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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. 1213. {342} Is it right to show respect to the pictures and images of
Christ and His saints? 
A. It is right to show respect to the pictures and images of Christ and
His saints, because they are the representations and memorials of them.

Q. 1214.  Have we in this country any civil custom similar to that of honoring the pictures and images of saints?  A. We have, in this country, a civil custom similar to that of honoring pictures and images of saints, for, on Decoration or Memorial Day, patriotic citizens place flowers, flags, or emblems about the statues of our deceased civil heroes, to honor the persons these statues represent; for just as we can dishonor a man by abusing his image, so we can honor him by treating it with respect and reverence.

Q. 1215. {343} Is it allowed to pray to the crucifix or to the images and relics of the saints?  A. It is not allowed to pray to the crucifix or images and relics of the saints, for they have no life, nor power to help us, nor sense to hear us.

Q. 1216. {344} Why do we pray before the crucifix and the images and relics of the saints?  A. We pray before the crucifix and the images and relics of the saints because they enliven our devotion by exciting pious affections and desires, and by reminding us of Christ and of the saints, that we may imitate their virtues.

LESSON THIRTY-SECOND.  FROM THE SECOND TO THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT.

Q. 1217. {345} What is the second Commandment?  A. The second Commandment is:  Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

Q. 1218.  What do you mean by taking God’s name in vain?  A. By taking God’s name in vain I mean taking it without reverence, as in cursing or using in a light and careless manner, as in exclamation.

Q. 1219. {346} What are we commanded by the second Commandment?  A. We are commanded by the second Commandment to speak with reverence of God and of the saints, and of all holy things, and to keep our lawful oaths and vows.

Q. 1220.  Is it sinful to use the words of Holy Scripture in a bad or worldly sense?  A. It is sinful to use the words of Holy Scripture in a bad or worldly sense, to joke in them or ridicule their sacred meaning, or in general to give them any meaning but the one we believe God has intended them to convey.

Q. 1221. {347} What is an oath? 
A. An oath is the calling upon God to witness the truth of what we say.

Q. 1222.  How is an oath usually taken?  A. An oath is usually taken by laying the hand on the Bible or by lifting the hand towards heaven as a sign that we call God to witness that what we are saying is under oath and to the best of our knowledge really true.

Q. 1223.  What is perjury?  A. Perjury is the sin one commits who knowingly takes a false oath; that is, swears to the truth of what he knows to be false.  Perjury is a crime against the law of our country and a mortal sin before God.

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