their virtues…
Chapter 5. The Veneration of the MOTHER OF GOD. 323
We pay greater honor to Mary, the mother of Christ, than to any other saint.
1. We hold Mary in such great veneration because she is the Mother of God and our Mother.
2. Another reason why Mary is highly honored throughout Christendom is because God has exalted her above all men and angels.
3. Finally, we entertain this great veneration for Mary, because her intercession is more powerful with God than that of any other saint.
Chapter 6. The Veneration of Images of the Saints. 329
1. We honor the images of the saints by giving them a place in our dwellings; we say our prayers before them, we salute them respectfully, we adorn them with offerings, we make pilgrimages to their shrines.
2. Through venerating the images of the saints, efficacious and often-times supernatural graces are obtained; they are also useful as a means of avoiding distractions in prayer, and affording us a slient admonition…
Chapter 7. The Veneration of Relics. 331
1. We honor the relics of the saints by preserving them with reverence, and visiting the spot where they are deposited…
2. We obtain many blessings from God by venerating relics.
Chapter 8. The Extraordinary Worship of God. 3
We can, moreover, honor God by taking an oath or by making a vow.
The OATH 333
To swear or take an oath is to call God to witness that one is speaking the truth, or that one will keep a promise…
The Vow (Solemn Promise). 336
1. A vow is a promise voluntarily made to God to perform some good action…
2. The most important vows are the religious vows, that is to say, the solemn promise made voluntarily by persons entering a religious Order, to follow the evangelical counsels….
The Second Commandment of God. 339
We owe reverence to almighty God, because He is a Lord of infinite majesty and of infinite bounty…
1. In the Second Commandment , God commands us in the first place to show due respect to His divine majesty. This we must do in the following manner; We should call frequently upon the name of the God with true and heartfelt devotion, especially at the commencement of all we do, and in time of trouble…
2. We ought to show respect for all that appertains to divine worship; more especially for the servants of God, for holy places, sacred things, and religious ceremonies.
3. We ought frequently to praise and magnify almighty God, on account of His infinite perfections and goodness, especially when He reveals His perfections in a special manner, or confers a benefit upon us.
4. Furthermore, God prohibits everything which is a violation of the reverence due to His divine majesty, and in particular: Taking the name of God in vain…
5. Swearing. By this is meant the use of holy names in a moment of anger as an imprecation against certain persons or things…
6. Indecorous behavior towards persons who are consecrated to the service of God, holy places, sacred objects or actions…
7. Blasphemy. Of this sin those are guilty who revile God, His saints, or speak contemptuously of objects connected with His worship.
8. Simony. < This consists in selling spiritualities for money or the equivalent of money…
The Third Commandment of God. 347
In the Third Commandment of the Decalogue God commands us to sanctify the Sunday and to work six days in the week.
Chapter 1. The Precept to Sanctify Sundays And Holydays. 347
1. God commands us to sanctify the seventh day, because on the seventh day He rested from the work of creation.
2. God commanded the Jews to keep holy the Sabbath day.
3. Sunday was appointed by the apostles as the day of rest instead of the Sabbath, because Christ rose from the dead on Sunday…
4. We are bound on Sunday to abstain from servile work and to assist at the public Mass; we ought moreover to employ this day in providing for the salvation of our soul, that is to say by approaching the Sacraments, by prayer, hearing sermons, reading spiritual books, and performing works of mercy…
Sins Against the Third Commandment 350
This commandment is transgressed by performing servile work, by carelessness at public worship, etc.
Motives for the Sanctification of Sunday
God rewards those who keep holy His day, and its profanation is frequently punished….
Chapter 2. The Precept of Labor. 353
1. The obligation to work was laid upon mankind by God after the Fall as a penance…
2. Every individual who can work is bound to work. St Paul says; “If any man will not work, neither let him eat” (2 Thess. iii. 10)…
3. Every man is bound primarily to perform the work appertaining to his calling or station.
4. We must not forget God in what we do; before and during our work we should implore His aid and renew our intention…
5. Labor obtains a temporal and an eternal recompense, because it is a kind of divine worship. The temporal recompense is contentment and earthly happiness…
The Relaxations Permitted to the Christian.
It is lawful to seek relaxation, but one must not overdo it…….
The Six Commandments of the Church. 357
1. The six precepts of the Church are an amplification of the Third Commandment of the Decalogue…
2. We are under a rigorous obligation to keep the commandments of the Church , for disobedience to the Church is disobedience to Christ…
Chapter 1. The First Commandment of the Church: The Observance of Sundays and Holydays.
1. In the first commandment of the Church the solemn observance of the holydays is enjoined upon us. There are seven festivals of Our Lord, five of Our Lady, and three of the saints…
2. The holydays of obligation ought to be kept in the same manner as the Sundays; we must abstain from servile work and assist at holy Mass…
The Ecclesiastical Year 359
1. The ecclesiastical year is an annual commemoration and representation of the life of Christ, and of the time before and after His birth.
2. The ecclesiastical year begins upon the first Sunday in Advent. Its three principal feasts are Christmas, when the birth of Christ is celebrated; Easter, the day of His resurrection; and Pentecost, when the coming of the Holy Spirit is commemorated.
3. The aspect of nature corresponds to the three principal festivals…
Chapter 2. The Second Commandment of the Church. 361
By the second commandment of the Church the precept of fasting is laid upon us.
In the second commandment of the Church we are ordered to abstain on all Fridays of the year; to fast during the forty days of Lent, on the Ember days, and on the vigils of certain feasts…
1. We are forbidden to eat meat on Friday, because on that day Our Lord died for us.
2. During the forty days of Lent only one full meal is to be taken, as a partial imitation of Our Lord’s fast of the forty days, and as a suitable preparation of celebrating the festival of Easter…
3. We ought to keep the fast of the Ember days strictly, in order to implore almighty God to send us good priests, and to thank Him for the benefits received during the past quarter…
4. We are also bound to fast on the vigils of certain feasts, in order the better to prepare ourselves for celebrating those feasts…
5. It is by no means the desire of the Church that we should fast to the injury of our health, or that we should thereby be hindered from performing the duties of our station
6. Fasting is beneficial both for the soul and the body….
Chapter 3. The Third and Fourth Commandments of the Church. 366
1. In the third and fourth commandments of the Church enjoins upon us the duty of approaching the Sacrament of Penance and receiving holy communion at Easter…
Chapter 4. The Fifth Commandment of the Church.
By the fifth commandment of the Church we are bound to contribute to the support of our pastors.
Chapter 5. The Sixth Commandment of the Church. 368
In the sixth commandment marriage with non-Catholics is forbidden, also the marriage of those who are related by blood (consanguinity) to the third degree, inclusive, or by marriage (affinity) to the second degree, inclusive. Marriages are not solemnized during fixed seasons. These penitential times are from the beginning of Advent until Christmas Day, and from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday…
The Fourth Commandment of God.
Chapter 1. Our Duty towards Our Parents. 368
1. Our Parents are to be honored, because they are God’s representatives and our greatest benefactors.
2. We ought to honor our parents by respectful behavior, love, and obedience.
3. Our duty is the same in regard to those who are in authority over us, as it is to our parents; our teachers and governors, masters and employers, and our elders in general.
Transgressions of the fourth Commandment
1. He transgresses the Fourth Commandment of God who is dis-respectful towards his parents; who behaves rudely to them, is ashamed of them, etc.
Chapter 2. Our Duty Towards Those in Authority. 372
1. God has appointed two powers, the spiritual and the secular, for the direction of human society. To the spiritual power He has committed the guidance of souls, to the secular the maintenance of peace and order.
2. The highest spiritual authority was given by God to the Pope, the highest secular authority to the monarch of the land; in most countries the people have a share in the secular government.
3. Our duties towards Pope and king are similar to our duties towards God, for they are both His representatives.
4. He who grossly offends against either the ecclesiastical or secular authorities, has to expect the severe chastisement of God on earth, and punishment in the world to come.
Chapter 3. The Duties of those who are in Authority. 373
No Christian should strive for a position he is not competent to fill.
In the Fifth Commandment almighty God forbids us to destroy our own life, or that of our neighbor, or to treat the lower animals with cruelty.
Chapter 1. Our Duty in Respect to Our Own Life.
1. Our body was created by God as an abode for our immortal soul.
2. Since the life and health of the body are of great importance for the life of the soul, and for our eternal salvation, we are bound to take precautions for the preservation of our health and of our life…
3. Furthermore we are under a strict obligation to do nothing that tends to destroy health or life. Consequently it is a sin to rashly hazard one’s life, wantonly to injure one’s health, or to take one’s own life.
Chapter 2. Our Duty in Regard to the Life of Our Neighbor. 384
A strict obligation is laid upon us to avoid everything that may destroy the health or life of our neighbor.
1. Accordingly it is sinful to wish ill to one’s neighbor, to injure his health, to challenge him or accept a duel, or to put him to death unjustly and willingly.
2. He commits a still greater sin who destroys the spiritual life of his neighbor, either by tempting him to evil or by giving scandal.
3. It is, however, lawful to wound or even kill our fellow man if he threatens to taks our life by violence, or anything that is absolutely indispensable to our life, and we have no other means of defence. This is called the right of self defense.
4. He who has wrongfully injured his neighbor either physically or spiritually, is bound to repair the harm done to the utmost of his power…
Chapter 3. Our Conduct in Regard to The Lower Animals. 391
In our relations to animals it is our duty to care for their well being, to refrain from tormenting them, not to kill any useful animal without special reason, and finally not to treat them with exaggerated tenderness.
1. In the Sixth Commandment almighty God prohibits everything that might stain our own purity or that of our neighbor.
2. Sins against the Sixth Commandment of God are for the most part very grievous in God’s sight and accordingly are severely punished by Him.
The Seventh Commandment of God. 393
1. In the Seventh Commandment almighty God forbids us to wrong our neighbor in his goods and property.
1. Earthly goods are necessary to man’s subsistence, such as food, clothes, a dwelling-place, money, etc.
2. Personal property is justly obtained when it is either acquired by labor or by gift…
The Seventh Commandment expressly forbids: theft, robbery, cheating, usury, injuring the property of another, detention of goods that have been found or lent, and the non-payment of debts.
1. We are in danger of committing mortal sin if we take from our neighbor as much as he requires to support him one day in a manner suitable to his position.
1. He who has purloined from his neighbor or wronged him in his property, is under a strict obligation to restore the stolen goods or make compensation for the damage done. (Lev. vi. 1-5)……
2. If any one has unwittingly got stolen goods in his possession, he is bound to give them up to the rightful owner, as soon as he becomes aware that they were stolen.
3. He who refuses either to give up the stolen property or to compensate for the loss sustained, will not obtain pardon of his sins from God nor absolution from the priest….
What are the reasons which ought to deter us from transgressing the Seventh Commandment?
People who wrong their neighbor in his property generally come to shame and poverty, often die unrepentant, and are in danger of everlasting damnation…
The Eighth Commandment of God.
In the Eighth Commandment God forbids us to detract from our neighbor’s honor, or bear false witness of any kind………..
1. A good reputation is a precious possession, for it enables us to gain riches for time and for eternity…
2. Above all we ought to strive to acquire a good name among men, and for that reason we ought to let our good works be known, and we ought to defend our character if it be aspersed to any great extent…
3. Furthermore, we ought to refrain from everything that may wound our neighbor’s honor: thus suspicion, detraction, slander, and abuse are forbidden, also listening with pleasure when our neighbor is spoken against…
4. He who has injured his neighbors reputation is strictly bound to restore his good name; either by apologizing, if the offence was committed in private, orby publicly retracting his words, if they were spoken before others…
5. Those who do not endeavor to repair the harm they have done by slandering their neighbor, cannot obtain pardon from God, nor absolution from the priest…
What are the reasons which should detere us from injuring our neighbor’s good name?
1. He who is severe in his judgment of his neighbor, will in his turn be judged severely by God…
God is truth itself; consequently He forbids every kind of falsehood, especially lying, hypocrisy, and flattery…
What are the reasons which should make us refrain from untruthfulness? 409
1. The liar is like the devil and displeasing to God…
2. The pernicious habit of lying leads a man into mortal sin and to eternal perdition…
3. Whoso is really upright is like almighty God, is pleasing in His sight, and is esteemed by his fellow-men…
1. Sins of the tongue are avoided by checking talkativeness and being guarded in speech…
The Ninth Commandment of God.
(see Sixth Commandment)
Chapter 1. Socialism. 414
1. In our own day a large proportion of the so-called Socialists or social democrats aim at depriving their fellow-men of their private property by unjust means…
2. All who endeavor by unlawful means to deprive their neighbor of his personal property, live in a state of mortal sin…
Section 11. The Works of Mercy.
part 1. The Value of Earthly Goods And the Use to be Made of Them. 418
1. Earthly riches do not of themselves make us better in God’s sight…….
2. Earthly goods have their value, however, because with them we can earn eternal felicity…….
3. God is the Lord of all earthly riches; we are only His stewards…..
part 2. The Precept to Perform Works of Mercy. 419
1. Christ has strictly enjoined upon us to assist our neighbor who is in need with our earthly goods; for He will only grant everlasting happiness to those who have helped their fellow-men who were in need……
2. The assistance we give to the needy, of whatever nature it may be, is an alms, or work of mercy…
3. The works of mercy are either spiritual or corporal, according as the necessities we relieve are spiritual or corporal….
part 3. The Several Works of Mercy. 421
1. The corporal works of mercy are: (1), To feed the hungry; (2) To give drink to the thirsty; (3), To clothe the naked; (4) To harbor the stranger; (5) To visit the sick; (6) To reansom the captive; (7) To bury the dead…
part 4. In What Spirit Should the Works of Mercy Be Performed? 425
We ought not to do good to our neighbor in order to be seen and praised by men…
part 5. Of What Benefit are the Works of Mercy to us? 427
1. Almsgiving obtains for us the remission of our sins; that is to say, the sinner obtains the grace of repentance, while the just man receives the pardon of venial sin, and the remission of the temporal penalty…
2. By almsgiving we obtain an eternal recompense, provided that at the time we are in a state of grace….
3. Almsgiving brings down upon us temporal blessings; God increases our means and gives us bodily health…
Section 12. The Duty of Gratitude. 429
1. For every act of mercy done to us, we are bound to render thanks, first to God and then to our benefactor; for God requires of us that we should be grateful for the benefits we receive…
2. By our gratitude we obtain fresh favors, whereas ingratitude brings misfortunes upon us……
Section 13. The Poverty of the Christian. 431
Poverty is no disgrace in God’s sight; the poor are beloved by God and save their souls more easily…..
B. Good Works, Virtue, Sin, Vice.
Section I. Good Works. 434-438
1. The name of good works is given to such voluntary actions on the part of man as are in conformity with the will of God, are performed for the love of God, and consequently will be rewarded by God.
2. The good works most pleasing in God’s sight are these: Prayer, fasting, and almsdeeds.
3. Even the most trifling works are pleasing to God if they are done with the intention of promoting His glory.
4. Good works are necessary to salvation.
5. Through good works the sinner obtains the actual graces which are necessary for his conversion; the just man obtains an increase of sanctifying grace, eternal felicity, and the remission of the temporal penalty of sin; furthermore his prayers are heard, and sometimes earthly blessings are bestowed on him.
6. We can apply to others, either to the living or to the dead, the merit of our good works.
Section II. Virtue. 439
1. Virtue consists in proficiency in the practice of good works, and the tendency of the will towards what is good, resulting from persevering exercise.
2. It is only perfect virtue, i.e., those acts of virtue which are performed for the glory of God, which will be rewarded after death.
3. Virtue can only be acquired and increased by dint of struggle and self- conquest; for many obstacles have to be encountered, inward hindrance, the evil proclivities of the human heart, and outward hindrances, the contempt and persecution of men.
4. Virtue procures for us real happiness both in time and in eternity.
The different kinds of Christian Virtue. 442-448
1. The virtues that unite our soul to God are the three theological virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity.
2. Those virtues which have the effect of bringing our actions into conformity with the moral law, are called moral virtues. These we gain for ourselves by our own exertions and the assistance of divine grace, after we have received sanctifying grace.
3. The principal moral virtues are the seven capital virtues: Humility, obedience, meekness, liberality, temperance, chastity, diligence in what is good.
4. All the moral virtues proceed from the four cardinal virtues: Prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude (Wisd. viii. 7).
5. All perfect virtues spring from the love of God and are inseparably united together by that same love (1 Cor. xiii.)
6. The greatest and noblest of all the virtues is charity.
7. The virtues can always be increased.
8. All perfect virtue is lost immediately upon falling into mortal sin, for thereby the love of God is lost, without which there can be no perfect virtue.
Section III. Sin. 449
1. He who wittingly and willingly transgresses one of God’s commandments is guilty of sin…
2. Sin is in its essence an unlawful turning towards the creature and turning away from God…
The Development of Sin. 451
In the development of sin temptation first arises, then comes the resolutions to commit sin; after that, if opportunity offers, the exterior act is committed…
The Kinds of Sin 454
There are different kinds of sin.
1. Sins are generally divided into sins of word, of thought, and of deed.
2. A distinction also exists between our own sins, and the sins in which we co-operate…
The Comparative Magnitude of Sin. 456-461
1. All sins are not equally great…
2. Many sins are so great that they separate us entirely from God, and deprive us of His friendship; they are called mortal or deadly sins. Sins of lesser moment are called venial sins…
3. He commits a mortal sin who consciously and of his own free will does grievous dishonor to God, of wrong to his neighbor in a weighty matter; who does injury to his own life, or to the life , the property, or the reputation of his neighbor…
4. He commits a venial sin who only injures something of trifling consequence, or who, though he injures something of great importance, injures it very slightly, or does so almost unconsciously and to some extent unwittingly….
5. All mortal sins are not of equal magnitude, nor are all venial sins of the same importance. The most heinous sins are the sins against the Holy Ghost, and those that cry to heaven for vengeance…..
6. He commits a sin agains the Holy Ghost who persistently and wilfully resists the action of the Holy Ghost….
7. Sins that cry to heaven for vengeance are sins of great malice. They are: Wilful murder, oppression of the poor, defrauding laborers of their wages, and the sin of Sodom…
8. A distinction must be made between venial sins and imperfections. Imperfections are faults which are due not to a bad will, but to human frailty…….
The Consequences of Sin. 462
1. Mortal sin deprives a man of sanctifying grace, and delivers him into the power of the devil….
2. There are temporal penalties due to venial sin, and these will come down upon us either on earth or after death in purgatory…
The Consequences of Venial Sin 465
1. Venial sin gradually leads to mortal sin, and eventuates in the loss of sanctifying grace…
2. There are temporal penalties due to venial sin, and these will come down upon us either on earth or after death in purgatory…
Section IV. Vice. 466
1. Vice is proficiency in the practice of evil, and the confirmed tendency of the will towards evil which is acquired by habitual sin.
2. Habitual sin makes a man supremely unhappy, because it deprives him completely of sanctifying grace, subjects him entirely to the dominion of the devil, and brings doewn on him many temporal judgments as well as eternal damnation…
3. The most ordinary sins are the seven capital sins: Pride, disobedience, anger, avarice, intemperance in eating and drinking, unchastity, sloth…..
Section V. The Forgiveness of Sin. 469
1. There is no man upon earth without sin; consequently there is none who does not need the forgiveness of sin…
2. We can obtain forgiveness of sin, because Christ merited it for us by the death of the cross; and because He gave poser to forgive sins to His apostles and their successors…
3. Mortal sin is remitted by Baptism and penance; venial sin, and the temporal penalties due to it, by good works done in a state of grace. These good works are: Prayer, fasting, almsgiving, hearing holy Mass, receiving holy communion, use of the sacramentals, gaining indulgences, forgiving offences…
4. There is no sin too great for God to forgive here below, if it be sincerely repented of and humbly confessed…..
Section VI. Temptation. 471
1. Temptation is the action of the evil spirit upon our soul, in order to induce us to sin; he excites within us the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, or the pride of life…
2. God allows us to be tempted out of mercy, and for the good of our souls…
3. We ought to protect ourselves from temptation by assiduous work, by keeping our thoughts fixed upon God, and by continual self conquest….
4. When we are tempted we ought to betake ourselves immediately to prayer, or think of our last end or of the evil consequences of sin….
Section VII. Occasions of Sin. 475
1. By occasions of sin are meant such places, persons, or things, which as a rule are the means of leading us into sin, if we go in quest of them…
2. To expose one’s self heedlessly to an occasion of sin, is in itself a sin; it entails the loss of divine grace and leads to mortal sin.
3. He who finds himself in circumstances which are an occasion of sin to him, and does not instantly leave them, although it is in his power to do so, commits a sin; he will be deprived of the assistance of divine grace and will fall into mortal sin….
4. He who refuses to give up what is to him an occasion of sin, cannot expect to obtain pardon of sin here, or eternal salvation hereafter….
5. The most common and the most dangerous occasions of sin are: Liquor saloons, dancing saloons, bad theatres, bad periodicals and bad novels…
Section VIII. The Seven Principal Virtues And The Seven Principal Vices.
Chapter 1. Humility. 479
1. Te humble man is he who acknowledges his own nothingness and the nothingness of all earthly things, and comports himself in accordance with this conviction.
2. Christ gave us in Himself the grandest example of humility, for He, being the Son of God, took the form of a servant, choose to live in great lowliness, was most condescending in His intercourse with men, and finally, voluntarily endured the ignominious death of the cross.
3. Humility leads to greater sanctity, to exaltation, and to everlasting felicity…
Chapter 2. The Opposite of Humility: Pride. 483
1. He is proud who overestimates his own worth, or the value of his earthly possessions and shows openly that he does so…
2. Pride leads to all manner of vices, to degradation here, and eternal damnation hereafter; it also destroys the value of all our good works…..
Chapter 3. Obedience. 485
1. Obedience consists in being ready to fulfil the behest of one’s superior…
2. Obedience is the most difficult and at the same time the most excellent of all the moral virtues (St. Thomas Aquinas)………
3. By our obedience we accomplish the will of God most surely, and we attain certainly and quickly to a high degree of perfection…..
Chapter 4. Disobedience. 487
1. Disobedience consists in not fulfilling the commands of one’s superiors…..
2. Disobedience brings temporal misfortune and eternal misery upon man……
Chapter 5. Patience, Meekness, Peaceableness. >
1. Patience consists in preserving one’s serenity of mind amid all the contrarieties of this life, for the love of God.
2. Patience produces many virtues and leads to salvation…..
1. Meekness consists in showing for the love of God, no irritation when wrong is done us…
2. By meekness we gain power over our fellow-men, we attain peace of mind, and eternal salvation…..
1. Peaceableness consists in willingly making a sacrifice for the sake of remaining at peace with one’ neighbor or reconciling one’s self with him……..
2. Peacemakers enjoy the special protection of God and receive a hundredfold as a reward of all that they give up for the sake of peace…..
Chapter 6. The Opposite of Meekness: Wrath. 493
1. Wrath consists in exciting one’s self about something at which is displeased…..
2. Those who indulge anger injure their health, temporarily lose the use of reason, make themselves hated, and incur the danger of losing eternal salvation…
Chapter 7. Liberality. 495
1. Liberality consists in being ready and willing, for the love of God, to give pecuniary assistance to those who are in need.
2. By liberality we obtain forgiveness of sin and eternal reward, and temporal blessings, besides a speedy answer to prayer and the friendship of our fellow-men…
Chapter 8. The Opposite of Liberality: Avarice. 495-496
1. Avarice consists in an inordinate craving for riches, which makes a man not only strive after them, but refuse to give any portion of his goods to the poor…
2. The avaricious are miserable both in time and in eternity; for the sake of money they commit all manner of sins, they lose the faith and their peace of mind, they are cruel to themselves and hardhearted to their neighbor, and finally perish eternally…..
Chapter 9. Temperance in Eating and Drinking. 498
1. Temperance consists in not eating and drinking more than is necessary, and not being either too greedy or too dainty in regard to the nourishment one takes…….
2. Temperance is highly advantageous to the soul and body: it improves the healthy, lengthens life, strengthens the faculties of the mind, fosters virtue, and leads to everlasting life…..
Chapter 10. Intemperance in Eating and Drinking. 498
1. Intemperance consists in eating and drinking much more than is necessary, and ion being greedy or dainty in regard to one’s food…
2. By intemperance a man injures his health, weakens his mental faculties, destroys his reputation, and reduces himself to poverty; falls inot vice, often comes to a miserable end, and is eternally lost….
Chapter 11. Chastity. 500
1. Chastity consists in preserving the mind and body free from everything that might stain their innocence…..
2. Those who lead a life of chastity, possess the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit in abundant measure; they will be happy here on earth, and will enjoy special distinction in heaven hereafter…
Chapter 12. Unchastity. 504
1. Unchastity consists in thoughts, words or deeds which are destructive of innocence…
2. Unchaste persons do not possess the sanctifying grace of the Holy Ghost, they are severely chastised by God in this life, and after death are condemned to eternal perdition…..
Chapter 13. Zeal in What is Good 505
1. Zeal in what is good consists in working out one’s salvation with all earnestness and fervor…
2. Without zeal in what is good we cannot be saved, for the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence…..
Chapter 14. The Opposite of Zeal: Sloth. 507
1. Sloth consists in shunning everything that conduces either to our temporal or eternal well-being, provided it be toilsome….
2. Idleness leads to all kinds of vice; it brings misery in this life and eternal damnation in the life to come…..
Section I. The Aspiration After Christian Perfection. 509-510
1. God requires of all the just that they should aspire to Christian perfection…….
2. The most sublime example of Christian perfection is found in Our Lord. After Him, the saints are also patterns of perfection….
3. The perfection of the Christian consists in charity towards God and his neighbor, and in detachment of heart from the things of this world…….
Section II. General Means For The Attainment Of Perfection. 512-515
In order to make sure of attaining Christian perfection, the following means should be adopted…
1. Fidelity in small things…
2. A habit of self-control…..
3. Abstinence form all that is superfluous, especially in regard to eating and drinking…
4. Order and regularity…
5. Unremitting prayer…..
6. Frequent confession and communion…
7. Reading attentively the life of Our Lord and the lives of the saints, and meditation on the truths of religion…
8. Love of solitude…
Section III. Special Means For The Attainment Of Perfection. 516-519
1. He who aspires to a higher degree of perfection must follow the three evangelical counsels: Perfect obedience, perpetual chastity, and voluntary poverty…..
2. These three counsels are called the evangelical counsels, because Our Lord gave them to us when He preached the Gospel, and followed them Himself…..
3. The evangelical counsels lead to higher perfection, because by their means the three evil concupiscences in man are completely destroyed, and the chief obstacles in the way of his salvation are removed…
4. Not every one is called of God to follow the evangelical counsels; for Our Lord says: “All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given” (Matt. xix. 11.)…..
5. The members of religious Orders are bound to follow the evangelical counsels, and likewise all persons living in the world, who have taken a vow to do so.
Section IV. The Eight Beatitudes. 521
Those who scrupulously keep God’s commandments are happy even on earth. Therefore God declared blessed those who are poor in spirit, the meek, they that mourn, they that hunger for His justice, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, and they that suffer persecution for the right………….
The Means of Grace.
Section I. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Chapter 1. On Sacrifice In General. 526
1. The word sacrifice signifies the voluntary surrender or the destruction of an object which we value, to give honor to God as our supreme Lord.
Chapter 2. The Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross. 529
1. The sacrifice which reconciled God with man was that which Christ offered upon the cross…
2. The sacrifice of Christ upon the cross was a vicarious sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, and a sacrifice of superabundant value.
3. The graces which Christ merited for us by His death are communicated to us by means of grace; that is to say, the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the sacraments, the sacramentals, and prayer…
Chapter 3. The Institution, Nature, and Principal Parts of the Mass. 532
1. The Son of God offered a sacrifice at the Last Supper, because He gave His body and blood to be offered up, in order to reconcile His heavenly Father with man…
2. We call the sacrifice instituted by Our Lord at the Last Supper holy Mass, or the sacrifice of the Mass…
3. What takes place in the sacrifice of the Mass is this: The priest at the altar, as the representative of Christ, offers up bread and wine to almighty God; he changes these substances into the body and blood of Christ, and destroys them by consuming them.
4. There are three distinct parts in the sacrifice of the Mass: The offertory, the consecration, and the communion.
Chapter 4. The Ceremonial of the Mass. 539
1. In the course of time many ceremonies of deep significance grouped themselves around the holy sacrifice of the Mass, which were not to be omitted without absolute necessity…
2. The whole story of the Redemption is symbolically represented by the ceremonies of the Mass…
Chapter 5. The Relation which the Mass bears to the Sacrifice of the Cross. 541
1. The sacrifice of the Mass is a living renewal of the sacrifice of the cross, for in the Mass, as upon the cross, Christ immolates Himself…
2. In the sacrifice of the Mass all the sacrifices made by Our Lord are also renewed…
Chapter 6. The Profit to be Derived from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 542
1. By means of the holy sacrifice of the Mass the fruits of the sacrifice of the cross are applied to us in most abundant measure; more particularly we obtain thereby forgiveness of sin, certitude that our prayers are heard, temporal blessings, and eternal rewards…
2. Those who participate in the fruits of the holy sacrifice of the Mass are: First, the individual for whom it is celebrated; then the priest and all who are present; finally, all the faithful both living and dead; moreover the holy sacrifice gives joy to all the angels and saints.
Chapter 7. The Celebration of Holy Mass. 547
1. The holy sacrifice of the Mass is only offered to God; it may be offered to Him with a fourfold intention: By way of atonement, of petition, of praise, or of thanksgiving…
2. The holy sacrifice of the Mass may also be offered in honor of the angels or saints…
3. The holy sacrifice of the Mass can also be offered for the souls of the departed who have been members of the Catholic Church, and have not died in a state of mortal sin…
4. The holy sacrifice of the Mass can, however, be offered for the living, whether Catholics or non-Catholics…..
Chapter 8. The Value of the Sacrifice of the Mass. 550
1. As the holy sacrifice of the Mass is an oblation of infinite value, to celebrate of to hear Mass is a good work which surpasses all other good works in excellence…
Chapter 9. The Devotion At Holy Mass. 551
We ought to be very devout at Mass; that is, we ought to banish from our minds all that may cause distraction, and endeavor to unite our supplications to those of the priest, especially in the three principal parts of the Mass…
1. Whispering, laughing looking about at the time of Mass must be carefully avoided; moreover it is unseemly to come to Mass overdressed……
2. When assisting at the holy sacrifice, we ought to unite our supplications to those of the priest, but it is not necessary to use the same prayers as he does…
3. At the three principal parts of the Mass we should to a certain extent suspend our private devotions, and fix our attention upon what is done at the altar…
4. It is an excellent practice immediately after the consecration to make to our heavenly Father a definite act of offering of His divine Son sacrificed upon the altar, and of His Passion and death…
5. At the communion, if we do not communicate actually, we ought to do so spiritually…
6. It is not possible to hear two or more Masses at the same time; therefore when in church we ought to follow one Mass attentively and not more than one…
Chapter 10. The Obligation of Hearing Mass. 556
1. Every Catholic is bound, under pain of mortal sin, to hear the whole of one Mass devoutly every Sunday and holyday of obligation…
2. To hear Mass on week-days, if possible, is a highly commendable practice, for it may be the means of gaining the greatest graces…..
Chapter 11. The Time when Mass is to be Celebrated. 558
The holy sacrifice of the Mass is generally to be celebrated between sunrise and noon.
Chapter 12. The Place Where Mass is to be Celebrated. 559
The apostles celebrated the holy sacrifice on a table; during the persecution of the Christians Mass was offered on the tombs of the martyrs.
Chapter 13. The Vestments And Sacred Vessels Used At Mass. 562
The various portions of the sacerdotal vestments are commemorative of Our Lord’s Passion…
Chapter 14. The Colors of the Vestments. 563
1. In the vestments worn by the priest at Mass; the Church makes use of the five colors: White, red, green, purple, and black…
2. These colors not only depict the course of Our Lord’s life on earth, but serve as a constant admonition to us to lead a pious life….
Chapter 15. The Language of the Mass. 565
The Latin language is used in the services of the Church; it helps to maintain her unity and preserves her from many evils……….
Chapter 16. Singing at Mass. 566
The singing of which the Church makes use is called the Gregorian chant, congregational, and choir singing.
Chapter 17. Hearing the Word of God. 569
1. The Word of God is said to be the food of the soul, because it sustains the life and strength of the soul, as bread does that of the body……..
2. Hence it is the duty of every Christian either to hear sermons frequently, or to read spiritual books and make a practical application of what he hears or reads…….
3. Those who are assiduous in hearing sermons or reading spiritual books, will not have great difficulty in attaining eternal salvation…….
Section II. The Sacraments.
1. The sacraments are sensible signs instituted by Christ, by means of which the graces of the Holy Spirit are communicated to us…
2. Christ instituted seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders and Matrimony…….
3. By the three sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, there is imprinted upon the soul a certain spiritual and indelible mark or character, on account of which they cannot be repeated…
4. Two of the sacraments, Baptism and Penance, are instituted principally with the object of conferring sanctifying grace where it was not already given; the five others with the object of increasing that gift….
5. Due preparation must be made before receiving the sacraments, in order to obtain the graces they convey…
6. Supposing the priest who administers the sacrament to be unworthy, the graces of the Holy Spirit will still be communicated by means of the sacrament…
1. This is what takes place at Baptism: Water is poured upon the head of the person to be baptized, and at the same time the words appointed by Our Lord are repeated; the person is thereby cleansed from original sin and all other sins, he is gifted with habitual and sanctifying grace, and becomes a child of God, and heir of heaven, and a member of the Church.
2. Baptism acts spiritually as water does materially…
3. Baptism is indispensably necessary to salvation. Hence children who die unbaptized cannot enter heaven…
4. It follows that parents ought to have their children baptized immediately after their birth, because new-born infants hover between life and death…
5. In case of necessity any one can administer Baptism and without the usual ceremonies…
6. If baptism by water is impossible, it may be replaced by the baptism of desire, or by the baptism of blood, as in the case of those who suffer martyrdom for the faith of Christ……….
7. IN the early ages of the Church solemn Baptism was administered on three days of the year: Holy Saturday, the eve of Whit-Sunday, and in the East on the eve of the Epiphany….
1. The ceremonial of Confirmation is as follows: The bishop lays his hands upon the candidates and anoints each one severally with chrism upon the forehead, with prayer; and those who are so anointed receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost, especially courage to profess their faith…
2. The supernatural effect of Confirmation is similar to the natural effect of oil…..
3. Christians ought to be confirmed at the age when they pass from childhood to youth, because at that period temptations thicken around them, and they need strength of will to resist them…..
4. The candidate for Confirmation ought previously to go to confession, and if possible to holy communion; for the receive this sacrament one must be in a state of grace…..
5. Confirmation is usually administered about Whitsuntide, as the bishop visits the whole of his diocese at intervals of a few years.
3. The Holy Eucharist.
1. The body of Christ under the appearance of bread, and the blood of Christ under the appearance of wine, is called the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar…
2. The presence of the body and blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine is a mystery, because our feeble reason cannot comprehend it…
3. It is most true that under the species of bread, as also under the species of wine, Christ is present, God and man, whole and entire.
4. Our Lord is present in every particle, however minute, of the consecrated bread and wine…….
5. Christ is present in the consecrated elements as long as the accidents of bread and wine remain…….
6. The duties of the Christian in regard to the Holy Sacrament of the Altar are these: He ought to visit it frequently, to adore it, and to receive it…….
4. The Sacrament of Penance.
The Nature and the Necessity of Penance.
1. In the Sacrament of Penance the repentant Christian confesses his sin to a duly-authorized priest, who, standing in the place of God, pronounces the absolution by means of which they are forgiven.
2. The Sacrament of Penance is indispensably necessary for those who have fallen into sin after Baptism, for without this sacrament they are unable to recover the justice they have lost.
3. Let no one be deterred by a feeling of shame from confessing his sins; the priest dare not, under any pretext, reveal what is said in the confessional, and he is ever ready to receive the contrite sinner kindly.
4. He who from a sense of shame conceals a mortal sin in confession, does not obtain forgiveness, but only adds to his other sins that of sacrilege, and exposes himself to the grave risk of dying impenitent.
1. No priest can give absolution who has not received the faculties for hearing confessions from the bishop of the diocese.
2. Priest who are duly authorized to hear confessions, have not power to absolve from all sins, since there are certain sins which the Pope or the bishop has reserved to himself for judgement.
3. In the confessional the priest stands in the place of God; therefore the penitent is bound to yield him obedience.
4. Under no possible conditions may the priest repeat anything out of the confessional.
5. Every Catholic is perfectly free to choose his own confessor…
The Effects of Penance
By worthily receiving the Sacrament of Penance we obtain the following graces.
1. The guilt of sin is remitted and the debt of eternal punishment; yet there remains the debt of temporal punishment to be discharged.
2. The Holy Spirit returns to the repentant sinner, and imparts to him sanctifying grace; and the merits of all the good works he formerly performed while in a state of grace are restored to him again.
3. Through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost we obtain great peace of mind, nay, great consolations, if our conversion be sincere…
4. The Holy Ghost imparts to us the strength necessary to overcome sin…
The worthy Reception of the Sacrament of Penance.
In order to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily, we must do as follows:
1. We must examine our conscience, I.e., we must carefully consider what sins we have committed and not yet confessed.
2. We must truly repent of out sins, that is, we must grieve from our heart that we have offended God by them, and the thought of offending Him must be abhorrent to us.
The means of awakening true contrition is to reflect that by our sins we have grievously offended the infinite majesty of God, and have displeased our loving Father, our greatest Benefactor.
The consideration that we must expect the just judgments of God on account of our sins, also disposes us to true contrition. Confession without contrition does not obtain the divine forgiveness.
3. We must make a firm resolution, that is, we must steadfastly determine with the help of God to desist from all sin, and to avoid the occasions of sin for the future.
4. We are under the obligation of confessing our sins, that is, we must secretly to the priest enumerate all the mortal sins of which we are conscious, accurately, simply, and humbly; with the number of times we have committed them, besides all that is necessary to make known the nature of the sin.
5. Satisfaction must be made: i.e., we must perform the penance enjoined upon us by the confessor.
The confessor generally enjoins upon the penitent, prayer, almsdeeds, and fasting as works of penance, in order that he may thereby discharge the temporal penalties, and weaken the power of evil tendencies.
We should, besides make satisfaction by punishments voluntarily undertaken of ourselves; and also by bearing patiently the temporal scourges inflicted of God.
The works of penance which we perform and the sufferings which we bear patiently do not only cancel the temporal punishment due to our sins, but they contribute to the increase of our eternal happiness.
By general confession is meant confession of all the sins we have committed within a considerable period of time.
1. Confession of sins was instituted by Our Lord, and has been the practice of the Church in all centuries.
2. The institution of confession affords us proof of the infinite mercy and wisdom of God.
The Advantages of Confession.
Confession is extremely useful both to individuals and to society in general.
The Sin of Relapse.
1. He who after his conversion, relapses into mortal sin, is in danger of dying impenitent, because the devil acquires great power over him and the influence of the Holy Spirit is lessened.
2. If any one should relapse inot mortal sin, let him forthwith repent and go to confession; for the longer penance is delayed, the more difficult, the more uncertain conversion will be…
3. If, through frailty, we fall into venial sin, we must not be disquieted on that account, but humble ourselves before God…
4. Since we cannot possibly continue in a state of grace until death without the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, let us fervently implore of God the grace of final perseverance.
1. God granted to the Church the power, after the reconciliation of the sinner with God, of changing the punishments yet remaining due to sin into works of penance, or of remitting them altogether.
2. The remission of the temporal punishment due to us on account of our sins is called an indulgence, and is obtained by the performance, while in a state of grace, of certain good works enjoined on us by the Church.
3. An indulgence is either plenary, when a full and entire remission of all the temporal punishment due to sin is gained, or partial, when only a portion of the temporal punishment is remitted.
4. The Pope alone has the power to grant indulgences which are for the whole Church; for in him alone jurisdiction over the whole Church is vested, and he is the steward of the Church’s treasures.
5. Indulgences may also be applied by way of suffrage to the suffering souls in purgatory, if this be expressly stated respecting the indulgence’ a plenary indulgence is gained for them every time the holy sacrifice of the Mass is offered on a privileged altar.
6. The gaining of indulgences is most salutary, because we thereby keep far from us temporal evils, and are stimulated to the accomplishment of good works.
5. Extreme Unction.
1. In administering Extreme Unction the priest anoints the Christian who is in danger of death with the holy oils upon the organs of his five senses, and prays over him: by means of which the spiritual and not infrequently the bodily malady of the sick man is cured…
2. Extreme Unction acts spiritually as oil does materially; it strengthens, heals, and aids the soul to attain eternal salvation.
3. Extreme Unction can only be administered to persons who are in danger of death; and they ought to receive it without delay for the sake both of their physical and spiritual health…
4. Before being anointed the sick man ought to confess his sins, and receive holy communion and afterwards the Papal blessing is generally given to him.
6. Holy Orders.
1. At the administration of Holy Orders the bishop lays his hands on the candidates for ordination, calls down upon them the Holy Ghost, anoints their hands, and presents the sacred vessels to them…
2. The office of the priesthood, to which a man is raised by Holy Orders, is one of great dignity, but likewise one of no slight difficulty and of vast responsibility…
3. The Sacrament of Holy Orders only confers the perpetual power, not the right, to exercise the functions of a priest. The newly ordained cannot therefore make use in any place of their sacerdotal powers, until they have received ecclesiastical authorization.
4. No one can be admitted to priest’s Orders who has not attained the age of twenty four years.
5. Six other orders of ministry precede the priesthood, four lesser and two greater.
The Institution and Nature of Matrimony
1. God Himself instituted matrimony in the beginning of the world, for the procreation of the human race, and the mutual assistance of husband and wife.
2. Christian marriage is a contract between man and woman, binding them to an undivided and indissoluble partnership, and conferring on them at the same time grace to fulfil all the duties required of them…
3. Civil marriage is to be distinguished from Christian marriage, inasmuch as it is no sacrament, and consequently in the sight of God no true and real marriage for Catholics…
The Characteristics of Matrimony
According to the ordinance of Christ, Christian marriage is strictly a union of two persons only, and it is indissoluble…
The Graces Conferred in Matrimony
The Sacrament of Matrimony confers upon Christians who embrace that state both an increase of sanctifying grace, and in addition, and in addition the special graces necessary to enable them to discharge the duties required of them.
Impediments to Matrimony
A marriage can only be concluded in the absence of all impediments to it. The impediments may be such as nullify marriage, or such as render it unlawful.
The Celebration of Matrimony
1. Marriage must be preceded by betrothal, by publication of the banns, and by the reception of the Sacraments of Penance and of the Altar…
2. The Church expressly commands that the marriage be concluded in the presence of the priest of the parish, and two witnesses; or the parish priest may authorize another priest to act in his place…
3. Marriages are, as a rule, celebrated in the forenoon. in the house of God, with solemn ceremonies, and Mass is usually said at the same time…
The Duties of the Married.
It is the duty of the wife to obey her husband; it is the duty of the husband to protect and shield his wife…
1. Mixed marriages, by which is understood the marriage of Catholics to non-Catholics, have always been disapproved of by the Church.
2. The Church tolerates mixed marriages on three conditions.
3. The Catholic who contracts a mixed marriage without the benediction of the Church, commits a mortal sin, and cannot be admitted to the sacraments.
The Unmarried State
1. The unmarried state is better than the married, because those who do not marry have far more opportunity for attending to their spiritual welfare, and can attain a higher degree of glory hereafter…
Section III. The Sacramentals.
The Sacramentals are rites which have some outward resemblance to the sacraments instituted by Christ, but which are not of divine institution. The name is applied both to the blessing or consecration given by the Church, and to the objects blessed of consecrated.
The blessing consists in this, that the minister of the Church invokes the divine benediction upon certain persons of things.
1. Consecration by the Church consists in this: That the ecclesiastic empowered for this purpose, sets apart some person or some object, and dedicates him or it to the exclusive service of God…
2. Our Lord sanctioned the use of sacramentals, but the rites themselves are an institution of the Church.
3. The use of blessed or consecrated objects is profitable; for if used with pious dispositions, they increase our fear and love of God, remit venial sins, and preserve us from many temptations and from bodily harm; excepting such temptations and ills of the body aw are for our spiritual welfare….
Section IV. Prayer.
Chapter 1. The Nature of Prayer.
1. Prayer is the elevation of the heart to God…
2. We may pray either in spirit only, or with the lips as well.
3. Our prayers have a threefold object: That of praise, of supplication, and of thanksgiving.
Chapter 2 The Utility And Necessity of Prayer.
1. By means of prayer we can obtain all things from God: but He does not always grant our petitions immediately.
2. By means of prayer sinners become just, and the just are enabled to continue in a state of grace.
3. By prayer we obtain the remission of the temporal penalty due to sin, and merit and eternal recompense.
4. He who never prays cannot save his soul; for without prayer he will fall into grievous sins.
Chapter 3. How Ought we to Pray?
If prayer is to be of utility to us, we must pray:
1. In the name of Jesus, that is, we must ask what is in accordance with Our Lord’s desires…
2. We must pray with devotion, that is we must fix our thoughts on God when we pray.
3. We must pray with perseverance, that is, we ought not to desist from prayer, if our petition is not immediately granted.
Chapter 4. When Ought we to Pray?
1. As a matter of fact we ought to pray continually, for Our Lord requires of us “Always to pray and not to faint” (Luke xviii. 1)
2. We ought to pray more especially every morning and evening, before and after meals, and when we hear the Angelus.
3. Furthermore we ought to pray in the hour of affliction, distress, or temptation, when entering upon an important undertaking , and when we feel an inspiration and desire to pray…
Chapter 5. Where Ought we to Pray?
1. We can and ought to pray in every place, because God is everywhere present.
2. The house of God is the place especially set apart for prayer.
3. A solitary place is also suitable for prayer…
Chapter 6. For What Ought we to Pray?
1. We ought to implore of God many things and great things; benefits not appertaining to time so much as to eternity.
2. We ought more especially to beseech almighty God to grant us such things as are conducive to His glory, and to our salvation, and in no wise to ask for what will only serve to gratify our earthly desires…
Chapter 7. Meditation.
Meditation consists in dwelling on the truths of religion in order to awaken good resolutions in our mind.
The Most Important Prayers
1. The Our Father takes precedence of all other prayers; it is especially distinguished by its power, its simplicity, and its comprehensiveness.
The Our Father consists of an address, seven petitions, and the word Amen.
2. The address places the soul in the right disposition for prayer; it awakens within us confidence in God and raises our thoughts to Him…
3. In the first petition we pray that God may be glorified…
4. In the next three petitions we ask for these blessings: Eternal salvation, grace to fulfil the divine will, and the possession of those things which are indispensable to the maintenance of our earthly existence…
5. In the next three petitions we pray that three evils may be averted from us: The evil of sin, the evil of temptation, and those evils which are prejudicial to life…
6. The word Amen is the answer of God to the suppliant: in this place it is equivalent to the words: Be assured that thy prayer is heard…
The Ave Maria
1. The Ave Maria consists of three parts: The salutation of the archangel Gabriel, the greeting of Elizabeth, and the words of the Church…..
2. The Ave Maria is a most potent prayer, and one which is full of meaning…
The Angelus is a prayer which is to be recited morning, noon and night, when the bell rings, in honor of the Mother of God and in adoration of the mystery of the Incarnation…
1. The Rosary is a prayer in which the Our Father, followed by ten Hail Marys, is repeated five or fifteen times, accompanied by meditation of the life, the Passion, and the exaltation of the Redeemer…
The Litany of Loretto and the Salve Regina.
The Litany takes its origin and name from the place of pilgrimage, Loretto, in Italy. The Salve Regina was composed in 1009…
The Principal Devotional Exercises.
1. There are ordinary and extraordinary practices of devotion…
2. The regular services held in the parish church on Sundays and holydays both in the forenoon and the afternoon, as well as week-day services, belong to the ordinary practices of devotion…
3. Processions, pilgrimages, the Way of the Cross, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and missions, belong to the extraordinary practices of devotion…
1. Processions are a solemn religious ceremony, during which prayers are recited in common by those who take part in them.
The Ceremonial observed in our Christian processions is intended to portray the truth that we have not here a lasting city, but seek one to come (Heb. xiii. 14.)
2. The Church holds processions either for the purpose of setting before us more forcibly certain events in the life of Christ, certain doctrines of the faith, or in order to obtain speedy help from God; on these occasions an opportunity is afforded us of testifying in a public manner our faith and our loyalty to the Church.
3. The following processions form part of the ritual of the Church everywhere…
The procession on the feast of the Purification 698
The procession on Palm Sunday
The procession on Holy Saturday
The procession on the feast of Corpus Christi
The procession on St. Mark’s Day
The procession on the three Rogation days
1. Christian burial is a solemn service accompanied by special ceremonies in which the remains of a departed Catholic are carried in procession to the place of interment.
1. Pilgrimages are journeys made to sacred places, where God oftentimes vouchsafes to give miraculous assistance to the suppliant
2. The places of pilgrimage are either the holy places in Palestine, spots sacred to the holy apostles, or shrines of the blessed Mother of God.
3. The object for which , as a rule, Christian people visit places of pilgrimage is to beseech the divine assistance in seasons of deep affliction, or to fulfil a vow.
The Way of the Cross.
1. The Way of the Cross is the name given to the fourteen stations which depict the way along which Our Redeemer passed, bearing His cross, from Pilate’s palace to Mount Calvary…
Exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament.
The solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament consists in placing the sacred Host in a monstrance, unveiled, for the worship of the faithful…
Missions and Retreats.
Missions consist of sermons and other religious exercises; retreats have much the same effect as missions.
Catholic Congresses and Passion Plays.
1. Catholic congresses are public meetings of Catholics for the purpose of taking counsel together and passing resolutions suited to the times and to the present needs of the Church.
2. Passion play is the name given to the portrayal of Our Lord’s Passion, and other biblical events in a series of tableaux vivants.
The Third Order Of St Francis.
The Third Order was founded by St. Francis of Assisi for the sake of seculars.
The More Widespread Confraternities.
The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, of the Holy Childhood, the Confraternity of St Michael, the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, the Holy Scapular, the Holy Ghost, etc., etc., are the widest known in the Church.
The Apostleship of Prayer.
The Apostleship of Prayer is a league of prayers in union with the Sacred Heart.
Charitable societies are the best embodiments of God’s second precept of charity…