The best weapon the simple pewsitter can have today is to know his/her Catechism. So says Archbishop Lefebvre: "In the Church there is no law or jurisdiction which can impose on a Christian a diminution of his faith. All the faithful can and should resist whatever interferes with their faith, supported by the catechism of their childhood. If they are faced with an order putting their faith in danger of corruption, there is an overriding duty to disobey." (Open Letter to Confused Catholics : Chapter 18 : para 9) Section 3 Baltimore Catechism 1. The Lord's Prayer. 2. The Angelical Salutation. 3. The Apostles' Creed. 4. The Confiteor. 5. An Act of Faith. 6. An Act of Hope. 7. An Act of Love. 8. An Act of Contrition. 9. The Blessing before Meals. 10.Grace after Meals. The Lessons of the Catechism 1. Lesson 1 On the end of Man 2. Lesson 2 On God and His Perfections 3. Lesson 3 On the Unity and Trinity of God 4. Lesson 4 On Creation 5. Lesson 5 On Our First Parents and the Fall 6. Lesson 6 On Sin and Its Kinds 7. Lesson 7 On the Incarnation and Redemption 8. Lesson 8 On Our Lord's Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension 9. Lesson 9 On the Holy Gost and His Descent Upon the Apostles 10. Lesson 10 On the Effects of the Redemption 11. Lesson 11 On the Church 12. Lesson 12 On the Attributes and Marks of the Church 13. Lesson 13 On the Sacraments in General 14. Lesson 14 On Baptism 15. Lesson 15 On Confirmation 16. Lesson 16 On the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Ghost 17. Lesson 17 On the Sacrament of Penance 18. Lesson 18 On Contrition 19. Lesson 19 On Confession 20. Lesson 20 On the Manner of Making a Good Confession 21. Lesson 21 On Indulgences 22. Lesson 22 On the Holy Eucharist 23. Lesson 23 On the Ends for which the Holy Eucharist was Instituted 24. Lesson 24 On the Sacrifice of the Mass 25. Lesson 25 On Extreme Unction and Holy Orders 26. Lesson 26 On Matrimony 27. Lesson 27 On the Sacramentals 28. Lesson 28 On Prayer 29. Lesson 29 On the Commandments of God 30. Lesson 30 On the First Commandment 31. Lesson 31 The First Commandment -- On the Honor and Invocation of the Saints 32. Lesson 32 From the Second to the Fourth Commandment 33. Lesson 33 From the Fourth to the Seventh Commandment 34. Lesson 34 From the Seventh to the Tenth Commandment 35. Lesson 35 On the First and Second Commandments of the Church 36. Lesson 36 On the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Commandments of the Church 37. Lesson 37 On the Last Judgment and Resurrection, Hell, Purgatory and Heaven Prayers: The Lord's Prayer. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. The Angelical Salutation. Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. The Apostles' Creed. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. The Confiteor. I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, through, my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary, ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me. May the Almighty God have mercy on me, and forgive me my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen. May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and remission of all my sins. Amen. An Act of Faith. 0 my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that he will come to, judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. An Act of Hope. 0 my God! relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. An Act of Love. 0 my God! I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. An Act of Contrition. 0 my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. The Blessing before Meals. † Bless us, 0 Lord! and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Grace after Meals. † We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, 0 Almighty God, who livest and reignest for ever; and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. The Manner in which a Lay Person is to Baptize in Case of Necessity: Pour common water on the head or face of the person to be baptized say while pouring it: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." N.B. Any person of either sex who has reached the use of reason can baptize in case of necessity. LESSON FIRST: On the End of Man. Q. 126. What do we mean by the "end of man"? A. By the "end of man" we mean the purpose for which he was created: namely, to know, love, and serve God. Q. 127. How do you know that man was created for God alone? A. I know that man was created for God alone because everything in the world was created for something more perfect than itself: but there is nothing in the world more perfect than man; therefore, he was created for something outside this world, and since he was not created for the Angels, he must have been created for God. Q. 128. In what respect are all men equal? A. All men are equal in whatever is necessary for their nature and end. They are all composed of a body and soul; they are all created to the image and likeness of God; they are all gifted with understanding and free will; and they have all been created for the same end -- God. Q. 129. Do not men differ in many things? A. Men differ in many things, such as learning, wealth, power, etc.; but these things belong to the world and not man's nature. He came into this world without them and he will leave it without them. Only the consequences of good or evil done in this world will accompany men to the next. Q. 130. Who made the world? A. God made the world. Q. 131. What does "world" mean in this question? A. In this question "world" means the universe; that is, the whole creation; all that we now see or may hereafter see. Q. 132. Who is God? A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things. Q. 133. What is man? A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God. Q. 134. Does "man" in the Catechism mean all human beings? A. "Man" in the Catechism means all human beings, either men or women, boys, girls, or children. Q. 135. What is a creature? A. A creature is anything created, whether it has life or not; body or no body. Every being, person, or thing except God Himself may be called a creature. Q. 136. Is this likeness in the body or in the soul? A. This likeness is chiefly in the soul. Q. 137. How is the soul like to God? A. The soul is like to God because it is a spirit that will never die, and has understanding and free will. Q. 138. Is every invisible thing a spirit? A. Every spirit is invisible -- which means can not be seen; but every invisible thing is not a spirit. The wind is invisible, and it is not a spirit. Q. 139. Has a spirit any other quality? A. A spirit is also indivisible; that is, it can not be divided into parts, as we divide material things. Q. 140. What do the words "will never die" mean? A. By the words "will never die" we mean that the soul, when once created, will never cease to exist, whatever be its condition in the next world. Hence we say the soul is immortal or gifted with immortality. Q. 141. Why then do we say a soul is dead while in a state of mortal sin? A. We say a soul is dead while in a state of mortal sin, because in that state it is as helpless as a dead body, and can merit nothing for itself. Q. 142. What does our "understanding" mean? A. Our "understanding" means the "gift of reason," by which man is distinguished from all other animals, and by which he is enabled to think and thus acquire knowledge and regulate his actions. Q. 143. Can we learn all truths by our reason alone? A. We can not learn all truths by our reason alone, for some truths are beyond the power of our reason and must be taught to us by God. Q. 144. What do we call the truths God teaches us? A. Taken together, we call the truths God teaches us revelation, and we call the manner by which He teaches them also revelation. Q. 145. What is "Free Will"? A. "Free Will" is that gift of God by which we are enabled to choose between one thing and another; and to do good or evil in spite of reward or punishment. Q. 146. Have brute animals "understanding" and "free will"? A. Brute animals have not "understanding" and "free will." They have not "understanding" because they never change their habits or better their condition. They have not "free will" because they never show it in their actions. Q. 147. What gift in animals supplies the place of reason? A. In animals the gift of "instinct" supplies the place of reason in guiding their actions. Q. 148. What is instinct? A. "Instinct" is a gift by which all animals are impelled to follow the laws and habits that God has given to their nature. Q. 149. Have men as well as brutes "instinct"? A. Men have "instinct," and they show it when placed in sudden danger, when they have not time to use their reason. A falling man instantly grasps for something to support him. Q. 150. Why did God make you? A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next. Q. 151. Why is it necessary to know God? A. It is necessary to know God because without knowing Him we cannot love Him; and without loving Him we cannot be saved. We should know Him because He is infinitely true; love Him because He is infinitely beautiful; and serve Him because He is infinitely good. Q. 152. Of which must we take more care, our soul or our body? A. We must take more care of our soul than of our body. Q. 153. Why must we take more care of our soul than of our body? A. We must take more care of our soul than of our body, because in losing our soul we lose God and everlasting happiness. Q. 154. What must we do to save our souls? A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart. Q. 155. What does "worship" mean? A. "Worship" means to give divine honor by acts such as the offering of prayer or sacrifice. Q. 156. How shall we know the things which we are to believe? A. We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic Church, through which God speaks to us. Q. 157. What do we mean by the "Church, through which God speaks to us"? A. By the "Church, through which God speaks to us," we mean the "teaching Church"; that is, the Pope, Bishops, and priests, whose duty it is to instruct us in the truths and practices of our religion. Q. 158. Where shall we find the chief truths which the Church teaches? A. We shall find the chief truths which the Church teaches in the Apostles' Creed. Q. 159. If we shall find only the "chief truths" in the Apostles' Creed, where shall we find the remaining truths? A. We shall find the remaining truths of our Faith in the religious writings and preachings that have been sanctioned by the authority of the Church. Q. 160. Name some sacred truths not mentioned in the Apostles' Creed. A. In the Apostles' Creed there is no mention of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, nor of the Infallibility of the Pope, nor of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nor of some other truths that we are bound to believe. Q. 161. Say the Apostles' Creed. A. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into hell: the third day He arose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty: from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. LESSON SECOND: On God and His Perfections Q. 162. What is a perfection? A. A perfection is any good quality a thing should have. A thing is perfect when it has all the good qualities it should have. Q. 163. What is God? A. God is a spirit infinitely perfect. Q. 164. What do we mean when we say God is "infinitely perfect"? A. When we say God is "infinitely perfect" we mean there is no limit or bounds to His perfection; for He possesses all good qualities in the highest possible degree and He alone is "infinitely perfect." Q. 165. Had God a beginning? A. God had no beginning; He always was and He always will be. Q. 166. Where is God? A. God is everywhere. Q. 167. How is God everywhere? A. God is everywhere whole and entire as He is in any one place. This is true and we must believe it, though we cannot understand it. Q. 168. If God is everywhere, why do we not see Him? A. We do not see God, because He is a pure spirit and cannot be seen with bodily eyes. Q. 169. Why do we call God a "pure spirit'? A. We call God a pure spirit because He has no body. Our soul is a spirit, but not a "pure" spirit, because it was created for union with our body. Q. 170. Why can we not see God with the eyes of our body? A. We cannot see God with the eyes of our body because they are created to see only material things, and God is not material but spiritual. Q 171. Does God see us? A. God sees us and watches over us. Q. 172. Is it necessary for God to watch over us? A. It is necessary for God to watch over us, for without His constant care we could not exist. Q. 173. Does God know all things? A. God knows all things, even our most secret thoughts, words, and actions. Q. 174. Can God do all things? A. God can do all things, and nothing is hard or impossible to Him. Q. 175. When is a thing said to be "impossible"? A. A thing is said to be "impossible" when it cannot be done. Many things that are impossible for creatures are possible for God. Q. 176. Is God just, holy, and merciful? A. God is all just, all holy, all merciful, as He is infinitely perfect. Q. 177. Why must God be "just" as well as "merciful"? A. God must be just as well as merciful because He must fulfill His promise to punish those who merit punishment, and because He cannot be infinite in one perfection without being infinite in all. Q. 178. Into what sins will the forgetfulness of God's justice lead us? A. The forgetfulness of God's justice will lead us into sins of presumption. Q 179. Into what sins will the forgetfulness of God's mercy lead us? A. The forgetfulness of God's mercy will lead us into sins of despair. LESSON THIRD: On the Unity and Trinity of God Q. 180. What does "unity," and what does "trinity" mean? A. "Unity" means being one, and "trinity" means three-fold or three in one. Q. 181. Can we find an example to fully illustrate the mystery of the Blessed Trinity? A. We cannot find an example to fully illustrate the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, because the mysteries of our holy religion are beyond comparison. Q. 182. Is there but one God? A. Yes; there is but one God. Q. 183. Why can there be but one God? A. There can be but one God because God, being supreme and infinite, cannot have an equal. Q. 184. What does "supreme" mean? A. "Supreme" means the highest in authority; also the most excellent or greatest possible in anything. Thus in all things God is supreme, and in the Church the Pope is supreme. Q. 185. When are two persons said to be equal? A. Two persons are said to be equal when one is in no way greater than or inferior to the other. Q. 186. How many persons are there in God? A. In God there are three Divine persons, really distinct, and equal in all things --the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Q. 187. What do "divine" and "distinct" mean? A. "Divine" means pertaining to God, and "distinct" means separate; that is, not confounded or mixed with any other thing. Q. 188. Is the Father God? A. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity. Q. 189. Is the Son God? A. The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Q. 190. Is the Holy Ghost God? A. The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Q. 191. Do "first," "second," and "third" with regard to the persons of the Blessed Trinity mean that one person existed before the other or that one is greater than the other? A. "First," "second," and "third" with regard to the persons of the Blessed Trinity do not mean that one person was before the other or that one is greater than the other; for all the persons of the Trinity are eternal and equal in every respect. These numbers are used to mark the distinction between the persons, and they show the order in which the one proceeded from the other. Q. 192. What do you mean by the Blessed Trinity? A. By the Blessed Trinity I mean one God in three Divine Persons. Q. 193. Are the three Divine Persons equal in all things? A. The three Divine Persons are equal in all things. Q. 194. Are the three Divine Persons one and the same God? A. The three Divine Persons are one and the same God, having one and the same Divine nature and substance. Q. 195. What do we mean by the "nature" and "substance" of a thing? A. By the "nature" of a thing we mean the combination of all the qualities that make the thing what it is. By the "substance" of a thing we mean the part that never changes, and which cannot be changed without destroying the nature of the thing. Q. 196. Can we fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and the same God? A. We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and the same God, because this is a mystery. Q. 197. What is a mystery? A. A mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand. Q. 198. Is every truth which we cannot understand a mystery? A. Every truth which we cannot understand is not a mystery; but every revealed truth which no one can understand is a mystery. Q. 199. Should we believe truths which we cannot understand? A. We should and often do believe truths which we cannot understand when we have proof of their existence. Q. 200. Give an example of truths which all believe, though many do not understand them. A. All believe that the earth is round and moving, though many do not understand it. All believe that a seed planted in the ground will produce a flower or tree often with more than a thousand other seeds equal to itself, though many cannot understand how this is done. Q. 201. Why must a divine religion have mysteries? A. A divine religion must have mysteries because it must have supernatural truths and God Himself must teach them. A religion that has only natural truths, such as man can know by reason alone, fully understand and teach, is only a human religion. Q. 202. Why does God require us to believe mysteries? A. God requires us to believe mysteries that we may submit our understanding to Him. Q. 203. By what form of prayer do we praise the Holy Trinity? A. We praise the Holy Trinity by a form of prayer called the Doxology, which has come down to us almost from the time of the Apostles. Q. 204. Say the Doxology. A. The Doxology is: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen." Q. 205. Is there any other form of the Doxology? A. There is another form of the Doxology, which is said in the celebration of the Mass. It is called the "Gloria in excelsis" or "Glory be to God on high," etc., the words sung by the Angels at the birth of Our Lord. LESSON FOURTH: On Creation Q. 206. What is the difference between making and creating? A. "Making" means bringing forth or forming out of some material already existing, as workmen do. "Creating" means bringing forth out of nothing, as God alone can do. Q. 207. Has everything that exists been created? A. Everything that exists except God Himself has been created. Q. 208. Who created heaven and earth, and all things? A. God created heaven and earth, and all things. Q. 209. From what do we learn that God created heaven and earth and all things? A. We learn that God created heaven and earth and all things from the Bible or Holy Scripture, in which the account of the Creation is given. Q. 210. Why did God create all things? A. God created all things for His own glory and for their or our good. Q. 211. Did God leave all things to themselves after He had created them? A. God did not leave all things to themselves after He had created them; He continues to preserve and govern them. Q. 212. What do we call the care by which God preserves and governs the world and all it contains? A. We call the care by which God preserves and governs the world and all it contains His providence. Q. 213. How did God create heaven and earth? A. God created heaven and earth from nothing by His word only; that is, by a single act of His all-powerful will. Q. 214. Which are the chief creatures of God? A. The chief creatures of God are angels and men. Q. 215. How may God's creatures on earth be divided? A. God's creatures on earth may be divided into four classes: 1.(1) Things that exist, as air; 2.(2) Things that exist, grow and live, as plants and trees; 3.(3) Things that exist, grow, live and feel, as animals; 4.(4) Things that exist, grow, live, feel and understand, as man. Q. 216. What are angels? A. Angels are pure spirits without a body, created to adore and enjoy God in heaven. Q. 217. If Angels have no bodies, how could they appear? A. Angels could appear by taking bodies to render themselves visible for a time; just as the Holy Ghost took the form of a dove and the devil took the form of a serpent. Q. 218. Name some persons to whom Angels appeared. A. Angels appeared to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph; also to Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Tobias and others. Q. 219. Were the angels created for any other purpose? A. The angels were also created to assist before the throne of God and to minister unto Him; they have often been sent as messengers from God to man; and are also appointed our guardians. Q. 220. Are all the Angels equal in dignity? A. All the Angels are not equal in dignity. There are nine choirs or classes mentioned in the Holy Scripture. The highest are called Seraphim and the lowest simply Angels. The Archangels are one class higher than ordinary Angels. Q. 221. Mention some Archangels and tell what they did. A. The Archangel Michael drove Satan out of heaven; the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin that she was to become the Mother of God. The Archangel Raphael guided and protected Tobias. Q. 222. Were Angels ever sent to punish men? A. Angels were sometimes sent to punish men. An Angel killed 185,000 men in the army of a wicked king who had blasphemed God; an Angel also slew the first-born in the families of the Egyptians who had persecuted God's people. Q. 223. What do our guardian Angels do for us? A. Our guardian Angels pray for us, protect and guide us, and offer our prayers, good works and desires to God. Q. 224. How do we know that Angels offer our prayers and good works to God? A. We know that Angels offer our prayers and good works to God because it is so stated in Holy Scripture, and Holy Scripture is the Word of God. Q. 225. Why did God appoint guardian Angels if He watches over us Himself? A. God appointed guardian Angels to secure for us their help and prayers, and also to show His great love for us in giving us these special servants and faithful friends. Q. 226. Were the angels, as God created them, good and happy? A. The angels, as God created them, were good and happy. Q. 227. Did all the angels remain good and happy? A. All the angels did not remain good and happy; many of them sinned and were cast into hell, and these are called devils or bad angels. Q. 228. Do we know the number of good and bad Angels? A. We do not know the number of the good or bad Angels, but we know it is very great. Q. 229. What was the devil's name before he fell, and why was he cast out of heaven? A. Before he fell, Satan, or the devil, was called Lucifer, or light-bearer, a name which indicates great beauty. He was cast out of heaven because through pride he rebelled against God. Q. 230. How do the bad Angels act toward us? A. The bad Angels try by every means to lead us into sin. The efforts they make are called temptations of the devil. Q. 231. Why does the devil tempt us? A. The devil tempts us because he hates goodness, and does not wish us to enjoy the happiness which he himself has lost. Q. 232. Can we by our own power overcome the temptations of the devil? A. We cannot by our own power overcome the temptations of the devil, because the devil is wiser than we are; for, being an Angel, he is more intelligent, and he did not lose his intelligence by falling into sin any more than we do now. Therefore, to overcome his temptations we need the help of God. LESSON FIFTH: On our First Parents and the Fall Q. 233. Who were the first man and woman? A. The first man and woman were Adam and Eve. Q. 234. Are there any persons in the world who are not the descendants of Adam and Eve? A. There are no persons in the world now, and there never have been any, who are not the descendants of Adam and Eve, because the whole human race had but one origin. Q. 235. Do not the differences in color, figure, etc., which we find in distinct races indicate a difference in first parents? A. The differences in color, figure, etc., which we find in distinct races do not indicate a difference in first parents, for these differences have been brought about in the lapse of time by other causes, such as climate, habits, etc. Q. 236. Were Adam and Eve innocent and holy when they came from the hand of God? A. Adam and Eve were innocent and holy when they came from the hand of God. Q. 237. What do we mean by saying Adam and Eve "were innocent" when they came from the hand of God? A. When we say Adam and Eve "were innocent" when they came from the hand of God we mean they were in the state of original justice; that is, they were gifted with every virtue and free from every sin. Q. 238. How was Adam's body formed? A. God formed Adam's body out of the clay of the earth and then breathed into it a living soul. Q. 239. How was Eve's body formed? A. Eve's body was formed from a rib taken from Adam's side during a deep sleep which God caused to come upon him. Q. 240. Why did God make Eve from one of Adam's ribs? A. God made Eve from one of Adam's ribs to show the close relationship existing between husband and wife in their marriage union which God then instituted. Q. 241. Could man's body be developed from the body of an inferior animal? A. Man's body could be developed from the body of an inferior animal if God so willed; but science does not prove that man's body was thus formed, while revelation teaches that it was formed directly by God from the clay of the earth. Q. 242. Could man's soul and intelligence be formed by the development of animal life and instinct? A. Man's soul could not be formed by the development of animal instinct; for, being entirely spiritual, it must be created by God, and it is united to the body as soon as the body is prepared to receive it. Q. 243. Did God give any command to Adam and Eve? A. To try their obedience, God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of a certain fruit which grew in the garden of Paradise. Q. 244. What was the Garden of Paradise? A. The Garden of Paradise was a large and beautiful place prepared for man's habitation upon earth. It was supplied with every species of plant and animal and with everything that could contribute to man's happiness. Q. 245. Where was the Garden of Paradise situated? A. The exact place in which the Garden of Paradise -- called also the Garden of Eden -- was situated is not known, for the deluge may have so changed the surface of the earth that old landmarks were wiped out. It was probably some place in Asia, not far from the river Euphrates. Q. 246. What was the tree bearing the forbidden fruit called? A. The tree bearing the forbidden fruit was called "the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Q. 247. Do we know the name of any other tree in the garden? A. We know the name of another tree in the Garden called the "tree of life." Its fruit kept the bodies of our first parents in a state of perfect health. Q. 248. Which were the chief blessings intended for Adam and Eve had they remained faithful to God? A. The chief blessings intended for Adam and Eve, had they remained faithful to God, were a constant state of happiness in this life and everlasting glory in the next. Q. 249. Did Adam and Eve remain faithful to God? A. Adam and Eve did not remain faithful to God, but broke His command by eating the forbidden fruit. Q. 250. Who was the first to disobey God? A. Eve was the first to disobey God, and she induced Adam to do likewise. Q. 251. How was Eve tempted to sin? A. Eve was tempted to sin by the devil, who came in the form of a serpent and persuaded her to break God's command. Q. 252. Which were the chief causes that led Eve into sin? A. The chief causes that led Eve into sin were: 1.(1) She went into the danger of sinning by admiring what was forbidden, instead of avoiding it. 2.(2) She did not fly from the temptation at once, but debated about yielding to it. Similar conduct on our part will lead us also into sin. Q. 253. What befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin? A. Adam and Eve, on account of their sin, lost innocence and holiness, and were doomed to sickness and death. Q. 254. What other evils befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin? A. Many other evils befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin. They were driven out of Paradise and condemned to toil. God also ordained that henceforth the earth should yield no crops without cultivation, and that the beasts, man's former friends, should become his savage enemies. Q. 255. Were we to remain in the Garden of Paradise forever if Adam had not sinned? A. We were not to remain in the Garden of Paradise forever even if Adam had not sinned, but after passing through the years of our probation or trial upon earth we were to be taken, body and soul, into heaven without suffering death. Q. 256. What evil befell us on account of the disobedience of our first parents? A. On account of the disobedience of our first parents, we all share in their sin and punishment, as we should have shared in their happiness if they had remained faithful. Q. 257. Is it not unjust to punish us for the sin of our first parents? A. It is not unjust to punish us for the sin of our first parents, because their punishment consisted in being deprived of a free gift of God; that is, of the gift of original justice to which they had no strict right and which they willfully forfeited by their act of disobedience. Q. 258. But how did the loss of the gift of original justice leave our first parents and us in mortal sin? A. The loss of the gift of original justice left our first parents and us in mortal sin because it deprived them of the Grace of God, and to be without this gift of Grace which they should have had was to be in mortal sin. As all their children are deprived of the same gift, they, too, come into the world in a state of mortal sin. Q. 259. What other effects followed from the sin of our first parents? A. Our nature was corrupted by the sin of our first parents, which darkened our understanding, weakened our will, and left in us a strong inclination to evil. Q. 260. What do we mean by "our nature was corrupted"? A. When we say "our nature was corrupted" we mean that our whole being, body and soul, was injured in all its parts and powers. Q. 261. Why do we say our understanding was darkened? A. We say our understanding was darkened because even with much learning we have not the clear knowledge, quick perception and retentive memory that Adam had before his fall from grace. Q. 262. Why do we say our will was weakened? A. We say our will was weakened to show that our free will was not entirely taken away by Adam's sin, and that we have it still in our power to use our free will in doing good or evil. Q. 263. In what does the strong inclination to evil that is left in us consist? A. This strong inclination to evil that is left in us consists in the continual efforts our senses and appetites make to lead our souls into sin. The body is inclined to rebel against the soul, and the soul itself to rebel against God. Q. 264. What is this strong inclination to evil called, and why did God permit it to remain in us? A. This strong inclination to evil is called concupiscence, and God permits it to remain in us that by His grace we may resist it and thus increase our merits. Q. 265. What is the sin called which we inherit from our first parents? A. The sin which we inherit from our first parents is called original sin. Q. 266. Why is this sin called original? A. This sin is called original because it comes down to us from our first parents, and we are brought into the world with its guilt on our soul. Q. 267. Does this corruption of our nature remain in us after original sin is forgiven? A. This corruption of our nature and other punishments remain in us after original sin is forgiven. Q. 268. Was any one ever preserved from original sin? A. The Blessed Virgin Mary, through the merits of her Divine Son, was preserved free from the guilt of original sin, and this privilege is called her Immaculate Conception. Q. 269. Why was the Blessed Virgin preserved from original sin? A. The Blessed Virgin was preserved from original sin because it would not be consistent with the dignity of the Son of God to have His Mother, even for an instant, in the power of the devil and an enemy of God. Q. 270. How could the Blessed Virgin be preserved from sin by her Divine Son, before her Son was born? A. The Blessed Virgin could be preserved from sin by her Divine Son before He was born as man, for He always existed as God and foresaw His own future merits and the dignity of His Mother. He therefore by His future merits provided for her privilege of exemption from original sin. Q. 271. What does the "Immaculate Conception" mean? A. The Immaculate Conception means the Blessed Virgin's own exclusive privilege of coming into existence, through the merits of Jesus Christ, without the stain of original sin. It does not mean, therefore, her sinless life, perpetual virginity or the miraculous conception of Our Divine Lord by the power of the Holy Ghost. Q. 272. What has always been the belief of the Church concerning this truth? A. The Church has always believed in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin and to place this truth beyond doubt has declared it an Article of Faith. Q. 273. To what should the thoughts of the Immaculate Conception lead us? A. The thoughts of the Immaculate Conception should lead us to a great love of purity and to a desire of imitating the Blessed Virgin in the practice of that holy virtue.