God And The Commandments
( Originally Published 1922 )
God gave us the Ten Commandments to help us to get to heaven. He gave them to us because He loves us. When we keep the Commandments, we show that we love God. God sent the Catholic Church to teach us to keep the Commandments. Our Lord put the Ten Commandments into two Commandments. One is to love God. The other is to love all the people in the world.
Children, you told me many wonderful things about God. You spoke about heaven and about the angels. I am sure you like to think about these beautiful things. Why did God make you? Why does God wish to have you with Him in heaven? Why did God tell you so many wonderful things about Himself? Why did God speak to the patriarchs and prophets? What did our Lord come to teach? Why did our Lord send the Apostles? Why did God give us the Catholic Church? What does the Catholic Church teach us to do? What person of the Blessed Trinity stays with the Catholic Church? Why does the Catholic Church always teach the truth? Why did God give us our guardian angels? How do our guardian angels help us to be good? How do our guardian angels speak to us?
Why did God give us the Ten Commandments ? Why does God want us to be good? Why does God want us to go to heaven?
How do the Commandments show that God loves us? Whose children are we all? Where do the Commandments help us to go? Where is our true home ?
Why do you try to keep the Commandments so well? What are .we doing when we keep the Commandments? What do we have to do to be good? Why, then, did God give us the Ten Commandments? Who is our Heavenly Father ?
How do we show that we love God? Why do you like to keep God's Commandments? How many people does God want to keep His Commandments? What kind of people refuse to keep God's Commandments? What can you do for people who do not keep God's Commandments? Why do you pray for them ?
Why are you sorry for people who don't try to keep God's Commandments? What can you ask God to do for them? Why are you happy when you keep God's Commandments? Why are good people always happy? When will poor people be rich? When will sick people be well ? When will old people be young again ?
Can you tell me the story about Moses and what happened to him when he was a little baby ? Where do you think you can read about Moses ? Yes ; in the Bible you can read about Moses. It is in the second book of the Bible. This is called the Book of Exodus. The Book of Exodus tells all about Moses. It tells how God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. There they were slaves. The people of Egypt worshiped false gods. They made these gods out of gold, silver, wood, and stone.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he found that the Israelites were adoring a golden calf which they had made from their jewelry. When Moses saw this, he dashed the two stone tablets to pieces, and told the people what a great sin they had committed against God. The people were very sorry for their sin after Moses had spoken to them, and promised to be true to God after that. Then Moses went up again on Mount Sinai and God gave him the Commandments again. They were carved on two stones just as the first had been. All this you can read in the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible. You know the first part of the Bible is called the Old Testament. The Book of Exodus is a part of the Old Testament. Genesis is the first book of the Old Testament.
Now, what could you tell anybody about Moses? Where can you read about Moses? In what book of the Bible can you read about Moses ? Where were the Israelites when God called Moses to lead them? What kind of gods did the Egyptians worship? Why did Moses break the first two tablets with the Commandments?
What did Moses say when he saw the golden calf ? How did the people feel after Moses talked to them? How did Moses get the Commandments again? What is the first part of the Bible called?
Do you know why it is called the Old Testa-ment? It is called the Old Testament because it contains the Old Law of God. Our Lord gave us the New Law. That is why the second part of the Bible is called the New Testament.
What is the first book of the Old Testament? What is the second book of the Old Testament? What Law does the New Testament contain? What Law does the Old Testament contain?
The Book of Leviticus is the third book of the Bible. Here God told the Israelites how to worship Him. He told them how to offer sacrifices and bless things. He told them all the ceremonies they were to have. All this you can read in the Book of Leviticus. We have beautiful ceremonies in the Catholic Church by which we show honor to God. What does the Book of Leviticus tell about ? Where can you read about the ceremonies of the Old Law? Why do we have so many beautiful ceremonies in the Catholic Church?
How long has the Catholic Church taught the Commandments? Who was the first to teach the Commandments in the Catholic Church? Who taught the people the Commandments just after our Lord died? Who have always taught the Commandments in the Catholic Church? Who sent the Catholic Church to teach us ? Why does God want us all to know the Commandments? Why do you like to keep the Commandments? Why do you always try to do all that God wants you to do? Why did the saints keep the Commandments so well ?
Did you ever hear of St. Polycarp ? He was a very holy bishop in Africa. He died about a hundred and fifty years after our Lord was born. You know there were many Christians in Africa in those days. The holy bishop taught the people to love God and to keep the Commandments.
He taught them to pray and to go to Mass and Holy Communion. The pagans hated him be-cause he was so good. When he was eighty-four years old, he still worked hard teaching his people. The pagans seized this good old bishop and put him upon a pile of wood which they had made. Then they set fire to the wood. But the flames would not burn St. Polycarp. The pagans then cut off his head with a sword.
There have been thousands and thousands of saints in the Catholic Church who loved God very much. What made the saints happy? Where are the saints now ? Where was St. Poly-carp bishop? How did the pagans put him to death? You know the pagans tried to get St. Polycarp to deny God. They said they felt sorry for an old man. But St. Polycarp told them that he was happy to die for God. He said he had served God for eighty years and now he was glad to go to Him in heaven. Just think, that was nearly eighteen hundred years ago ! How long has St. Polycarp been happy in heaven? Why will you always try to be true to God ? How many people does God want to keep His Commandments? What Commandment did God give to Adam and Eve? What happened to Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God? What happened to the angels that disobeyed God? How were they changed when they disobeyed God? What kind of sin is it to break the Commandments? What kind of people disobey God? Whom do they disobey when they break the Commandments? What can you do for people who dis-obey God?
When will God forgive those who break His Commandments? What do they have to promise God? What do they have to be sorry for ? What Sacrament do they have to receive? What do they do when they receive the Sacrament of Penance? To whom do they tell their sins? What do they say to show the priest that they are sorry for their sins? When do they say the Act of Contrition?
What can you do with your mind? Why cannot the dumb animals think? Why does not God give Commandments to the dumb animals? What happens to them when they die? Why did God give us free will ? What does God want us to choose? How do you know how to choose good? Why do you always try to think about what you are going to do?
How do you think the Apostles kept the Commandments? Who helps us keep the Commandments? What does God give us to help us keep the Commandments ? How does God's grace help us keep the Commandments? When does God give us a new life for our soul ? When do we get God's grace ? How do you think St. Cecilia kept God's Commandments? When did St. Cecilia live ? How do you think St. Polycarp kept God's Commandments ? Where was St. Polycarp bishop? When did St. Polycarp die? What helped the saints keep the Commandments? What helps you keep the Commandments ? What helps all good people keep the Commandments?
Who gave us all the Commandments in two Commandments ? What two Commandments did our Lord give us ? What is the first of these two Commandments? What is the second? We can read about these two Commandments of love in the Gospel of St. Matthew, 22, 37-39. You can also read about the Commandments of love in the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke. Now, could you tell anybody in what part of the Bible is the Gospel of St. Matthew? Where can you read about the two Commandments of love? How many Gospels are there in the New Testa-ment? What are the four Gospels of the New Testament?
You know the four Gospels all give our Lord's teachings. All four give the same teachings.
After all, they are really but one Gospel. They are the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, if somebody asked you what teaching the four Gospels give us, what would you say? Why are the four Gospels really one Gospel? Read the Commandments of love, St. Matthew 22, 37; St. Mark 12, 30; St. Luke 10, 27. Ask the children to say the Ten Commandments.
Whose words are those that you have said? Where did God write those words? In what part of the Bible did God write the Commandments? What Church teaches us God's Commandments? What kind of people keep God's Commandments ? How do we show that we love God? How do we keep God's Commandments when we love God with our whole heart? Why do you love God with your whole heart? What shows that you love God with your whole heart? What do you do every day to show that you love God? What do you do on Sundays and Holy Days to show that you love God? What Sacraments do you receive often to show your love for God? What do you do for your parents to show that you love God? What do you do in school to show that you love God? How do you act toward others to show that you love God? How many people do you love? Why do you love all the people in the world? Why does God love all the people in the world?
What does it show when you pray for bad people? What would you like to do for bad people? Why would you like to make them all good? Whom would they love if they were good? What can you do for poor people to show that you love God? What does it show when you help sick people? Why do you like to speak kind words to others? Why do you try to help one another? Why are you quiet in school when others are studying ? Why do you pick up others' coats or hats if you see them lying on the floor? Why do you pick up others' things if they fall? Why do you use good manners at table? What does it show when you respect others? Why do you always forgive those who are unkind to you? Whom did our Lord forgive when He was hanging on the cross?
Who taught us to love our enemies? Whom did the Apostles love? How many people did the saints and martyrs love? What did the Apostle St. Andrew do when he was hanging on the cross ? St. Stephen was the first martyr. They stoned him to death in Jerusalem. It was only about a year after our Lord died on the cross. When he was dying, St. Stephen prayed for those who were stoning him to death. He asked God to forgive them. You can read about St. Stephen in the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 7, 58.) What did St. Stephen do when they were stoning him to death? When did St. Stephen die? Where can you read about St. Stephen? In what part of the Bible are the Acts of the Apostles? Why did the saints love all the people in the world? Who are God's children? How many people does God love? Why do you love all the people in the world?
Now tell me all that you know about the Commandments. Tell me all about how God gave them to us. Tell me why God gave them to us. Tell me about the saints.