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Copyright © 2011, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - July, 2011 [Plain text version]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of July: Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

* Papal Wisdom: 25 'Social Remedies'

* Liturgical Feasts in July

* The 'Greatest Of All Possible Evils' After Mortal Sin

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Think Baptism is Merely an External Sign?

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Dear Friend,

"May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do His will. May He carry out in you what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (Heb. 13:20-21)

Greetings to you during this hot (at least here) Summer month. We hope you are having a pleasant & enjoyable Summer. If you will be traveling, we wish you a safe & blessed journey. Don't forget to invoke one of the several patrons for travel (e.g. St. Christopher, St. Joseph, St. Nicholas of Myra, St. Raphael the Archangel). Your friends in heaven are always ready to help!

We hope to have some good news soon regarding the project we mentioned earlier. It's been challenging, but we are aiming to bring the first phase to a successful completion within the next few months, God willing. If you have a moment and wouldn't mind saying a prayer for us, we'd really appreciate it. We are earnestly hoping this project will be successful in order that we will be able to keep online for the foreseeable future. All prayers are greatly appreciated.

May God grant you many blessings,

Your Friends at

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Prayer of Adoration (Precious Blood): "O Precious Blood of Jesus, infinite price of sinful man's redemption, both drink and laver of our souls, Thou who dost plead continually the cause of man before the throne of infinite mercy; from the depths of my heart, I adore Thee, and so far as I am able, I would requite Thee for the insults and outrages which Thou dost continually receive from human beings, and especially from those who rashly dare to blaspheme Thee. Who would not bless this Blood of infinite value? Who doth not feel within himself the fire of the love of Jesus who shed it all for us? What would be my fate, had I not been redeemed by this divine Blood? Who hath drawn it from the veins of my Savior, even to the last drop? Ah, this surely was the work of love. O infinite love, which has given us this saving balm! O balm beyond all price, welling up from the fountain of infinite love, grant that every heart and every tongue may be enabled to praise Thee, magnify Thee and give Thee thanks both now and for evermore. Amen." (Raccolta)

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MCS News & Notes

* New: We've added a new button to the left border (which is accessible from many pages throughout for quick access to Reflections. 'Reflections' include thousands of quotes from Popes, Saints, Councils, Scripture, Theologians, Catechisms, Canon Law, etc. Reflections are categorized alphabetically and by section. Many reflections topics contain links to other topics that may be related. This is a fantastic resource for Catholics that you won't want to miss!

* Rosary Week Update: In order to resolve the equipment problems mentioned last month, we were forced to take parts from one of our secondary computers in order to make one of our primary computers functional. The computer we dismantled is used, among other things, for graphics. Since we've had to wait for replacement parts & installation for this computer, this has affected our ability to prepare the images necessary for this year's Rosary Week. If all goes well, we hope to begin work on these graphics within the next couple of weeks. When we have everything ready for Rosary Week, we ask that participants please sign up as soon as possible since there will not be as much time for signups up as we would normally like. As a reminder, our Third Annual Rosary Week is scheduled for 10/24/11 - 10/30/11. It's easy, it's free, and it takes only a little time. You can sign up for one day, a few days, or for the entire week. You can participate at any time of day or night. If desired, you can sign up anonymously. Also, an e-mail address is *not* necessary (unless you'd like daily reminders). And, you can join us from the comfort of your own home or even from your parish. We hope you will consider joining us & other Catholics throughout the world in praying the Holy Rosary for some worthy intentions. Please look for signup information in next month's newsletter or on our Notices page at

* In June, we were pleasantly surprised to find a donation in our P.O. Box along with a note suggesting that we make donating by mail easier for those who don't want to use PayPal or pay by credit card. In consideration of this request, we have added a question to our donation ?'s page (see ) with payment information & mailing instructions. We will happily accept (non-cash) unsolicited donations by postal mail in accordance with our pledge to donors (see ). This means that we will consider these unsolicited donations 'one time only' gifts. We will NOT hound donors for more money and we will NOT contact donors about their donations unless it is necessary (e.g. processing problems). Further, please note that donations do NOT put donors on our mailing list and we do NOT sell donor information to third parties. If you would like to donate by check or money order, please visit for payment information & mailing instructions (see question 'Can I donate by check/via mail?'). Thank you!

* Please see our Notices page at for dates of anticipated service delays through August 2011

* Help keep us online! You can donate from $1 at [note that we do NOT sell donor information to third parties and we do NOT contact you about your donation unless it is necessary (e.g. processing problems)]. Or, to shop at in support of, please use this link: . You can shop here for books, household & office products, Catholic items, electronics, and much more. Already shop at It doesn't cost any extra to shop at Amazon using this link, yet we can benefit from your purchases. Thank you for your much needed support!

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* Please visit the "Notices" page for timely news and other important information regarding -

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The Month of July: Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

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"What is a man able to find so valuable that he can give it for the ransom of his soul? Yet one thing was found that was worth as much as all men together. It was given as the ransom price for our souls, the holy and most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He poured out for all of us; we were, therefore, 'bought dearly'." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out." (Jn. 19:33-34)

"Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one's works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ" (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 1:17-19)

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Related Resources...

* Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus -

* Scapular of the Most Precious Blood -

* Prayers to Jesus -

* Jesus (Topic Page) -

* The Passion / Cross Reflections -

* Jesus' Last Words From the Cross -

* Stations of the Cross / Way of the Cross -

* Trials & Sorrows of Jesus -

* The Holy Eucharist -

* Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required? -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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"For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt.26:2)

"And [Jesus] said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many." (Mk.14:24)

"For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 6:55)

Offering of the Precious Blood at Mass: "Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in atonement for my sins, and in supplication for the holy souls in purgatory, and for the needs of holy Church." (Raccolta)

"This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only but by water and blood" (1 Jn. 5:6)

"And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground." (Lk. 22:43-44)

"Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord." (1 Cor. 11:27)

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Papal Wisdom: 25 'Social Remedies'

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1. "Prayer will remove the fundamental cause of present day difficulties." (Pope Pius XI)

2. "Wherefore, if human society is to be healed, only a return to Christian life and institutions will heal it." (Pope Leo XIII)

3. "Let us...follow our peaceful King who taught us to love not only those who are of a different nation or race, but even our enemies." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943)

4. "Peace on earth, which all men of every era have most eagerly yearned for, can be firmly established only if the order laid down by God be dutifully observed." (Pope John XXIII) 

5. "When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony." (Pope Pius XI, "Quas Primas", 1925)

6. "[W]e must use every means and exert all our energy to bring about the utter disappearance of the enormous and detestable wickedness, so characteristic of our time - the substitution of man for God" (Pope St. Pius X, "E Supremi", 1903)

7. "Urge them to persevere firmly established in our divine religion, which alone is true and eternal and prepares for salvation and even, to a very great extent, preserves and prospers civil society." (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863)

8. "As more serious ills threaten the Catholic Church from the heinous contrivances of its enemies, the popes who have been placed in the See of St. Peter should be so much the quicker in taking action to repel them." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Quo Graviora", 1833)

9. "[T]rue peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life." (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

10. "While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights." (Pope Pius XI, "Quas Primas", 1925)

11. "Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29)." (Bl. Pope John Paul II, 1995)

12. "As in all the stormy periods of the history of the Church, the fundamental remedy today lies in a sincere renewal of private and public life according to the principles of the Gospel by all those who belong to the Fold of Christ, that they may be in truth the salt of the earth to preserve human society from total corruption." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Redemptoris", 1937)

13. "If the desire for worldly possessions were kept within bounds and the place of honor in our affections given to the things of the spirit, which place undoubtedly they deserve, the peace of Christ would follow immediately, to which would be joined in a natural and happy union, as it were, a higher regard for the value and dignity of human life." (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

14. "[L]et us all suppliantly, with humble prayer, implore the help of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary, that, our hearts being quickened to the obedience of faith, she may show herself our mother and our helper. With equal earnestness let us ask the princes of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, the destroyers of heresies, the sowers of the seed of truth, to save the human race by their powerful patronage from the deluge of errors that is surging afresh." (Pope Leo XIII, "Arcanum", 1880)

15. "[T]he early Christians...were men and women who understood what is meant by sacrifice; otherwise they could not have won over hatred, irreligion, and lust, the splendid triumphs the telling of which fills you with admiration, as it fills with amazement even the unbeliever. Are conditions today so different? As has been well said: to live today in our great cities without loss of faith and purity requires no less heroism than was needed in the days of bloody persecution." (Pope Pius XII)

16. "The very times in which we live are warning us to seek remedies there where alone they are to be found - namely, by re-establishing in the family circle and throughout the whole range of society the doctrines and practices of the Christian religion. In this lies the sole means of freeing us from the ills now weighing us down, of forestalling the dangers now threatening the world. For the accomplishment of this end, venerable brethren, We must bring to bear all the activity and diligence that lie within Our power." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

17. "There is no peace to the wicked (Is. Iviii. 22), says the Holy Spirit, because they live in continuous struggle and conflict with the order established by nature and by its Creator. Only when this order is restored, when all peoples faithfully and spontaneously recognize and profess it, when the internal conditions of peoples and their outward relations with other nations are founded on this basis, then only will stable peace be possible on earth. But to create this atmosphere of lasting peace, neither peace treaties, nor the most solemn pacts, nor international meetings or conferences, nor even the noblest and most disinterested efforts of any statesman, will be enough, unless in the first place are recognized the sacred rights of natural and divine law." (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932)

18. "Prayer, then, and penance are the two potent inspirations sent to us at this time by God, that we may lead back to Him mankind that has gone astray and wanders about without a guide: they are the inspirations that will dispel and remedy the first and principal cause of every form of disturbance and rebellion, the revolt of man against God. But the peoples themselves are called upon to make up their minds to a definite choice: either they entrust themselves to these benevolent and beneficent inspirations and are converted, humble and repentant, to the Lord and the Father of mercies, or they hand over themselves and what little remains of happiness on earth to the mercy of the enemy of God, to the spirit of vengeance and destruction." (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932)

19. "But that decay of faith in divine things of which We have spoken is the effect not only of pride, but also of moral corruption. For if it is true that a strict morality improves the quickness of man's intellectual powers, and if on the other hand, as the maxims of pagan philosophy and the admonitions of divine wisdom combine to teach us, the keenness of the mind is blunted by bodily pleasures, how much more, in the region of revealed truths, do these same pleasures obscure the light of faith, or even, by the just judgment of God, entirely extinguish it. For these pleasures at the present day an insatiable appetite rages, infecting all classes as with an infectious disease, even from tender years. Yet even for so terrible an evil there is a remedy close at hand in the divine Eucharist." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902)

20. "We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer, strong like David with his sling, the Church undaunted shall be able to confront the infernal enemy, repeating to him the words of the young shepherd: 'Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of armies...and all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for this is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands' (I Kings 17, 45-47)" (Pope Pius XII, "Ingruentium Malorum", 1951)

21. "First, and most important of all, for mankind is the need of spiritual peace. We do not need a peace that will consist merely in acts of external or formal courtesy, but a peace which will penetrate the souls of men and which will unite, heal, and reopen their hearts to that mutual affection which is born of brotherly love. The peace of Christ is the only peace answering this description: 'let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts.' (Colossians iii, 15) Nor is there any other peace possible than that which Christ gave to His disciples (John xiv, 27) for since He is God, He 'beholdeth the heart' (I Kings xvi, 7) and in our hearts His kingdom is set up. Again, Jesus Christ is perfectly justified when He calls this peace of soul His own for He was the first Who said to men, 'all you are brethren.' (Matt. xxiii, 8) He gave likewise to us, sealing it with His own life's blood, the law of brotherly love, of mutual forbearance - 'This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.' (John xv, 12) 'Bear ye one another's burdens; and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ.' (Galatians vi, 2)" (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

22. "Wherever Christianity rules over all without let or hindrance there the order established by Divine Providence is preserved, and both security and prosperity are the happy result. The common welfare, then, urgently demands a return to Him from whom we should never have gone astray; to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, - and this on the part not only of individuals but of society as a whole. We must restore Christ to this His own rightful position. All elements of the national life must be made to drink in the Life which proceedeth from Him - legislation, political institutions, education, marriage and family life, capital and labor. Everyone must see that the very growth of civilization which is so ardently desired depends greatly upon this, since it is fed and grows not so much by material wealth and prosperity, as by the spiritual qualities of morality and virtue." (Pope Leo XIII, "Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus", 1900)

23. "For truly it is of little avail to discuss questions with nice subtlety, or to discourse eloquently of rights and duties, when all this is unconnected with practice. The times we live in demand action - but action which consists entirely in observing with fidelity and zeal the divine laws and the precepts of the Church, in the frank and open profession of religion, in the exercise of every kind of charitable works, without regard to self-interest or worldly advantage. Such luminous examples given by the great army of soldiers of Christ will be of much greater avail in moving and drawing men than words and sublime dissertations; and it will easily come about that when human respect has been driven out, and prejudices and doubting laid aside, large numbers will be won to Christ, becoming in their turn promoters of His knowledge and love which are the road to true and solid happiness." (Pope St. Pius X, "E Supremi", 1903)

24. "The most grave disease by which our age is oppressed, and at the same time the fruitful source of all the evils deplored by every man of good heart, is that levity and thoughtlessness which carry men hither and thither through devious ways. Hence comes the constant and passionate absorption in external things; hence, the insatiable thirst for riches and pleasures that gradually weakens and extinguishes in the minds of men the desire for more excellent goods, and so entangles them in outward and fleeting things that it forbids them to think of eternal truths, and of the Divine laws, and of God Himself, the one beginning and end of all created things, Who, nevertheless, for his boundless goodness and mercy, even in these our days, though moral corruption may spread apace, ceases not to draw men to himself by a bounteous abundance of graces. Now, if we would cure this sickness from which human society suffers so sorely, what healing remedy could we devise more appropriate for our purpose than that of calling these enervated souls, so neglectful of eternal things, to the recollection of the Spiritual Exercises [e.g. of St. Ignatius]?" (Pope Pius XI, "Mens Nostra", 1929)

25. "Hence, We renew the urgent entreaty We have already made, to redouble zeal and perseverance, when addressing humble supplications to our merciful God, so that the virtues whereby a Christian life is perfected may be reawakened. It is, however, urgent before all, that charity, which is the main foundation of the Christian life, and apart from which the other virtues exist not or remain barren, should be quickened and maintained. Therefore is it that the Apostle Paul, after having exhorted the Colossians to flee all vice and cultivate all virtue, adds: 'Above all things, have charity, which is the bond of perfection.' Yea, truly, charity is the bond of perfection, for it binds intimately to God those whom it has embraced and with loving tenderness, causes them to draw their life from God, to act with God, to refer all to God. Howbeit, the love of God should not be severed from the love of our neighbor, since men have a share in the infinite goodness of God and bear in themselves the impress of His image and likeness. 'This commandment we have from God, that he who loveth God, love also his brother.' 'If any man say I love God, and he hateth his brother, he is a liar.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

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For more reflections, please visit

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Liturgical Feasts in July

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for July as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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July 1 - The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord (T)

July 2 - Sts. Processus & Martinian (T)

July 2 - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

July 3 - St. Leo II, pope (T)

July 3 - The Commemoration of all Holy Pontiffs (T)

July 3 - St. Thomas, apostle (N)

July 4 - St. Elizabeth of Portugal (N)

July 5 - St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria (T)

July 5 - St. Anthony Zaccaria (N)

July 6 - St. Maria Goretti (N)

July 7 - Sts. Cyril & Methodius (T)

July 8 - St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal (T)

July 9 - St. John Fisher (T)

July 9 - St. Thomas More (T)

July 9 - St. Augustine Zhao Rong & companions (N)

July 10 - Seven Holy Brothers (T)

July 10 - Sts. Rufina & Secunda (T)

July 11 - St. Pius I, pope (T)

July 11 - St. Benedict (N)

July 12 - St. John Gualbert (T)

July 12 - Sts. Nabor & Felix (T)

July 13 - St. Anacletus, pope (T)

July 13 - St. Henry (N)

July 14 - St. Bonaventure (T)

July 15 - St. Henry II (T)

July 15 - St. Bonaventure (N)

July 16 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel (T)

July 16 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel (N)

July 17 - St. Alexius the Beggar (T)

July 18 - St. Camillus de Lellis (T)

July 18 - St. Symphorosa & 7 Sons (T)

July 18 - St. Camillus de Lellis (N)

July 19 - St. Vincent de Paul (T)

July 20 - St. Jerome Emilian (T)

July 20 - St. Margaret of Antioch (T)

July 20 - St. Apollinarus (N)

July 21 - St. Praxedes (T)

July 21 - St. Lawrence of Brindisi (N)

July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene (T)

July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene (N)

July 23 - St. Apollinaris of Ravenna (T)

July 23 - St. Liborius (T)

July 23 - St. Bridget of Sweden (N)

July 24 - St. Christina (T)

July 24 - St. Francis Solano (T)

July 25 - St. Christopher (T)

July 25 - St. James the Greater, apostle (T)

July 25 - St. James the Greater, apostle (N)

July 26 - St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

July 26 - Sts. Joachim & Ann (Anne), Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

July 27 - St. Pantaleon (T)

July 28 - St. Nazarius & Celsus (T)

July 28 - Sts. Victor & Innocent (Innocentius) I, popes (T)

July 29 - St. Felix II, pope (T)

July 29 - St. Martha (T)

July 29 - Sts. Simplicius, Faustinus & Beatrice (T)

July 29 - St. Martha (N)

July 30 - Sts. Abdon & Sennen (T)

July 30 - St. Peter Chrysologus (N)

July 31 - St. Ignatius of Loyola (T)

July 31 - St. Ignatius of Loyola (N)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below & try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at

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7/1/11 - Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus | The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord (T)

7/2/11 - Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (N)

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The 'Greatest Of All Possible Evils' After Mortal Sin

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The following is from a nineteenth century publication entitled "The Catholic Pulpit". The author of the sermon was not located, nor was there any indication of ecclesiastical approval for the work. [Please Note: We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. shortening, capitalization, punctuation & spelling changes, combining paragraphs)]

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"Be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God." (Rom. xii. 2)

It is one of the most frequent occasions of man's perdition, that he regulates his life by the maxims and example of the world in which he lives, and of the persons with whom he converses, rather than by the rules of right reason and religion. Example acts with so powerful an impulse on his mind that it is with difficulty he can persuade himself, or, if persuaded, can act on the conviction that the draught is noxious which so many imbibe, or that the path which so many are following will lead to destruction. To counteract this evil influence of worldly example, the word of God, in innumerable passages, cautions us against it in the most pointed terms, again and again declaring that the judgment of God is different from the judgment of men; and that the way in which the world, that is, the generality of mankind walk, is broad indeed and spacious, but leading to death.

Hence it follows, that the life of a Christian ought to be a perpetual condemnation of the world; every step which he takes ought to be in opposition to its ways; everywhere ought he to be suspicious of its judgments, and everywhere ought he to be in dread of its allurements and the force of its example. On no subject, however, is this rule more necessary than on the subject of venial sin. By the world venial sin is an evil but little apprehended. A life of tepidity, a life of self-indulgence and self-love, a life which is consumed in endeavoring to reconcile to conscience the unrestrained enjoyment of honors, riches, and pleasures, the indulgence of vanity, of sloth, of avarice, of detraction, a life, in fine, spent in inquiring how far the law of God may be infringed without incurring the last anathema of heaven, is a life in which the world sees no great harm, is a life which many even among true believers consider to be compatible with salvation, and in which they persevere with placid security. To undeceive you with regard to so fatal and common an error, is the object which I have in view in calling your attention this day to the important subject of venial sin. Important indeed it is, inasmuch as, after mortal sin, venial sin is the greatest of all possible evils. This point shall form the first subject for our consideration; the second shall be the calamitous consequences by which venial sin is attended.

Next to a mortal offence against God, venial sin is undoubtedly the greatest of all possible evils. To appreciate this important truth, fellow-Christians, which all admit, but with which so very few are duly impressed, it may be of importance to reflect maturely on the nature and consequences of the acknowledgment which we so lightly make; to consider in detail some of the evils which we so readily admit to be inferior to the evil of venial sin; and to compare with them some one of those innumerable daily falls which we have been in the habit of believing not to include a mortal guilt.

With this view, let us first place before our eyes an individual such as holy Job, cast down from a state of opulence, overwhelmed by every species of calamity, and deprived of every resource, ruined in his fortune, his family, his health, his friends, his reputation, his peace; could all this have been prevented by a single venial sin, that venial sin were an evil too great to purchase the exemption. Rising, then, in the scale of evils, let us suppose that the calamities thus accumulated on a single head were extended through the whole of an illustrious family, that a long line of descendants had been reduced to slavery, and that successive generations were for ages to pine away under every species of oppression: great as such evils might be deemed, they are still unequal to the evil of a single venial sin. Advancing still farther, let us next suppose that the calamities alluded to extended through a whole kingdom, that a victorious enemy was to deluge it with the blood of its inhabitants, that war, pestilence, and famine were to conspire in thinning its once populous cities, and that the wretched remnant of its population should be swept away for ever into barbarous captivity; the whole accumulated amount of the evils thus undergone would be insufficient to balance the evils of one venial sin. Next let us place before our imagination all the evils which have happened since the fall of man, the wars, the calamities, of which we have read in sacred or profane history, earthquakes, inundations, plagues, massacres, revolutions, in a word, let all sublunary woes be cast into one vast account, the mighty accumulations of evil totally disappear when compared with that of one venial sin. This is an undoubted truth, an article of your faith, an assertion which you cannot deny, without renouncing the religion which you profess. And all this, my brethren, you admit when you acknowledge that, next to a mortal offence against God, venial sin is the greatest of all evils. In other words, you admit that any one of those venial sins, to which you have so often calmly and deliberately consented, which perhaps on account of its frequency is, in the examination of your conscience, scarcely recalled to recollection, and for which your only atonement has been but a passing act of sorrow, was to you a greater calamity than the loss of fortune, of friends, of character, of life; a greater evil than the destruction of an empire, of the whole world, of the whole human race.

To proceed still farther with this important and truly awful reflection, let us make the supposition that you had been the innocent occasion of bringing on a fellow-creature any of those calamities which I have just described; that you had, by some accident, which you could neither prevent nor foresee, occasioned the loss of the fortunes, of the happiness, of the lives of multitudes of your fellow-beings; where is the heart that would not bleed as often as the accident itself or the evils arising from it were called to remembrance? And yet, though venial sin is known, is believed, is acknowledged to be an infinitely greater evil, you can behold it with indifference. Behold it! consent to it, without a struggle! perpetrate it without remorse! You have brought on yourself a calamity greater than any which it is possible for man to inflict, and you are unmoved and insensible.

The evil, I hear it said, may be committed, it is only a venial sin. Impious and deluded man! The wisdom of the God of heaven declares the deed to be forbidden. He, whose will the highest seraph obeys with trembling, has prohibited its commission; yet, because he does not visit thy transgression with the full weight of his indignation, in spite of his commands, in contempt of his goodness, thou shalt calmly rush to its perpetration! It is only a venial sin! and yet the destruction of the whole world, with all its inhabitants, were an evil of less magnitude. Only a venial sin! and yet the very flames of the bottomless abyss, in the expiatory prison of the other world, are borrowed for its punishment. And who is this God, whose least and easiest precepts thou disregardest and contemnest? It is the Being from whom thou hast received all that thou hast, even to thy existence: he, from whom flows every blessing, every good. Go, then, and with presumptuous confidence petition for his favors. Say to him, though it be ever with reluctance that thou pronouncest thy maledictions, and though it be by the tender invitations of love, by the generous motives of gratitude, that thou invitest me to serve thee, I will be restrained from offending thee by nothing but the thunder of thy indignation. Thy will shall be done by me no farther than where my opposition to it will not be visited by eternal torments. Though the evil which I commit be great, though it be greater than all temporal evils, though the praises and canticles of love chanted for eternity by the angelic choirs, be insufficient to make amends for the indignity which I am going to offer thee, I will perpetrate the deed. Such language of insanity and wickedness, I know, my brethren, is not formally and deliberately held; yet is it not the language equivalently made use of by every Christian who palliates, excuses, and permits to himself a thousand misdeeds of daily and hourly occurrence, under the plea that they are only venial sins? Ah! my brethren, how different is our conduct with regard to those of our fellow-creatures whom fortune has made our superiors on earth. Where, let me ask, is the servant who would thus act towards an earthly master? who would disregard all his commands, all his prohibitions, provided they were not accompanied with a threat of expulsion from his service? Where is the master that would tolerate so systematic a depravity in any of those who serve him?

But venial sin, it may be alleged, when compared with mortal sin, is, after all, an evil of diminished magnitude. My brethren, the more easy the precept which we contemn, and the less the gratification which solicits us, the more inexcusable is our disobedience. Our lives, that is the lives of the greater part of mankind, pass away in ordinary occupations, the common duties of society. The more violent passions are not always in a state of excitement, nor are we always under the more grievous assaults of temptation. But if while the enemy is yet weak and at a distance, we yield to his every solicitation, can it be presumed, we are in the disposition of boldly and courageously withstanding his assaults, when with his whole force he endeavors to move and subdue us? Ah, Christians, could we read the secrets of the bottomless abyss, could we interrogate its unhappy inmates, we should find a large majority of these wretched sufferers dating their perdition from a reckless indifference with regard to the commission of venial sin; we should find them lamenting over it, as over the first and greatest of their misfortunes. And why so? Because it was by habits of venial sin, it was by living in a disregard of the common and minor duties of life, that they first occasioned the withholding of that support, of those efficacious graces from God, by the help of which they would have stood firm under occasions of severer trial: whereas, for want of such support, their feeble virtue gave way, and they were precipitated into the horrid abyss of mortal sin. Such, then, my brethren, is the worst feature in venial sin, it conducts to mortal sin, and usually to final impenitence. To this important point we will next direct our attention.

It is an axiom that no one arrives on a sudden at the extreme of depravity. If we retrace the life of the most abandoned profligate, we shall find that there was a time when he would have shuddered at the excesses into which he now plunges without remorse. His first deviations from rectitude were slight and inconsiderable; he quitted, it is true, the straight line of duty; but with no intention of deserting it totally and for ever. As he has advanced onwards, a return to the way which he had left, that at first seemed easy, has gradually become more difficult; and he now finds that he possesses neither strength nor courage to retrace his steps, or traverse the vast space by which he is separated from the distant track. A knowledge of this truth, so generally admitted, drew from St. Chrysostom that remarkable assertion, that it is sometimes of greater consequence to avoid the less than to avoid the more grievous offences. 'I dare to advance a proposition', says that great saint and doctor of the Church, 'which will doubtless appear novel and surprising. It is, that to me it sometimes seems an object of less concern to avoid the more grievous than to shun the less heinous sins.' The enemy of mankind knows that the fall of that virtue is the most sure and irreparable, which has been weakened and undermined by slow and imperceptible degrees. He well knows that the soul which has an habitual horror of venial sin, either will not be seduced into a mortal transgression, or, even if it could be overcome, that it would instantly rise more resolute and vigilant from the disaster. Hence, it is in venial sin that his assaults are most to be feared; because it is in venial sin that they are the most frequent and successful. The evil here gains admission almost without being perceived. A slow poison is communicated to the soul, which, though it does not actually destroy, yet renders it so diseased and corrupted as to place its cure beyond the power of ordinary remedies. To speak more plainly, in the soul that is enslaved to venial sin, charity, that animating principle of the fervent Christian, is weakened; all its ardors are extinguished, all its operations are restrained. In that soul the judgments of God, eternity and its awful truths, no longer possess the power of exciting that salutary fear which to the tepid is so indispensable both as a safeguard and as a stimulus. In that soul, all relish for prayer and spiritual things is deadened and destroyed. To it every duty becomes burdensome, every act of religion irksome. As God and his love are excluded, the world and its trifles enter and occupy their place. In the meantime, the passions acquire new strength by every fresh concession, the understanding becomes blind, and the heart corrupt; while a general torpor and insensibility to all that is good binds down and paralyzes the whole man. Thus helpless, thus diseased, the hour of temptation comes upon him, when, without a struggle and without a shock, he falls into the death of mortal sin, from which there is every reason to fear he will never revive. Such, my brethren, is the fatal consequence of indulging in the habit of venial sin - a mortal fall followed by final impenitence here, and by hell hereafter.

For indeed to a man in the state which I have been describing, what hope can we extend of returning to grace, should he ever fall from it by a mortal transgression? To him sin seems to have lost its deformity. It bears no longer that hideous and disgusting aspect in which it ever appears to the fervent soul. Accustomed to think lightly of its commission, and to calm his conscience under it by a thousand vain palliations, he is still insensible to its malice... From these fatal consequences which attend venial sin, what shall we infer? A truth, my brethren, awful indeed, but not on that account the less certain. It is, that to the man who indulges in habits of venial sin, there is no security; but that every neglect of duty, every new transgression to which he consents, may be the commencement of his reprobation. Certain it is, that no one can stand firm in the hour of trial, unless strengthened and supported by divine grace. Certain it is, that God at length withholds the peculiar efficacious succors of his grace, when, by repeated acts of infidelity, he has been long disregarded and contemned. I am not ignorant, indeed, that there is an immense, nay an infinite distance between mortal and venial sin. I am not ignorant that the guilt of the latter, however frequently repeated, can never amount to that of one mortal transgression; but I also know that though venial sin is not of itself punished by eternal torments, yet, by inducing mortal sin, it also, when voluntarily and deliberately committed, usually terminates in hell. The history of man's depravity, the nature of his passions gaining strength by indulgence, the ways of Providence in the distribution of his graces, the wily arts of the tempter, all conspire to bear out the assertion, and the word of God expressly confirms it. He that neglects small things shall fall by little and little: and, he that is unjust in that which is little is unjust also in that which is greater.

But who, it may be urged, is so perfect as to avoid sometimes falling into venial sin? The just man falls seven times; and St. John declares, that, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Such a plea, I acknowledge, were it adduced by the fervent soul, by him who has a true zeal for salvation, might be allowed its due weight; in the mouth of the tepid Christian, to what does it amount? You are, you say, subject to human frailty; and is it then, a mere defect arising from human frailty, that, while you heedlessly indulge in a thousand venial failings, you make no effort, have no desire to correct them? Is mere human frailty to be blamed for that indolence, that inactivity, that torpor, with regard to the great affair of your salvation? Is it through mere human frailty, that, while the world takes up your thoughts, while vanity, ambition, temporal interest, curiosity, occupies the day, the great affair of advancing in perfection is left to a few moments, to a few customary prayers, recited without fervor and without attention? Is it mere human frailty, that those very sacrifices, which you so readily make to the world and to vanity, should uniformly be shrunk back from, when demanded for the sake of God, when imposed by charity or religion? But are you sure, that this habitual indifference with regard to the commission of venial sin, is not itself already a mortal sin? What shall we say? The first and greatest of all God's commandments is, that you love him above all things, and with your whole heart. And can you flatter yourself that you love God above all things, and with your whole heart, while you make light of his least and easiest precepts, prefer your convenience, your ease, your temporal interest, your pleasures, before his will, and obey him no farther than where he thunders upon disobedience the last dreadful anathema of his wrath? Oh, my brethren, the God whom we thus unconcernedly offend, has again and again declared, that his judgments are far other than the judgments of men; that the children of men are liars in their balances, and that there is a way which appeareth right to a man, but that the end thereof leadeth to death (cf. Prov. 14:12, 16:25). Let not then the Christian who makes light of venial sin flatter himself with a belief that venial sin is the whole amount of his guilt. It is at once the consequence and punishment of his repeated infidelities, that he should fall into a spiritual blindness, a darkness of understanding, which prevents him from knowing the extent of the evil under which he is held. A mortal gangrene has probably already consumed the vitals of his soul; and, though just sinking into a miserable eternity, he still persuades himself that his disease is not unto death. In such a situation, where shall we look for a gleam of hope? Does he have recourse to his spiritual physician? Yet, either he does not expose to him his wounds, or, for want of the necessary dispositions, he renders the balm which is infused, inefficacious and useless. Does he approach the sacred table? Yet that bread of life rather augments than allays his distemper. He returns from it more secure in his guilt, more insensible to his danger.

Such then, my brethren, being the nature, such the fatal consequences attendant on the habitual commission of venial sin, it is evident, that a zeal for your own vital interests should make you ever watchful against this enormous, this insidious and dangerous evil. You have seen its enormity, you have seen, that, except mortal sin, it is not for any one of the evils of time or eternity, nor for any number of them, nor even for the accumulation of them all, to compare with the evil of one venial sin. You have seen the insult which it offers to the majesty, to the goodness of God. You have seen it the commencement of the reprobation of the damned, the subject of their bitterest lamentations in the midst of their torments. You have seen its insidiousness and its danger; that its first advances are slow and imperceptible, but that, no sooner does it gain admission, than it beats down and destroys all the defenses, all the supports of virtue; that it is the forerunner of mortal sin, the harbinger of final impenitence; that it has the fatal power of corrupting the heart, and of blinding the understanding; and that the torpor which it induces so nearly resembles the sleep of death, that the latter is often mistaken for the former.

To these considerations, my dear friends, I will only add, that the way to heaven is not broader or more commodious to us than it was to those who have already arrived at that happy abode. By them, the good and faithful servants of their Lord, venial sin was never deemed a slight evil. By them no care was thought superfluous for avoiding it, no austerity, no rigor too great for its punishment. And shall we say that their notions were erroneous, the views which they took of their duty incorrect? Ah, Christians! if they entertained such a dread of offending God, if they were so attentive and eager to please him in all things, it was because they acted up to the principles which they professed, it was because they had an exalted and a just idea of the sanctity to which a Christian is bound to aspire. If they so studiously avoided venial sin, it was because they well knew that a slight ailment is often the cause of a mortal disease, and that the consumption which slowly and imperceptibly wastes the frame, is in the end more inevitably fatal than the fever which seems to threaten it with immediate dissolution. As for you, my friends, generously follow their truly wise example. Listen no longer on so momentous a point to the soothing maxims of a deluding and deluded world. Think nothing little which is an offence against God; nothing to be despised which may conduct to perdition. If you would be victorious over your spiritual enemies, diligently guard against their first approaches. It is then only you can combat to advantage when your enemy has not as yet gained admission. Should he once be permitted to enter, it will be difficult to resist, and still more difficult to expel him. Let a Christian vigilance preside over all your performances. Remember that every action of your life, every word which you utter, every thought which you conceive, is instantly registered in the book of heaven: that the day is not far distant when it will be again produced, either for the increase of your reward or the augmentation of your eternal misery; and that it is only by a fidelity in your minor duties that you can hope to hear on that day the cheering sentence of approbation, "Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things."

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Also See: Sin (Topic Page) -

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"Even though I had committed but one little sin, I should have ample reason to repent of it all my life." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Venial sin: (1) Weakens and chills charity in us; (2) Disposes us to mortal sin; (3) Renders us deserving of great temporal punishments both in this world and in the next." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"We do not, of course, believe that the soul is killed by [venial] sins; but still, they make it ugly by covering it as if with some kind of pustules and, as it were, with horrible scabs, which allow the soul to come only with difficulty to the embrace of the heavenly Spouse, of whom it is written 'He prepared for Himself a Church having neither spot nor blemish.'" (St. Caesar of Arles)

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'Catholic Trivia'

There are 20 trivia items this month. Please note the following...

* All items concern passages in the Old Testament

* When "___" appears below, supply missing word(s)

* Translations/references vary. Items below are from a widely used, modern translation

1. "Let your acquaintances be many, but ___."

2. "Happy the man who is always on his guard; but he who hardens his heart ___."

3. "For ___ have led many astray, and those who believed in them have ___."

4. "As one face differs from another, so does ___."

5. "Those who sow in tears will reap ___."

6. "He who touches pitch ___; he who associates with an impious man ___."

7. "If you have daughters, keep them chaste, and ___."

8. "He who loves his son ___ him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up."

9. "He who gives to the poor suffers no want, but he who ignores them ___."

10. "In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will ___."

11. "Great as his mercy is ___; he judges men, each according to his ___."

12. "Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not as many as by ___."

13. "Flee from sin ___ that will bite you if you go near it; Its teeth are lion's teeth, destroying the ___."

14. "He who winks at a fault causes ___, but he who frankly reproves promotes ___."

15. "Give to ___, refuse ___; refresh the ___, give nothing to ___."

16. "Better a little with ___, than a large income with ___."

17. "A ___ man will fare badly in the end, and he who loves danger ___."

18. "With all your soul, ___ God, ___ his priests."

19. "Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; ___ is to be praised."

20. How can one recognize an oracle which the Lord has not spoken?



1. "Let your acquaintances be many, but one in a thousand your confidant." (Sirach 6:6)

2. "Happy the man who is always on his guard; but he who hardens his heart will fall into evil." (Prov. 28:14)

3. "For dreams have led many astray, and those who believed in them have perished." (Sirach 34:7)

4. "As one face differs from another, so does one human heart from another." (Prov. 27:19)

5. "Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy." (Ps. 126:5)

6. "He who touches pitch blackens his hand; he who associates with an impious man learns his ways." (Sirach 13:1)

7. "If you have daughters, keep them chaste, and be not indulgent to them." (Sirach 7:24)

8. "He who loves his son chastises him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up." (Sirach 30:1)

9. "He who gives to the poor suffers no want, but he who ignores them gets many a curse." (Prov. 28:27)

10. "In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths." (Prov. 3:6)

11. "Great as his mercy is his punishment; he judges men, each according to his deeds." (Sirach 16:12)

12. "Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not as many as by the tongue." (Sirach 28:18)

13. "Flee from sin as from a serpent. that will bite you if you go near it; Its teeth are lion's teeth, destroying the souls of men." (Sirach 21:2)

14. "He who winks at a fault causes trouble, but he who frankly reproves promotes peace." (Prov. 10:10)

15. "Give to the good man, refuse the sinner; refresh the downtrodden, give nothing to the proud man." (Sirach 12:4)

16. "Better a little with virtue, than a large income with injustice." (Prov. 16:8)

17. "A stubborn man will fare badly in the end, and he who loves danger will perish in it." (Sirach 3:25)

18. "With all your soul, fear God, revere his priests." (Sirach 7:29)

19. "Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." (Prov. 31:30)

20. "If you say to yourselves, 'How can we recognize an oracle which the LORD has spoken?', know that, even though a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if his oracle is not fulfilled or verified, it is an oracle which the LORD did not speak." (Deut. 18:21-22)


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Think Baptism is Merely an External Sign?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Think Baptism is Merely an External Sign? (Note: Topic is directed at certain Protestants)


* If Baptism is merely a sign and does not itself cause regeneration, why does Christ require it as a condition of salvation ["Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" (Jn. 3:5)]?

* If Baptism is just a sign, why does Scripture say that persons are saved through water (see 1 Pt. 3:20-21)?

* If Baptism is a mere sign, why does St. Paul say that baptism washes away sin (cf. Acts 22:16)?

* If Baptism is just a sign, why does St. Paul say that persons are saved through baptism (see Ti. 3:5)?

Did You Know...?: The Catholic Church does not teach that the water in baptism has any intrinsic power, but rather that God uses the water to effect what is signified by the water (that is, a cleansing). "If, therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from the nature of water but from the Spirit's presence there." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 375 A.D.)

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"[Jesus] said to them, 'Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.'" (Mk. 16:15-16) [Note: As Scripture makes clear, reception of Baptism is one essential condition for salvation. To be saved, one must also live according to God's laws.]

"Jesus answered and said to him: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again? Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (Jn. 3:3-6)

"If any one saith that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary to salvation; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"[F]or no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the Sacrament of Baptism." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 387 A.D.)

"It is nothing that we are born of our parents, if we are not reborn again of God by water and the Spirit." [Pseudo Chrys (as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)]

"If indeed, He [Jesus] Who purified the rest was baptized, who is there who does not need Baptism?" (St. Ephrem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]he sacrament of Baptism holds the first place in the order of necessity" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If any man receive not baptism, he hath no salvation; except only martyrs [those who die for the Catholic faith ('baptism of blood') before they are able to undergo baptism], who even without the water receive the kingdom." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' No one is excepted: not the infant, not the one prevented by some necessity." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 387 A.D.)

"The universal and absolute necessity of Baptism our Savior has declared in these words: Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"And because of the transgression of the first man, the whole stock of the human race was tainted; no one can be set free from the state of the old Adam save through Christ's sacrament of baptism." (Pope St. Leo I the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Holy baptism holds the first place among all the sacraments because it is the door of the spiritual life. By it we are made members of Christ and of his body, the Church. And since through the first man death has come to all men, unless we are reborn of water and of the Holy Spirit, we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven as the Truth himself tells us (see John 3:5)." (Council of Florence)

"For from Baptism we receive the Spirit of Christ. At that same moment in which the priests invoke the Spirit, heaven opens, and He descends and rests upon the waters; and those who are baptized are clothed in Him. For the Spirit is absent from all those who are born of the flesh, until they come to the water of re-birth; and then they receive the Holy Spirit." (St. Aphraates, c. 336-345 A.D.)

"...the law of Baptism, as established by our Lord, extends to all, so that unless they are regenerated to God through the grace of Baptism, be their parents Christians or infidels, they are born to eternal misery and destruction. Pastors, therefore, should often explain these words of the Gospel: Unless a man be born again of water and of the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The faithful are earnestly to be exhorted to take care that their children be brought to the church, as soon as it can be done with safety, to receive solemn Baptism. Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism, we may easily understand how grievously those persons sin who permit them to remain without the grace of the Sacrament longer than necessity may require, particularly at an age so tender as to be exposed to numberless dangers of death." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Should anyone desire a striking figure and image (of the efficacy of Baptism) let him consider the history of Naaman the Syrian leper, of whom the Scriptures inform us that when he had washed seven times in the waters of the Jordan he was so cleansed from his leprosy that his flesh became like the flesh of a child. The remission of all sin, original and actual, is therefore the peculiar effect of Baptism. That this was the object of its institution by our Lord and Savior is clearly stated by the Prince of the Apostles, to say nothing of other testimonies, when he says: Do penance and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"It is as if someone were to take a golden statue of a man which has long been tarnished by time and by smoke and by dust and by corrosion and recast it, giving it back to us perfectly cleansed and polished, when God takes this nature of ours, corroded with the rust of sin and much dimmed by the smoke of our faults and deprived of the beauty which was bestowed upon it by Him in the beginning, and casts it anew, throwing it into [the Baptismal waters] as if in a smelting furnace. He pours out the grace of the Spirit in place of fire, and then brings us forth renewed and refreshed and with a brightness to rival the rays of the sun. The old man has been crushed and a new man, more brilliant than the former, has been fashioned." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 388 A.D.)

"If anyone denies that infants newly born from their mothers' wombs are to be baptized, even though they be born of baptized parents, or says they are baptized indeed for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam, which must be expiated by the laver of regeneration for the attainment of life everlasting, whence it follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins is understood to be not true, but false: let him be anathema. For what the Apostle has said: 'By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned' [Rom. 5:12], is not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For by reason of this rule of faith from a tradition of the apostles even infants, who could not as yet commit any sins of themselves, are for this reason truly baptized for the remission of sins, so that in them there may be washed away by regeneration, what they have contracted by generation.. 'For unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God' [John 3:5]." (Council of Trent, 1546 A.D.)

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Also Try...

* Baptism (Topic Page) -

* Original Sin (Topic Page) -

For more apologetics resources, please visit

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In Closing...

Prayer for Forgiveness / Cleansing (Precious Blood): "O good Jesu, according to Thy great mercy, have mercy on me. O most merciful Jesu, by that Precious Blood which Thou didst will to shed for sinners, I beseech Thee to wash away all mine inequities and to look graciously upon me, a poor and unworthy sinner, as I call upon thy holy Name. Therefore, O Jesus, do Thou save me for Thy holy Name's sake." (Raccolta) [Note: "Jesu"/"Jesus" above appears as it does in the Raccolta. Reminder: Jesu is Latin for Jesus.]

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Precious Blood): "Most glorious Virgin, chosen by the eternal Counsel to be the Mother of the eternal Word made flesh, thou who art the treasurer of divine graces and the advocate of sinners, I who am thy most unworthy servant have recourse to thee: be thou pleased to be my guide and counselor in this vale of tears. Obtain for me through the Most Precious Blood of thy divine Son, the forgiveness of my sins, the salvation of my soul and the means necessary to obtain it. In like manner obtain for the Holy Church victory over her enemies and the spread of the kingdom of Jesus Christ upon the whole earth. Amen." (Raccolta)

"Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb [that is, Jesus] and by the word of their testimony..." (Rv. 12:7-11)

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