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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. 821.  How are Christians aided in the performance of works of mercy?  A. Christians are aided in the performance of works of mercy through the establishment of charitable institutions where religious communities of holy men or women perform these duties for us, provided we supply the necessary means by our almsgiving and good works.

Q. 822.  Who are religious?  A. Religious are self-sacrificing men and women who, wishing to follow more closely the teachings of Our Lord, dedicate their lives to the service of God and religion.  They live together in societies approved by the Church, under a rule and guidance of a superior.  They keep the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and divide their time between prayer and good works.  The houses in which they dwell are called convents or monasteries, and the societies in which they live are called religious orders, communities or congregations.

Q. 823.  Are there any religious communities of priests?  A. There are many religious communities of priests, who, besides living according to the general laws of the Church, as all priests do, follow certain rules laid down for their community.  Such priests are called the regular clergy, because living by rules to distinguish them from the secular clergy who live in their parishes under no special rule.  The chief work of the regular clergy is to teach in colleges and give missions and retreats.

Q. 824.  Why are there so many different religious communities?  A. There are many different religious communities (1) because all religious are not fitted for the same work, and (2) because they desire to imitate Our Lord’s life on earth as perfectly as possible; and when each community takes one of Christ’s works and seeks to become perfect in it, the union of all their works continues as perfectly as we can the works He began upon earth.

LESSON TWENTIETH.  ON THE MANNER OF MAKING A GOOD CONFESSION.

Q. 825. {224} What should we do on entering the confessional?  A. On entering the confessional we should kneel, make the sign of the Cross, and say to the priest, “Bless me, father”; then add, “I confess to Almighty God and to you, father, that I have sinned.”

Q. 826. {225} Which are the first things we should tell the priest in Confession?  A. The first things we should tell the priest in Confession are the time of our last Confession, and whether we said the penance and went to Holy Communion.

Q. 827.  Should we tell anything else in connection with our last confession?  A. In connection with our last confession we should tell also what restrictions—­if any—­were placed upon us with regard to our occasions of sin, and what obligations with regard to the payment of debts, restitution, injuries done to others and the like, we were commanded to fulfill.

Q. 828. {226} After telling the time of our last Confession and Communion what should we do?  A. After telling the time of our last Confession and Communion we should confess all the mortal sins we have since committed, and all the venial sins we may wish to mention.

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