The Church's Year
ON THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER,
CALLED DOMINICA IN ALBIS
this Sunday called Dominica in Albis or White Sunday?
Because on this day the neophytes
laid aside the white dress which, as emblem of their innocence,
they received on Holy Saturday, and put on their necks an Agnus
Dei, made of white wax, and blessed by the pope, to remind them
always of the innocence for which they were given, and of the meekness
of the Lamb Jesus. For which reason the Church sings at the Introit:
As newborn babes, alleluia: desire the rational milk without guile.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (I Pet II. 2.) Rejoice to God our
helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob. (Ps. LXXX.) Glory, &c.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who have completed
the paschal solemnities may, through Thy merciful bounty, ever retain
them in our life and conversation. Through.
(I John V. 4-100.) Dearly Beloved, Whatsoever is born of
God overcometh the world; and this is the victory which overcometh
the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he
that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came
by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water
and blood. And it is the spirit which testifieth that Christ is
the truth. And there are three who give testimony in heaven: the
Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And
there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the
water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the
testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater: for this is the
testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of
his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony
of God in himself.
As in his gospel, so in his epistles, and especially in this,
St. John proves the divinity of Christ which had been denied by
some heretics. He says that Christ had come to purify all men from
sin by water and blood, that is, by. His blood shed on the cross
for our reconciliation, and by the water of baptism to which He
has given the power, the divine effect of His blood, and has thus
proved Himself the divine Redeemer. This His divine dignity is attested
by the Holy Ghost who lived in Christ and worked through Him with
His fulness, and when sent by Him after our Lord's Ascension, produced
most wonderful effect in the apostles and the faithful. As now
on earth three, the Spirit, water, and blood, give testimony of
Christ's divinity and agree in it, so also in heaven three, the
Father, who calls Him His beloved Son, (Matt, III. 17.) the Word,
or the Son Himself, who wrought so many miracles, the
Holy Ghost, when He descended upon Him at the baptism in the Jordan,
(Luke III. 22.) give testimony of His divinity, and these also agree
with one another in their testimony. If Christ is truly God, then
we must believe in Him, and this faith must be a living one, that
is, it must prove fertile in good works, and this faith conquers
the world by teaching us to love God above all, to despise the world
with its pleasures, and to overcome it by indifference. Let us
strive to have such faith, and we shal overcome all temptations
and gain the eternal crown.
O Lord Jesus! strengthen me by a lively faith in Thy divinity,
so that I may not succumb in the spiritual combat against the world,
the flesh, and the devil, and be eternally lost.
(John XX. 1931.) At that time, When it was late that same day, the
first of the week and the doors were shut,where the disciples were
gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in
the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said
this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore
were glad, when, they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again:
Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When
he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive
ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven
them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas,
one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when
Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen
the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the
print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails,
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight
days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus
cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said:
Peace be to you. Then he said to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither,
and see my hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my
side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered and said
to him: My Lord and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast
seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have
not seen, and have believed.* Many
other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which
are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing,
you may have life in his name.
follows is omitted on the Feast of St. Thomas, 21st of
Christ so often wish peace to the apostles?
To show that He only, by
His death and resurrection, has made peace between God and man,
and that His followers should be known by their harmony. (John
XIII. 35.) There is a threefold peace: peace with God, by avoiding
sin; peace with ourselves, that is, a good conscience; peace with
our neighbor, by the exercise of charity. This threefold peace is
necessary for our salvation.
Jesus breathe upon the apostles when giving them the power to forgive
To show that as bodily life
was once given to Adam by the breath of God, so should the spiritual
life be given henceforth by the apostles and their successors, through
the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Penance, to the children of Adam
who were spiritually dead.
God permit Thomas to doubt the Resurrection of Christ?
That Thomas, as well as we,
says St. Gregory, should be strengthened in humble belief in the
Resurrection of Christ, and that all doubts should be removed.
true faith when with his own eyes he saw Christ?
Yes, for he saw Christ only
in His humanity, and yet testified to His divinity by exclaiming:
My Lord and my God!
true, meritorious faith not to be ready to believe before seeing
that which is to be believed?
By no means; for faith consists
precisely in firmly holding as true that which is not seen. Therefore
Christ calls him blessed who has not seen and yet believes.
faith true and meritorious?
That is true faith which
firmly believes all that God has revealed, whether written or unwritten,
and when one lives in accordance with that faith; for faith in Jesus
simply does not save us, when that which He has commanded is not
performed. (Matt VII, 21.; James II. 20.) That faith is meritorious
which without doubting and without hesitation willingly submits
the understanding to revealed truths which it cannot comprehend,
and this for the love of Gods who is eternal truth and cannot deceive.
do we know for certain that God has revealed certain things?
From the Church of Christ
which alone preserves the revealed word of God faithfully and uncorrupted,
as it is contained in the Bible and in tradition; by the Holy Ghost
all truth is given to the Church, and Christ remains with her until
the end of the world. (Matt. XXVIII. 20.)
Church of Christ any marks by which it may be known?
Christ's Church has these
four marks: it is One, it is Holy, it is Catholic, and it is Apostolic.
the, Church one?
The Church is one, because
all its members agreein one faith, are all in one communion, and
are all under one head. (Matt. XVI, 18.; Eph. IV. 37.)
the Church Holy?
The Church is Holy, in her
Founder, Jesus Christ, and by teaching a holy doctrine, by inviting
all to a holy life, and by the eminent holiness of so many thousands
of her children.
the Church Catholic?
The Church is Catholic or
Universal, because she subsists in all ages, teaches all nations,
(Matt. XXVII. 19, 20.) and maintains all truth.
the Church Apostolic?
The Church is Apostolic,
because she comes down by a perpetual succession from the apostles
of Christ, and has her doctrines her orders, and her mission from
is this true Church?
The Roman Catholic Church,
for she alone has these marks. She is One in her head, the Pope
of Rome, in her doctrine, and in her Sacraments, which is evident
since she excludes all those who do not accept all her dogmas. She
is. Holy, for Christ her Founder is holy; and her doctrine and Sacraments
lead to holiness, as shown by the multitude of her saints whose
sanctity God arms by great miracles. No sect has saints. She is
Catholic or Universal, for she has been in existence always from
the times of the apostles, as is clearly shown by the fact that
from the times of the apostles there have always been some who separated
from her and founded sects. The Catholic Church has always existed,
and cannot perish or become corrupt, since Christ has promised
to remain with her to the end of the world; she is also spread over
the whole world, is always being announced to all nations, and is
fitted for all generations and for all people. She is Apostolic,
for she accepts no doctrine which does not come from the apostles,
and she can prove that the ministers of the Church, the bishops,
have come down in unbroken succession from the apostles.
who remain outside the Catholic Church be, saved?
The Council of Trent (Sess.
V. in the Introduction) assigns the Catholic faith as the one without
which it is impossible to please God, and the Roman Catechism teaches:
(I part. art. 9.) "The Church is also called Catholic or Universal,
because all who desire eternal salvation must cling to, and embrace
her, like those who entered the ark to escape perishing in the flood."
According to this doctrine of the Church, which the holy Fathers
affirm, only those idolaters and obstinate heretics are excluded
from salvation who knowingly deny the truth, and will not enter
the Church. The Catholic Church does not condemn the unbelievers,
she prays for them, leaves judgment to the Lord, who alone knows
the heart, and knows whether the error is culpable or not, and she
calls on all her, members to pray for their enlightenment.
then already saved, if we belong to the true Church?
No, we must also live up
to the faith which she teaches make good use of all means of salvation,
regard and honor all her regulations and commands, for otherwise
the words of Christ will be verified in us: And I say to you that
many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the
children of the kingdom (the true Church) shall be cast out into
exterior darkness. (Matt. VIII. 11.)