SUNDAY SCHOOL: The Catholic Church

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SUNDAY SCHOOL

The Baltimore Catechism
Revised Edition (1941)

Lesson 11
The Catholic Church

“I believe in … the Holy Catholic Church …”
136. What is the Church?
The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him.

The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. (Matthew 13:24)

137. Who founded the Church?
Jesus Christ founded the Church.

And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

138. Why did Jesus Christ found the Church?
Jesus Christ founded the Church to bring all men to eternal salvation.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me. And I give them everlasting life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28) Continue reading

INSTRUCTION ON THE EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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INSTRUCTION ON THE EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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

The Introit of the Mass reads:

INTROIT We have received thy mercy, O God, in the midst of thy temple: According to thy name, O God, so also is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of justice. Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in his mountain. (Ps. XLVII.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Lord, we beseech Thee, mercifully grant us the spirit to think and do always the things that are right: that we, who can not subsist without Thee, may by Thee be enabled to live according to Thy will. Through etc.

EPISTLE (ROM. VIII. 12-17.) Brethren, We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the spirit you mortify the deed of the flesh, you shall live. For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also: heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Continue reading

Sanctification by the Precious Blood 

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Sanctification by the Precious Blood

The Precious Blood does more than wash away the sins of men and restore them to friendship with God. This is but the commencement of its work of love and mercy. It has in it unlimited power to carry them on to the heights of sanctity, to engender in them every virtue, to implant in their souls all the gifts of the Holy Ghost. So we read in the Apocalypse that the Lamb of God has not only washed us from our sins in His own Blood, but also made us to be kings and priests to God. Through the Precious Blood, then, are bestowed on me not only cleanness from my past sins, but graces to make me beautiful in the sight of God.

How does the Precious Blood win these graces for us? It appeals to the love of God, and reminds Him that, as He has given us the surpassing gift of His own Son to be sacrificed for us. He must with Him also freely give us all things. In that one gift all else is contained, and we have a sort of claim to whatever we want from the hands of God.

The Precious Blood of Christ also obtains our sanctification by the merits that it won for us. Each drop that was shed was enough, and more than enough, to purchase graces without limit or end. All the actions of our Lord had an infinite value by reason of His infinite dignity. How much more the shedding of that Blood, which, in itself, calls for the highest adoration, inasmuch as It was the Blood of God Himself, and He had communicated to It the glory of His Divinity by reason of the Hypostatic Union.

St. Bonaventure

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St. Bonaventure, Cardinal, Bishop, and Doctor of the Church

A.D. 1274.

ST. BONAVENTURE, the great light and ornament of the holy Order of St. Francis, for his extraordinary devotion, ardent charity, and eminent skill in sacred learning, is surnamed the Seraphic Doctor. He was born at Bagnarea in Tuscany, in the year 1221, of pious parents, named John of Fidenza and Mary Ritelli. He was christened by the name of John, but afterwards received that of Bonaventure, on the following occasion. In the fourth year of his age he fell so dangerously sick that his life was despaired of by the physicians. The mother in excessive grief had recourse to the Almighty physician by earnest prayer, and going into Umbria cast herself at the feet of St. Francis of Assisium, with many tears begging his intercession with God for the life of her son. Would Christians address themselves to God with an humble confidence in all their corporal necessities, their afflictions would never fail to be turned into divine blessings. But their neglect of this duty deserves to be chastised by spiritual misfortunes, and often also by temporal disappointments without comfort or remedy. St. Francis was moved to compassion by the tears of the mother, and at his prayer the child recovered so perfect a state of health that he was never known to be sick from that time till the illness of which he died. 1 The glorious saint, at whose petition God granted this favour, saw himself near the end of his mortal course, and foretelling the graces which the divine goodness prepared for this child, cried out in prophetic rapture; O buona ventura, that is, in Italian, Good luck. Whence the name of Bonaventura was given our saint. The devout mother in gratitude consecrated her son to God by a vow, and was careful to inspire into him from the cradle the most ardent sentiments of piety, and to inure him betimes to assiduous practices of self-denial, humility, obedience, and devotion. Bonaventure from his infancy entered upon a religious course, and appeared inflamed with the love of God as soon as he was capable of knowing him. His progress in his studies surprised his masters, but that which he made in the science of the saints, and in the practice of every virtue was far more extraordinary. It was his highest pleasure and joy to hear by how many titles he belonged to God, and he made it his most earnest study and endeavour to devote his heart with his whole strength to the divine service. 1 Continue reading

Pope John III

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Pope John III

(561-574).

A Roman surnamed Catelinus, d. 13 July, 574. He was of a distinguished family, being the son of one Anastasius who bore the title of illustris. The year of his birth is not recorded, but he was consecrated pope seemingly on 17 July, 561. Owing to the necessity of waiting for imperial confirmation of his election, an interval of five months elapsed between the death of Pelagius I and the consecration just noted. Although John reigned nearly thirteen years very little is known of his pontificate. It fell during the stormy times of the Lombard invasion, and practically all the records of his reign have perished. He would seem, however, to have been a magnanimous pontiff, zealous for the welfare of the people. An inscription still to be seen in the fifteenth century testified that “in the midst of straits he knew how to be bountiful, and feared not to be crushed amidst a crumbling world”. Two most unworthy bishops, Salonius of Embrun and Sagittarius of Gap, had been condemned in a synod at Lyons (c. 567). They succeeded, however, in persuading Guntram, King of Burgundy, that they had been condemned unjustly, and appealed to the pope. Influenced by the king’s letters, John decided that they must be restored to their sees. It is to be regretted that the papal mandate was put into effect. The most important of the acts of this pope were those connected with the great general, Narses. Unfortunately the “Liber Pontificalis” is enigmatic regarding them. By feminine intrigue at the court of Constantinople, a charge of treason was trumped up against the general, and, in consequence, the only man capable of resisting the barbarians was recalled. It is quite possible that Narses may then have invited the Lombards to fall upon Italy; but it is perhaps more probable that, hearing of his recall, they invaded the country. Knowing that Narses was the hope of Italy, John followed him to Naples, and implored him not to go to Constantinople. The general hearkened to the voice of the pope, and returned with him to Rome (571). But seemingly the court party in the city was too strong for Narses and the pope. John retired to the catacomb of Prætextatus, where he remained for many months. He even held ordinations there. On the death of Narses (c. 572), John returned to the Lateran Palace. His sojourn in the catacombs gave him a great interest in them. He put them in repair, and ordered that the necessaries for Mass should be sent to them from the Lateran. John died 13 July, 574, and was buried in St. Peter’s.

APA citation. Mann, H. (1910). Pope John III. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. m

MLA citation. Mann, Horace. “Pope John III.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 12 Jul. 2018

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York