Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (of 4) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (of 4).

Q. 1136.  How many kinds of laws had the Jews before the coming of Our Lord?  A. Before the coming of Our Lord the Jews had three kinds of laws:  (1) Civil laws, regulating the affairs of their nation; (2) ceremonial laws, governing their worship in the temple; (3) moral laws, guiding their religious belief and actions.

Q. 1137.  To which of these laws did the Ten Commandments belong?  A. The Ten Commandments belong to the moral law, because they are a compendium or short account of what we must do in order to save our souls; just as the Apostles’ Creed is a compendium of what we must believe.

Q. 1138.  When did the civil and ceremonial laws of the Jews cease to exist?  A. The civil laws of the Jews ceased to exist when the Jewish people, shortly before the coming of Christ, ceased to be an independent nation.  The ceremonial laws ceased to exist when the Jewish religion ceased to be the true religion; that is, when Christ established the Christian religion, of which the Jewish religion was only a figure or promise.

Q. 1139.  Why were not also the moral laws of the Jews abolished when the Christian religion was established?  A. The moral laws of the Jews could not be abolished by the establishment of the Christian religion because they regard truth and virtue and have been revealed by God, and whatever God has revealed as true must be always true, and whatever He has condemned as bad in itself must be always bad.

LESSON THIRTIETH.  ON THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.

Q. 1140. {315} What is the first Commandment?  A. The first Commandment is:  I am the Lord thy God:  thou shalt not have strange gods before me.

Q. 1141.  What does the commandment mean by “strange gods”?  A. By strange gods the commandment means idols or false gods, which the Israelites frequently worshipped when, through their sins, they had abandoned the true God.

Q. 1142.  How may we, in a sense, worship strange gods?  A. We, in a sense, may worship strange gods by giving up the salvation of our souls for wealth, honors, society, worldly pleasures, &c., so that we would offend God, renounce our faith or give up the practice of our religion for their sake.

Q. 1143. {316} How does the first Commandment help us to keep the great Commandment of the love of God?  A. The first Commandment helps us to keep the great Commandment of the love of God because it commands us to adore God alone.

Q. 1144. {317} How do we adore God? 
A. We adore God by faith, hope, and charity, by prayer and sacrifice.

Q. 1145.  By what prayers do we adore God? 
A. We adore God by all our prayers, but in particular by the public
prayers of the Church, and, above all, by the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass.

Q. 1146. {318} How may the first Commandment be broken?  A. The first Commandment make be broken by giving to a creature the honor which belongs to God alone; by false worship; and by attributing to a creature a perfection which belongs to God alone.

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Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (of 4) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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