Baltimore Catechism No. 1

LESSON FIRST: ON THE END OF MAN

 

1. Q. Who made the world?
A. God made the world.

 

2. Q. Who is God?
A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

 

3. Q. What is man?
A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

 

6. Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

 

9. Q. What must we do to save our souls?
A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in

Him, and love Him with all our heart.

 

10. Q. How shall we know the things which we are to believe?
A. We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic Church, through which God speaks to us.

 

11. Q. Where shall we find the chief truths which the Church teaches?
A. We shall find the chief truths which the Church teaches in the Apostles' Creed.

 

12. Q. Say the Apostles' Creed.

 

 

LESSON SECOND: ON GOD AND HIS PERFECTIONS

 

13. Q. What is God?
A
. God is a spirit infinitely perfect.

 

14. Q. Had God a beginning
A. God had no beginning; He always was and He always will be.

 

15. Q. Where is God?
A. God is everywhere.

 

16. Q. If God is everywhere, why do we not see Him?
A. We do not see God, because He is a pure spirit and cannot be seen with bodily eyes.

 

17. Q. Does God see us?
A. God sees us and watches over us.

 

18. Q. Does God know all things?
A. God knows all things, even our most secret thoughts, words, and actions.

 

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

 

20. Q. Is God just, holy, and merciful?
A. God is all just, all holy, all merciful, as He is infinitely perfect.

 

 

LESSON THIRD: ON THE UNITY AND TRINITY OF GOD

 

21. Q. Is there but one God?
A. Yes; there is but one God.

 

22. Q. Why can there be but one God?
A. There can be but one God, because God, being supreme and infinite, cannot have an equal.

 

23. Q. How many Persons are there in God?
A. In God there are three Divine Persons, really distinct, and equal in all things-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

 

24. Q. Is the Father God?
A. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.

 

25. Q. Is the Son God?
A. The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

 

26. Q. Is the Holy Ghost God?
A. The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

 

27. Q. What is the Blessed Trinity?
A. The Blessed Trinity is one God in three Divine Persons.

 

29. Q. Are the three Divine Persons one and the same God?
A. The three Divine Persons are one and the same God, having one and the same Divine nature.

 

 

LESSON FOURTH: ON THE ANGELS AND OUR FIRST PARENTS

 

34. Q. Which are the chief creatures of God?
A. The chief creatures of God are men and angels.

 

35. Q. What are angels?
A. Angels are bodiless spirits created to adore and enjoy God in heaven.

 

39. Q. Who were the first man and woman?
A. The first man and woman were Adam and Eve.

 

40. Q. Were Adam and Eve innocent and holy when they came from the hand of God?
A. Adam and Eve were innocent and holy when they came from the hand of God.

 

43. Q. Did Adam and Eve remain faithful to God?
A. Adam and Eve did not remain faithful to God; but broke His command by eating the forbidden fruit.

 

44. Q. What befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin?
A. Adam and Eve on account of their sin lost innocence and holiness, and were doomed to misery and death.

 

45. Q. What evil befell us through the disobedience of our first parents?
A. Through the disobedience of our first parents we all inherit their sin and punishment, as we should have shared in their happiness if they had remained faithful.

 

47. Q. What is the sin called which we inherit from our first parents?
A. The sin which we inherit from our first parents is called original sin.

 

50. Q. Was any one ever preserved from original sin?
A. The Blessed Virgin Mary, through the merit of her Divine Son, was preserved free from the guilt of original sin, and this privilege is called her Immaculate Conception.

 

 

LESSON FIFTH: ON SIN AND ITS KINDS

 

51. Q. Is original sin the only kind of sin?
A. Original sin is not the only kind of sin; there is another kind of sin, which we commit ourselves, called actual sin.

 

52. Q. What is actual sin?
A. Actual sin is any willful thought, word, deed or omission contrary to the law of God.

 

53. Q. How many kinds of actual sin are there?
A. There are two kinds of actual sin-mortal and venial.

 

54. Q. What is mortal sin?
A. Mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God.

 

57. Q. What is venial sin?

A. Venial sin is a slight offense against the law of God in matters of less importance; or in matters of great importance it is an offence committed with out sufficient reflection or full consent of the will.

 

59. Q. Which are the chief sources of sin?
A. The chief sources of sin are seven: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth; and they are commonly called capital sins.

 

 

 

LESSON SIXTH: ON THE INCARNATION AND REDEMPTION

 

60. Q. Did God abandon man after he fell into sin?
A. God did not abandon man after he fell into sin, but promised him a Redeemer, who was to satisfy for man's sin and reopen to him the gates of heaven.

 

61. Q. Who is the Redeemer?
A. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of mankind.

 

62. Q. What do you believe of Jesus Christ?
A. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man.

 

69. Q. What do you mean by the Incarnation?
A. By the Incarnation I mean that the Son of God was made man.

 

70. Q. How was the Son of God made man?
A. The Son of God was conceived and made man by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

74. Q. On what day was the Son of God conceived and made man?
A. The Son of God was conceived and made man on Annunciation day-the day on which the angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she was to be the Mother of God.

 

 

75. Q. On what day was Christ born?
A. Christ was born on Christmas day in a stable at Bethlehem, over nineteen hundred years ago.

 

 

LESSON SEVENTH: ON OUR LORD'S PASSION, DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND ASCENSION

 

78. Q. What did Jesus Christ Suffer?
A. Jesus Christ suffered a bloody sweat, a cruel scourging, was crowned with thorns, and was crucified.

 

79. Q. On what clay did Christ die?
A. Christ died on Good Friday.

 

83. Q. Why did Christ suffer and die?
A. Christ suffered and died for our sins

 

89. Q. On what day did Christ rise from the dead?
A. Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.

 

91. Q. After Christ had remained forty days on earth, whither did He go?
A. After forty days Christ ascended into heaven, and the day on which He ascended into heaven is called Ascension day.

 

 

LESSON EIGHTH: ON THE HOLY GHOST AND HIS DESCENT UPON THE APOSTLES

 

  • De-scent', the act of coming down.
  • En-a'ble, to make able.
  • En-light'en, to make them understand better.
  • Pen'te-cost, the fiftieth day after Easter.
  • Preach, declare publicly, spread by word of mouth.
  • Sanc'ti-fy, to make holy.
  • Strength'en, make strong.
  • Whit'sun-day, white Sunday.

 

94. Q. Who is the Holy Ghost?
A. The Holy Ghost is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

 

97. Q. On what day did the Holy Ghost come down upon the Apostles?
A. The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles ten days after the Ascension of our Lord; and the day on which He came down upon the Apostles is called Whitsunday, or Pentecost.

 

99. Q. Who sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.

 

100. Q. Why did Christ send the Holy Ghost?
A. Christ sent the Holy Ghost to sanctify His Church, to enlighten and strengthen the Apostles, and to enable them to preach the Gospel.

 

101. Q. Will the Holy Ghost abide with the Church forever?

A. The Holy Ghost will abide with the Church forever, and guide it in the way of holiness and truth.

LESSON TENTH: ON THE EFFECTS OF THE REDEMPTION

102. Q. Which are the chief effects of the Redemption?

A. The chief effects of the Redemption are two: The satisfaction of God's ' justice by Christ's sufferings and death, and the gaining of grace for men.

103. Q. What do you mean by grace?

A. By grace I mean a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us, through the merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation.

104. Q. How many kinds of grace are there?

A. There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying grace and actual grace.

105. Q. What is sanctifying grace?

A. Sanctifying grace is that grace which makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.

106. Q. What do you call those graces or gifts of God by which we believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him?

A. Those graces or gifts of God by which we believe in Him, and hope in Him, and love Him, are called the Divine virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

107. Q. What is Faith?

A. Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed.

108. Q. What is Hope?

A. Hope is a Divine virtue by which we firmly trust that God will give us eternal life and the means to obtain it.

109. Q. What is Charity?

A. Charity is a Divine virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

110. Q. What is actual grace?

A. Actual grace is that help of God which enlightens our mind and moves our will to shun evil and do good.

111. Q. Is grace necessary to salvation?

A. Grace is necessary to salvation, because without grace we can do nothing to merit heaven.

112. Q. Can we resist the grace of God?

A. We can and unfortunately often do resist the grace of God.

113. Q. What is the grace of perseverance?

A. The grace of perseverance is a particular gift of God which enables us to continue in the state of grace till death.

LESSON ELEVENTH: ON THE CHURCH

114. Q. Which are the means instituted by our Lord to enable men at all times to share in the fruits of the Redemption?

A. The means instituted by our Lord to enable men at all times to share in the fruits of His Redemption are the Church and the Sacraments.

115. Q. What is the Church?

A. The Church is the congregation of all those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same Sacraments, and are governed by their lawful pastors under one visible head.

116. Q. Who is the invisible Head of the Church?

A. Jesus Christ is the invisible Head of the Church.

117. Q. Who is the visible Head of the Church?

A. Our Holy Father the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the visible Head of the Church.

118. Q. Why is the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the visible Head of the Church?

A. The Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the visible Head of the Church because lie is the successor of St. Peter, whom Christ made the chief of the Apostles and the visible Head of the Church.

119. Q. Who are the successors of the other Apostles?

A. The successors of the other Apostles are the bishops of the Holy Catholic Church.

120. Q. Why did Christ found the Church?

A. Christ founded the Church to teach, govern, sanctify, and save all men.

121. Q. Are all bound to belong to the Church?

A. All are bound to belong to the Church, and he who knows the Church to be the true Church and remains out of it cannot be saved.

LESSON TWELFTH: ON THE ATTRIBUTES AND MARKS OF THE CHURCH

122. Q. Which are the attributes of the Church?

A. The attributes of the Church are three: authority infallibility, and indefectibility.

123. Q. What do you mean by the authority of the Church?

A. By the authority of the Church I mean the right and power which the Pope and the bishops, as the successors of the Apostles, have to teach and to govern the faithful.

124. Q. What do you mean by the infallibility of the Church?

A. By the infallibility of the Church I mean that the Church cannot err when it teaches a doctrine of faith or morals.

125. Q. When does the Church teach infallibly?

A. The Church teaches infallibly when it speaks through the Pope and the bishops, united in general council, or through the Pope alone when he proclaims to all the faithful a doctrine of faith or morals.

126. Q. What o you mean by the indefectibility of the Church?

A. By the indefectibility of the Church I mean that the Church, as Christ founded it, will last till the end of time.

127. Q. In whom are these attributes found in their fullness?

A. These attributes are found in their fullness in the Pope, the visible Head of the Church, whose infallible authority to teach bishops, priests, and people in matters of faith or morals will last till the end of the world.

128. Q. Has the Church any marks by which it may be known?

A. The Church has four marks by which it may be known: it is One; it is Holy; it is Catholic; it is Apostolic.

129. Q. How is the Church One?

A. The Church is One because all its members agree in one faith, are all in one communion, and are all under one Head.

130. Q. How is the Church Holy?

A. The Church is Holy because its founder, Jesus Christ, is holy; because it teaches a holy doctrine; invites all to a holy life; and because of the eminent holiness of so many thousands of its children.

131. Q. How is the Church Catholic or universal?

A. The Church is Catholic or universal because it subsists in all ages, teaches all nations, and maintains all truth.

132. Q. How is the Church Apostolic?

A. The Church is Apostolic because it was founded by Christ on His Apostles, and is governed by their lawful successors, and because it has never ceased, and never will cease, to teach their doctrine.

133. Q. In which Church are these attributes and marks found?

A. These attributes and marks are found in the Holy Roman Catholic Church alone.

134. Q. From whom does the Church derive its undying life and infallible authority?

A. The Church derives its undying life and infallible authority from the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, who abides with it forever.

135. Q. By whom is the Church made and kept One, Holy, and Catholic?

A. The Church is made and kept One, Holy, and Catholic by the Holy Ghost, the spirit of love and holiness, who unites and sanctifies its members throughout the world.

LESSON THIRTEENTH: ON THE SACRAMENTS IN GENERAL

136. Q. What is a Sacrament?

A. A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

137. Q. How many Sacraments are there?

A. There are seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

138. Q. Whence have the Sacraments the power of giving grace?

A. The Sacraments have the power of giving grace from the merits of Jesus Christ.

139. Q. What grace do the Sacraments give?

A. Some of the Sacraments give sanctifying grace, and others increaseit in our souls.

140. Q. Which are the Sacraments that give sanctifying grace?

A. The Sacraments that give sanctifying grace are Baptism and Penance; and they are called Sacraments of the dead.

141. Q. Why are Baptism and Penance called Sacraments of the dead?

A. Baptism and Penance are called Sacraments of the dead, because they take away sin, which is the death of the soul, and give grace, which is its life.

142. Q. Which are the Sacraments that increase sanctifying grace in our soul?

A. The Sacraments that increase sanctifying grace in our soul are: Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony; and they are called Sacraments of the living.

143. Q. Why are Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony called Sacraments of the living?

A. Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony are called Sacraments of the living, because those who receive them worthily are already living the life of grace.

144. Q. What sin does he commit who receives the Sacraments of the living in mortal sin?

A. He who receives the Sacraments of the living in mortal sin commits a sacrilege, which is a great sin, because it is an abuse of a sacred thing.

145. Q. Besides sanctifying grace do the Sacraments give any other grace?

A. Besides sanctifying grace the Sacraments give another grace, called sacramental.

146. Q. What is sacramental grace?

A. Sacramental grace is a special help which God gives, to attain the end for which He instituted each Sacrament.

147. Q. Do the Sacraments always give grace?

A. The Sacraments always give grace, if we receive them with the right dispositions.

148. Q. Can we receive the Sacraments more than once?

A. We can receive the Sacraments more than once, except Baptism. Confirmation, and Holy Orders.

149. Q. Why can we not receive Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders more than once?

A. We cannot receive Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders more than once, because they imprint a character in the soul.

150. Q. What is the character which these Sacraments imprint in the soul?

A. The character which these Sacraments imprint in the soul is a spiritual mark which remains forever.

151. Q. Does this character remain in the soul even after death?

A. This character remains in the soul even after death: for the honor and glory of those who are saved; for the shame and punishment of those who are lost.

LESSON FOURTEENTH: ON BAPTISM

152. Q. What is Baptism?

A. Baptism is a Sacrament which cleanses us from original sin, makes us Christians, children of God, and heirs of heaven.

153. Q Are actual sins ever remitted by Baptism?

A. Actual sins and all the punishment due to them are remitted by Baptism, if the person baptized be guilty of any.

154. Q. Is Baptism necessary to salvation?

A. Baptism is necessary to salvation, because without it we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.

155. Q. Who can administer Baptism?

A. The priest is the ordinary minister of Baptism; but in case of necessity any one who has the use of reason may baptize.

156. Q. How is Baptism given?

A. Whoever baptizes should pour water on the head of the person to be baptized, and say, while pouring the water: I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

157. Q. How many kinds of Baptism are there?

A. There are three kinds of Baptism: Baptism of water, of desire, and of blood.

158. Q. What is Baptism of water?

A. Baptism of water is that which is given by pouring water on the head of the person to be baptized, and saying at the same time: I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

159. Q. What is Baptism of desire?

A. Baptism of desire is an ardent wish to receive Baptism, and to do all that God has ordained for our salvation.

160. Q. What is Baptism of blood?

A. Baptism of blood is the shedding of one's blood for the faith of Christ.

161. Q. Is Baptism of desire or of blood sufficient to produce the effects of Baptism of water?

A. Baptism of desire or of blood is sufficient to produce the effects of the Baptism of water, if it is impossible to receive the Baptism of water.

162. Q. What do we promise in Baptism?

A. In Baptism we promise to renounce the devil with all his works and pomps.

163. Q. Why is the name of a saint given in Baptism?

A. The name of a saint is given in Baptism in order that the person baptized may imitate his virtues and have him for a protector.

164. Q. Why are godfathers and godmothers given in Baptism?

A. Godfathers and godmothers are given in Baptism in order that they may promise, in the name of the child, what the child itself would promise if it had the use of reason.

165. Q. What is the obligation of a godfather and a godmother?

A. The obligation of a godfather and a godmother is to instruct the child in its religious duties, if the parents neglect to do so or die.

LESSON FIFTEENTH: ON CONFIRMATION

166. Q. What is Confirmation?

A. Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.

167. Q. Who administers Confirmation?

A. The bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation.

168. Q. How does the bishop give Confirmation?

A. The bishop extends his hands over those who are to be confirmed, prays that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and anoints the forehead of each with holy chrism in the form of a cross.

169. Q. What is holy chrism?

A. Holy chrism is a mixture of olive-oil and balm, consecrated by the bishop.

170. Q. What does the bishop say in anointing the person he confirms?

A. In anointing the person he confirms the bishop says: I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

171. Q. What is meant by anointing the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross?

A. By anointing the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross is meant, that the Christian who is confirmed must openly profess and practice his faith, never be ashamed of it, and rather die than deny it.

172. Q. Why does the bishop give the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek?

A. The bishop gives the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek, to put him in mind that he must be ready to suffer everything, even death, for the sake of Christ.

173. Q. To receive Confirmation worthily is it necessary to be in the state of grace?

A. To receive Confirmation worthily it is necessary to be in the state of grace.

174. Q. What special preparation should be made to receive Confirmation?

A. Persons of an age to learn should know the chief mysteries of faith and the duties of a Christian, and be instructed in the nature and effects of this Sacrament.

175. Q. Is it a sin to neglect Confirmation?

A. It is a sin to neglect Confirmation, especially in these evil days when faith and morals are exposed to so many and such violent temptations.

LESSON SIXTEENTH: ON THE GIFTS AND FRUITS OF THE HOLY GHOST

176. Q. Which are the effects of Confirmation?

A. The effects of Confirmation are an increase of sanctifying grace, the strengthening of our faith, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

177. Q. Which are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?

A. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.

178. Q. Why do we receive the gift of Fear of the Lord?

A. We receive the gift of Fear of the Lord to fill us with a dread of sin.

179. Q. Why do we receive the gift of Piety?

A. We receive the gift of Piety to make us love God as a Father and obey Him because we love Him.

180. Q. Why do we receive the gift of Knowledge?

A. We receive the gift of Knowledge to enable us to discover the will of God in all things.

181. Q. Why do we receive the gift of Fortitude?

A. We receive the gift of Fortitude to strengthen us to do the will of God in all things.

182. Q Why do we receive the gift of Counsel?

A. We receive the gift of Counsel to warn us of the deceits of the devil, and of the dangers to salvation.

183. Q. Why do we receive the gift of Understanding?

A. We receive the gift of Understanding to enable us to know more clearly the mysteries of faith.

184. Q. Why do we receive the gift of Wisdom?

A. We receive the gift of Wisdom to give us a relish for the things of God, and to direct our whole life and all our actions to His honor and glory.

185. Q. Which are the Beatitudes?

A. The Beatitudes are:

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.
  • Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall be filled.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  • Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
  • Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

186. Q. Which are the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost?

A. The twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Long-suffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continency, and Chastity.

LESSON SEVENTEENTH: ON THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE

187. Q. What is the Sacrament of Penance?

A. Penance is a Sacrament in which the sins committed after Baptism are forgiven.

188. Q. How does the Sacrament of Penance remit sin, and restore to the soul the friendship of God?

A. The Sacrament of Penance remits sins and restores the friendship of God to the soul by means of the absolution of the priest.

189. Q. How do you know that the priest has the power of absolving from the sins committed after Baptism?

A. I know that the priest has the power of absolving from the sins committed after Baptism, because Jesus Christ granted that power to the priests of His Church when He said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."

190. Q. How do the priests of the Church exercise the power of forgiving sins?

A. The priests of the Church exercise the power of forgiving sins by hearing the confession of sins, and granting pardon for them as ministers of God and in His name.

191. Q. What must we do to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily?

A. To receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily we must do five things:

  • We must examine our conscience.
  • We must have sorrow for our sins.
  • We must make a firm resolution never more to offend God.
  • We must confess our sins to the priest.
  • We must accept the penance which the priest gives us.

192. Q. What is the examination of conscience?

A. The examination of conscience is an earnest effort to recall to mind all the sins we have committed since our last worthy confession.

193. Q. How can we make a good examination of conscience?

A. We can make a good examination of conscience by calling to memory the commandments of God, the precepts of the Church, the seven capital sins, and the particular duties of our state in life, to find out the sins we have committed.

194. Q. What should we do before beginning the examination of conscience?

A. Before beginning the examination of conscience we should pray to God to give us light to know our sins and grace to detest them.

LESSON EIGHTEENTH: ON CONTRITION

 

195. Q. What is Contrition, or sorrow for sin?

A. Contrition, or sorrow for sin, is a hatred of sin and a true grief of the soul for having offended God, with a firm purpose of sinning no more.

196. Q. What kind of sorrow should we have for our sins?

A. The sorrow we should have for our sins should be interior, supernatural, universal, and sovereign.

197. Q. What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be interior?

A. When I say that our sorrow should be interior, I mean that it should come from the heart, and not merely from the lips.

198. Q. What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be supernatural?

A. When I say that our sorrow should be supernatural, I mean that it should be prompted by the grace of God, and excited by motives which spring from faith, and not by merely natural motives.

199. Q. What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be universal?

A. When I say that our sorrow should be universal, I mean that we should be sorry for all our mortal sins without exception.

200. Q. What do you mean when you say that our sorrow should be sovereign?

A. When I say that our sorrow should be sovereign, I mean that we should grieve more for having offended God than for any other evil that can befall us.

201. Q. Why should we be sorry for our sins?

A. We should be sorry for our sins, because sin is the greatest of evils and an offense against God our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer, and because it shuts us out of heaven and condemns us to the eternal pains of hell.

202. Q. How many ]kinds of contrition are there?

A. There are two kinds of contrition: perfect contrition and imperfect contrition.

203. Q. What is perfect contrition?

A. Perfect contrition is that which fills us with sorrow and hatred for sin, because it offends God, who is infinitely good in Himself and worthy of all love.

204. Q. What is imperfect contrition?

A. Imperfect contrition is that by which we hate what offends God, because by it we lose heaven and deserve hell; or because sin is so hateful in itself.

205. Q. Is imperfect contrition sufficient for a worthy confession?

A. Imperfect contrition is sufficient for a worthy confession, but we should endeavor to have perfect contrition.

206. Q. What do you mean by a firm purpose of sinning no more?

A. By a firm purpose of sinning no more I mean a fixed resolve not only to avoid all mortal sin, but also its near occasions.

207. Q. What do you mean by the near occasions of sin?

A. By the near occasions of sin I mean all the persons, places, and things that may easily lead us into sin.

LESSON NINETEENTH: ON CONFESSION

208. Q. What is Confession?

A. Confession is the telling of our sins to a duly authorized priest, for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness.

209. Q. What sins are we bound to confess?

A. We are bound to confess all our mortal sins. but it is well also to confess our venial sins.

210. Q. Which are the chief qualities of a good Confession?

A. The chief qualities of a good Confession are three: it must be humble, sincere, and entire.

211. Q. When is our Confession humble?

A. Our Confession is humble, when we accuse our selves of our sins, with a deep sense of shame and sorrow for having offended God.

212. Q. When is our Confession sincere?

A. Our Confession is sincere, when we tell our sins honestly and truthfully, neither exaggerating nor excusing them.

213. Q. When is our Confession entire?

A. Our Confession is entire, when we tell the number and kinds of our sins and the circumstances which change their nature.

214. Q. What should we do if we cannot remember the number of our sins?

A. If we cannot remember the number of our sins, we should tell the number as nearly as possible, and say how often we may have sinned in a day, a week, or a month, and how long the habit or practice has lasted.

215. Q. Is our Confession worthy if, without our fault, we forget to confess a mortal sin?

A. If without our fault we forget to confess a mortal sin, Tour Confession is worthy, and the sin is forgiven; but it must be told in Confession if it again comes to our mind.

216. Q. Is it a grievous offense willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession?

A. It is a grievous offense willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession, because we thereby tell a lie to the Holy Ghost, and make our Confession worthless.

217. Q. What must he do who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession?

A. He who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession must not only confess it, but must also repeat all the sins he has committed since his last worthy Confession.

218. Q. Why does the priest give us a penance after Confession?

A. The priest gives us a penance after Confession, that we may satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to our sins.

219. Q. Does not the Sacrament of Penance remit all punishment duo to sin?

A. The Sacrament of Penance remits the eternal punishment due to sin, but it does not always remit the temporal punishment which God requires as satisfaction for our sins.

220. Q. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin?

A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin, to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.

221. Q. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?

A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.

222. Q. Which are the chief spiritual works of mercy?

A. The chief spiritual works of mercy are seven: To admonish the sinner, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to bear wrongs patiently, to forgive all injuries, and to pray for the living and the dead.

223. Q. Which are the chief corporal works of mercy?

A. The chief corporal works of mercy are seven: To feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to ransom the captive, to harbor the harborless, to visit the sick, and to bury the dead.

LESSON TWENTIETH: ON THE MANNER OF MAKING A GOOD CONFESSION

224. Q. What should we do on entering the confessional?

A. On entering the confessional we should kneel, make the sign of the Cross, and say to the priest, Bless me, Father; then add, I confess to Almighty God and to you, Father, that I have sinned.

225. Q. Which are the first things we should tell. the priest in Confession?

A. The first things we should tell the priest in Confession are the time of our last Confession, and whether we said the penance and went to Holy Communion.

226. Q. After telling the time of our last Confession and Communion what should we do?

A. After telling the time of our last Confession and Communion we should confess all the mortal sins we have since committed, and all the venial sins we may wish to mention.

227. Q. What must we do when the confessor asks us questions?

A. When the confessor asks us questions we must answer them truthfully and clearly.

228. Q. What should we do after telling our sins?

A. After telling our sins we should listen with attention to the advice which the confessor may think proper to give.

229. Q. How should we and our Confession?

A. We should end our Confession by saying, I also accuse myself of all the sins of my past life,telling, if we choose, one or several of our past sins.

230. Q. What should we do while the priest is giving us absolution?

A. While the priest is giving us absolution we should from our heart renew the Act of Contrition.

LESSON TWENTY-FIRST: ON INDULGENCES

231. Q. What is an Indulgence?

A. An Indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to sin.

232. Q. Is an Indulgence a pardon of sin, or a license to commit sin?

A. An Indulgence is not a pardon of sin, nor a license to commit sin, and one who is in a state of mortal sin cannot gain an Indulgence.

233. Q. How many kinds of Indulgences are there?

A. There are two kinds of Indulgences-Plenary and Partial.

234. Q. What is a Plenary Indulgence?

A. A Plenary Indulgence is the full remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.

235. Q. What is a Partial Indulgence?

A. A Partial Indulgence is the remission of a part of the temporal punishment due to sin.

236. Q. How does the Church by means of Indulgences remit the temporal punishment due to sin?

A. The Church by means of Indulgences remits the temporal punishment due to sin by applying to us the merits of Jesus Christ, and the superabundant satisfactions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints; which merits and satisfactions are its spiritual treasury.

237. Q. What must we do to gain an Indulgence?

A. To gain an Indulgence we must be in the state of grace and perform the works enjoined.

LESSON TWENTY-SECOND: ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST

238. Q. What is the Holy Eucharist?

A. The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament which contains the body and blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine.

239. Q. When did Christ institute the Holy Eucharist?

A. Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the night before He died.

240. Q. Who were present when our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist?

A. When our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist the twelve Apostles were present.

241. Q. How did our Lord institute the Holy Eucharist?

A. Our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist by taking bread, blessing, breaking, and giving to His Apostles, saying: Take ye and eat. This is My body; and then by taking the cup of wine, blessing and giving it, saying to them: Drink ye all of this. This is My blood which shall be shed for the remission of Sins. Do this for a commemoration of Me.

242. Q. What happened when our Lord said, This is My body; this is My blood?

A. When our Lord said, This is My body, the substance of the bread was changed into the substance of His body; when He said, This is My blood,the substance of the wine was changed into the substance of His blood.

243. Q. Is Jesus Christ whole and entire both under the form of bread and under the form of wine?

A. Jesus Christ is whole and entire both under the form of bread and Under the form of wine.

244. Q. Did anything remain of the bread and wine after their substance had been changed into the substance of the body and blood of our Lord?

A. After the substance of the bread and wine had been changed into the substance of the body and blood of our Lord there remained only the appearances ofbread and wine.

245. Q. What do you mean by the appearances of bread and wine?

A. By the appearances of bread and wine I mean the figure, the color, the taste, and whatever appears to the senses.

246. Q. What is this change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord called?

A. This change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord is called Transubstantiation.

247. Q. How was the substance of the bread and wine changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ?

A. The substance ofthe bread and wine was changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ by His almighty power.

248. Q. Does this change of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ continue to be made in the Church?

A. This change of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ continues to be made in the Church by Jesus Christ through the ministry of His priests.

249. Q. When did Christ give His priests the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood?

A. Christ gave His priests the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood when He said to the Apostles, Do this in commemoration of Me.

250. Q. How do the priests exercise this power of changing broad and wine into the body and blood of Christ?

A. The priests exercise this power of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ through the words of consecration in the Mass, which are the words of Christ: This is My body; this is My blood.

 

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Comment by Dawn Marie on January 18, 2012 at 6:55am

The THREE ERRORSof the Feeneyites


by Fr. Francois Laisney

Originally printed in the September 1998 issue of The Angelus magazine, this article is a follow-up to Fr. Joseph Pfieffer’s article in The Angelus of March 1998. It seems that some of the followers of Fr. Feeney took objection to his convincing dissertation proving the Catholic teaching concerning "baptism of desire." In fairness, the purpose of this article by Fr. Laisney is to clarify the three principle errors of the followers of Fr. Feeney which explain why they refuse the common teaching of Catholic theologians concerning "baptism of desire."

ERROR I:
Misrepresentation of the Dogma, "Outside the Church There Is No Salvation"

The first error of those who take their doctrine from Rev. Fr. Leonard Feeney, commonly known as "Feeneyites," is that they misrepresent the dogma, "Outside the [Catholic] Church there is no salvation." The Feeneyites misrepresent this as, "Without baptism of water there is no salvation."

St. Cyprian (c.210-258) was the first Catholic saint to use in writing1 the expression "extra ecclesiam nulla salus," ("Outside the Church there is no salvation"). In the very passage in which he uses this phrase, St. Cyprian also expresses that baptism of water is inferior to baptism of blood. Since baptism of blood, he says, is not fruitful outside the Church, because "outside the Church there is no salvation," baptism of water also cannot be fruitful outside the Church. The reason for this is that it would imprint the character of baptism but would not give sanctifying grace, i.e., justification, which opens the gates of heaven.

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 18, 2012 at 6:54am

In the very next paragraph, St. Cyprian teaches, with all the fathers, doctors, popes and unanimously all theologians, that baptism of blood, that is, dying for the Catholic Faith, is the most glorious and perfect baptism of all, explicitly stating "even without the water." In the paragraph following this one, St. Cyprian teaches that Catholic faithful who, through no fault of their own, were received into the Catholic Church without a valid baptism,2 would still go to heaven. This is to say that they would die with the requisite Catholic faith and charity, necessary to go to heaven, though without the waters of baptism. These requisites are exactly the conditions of "baptism of desire."

Why not then believe the dogma "outside the Church there is no salvation" "...with the same sense and the same understanding —in eodem sensu eademque sententia" 3 —as the whole Catholic Church has taught it from the beginning, that is, including the "three baptisms"? Fr. Leonard Feeney and his followers give a new meaning, a new interpretation, to this dogma.

This traditional interpretation of this dogma, including the "three baptisms," is that of St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Fulgentius, St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Peter Canisius, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Pope Innocent II, Pope Innocent III, the Council of Trent, Pope Pius IX, Pope St. Pius X, etc., and unanimously all theologians (prior to the modernists). St. Alphonsus says: "It is de fide [that is, it belongs to the Catholic Faith —Ed.] that there are some men saved also by the baptism of the Spirit." 4

The traditional interpretation of "Outside the Church there is no salvation," was approved by the Council of Florence (1438-1445). The Council Fathers present made theirs the doctrine of St. Thomas on baptism of desire, saying that for children one ought not to wait 40 or 80 days for their instruction, because for them there was "no other remedy." 5 This expression is taken directly from St. Thomas (Summa Theologica, IIIa, Q.68, A. 3) and it refers explicitly to baptism of desire (ST, IIIa, Q.68, A.2). Despite the fact that the Council of Florence espoused the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas, it is astonishing to see Feeneyites opposing this council to St. Thomas!

None of the arguments of the Feeneyites have value against the rock of Tradition. But, to be consistent, let us refute two more of their major errors.

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 18, 2012 at 6:54am

ERROR II:
The Doctrine of Baptism of Desire Is Optional

The Feeneyites present the Church’s doctrine of baptism of desire as a question to be freely discussed within the Church: "...what amounts to an academic difference to be settled by the Church." 6 If this were the case, each school of thought would then have to be accepted until the pope later defined this doctrine. This is false. The error here is to claim that only that which has already been defined belongs to the deposit of Faith, and everything else is opened to free discussion. The truth is that one must believe everything which belongs to the deposit of Faith, that being what has already been defined and that which is not yet defined but is unanimously taught by the Church.

Such is the case for the doctrine on baptism of desire, by the Feeneyites’ own admission. They write: "This teaching [on the "three baptisms"] indeed was and is the common teaching of theologians since the early part of this millennium." 7 However, this was not only the "common teaching of theologians," but also that of popes, Doctors of the Church, and saints! In addition, it is found even before this millennium in the very early years of the Church without a single dissenting voice.

Therefore one ought to believe in the doctrine of "three baptisms," as it belongs to the Catholic Faith, though not yet defined. That is why St. Alphonsus can say, as we have already reported: "It is de fide...."

We can concede that if a point of doctrine is not yet defined, one may be excused in case of ignorance or may be allowed to discuss some precision within the doctrine. In the case of baptism of desire, for instance, we are allowed to discuss how explicit the Catholic Faith must be in one for baptism of desire. But one is not allowed to simply deny baptism of desire and reject the doctrine itself. Rigorism always tends to destroy the truth.

He who denies a point of doctrine of the Church, knowing that it is unanimously taught in the Tradition of the Church, even though it is not yet defined, is not without sin against the virtue of Faith "without which [Faith] no one ever was justified" (Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, 799; hereafter abbreviated Dz).

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 18, 2012 at 6:54am

ERROR III:
The Council of Trent Teaches That Baptism of Desire Is Sufficient for Justification "But not for Salvation"

Let us preface this section by saying the Council of Trent clearly teaches that baptism of desire is sufficient for justification. The Council anathematizes anyone believing the contrary. It is very explicitly stated in Session VII, Canon 4 on the sacraments in general:

If anyone says that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation, but that they are superfluous; and that men can, without the sacraments or the desire of them, obtain the grace of justification by faith alone, although it is true that not all the sacraments are necessary for each individual; let him be anathema (The Church Teaches, 668; Dz 847).

We must be wary of ambiguous translations from the original Latin. (The accuracy of Latin is supreme and must be respected.) In a recent flyer published by the Feeneyites entitled, "Desire, Justification and Salvation at the Council of Trent," an ambiguous translation of Session VI, Chapter 7 (Dz 799) is used: "...the instrumental cause [of justification —Ed.] is the sacrament of baptism, which is the ‘sacrament of faith,’ without which no one is ever justified....". Now the Latin has: "sine qua nulli unquam contigit iustificatio." In the Latin original, therefore, the phrase "without which" (or, in the Latin original, "sine qua", is a feminine pronoun meant to agree with a feminine noun) refers to the "faith" (a feminine noun in Latin) and not to "sacrament" (a neuter noun in Latin meant to agree with a neuter pronoun). If it was "sacrament" the Council Fathers wanted to highlight "without which no one is ever justified," they would have written "sine quo."

The English translation of Chapter 7 as found in The Church Teaches (TCT 563) accurately reflects the Latin (The Church Teaches, TAN Books & Publishers). In this edition, this important sentence is correctly translated: …The instrumental cause [of justification —Ed.] is the sacrament of baptism, which is the ‘sacrament of faith’; without faith no one has ever been justified."  The correct translation of the original Latin expresses the Church’s traditional teaching and refutes the Feeneyite error.

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 18, 2012 at 6:53am

When the Council of Trent is read carefully, we see that the Council teaches that:

...it is necessary to believe that the justified have everything necessary for them to be regarded as having completely satisfied the divine law for this life by their works, at least those which they have performed in God. And they may be regarded as having likewise truly merited the eternal life they will certainly attain in due time (if they but die in the state of grace) (see Apoc. 14:13; 606, can. 32), because Christ our Savior says: "He who drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst, but it will become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting" (see Jn. 4:13 ff.)8 [Session VI, Chap. 16; Dz 809].

In other words, salvation, which is at the end of the Christian life on earth, only requires perseverance in the state of grace received at justification, which is at the beginning of the Christian life on earth. Baptism is the sacrament of justification, the sacrament of the beginning of the Christian life. If one has received sanctifying grace, which is the reality of the sacrament —res sacramenti —of baptism, he only needs to persevere in that grace to be saved. Perseverance in grace requires obedience to the Commandments of God, including the commandment to receive the sacrament of baptism. Thus there remains for him the obligation to receive baptism of water. But, this is no longer absolutely necessary (by necessity of means), since he has already received by grace the ultimate fruit of that means. It still remains necessary in virtue of our Lord’s precept to be baptized by water. When and if circumstances independent of our will prevent us from fulfilling such a precept, the principle taught by St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and others is to be applied: "God takes the will as the fact." 9 This means that God accepts the intention to receive the sacrament of baptism as equivalent to the actual reception of the sacrament.

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 18, 2012 at 6:51am

It is false to pretend that Canon 4 of Session VII (TCT 668) of the Council of Trent (quoted above) on the "Sacraments in General" deals with justification as opposed to salvation. Desire is explicitly mentioned in this canon, for when it uses the expression "aut eorum voto," it admits that the grace of justification can be obtained by desire of the sacraments. It is also false to say that Canon 5 on the Sacrament of Baptism from Session VII of the Council of Trent deals with salvation as opposed to justification. Indeed Canon 4 (of Session VII) deals explicitly with the necessity of sacraments "for salvation." In that context, the expression "grace of justification" appears manifestly as being precisely the only essential requisite for salvation, as is taught explicitly in Session VI, Chapter 16. That which is said of the sacraments in general applies to each sacrament in particular, without having to be repeated each time. Simplistic reasoning which disregards the explicit teaching of the Church on baptism of desire only arrives at false conclusions.

That it is not necessary to repeat the clause "re aut voto" is so much the more true since baptism of desire is an exception, a special case, not the normal one. One need not mention exceptions each time one speaks of a law. For instance, there are many definitions of the Church on original sin that do not mention the Immaculate Conception. This does not invalidate the Immaculate Conception! For instance Pope St. Zosimus wrote: "nullus omnino  —absolutely nobody" (Dz 109a) was exempt of the guilt of original sin. Such a "definition" must be understood as the Church understands it, that is, in this particular case, not including the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the same way, it is sufficient that baptism of desire be explicitly taught by the Church, by the Council of Trent, in some place, but it is not necessary to expect it on every page of her teaching. Silence on an exception is not a negation of it. This principle is important to remember so as not to be deceived by a frequent technique of the Feeneyites. They accumulate quotes on the general necessity of baptism as if these quotes were against baptism of desire. The very persons they quote hold explicitly the common teaching on baptism of desire! These quotes affirming the general necessity of baptism do not refer exclusively to baptism by water, nor do they exclude baptism of blood and/or of desire. They are to be understood "in the same sense and in the same words" as the Catholic Church has always understood them, which means to include baptism of blood and/or of desire along with that of water.

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 18, 2012 at 6:50am

Lack of Proper Thomistic Theology Is the Root of the Error of the Feeneyites

To remedy the errors of Modernism, St. Pius X ordered the study of St. Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy and theology. A book like Desire and Deception,10 authored and published by Feeneyites, is very dangerous for its opposition to St. Thomas. Let us hear St. Pius X:

We will and strictly ordain that scholastic philosophy be made the basis of the sacred sciences. And let it be clearly understood above all things that when We prescribe scholastic philosophy We understand chiefly that which the Angelic Doctor has bequeathed to us. They cannot set aside St. Thomas, especially in metaphysical questions, without grave disadvantage.11

In obedience, we must consider the sacramental theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. He distinguishes three elements in each sacrament:

  1. the exterior sign, called sacramentum tantumsacrament itself, signifying and producing the other two elements. This exterior sign is composed of matter such as water, and form such as the words of the sacrament.

  2. An intermediate reality, called sacramentum et resacrament and reality, which, in the case of baptism, is the character. This intermediate reality is both signified and produced by the exterior sign and further signifies and produces the third element.

  3. The ultimate reality, res sacramentithe (ultimate) reality of the sacrament, which is the sacramental grace, i.e., sanctifying grace, as source of further actual graces to live as a child of God, as soldier of Christ, etc.

A sacrament may be valid but not fruitful. To be valid the exterior sign needs valid matter, form, intention and the proper minister. If these are present, then it always signifies and produces the second element. To be fruitful, there must be no obstacle. Therefore, baptism in an heretical church, if done with proper matter, form, and intention, gives the character of baptism but does not give sanctifying grace. The person thus remains with original sin and actual sins. He has not become a child of God. Baptism is thus deprived of its ultimate effect, the most important one, because of the obstacle of a false faith, i.e., of heresy. In the same way, baptism in a Catholic Church of a person attached to his sin, for example, a person who has stolen and refuses to render that which he stole, places an obstacle which deprives his baptism of its ultimate effect, that is, sanctifying grace.

It is a fact that one can go to hell despite having the character of baptism. Yet, we know there are saints in heaven, such as the saints of the Old Testament (Abraham, David, etc.) who do not have the character of baptism. But nobody, however, dying with sanctifying grace goes to hell, says the Council of Trent. Contrariwise, nobody dying without sanctifying grace goes to heaven.

For the third element of baptism, i.e., the infusion of sacramental grace, the necessity of baptism for salvation is absolute. This third element is found in each of the "three baptisms," and even more perfectly in baptism of blood than in baptism of water, as is the constant teaching of the Church. Hence the common teaching on the necessity of Baptism12 includes the "three baptisms."

The necessity of the exterior element (#1 above) of baptism, i.e., the sacrament itself, is relative to the third element as the only means at our disposal to receive the third element, that is, living Faith. The sacrament itself is "...’the sacrament of faith’; without faith no one has ever been justified," says the Council of Trent (TCT 563). See how the Council of Trent clearly sets the absolute necessity on the third element, i.e., living faith, faith working through charity? One finds the same distinction in the Holy Scripture, in St. John’s Gospel (chap. 3). That which is absolutely necessary is the new birth, that is, the infusion of new life, sanctifying grace, the life of God in us. Five times Our Lord insists on the necessity to be reborn, "born of the Spirit." The water is mentioned only once as the means for that rebirth, the only means at our disposal. This is not meant to limit God’s power. He can infuse this new life (justification) even without water, as he did to Cornelius (Acts 10).

There is an appalling confusion in the writings of the Feeneyites when they deal with the sacramental character and with what they refer to as "fulfilled/unfulfilled justice." Their confusion regards the second and third elements (see above) of the sacramental theology of the Catholic Church. Dare one add with St. Pius X, as the cause of their error, a certain pride that makes them more attached to their novelty than to the age-old teaching of the popes, fathers, doctors, and saints?

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 18, 2012 at 6:47am

Conclusion

"Brethren, the will of my heart, indeed, and my prayer to God, is for them unto salvation. For I bear witness, that they have a zeal of God,13 but not according to knowledge" (Rom. 10:1-2).

How much I wish and pray that, relinquishing their error concerning baptism of desire and blood, they might embrace the whole of the Catholic Faith. Their error caricatures the Catholic Faith and gives easy weapons to the enemies of dogma!

Not knowing the justice of God [interior sanctifying grace of justification by living faith] and seeking to establish their own [exterior belonging to the Church by exterior sacraments], [they] have not submitted themselves to the justice of God (cf. Rom. 10:3).

We must defend the Catholic Faith, the absolute necessity of interior sanctifying grace as inseparable from true faith, hope and charity, and the necessity of the exterior sacraments "re aut votoin reality or at least in desire" as taught by the Council of Trent.

In this time of confusion in the teaching of the Church we must hold fast to the unchangeable teaching of the Tradition of the Church, believing what the Church has always believed and taught "in the same meaning and the same words," not changing one iota to the right or to the left, for falling from the Faith on one side or the other is still falling from the true Faith, "without faith no one has ever been justified" (Council of Trent, TCT 563).

Let us pray that Our Lord Jesus Christ may give them the light to see and the grace to accept the age-old teaching of our holy Mother the Church by her popes, fathers, doctors and saints, and that, correcting themselves, they may serve the Church rather than change her doctrine.

 FOOTNOTES
  1. Letter no. 73 (§21) to Jubaianus in 256.
  2. Having received an invalid baptism outside the Church, and being received into the Church without being at least rebaptized under condition. It was a hypothetical case at the time of St. Cyprian (in this was he in error) but it probably happens in some cases today, due to the laxity when receiving converts.

  3. Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, 1800, Vatican I, de fide.

  4. "Baptism of the Spirit" is another name for baptism of desire, by the grace of the Holy Ghost; De Baptismo, cap. 1.

  5. In the very decree Cantate Domino to the Armenians so often quoted by the Feeneyites (Dz 712).

  6. Mancipia, July 1998, p.3.

  7. Mancipia, July 1998, p.2.

  8. Session VI, Chapter 16, Dz 809.

  9. For instance, in regards of a sick person in the hospital who cannot accomplish the precept of assisting at Mass on Sundays and feast days, his will to fulfil the third commandment is sufficient (ST, IIIa, Q.68, A.2, ad 3).

  10. Is it through ignorance, or by projecting his preconceived ideas, that the author claims that the Council of Florence "passed non-Thomist decrees" (p.47)?  Now to claim, as in Desire and Deception, that the Cantate Domino rejects baptism of blood is simply to ignore that the passage in question is a quote of St. Fulgentius, who, in the very same book from which that quote is taken, explicitly teaches baptism of blood. Council Fathers never quote a Father of the Church against the mind of such holy authors.

  11. Pascendi, Sept. 8, 1907.

  • As in the Council of Trent, Canons on the Sacrament of Baptism, Canon 5: "If anyone says that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation: let him be anathema" (Dz 861, TCT 691).
    Canon 2 (Dz 858, TCT 688) does not deal with the necessity of baptism, but with the nature of the sacrament. It defines that real water, not symbolic, is of the nature of the sacrament: "If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary in baptism, and therefore interprets metaphorically the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, ‘unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit’ (Jn. 3:5): let him be anathema." Water, real water, belongs to the first element of sacrament, the exterior sign.
    Thus one sees clearly the sophism of the Feeneyite pamphlet where it is written: "In terms of a syllogism we have the infallible major premise: ‘baptism is necessary for salvation’ and the infallible minor premise: ‘true and natural water is necessary for baptism,’ and the infallible conclusion. ‘true and natural water is necessary for salvation.’" Here one finds a classical error of logic: the middle term "baptism" is not taken in the same acceptation in the major and the minor. The major applies absolutely to the third element of baptism, res sacramenti, the ultimate reality of the sacrament, i.e., the new birth, the new life of sanctifying grace, which is found in the "three baptisms." It applies only relatively to the first element of baptism as explained above. The minor deals only with the first element of baptism, sacramentum tantum, of which the matter is real water and not symbolic water, as some Protestants were saying.
  • The very saints the Feeneyites offer for admiration and imitation in their publications themselves taught baptism of desire! St. Alphonsus, and certainly all the holy Redemptorists after him is the most forceful in favor of baptism of desire, saying that it is de fide that there are some men saved also by the baptism of the Spirit.

Fr. Francois Laisney, a Frenchman, was ordained for the Society of Saint Pius X in 1982 at Ecône, Switzerland by Archbishop Lefebvre. He was District Superior of the United States from 1984-1990, it was then that he developed an interest in the uniquely American error of Feeneyism. He was then appointed District Bursar for the Australian District for a short time before being appointed as its District Superior (1991-1994). He served as the SSPX’s General Bursar in Menzingen, Switzerland from 1994 until 2001. He is currently the District Bursar for the Australian District.

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 17, 2012 at 3:50pm

Sorry for the bright blue lettering,it was a copy and paste.

Comment by Dawn Marie on January 17, 2012 at 3:38pm

Baptism of Desire, and Baptism of Blood

Baptism of Desire is one of the two possible substitutes for Baptism of water. When it is not possible thus to be baptized, an act of perfect contrition or pure love of God will supply the omission. Such acts are a perfect and ultimate diposition calling for the infusion of sanctifying grace, and at least implicitly include a desire and intention to receive Baptism of water should occasion offer. Infants are not capable of Baptism of desire. An heathen, believing, even though in a confused way, in a God whose will should be done and desiring to do that will whatever it may be, probably has Baptism of desire. It may reasonably be assumed that vast numbers of persons unbaptized by water have thus been rendered capable of enjoying the Beatific Vision.

Baptism of Blood is one of the two possible substitutes for Baptism of water and consists of suffering martyrdom for the Faith or for some Christian virtue, which infuses sanctifying grace into the soul and forgives sin. Martyrdom produces this effect by a special privilege, as being a supreme act of love in imitation of the passion of Our Lord, but the martyr must have had attrition for his sins. Baptism of Blood extends to infants.

(Definitions from A Catholic Dictionary, 1951)
 

References in Scripture:

  • "Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven" Matt 10:32
  • "He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it" Matt 10:39
  • "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." John 14:21
  • "And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise. Luke 23:42-43

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