God And The Fifth Commandment
( Originally Published 1922 )
"Thou shalt not kill."
God gave us our life ; we must use it according to His will. We live here on earth to serve God; we are preparing for heaven. Hence we must take proper care of our own life and health. We respect all human life ; for God is the Lord of life. God still retains dominion over our body and over our soul; we must answer to Him for the use we make of them on earth. God has told us in the Fifth Commandment to respect human life. Murder and suicide are terrible sins. Gluttony and drunkenness are also sins against the Fifth Commandment.
Children, tell me again about yourselves. Tell me where you came from. Who gave you to your parents? Tell me what your parents did for you when you were a baby. What did they do when you were sick? How did they feel when they were afraid that you were going to die ? What did they do when you were in danger? Why did they watch over you so carefully? What did they teach you to do? What kind of children do your parents want to make of you? Who first taught you to make the Sign of the Cross? Who first taught you to say your prayers?
What do you call God when you pray to Him? Why do you call God our Father? How could you show anybody that God is really our Heavenly Father? Tell me some of the things God has done to show that He loves you. Tell me some of the things He has given you. Perhaps you will tell me about God's family, about God's children. Where did you get your life? Who keeps you alive every minute of your life? Of course you can tell me many things God has given you for your life. Why do you eat and drink? How does God want us to keep our body alive? Tell me about food ; drink ; air ; clothing ; heat and cold. To whom does our life belong? For whom are we living in this world? Why does God want us to live here in this world? Whom do we serve in this world? For what are we pre-paring in this life? Who tells us how to live in this world? What Church did God send to teach us how to live? Who wants us to take care of our life? Who tells us to respect all human life?
What did God say in the Fifth Commandment ? In what part of the Bible can you read about the Fifth Commandment? Who belong to God's family? How does God want His children to live together? Why did God give us the Fifth Commandment? When did God tell us to respect the life of all His children ? Why did God make all the people in the world? To whom do all the people belong? Why is it a sin to injure anybody? Whose children do they kill when people commit murder? Whose children do people injure when they fight? Why does God want to keep His children from harm? Why are we all like brothers and sisters in this world? Tell me what God wants us to do for one another. Tell me how you can show love and kindness to others. Tell me about the sick ; the lame the blind ; the old.
Who rules over our life? Who is the only one that knows when we are going to die? Why do you take good care of your life and health? When did God tell you that? Why do you try to protect others' life and health? What are they to God? What are they to you?
What is the worst sin against the Fifth Commandment?
Tell me now about the first murder in the world. Against whom did Cain sin? To whom did Abel's life belong? In what part of the Bible can you read about Cain and Abel? Genesis.
Tell me about Joseph and his brethren. You know that story, I am sure. What did Joseph's brothers want to do with him at first? What kind of sin did they commit when they wished to kill him ? What kind of sin is it to think about killing anybody ?
Tell me about the Holy Innocents. Of course you know that the wicked King Herod put them to death. He thought our Lord was among the number. But the night before St. Joseph had taken Him and the Blessed Virgin to Egypt. You can read about this in the Gospel of St. Matthew, Ch. 2. Why, then, did Herod kill the baby boys? What sin did Herod commit? How did our Lord escape? Where can you read about this? The feast of the Holy Innocents is on December the 28th. On that day the priest says Mass in honor of those little martyrs. He wears purple vestments to show that they were child martyrs. I am sure you could tell about the Holy Innocents, and about their feast. Show me how you would tell your little brothers and sisters about them. When is the feast of the Holy Innocents ? What color vestments does the priest wear on that day? Where are the Holy Innocents now ? What can the Holy Innocents do for you? In what part of the Bible can you read about the Holy Innocents? In what part of the Bible is the Gospel of St. Matthew ?
Did you ever hear of St. John the Baptist's death? Another wicked king named Herod cut off his head. You can read about this in the Gospels of St. Matthew, Ch. 14 ; St. Mark, Ch. 6, and St. Luke, Ch. 9. Read the account for them.
Perhaps you can tell me some others who were put to death for God. Of course you know about the martyrs. Tell me some martyrs whom you know. Tell me about the Apostles, St. Cecilia, St. Agnes, St. Tarsicius, St. Polycarp. The priest wears red vestments on the feasts of the Apostles and martyrs because red means that they died for our holy Faith. On their feast days the priest says Mass in their honor. Red is a sign of love, too. The priest wears red vestments also on the feast of the Holy Ghost.
What sin did those people commit who put the Apostles and martyrs to death? What kind of vestments does the priest wear on the feast of the Apostles and martyrs? Of what is red the sign? On what other feast does the priest wear red vestments? When is the feast of the Holy Ghost? How many days after Easter is Pentecost? What is the novena to the Holy Ghost? Why did God give the martyrs life? To whom did the martyrs' life belong? What sin did the pagans commit when they killed the martyrs?
What does God want you to do for your life? What does God want you to do for others' life? What does God want you to do for your body? How do people sometimes injure their health with food? Who wants you to take care of your health? How do people sometimes injure them-selves by drinking? What sin do some people commit by drinking? Against which Commandment do they sin when they get drunk? Whom do they disobey when they break the Fifth Commandment? Tell me how you take care of your health. Tell me what you do when there is danger ; crossing the street ; crossing the railroad ; coasting ; bathing. What do you tell your little brothers and sisters when they are crossing the street? Why do you always try to keep yourself neat and clean? What do you do to make your home healthful? How do you keep your teeth? How can you take care of your eyes? Why do you try to keep your finger nails clean? Why do you eat slowly and properly? Why do you use good manners always? For whom do you show respect when you show good manners? What habit of eating injures people's health? What kind of drinking injures people's health? Tell me about the sin of eating and drinking too much.
What Commandment do people break when they get very angry? What Commandment do people break when they fight and quarrel? How do people disobey God when they fight and quarrel? What Commandment tells them to keep from fighting and quarreling? What Commandment do they break when they hurt anybody? What Commandment would anybody break if he drove an automobile too fast and hurt somebody ? What Commandment would he break if he struck somebody and injured him? When you grow up, you may have others working for you ; tell me how you will treat them. Of course you will try to take care of their life and health. If you had a factory, how would you make it healthful ? Why would you give the workers plenty of light and air? How would you protect them against fires? Why would you have fire escapes? How much would you pay them for their work? What do they need the money for? What should you think about when you are paying wages to others?
What can you do for little children so that they will be healthy? Who gave you to your parents? For whom are your parents taking care of you? Why are good parents happy when God gives them little 'babies? Who gives life to little babies? Who wants little babies to be born into the world? Why does God want all the little babies to be born? Why do people get married? When does God send them babies? What Commandment would people break who did not take care of the babies God gives them?
What Commandment does anybody break when he gives bad example to others? What part of them does he injure when he gives bad example? Yes, he injures their soul when he gives bad example. To do evil before others so that they might do the same is called scandal. To give scandal is a sin against the Fifth Commandment. Now what could you tell anybody about scandal? How does anybody disobey God by giving scan-dal ? Why do you always try to give good example to others? Why do you wish that everybody would be good? What kind of people love God? Why do you wish that everybody would love God?
Tell me now how people break the Fifth Commandment. Tell me how you can show your Iove even for murderers. Tell me for whom our Lord prayed when He was hanging on the cross. Tell me about St. Andrew. How do people injure others' souls? What Commandment do people break who give bad example? What Command-ment do people break who commit suicide? What kind of sin is Suicide? In what kind of sin do people die who commit suicide? If they are insane, do you think they are free from sin? What happened to Judas after he betrayed our Lord? You can read about Judas in the Gospels. Judas committed a great sin and then he lost hope. What do you think our Lord would have done if Judas had asked Him to forgive him? What should Judas have done? What is the most terrible death anybody can die? Why should people always have hope no matter how much they suffer ? Where shall we all be happy ? What kind of people are happy in this world? What can make sinners happy? What will God do for sinners? What can you do for sinners?
What does God want us to do for one another? Tell me some of the things you can do to show your love for others. What can you do for those who are hungry ? If a poor sick man needed a drink, what would you do? What would you like to do if you saw a poor man without enough clothes to keep him warm? What would you like to do if you saw a little boy carried away by bad people? What would you like to do if you found a poor old man out in the cold with no home? What can you do to cheer up sick people? Why do you go to the funeral of your friends?
Tell me what you can do to help others to be good and to love God. What would you like to do if you found somebody that didn't know about God? What would you like to do for those who do not know our holy Faith? If you saw somebody that was not sure whether he would do evil or not, what would you like to tell him? What would you like to do for those that are sad? How could you comfort them in their sorrow? What could you tell them about God? What would you like to tell those who commit sin? Why would you like to tell them to be sorry for their sin? What would you do if somebody did harm to you? Why would you forgive him? How would you act toward those who are always unkind to you? Why would you bear their wrongs patiently? Of course, you remember how they crowned our Lord with thorns and how they beat Him with rods. Then they put the heavy cross upon His shoulders and made Him carry it through the streets of Jerusalem.
How did our Lord bear all these injuries? What did He want to teach us by bearing it all patiently ? Why do you like to forgive those who injure you? Whose example do you follow when you pray for those who injure you? Why do you pray for all the people in the world ? Why do you pray for people that are dead?
Tell me now all that God meant for us to do when He gave us the Fifth Commandment. How does the Fifth Commandment show that God loves us? Why does God tell us how to take care of our life and health? Why does God want us to live on earth ? What are we to God ? What is God to us? Tell me again how you take care of your health. Tell me what you can do in your home ; on the street. How can you help others take care of their life and health? How does bad example injure others? What could you tell anybody about anger ; fighting ; quarreling ; gluttony ; drunkenness? Whom do people disobey when they break the Fifth Commandment?
You might tell me some of the things you can do for others' bodies ; for people that are hungry ; homeless ; poorly clad ; sick ; respect for dead. Then tell some of the things you can do for their soul ; tell them about God and our holy Faith ; how to avoid sin ; forgive them.
Why does it make you happy to keep the Commandments? Tell me the First ; Second ; Third ; Fourth ; Fifth Commandment. How do the Commandments show that God loves us? How do we show by the Commandments that we love God? Why do you always try to keep the Commandments? Whom do you obey when you keep the Commandments? Whom do people disobey when they break the Commandments? Whom do people love who keep the Commandments? Why did the saints keep the Commandments so well?