Q. What is religion ? A. Religion, according to St. Augustine, is the bond which unites man to God ; in other words, religion is the society of man with God. Q. Explain this answer? A. Between parents and children there exist ties, or natural and sacred relations. In the same manner there exist relations between God, the creator and father of man, and man, who is the creature and child of God. The ties which exist between God and man are even more sacred than those which unite the son to his father. Q. Why so? A. Because we owe more to God than a son owes to his father ; God is our creator and our last end, which cannot be said of our earthly fathers. From which we must conclude that our obligations to God are much more holy than are the obligations of children to their parents. Q. What does the word religion signify? A. The word religion signifies the tie by excellence, or the re-tieing. The tie by excellence, because religion unites us in a supernatural manner to God, who
is the most perfect of beings ; the re-tieing, because our Lord, by offering himself up to his father as a victim for us, has re-established the supernatural union which existed between God and man previous to original sin. Q. Is there any other religion than the religion of Jesus Christ? A . No, there is no other religion than the religion of Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ alone, as both God and man, could expiate sin, reconcile man to God, and re-establish the supernatural tie which united them. Q. Is the true religion, or religion of Jesus Christ, of ancient date? A. The religion of Jesus Christ is as ancient as the world. For it goes back to the time when the Son of God offered himself to his Father to redeem man, and has always had as the object of its faith and its hope this same Mediator and the same rewards. Q. Has religion been at all times as fully taught as it is at the present day? A. No, religion has not been at all times as fully taught as it is at the present day. But it has not on that account ceased to be the same religion, any more than man, by passing through the different stages of life, ceases to be the same man. Q. What difference is there between the faithful who preceded and those who have come after the Messiah ? A . The difference is that the ancient just believed in Jesus Christ to come, whilst we believe in Jesus Christ already come. Our faith, our hope, our religion is the same as that of the patriarchs and prophets. Q. Why did God delay so long the coming of the Messiah ? A. He delayed the coming of the Messiah so long, 1st, in order that man might know, by a long experience of his miseries, the need he had of a Redeemer, and that he might desire his coming more ardently.
2d, that he might recognise Jesus Christ as the Messiah, seeing that all the figures, promises and prophecies were accomplished and verified in him. Q. What has been the object of all the designs of God since the commission of original sin ? A. The object of all the designs of God, since the commission of original sin, has been to save man. Be fore the coming of the Messiah, all his designs had for their end to prepare man s redemption, and since the coming, to maintain and extend its blessings to all men. Q. What fruit do we derive from this truth ? A . The fruit we ought to derive from this truth is, to love God as he has loved us, constantly and solely. Q. Why did God make known the mystery of the redemption only by degrees ? A. God made known the mystery of the redemption only by degrees, in order to consult man's weakness. A great many previous miracles were necessary to dis pose him to believe this greatest of all miracles. The Messiah promised and prefigured. First Promise. Adam and Abel the first and second figures or types of the Messiah. Q. How did God make known the Redeemer to come A. God made known the Redeemer to come, 1st, by promises, 2d, figures, and 3d, by prophecies. Q. What do you understand by figures of the Messiah ? A. By figures of the Messiah, I understand certain actions, certain events, certain personages, that represented beforehand the characteristics and actions of the Messiah. Q. How do we know that the patriarchs, the sacri fices, and the whole Jewish people were a figure of the Messiah ? A. We know that the patriarchs, the sacrifices and the whole Jewish people were a figure of the Messiah, 1st, on the authority of our Lord himself, and that of the apostles and evangelists. St. Paul in particular says that Jesus Christ is the end of the Mosaic law, and that whatever happened to the Jews was a figure of what was accomplished among Christians.
2d, on the authority of the fathers of the church ; St. Augus tine says that the whole Jewish people were only a grand figure of the Messiah.
3d, by the conformity or resemblance of the figures to our Lord, for in look ing at several portraits of the same person, drawn by different artists, no one would say that all these por raits resemble the person merely by chance. Q. Did the patriarchs and ancient Jews know, in general, the sense of the promises, figures, and prophe cies of the Redeemer ? A. The patriarchs and ancient Jews knew, in
gen eral, the sense of the promises, figures, and prophecies of the Redeemer : the better instructed among them had a clear knowledge of it, the rest had what was necessary for their salvation.
Catechism of Perseverance, Abbe Gaume
We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship Thee and the Father everlasting.
To Thee all Angels:
to Thee the heavens and all the Powers therein.
To Thee the Cherubim and Seraphim cry with unceasing voice:
Holy, Holy, Holy: Lord God of Hosts.
The heavens and the earth are full of the majesty of Thy glory.
Thee the glorious choir of the Apostles.
Thee the admirable company of the Prophets.
Thee the white-robed army of Martyrs praise.
Thee the Holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge.
The Father of infinite Majesty.
Thine adorable, true and only Son
Also the Holy Ghost the Paraclete.
Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
Thou having taken upon Thee to deliver man
didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
Thou having overcome the sting of death
didst open to believers the kingdom of heaven.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God
in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We beseech Thee, therefore, help Thy servants:
whom Thou has redeemed with Thy precious Blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in glory everlasting.
Lord, save Thy people:
and bless Thine inheritance.
Govern them and lift them up forever.
Day by day we bless Thee.
And we praise Thy name forever:
and world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day to keep us without sin.
Have mercy on us, O Lord: have mercy on us.
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us:
as we have hoped in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee have I hoped:
let me never be confounded.