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Catechism in Pictures

Catechism in Pictures (1912), in English (Cat.-4A-4)


Pages 50-66 (Part 4 of 4)


 

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A-1 Catechism in Pictures, pages 01 to 15: Click here
A-2 Catechism in Pictures, pages 16 to 32: Click here
A-3 Catechism in Pictures, pages 33 to 49: Click here
A-4 Catechism in Pictures, pages 50 to 66: Actual page

 


In the English version, the page 50 have been interchanged with the next, the 51 from the french version. I Don’t know why, but here, the text is matched with the picture.

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 50

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50a Catechism in Pictures    51b

THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH.

2nd Commandment: To keep the days of fasting and abstinence appointed by the Church.

 

1. To fast is to eat only one full meal (with, if required, a collation of about 8 oz.) and, unless dispensed, to use no flesh-meat. General custom allows also about 2 oz. of dry bread with a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, thus enabling many to fast, who could not otherwise do so. The full meal may be taken at midday and the collation in the evening, or vice versa. Fish and meat may not be eaten at one the same meal. Persons under 21 or over 60 years of age need not fast.

2. Within the British Empire the fast days are (1) all week-days in Lent; (2) Wednesdays and Friday in Advent; (3) the Ember days; (4) the Vigils or Eves of Pentecost, SS. Peter & Paul, the Assumption, All Saints and Christmas Day. In Scotland also St. Andrew’s Eve. Usually a special Lenten Indult excepts Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (not in Ember or Holy Week). A fast falling on a Sunday is observed on the preceding Saturday. In the United States Wednesdays in Advent and Eve of SS. Peter & Paul are not fast days.

3. To abstain is to avoid the use of flesh-meat, which includes suet. There are restrictions for certain days in Lent with regard also to eggs, milk, butter, cheese, lard and dripping, which are however usually subject from year to year to indults and general dispensations granted respectively by the Pope and the bishop of the diocese. Children under 7 years of age are not obliged to abstain.

4. The days of abstinence are (1) Sundays in Lent (general dispensation usually granted) and (2) all Fridays, except when Christmas Day falls on a Friday. In Scotland no one is obliged to abstain on two consecutive days.

5. The parish priest has authority to give dispensation from fasting or abstaining or both on account of sickness, great poverty, hard work, travelling or other good reason. Persons dispensed only from the obligation of fasting must however abstain.

6. We are commanded to fast and abstain that so we may mortify the flesh and do satisfaction for our sins.

7. The fast of Lent has been instituted (1) to commemorate Christ’s fast of forty days in the desert (2), as an expiation for our sins, (3) to prepare us by penance for the worthy celebration of Easter.

8. The advent fasts are intended as an expiation and a preparation for the great feast of Christmas.

9. The Ember Days fall at the beginning of the four seasons of the year. They have been made fasting days in order that we may (1) consecrate to God by penance each succeeding season of the year, (2) beg God to bless the produce of the earth, and (3) call down divine grace upon the ministers of religion, who are usually ordained at these four periods.

10. The fast ordained for the Vigils is to prepare us by mortification to celebrate those feasts worthily.

11. By abstaining on Friday we commemorate Our Lord’s death and burial, which took place on that day and are reminded that we must do penance.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

12. In the central picture is depicted the temptation of Our Lord in the desert after His fast of forty days. « If thou be the Son of God », said the tempter, « command that these stones be made bread » Our Lord answered: « It is written: Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. » (Matt. IV, 3-4).

13. At the foot of the stairs representing Lent, to the right of it, we see a priest placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful on the first day of Lent with this ever necessary warning: « Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou wilt return. »

14. In the four small pictures representing the four Ember periods are depicted – in that of summer, an ordination of subdeacons; in that of autumn, an ordination of deacons; in that of winter, the laying on of
hands in the ordination of priests; and in that of spring, the consecration of their hands to fit them for the Holy Sacrifice.

15. The several circular and rectangular medallions represent the various Vigils.

16. In the right-hand top corner we see the aged Eleazer, who perished under the persecution of Antiochus. They tried to force swine’s flesh into his mouth, but he preferred « a most glorious death » to « a hateful life » (II Mach. VI, 18-19).

17. The picture above that of Temptation shows a banquet at which meat is being served, although it is Friday; and below that a ball held in Lent. The dancers end by falling into the flames of hell which yawns at their feet.

18. At the bottom on the left Jonah is shown warning the people of Niniveh of the impending doom of their city, unless they do penance. (Jonah III).

19. Opposite on the right we see St. John the Baptist preaching penance to the Jews in order to prepare them for the salvation Our Lord was about to bring them. « Do penance », he cried, « for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand » (Matt. III, 2).

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 51

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THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH.

3rd. Commandment: To go to confession at least once a year.

4th. Commandment: To receive the Blessed Sacrament at least once a year, and that at Easter or thereabouts.

5th. Commandment: To contribute to the support of our Pastors.

6th. Commandment: Not to marry within certain degrees of kindred nor to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.

 

1. Not to go to confession at all is always a mortal sin, but a bad confession is still worse for the added sin of sacrilege. If one goes to confession only once in a year, the time for it is necessarily fixed by the next Commandment, but if one is prone to mortal sin or desires constantly to advance in virtue, he must go much more frequently, every seven days if possible.

2. Children are bound to go to confession as soon as they can distinguish right from wrong and are hence capable of mortal sin i. e., about the age of seven years.

3. Every child should to make his First Communion as soon as he is able to distinguish right from wrong and the Eucharist bread from common and material bread, i. e., soon after his first confession.

4. It is difficult to live as a good Christian by receiving Our Lord only once a year. Accordingly, the Church recommends us to do so frequently – daily, if we can – the oftener, the better for the life of grace of the soul.

5. One’s Easter communion should be made in one’s own parish, unless permitted by the parish priest to make it elsewhere.

6. We are bound to support our pastors, since they have to devote themselves exclusively to the promotion of our spiritual welfare and the interests of religion and their churches have no endowments. God also commands us to do so: « So the Lord ordained that they who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel. » (I Cor. IX, 13-14.) And generally we must contribute to the support of religion according to our means, so that God may be duly honoured and worshipped and the empire of the Church extended.

7. Kindred includes consanguinity and affinity.

8. Consanguinity = blood-relationship. – Marriage is forbidden between third cousins or any nearer degree of kindred

9. Affinity = relationship by marriage or through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation (spiritual affinity). – It is forbidden to marry (1) the third cousin or any nearer blood-relation of one’s deceased wife or husband, (2) one’s god-children or their parents (3), the sponsors of one’s children, (4) a person who in a case of necessity has baptized one’s child, and (5) the child one has so baptized.

10. To solemnise a marriage is to celebrate it with the Nuptial Mass and Blessing. The forbidden times run from the 1st. Sunday of Advent to the Epiphany, and from Ash Wednesday to Low Sunday.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

11. From the right-hand top corner running downwards is a series of small pictures representing the various feasts which the Church specially recommends us to sanctify by the reception of the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.

12. Immediately above the last of these pictures the road bifurcates, the left branch leading to heaven through the narrow Lenten Gate. Entering thereby the Christian passes on upwards through prayer and confession to his Easter Communion, and thence to heaven. « He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life. » (John VI) The Crucifixion scene shown above the Confessional signifies that the penitents below receive the merits of the death and blood of the crucified Saviour.

13. The other bifurcation is a wide road inviting the pleasure-seeker and taking him to where revels are being held, from which, utterly brutalised, he falls into flames of hell below.

14. In the right-hand bottom corner we see an Israelite family assembled to eat the Paschal Lamb. Observe the Angel with a flaming sword on his way to slay « every first-born in the land of Egypt ». (Exod. XII, 29.) Just as the Israelites who marked their door-posts with the blood of the paschal lamb and ate of its flesh were spared by the Angel, so all who in the Sacrament of Penance wash their souls in the blood of the Saviour and in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist nourish them with His flesh, will escape the eternal death of hell.

15. Confession was practised even in the time of the Apostles, for « Many of them that believed, came confessing and declaring their deeds to St. Paul ». (Acts XIX, 18.). See in the left-hand bottom corner.

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 52

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PRAYER.

ON PRAYER IN GENERAL.

 

1. Prayer is the lifting up of the mind and heart to God to render Him our homage and to beg of Him graces for soul and body. The homage to be rendered are adoration, praise, love and gratitude.

2. We are bound to pray (1) because God requires it of us (2), because Christ Himself has in the Gospels shown us how we should pray, and (3) because we are constantly in need of God’s help.

3. Prayer may be vocal or mental. It is vocal when it is expressed in so many words, and mental (= meditation) when we commune with God only in spirit without the use of definite words.

4. Meditation is one of the most profitable of exercises for the Christian. It compels him to ponder deeply the truths of religion, thereby realizing their full value, and it makes him more fervent in the performance of his religious duties.

5. We must pray not only for ourselves, but also for our relatives, our superiors and, in a word, for all men, even for our enemies.

6. We must also pray for the souls in Purgatory that they may be quickly delivered from their sufferings to enter into the enjoyment of eternal bliss.

7. If we pray properly, God will always grant our prayer, but will do so only in the manner and at the time He deems best for us. – It is Christ Himself who given us this assurance in the clearest language (see text cited in para. 14 below).

8. The things to ask for should have reference to God and to our own salvation and that of our neighbour. – But we may also ask for temporal blessings, such as health, success in our undertakings, and so on, provided always that we want them for a good purpose and that we are ready to submit to whatever may be God’s will.

9. We must pray often, but especially on leaving and going to bed, before and after meals, before starting work, and when exposed to danger or confronted by temptations. – It is Christ Himself who says: « We ought always to pray and not to faint. » (Luke XVIII, 1). It is continuous prayer to be raising up our thoughts at frequent intervals to God and to be careful to do nothing but what is pleasing to Him.

10. It is an excellent thing to have family prayers: there is no more effective way of honouring God and of securing His blessings for one’s family and bringing up children in a Christian manner. Our Lord has said: « Where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them. » (Matt. XVIII, 20).

11. To pray properly we must pray with attention, humility, confidence and perseverance.

12. By attention is meant that we must think only of Him whom we are addressing and of what we are saying to Him. To think of any thing else is what is called being distracted. So long as we remain unconscious of the distraction, the prayer is good and acceptable to Almighty God; but if, the moment we become conscious of the distraction, we do not at once try and get rid of it, the prayer becomes not only worthless, but an insult to Him.

13. To pray with humility is to remember that we are weak miserable creatures incapable of doing anything without His help. « God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. » (James IV, 6.)

14. To pray with confidence means is to have a firm conviction that God will hear our prayer according to the promise He Himself has given us: « All things whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive; and they shall come to you. » (Mark XI, 24.)

15. To pray with perseverance means that we should never cease praying until our petition is granted. « Blessed is the man that heareth me and that watcheth daily at My doors.’ (Prov. VIII, 34)

16. We must pray in Christ’s name, because it is through His merits that our petitions are granted, and He Himself has given us this assurance: « Amen, amen, I say to you: if you ask My Father anything in My name, He will give it you. » (John XVI, 23.)

 

Explanation of the Plate.

17. The large picture shows Moses on a hill top while a battle was raging down below between the Israelites and the Amalekites. So long as he held up both his arms Israel prevailed; as he lowered them the tide of victory turned. (Exod. XVII, 11.)

18. The two small pictures on top illustrate two cases of family prayers. In the one the whole family, including the maidservant, are assembled at night prayers before a Crucifix and the picture of the Blessed Virgin; in the other they are crossing themselves before saying grace before meat. A third example of family prayers is that of a working-class family (see small picture on left at the bottom) engaging in joint prayer before beginning the day’s toil.

19. A model of attentive prayer is furnished to us by St. Anthony (see small picture on right at bottom). With demons in every shape and guise doing their best to distract and harm him, he prayed with unabated fervour, his eyes fixed on the Crucifix before him.

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 53

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PRAYER.

THE LORS’S PRAYER.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

1. The several small pictures here illustrate the Lord’s Prayer, so called because it was Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who composed it in order to show us how we should pray. (Matt. VI, 9-13.)

2. The Lord’s Prayer consists of a short preface and seven petitions to the Almighty. In the first three of these petitions we pray for what ministers to His glory and in the remaining four we ask for what concerns our own spiritual and temporal welfare.

3. The prefatory words « Our Father who art in heaven » are given in the scroll over the picture of heaven wherein God is manifesting His glory to the angels and saints.

4. The first two words ‘Our Father’ are there to remind us that we are God’s children and that as such we must pray to Him with love and confidence as to our Father.

5. We continue with « Who art in heaven » to make us pray with due respect, remembering that we are addressing One, who is Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth.

6. FIRST PETITION: « Hallowed be Thy name. – We pray thus that all mankind may know and serve God.

7. The top picture on the left representing the healing of the lame man by St. Peter illustrates this petition. By the words, « In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk » (Acts III, 6) and the resulting cure St. Peter hallowed the name of God, proclaiming thereby the holiness and divine power of the Name of Jesus.

8. SECOND PETITION: « Thy kingdom com ». – In pronouncing these words we pray (1), that God may graciously come and reign in our hearts, (2),
that He may one day allow us to reign with Him in heaven, and (3) that all nations with their rulers may acknowledge the sovereignty of God and of His Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

9. Under the scroll containing those words the elder Tobias is shown predicting the coming of the kingdom of God within the Church: « Jerusalem, thou shalt shine with a glorious light. Nation from afar shall come to thee and shall bring gifts and shall adore the Lord in thee and shall esteem thy land as holy. » (Tob. XIII, 13-14.)

10. THIRD PETITION: « Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven ». – With these words we pray that God may grant us the grace to obey Him here on earth as the Angels obey Him in heaven.

11. Above the scroll carrying these words we see Jesus in His agony in the garden saying to His Father: « Father if Thou wilt, remove this chalice from Me; but yet not my will, but Thine be done. » (Luke XXII, 42.)

12. FOURTH PETITION: « Give us this day our daily bread ». Here we ask God to give us what is necessary for the life of the body as well as of the soul.

13. What the body requires are food, raiment and shelter.

14. Christ used the word bread with a purpose – we must be satisfied with what is strictly necessary and not to ask or long for superfluities.

15. What the soul needs are (1) the word of God, (2) sanctifying and actual grace, and (3) the Holy Eucharist, which is « the Living Bread which came down from heaven ». (John VI, 41.)

16. The picture over the scroll containing this petition shows an angel bringing a loaf of bread to the prophet Elias in the desert. (II Kings XIX.)

17. FIFTH PETITION: « And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us ». – These words mean that if we wish God to forgive us, we ourselves must forgive those who have done or are doing us wrong.

18. Above the double length of scroll containing the words of the petition we have two pictures to illustrating it. One represents Christ on the Cross pardoning His executioners and the penitent thief, the other, David sparing the sleeping Saul, who was seeking to kill him. (I Kings XXVI).

19. SIXTH PETITION: « And lead us not into temptation ». Temptation is a movement within us inciting us to sin and due to the devil and concupiscence.

20. God allows us to be tempted in order that we may realise our miserably frail nature and be given an opportunity of gaining merit by the resistance we offer with the help of His grace.

21. The illustration to this petition shows Jesus tempted in the desert by the devil, but utterly routing him.

22. SEVENTH PETITION: « But deliver us from evil ». – Here we beseech God to deliver us from bodily as well as spiritual dangers, to save us from sin and from eternal damnation.

23. In the illustration above these words we see the prophet Daniel in the lions’ den miraculously preserved from all harm. (Dan. VI, 16 et seq.)

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 54

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PRAYER.

THE ANGELICAL SALUTATION.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

1. The Angelic Salutation is so styled because it opens with the words wherewith the Angel Gabriel saluted the Blessed Virgin when announcing to her that she was to be the mother of the Saviour: « Hail (Mary), full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women. » (Luke I, 28).

2. The words which follow, « and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, (Jesus) » were uttered by St. Elizabeth, while « full of the Holy Ghost ». (Ibid, 42.) The rest, in the form of a prayer, was added by the Church: « Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. »

3. « Hail Mary! » So spoke Gabriel (see the picture of MARY IMMACULATE over those words) as he announced to her that she had been chosen by God from among all women for the glorious privilege of becoming the Mother of His Son. His next words « full of grace » prove that Mary has never borne the stain of either original or actual sin and that from her birth she was fully adorned with sanctifying grace and with all the virtues and other heavenly gifts.

4. « The Lord is with thee. ». God abode both in her soul and in her body, in her soul through His grace, in her body through the Mystery of the Incarnation which His Omnipotence had just wrought within her. The picture over these words shows Mary holding the Infant Jesus in her arms and the Holy Ghost dwelling in her heart as in a temple.

5. « Blessed art thou among women ». Mary has been exalted above all other women in becoming a mother without ceasing to be a virgin and by bringing into the world a Son who is God Himself. In the picture she is raised above a crowd of saintly women, surpassing them in holiness, glory and power. One of these, leaning on a sword, is Judith, who cut off
the head of Holofernes (Judith XIII), thus prefiguring Mary’s victory over the serpent.

6. « And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus ». By these words we are to understand that Jesus Christ, the Son of God made Man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, received from His Father countless blessings and that in Him all nations have been blest. Above the first three words we see St. Elizabeth addressing them to Mary, while above the rest, the Infant Jesus is blessing St. John the Baptist.

7. The words « Holy Mary, Mother of God » were formulated by the Church to avenge Our Blessed Lady on the Nestorius, who deny her this glorious title. The Corresponding picture shows Mary being crowned Queen of Angels and Men by the Three Divine Persons of the Trinity.

8. We repeat the words « Pray for us sinners » because Mary is for all men the great channel through which to obtain divine grace and is in a special manner the Advocate and Refuge of Sinners. In the corresponding picture we see her interceding for us in heaven with her Divine Son.

9. We ask Our Lady to pray for us « now and at the hour of our death », because we need her help all through this life and more especially at the moment we are about to leave it to enter into eternity. In the corresponding picture she is shown appearing to a dying person and offering to be her protectress during her last moments.

10. The Angelical Salutation enters into various pious exercises, the two most important of which are the Angelus and Rosary.

11. The Angelus is a short devotion in honour of the Incarnation to be repeated thrice daily, morning, noon and evening at the sound of the bell.

12. The Rosary consists of fifteen decades of the Hail Mary, each decade preceded by a short meditation and an Our Father and concluding with the doxology « Glory be to the Father, &c. » The subjects of the meditations are the principal events (mysteries) in the lives of Our Lord and His Mother. The Rosary is divided into three parts (Chaplets) of five decades each, each chaplet comprising five mysteries of the same class: (1) Joyful, (2) Sorrowful, and (3) Glorious. The five Joyful Mysteries are the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity of Our Lord, His Presentation in the Temple and the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. The five Sorrowful Mysteries are the Prayer and Bloody Sweat of Our Lord in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, and the Crowing with Thorns, Jesus carrying His Cross, and the Crucifixion. The five Glorious Mysteries are the Resurrection of Our Lord, His Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Ghost, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and her Crowning in Heaven.

13. To obviate distractions from having to count the several Hail Marys and decades, the Rosary is, as we know, said on a string of beads, the larger ones representing the Our Fathers. A full Rosary of all fifteen decades being heavy and cumbrous, it is customary to have a string of only five decades (the chaplet) and to use it for all three classes of mysteries.

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 55

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THE FOUR LAST THINGS.

 

1. The end of man is death, immediately followed by judgment, and heaven or hell.

2. It profits us to be always thinking of these four last things, for thus indeed shall we be turned away from sin and filled with ardour for the service of God. Holy Writ warns us: « In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin. » (Eccli. VII, 40.)

 

Death.

3. Death is the separation of the soul from the body, the passage from time into eternity.

4. It was the sin of our first parents that brought into the world. God had given Adam and Eve this warning: « Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise you shall not eat, lest perhaps you die. » (Gen. III, 3) They did not heed the warning, but yielding to the perfidious advice of Satan, ate of the forbidden fruit. The result was that they were driven out of paradise and they and their descendants have been subject to the miseries of life and death.

5. Thus it is certain we have all to die as a punishment for the sin of our first parents. Says St. Paul: « It is appointed unto men once to die. » (Heb. IX, 27.)

6. Death will come when God wills it. That it will come is certain, but when and where it will overtake us none can tell.

7. God has willed that the hour of our death shall remain hidden from us in order that we may always be prepared to meet it, since any day may be our last.

8. To be fully prepared for death we must have led a truly Christian life and have received the last sacraments.

9. We ought not to wait until sickness comes upon us before preparing ourselves for death. To do so would be an act of utter madness, it would be putting our eternal happiness into jeopardy. It is what the bad rich man in the following parable from the Gospel did: – And one of the multitude said to Him: « Master, speak to my brother that he divides the inheritance with me. » But He said to him: « Man, who hath appointed me judge or divider over you? » And He said to them: « Take heed and beware of all covetousness, for a man’s life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesses. »

    « And He spake a similitude to them, saying: « The land of a certain rich man brought forth plenty of fruits. And he thought within himself, saying, « What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? » And he said: « This will I do I will pull down my barns, and will build greater, and into them will I gather all things that are grown to me, and my goods. And I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thy rest, eat, drink, make good cheer! »
But God said to him: « Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee, and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided? » So is he that layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God.! » (Luke XII, 13-21.)

 

Explanation of the Plate.

10. Death has been made the subject of these pictures in order to impress upon us the necessity of always keeping it before our minds, so as to bring home to us the utter vanity of earthly things and to impel us exclusively towards the things of the world to come.

11. In the large picture Francis Borgia, a gentleman of the court of Charles V, is seen standing before the dead body of the empress Isabella. Francis had been ordered to convey it to Granada for interment. When the funeral cortege reached that city, the coffin, as was the custom, was opened so that Francis might certify that it really contained the body of the empress; but the features had become so swollen and distorted that they were unrecognizable, and decomposition was so far advanced that the stench was unbearable. This hideous spectacle made so deep an impression on Borgia that he at once resolved to renounce the world and
all its pomps and vanities. Later on he entered the Society of Jesus and became a great saint.

12. In the top two corners at the top are depicted respectively a man and a woman looking at their reflection in a mirror. Immediately above them, we read the word, « Today », while over their reflection, presaging their death, the word « Tomorrow » is inscribed. The contrast between what one is today, when he is in the enjoyment of life and health, and what he will become tomorrow when death shall have overtaken him, ought to urge every one to place spiritual things, which will endure for ever, before temporal things which will pass away with this life.

13. At the bottom we see a cemetery dotted all over with crosses and tombstones bearing epitaphs. Two opened graves disclose a skeleton inside each.

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 56

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THE FOUR LAST THINGS.

THE DEATH OF THE JUST MAN AND THAT OF THE SINNER.

 

1. To die a good or holy death is to die in a state of grace. It is the very highest happiness attainable.

2. To die a bad death is to die in a state of mortal sin. It is the most awful calamity that can befall us.

3. We read in Psalms XXXIII, 22 that « the death of the wicked is very evil. »

4. It is very evil because the wicked man, with his sins heavy on him, finds it very hard indeed to quit this world and all its pleasures, for which alone he has lived his life, and because he knows that in a few moments more he will receive in hell the punishment he has so richly merited by such criminal neglect.

5. An awful death was that of Herod as described in the Acts of the Apostles (XII, 19-23). « And when Herod had sought for him (Paul) and found him not, having examined the keepers, he commanded they should be put to death; and going down from Judea to Caesarea, he abode there. And he was angry with the Tyrians and the Sidonians. But they with one accord came to him, and having gained Blastus who was the king’s chamberlain, they desired peace, because their countries were nourished by him. And upon a day appointed, Herod being arrayed in kingly apparel, sat in the judgment seat and made an oration to them. And the people made acclamation, saying: « It is the voice of a god and not of a man. » And forthwith an angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given the honour to God; and being eaten up by worms, he gave up the ghost. »

6. As terrible was the death of the traitor Judas: « And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James. All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his bretren. »

    « In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty: »
« Men brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was numbered with us and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the same field was called in their tongue Haceldama, that is to say, the field of blood. For it is written in the book of psalms, Let their habitation become desolate, and let here be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. »

    « And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Mathias. And praying, they said: « Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. » And they gave them lots and the lot fell upon Mathias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. » (Acts I, 13-25.)

7. In Psalms CXV, 14, we read « Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. »

8. It is « precious », i. e., of great value, 1stly., because it delivers them from all the ills of this life; 2ndly., because they love God and are now at last at peace with their conscience; and 3rdly., because they are about to receive in heaven their reward for the good works done by them in this life.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

9. The two pictures represent respectively the death of the just man and that of the sinner.

10. The just man, lying resigned on his bed of sickness and pain, is receiving the last consolations of religion. His Guardian Angel stands by, inspiring him with courage; his relations are praying for him; Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin are regarding him from heaven with outstretched arms, while Satan, in rage and shame, is fleeing back to hell.

11. As a contrast, the dying sinner rudely pushes back the priest. His Guardian Angel, turning away from this dreadful scene, is abandoning him weeping. The priest once more holds up the Crucifix before him, but without avail. His relations are broken-hearted and dismayed. Jesus Christ appears on high, showing him the Cross on which He died to save him and under which He will judge him, while devils surround his bed, eagerness to pounce upon his soul the moment it quits his body.

 


 

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THE FOUR LAST THINGS

JUDGMENT.

 

1. According to generally received opinion, the particular judgment (see p. 10, para 8) takes place at the very spot where the person dies.

2. Thus the moment the soul leaves the body she finds herself in the presence of Jesus to be judged according to her works and to hear the sentence determining her fate, whether it is to be one of happiness or of misery.

3. The following two extracts from St. Luke ought to fill us with deep solicitude as to the coming judgment on ourselves and be a warning to us carefully to prepare ourselves for it:

    « And when great multitude stood about Him so that they trod one upon another, He began to say to His disciples: « Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor hidden that shall not be known. For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness shall be published in the light, and that which you have spoken in the ear in chambers shall be preached on the housetops. And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom ye shall fear. Fear ye Him, who after He hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear Him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. »

    « And I say to you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the Angels of God. But he that shall deny Me before men, shall be denied before the Angels of God. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but to him that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven. » (Luke XII, 1-10).

    « Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands, and you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching. Amen I say to you, that he will gird himself and make them sit down to meat and, passing, will minister unto them. And if he shall come in the second watch or come in the third watch and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready, for at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come. »

    « And Peter said to Him: « Lord, dost thou speak this parable to us, or likewise for all? » And the Lord said who (thinkest thou) is the faithful and wise steward whom his lord setteth over his family to give them their measure of wheat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom, when his lord shall come, he shall find so doing. Verily I say to you he will set him over all that he possesseth. But if that servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming; and shall begin to strike the manservants, and to eat and to drink and be drunk, the lord of that servant will come in the day that he hopeth not, and at the hour that he knoweth not, and shall separate him and shall appoint him his portion with unbelievers. » (Ibid. 35-46.)

 

Explanation of the Plate.

4. The picture attempts to portray the particular judgment, which is held immediately one has breathed his last.

5. Here we have endeavoured to point the contrast between the judgment of the just man and that of the sinner. They are lying dead in two adjoining rooms, the former on the left, the latter on the right. Jesus is shown sitting in judgment simultaneously over both.

6. The relations of the just man still praying for him by his bedside. Under the protection of the Blessed Virgin and St Joseph his soul has just been taken up before the Supreme Judge by his Guardian Angel. An Angel is holding in one hand the crown destined for her, and in the other the scales of justice, whereof that containing her merits weighs down the other. Jesus welcomes her and pronounces a favourable judgment.

7. The soul of the sinner too appears before the Sovereign Judge, but, unable to meet His regard, she hides her face. She is under the escort of devils and is bound by a chain with which Lucifer is dragging her down. The scales containing her sins weighs down the other, and as there is not a single good work recorded to her credit in the book of fate which the angel holds, Jesus turns her away and sentences her to eternal damnation.

N.B. – As regards the Last judgment and Heaven and Hell, there have already been described and illustrated respectively at pages 10, 16 and 17.

 


 

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SIN.

SIN IN GENERAL. – ORIGINAL SIN.

 

1. Sin is a deliberate violation of the law of God.

2. For there to be deliberate violation the person should, in the first place, be competent to judge whether what he contemplates doing is right or wrong; and, in the second place, should of his free will do what he knows to be wrong. Without these two conditions he would not be responsible for what he did and it would not be a case of sin.

3. Sin is the greatest of evils, 1stly, because it is an insult to God, whereas other evils touch creatures only; and, 2ndly., because it is the source of all the evils we suffer in this life and in the next.

4. There are two kinds of sin – original sin and actual or personal sin.

5. Original sin is what we attaches to us from our birth and of which we have inherited the guilt through the disobedience of our first parent Adam. Although we are not personally guilty of this sin with our own personal will, yet it was committed by our human nature with the will of Adam, in whom all our human nature was included and with whom our human nature was united as a branch to the root. St. Paul calls us all « children of wrath ». (Ephes. II, 3)

6. We have been made partakers of the sin and punishment of Adam just as we would all be sharers in his innocence and happiness had he remained obedient to God. (Rom. V, 12.)

7. Adam’s sin has thus under the divine justice become the sin of all men.

8. Of this divine justice we observe a faint glimmer even in human justice. For instance, when a person convicted of high treason loses by confiscation all his possessions, the loss is not his alone, but also that of all his descendants.

9. That we are born with the stain of original sin is certain, since Holy Writ and the Church both say so, and, were it otherwise, we could be saved without baptism, which is absurd.

10. This matter of original sin is a mystery transcending the human understanding. All we can say of it is that, while the sin was for our first parents an actual sin, it is for us an habitual sin, a difference however which does not prevent its being for us also a cause of spiritual death, and as a consequence both a stain on our soul and a punishment.

11. Our Blessed Lady was entirely exempt from original sin as a personal privilege and because of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose Mother she was to be. This is what we understand by the Immaculate Conception.

12. The permanent effects of original sin, which remain even after that sin has been entirely washed away in the Sacrament of baptism are (1) ignorance, (2) weakness of free will, (3) concupiscence or proneness to sin, (4) the miseries of the present life, and (5) death.

13. The resulting ignorance refers to the decrease in us of the knowledge of God and of our soul, of our duties, and of the end for which we have been created.

14. The enfeeblement of our free will due to original sin is such that there are many circumstances in which, without the help of God’s grace, we should be unable to do good or avoid evil.

15. Concupiscence induces an inordinate love of self, riches and pleasure.

16. God has allowed these fatal effects to remain, although the original sin itself has been washed away by baptism, in order that we may practice virtue and add to our merits.

17. Our ignorance forces us to apply ourselves to study; our proneness to sin obliges us to be always on our guard; the miseries we have to endure in this life help to school us to be patient; and the certainty of death incites us to detach ourselves from the world and the present life.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

18. We illustrate here the disobedience of Adam and Eve. God had forbidden them, under pain of death, to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; but Eve, deceived by Satan under the guise of a serpent, ate of the forbidden fruit and gave some to her husband, who also ate of it.

19. Having forfeited the grace of God by their sin, Adam and Eve became subject to ignorance, to the uncontrolled empire of their passions and to pain and death, and they were driven out of the terrestrial paradise. And so in the lower picture we show the Angel of the Lord, armed with a « flaming sword », driving before him Adam and Eve out of the garden, and death waiting to receive them after they had experienced all the miseries of this life.

20. At top in the top corner we depict the Crucifixion to remind us that by His death Our Lord delivered us from original sin. God had promised this deliverance to our first parents themselves: « I will put enmities between thee (the serpent) and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head. » (Gen. III, 15.) In the opposite corner we see a priest baptizing a child and thus cleansing it from the stain of original sin.

 


 

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SIN.

ACTUAL SIN. – THE CAPITAL SIN.

 

1. Actual sin is every sin which we ourselves commit, whence it is also known as personal sin.

2. It is called actual, because in its commission our will is the sole agent, that is to say, it is an act of our will, in this respect differing from original sin, of which we have contracted the guilt quite irrespectively of any act of our own.

3. We render ourselves guilty of actual sin in four several ways – by thought, word, deed or omission.

4. Thus to judge rashly is to sin in thought; to blaspheme is to sin by word; to do servile work on Sunday is to sin by deed; and not to communicate at Easter is to sin by omission.

5. Actual sin is distinguished into mortal sin and venial sin.

6. By committing mortal sin, we lose the grace of God and deserve everlasting damnation.

7. It is termed mortal because it kills the soul by depriving it of the life of grace and its punishment is the eternal death of hell.

8. For a sin to be a mortal it must be of grave matter with clear knowledge of the guilt and full consent of the will.

9. Forgiveness of mortal sin is obtained through the Sacrament of Penance, or, in the absence of a priest, by an act of perfect contrition (see. page 22, para. 4) coupled with a sincere desire of going to confession at the first opportunity.

10. Venial sin is an offence which diminishes sanctifying grace within us and merits some temporary punishment in this world or in Purgatory.

11. We commit a venial sin whenever we disobey God in some minor matter, or, though the matter be in itself grave, full consent of the will is absent.

12. Venial sin also is to be carefully avoided, 1stly, because it is an offence against God; 2ndly., because it often leads to mortal sin; and 3rdly., because there is punishment for it in this world and in the next.

13. Venial sins are forgiven not only in the sacrament of Penance, but also either by an act of perfect contrition, or by hearing mass with devotion, or by the giving of alms, or by any good work done while in a state of grace.

14. There are seven capital sins, viz. Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy and Sloth. See also p. 17.

15. They are called capital sins because they are the sources from which all other sins take their rise.

16. A capital sin may be mortal or venial according as the subject of the sin is grave or of slight importance or there is more or less consent of the will in its commission.

 

Pride

17. Pride is an inordinate self-esteem, whereby we consider ourselves better than others and wish to put ourselves above them.

18. The first to commit the sin of pride was Satan when he rose in revolt against God.

19. The manifestations of pride are ostentation, presumption, hypocrisy, disobedience and contempt of others. The proud man seeks to parade the good qualities which he thinks he possesses: that is ostentation. There is nothing he thinks he is not capable of: that is presumption. He likes to appear better than he is: that is hypocrisy. He disobeys his parents and his superiors. He looks down on his equals and inferiors.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

20. The main picture depicts the battle between the good and the bad angels. In the middle we see St. Michael, the leader of the good angels,
engaged in single combat with Lucifer, the leader of the rebel angels. This latter and his followers had begun the battle shouting: I will be like the Most High! (Is. XVI, 14.) St. Michael and his host of good angels shouted back in defiance: Who is like to God? And immediately Lucifer and his hosts were precipitated into the depths of hell.
In the small picture on the left we see the Tower of Babel, which the descendants of Noah wished to raise up to heaven itself that their name might become famous. But God, to punish their stupid pride, « confounded their tongue» and « scattered them from that place into all lands », « and therefore the name thereof was called Babel », i. e. Confusion. (Gen, XI.)

On the right we see the Pharisee and the Publican of Christ’s parable. The Pharisee, standing up, prayed with so much pride that he dared to consider himself better than every one else. The Publican, on the other hand, assuming a humble posture, prayed with infinite self-effacement and sorrow. His prayer justified him before God, whereas that of the Pharisee only served to aggravate his guilt, « because », as Jesus said, « every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled. » (Luke XVIII, 14.)

 


 

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SIN.

COVETOUSNESS. – LUST. – GLUTTONY.

 

Covetousness.

1. Covetousness is an inordinate love of earthly goods, especially money.

2. It is not that we are absolutely forbidden to love the goods of this world; what is forbidden is an excessive love of them and for their own sake. We can always desire them in connection with God, considering and using them as a means to our salvation.

3. Love of them becomes excessive when we do not mind offending God in order to acquire, preserve or increase them.

4. Covetousness is a grievous sin. St. Paul calls it an idolatry. « No covetous person (which is a serving of idols) hath inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God » (Eph. V, 5.)

5. The poor are not immune against this sin, for to covet is not only to love inordinately what we possess, but also to have an inordinate longing for what we do not possess.

6. Covetousness hardens our hearts against the poor, makes us indifferent towards heavenly things and sometimes even leads us into acquiring wrongfully what belongs to our neighbour.

7. The contrary virtue to covetousness is liberality.

8. The best safeguards against covetousness are (1) to remember that Our Lord was poor and had not where to lay his head, (2) to think of death which must soon dispossess us of all we have, and (3) to give to the poor according to our means.

 

Lust.

9. Lust is the shameful sin of impurity, which we have seen, is forbidden by the sixth and ninth Commandments.

10. The effect of lust is to create in us a disgust for our religious duties, to blind the intellect, harden the heart, undermine the body and destroy the best qualities of the soul, and often to bring us to an impenitent end.

11. The contrary virtue to lust is chastity.

 

Gluttony

12. Gluttony is an inordinate love of eating and drinking.

13. Love of eating and drinking becomes inordinate when it makes us eat and drink to excess and for the sole pleasure of gratifying our sensuality.

14. In taking our meals our object ought to be the preservation of our lives for the service of God and the performance of our duties.

15. Gluttony is a grievous sin. St. Paul likens gluttons to idolaters « whose god is their belly ». (Phil. III, 19.)

16. The worst form of gluttony is drunkenness, which consists in imbibing spirituous liquors until the reason is lost.

17. Among the effects of gluttony are breaches of the law of fasting and abstinence, brutalisation of self, indiscretion in speech, quarrelling, brawling and the sin of impurity.

18. Furthermore drunkenness destroys one’s constitution, reputation and fortune, and often leads to a premature and horrible death.

19. The contrary virtue to the vice of gluttony is temperance.

20. The best ways to guard against the vice is (1) to say grace before and after meals, (2) to do every day some little act of mortification in regard to food and drink, (3) to avoid public houses and other places where intoxicating beverages are sold and (4) to shun the company of intemperate persons.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

21. It was covetousness that drove Judas into betraying His Master into the hands of His enemies for thirty pieces of silver. In the top picture we see the traitor apostle standing, empty purse in hand, before the chief priest and magistrates who are plotting together how to get Jesus into their power so as to compass His death. He is in the act of bargaining with the president of the assembly over the price to be paid to him for his treason. (Luke XXII, 2-5.)

22. It was through gluttony that Esau sold his right of the first-born to his brother Jacob (see bottom picture). Jacob had just prepared some lentil pottage when Esau, coming in from the chase tired and hungry, and too greedy to wait until he could cook something for himself, readily bartered for it his birthright, to which were attached the magnificent promises given to Abraham by the Almighty. (Gen. XXV, 29-34.)

23. The middle picture illustrates the parable of the prodigal son, who was reduced to tending pigs owing to dire poverty to which a life of pleasure and debauch had brought him. (Luke XV.)

24. The inset picture at the top shows Jesus seated at table with his disciples in the house of Simon the leper at Bethany. Note the empty place of the absent Judas. (Mark XIV, 3, 10.)

 


 

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SIN.

ENVY. – ANGER. – SLOTH.

 

Envy.

1. Envy is a certain sorrow or vexation caused by the happiness, prosperity or success of another or a malicious joy felt at his misfortune or failure.

2. Envy is a grievous sin, firstly, because it is directly opposed to the love of our neighbour, and secondly, because through it we become like Satan himself, whose envy brought sin into the world and who through envy is always seeking to injure us.

3. The spirit of envy is a perpetual torture to the unfortunate person who falls under its sway. It gnaws at, and eats out, his heart.

4. Envy gives rise to a great many other sins – unfounded suspicious, calumnies, backbiting, discord, hatred and even injury to property and life as well as national suffering and disaster.

5. The contrary virtue is brotherly charity, which disposes us to share the joys and sorrows of others as if they were our own.

6. To guard against envy we must (1) ever bear in mind that we are all brothers in Jesus Christ; (2) pray for, and do good to, those whom we are disposed to envy; and (3) practice humility in all things.

 

Anger.

7. Anger is a wrong feeling of displeasure against another.

8. Anger is not a sin when its object is to oppose evil and it is kept under due control. It is then really praiseworthy and justifiable.

9. The first movement to anger, before there is any time for reflection, is not a sin, but it becomes sinful if, as soon as we become aware of it, we do not suppress it or keep it under due control.

10. Anger usually arises out of pride and from an obstinate love of one’s own opinion.

11. Anger, if unchecked, leads us to blaspheme the Holy Name of God, to revenge ourselves on our neighbour, to abuse him, to injure him in his person or property, and even to cause his death.

12. The contrary virtue to anger is meekness, which disposes us to support with patience opposition and annoyances from others.

13. The best ways to guard against anger is (1) constantly to picture to ourselves the meekness and patience displayed by Our Saviour during His life on earth, and during His Passion and sufferings on the Cross; and (2) to school ourselves into saying and doing nothing while we are still under strong emotion.

14. There is one kind of anger which is justifiable and holy; it is the same which moved Our Lord to strong measures against the profaners of the temple, and which parents feel with unruly children.

 

Sloth.

15. Sloth is an inordinate love of one’s own ease, so that one would rather leave one’s duty undone than undergo the slightest amount of trouble or inconvenience in doing it.

16. There are two kinds of sloth, viz, (1) spiritual sloth, being that which leads us to neglect our religious duties, and (2) temporal sloth, which leads us to neglect the duties of our station.

17. Sloth enervates and exposes its victim to all kinds of evils through the neglect of even his most urgent duties. It is the parent of all the vices. The slothful man becomes a dawdler, frittering away his time and remaining an ignoramus, incapable of doing anything. He can never be depended upon, and the life he leads is an utterly useless one.

18. The contrary virtue to sloth is diligence, which enables us to perform all our duties courageously and punctiliously.

19. To overcome sloth we must (1) ever remember that labour and toil is a law imposed by God on all men; (2) draw up a rule of life for ourselves and follow it strictly; (3) never pass too much time in bed; (4) never waste even the smallest portion of our waking hours.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

20. At the top is depicted the sale of Joseph by his brothers. There, envying him, threw him into a disused well, there to die. But relenting, they took him out and sold him to some Madianite merchants who carried him away to Egypt. (Gen. XXXVII.)

21. In the middle, we see Esau. Returning one day from the chase with venison, which preparing it in the way Isaac his father liked it, he took it in to him to ask him for the blessing of the first-born. But Jacob had already obtained it by a stratagem. When Esau found this out, he fell into a terrible rage and threatened to kill Jacob. (Gen. XXVII.)

22. Below is a picture of the sluggard reclining lazily in his neglected field, covered all over with stones and overgrown with thorns and thistles.

 


 

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THE VIRTUES.

THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES

 

1. A virtue is a habitual predisposition of the soul to do good and to avoid evil.

2. The natural virtues are such as lead us to do good from motives based on reason. Thus to give alms to a needy person because our reason tells us that we ought to relieve our fellowman is to practice a purely natural virtue.

3. The supernatural virtues are so termed because we cannot acquire them of ourselves and they lead us to do good from motives based on Faith, e. g., to give alms to a needy person because through the eye of Faith we see in him the person of Christ Himself.

4. The supernatural virtues are distinguished into theological and moral virtues.

5. The theological virtues are so termed because they relate directly to God. They are three in number, viz., Faith, Hope and Charity.

 

Faith.

6. Faith is a theological virtue, with the help of which we believe, without doubting, all the truths that God has revealed to us and teaches through His Church.

7. We are bound to believe without doubting whatever God has revealed, because He is the truth itself and can neither deceive nor be deceived.

8. Faith is absolutely necessary for salvation, for Christ has said: « He that believeth not, shall be condemned. » (Mark XVI, 16.)

9. We sin against Faith by knowingly following a false religion, by wilfully denying or doubting any article of faith and by remaining culpably ignorant of the doctrines of the Church.

10. Faith is lost or weakened by neglecting one’s spiritual duties, reading bad books and keeping bad company, by taking part in the services or prayers of a false religion, and by going to non-Catholic schools.

 

Hope.

11. Hope is a supernatural virtue which inspires us with the confidence that God will grant to us eternal life and the graces necessary for its attainment, if we do what He requires of us.

12. We sin against Hope if we despair of God’s pardon or presume on being able to go to heaven without doing what He requires of us.

 

Charity.

13. Charity is a supernatural virtue by which makes us love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves for God’s sake.

14. To love God above all things is to love Him more than any creature, ourselves included, and to be willing to die rather than offend Him.

15. It is our duty to love God (1) because He is infinitely good and infinitely perfect; (2) because He wants us to love Him; (3) because He has overwhelmed us with favours; (5) because without charity all the other virtues together and any amount of good works will avail us nothing for our salvation.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

16. Faith is represented as a virgin supporting with her right hand the Cross and holding aloft in her left a burning torch. The Cross means that the mystery of the Redemption is one of the fundamental truths of our religion, while the torch signifies that Faith, like a brilliant light, illumines the souls.

17. Immediately below we see Abraham about to sacrifice his son Isaac. In such a heroic manner did this holy patriarch signalize his Faith, believing firmly that He who had ordered the sacrifice, would nevertheless fulfil the promise He had given him of a numerous posterity. (Gen. XXII.)

18. Hope is personified as a virgin holding in her right hand a crown and resting the left on an anchor. The crown signifies the glory of heaven and the anchor the expectation of gaining it.

19. Below Hope we see Job on his dunghill, emaciated and a mass of in sores. In the midst of all his sufferings and afflictions, he preserved the most heroic hope: « Although He should kill me, » he cried, « I will trust in Him ». (Job XIII, 15.)

20. Charity is symbolised as a virgin pointing with her left hand to her burning heart and holding in her right a Chalice surmounted by a large Host. The burning heart signifies that we ought to love God with our whole heart, while the Chalice and the Host indicate that the Holy Eucharist is the hearth at which to kindle the fire of the love of God in the souls of men.

21. Below Charity we see Christ at the table in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Mary Magdalene, a jar of precious ointment at her side, is washing His feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair. Our Lord eulogises her for her charity and, turning to Peter, says: « Many sins are forgiven her because the hath loved much. » (Luke VII, 47.)

 


 

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THE VIRTUES.

THE CARDINAL VIRTUES

 

1. The moral virtues are so called because they are of direct service to us in regulating our morals and shaping our conduct.

2. The principal moral virtues are the four cardinal virtues, so named because upon them hinge all the other moral virtues They are Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance (Wis. VIII, 7)

3. They had seen recognized and taught by the pagan philosophers of antiquity, but as purely natural virtues. Christianity having supernaturalised them and strengthened them in us through grace, they now have a higher aim.

 

Prudence.

4. Prudence as a supernatural virtue illuminates the understanding and enables us to choose the surest means for working out our salvation.

 

Justice.

5. Justice is as a supernatural virtue leads us to render to God and to our fellow-man what is their due. It directs aright our feelings and actions towards our neighbour and makes us humble and diffident in regard to ourselves, just what absolute justice requires of sinners. « Unless your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. » (Matt. V, 20.)

 

Fortitude.

6. Fortitude as a supernatural virtue gives us the courage to fulfill all the duties imposed on us by God.

 

Temperance.

7. Temperance as a supernatural virtue enables us not only to avoid all excesses and to exercise moderation in the use of everything, but even in such moderate use not to seek our happiness and the final object of living.

 

Explanation of the Plate.

8. Prudence is exemplified in the upper picture on the left by the judgment of Solomon. Two women living in the same house had each a newborn child. One of these infants having died during the night, its mother exchanged them, taking to herself the living one. The other woman, detecting the fraud, appealed to Solomon. Solomon is seated on his throne, with the two women before him and the dead child placed at the foot of the throne, while a soldier, sword in hand, is holding up the living child claimed for her own by each of the women. « Divide, » said the king, « the living child in two and give half to the one and half the other. ». «My lord, » cried the true mother, « give her the child alive, but do not kill it, » while the false mother said: « Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. » Then said the king: « Give the child to the first woman, and let it not be killed, for she is the mother thereof. » (I Kings III, 16-27.)

9. On the right, we see Our Lord giving the Pharisees and Herodians a lesson in justice. These having asked Him, in order to tempt Him, whether it was lawful to give tribute to Cæsar or no, He, seeing their guile, made them produce a penny and pointing to the coin, asked: « Whose image and inscription hath it? » They answered: « Cæsar’s. » Whereupon He said to them: « Render therefore to Cæsar’s, and to God, the things that are God’s. » (Luke XX, 19-25.)

10. An admirable instance of Fortitude is furnished by Judith. That only woman, seeing that her town of Bethulia, was on the point of being taken by Holofernes, the Syrian general, resolved to save it or die in the attempt. Decked out in all her finery and jewels, she went out into the enemy’s camp as if to escape from the impending doom of the town. Holofernes was so struck by her beauty and still more by the wisdom of her discourse, that he held a great banquet in her honour, at which banquet he drank to excess and became intoxicated. Being left alone with him, as he lay sleeping heavily, she seized his sword, which hung near him, and cut off his head with it. (Judith X-XIII.)

11. The fourth picture illustrates an equally remarkable case of Temperance furnished by king David. He was laying siege to Bethlehem, then occupied by the Philistines. Dying of thirst, he cried out: « O that some man would give me the water of the cistern of Bethlehem which is in the gate! » Immediately three brave men broke through the Philistines’ camp, drew water out of the cistern and brought it to David to drink. But David would not drink it and poured it in libation to the Lord, saying: « God forbid that I should drink the blood of these men, for with the danger of their lives they have brought me the water. » (Par. XI, 17-19.)

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 64

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THE VIRTUES.

THE EVANGELICAL VIRTUES

 

1. The evangelical virtues, so designated because they are specially recommended in the Gospels (Evangelium = gospel), are closely related to the cardinal virtues and are four in number, viz., Humility, Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

 

Humility.

2. Humility is a virtue which enables us to see our own defects and to ascribe to our Maker the little good that may be in us.

 

Poverty.

3. Poverty is virtue which makes us detach our minds from the things of this world and fix them on God alone.

 

Chastity.

4. The virtue of chastity impels us to shun all illicit pleasures, and even when these are licit, to enjoy them in moderation.

 

Obedience.

5. The virtue of obedience prompts us to comply with all lawful commands given by our superiors, regarding these as God’s representatives here on earth.

6. These four virtues form the foundation upon which the edifice of Christian perfection has been raised. The Gospel has supernaturalized them and has set its seal on them by recommending, not as a duty for all, but as a counsel for the chosen few, their exercise to the point of heroism in what we call the religious life. And in fact to enter that life a solemn engagement has to be taken to practise in this supereminent degree the three virtues of poverty, chastity and obedience. And the constant practice of the fourth, humility, follows as a matter of course.

7. Mark how Christ called a certain young man to enter upon this road to perfection, as told to us by St. Luke: – « And a certain ruler asked Him, saying: « Good master, what shall I do to possess everlasting life? » And Jesus said to him: « Why dost thou call Me good? None is good but God alone. Thou knowest the commandments: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and mother. » Who said: « All these things have I kept from my youth. » Which when Jesus had heard, He said to him: « Yet one thing is wanting to thee. Sell all whatever thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow Me. »

« He, having heard these things, he became sorrowful, for he was very rich. And Jesus, seeing him become sorrowful, said: « How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of God, for it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. » And they that heard it said: « Who then can be saved? » He said to them: « The things that are impossible with men are possible with God! » (Luke XVIII, 18-27).

 

Explanation of the Plate.

8. In the upper picture on the left we have a beautiful example of Humility furnished to us by St. John the Baptist. One day the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to ask him who he was. John declared to them that he was neither the Christ, nor Elias, not the prophet. They then said to him: « Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? » John replied: « I baptize with water, but there hath stood One in the midst of you Whom you know not. The Same is He that shall come after me, Who is preferred before me, the latchet of Whose shoe I am not worthy to loose? » (John I, 19-27.)

9. The early Christians practised the virtue of Poverty in the most perfect manner. All those who possessed land and houses, sold them and, as we see in the upper picture on the right, brought the proceeds and laid them at the feet of the apostles, who then distributed them, according to their respective needs, among all the faithful.

10. A perfect lesson of Obedience is given to us by SS. James and John, the sons of Zebedee (see lower picture on left). One day as they were in their boat mending their nets Jesus said to them: « Follow Me. » And forthwith, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the nets and his hired men, they followed Him. (Luke I, 19-20.)
11. The lower picture on the right illustrates Chastity in the person of Jesus Christ, the friend of the pure, and in those saints, models for all time of unsullied purity, viz. of the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Baptist, who support Him on His right, and beloved disciple, who stand on His left.

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 65

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THE WORKS OF MERCY.

THE CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY

 

Explanation of the Plate.

1. Mercy is a virtue which incites us to sympathize in the sufferings of others and to alleviate them when we can.

2. There are two classes of works of mercy, viz., corporal works and spiritual works.

3. The corporal works of mercy are those that which relieve the temporal wants of the body.

4. There are seven corporal works of mercy, viz., (1) to feed the hungry, (2) to give drink to the thirsty, (3) to clothe the naked, (4) to harbour the harbourless, (5) to visit the sick, (6) to visit the imprisoned and, (7) to bury the dead. We illustrate here (1), (4), (5) and (7).

 

Feeding the Hungry

5. The first corporal work of mercy is to feed the hungry.

6. The central picture at the top illustrates the story of the miracle wrought by the prophet Elias on the diminutive store of meal and oil of the widow of Sarephta, so that although drawn upon daily, it suffered no decrease. Here is the story: – During the long famine that afflicted the kingdom of Israel, Elias was ordered by God to go to Sarephta in the country of the Sidonians. As he neared the gate of the town, he saw a widow-woman gathering sticks. « He called to her and said: « Give me a little water in a vessel that I may drink. » And when she was going to fetch it, he called after her, saying: « Bring me also, I beseech thee, a morsel of bread in thy hand. » And she answered: « As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot and a little oïl in a cruse. Behold I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die. » And Elias said to her: « Fear not, but go and do as thou hast said. But first make for me of the same meal a little hearth cake and bring it to me, and after make for thyself and thy son, for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, the pot of meal shall not waste, nor the cruse of oil be diminished until the day wherein the Lord will give rain upon the face of the earth. » (I Kings VII, 10-14.)

7. The above story shows us how God loves to reward, even with temporal favours, those who practice charity towards the poor.

8. The medallion on the left of the above picture shows a lady giving alms to a poor man.

 

Harbouring the harbourless.

9. The fourth corporal work of mercy is to harbour the harbourless.

10. In the large picture at the bottom, we see Abraham offering hospitality to the three angels who came to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen. XVIII.)

11. The medallion to the right of the above shows a religious giving hospitality to a pilgrim.

 

Visiting the sick.

12. The fifth work of corporal mercy is to visit the sick.

13. The large picture on the left illustrates this virtue by the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan: « A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among robbers, who also stripped him and, having wounded him, went away leaving him half dead. And it chanced that a certain priest went down the same way, and seeing him passed by. In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan, being on his journey, came near him, and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine; and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I at my return will repay thee! » (Luke X, 30-35.)

14. The medallion immediately below shows a Sister of Charity tending a sick person.

 

Burying the dead.

15. The seventh corporal work of mercy is to bury the dead.

16. This work of mercy is shown in the large picture on the right. In it we see the holy man Tobias burying one of his fellow captives. He « daily went among all his kindred and comforted them, and was careful to bury the dead and they that were slain. » (Tob. I, 19-20.)

17. In the medallion above this picture a priest is depicted sprinkling holy water on the grave of a dead person whom he has just buried.

 


 

Catechism in Pictures – Text & picture 66

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THE WORKS OF MERCY.

SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY

 

1. Spiritual works of mercy have for their object the good of the soul of one’s neighbour.

2. They also are seven in number, viz., (1) to convert the sinner, (2) to instruct the ignorant, (3) to counsel the doubtful, (4) to comfort the sorrowful, (5) to bear wrongs patiently, (6) to forgive injuries, and (7) to pray for the living and the dead.

3. The Gospel tells us that it is by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy done by us that we shall be judged on the last day: –
« And when the Son of Man shall come in His majesty, and all the angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the seat of His Majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before Him and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on his left. Then shall the King say to them that shall be on His right hand: « Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; naked, and you covered Me; sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came to Me. » Then shall the just answer Him, saying: « Lord, when did we see Thee hungry, and fed Thee; thirsty, and gave Thee drink? And when did we see Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? Or naked, and covered Thee? Or when did we see Thee sick and in prison, and came to Thee? »

    « And the King answering, shall say to them: « Amen, I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to Me! » (Matt. XXV, 31-40).

 

Explanation of the Plate.

4. We illustrate here only the second, third, fourth and seventh of the spiritual works of mercy.

Instructing the ignorant.

5. This is the second of the spiritual works of mercy and a striking instance of it is given in the top picture. We see St. John the Baptist teaching the people and instructing the great multitude of those who came to him for knowledge and guidance.

6. In a second illustration (the medallion on the left) one of the Brothers of the Christian Schools is represented taking his class.

 

Counselling the doubtful.

7. This is the third of the spiritual works of mercy and here again St. John the Baptist supplies us with a characteristic example. In the picture on the left we see him upbraiding Herod for his evil life. « It is not lawful » says he to the king, « for thee to have thy brother’s wife. » (Mark VI, 18.)

8. A second example, taken from the streets of any considerable town of France, is that of the newsboy (see bottom medallion on left) selling the daily paper La Croix, the object of which is to combat the depraving influence of the irreligious and libertine press and to bring the people to love and understand better their holy religion.

 

Consoling the sorrowful.

9. This, the fourth spiritual work of mercy, is well illustrated by a striking event in the life of Our Lord viz., the raising of the dead son of the widow of Naim (see picture on right). One day as Jesus, accompanied by His disciples, was nearing the gate of that town, the only son of the widow was being carried out to be buried. Moved with pity for the bereaved widow, Jesus said to her « Weep not », and going up to the bier, touched it. « And they that carried it stood still. And He said: « Young man, I say to thee, Arise! » And he that was dead, sat up and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. » (Luke VII, 12-15.)
10. We give also another example (see top medallion on right). It is that of a young man leaving home to make his fortune in a distant land. As he speaks words of comfort to his weeping brother, he points upwards to heaven where they will one day meet never to part again.

 

Praying for the living and the dead.

11. A notable instance of this, the seventh of the spiritual works of mercy, is furnished by Judas Machabæus, who after a victorious battle fell upon his knees and with the survivors of his army prayed for those who had fallen in the fight. The prayer being ended, he made a collection and sent the proceeds to Jerusalem « for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead ». (Mach. XII, 43.)

12. In the lower medallion on the right, we see a woman praying over the grave of her deceased parents for the repose of their souls.

 

END

 


 

A-1 Catechism in Pictures, pages 01 to 15: Click here
A-2 Catechism in Pictures, pages 16 to 32: Click here
A-3 Catechism in Pictures, pages 33 to 49: Click here
A-4 Catechism in Pictures, pages 50 to 66: Actual page

 


publié 10 février 2018 par missiondesainteanne

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