SUNDAY SCHOOL: The Marks and Attributes of the Church

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SUNDAY SCHOOL

The Baltimore Catechism
Revised Edition (1941)

Lesson 12
The Marks and Attributes of the Church

152. Which is the one true Church established by Christ?
The one true Church established by Christ is the Catholic Church.

And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. (John 10:16)

153. How do we know that the Catholic Church is the one true Church established by Christ?
We know that the Catholic Church is the one true Church established by Christ because it alone has the marks of the true Church.

Holy Father, keep in thy name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we also are. (John 17:11) Continue reading

The Second Shedding of the Precious Blood 

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

The Second Shedding of the Precious Blood

It is said that those who have suffered an extremity of anguish have sometimes been bathed in a perspiration which was tinged with blood. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was bathed in a sweat of blood which poured down to the ground. Ah! what must have been the intensity of His agony. None ever knew such sorrow as His. None ever was so crushed by the weight of intolerable misery. How could this happen to the Divine Son of God? To me it might have happened, and happened justly for my sins, but to Him it seems impossible, unjust, cruel.

It happened to Jesus because on Him sin was allowed to wreak all its malice, to do all the havoc of which its immeasurable intensity of evil is possible, as far as was compatible with His sinlessness and His Divine perfections. In some respects the very perfection of His nature caused Him to suffer more, as none was so sensitive to pain and disappointment as He; and His Divinity, far from being used by Him to relieve His sufferings, was only employed to enable His Sacred Humanity to suffer more than it could have borne unaided.

Was this unjust? No, for He took it upon Himself and bore it willingly. Was it cruel? No, for His Sacred Humanity was to have a reward altogether exceeding such sufferings as His. It was to enjoy the glory of the highest Heaven to all eternity in return for its brief agony on earth. For the joy that was set before Him He gladly endured it all: the joy of saving us from sin and death.

St. Mary Magdalen

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St. Mary Magdalen, Penitent

Mary Magdalen, so highly praised in the Gospel on account of her heroic conversion and fervent love of our Saviour, was born at Bethany, not far from Jerusalem. Her parents, as many authors say, were nobles. She had one brother named Lazarus, and a sister called Martha. When the fortune which her parents had left was divided, the Castle, or as others say, the borough of Magdalum, came into her possession from which she also derived her name. St. Luke writes that before her conversion, she had been a sinner in the city, by which some authors understand that she had been addicted to the horrible vice of impurity; while others say that she had given scandal to the whole city by her splendid garments, frivolous manners, and her unrestrained associations with those of the opposite sex. The same evangelist also says that our Lord Jesus Christ delivered her from seven devils, which words many understand literally, believing that on account of her iniquities, she was possessed by several evil spirits, and like many others, was delivered from them by our Saviour.  Continue reading

INSTRUCTION ON THE NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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INSTRUCTION ON THE NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

Implore God for help and protection against all temptations both visible and invisible, and say with the priest at the Introit:

INTROIT Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the protector of my soul: turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in thy truth, O Lord, my protector. (Ps. LIII.) Save me, O God, by thy name, and deliver me in thy strength. Glory etc.

COLLECT Let the ears of Thy mercy, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliants: and that Thou mayest grant them their desires, make them to ask such things as please Thee. Through etc.

EPISTLE (I Cor. X. 6-13.) Brethren, Let us not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them: as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. Neither do you murmur, as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them in figure, and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able but will make also with temptation issue that you may be able to bear it. Continue reading