The Baltimore Catechism: The Unity and Trinity of God

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The Baltimore Catechism
Revised Edition (1941)

Lesson 3

The Unity and Trinity of God

24. Is there only one God?
Yes, there is only one God.

I am the Lord, and there is none else: there is no God besides me. (Isaiah 45:5)

25. How many Persons are there in God?
In God there are three Divine Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Going, therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)

26. Is the Father God?
The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 1:3)

27. Is the Son God?
The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

28. Is the Holy Ghost God?
The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16)

29. What do we mean by the Blessed Trinity?
By the Blessed Trinity we mean, one and the same God in three Divine Persons.

Going, therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)

30. Are the three Divine Persons really distinct from one another?
The three Divine Persons are really distinct from one another.

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove, upon him. And a voice came from heaven: “Thou art my beloved Son. In thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22)

31. Are the three Divine Persons perfectly equal to one another?
The three Divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another, because all are one and the same God.

I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)

32. How are the three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, one and the same God?
The three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God because all have one and the same Divine nature.

33. Can we fully understand how the three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God?
We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God because this is a supernatural mystery.

34. What is a supernatural mystery?
A supernatural mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand, but which we firmly believe because we have God’s word for it.

Saint Peter of Verona

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Saint Peter of Verona

Dominican Priest and Martyr
(1206-1252)

In 1205 the glorious martyr Peter was born at Verona of Manichean parents; there he nonetheless attended a Catholic school. One day his Manichean uncle asked what he learnt there. The Creed, answered Peter: I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth. No arguments could shake his faith, and at the age of sixteen he received the habit from Saint Dominic himself at Bologna.

After his ordination, he preached to the heretics of Lombardy and converted multitudes. Saint Peter was constantly obliged to dispute with heretics, and although he was able to confound them, still the devil took occasion thereby to tempt him one day against faith. Instantly he had recourse to prayer before an image of Our Lady, and heard a voice saying to him the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith may not fail; and thou shalt confirm thy brethren in it. (Luke 22:32)

He often conversed with the Saints, and one day the martyred virgins Catherine, Agnes and Cecilia appeared to him and conferred with him. A passing religious, hearing their feminine voices, accused him to their Superior, who without hesitation or questions, exiled him to a convent where no preaching was being done. Saint Peter submitted humbly, but complained in prayer to Jesus crucified that He was abandoning him to his bad reputation. The crucifix spoke: And I, Peter, was I too not innocent? Learn from Me to suffer the greatest sorrows with joy. Eventually his innocence was brought to light; for his part, he had learned in his solitude to love humiliation and confusion.

Again engaged in preaching, miracles accompanied his exhortations. He traveled all over Italy and became famous. Once when preaching to a vast crowd under the burning sun, the heretics defied him to procure shade. He prayed, and a cloud overshadowed the audience.

Every day at the elevation of the Mass he prayed, Grant, Lord, that I may die for Thee, who for me didst die. His prayer was answered. His enemies, confounded by him, sought his life. Two of them attacked him in 1252 on the road to Milan and struck his head with an axe. Saint Peter fell, commended himself to God, dipped his finger in his own blood, and wrote on the ground, I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth. He was then stabbed to death. The brother religious accompanying him also suffered death. The details of the crime were made known by Saint Peter’s murderer, named Carino, who after fleeing from justice confessed his crime, asking for a penance from the Dominican Fathers. He took the habit, and according to their testimony lived the life of a saint and persevered to the end. Miracles at Saint Peter’s tomb and elsewhere converted a great many heretics.

Reflection. From his boyhood Saint Peter boldly professed his faith among heretics. He spent his life in preaching the Faith to them and received the glorious and long-desired crown of martyrdom at their hands. Are we, too, courageous, firm, zealous, full of prayer for their conversion, and unflinching in our profession of faith?

INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

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INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

The Introit of this days Mass is a canticle of praise and thanks:

INTROIT Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle alleluia; because the Lord hath done wonderful things, alleluia; he hath revealed his justice in the sight of the Gentiles. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. His right hand hath wrought for him salvation; and his arm is holy. (Ps. XCII.) Glory etc.

COLLECT O God, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will: grant unto Thy people to love what Thou commandest, and to desire what thou dost promise; that amidst the various changes of the world our hearts may there be fixed where true joys abide. Through etc.

EPISTLE (James I. 17‑21.) Dearly beloved, Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creatures. You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger: for the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore, casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Continue reading