Some Random Good Quotes from a 19th Century Catechism October 29, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, priests, reading, Sacraments, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
OK, the version I’m quoting was actually updated about 1905, but the bulk of the book was written in the 1880s. I simply don’t have time to post any long excerpts right now – though I sure have some good material I’d like to upload – so I’m just going to put out some random quotes from The Catechism Explained by Spirago-Clarke as I wind up reading the book. It’s as good a Catechism as I’ve read in many regards, though I’d say in certain areas This Is the Faith by Canon Ripley and My Catholic Faith are better.
Anyway, I’m running out of time (work again), so here goes:
Confession is profitable to the individual insomuch as he derives form it self-knowledge, delicacy of conscience, interior peace, strength of character, and moral purity.
By comparing all that he has done or left undone with the low of God’s commandments, the penitent learns to know his own heart. His conscience also speaks more clearly. By frequent confession the Law of God is more deeply impressed on the heart of man; when tempted to sin, the commandment he is about to break presents itself to his mind. The mere thought of confession also acts as a deterrent from sin; some persons abstain from sin because they could not bear to tell it to the priest. [I know that works with me! That’s a powerful argument in favor of having a regular confessor] Experience proves how great a relief confession is to the mind of one who has committed a grievous sin. The impulse to confess one’s misdeeds is inherent in human nature; confession answers to this feeling, and the assurance of pardon affords the greatest consolation. Confession also increases strength of character, for by it we learn to overcome ourselves. Moreover the Holy Ghost enlightens our understanding and fortifies our will, and the more steadfastly the will is inclined to what is good, the more strength of character we shall possess. Confession, being it itself an act of humility, cannot fail to make a man humble, and humility is the foundation of all moral perfection. Proud people have the greatest aversion to confession. It is a means of freeing ourselves from the fetters of the devil, for by telling the truth when it would be so easy to deceive, and the temptation to conceal is often experienced, we throw off the yoke of the father of lies, and turn to Him Who is eternal Truth. And the less power the devil has over a man, the more easily he will draw nigh to God. The first step in amendment of life is to go to confession. “Before applying thyself to good deeds,” says St. Augustine, “confess thy misdeeds.”
If anyone should relapse into mortal sin, let him forthwith repent and go to Confession; for the longer penance is delayed, the more difficult, the more uncertain conversion will be. [And the longer we remain with a number of venial sins on our conscience, and allow those sins to gnaw at our character, the greater the chance of falling into mortal sin]
It is the opinion of the Fathers that as almighty God has appointed beforehand the number of talents to be confided to each individual, so He has fixed the number of sins which shall be forgiven to each; when this number is complete, there is no more pardon to be found. St. Augustine says that the long-suffering God bears with the sinner up to a certain point; after that he cannot obtain forgiveness. [Both St. Thomas and St. Alphonsus, perhaps the two greatest moral Doctors beside Augustine, say exactly the same]
“The Christian,” says St. Augustine, “will be questioned not about the beginning, but the end of his life.”
The more good work we have done, the less we must fear damnation.
Unremitting prayer is an excellent means of persevering in justice.
An indulgence is by no means a remission of mortal sin and the eternal punishment due to it; these must already be remitted before an indulgence can be gained. It is not absolution from sin, but the remission , partial or plenary, of satisfaction due to sin. It is not a means of evading the Sacrament of Penance and rendering sin easy; on the contrary, it obliges us to a real conversion of life.
Without suffering no man can be saved; even the Immaculate Mother of God, who was free from all sin, had no small measure of suffering as her lot on earth.
Confession should precede Extreme Unction, because the recipient of the Sacrament should be in the state of grace. Extreme Unction is a remedy; and as medicine is for the living, not the dead, so this Sacrament is of no utility to those who are spiritually dead. [Which causes me to shake my head at how the “Sacrament of Anointing” is received en masse by every single person at these regular communal services so many parishes have these days. How many of those receiving this Sacrament are in reality spiritually dead? Does anyone call for Confession before the reception of this Sacrament, which is handed out in a manner strikingly similar to the abuse of the Blessed Sacrament, with long lines and indifferent reception?]
All men cannot be priests (Eph iv:11, I Cor xii:29). Yet we frequently find all the faithful spoken of as priests (I Pet ii:9), inasmuch as they ought to accomplish to the glory of God good works which are in a certain measure a spiritual oblation; they are priests insofar as they immolate themselves in the service of God as spiritual victims. In the same sense the faithful in general are spoken of as kings, because they ought to rule over their fleshly lusts. [We hear progressive priests and others in the Church call for the diminution of the sanctity of the priesthood and the devolving of sacred roles – like distributing the Blessed Sacrament – to lay people under this mistaken notion of the “common priesthood of the people of God.” This explanation explodes that myth.]
Our Lord say: “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He send laborers forth into His harvest” (Matt ix:38). Remember that a priest is the salvation or the perdition of his flock. In the Old Testament we read that when other scourges were of no avail to turn the people, hardened to sin, from their evil ways, God sent upon them the heaviest scourge of all, wicked and corrupt priests. [We must be so very, very wicked. Lord, have mercy and convert us to virtue and faithfulness!] Let us therefore make it our continual prayer, that we may have good priests. The Ember days are appointed specifically for this purpose. [Do you observe the fasts and penance of the Ember days?] Special prayer should be offered to the Holy Ghost, for unless a priest is enlightened by the Holy Ghost we may apply to him the words: “If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.”
There is a lot of other gold I hope to get to in the coming days. That’s all I have time for tonight.