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The Catechism in Pictures & Le Catéchisme en Images:

 

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The Catechism in Pictures:

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The Catechism in Pictures

00-Couverture-2  0-1 Catechism in Pictures  0-2 Catechism in Pictures

Sister M. Polycarpa dated this book: July 31, 1938. (A reissue of the original edition of 1912)


 

Preface & Summary

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture-1

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INTRODUCTORY.

 

1. Although this work is really a Catechism, which is, as we know, a familiar form of instruction by question and answer, the question have been omitted in order to save space.

2. The doctrine explained in these pages is the very same doctrine that Our Lord himself taught when early nineteen hundred years ago He preached in Judea.

Explanation of the Plate.

3. Years before He began to teach His doctrine He set to all children an example of the way they should attend at Catechism. As a child of twelve He accompanied Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem for the feast of the Pasch. The top picture on the left shows Him seated in the temple in the midst of the doctors of the law, listening to them and asking questions. The Gospel tells us that He astonished them with the wisdom of His answers. (Luke 2; 46-47.)

4. At the age of thirty He began His journeys through Judea, expounding His doctrine. He preached usually in the synagogues where the Jews assembled for prayer, at times in the mountains, at other times on the sea shore. In the top pictures on the right He is represented seated in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, surrounded by His disciples, and preaching to the Jews from a neighbouring village, who are following His teaching with rapt attention. (Luke 4, 1-3)

5. After His Ascension the teaching of His doctrine was continued by the apostles and by bishops, priests and deacons. In the picture in the center we see the deacon Philip seated in a chariot beside a high official of Candace, Queen of Ethiopia. This latter had been reading Holy Scripture, but entirely unable to grasp its meaning. On Philip explaining it to him, he begged to be baptised, saying: « I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. » (Acts 8; 27 et seq.)

6. At the bottom, we see on the left the Sovereign Pontiff teaching the Christian doctrine to the world at large; on the right, a bishop proclaiming the Gospel to men not yet civilized; in the middle, a priest giving a Catechism lesson to children.

The Destiny of Man.

7. A knowledge of the Christians, for without it we cannot attain to the high destiny for which God has created us.

8. God has created us in order that we may know Him, love Him and serve Him and serve Him, and thereby gain life eternal.

9. To serve God we must (1) observe His commandments, (2) discharge faithfully the duties of our Station, and (3) work for His glory by doing all and every kind of good in our power.

10. We must serve God, 1stly., because He has created us for this purpose, and 2ndly., because if we do not serve Him, we render ourselves liable to be eternally miserable in hell.

11. Unfortunately there are many who do not serve God, but attach themselves to the things of the earth, preferring them before God.

12. Such individuals give themselves up mainly to the pursuit of honours to gratify their pride, to that of riches to indulge their avarice, to that of pleasure to pander to their lust and gluttony.

13. But they will miserably fail to find any happiness in such things because the human heart has been fashioned for God, and every earthly good, all the honours and riches and pleasures the world can give, can never satisfy it.

14. God alone can make us happy, because He alone is the Sovereign Good.

15. Already in this life itself God grants to all those who serve Him the peace the peace arising out of a good conscience. He watches over them in all their undertakings, consoles them in all their troubles and showers down upon them every blessing.

16. Perfect happiness will be ours only when we shall life eternal, i.e., when we shall be face to face with God in heaven for all eternity.

The Title and Sign of the Christian.

17. A Christian is one who has been baptised and professes the Christian religion.

18. It is a great happiness to be a Christian, for the Christian is a child of God, a brother of Jesus Christ, and heaven is his heritage.

19. The sign by which the Christian is recognised is the sign of the Cross: In the name of Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

20. The sign of the Cross reminds us of the two great cardinal facts that there is but one God in Three Persons and that Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, died on the Cross to redeem us.

21. We ought to make the sign of the Cross in the morning on rising, at night on going to bed, at the commencement and conclusion of every important act and in the presence of danger.

22. The sign of the Cross made with faith and due piety removes from our path all dangers and temptations and brings down upon God’s blessings.

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 2

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 1: I believe in God, the Father Almighty…

 

Revelation.

1. Man having been endowed with speech, it has been possible for God to hold communication with him.

2. And actually God has spoken to men, and what he has thus communicated to him we call Revelation.

3. Without this Revelation our salvation would have been an impossibility, for we could not of ourselves have discovered what it is that we must believe and do in order to be saved.

4. There have been three district revelations, viz (1) primitive revelation, being that which God gave to Adam and the patriarchs; the Mosaic revelation, which He gave to Moses and the prophets; and (3) the Christian revelation, which we have received from Jesus Christ.

The Apostles’ Creed.

5. The Apostles’ Creed is a profession of faith that has come down to us from the Apostles and embodies in its twelve articles the principal truths we have to believe.

6. The first of these truths is that there is a God, and only one God.

7. We believe in God because He Himself has revealed His existence to us.

8. Our reason also tells us that God exists, for if there were no God, there would be no earth, which indeed could not have created itself any more than a house or a watch can make itself.

9. God is pure spirit, infinitely perfect, Creator of heaven and earth and Sovereign Lord of all things.

10. We say that God is a pure spirit, because He has no body and can neither be seen with our eyes nor felt with our hands.

11. We say that God is infinitely perfect, because He is possessed of all the perfections and there is no limit to these perfections.

12. God has always existed: He has never had a beginning and will never have an end.

13. God is in heaven, here on earth, and everywhere else.

14. God knows all things, the past, the present and the future, and even our inmost thoughts and desires. He always sees us, even when we try to hide ourselves away from Him in order to commit sin.

Mystery of the Holy Trinity.

15. A mystery is a truth revealed by God which we are bound to believe, although it surpasses our comprehension.

16. The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the mystery of one God in three Persons, who are the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

17. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Ghost is God, but all three, the father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, are only one and the same God, equal in all things, because they are one and the same substance and consequently one and the same Godhead.

Explanation of the Plate.

18. The triangle in the middle represents the Holy Trinity. In it, we see God the Father seated on the terrestrial sphere, holding on his knees the arms of the cross, on which hangs Jesus Christ, His Son, while the Holy Ghost, shedding around His effulgence, is seen as a dove between the Father and the Son, thus showing that He proceeds from the Father and the Son.

19. The top picture on the left shows Christ just before going up to heaven, charging His apostles with the mission to teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matth. XXVIII, 19.)

20. To the right of the above is represented the baptism of Jesus, wherein all three Persons were manifested. (See also Plate. 19.)

21. At the bottom on the left we see Abraham receiving the three angels (Gen. XVIII, 3). Although there stood before him three, he spoke as if to only one: « Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant. » In this manner he paid honour to One God in Three Persons.

22. On the right illustrated the story of St. Augustine and the child. One day the holy bishop of Hippo was pacing along the sea shore, trying to fathom the mystery of the Holy Trinity, when all of a sudden he perceived before him a little child, who with a shell was taking out water from the sea and emptying it into a hole that he had made in the sand.

« What are you trying to do with this water, my child? » asked the saint. « I want to put into this hole all the water that is in the sea » was the reply.

« But », rejoined the bishop, « you see for yourself that this hole is far too small to contain all that water ». « Just so », answered the child, ‘but I shall succeed sooner is emptying the sea into this hole, than you in understanding the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. » Saying this, the child vanished. It was an angel who had thus appeared to the saint to convince him that this mystery is not to be penetrated by any created intelligence.

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 3

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 1 (Continued): Creator of heaven and earth.

 

The Creation.

1. These words of the Creed, Creator of heaven and earth, signify that God made the heavens and the earth with all that they contain.

2. Men cannot create, because to be able to make something out of nothing one must be omnipotent. God alone can create, because He alone is omnipotent.

3. God was not obliged to create the world: He created it because such was His will and pleasure.

4. God created the world by His word alone, that is to say, by a single act of His will.

5. The most perfect of God’s creatures are the angels and men.

The Angels.

6. The angels are pure spirits created by God to adore Him and to execute His behests.

7. God created them in a state of grace and holiness, but they did not all continue in that state. One portion of them rose up in revolt against God and fell through their pride.

8. God rewarded the good angels for their fidelity by confirming them in their state of grace and by giving them the happiness of heaven as their portion.

9. The office of the good angels is to praise God and execute his commands.

10. The good angels, and in particular the Guardian Angels, watch over and protect us.

11. We ought to respect the presence of our Guardian Angel and invoke his help in our temptations and dangers.

12. God punished the bad angels by expelling them from heaven and condemning them to the pains of hell.

13. The bad angels seek to harm us, because they are the enemies of God and are jealous of the eternal happiness He has promised us.

The Six Days’ Work.

14. God Created the heavens and the earth in six days.

Explanation of the Plate.

15. The picture represents God’s work by means of six concentric zones, showing respectively the creation of each day and God’s attitude in executing His work.

16. The first zone shows the first day’s work, viz., God creating light.

17. The second shows the work of the second day, viz., God creating the firmament and dividing it off from the land and water.

18. The third shows the work of the third day, viz., God separating the land from the water and commanding the earth to produce all kinds of plants.

19. The fourth shows the work of the fourth day, viz., God creating the sun, the moon and the stars.

20. The fifth shows the work of the fifth day, viz., God creating the birds of the air and the fishes of the sea.

21. The sixth shows the work of the sixth day, God creating land animals and making man to His own image and likeness.

22. At the top of the picture, we see God resting on the seventh day and consecrating it to His own service. This rest is symbolised by the veiled sun and the luminaries of the night – the moon and the stars. The triangle, bordered by clouds, within which God is resting, signifies that all the Three Persons of the Godhead co-operated in the work of the Creation. This co-operation is proved by the words: « Let Us make man to Our image and likeness. » (Gen. I, 26.)

Man.

23. Man is a reasoning creature composed of a body and a soul.

24. The soul is a spirit created in the image of God and joined to a body.

25. The soul is after the image of God in that it processes reason and free will and is immortal.

26. It must be immortal, since God in His justice, could not reward virtue and punish sin except after this life was ended.

27. God made the first man by forming his body out of the earth and uniting to it a soul which He create out of nothing.

28. To create the first woman He plunged the first man into a mysterious slumber, during which He took out one of his ribs and, covering it with flesh, fashioned it into a body, joining there to a soul. (Gen. II, 21-22)

29. The first man was called Adam and the first woman Eve. It is from them that we are all descended and they are hence spoken of as our first parents.

30. God established Adam and Eve in a place of delight, called the earthly paradise. (Gen. II, 15)

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 4.0

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 2: And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord.

 

The Promise of a Redeemer.

1. God created Adam and Eve, like the angels, in a state of innocence and righteousness, in which they were subject neither to suffer nor die.

2. The devil, in the guise of a serpent, lured them into disobeying God by eating of the forbidden fruit.

3. As a punishment for their disobedience they were driven out of the earthly paradise and condemned to eat their bread « in the sweat of their face » (Gen. III, 19). Henceforth they were to be subject to ignorance, concupiscence, pain and death and to be excluded from the joys of heaven.

4. The guilt of Adam’s sin has passed on to all his descendants, so that they are born into the world with it and are subject to the same miseries as he was.

5. This sin, of which all men bear the guilt, is called original sin, that is to say, the sin they derive from their origin. See also p. 58.

6. The Most Blessed Virgin, as a special privilege, because she was to be the Mother of the Son of God, was born without original sin. See also p. 54, para. 3.

7. But God did not abandon man after his fall. He had pity on him and promised him a Saviour – the Messiah.

8. God renewed to Abraham and Jacob this promise of a Saviour, which he had made to Adam.

9. By the mouths of the prophets He announced in advance the coming of the promised Saviour.

10. The prophets foretold the time of the coming of the Messiah, His being born of a Virgin at Bethlehem, His miracles, His passion, His death, His resurrection, and, finally, the establishment of His religion throughout the earth.

11. The Messiah or Saviour promised to the world is Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Eternal Word.

12. St. John at the beginning of his Gospel, describes thus the eternal generation of the Redeemer:

13. « In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men: And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. »

14. « There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came for a witness to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. »

The Incarnate Word.

15. « That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own and His own received him not. But as many as received Him, He gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in His name, who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the Only-begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. »

Testimony of the Forerunner.

16. « John beareth witness of Him, and crieth out, saying: This was He of Whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me; because he was before me. And of His fullness we all have received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. »

Explanation of the Plate.

17. The picture represents the miracle of the Transfiguration, in which God the Father proclaimed Jesus Christ to be His Son.

18. Jesus, having taken with Him to the top of Mount Thabor three of His disciples, Peter, James and John, was suddenly transfigured before them. His face became shining like the sun and his garments white like the snow. In the picture we see Moses and Elias holding converse with Him in sight of His disciples. From out of the luminous cloud that overshadowed them a voice was heard saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased: hear ye Him. (Mark IX, 1-6.)
And the three disciples, hearing the voice, were seized with fear and fell upon their faces. Peter had just before said: « Lord, it is good to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. » (Matt. XVII)

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 4.1

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 3: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost…

 

Mystery of the Incarnation.

1. The mystery of the Incarnation, contained in the second and third articles of the Creed, is the mystery of the Son of God made man.

2. The Son of God became man by taking to Himself a body and a soul like ours in the womb of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, by the operation of the Holy Ghost.

3. The Son of God made man was named Jesus Christ.

4. The word Jesus means Saviour. Said the angel to Joseph: Thou shalt call His name Jesus. For He shall save His people from their sins. (Matt. 1, 21).

5. We speak of Jesus Christ also as Our Lord, i.e., Our Master, because He has both created us and redeemed us with His blood.

6. Jesus Christ is both God and Man, because there are in Him two natures – divine and human.

7. In Jesus Christ there is but one Person, that of the Son of God.

Explanation of the Plate.

8. The picture represents the angel Gabriel saluting the Blessed Virgin as she is at prayer within her house at Nazareth, and announcing to her that God has chosen her to be the Mother of the Saviour. At the very moment the Holy Ghost worked within her a great miracle, the mystery of the incarnation.
We give below is the story of the Annunciation as told by St. Luke. ( I, 26-55).

The Annunciation.

9. « And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the Angel being come in, said unto her: « Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women. » Who having heard, was puzzled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the Angel said to her: « Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever, and His kingdom there shall be no end. »

10. And Mary said to the Angel: « How shall this be done, because I know not man? » And the Angel answering, said to her: « The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren; because no word shall be impossible with God. » And Mary said: « Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word. » And the angel departed from her. »

The Visitation.

11. Mary, rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, and she cried out with a loud voice and said: « Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accompanied that were spoken to thee by the Lord. » And Mary said:

The Canticle of the Blessed Virgin.

12. « My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid for henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me and holy is His name, and His mercy is from generation to generation to them that fear Him. He hath showed might in His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart, He hath put down the mighty from their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his seed for ever. »

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 4.2

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

Art. 3 (cont.): … Born of the Virgin Mary.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

1. In the middle we see the infant Jesus, just born in a stable at Bethlehem. He is the centre of all the solicitude and attentions of Mary, His Mother and of St. Joseph, His foster-father. Near the crib in which He lies are depicted, in accordance with an accepted tradition, an ox and an ass.

2. Shepherds are seen coming to adore Him and in heaven above angels are singing the joyous hymn: « Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will. » (Luke II, 14.)

Birth of Jesus Christ.

3. « In those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. » (Luke II, 1-7)

His hidden Life.

4. The Magi, three in number, guided by a miraculous star, came to adore the Infant Jesus and offered Him gold as to a king, incense for the Deity, and myrrh as to a mortal man (myrrh being used in embalming dead bodies). (Matt. II, 1-11.)

5. Our Lord was presented in the Temple forty days after He was born, i, e., on February 2. On that day the Blessed Virgin Mary went through the ceremony of her Purification as prescribed by the law of Moses. (Luke II, 22)

6. After the presentation of Jesus in the Temple His parents took Him to Egypt to save Him from Herod, who wished to kill Him.

7. To effect his purpose Herod, caused all children under two years old to be massacred at Bethlehem and in the immediate neighbourhood. These were the children whom we speak of as the Holy Innocents.

8. After the death of Herod the Child Jesus was brought back to Nazareth in Galilee, where He lived till the age of thirty. (Matt.2, 19-23)

9. The life of Jesus at Nazareth was a hidden life, one of poverty and constant toil.

10. The Gospel tells us that during this period Jesus always went to the Temple on feast days, was submissive to His parents, and, as He grew up, increased in wisdom and holiness. (Luke II, 40)

His public Life.

11. At the age of thirty Jesus was baptised by St. John the Baptist in the waters of the Jordan (see Plate 19).

12. Immediately after He retired into the desert, where He Fasted for forty days (see Plate 51) and allowed the devil to tempt Him so that we might learn from Him how to resist temptation (see Plate 53).

13. After coming out of the desert Jesus chose His twelve apostles and began to preach the Gospel in Judea.

14. Our Lord chose as His apostles mostly poor illiterate fishermen who had to work from their living.

15. These twelve apostles were – Simon, called Peter, and Andrew, his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican; James, the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite; and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.

16. The Gospel is God’s own story conveying to man the great message that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah or Saviour promised to us from the very beginning of the world.

17. In support of His teaching Jesus performed numerous miracles. His first miracle was wrought at the prayer of His Blessed Mother when, at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, He changed water into wine. (John II, 1-11.)

18. To show His love for little children He would lay His hands on them, and would embrace and bless them. « Suffer little children to come unto Me », He said, « for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. » (Matt. XIX, 14.)

19. When speaking to the unfortunate, He would say: « Come to Me, all ye that labour, and I will refresh you. » (Matt. XI, 28.)

20. Jesus was good to sinners. He sometimes ate with them, and when He was blamed for doing so, His reply was: ‘I am not come to call the just, but sinners.’ (Matt. IX, 13.)

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 5

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 4: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.

 

Mystery of the Redemption.

1. The mystery of redemption is the mystery of the Son of God dying on the Cross to redeem mankind.

2. The words « suffered under Pontius Pilate » mean that while Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor of Judea, Jesus endured most terrible sufferings both of body and of soul.

3. His bodily sufferings were such that the prophet Isaias speaks of Him as « a man of sorrows, struck by God, and bruised for our sins ». (LIII, 3, 4, 5).

4. In His soul He suffered weariness, fear and a mortal grief « My soul », He said, « is sorrowful even unto death ». (Matt. XXVI, 38; Mark XIV, 34.)

5. So much suffering was not at all necessary for our redemption, for a single drop of His blood would have more than sufficed to redeem us, possessed, as It was, of infinite merit.

6. But the Saviour chose to suffer thus as a further testimony of His love for us and to inspire and to deepen within us horror of sin, which was the cause of His death.

7. Jesus suffered (1) in the Garden of Olives, (2) in the house of Caiphas, (3) in Herod’s Palace, (4) in the Prætorium, Pilate’s official residence, and (5) on Calvary.

8. In the Garden of Olives He suffered His agony, which was of so terrible a nature that He sweated drops of blood (Luke XXII, 44). It was here that Judas, one of His apostles, betrayed Him to His enemies with a kiss (see Plate 18).

9. At the house of Caiphas, the high priest of the Jews, Jesus was thrice denied by St. Peter (see Plate 29), was buttered, spat upon and declared to have deserved death because He had called Himself the Son of God.

10. At the house of Herod, tetrach of Galilee, who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pasch, they put upon Jesus a white robe as a mark of derision and treated Him as if He were insane.

11. In the Prætorium, Jesus was scourged with rods, crowned with thorns and sentenced to be crucified, although admitted by the judge himself (Pilate) to be absolutely innocent.

12. On Calvary He was given gall and vinegar to drink and was crucified between two thieves. Raised upon the Cross, He asked of His Father forgiveness for His executioners, promised paradise to the penitent thief, commended His Mother to St. John and gave to His Mother St. John for a son; and finally, declaring that all had been consummated, He resigned His soul into the hands of His Father.

13. The words of the Creed « was dead » mean, as in the case of all men, that His soul was separated from His body. But even while dead His godhead remained inseparable from His body.

14. Jesus died on Good Friday towards 3 in the afternoon.

15. At His death the sun was eclipsed, the earth trembled, rocks were split, the vail of the Temple was rent from top to bottom, and many of the dead arose, as we observe in the left-hand bottom corner of the picture.

16. After Jesus was dead, a soldier opened His side with a lance and blood and water gushed out.

17. Our Lord allowed Himself to be wounded thus in order (1) to show, by shedding His blood to the last drop, the excess of His love for us, and (2) to let us know that His heart would always remain open to shower down upon us the abundance of His graces.

18. The words of the Creed « and buried » mean that after death, Christ’s body was taken down from the Cross and placed in a sepulchre.

19. A great stone was then rolled up against the entrance, which was sealed under the authority of Pilate, and a guard of Jewish soldiers was placed to watch over it.

20. These strict precautions were taken by the Jews against the surreptitious removal of the Body, but by the design of God they only rendered the Resurrection all the more striking and incontestable.

The Way of the Cross.

21. The Church requires the faithful often to repeat the pious exercise known as the Way of the Cross. which by its fourteen stations recalls to our minds the dolorous Passion of our Saviour, beginning with His condemnation and ending with His death and burial. She has richly indulgenced this exercise, so that it is a source of valuable graces for those who perform it with due devotion.

Explanation of the Plate.

22. At the top we see – in the middle Pilate sitting in judgment, on the left the Scourging at the pillar, and on the right Jesus being nailed to the Cross. Below is depicted the Crucifixion, Our Lord on the Cross between the two thieves, and in the extreme corner on the right His body is being borne into the tomb.

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

Art 5: He descended into hell …

 

1. These words mean that when Jesus died, His blessed soul went down into hell, where it remained until the Resurrection, and that His Person, the Second Person of the Trinity, was, throughout that interval not only in hell, but also in the sepulchre, where His body lay. In this there is nothing to excite surprise, for, although His soul was separated from His body, nevertheless His divinity was inseparable from either.

2. Under the general designation of « hell » are included the several dark and hidden places where all those spirits to whom heaven is closed (temporarily, or for all eternity), are detained. There are three such places entirely distinct from one another.

3. The first of these, to which alone the word « hell » strictly applies and which is referred to in the Bible also under other names such as « Gehenna, Hades and the Abyss, is like a dark and frightful prison wherein the damned, be they demons or men, suffer the ceaseless torment of unquenchable fire.

4. A second one of such places is the limbo of infants, where the unbaptized who die without personal mortal sin are confined and undergo some kind of punishment.

5. The third place is Purgatory, where the just, who die in venial sin or who still owe a debt of temporal punishment for personal sin, are cleansed by fire before admission into heaven, « which nothing defiled may enter. » (Apoc. XXI, 27.)

6. Up to the time of Christ’s Ascension there was a fourth such place, the Limbo of the Fathers, in which the souls of the just who died before Christ awaited peacefully and painlessly the hour of their redemption, for in the meantime heaven was closed against them as a punishment for Adam’s sin. It was among these souls, resting on Abraham’s boson and expectant of the coming of the Saviour, that Christ descended. This part of Hell was distinct from that of the damned is clear from I Pet. III, 18-20, which says that after death Christ « preached to those spirits which were in prison », waiting « some time for the patience of God. »

7. We are not however to imagine that Jesus descended into this place only because He was the expected Saviour; we must firmly believe that He went there just as did all those who had preceded Him, to remain there until heaven was again open, for the Psalmist makes Him say, praying to the Father; – « Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell. » (Ps. XV, 10.)

8. But this descent of Christ into hell did not in any sense, derogate from His power and majesty, nor did the darkness of those regions in any way dim the lustre of His glory. On the contrary, by it He confirmed all that had been proclaimed regarding His infinite holiness, and, over and above this, showed that He was truly the Son of God, a fact He had already proved on earth by the numerous prodigies and miracles He wrought.

9. This becomes at once apparent the moment we consider the respective reasons why Christ, on the one hand, and the rest, on the other, were in Limbo. These latter were there as captives with no power in themselves to gain their freedom, whereas He was there as the only One « free among the dead » (Ps. LXXXVII, 6.) and as a conqueror utterly, to rout the powers of darkness, whose close prisoners they all were owing to Adam’s sin.

10. He descended into hell not only to snatch from Satan the demon’s hard-won spoils by delivering from captivity the Fathers and other Jews, but, as it were, to carry them off at once in triumph into heaven. For His mere presence illumined every recess of their dark prison, filled their hearts with an inconceivable joy and made them partakers of that sovereign beatitude which consists in the vision of God. For the time being hell became a heaven. Thus, the promise made by Our Lord to the penitent thief: « This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.’ (Luke XXIII, 43.) was fulfilled to the letter.

Explanation of the Plate.

11. The picture represents the blessed soul of Jesus Christ appearing among the captive souls in Limbo. In the foreground we see Adam and Eve on their knees. On their left are Abraham holding a knife with Isaac kneeling at his side, Jacob leaning on his staff, David with his harp, and so on. On the right are Moses with the two horns of light issuing from his forehead, Aaron staff of office in hand, St. Joseph holding a lily, and so on.

12. As said before, Our Lord remained with them until His Resurrection.

13. Underneath them is represented the real hell. where the damned, demons and men, are burning in « unquenchable fire ». (Matt. III, 12). It was neither here nor into Purgatory that Christ descended. Nevertheless, He made His presence felt – in hell, by compelling its inmates to acknowledge His divinity; in purgatory, by inspiring the souls there with the hope and expectation of ultimate glory.

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 5 (contd.): The third day He rose again from the dead.

 

1. These words mean that on the third day after His death Jesus, by His own omnipotence, re-united His soul to His body and issued forth from the tomb alive and glorious.

2. Our Lord’s body remained in the tomb not quiet three days, viz., part of Friday, the whole of Saturday and part of Sunday.

3. We have here a fact that must not be overlooked. Just as Jesus, in order to prove His divinity, did not put off His resurrection till the end of the world, so He did not desire to rise at once from the dead, but only on the third day, in order to show that He was really and truly man and that He had been really and truly dead, this short lapse of time being amply sufficient to establish the fact.

Our Lord’s Re-appearances.

4. That Christ rose again from the dead we know from the testimony of His apostles and disciples, to whom He appeared several times after His resurrection.

5. On the day itself of His resurrection He appeared in the midst of His apostles, who were met together in the Cenacle, and invested them with the power to remit sins. (John XX, 19-23.)

6. A few days later He appeared to several of the apostles as they were engaged in fishing on the Sea of Galilee. It was on this occasion that He raised St. Peter to the dignity of supreme Head of His entire Church. (John XXI, 15-16.)

7. Before His ascension He appeared once more to His apostles and commanded them to preach the Gospel to all nations. (Matt. XXVIII, 19.)

8. We are bound to accept the testimony of the apostles in regard to His resurrection, for they laid down their lives in witness to the fact that they had seen Him again in the body. Witnesses who gladly lay down their lives in confirmation of the testimony they have given can obviously not be impostors.

Characteristics of a risen body.

9. The body of Jesus after His resurrection possessed Our Lord’s body possessed all the attributes special to such bodies, viz., impassibility, brightness, agility and subtility.

10. By impassibility we mean that Jesus’ body in no longer subject to suffer or die.

11. By brightness we mean that Jesus’ body shines like the sun, although He veiled this splendour.

12. Jesus proved His agility (power of unimpeded movement) by transporting Himself over vast distances, even going up from earth to heaven with the rapidity of lightning.

13. By subtility is meant the power of passing through the most compact bodies. Thus, Jesus left the tomb without moving away the sealed stone which closed its entrance. He entered the room where the apostles were, although the doors were closed.

14. In re-uniting His soul to His body, Jesus caused the marks of the many wounds He had received during His Passion to disappear, all save five, viz., those in His hands, feet and side.

15. These He preserved in order (1) to show them to His apostles in proof of His resurrection, (2) to exhibit them to His Father when interceding for us, and (3) to confound sinners on the Judgment Day so that they might with their own eyes see that it was not alone for the just, but also for them that He suffered.

16. It was necessary that Christ should rise again from the dead as a proof of divine justice, for it was in every respect befitting that justice He who in obedience to the divine decree had been despised and loaded with every opprobrium and ignominy, should be exalted. St. Paul says as much in his Epistle to the Philippians (II, 8-9): – « He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted Him and hath given Him a name which is above all names. »

Explanation of the Plate.

17. Here we have the Resurrection represented.

18. Several holy women (seen on the left) came, says the Gospel, to embalm His body, when all of a sudden the earth trembled and the angel of the Lord coming down from heaven rolled back the stone which covered the entrance to the Sepulchre and sat upon it. The guards fell to the ground terror-stricken and remained like dead. When the holy women went inside the Sepulchre they were frightened at the sight of the angel, who however said to them: « Fear not you, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come and see the place where the Lord was laid. » (Matt. XXVIII, 5-6; Mark XVI, 5.)

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 6: He ascended into heaven.

 

1. By this first part of Article 6, He ascended into heaven, it is to be understood that on the fortieth day after His resurrection, Jesus, by His own power, rose up into heaven in the sight of His disciples.

2. This Happened on the day of the Ascension.

3. Before the Ascension, Jesus was in heaven as God, but as man He was not there. After the Ascension, He was there both as God and man.

4. Our Lord ascended into heaven in order 1) to possess Himself on the glory that was his due; 2) to prepare a place for us there; 3) to intercede for us with His Father; and 4) to send us the Holy Ghost.

5. The Ascension of Our Lord is thus described at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles (I, 1-11): « The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom He had chosen, He was taken up. »

« To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God, and eating with them; He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father which you have heard (saith He) by my mouth. »
« They therefore who were come together asked Him, saying: Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? But He said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father hath put in His power. But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. »

« And when He had said these things, while they looked on, He was raised up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. »

« And while they were beholding Him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments, who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you unto heaven, shall so come as you have seen Him going into heaven. »

6. Jesus rose upwards of His own might without any exterior aid, such as had been required, for instance, by Elias, who was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot (2 Kings II, 11), or by Habacuc or the deacon Philip, who were carried over great distances, the former by the « Angel of the Lord » (Dan. XIV, 35), the latter by the «Spirit of the Lord » (Acts VIII, 39).

7. Jesus ascended into heaven not only by the might of His omnipotence as God, but also by the new powers His human body had acquired at, and as the direct result of, His resurrection.

8. A prodigy such as this was beyond ordinary human capacity, but the power wherewith was endowed the blesse soul of the Saviour enabled Him to transport His body wheresoever He willed, and His body had become glorified to such a transcendent degree that it was at once obedient to every impulse conveyed to it by His soul.

9. It was during the interval between His Resurrection and Ascension that Our Lord more especially prepared His apostles for their coming ministry, directing them what they were to do and empowering them to forgive sins (John XX, 23) and to go among all nations, preaching and baptizing (Matt. XXVIII, 19).

10. The first three of the six articles which relate to Our Lord remind us of His unexampled humility and the terrible abasements to which He submitted himself. For what indeed could be imagined more humiliating and debasing than that the Son of God should assume our poor human nature with all its weaknesses and should consent to suffer and die the death of a male-factor for us! But immediately after, in the 5th. and 6th. Articles, we read that he rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven and is now sitting at the right hand of His Father. Could anything be conceived more sublime, more befitting His glory and divine majesty!

Explanation of the Plate.

11. Here we have the Ascension represented. The Mount of Olives consists of three peaks and it was from the central one of these peaks that Our Lord went up to heaven in the sight of His disciples and of the holy women, leaving, a legend says, the imprint of His left foot in the rock at the point He quitted the earth.

12. At the moment He disappeared from sight, enveloped in a luminous cloud, two angels appeared before His disciples and said to them: « Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen Him going into heaven. » (Acts I, 10-11)

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 6 (cont.): And sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

 

1. The Creed says that Christ sits, meaning thereby that He is resting and in the enjoyment of a never-ending bliss.

2. Jesus is seated in heaven like a king upon his throne or a judge upon the bench. In this double capacity He is both legislator and judge. Before quitting the world, He said: « All power is given Me in heaven and on earth. » (Matt. XXVIII, 18.)

3. Jesus sits, the Creed goes on to say, « at the right hand of God the Father ». This does not mean that God has right or left hand, but, as ordinary speech to place any one on your right is to accord to him the place of honour, these words are merely intended to convey the idea that Jesus, who as God is equal to the Father, is as man raised above all other creatures.

4. It is of course to the Passion of Our Lord, whose merits opened the door of heaven to the just, that we owe our redemption and our salvation; but of His Ascension it must be said that that it reveals itself to our minds not only as an effective object lesson to make us direct our thoughts and aspirations and raise ourselves in spirit heavenwards, but as a divine force to inspire us with the necessary strength to attain that goal. And not only this, but it sets the pinnacles of the edifice of our faith, strengthens our hope and directs all our longings towards heaven.

5. We say that the Ascension sets the pinnacle to the edifice of our faith, since faith is concerned only with things beyond the ken and the reason and understanding of man. Now if Our Lord had remained among us, He would have made everything so obvious to us that there would have been no merit in possessing faith. As Christ himself says: « Blessed are they that have not seen and have believed.’ (John XX, 29.)

6. Then, as we have said, the Ascension is the very thing to strengthen the hope that is in our hearts. The belief that Jesus went up to heaven
and as man is seated at the right hand of God the Father, furnishes us with a powerful reason for hoping that we who are His members, that we too shall one day go up to heaven to be united there to our Head. And this the more because of His own declaration of such reunion: « Father, I will that where I am, they also whom Thou hast given Me, may be with Me. » (John XVII, 24.)

7. One of the most signal benefits which the Ascension of Our Lord confers on us is, as has been said, that it directs all our longings heavenwards, inflaming, as it does, our hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Most truly has it been affirmed that « where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also » (Matt. VI, 21). Now it is certain that had Christ remained among us, all our desires would have been limited to seeing Him and being in His company. We should have looked upon Him as no more than a mere man who loaded us with favours and should have had for Him a purely human affection.

8. By leaving us and going up to heaven He has spiritualized our love for Him, and as we can now reach up to where He is only in thought, we are perforce drawn to adore Him and love Him as a God. We know this from the case of the apostles themselves. So long as the Saviour was among them, their feelings towards Him were purely human, as of one man towards another. Over and above this, we have the testimony of Our Lord Himself: « It is expedient to you that I go. » Of a truth that imperfect love with which they loved Him while He lived with them, required to be perfected under the influence of the divine love, that is to say, by the descent of the Holy Ghost. And immediately after, to the above remark he added: « For if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you. » (John XVI, 7.)

9. The Ascension was the dawn of a new development here below for the Church, that veritable house of Jesus Christ, the government and direction whereof were about to be placed under the guidance of the Holy Ghost. At the time to represent Him among men, Christ had placed at the head of the Church as Chief Pastor and Sovereign Pontiff St. Peter, prince of the Apostles; but since then, in addition to the twelve, he has never ceased to choose others, some of whom he makes apostles, others prophets, some evangelists, other pastors and doctors, continuing from His place at the right hand of His Father to endow each one with the gifts necessary for his calling. Thus the Apostles declares to us that « to every one of us is given of Christ » (Eph. IV, 7.)

Explanation of the Plate.

10. The picture represents Jesus Christ seated in heaven at the right hand of His Father on a throne of glory; the angels and saints surround Him, and His throne is supported by a host of heavenly spirits. The Father holds the sceptre, the Son the Cross and both support between Them the world, created by the Father, redeemed by the Son and sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 7: From whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

 

1. The article reminds us that at the end of the world Jesus Christ will come visibly and in great majesty to judge all men and render to each one according to his works.

2. The words living and dead must be taken in a spiritual sense, the former meaning those living in grace, i.e., the just, the latter those dead in mortal sin, i.e., the wicked.

3. At this judgment we shall appear before the Judge with our bodies reunited to our souls (see p. 15). Those still alive on earth at the coming of Christ (for His coming will be sudden and unexpected – see Matt. XXIV; Luke XXI; Mark XIII) will at once die and come again to life immediately after.

4. We shall be judged on the good or evil we have done in thought, word and deed, or by omission. The trial will be so strict that, as Christ himself declares, we shall be called to account for « every idle word » (Matt. XII, 36), that is, every word we have let fall that has been of no benefit either to us or to others.

5. We know that this general judgment will take place at the end of the world, but what we do not never shall know is when the world will come to an end. God is unwilling to reveal that much to us so that we may be always prepared for the event.

6. Many portents foretold in the Gospels will mark the near advent of the Sovereign Judge – the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no more light, the stars will fall from heaven, there will be earthquakes, and the roar of the waves of the sea will be terrible.

7. These portents are thus described by St. Mark: « For in those days there shall be such tribulations as were not from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, neither shall be. And unless the
Lord had shortened the days, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect which He hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. »
« And then if any man shall say to you: « Lo, here is Christ » or « Lo, He is there », do not believe. For there will rise up false christs and false prophets, and they shall show signs and wonders to seduce, if possible, even the elect. Take you heed therefore; I have foretold you all things. »
« But in those days, after the tribulation, the sun shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven, shall be falling down and the powers that are in heaven shall be moved. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds, with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. « But of that day of hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed; watch and pray for ye know not when the time is. »

« Even as a man who, going into a far country, left his house and gave authority to his servants over every work, and commanded his porter to watch. Watch ye therefore (for you know not when the Lord of the house cometh: in the evening, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning), lest coming on a sudden, He find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all – Watch. » (Mark XIII, 19-37)
8. Besides the general judgment, which will be held for all men at the end of the world, there is also another, the private or particular judgment, which takes place for each individual immediately after death.

9. At this particular judgment, the bodiless soul appears before God alone, whereas at the general judgment the soul, now at the last reunited to the body, will be judged in the sight of all.

10. The general judgment will not modify the sentence passed on each person at the particular judgment, but it will render to the whole world the justice of God, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the glory of the good and the confusion of the wicked.

Explanation of the Plate.

11. The picture represents the General judgment.

12. Jesus is seated on the clouds, surrounded by angels and saints and more immediately by His apostles, who will judge with Him the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke XXII, 30.)

13. Jesus is preceded by a cross and by four angels sounding the trumpet to summon all men to the judgment.

14. The Blessed Virgin Mary is placed on His right and at the head of the elect. To these He addresses the consoling words: « Come, ye blessed of My Father, receive ye the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. » (Matth. XXV, 34.)

15. The avenging angel is on His left, driving before Him into the abyss of hell the wicked, after the Sovereign Judge has passed on them this terrible sentence: « Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. » (Matt. XXV, 41.)

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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 8: I believe in the Holy Ghost.

 

1. The Holy Ghost is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity and proceeds from the Father and the Son.

2. The Holy Ghost is God. The Church has defined this truth by declaring in her creeds that the Holy Ghost is consubstantial with (of the same Divine Essence as) the Father and the Son and is to be adored conjointly with Them.

3. The same truth is impressed on us also in Holy Scripture, where the Holy Ghost is spoken of as God. When St. Peter reproved Ananias and Saphira for having lied to the Holy Ghost, he said: « Thou hast not lied to men, but to God. » (Acts V, 4.)

4. The fact that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son is contained in these words of Our Lord: « But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me. » (John XV, 26). And again, John XVI, 13-15: « When He, the spirit of Truth, is come, He will teach you all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself; but that things soever He shall hear, He shall speak. He shall glorify Me, because He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it to you. All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine. Therefore I said, He shall receive of mine, and show it to you.’ St. Paul styles Him the Spirit of Christ. (Rom. VIII, 9).

5. The Holy Ghost is thus the equal in all respects of the Father and of the Son. Like them, He is all-powerful, eternal and possessed of an infinite perfection, greatness and wisdom.

6. It is usual to speak of the Holy Ghost as (1) the Gift of God (Eph. 2, 8), because He is the most precious gift given by God to men; (2) the Comforter, because He consoles us in our troubles; or (3) the Spirit of Prayer, because He helps us to pray well.

7. The Holy Ghost is termed Holy, because He is Holy by nature and because it is by Him that we are sanctified.

8. The holiness of the Holy Ghost differs from that of the saints whom we honour in that (1) He is holy in Himself and by His nature, whereas, they have become holy through the grace of God; and (2) He is infinitely holy, whereas they are so only to a certain degree.

9. The Holy Ghost has come down on earth visibly several times. Thus He came down in the form of a dove over Our Lord at His baptism and in the form of tongues of fire on the apostles on the day of Pentecost.

10. On the day of Pentecost, so says the Bible, (Acts II, 2-4), there arose all of a sudden from heaven a sound as of a mighty wind coming, which filled the whole house where were the apostles. At the same moment there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, which sat upon every one of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they began to speak with divers tongues.

11. After received the Holy Ghost the apostles went about preaching the Gospel to all nations.

12. Before the apostles began to preach, all the nations of the earth, the Jews excepted, worshipped creatures.

13. The effect of the preaching of the apostles was to convert countless multitudes of Jews and pagans to Christianity.

14. Christianity was not established without opposition. For three hundred years it was opposed and millions of Christians suffered every form of torture and even death for the sake of Jesus.

15. The destruction of false religions over the greater part of the then known world is the most striking of all the miracles wrought by the Holy Ghost through the Apostles, and this one miracle alone sufficiently proves the divine origin of Christianity.

16. The Holy Spirit enters within us in an invisible manner by the grace with which He fills our souls in order to sanctify them.

17. The Holy Ghost dwells within us when we are in the state of grace. It is on this account that St. Paul tells us that we are temples of the Holy Ghost. (I. Cor. VI, 19.)

18. The Holy Ghost directs the Church, imparting to her strength to resist her enemies and preserving her from all error in her teaching.

19. The Holy Spirit still further gives to the Church all the graces and gifts necessary for its preservation, such as the gift of miracles and that of prophecy.

20. We must often pray to the Holy Ghost, because without His help we can do nothing useful towards our salvation.

21. We must be careful to avoid driving out of the Holy Ghost from our souls by committing mortal sin or saddening Him by committing venial sin.

Explanation of the Plate.

22. In the picture we see the Cenacle (top room of the Last Supper), in which the Apostles and disciples awaited the coming of the Holy Ghost, praying side by side with the Blessed Virgin and several other holy women.
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THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 9: I believe in the holy Catholic Church.

 

Constitution of the Church.

1. The Church is the entire body of the faithful under one head, viz., Jesus Christ. By the faithful is meant all who, having been baptised, believe all the doctrines taught by Him.

2. As Our Lord is in heaven, He has His appointed Vicar here on earth, the bishop of Rome, viz. the Pope, who is thus the visible head of His Church.

3. St. Peter was the first visible head of the Church appointed by Christ himself: « Thou art Peter [petros, Greek = a stone, petra = rock, translation of Cepha (Aramaic for rock)], and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven (i.e., of the Church on earth). And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. » (Matt. XVI, 18-19.)

4. St. Peter having established his See in Rome, his successors therein obviously inherited his headship of the Church and his infallibility in the teaching of doctrine (the gates of hell, i.e., the powers of darkness, error, falsehood, shall not prevail against it – the Church).

5. The lawful pastors of the Church are, after the Pope, all bishops, whose office, as successors of the Apostles, is to teach and govern Christ’s Church.

6. The bishops are appointed by the Pope to rule over their respective dioceses.

7. Rectors are priests who have been placed by the bishops in charge of the several parishes.

8. They are all members of the Church who have been baptised, believe what she teaches and are duly submissive to the Pope and to their bishop.

9. Those who do not form part of the Church are either infidels, heretics, schismatics, apostates or excommunicated person.

10. An infidel is one who has not been baptised and does not believe in Jesus Christ.

11. A heretic is one who, while believing in Jesus Christ, yet deliberately refuses to accept some truth revealed by God and taught by the Church as an article of faith.

12. A schismatic is one who separates himself from the Church by refusing to acknowledge and obey his lawful pastors.

13. An apostate is one who denies the faith of Jesus Christ after having once professed it.

14. An excommunicated person or excommunicate is one whom the Church has excluded from her communion owing to his crimes.

15. Sinners may be members of the Church, but are her dead members.

16. It is the greatest of all misfortunes not to belong to the Church, because those who, neglecting every opportunity, deliberately remain outside of it, cannot be saved.

Marks of the True Church.

17. There is but one true Church, because Christ founded only one Church.

18. There are four marks by which we may know her: she must be one; she must be holy, she must be catholic, and she must be apostolic.

19. The Roman Church is one, because all her members possess one Faith, have the same Sacrifice and Sacraments, and are united under one head, the Pope, successor of St. Peter.

20. She is holy because she teaches a holy doctrine, offers to all the means of holiness and has in all ages produced holy men and women.

21. She is catholic or universal because she has been continuous ever since Christ’s promise, will triumph through all persecutions and endure to the end of the world.

22. She is apostolic, since she was founded, under Our Lord’s authority, by the Apostles themselves, has after them been governed by the successors of the Apostles and believes and teaches the doctrine of the Apostles.

Explanation of the Plate.

23. At the top is depicted the appointment of St. Peter as head of the Church. Our Lord is represented as handing to him the shepherd’s crook, thereby charging him to feed His sheep and lambs (John XXI, 16-17), i. e., to rule over His Church.

24. Immediately below we see (1) the Pope, the successor of Peter, robed in white and wearing the tiara or triple crown; (2) on either side of the Pope, a cardinal recognizable by the hat; ( 3) standing in a circle facing the Pope (a) an archbishop with mitre and crozier and the pallium over his shoulders, and (b) a bishop with only mitre and crozier supported by other prelates and by male and female religious; and (4) in the middle ground, a priest administering holy communion, another preaching to the faithful, and a third, a missionary, holding aloft a crucifix and proclaiming to the infidel the message of the Gospel.

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 13

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13a Catechism in Pictures  13b  13b

THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 9 (cont.): I believe in the communion of Saints.

 

1. The word communion is used here in the sense of fellowship or sharing or participation in common, community and exchange of goods. The doctrine contained in the Article is hence that the spiritual or supernatural possessions of the Church, that mystical body whereof Christ is the Head, are the common property of all its members and that a constant interchange of such goods and services is going on between them, exactly as in the case of the several members of the same household.

2. These supernatural possessions and services are the same faith, sacraments and government, the merits of Jesus Christ and of His Blessed Mother and the saints in heaven, the Sacrifice of the Mass, prayers, intercession, indulgences and good works.

3. The word saints includes not only the blessed who are now triumphant with Our Lord in heaven (the Church Triumphant), but also all those suffering souls who are completing their period of expiation in purgatory (the Church Suffering), as well as the faithful here on earth who, sanctified by baptism, and under the call to lead a holy life, have to contend against the enemies of their salvation and thus constitute the Church Militant.

4. We have already seen on p. 6, para. 5 what purgatory is. Its existence is proved by Christ’s own declaration (Matt. XII, 31-32) that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven either in this world or in the world to come. These words obviously mean that some sins will be pardoned after this life is ended. Now it cannot be in heaven that these sins will be pardoned, for sin can not enter there; nor can it be in hell, out of which there is no redemption. Consequently, there must be a third place where such pardon can be obtained, and this place we call Purgatory, because it is there that the souls who cannot at once enter heaven, are purged from the guilt of their sins.

5. There is communion between us and the saints and angels in heaven, since we venerate them and pray to them, while they take they protect and intercede for us. Our Lord Himself tells us that « there is joy before the angels upon one sinner doing penance » (Luke XV, 10). And that even a soul in hell may invoke the saints and that the saints may intercede for us (the story of Dives and Lazarus in Luke XVI, 19-31).

6. We are in communion with the souls in Purgatory in that we produce relief for them by our prayers and good works, by transferring to them indulgences we gain four ourselves, and especially by having Masses offered up for them, whereby they benefit by the transcendent merits of Our Saviour. « It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from sins ». (2 Mac. XII, 46).

7. The prayers most frequently said for the souls in Purgatory are the Office of the Dead, the De Profundis and the invocation « And may the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace ».

8. Within the Church militant the faithful are in communion one with another through possessing the same beliefs, sacraments and government and by a mutual exchange of examples, prayers, merits and satisfactions.

9. All do not benefit equally, but each in proportion to his merits.

10. Even sinners within the Church militant have some part in this community of spiritual benefits, since graces fall to their share, which they have only to use in order to be converted.

11. Nay, even those who do not belong to the body of the true Church share in them according to the measure of their union with Christ and with the soul of the Church.

12. Those who have no share at all are heretics (viz, those who, knowing which is the true Church, yet refuse to enter it), schismatics and apostates.

13. The words « There is no salvation outside the Church » mean that salvation is absolutely denied to all who knowingly and of bad faith remain outside it.

Explanation of the Plate.

14. The picture symbolises the « Communion of Saints » : in it are represented the angels and saints in heaven, the faithful here on earth and the souls suffering in purgatory.

15. In the upper part of the picture we see the angels and saints adoring the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity and praying to Them for the faithful still on earth.

16. In the middle are the faithful on earth assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at which they are invoking the saints in heaven and praying for one another as well as for the deliverance of the souls from Purgatory.

17. At the bottom are represented the souls in Purgatory. Refreshing waters poured down upon them by the two angels are symbolical of the relief they derive from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 14

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14a Catechism in Pictures  14b  14b

THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 10: I believe in the forgiveness of sins.

 

1. These words mean that Christ has given to His Church the power to forgive sins.

2. God alone possesses, of His own authority, this power to forgive sins. In the Old Testament He kept it to Himself.

3. In the New Dispensation, God having become man, Christ as man, His divinity having thereby become intimately united to His Humanity, possessed the power of forgiving sins and in His role as the Saviour exercised it whenever He chose to do so. And this He did frequently. A characteristic instance is that furnished by the healing of the paralytic as related by St. Matthew (IX, 2-8):
« And behold they brought to Him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: « Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee. » And behold some of the Scribes said within themselves: « He blasphemeth. » And Jesus, seeing their thoughts, said: « Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say: Thy sins are forgiven thee, or to say: Arise and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins, « Arise », said He to the man sick of the palsy, « take up thy bed and go into thy house ». And he arose and went into his house. And the multitude, seeing it, feared and glorified God that gave such power to men. »

4. In His goodness Our Lord, while still in this life, conferred this power on St. Peter, and, on the day itself of His resurrection, also on all the apostles and, through them, on their legitimate successors. the following passages from SS. Matthew and St. John:
« And Jesus came in the quarters of Caesarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples saying: « Whom do men say that the Son of Man is? » But they said: « Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias or one of the prophets. » Jesus saith to them: « But whom do you say that I am? » Simon Peter answered and said: « Thou art Christ,
the Son of the living God. » And Jesus, answering, said to him: « Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father, who is in heaven. And I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. » Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ (Matt. XVI, 13-20).
« Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut where the disciples were gathered together for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them: « Peace be to you. » And when He had said this He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: « Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you. » When He had said this, He breathed on them, and He said to them: « Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. » (John XX, 19-23.)

5. By virtue of these concluding words there is no sin, however great, which cannot be remitted by the Church, just as she has also the power of retaining it by refusing absolution to penitents not in the proper disposition for it. More than this, the sins that have been remitted by the Church have no further existence of any kind: they are entirely effaced.

6. There can be no forgiveness of sins outside the true Church, for there is salvation and remission of sins only within the fold of the one and only true Church.

7. The Church remits sin principally through the sacraments of Baptism and Penance.

8. Our sins are remitted not by reason of our own merits, but through the merits of Jesus Christ who died on the Cross to gain pardon for us.

9. The apostles inserted into their Creed this article, I believe in the forgiveness of sins, to impress upon us the greatness of God’s mercy and to move sinners to place in Him all their trust.

10. The Catholic doctrine of the forgiveness of sins seems to be a great stumbling block to protestants, and yet among Anglicans (1) the bishop, when ordaining a person addresses to him the very words « Whose sins
you shall forgive &c. » quoted above; (2) in their Communion Service people with troubled consciences are exhorted to go and « open their grief » to some clergyman so that they may receive « absolution »; and (3) dying persons are required to be « moved » to make a special confession of their sins.

Explanation of the Plate.

11. The picture shows Our Lord handing over to St. Peter the keys as a token of the power He was conferring on him of remitting or retaining sins (see passage cited above from St Matthew under paragraph 4).

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Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 15

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15a Catechism in Pictures  15b  15b

THE APOSTLES’ CREED.

 

Art. 11: I believe in the resurrection of the body.

 

1. These words mean that at the end of the world our bodies will come to life again, becoming reunited to our souls for all eternity.

2. That there will be such a general resurrection is certain, for the Church puts it into her Creeds, and we have Christ’s own words: « The hour cometh wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. They that have done good things shall come unto the resurrection of life, but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment. » (John V, 28-29.)

3. This resurrection will take place by the power of the Almighty, who can restore life as easily as He originally gave it.

4. In nature we see plants dying down to the ground in winter to spring up again into life at the reawakening of vegetation; so shall the human body one day rise up again out of the corruption of the grave.

5. It will come to life again thus to share with the soul the full reward or punishment for the good or evil deeds, in the performance of which it took its share during life.

6. We shall not all rise up again in the same condition of body. The just will issue forth with glorious, the wicked with hideous and disfigured bodies.

7. The glorious bodies of the just will possess the same characteristics as did Christ’s body after His resurrection, viz., impassibility, brightness, agility and subtility (see p.9, paras. 9-13).

8. This general resurrection will immediately precede the general judgment (see p. 10, paras. 5 and 8-9). This is proved by the words of Martha to Jesus: « I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day », in the following passage from St. John (XI, 1-27).

« Now there was a certain man sick named Lazarus, of Bethania, of the town of Mary and of Martha, her sister. And Mary was she that anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. His sister therefore sent to him, saying: « Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. ». And Jesus hearing it, said to them: « This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it. »

« Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister Mary and Lazarus. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He still remained in the same place two days. Then after that He said to His disciples: « Let us go into Judea again? » The disciples say to Him: « Rabbi, the Jews but now sought to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again? » Jesus answered: « Are there not twelve hours of the day? If a man walks in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if he walks in the night, he stumbleth, because the light is not in him. » These things He said. And after that he said to them: «Lazarus our friend sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep. » His disciples therefore said: « Lord, if he sleeps, he shall do well. » But Jesus spoke of his death, and they thought that He spoke of the repose of sleep. Then therefore Jesus said to them plainly: « Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. But let us go to him. » Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples: « Let us also go, that we may die with Him. Jesus therefore came and found that he had been for four days already in the grave. Now Bethania was near Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off. And many of the Jews were come to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother. Martha therefore, as soon as she heard that Jesus was come, went to meet Him, but Mary sat at home. Martha therefore said to Jesus: « Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But now also I know that whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee! » Jesus saith to her: « Thy brother shall rise again! » Martha saith to Him: «I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. »

Jesus said to her: « I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live. And every one that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever. Believest thou this? » She saith to Him: « Yes, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ the Son of the living God, who art come into this world. »

Explanation of the Plate.

9. The picture represents the resurrection of the dead. In the centre of the picture, in the midst of the general disorder into which nature is plunged, we see angels sounding the trumpet to call men to the judgment. The graves open and the dead rise up out of the dust. Among them is a king who has kept his crown, and a bishop who, on coming again to life, finds before him, ready to hand his pontifical vestments.

10. At the top of the picture the Cross appears aloft in the air, all resplendent with light and surrounded by angelic spirits. The sight of the Cross comforts the good, who stretch out their arms longingly towards it, while the wicked are terrified by it, shrinking away with dread from it and praying that the mountains may fall down upon them and crush them into nothingness.

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The Catechism in Pictures (1912):

Page 1 – images & texts 01 to 15   Actual page
Page 2 – images & texts 16 to 32   Click here
Page 3 – images & texts 33 to 49   Click here
Page 4 – images & texts 50 to 66   Click here

 


 

 

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publié 10 février 2018 par missiondesainteanne

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