God And Sin
( Originally Published 1922 )
Sin is disobedience to God. Any thought, word, or deed contrary to God's law is sin. Those who commit mortal sin turn away from God ; they lose God's grace. Those who die in mortal sin go to hell, where they will be separated from God forever. God is always willing to forgive repentant sinners. Venial sin makes people love God less and puts them in danger of committing mortal sin. The devil tries to lead people into sin in order to take them away from God. Sin is the worst evil in the world. Happy are those who avoid sin all their life.
Children, perhaps you would like to talk about the Commandments. Some time you might wish to tell somebody why God gave us the Commandments. Tell us what you would say. Tell me about those who obey God and those who disobey Him. Tell me about your life, your body, your soul. Who gave you your life? What did God give you for your life in this world? Who tells you how to use all the things that God has given you? Who tells you how to use the powers of your body and your soul? Tell me now about your eyes ; your ears ; your voice; your mind ; your will.
What does God want you to do with your life on earth? Why does God want you to serve Him all your life? What does it show when you serve God? Why does it show that you love God when you serve Him? Whom do you obey when you keep the Commandments? Whom do you obey when you do what the Catholic Church tells you? Whom do you obey when you believe all that the Catholic Church teaches? Who sent the Catholic Church to teach us? Why are you sure that the Catholic Church always teaches the truth? Whom do people disobey when they break the Commandments? Whom do they disobey when they refuse to do what the Catholic Church teaches?
Whom do people disobey when they commit sin? What, then, does it mean to commit sin? Who tells us how to be good? What sin did the bad angels commit? What made them disobey God? What made them proud? Who had made them so good and beautiful ? Whom should they have thanked for being so good and beautiful? Why could the angels do nothing without God? Who gave them life and all that they have? Why, then, should they have kept from being proud?
In many parts of the Bible you can read about the fallen angels or devils. The prophet Isaias (14, 12—15) tells about Lucifer, the chief of the fallen angels : "How thou art fallen from heaven, O Lucifer." The prophet Isaias tells how proud Lucifer was. You know the Book of Isaias is a book of the Old Testament. The prophet Isaias lived about seven hundred fifty years before our Lord was born. He foretold many things about our Lord. He foretold that He would be born of the Blessed Virgin.
What, now, made Lucifer fall? Why did Lucifer think he could get along without God ? What do you think makes many people disobey God? Why do you think pride is called the root of all sin? Against whom do people turn when they commit mortal sin? What does it mean when any one turns against God ? Why do sinners think they can get along without God ? How does pride make them think that? Why do some people refuse to obey God? Why do they neglect to serve Him? What makes people proud? Who gives them their life and their powers of mind and body? Whom should they thank for all that they have? When are people humble? Why do humble people thank God for all that they have? What kind of people know that they can have nothing without God ?
What kind of people think that they do not need God? What kind of people think that they are better than others? Where did Lucifer try to put himself? How did the devil lead Adam and Eve to disobey God? Why did Adam and Eve want to be like gods? What made them proud? Where can you read about the fall of Adam and Eve?
Why have we nothing of ourselves? Where do we get all that we have? Why, then, should we always be humble? What do we do when we are humble? Why do you say the Confiteor every day? Let me hear you say it. Ask some one to say the Confiteor. How does it show that you are humble when you say the Confiteor? What do we acknowledge to God? What do you ask the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles, and the saints to do for you?
What must we have from God to save our soul? Why do we need God's grace? Of course, you have noticed the priest at the foot of the altar before he begins Mass. What does the priest do before he ascends the altar steps? Why does he bow down and say the Confiteor? Yes ; he whispers to God and tells Him that he is not worthy to offer the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He asks the angels and saints to pray for him so that God will make him worthy. Then when he goes up, he kisses the altar and says this beautiful little prayer : "Take away from us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our iniquities that we may go into Thy Holy of Holies with pure minds, through Christ our Lord. We beg Thee, O Lord, through the merits of the saints whose relics are here and of all the saints that Thou deign to pardon all my sins." Of course you know there are always relics of the martyrs in the altar stone.
Why do you think the saints were so humble? Whom did they thank for all that they had? How, then, shall you think of yourselves? For what shall you thank God ? Why shall you always try to obey God? For what do you need God? Whom shall you thank if you can learn better than others? What shall you do if you have a better home than others? What shall you do if you can serve God better than others? What shall you say in your heart if others praise you ? What shall you feel if you are placed over others?
Many great men and women were saints ; some of them were kings and queens. About a thousand years ago there lived a holy king in Bohemia named St. Wenceslaus. At night he used to take off his royal robes and go barefoot, like a poor man, to visit the poor and the sick. He used to make altar breads for the priest and serve Mass. He was happy when he could humble himself and serve others. Why do you think St. Wenceslaus wanted to be humble? Why did he go to visit the poor and the sick? How many people do you love? Why do you love all the people in the world? What would you like to do for the poor and sick ?
What is it when people disobey God? What kind of sin sends people to hell ? What sin turns people against God? What kind of sin do people commit when they realize that they are doing something very bad? What kind of sin is it if they do something wrong without thinking? Whom does venial sin displease? What kind of sin do people commit when they are willing to do something very bad? What kind of sin do they commit when they do something wrong before they have time to think ? What kind of sin is it when any one gets angry before he knows it ? Whom does venial sin make people love less ?
Why do you always try to avoid even venial sin? What kind of sin is it when some one strikes another without thinking? What kind of sin is it when a child disobeys his parents without realizing what he is doing? What kind of sin is it to say bad words without thinking? What kind of sin is it when any one stops to think and then is willing to disobey God and do something very bad? Why is mortal sin the worst thing in the world? What is the only thing that can make people really miserable?
Why did God give us our life ? What does God want us to do with our life? Why does God want us to serve Him in this world? What sin do they commit who think only of getting rich? What do they neglect? Why is it a sin to love the things of this world too much? Whom do you love more than all the things in this world? Who gives you all the good things that you have ? When do the good things of this world lead the people away from God? What does the sin of greed make the people do ? What sins come from loving the things of this world too much? What often makes people hard and uncharitable to the poor? What often makes people take what belongs to others?
What kind of sin do they commit when they take what belongs to others? What sometimes makes people charge too much for their goods? Why do people sometimes love money too much? To whom do all things in the world belong? Why is greed for riches and money a sin? What does God want us to desire in this world? When shall we be truly happy? What sins come from greed? What sometimes makes people pay their workers too little? What often makes some people work on Sundays? What makes some people charge too much rent?
Why do you think God gives some people more than they need ? What does He want them to do for others? For whom are we taking care of the things we have? Who tells us how to use what we have? Who tells us how to use our life? Who tells us how to use our mind? How do people commit sin with their mind ? What Commandment do they break when they take pleasure in thinking of bad things? What kind of desires must be put away? Whom do people disobey when they are willing to have bad desires ? What kind of sin do they commit if they take pleasure in these bad desires? What does mortal sin take away from their soul? What is God's grace to our soul?
What kind of sin do they commit if they have bad desires without thinking? What does venial sin do to people? When do they love God less ? What other sin are they liable to commit if they commit venial sin often? How do some people commit sin with their eyes ; their ears ; their voice? Why does God want us to keep our body pure? Where will our body be after the end of the world?
Whom do people disobey when they get angry? What often makes people injure others? What sometimes makes people kill others? When is anger a mortal sin? What kind of sin is anger when it makes a person desire to kill another? What kind of sin is it if it makes one hate another? When is anger a venial sin.? Who wants us always to be kind to others? Why does God want us to be kind to others? How does anger make others unhappy? Why are people not happy who are always getting angry? Why is it good to learn to be kind and patient? Why do you think God wants us to be always kind and patient? Why do you forgive those who are unkind to you? For whom did our Lord pray when He was hanging on the cross?
What Commandment do people break when they envy others? What made the bad. angels turn against God? What did the devils envy in God? Why do the devils tempt us to sin? What do the devils envy in us? Why do the devils envy good in us ? Whom do people imitate when they envy others? Whom do people disobey when they envy others? What kind of sin do they commit when they are willing to envy others very much?
What other sins does envy sometimes make people commit? What sometimes makes people lie about others? What often makes people take away the good name of others? Why do people sometimes ridicule those who are good? What sin do people commit when they eat or drink too much? What Commandment do they break when they commit the sin of gluttony? Whom do they disobey when they commit the sin of gluttony ? Why does God want us to take proper care of our body? What kind of sin is it if any one makes himself sick by eating? But, what kind of sin is it if he didn't think he was eating enough to make him sick? What does the habit of eating too much do for the body?
Why do you always try to eat quietly and slowly? Why do you like to show good manners before others? Why is it vulgar to be always talking about things to eat? When do people seem to be thinking too much about things to eat? When is gluttony a mortal sin? What kind of sin is it if they don't realize what they are doing? What kind of sin does any one commit if he drinks so much liquor that he doesn't know what he is doing? How does drunkenness injure the mind and body? What often makes men neglect their family ? What often makes men fight and injure others? What often leads them to curse and swear? What often leads them to think, say, and do bad things ?
How do people sin by being lazy? What do they often neglect because they are lazy ? What does the sin of sloth make people do? What does the sin of sloth make some people neglect on Sunday morning? What often makes people neglect their prayers? What sin makes some people neglect their family ? What sin do people commit who neglect to serve God? What makes some people careless about religion? Why do some people neglect the Sacraments?
Now, what is the only real evil in the world? What does mortal sin do to people? Whom do people follow when they commit mortal sin? What happens to those who die in mortal sin? What will they suffer in hell? When will God forgive those who commit mortal sin? What Sacrament must they receive? What sins must they tell in Confession? What sin do they commit if they hide a mortal sin in Confession? Why is it good also to tell venial sins in Confession? How does it help people to avoid venial sins? Who helps us avoid sin? What does God give us to help us avoid sin? How often can you pray for God's grace? What can you do for sinners? Why do you like to pray for sinners? Why do you wish that they would all love God?