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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. 719. {186} Which are the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost?  A. The twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Long-suffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continency, and Chastity.

Q. 720.  Why are charity, joy, peace, &c., called fruits of the Holy Ghost?  A. Charity, joy, peace, &c., are called fruits of the Holy Ghost because they grow in our souls out of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.


Q. 721. {187} What is the Sacrament of Penance?  A. Penance is a Sacrament in which the sins committed after Baptism are forgiven.

Q. 722.  Has the word Penance any other meaning?  A. The word Penance has other meanings.  It means also those punishments we inflict upon ourselves as a means of atoning for our past sins; it means likewise that disposition of the heart in which we detest and bewail our sins because they were offensive to God.

Q. 723.  How does the institution of the Sacrament of Penance show the goodness of Our Lord?  A. The institution of the Sacrament of Penance shows the goodness of Our Lord, because having once saved us through Baptism, He might have left us to perish if we again committed sin.

Q. 724.  What are the natural benefits of the Sacrament of Penance?  A. The natural benefits of the Sacrament of Penance are:  It gives us in our confessor a true friend, to whom we can go in all our trials and to whom we can confide our secrets with the hope of obtaining advice and relief.

Q. 725. {188} How does the Sacrament of Penance remit sin, and restore to the soul the friendship of God?  A. The Sacrament of Penance remits sin and restores the friendship of God to the soul by means of the absolution of the priest.

Q. 726.  What is Absolution?  A. Absolution is the form of prayer or words the priest pronounces over us with uplifted hand when he forgives the sins we have confessed.  It is given while we are saying the Act of Contrition after receiving our Penance.

Q. 727.  Does the priest ever refuse absolution to a penitent?  A. The priest must and does refuse absolution to a penitent when he thinks the penitent is not rightly disposed for the Sacrament.  He sometimes postpones the absolution till the next confession, either for the good of the penitent or for the sake of better preparation—­especially when the person has been a long time from confession.

Q. 728.  What should a person do when the priest has refused or postponed absolution?  A. When the priest has refused or postponed absolution, the penitent should humbly submit to his decision, follow his instructions, and endeavor to remove whatever prevented the giving of the absolution and return to the same confessor with the necessary dispositions and resolution of amendment.

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