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).

LESSON EIGHTEENTH.  ON CONTRITION.

Q. 753. {195} What is contrition, or sorrow for sin?  A. Contrition, or sorrow for sin, is a hatred of sin and a true grief of the soul for having offended God, with a firm purpose of sinning no more.

Q. 754.  Give an example of how we should hate and avoid sin.  A. We should hate and avoid sin as one hates and avoids a poison that almost caused his death.  We may not grieve over the death of our soul as we do over the death of a friend, and yet our sorrow may be true; because the sorrow for sin comes more from our reason than from our feelings.

Q. 755. {196} What kind of sorrow should we have for our sins?  A. The sorrow we should have for our sins should be interior, supernatural, universal, and sovereign.

Q. 756. {197} What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be interior?  A. When I say that our sorrow should be interior, I mean that it should come from the heart, and not merely from the lips.

Q. 757. {198} What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be supernatural?  A. When I say that our sorrow should be supernatural, I mean that it should be prompted by the grace of God, and excited by motives which spring from faith, and not by merely natural motives.

Q. 758.  What do we mean by “motives that spring from faith” and by “merely natural motives” with regard to sorrow for sin?  A. By sorrow for sin from “motives that spring from faith,” we mean sorrow for reasons that God has made known to us, such as the loss of heaven, the fear of hell or purgatory, or the dread of afflictions that come from God in punishment for sin.  By “merely natural motives” we mean sorrow for reasons made known to us by our own experience or by the experience of others, such as loss of character, goods or health.  A motive is whatever moves our will to do or avoid anything.

Q. 759. {199} What do you mean by saying that our sorrow should be universal?  A. When I say that our sorrow should be universal, I mean that we should be sorry for all our mortal sins without exception.

Q. 760.  Why cannot some of our mortal sins be forgiven while the rest remain on our souls?  A. It is impossible for any of our mortal sins to be forgiven unless they are all forgiven, because as light and darkness cannot be together in the same place, so sanctifying grace and mortal sin cannot dwell together.  If there be grace in the soul, there can be no mortal sin, and if there be mortal sin, there can be no grace, for one mortal sin expels all grace.

Q. 761. {200} What do you mean when you say that our sorrow should be sovereign?  A. When I say that our sorrow should be sovereign, I mean that we should grieve more for having offended God than for any other evil that can befall us.

Q. 762. {201} Why should we be sorry for our sins?  A. We should be sorry for our sins because sin is the greatest of evils and an offense against God our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer, and because it shuts us out of heaven and condemns us to the eternal pains of hell.

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