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

Q. 1181.  When does God’s honor, our neighbor’s spiritual good, or our own good require us to make an open profession of our faith?  A. God’s honor, our neighbor’s spiritual good, or our own good requires us to make an open profession of our faith as often as we cannot conceal our religion without violating some law of God or of His Church, or without giving scandal to others or exposing ourselves to the danger of sinning.  Pious practices not commanded may often be omitted without any denial of faith.

Q. 1182. {327} Which are the sins against hope? 
A. The sins against hope are presumption and despair.

Q. 1183. {328} What is presumption? 
A. Presumption is a rash expectation of salvation without making proper
use of the necessary means to obtain it.

Q. 1184.  How may we be guilty of presumption?  A. We may be guilty of presumption (1) By putting off confession when in a state of mortal sin; (2) by delaying the amendment of our lives and repentance for past sins; (3) by being indifferent about the number of times we yield to any temptation after we have once yielded and broken our resolution to resist it; (4) by thinking we can avoid sin without avoiding its near occasion; (5) by relying too much on ourselves and neglecting to follow the advice of our confessor in regard to the sins we confess.

Q. 1185. {329} What is despair? 
A. Despair is the loss of hope in God’s mercy.

Q. 1186.  How may we be guilty of despair?  A. We may be guilty of despair by believing that we cannot resist certain temptations, overcome certain sins or amend our lives so as to be pleasing to God.

Q. 1187.  Are all sins of presumption and despair equally great?  A. All sins of presumption and despair are not equally great.  They may be very slight or very great in proportion to the degree in which we deny the justice or mercy of God.

Q. 1188. {330} How do we sin against the love of God?  A. We sin against the love of God by all sin, but particularly by mortal sin.

LESSON THIRTY-FIRST. THE FIRST COMMANDMENT—­ON THE HONOR AND INVOCATION OF THE SAINTS.

Q. 1189. {331} Does the first Commandment forbid the honoring of the saints?  A. The first Commandment does not forbid the honoring of the saints, but rather approves of it; because by honoring the saints, who are the chosen friends of God, we honor God Himself.

Q. 1190.  What does “invocation” mean?  A. Invocation means calling upon another for help or protection, particularly when we are in need or danger.  It is used specially with regard to calling upon God or the saints, and hence it means prayer.

Q. 1191.  How do we show that by honoring the Saints we honor God Himself?  A. We honor the Saints because they honor God.  Therefore, it is for His sake that we honor them, and hence by honoring them we honor Him.

Q. 1192.  Give another reason why we honor God by honoring the Saints.  A. Another reason why we honor God by honoring the Saints is this:  As we honor our country by honoring its heroes, so do we honor our religion by honoring its Saints.  By honoring our religion we honor God, who taught it.  Therefore, by honoring the Saints we honor God, for love of whom they became religious heroes in their faith.

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