God And The Third Commandment
( Originally Published 1922 )
" Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day."
Six days of the week we devote to our worldly cares. One day of the week we consecrate to God. God said : "Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day." By divine inspiration the Apostles made Sunday the Lord's day. We are bound, under pain of mortal sin, to hear Mass on Sun-days and Holy Days. There are six Holy Days of obligation.
Children, I would like to hear you tell again how God shows His children the way to heaven. Perhaps you would like to tell me about the Commandments. What can you tell me about the days of the week ? What does our Heavenly Father provide for our life on earth? How do we get the things that God has provided for our life? Tell me about bread (planting the wheat, making the flour, mixing, baking, etc.) ; about fruits and vegetables (planting, gathering, and preparing them) ; about our clothing (wool, cotton, flax) ; about meat ; eggs ; milk ; butter. Who gave us health and strength to work? Whom do you thank every day for all that you have? How do you show your love for God every day? What does it show when you pray to God? What does it show when you pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints and angels?
Tell me, too, about your obedience to your parents. It shows your love for God. Tell me about your love for all the people in the world. Whose children are they all? Tell me some of the things you can do for them. How do these things show your love for God? What can you do for sinners to show your love for God? How does it show your love for God to pray for sinners? Tell me about people who are unkind to you. What about people who may injure you? How does it show your love for God to forgive these?
What day belongs to God? Why do you give Sunday to God? How does it show our love for God to give Sunday to Him? Why is Sunday holy? What did God say in the Third Commandment? Where can you read about the Third Commandment? In what part of the Bible is the Book of Exodus? In which Testa-ment is it? What is the first Book of the Old Testament called?
Which day was the Lord's day in the Old Law ? What day of the week was the Sabbath? What is the seventh day of the week called now ? Which is the Lord's day in the New Law? Which day of the week is Sunday? Who came from heaven to give us the New Law of God? When did our Lord come to give us the New Law ? Tell me about our Lord's life on earth — His birth, His blessed mother, His teaching, His death, His resurrection.
What twelve men did our Lord choose to teach the New Law of God? Who changed the Lord's day from the Sabbath to Sunday? Who do you think told the Apostles to make Sunday the Lord's day? How long will the Catholic Church teach this? Who said Mass for the people just after our Lord died? On what day of the week did the Apostles say Mass for all the people? Yes ; on Sundays the people would come together to hear Mass. At first there were no churches. So the Apostles had to say Mass and have devotions in private houses. You can read about this in the Acts of the Apostles. In what part of the Bible are the Acts of the Apostles? What are other parts of the New Testament? Tell me now how we know that God wants us to give Sunday to Him. How do we keep the Lord's day holy? With whom do we really spend Sun-day? Why do you like to be with God ? How long will you be with God in heaven?
What does God want you to do on Sunday morning? Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday? Whom do people disobey when they miss Mass on Sunday? Which Church teaches us what God wants us to do on Sunday? Who sent the Catholic Church to teach us? Who guides the Catholic Church?
Tell me now why God gave us the Commandments. Why did God give us the Third Commandment? Why does God want us to spend Sunday with Him? How does the Third Commandment help us to love God more? What does it show when you go to Mass ? What do good people like to do on Sunday afternoon or evening? What does it show when you go to Vespers and devotions? Whose house are you visiting when you go to church? On what day do you have most time to pray? On what day have you most time to think about God and about heaven? On what day have you more time to read good books? Why do you have more time for God on Sundays than on other days? Who told us to lay aside our work on Sunday? Why did God tell us to lay our work aside on His day? How does God want us to spend His day?
Why is it a sin to work on Sunday? Whom do people disobey when they work on Sunday ? What do good people do if they have to work on Sunday? Why do good people close their stores on Sunday? Tell me some of the things farmers keep from doing on Sunday. Why do good people keep from working in their gardens on Sunday? from cutting lawns? making repairs? On what day do people keep from baking, scrubbing, washing, ironing, house-cleaning, and the like? Why does God want us to give Sunday to Him? What other days do we give entirely to God? Name the six Holy Days. What does God want us to do on the Holy Days? What Church did God send to tell us to keep the Holy Days?
Who keeps the truth in the Catholic Church? How long will the Holy Ghost stay with the Catholic Church? Why does God want us to keep Christmas holy? Whose birthday is Christmas? What does God want you to do to keep Christmas holy? What does God want people to lay aside on Christmas? Whose day is Christmas? Where did they take our Lord when He was eight days old? To whom did they offer the Infant Jesus in the temple? What is that day called? What day of the year is the Feast of the Circumcision? (Circumcision was a ceremony of the Old Law to show faith in God.) Why is New Year's Day a Holy Day? What feast is it called? To whom does the Feast of the Circumcision belong? How do we make the Feast of the Circumcision holy? What do people have to keep from on that day?
What happened forty days after our Lord rose from the dead? What do we call the day on which our Lord went up to heaven? How do we know that Ascension Day is a Holy Day? Who sent the Catholic Church to teach us?
Who was the only human being born without sin? Whose mother is the Blessed Virgin Mary? Who kept the Blessed Virgin free from sin ? What day do we give to God to honor His blessed mother, especially because she was always free from sin? What does God want us to do on the feast of the Immaculate Conception? On what day of the year is the feast of the Immaculate Conception? Whom does God want us to honor on the feast of the Immaculate Conception? How do we know that God wants us to honor His blessed mother on that day? Who told the Catholic Church to teach us that? How did the feast of the Immaculate Conception become a Holy Day?
What happened on the feast of the Assumption? How did the feast of the Assumption become a Holy Day? On what day of the year is the feast of the Assumption? How do we have to keep the feast of the Assumption holy?
On what Holy Day do we honor all the saints of heaven? On what day of the year is the feast of All Saints? Who wants us to keep the feast of All Saints holy? How do we know that God wants this?
What other six days, then, do we keep as we keep Sunday? Tell me now something about the Holy Days — Christmas ; New Year's ; Ascension ; thé Immaculate Conception ; the Assumption ; All Saints. What do good people do when they have to work on Holy Days? Why does God want us to rest from work on Sundays and Holy Days? For what does God want us to have time on these days? How do we know that we have to go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days?
Why do you always try to be on time at Mass? Whom are you visiting when you go to Mass? In whose house do you go to Mass? How will our Lord come to you at Mass? How often is our Lord willing to come to you in Holy Communion? Yes; many of the early Christians used to go to Mass every day and every time they went to Mass they received Holy Communion. In those days they used to have Mass in the catacombs. There are parts of altars now in the catacombs of Rome that are seventeen hundred years old.
Why does God want us to worship Him? How do we show our love for God in our churches? Why do we give Sundays and Holy Days to God? Whom do we honor with our ceremonies? Yes ; ceremonies show our respect and love or God. We kneel at prayer, we genuflect, we bless our-selves, we have many ceremonies at the altar to show our love and reverence for God. It is just as we show our respect for people. We kiss our father and mother to show that we love them. We lift the hat to ladies, we bow to people, we shake hands, and the like.
Of course you know that there are special seasons of prayer and good works in the year. When does Advent come? Why do we pray and fast especially in Advent? For what great feast does Advent prepare our soul?
Before what other great feast does Lent come? How many weeks before Easter does Lent last? When is the special time of prayer and penance in the year? How many days did our Lord fast in the desert ? How many days are there in Lent ? Why do you give up something you like in Lent? What does it show when you deny yourself some-thing for God? Why do you keep from eating meat on Fridays? What part of us will live forever?
Why is the soul better than the body? What can you do with the powers of the soul? What powers in you rule the appetites of your body? Why, then, do you think it is good to fast and abstain? What shows that your soul rules your body? What devotions do you like to attend during Lent? What do the Stations of the Cross make you think about? Why did our Lord suffer and die for us?
Who gives us the fruits of the earth and all blessings in this life? What are the four seasons of the year? Tell me some of God's blessings in each of the seasons. On what three days do we fast and pray four times a year? When do the Ember days come ? Yes ; the Ember days come at the beginning of the four seasons. They are days of fasting and abstinence. Why do we fast and abstain and say special prayers on the Ember days? Why do you think the priest blesses so many things? In whose name do you bless your-self ? In whose name does the priest bless things?
Do you know, there is a special blessing for houses on the feast of Epiphany, January sixth? It is called the blessing of the three kings. On this day the priest blessés crayon ; then he goes to the houses and blesses them with prayers, sprinkling them with holy water. He writes above the door with the blessed crayon the letters G. M. B. They are the initials of the three kings' names : Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. The feast of Epiphany is not a Holy Day in all parts of the world. But good people like to go to Mass on that day. There are many other beautiful feasts that are not Holy Days. On what day is the feast of the Purification, or Candlemas Day? What does the priest bless on the feast of the Purification? Why do good people always have blessed candles in their homes? When do they use them? We light blessed candles when people are dying to show their faith in God. The light of the blessed candle makes us think of faith in God.
When does Ash Wednesday come? What does the priest bless on Ash Wednesday? When the priest puts the blessed ashes on our forehead, he says : "Remember, man, that dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return." What part of us will turn to dust? When will our body begin to turn to dust? Of what do the blessed ashes make you think ?
What does the priest bless on Palm Sunday? You remember how our Lord came riding into Jerusalem one day so many years ago. The people loved Him, for He had healed their sick, raised their dead to life, and had done so much for them.
They came out to meet Him, carrying palm branches in their hands and calling Him their king. Why do you think the priest blesses palms on Palm Sunday? Now tell me about Holy Thursday ; Good Friday ; Holy Saturday ; Pentecost (or Whitsunday) ; Trinity Sunday ; the feast of our guardian angels; All Souls' Day.
Why do we perform so many holy actions for God ? How do we show our love for God in the material things around us ? Now, if somebody asked you to tell about Sundays and Holy Days, what would you say? Tell me what God said in the Third Commandment and how the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. Tell me all that you can do to keep Sunday holy. Tell me why God gave us the Third Commandment. What is God to us? What are we to God? What does our Heavenly Father want to do for us ?