The Solemn Feast of the Most Holy Trinity 

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The Solemn Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

The mystery of all mysteries is presented to us today by the true Church of Christ, namely, the mystery of the Most Holy and undivided Trinity, to which we owe the deepest honor, love and devotion.

Our belief on this subject consists principally in the three following points: there is One true God, who rewards all good deeds and punishes all evil ones,either in this world or in the next; but there are, at the same time, three Persons, who according to Holy Writ, are called, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Each of these three Persons differs from the two others, namely the Father from the Son, the Son from the Father and the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost from Father and Son. This difference of Persons implies, however, no difference in their nature; for they all possess only one divine nature and essence. Each of these Persons is true God. True God is the Father: true God, the Son: true God, the Holy Ghost. But notwithstanding this, they are not three Gods, but One God; because all three Persons possess but one divine nature. In regard to men, we say that there are as many separate and distinct natures as there are persons; but in God, as St. Augustine teaches, we find a most perfect Unity in the Trinity, and a most perfect Trinity in the Unity: this means, there is only one God, but there are three Divine Persons.  Continue reading

St. Philip Neri

St. Philip Neri,
Founder of the Congregation of the Oratory at Rome

Philip Neri, the celebrated Founder of the far-famed Oratory at Rome, was born in Florence, of very pious parents, in ths year 1515. He was so good in his childhood, that he was known under no other name than that of “the good little Philip.” To his parents he was so obedient, that his father said he had only once in his life occasion to reprove him, and this only for a slight cause; but Philip, thinking he had grieved his father, was so distressed that he wept bitterly. To pray and to be present at a sermon were his only pleasures; the former he continued for hours, and the latter he never neglected. Until his eighteenth year he remained with his father at Florence, when he was sent to Naples, to his uncle, who, being a rich merchant, wished to make Philip his heir. But Philip had no inclination to become a merchant, and with his uncle’s consent, he proceeded to Rome to study theology. At this period, Philip began the austere life which he continued unto his end. He nursed the sick in the hospitals, instructed the poor and the ignorant in religion, visited frequently during the day the seven Churches, and at night the tombs of the holy martyrs, through whose intercession he asked nothing more warmly than a true fervent love of God. Continue reading

THE HOLY GHOST AND HIS MISSION IN THE CHURCH

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THE HOLY GHOST AND HIS MISSION IN THE CHURCH

They were all filled with the Holy Ghost–ACTS ii. 4.
The Holy Ghost will teach you all things.–JOHN xiv. 26.

In the Gospel, of this day we have the promise of our Lord, uttered on the eve of His Passion and death, that, after ascending to His Father, He would send the Holy Spirit upon His Church to teach it all truth, and to recall to the minds of the Apostles and their successors all the divine doctrines He had revealed to them. In the Epistle we see the fulfillment of this gracious promise. The Apostles, according to the instructions given them by our Lord, were gathered together in the Upper Room awaiting in prayer the promised Comforter. At the appointed time, on the tenth day after the Ascension, the Holy Spirit came down upon them, filling them with knowledge, fortitude, and His many wondrous gifts and graces. This was the birthday of the Church, and the Apostles, who were its visible teachers and rulers, went forth in the power of the Holy Ghost to begin that unfailing testimony to Christ and His teachings which, through the same Holy Spirit, their successors will continue down to the end of time.
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The Baltimore Catechism: Actual Sin

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The Baltimore Catechism
Revised Edition (1941)

Actual Sin
Lesson 6

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

Amen, amen, I say to you that whosoever commiteth sin is the servant of sin. (John 8:34)

64. What is actual sin?
Actual sin is any willful thought, desire, word, action, or omission forbidden by the law of God.

65. How many kinds of actual sin are there?
There are two kinds of actual sin: mortal sin and venial sin.

66. What is mortal sin?
Mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God.

Flee from sins as from the face of a serpent; for if thou comest near them, they will take hold of thee. (Ecclesiasticus 21:2)

67. Why is this sin called mortal?
This sin is called mortal, or deadly, because it deprives the sinner of sanctifying grace, the supernatural life of the soul.

Before man is life and death, good and evil; that which he shall choose shall be given him. (Ecclesiasticus 15:18)

68. Besides depriving the sinner of sanctifying grace, what else does mortal sin do to the soul?
Besides depriving the sinner of sanctifying grace, mortal sin makes the soul an enemy of God, takes away the merit of all its good actions, deprives it of the right to everlasting happiness in heaven, and makes it deserving of everlasting punishment in hell.

For the wages of sin is death; but the grace of God, life everlasting in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

69. What three things are necessary to make a sin mortal?
To make a sin mortal these three things are needed:

the thought, desire, word, action, or omission must be seriously wrong or considered seriously wrong;
the sinner, must be mindful of the serious wrong;
the sinner must fully consent to it.
70. What is venial sin?
Venial sin is a less serious offense against the law of God, which does not deprive the soul of sanctifying grace, and which can be pardoned even without sacramental confession.

Be ye therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 6:48)

71. How can a sin be venial?
A sin can be venial in two ways:

when the evil done is not seriously wrong;
when the evil done is seriously wrong, but the sinner sincerely believes it is only slightly wrong, or does not give full consent to it.
72. How does venial sin harm us?
Venial sin harms us by making us less fervent in the service of God, by weakening our power to resist mortal sin, and by making us deserving of God’s punishments in this life or in purgatory.

But I tell you, that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36)

73. How can we keep from committing sin?
We can keep from committing sin by praying and by receiving the sacraments; by remembering that God is always with us; by recalling that our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost; by keeping occupied with work or play; by promptly resisting the sources of sin within us; by avoiding the near occasions of sin.

And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members perish rather than that thy whole body go into hell. (Mark 9:42)

74. What are the chief sources of actual sin?
The chief sources of actual sin are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, and these are commonly called capital sins.

75. Why are these called capital sins?
They are called capital sins, not because they, in themselves, are the greatest sins, but because they are the chief reasons why men commit sin.

76. What are the near occasions of sin?
The near occasions of sin are all persons, places, or things that may easily lead us into sin.