Baltimore Catechism 3

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The Redemption




 * Q. 90. What is meant by the Redemption?
A. By the Redemption is meant that Jesus Christ, as the Redeemer of the whole human race, offered His sufferings and death to God as a fitting sacrifice in satisfaction for the sins of men, and regained for them the right to be children of God and heirs of heaven.10


 * Satisfaction is compensation for an offense or injury against another. A redeemer is one who pays a price to regain something that has been lost or given up.

 * No creature could, of himself, make adequate satisfaction for sin, which offends the infinite majesty of God. Every creature is finite and, as such, is unable to make infinite satisfaction. Although God wished all to be saved, and although Christ died for all, yet only those to whom the merits of His Passion are applied will benefit by His death. The death of Christ was a sacrifice of infinite merit and satisfaction, by which man was redeemed. Christ was both priest and victim in the sacrifice whereby He redeemed us. As priest He offered His Passion and death to God for us, and as victim He suffered and died.

 * > "Walk in love, as Christ also loved us and delivered himself up for us an offering and a sacrifice to God to ascend in fragrant odor" (Ephesians 5:2).

 * > "He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins" (Colossians 1:13-14).

 * > " ... looking for the blessed hope and glorious coming of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and cleanse for himself an acceptable people, pursuing good works" (Titus 2:13-14).


 * Q. 91. What were the chief sufferings of Christ?
A. The chief sufferings of Christ were His bitter agony of soul, His bloody sweat, His cruel scourging, and His crowning with thorns, His crucifixion, and His death on the cross.


 * The Stations of the Cross and the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary call to mind the chief sufferings of Christ. Christ suffered and died in His human nature; in His divine nature He could neither suffer nor die. All of His sufferings, even the least, were of infinite value because His human and divine natures were united in the divine Person of the Son of God.


 * Q. 92. When did Christ die?
A. Christ died on Good Friday.


 * Q. 93. Where did Christ die?
A. Christ died on Golgotha, a place outside the city of Jerusalem.


 * The site of Christ's death is also called the Place of the Skull, and Mount Calvary.

 * > "And they came to the place called Golgotha, that is, the Place of the Skull" (Matthew 27:33).


 * Q. 94. What do we learn from the sufferings and death of Christ?
A. From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn God's love for man and the evil of sin, for which God, who is all-just, demands such great satisfaction.


 * We also learn that we should return God's great love and willingly take up our cross and follow Him.


 * Q. 95. What do we mean when we say in the Apostles' Creed that Christ descended into hell?
A. When we say that Christ descended into hell, we mean that, after He died, the soul of Christ descended into a place or state of rest, called limbo, where the souls of the just were waiting for Him.


 * Heaven had been closed by the sin of Adam. The just among the dead could not enter heaven until Christ satisfied for man's sin and repaired its injuries. They awaited their redemption in limbo.

 * "Put to death indeed in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit, in which also he went and preached to those spirits that were in prison" (1 Peter 3:18-19).

 * > "And Jesus said to him, 'Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise' " (Luke 23:43).


 * Q. 96. Why did Christ go to limbo?
A. Christ went to limbo to announce to the souls waiting there the joyful news that He had reopened heaven to mankind.


 * Q. 97. Where was Christ's body while His soul was in limbo?
A. While His soul was in limbo, Christ's body was in the Holy Sepulchre.


 * Man dies when soul is separated from body. When Jesus died, His soul and His body were separated from each other but His divine Person remained united both to His body in the tomb and to His separated soul in limbo.

 * > "And Joseph taking the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock. Then he rolled a large stone to the entrance of the tomb, and departed" (Matthew 27:59-60).


 * Q. 98. When did Christ rise from the dead?
A. Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.


 * In the Resurrection the soul of Jesus was reunited to His body by His own divine power. The Resurrection is the most important of Christ's miracles. He Himself chose it as the most conclusive proof of His divine mission, and the apostles appealed to it to confirm the truth of their testimony.

 * Christ's glorified body after its Resurrection was not subject to suffering or death; it possessed a certain radiance flowing from the supreme blessedness of His soul, it could move rapidly from place to place, it did not need food or sleep, and it could pass through other bodies.

 * > "He said to them, 'Do not be terrified. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him' " (Mark 16:6).

 * > "But he strictly charged them, and commanded them not to tell this to anyone, saying, 'The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and Scribes, and be put to death, and on the third day rise again' " (Luke 9:21-22).


 * Q. 99. Why did Christ rise from the dead?
A. Christ rose from the dead to show that He is true God and to teach us that we, too, shall rise from the dead.


 * > "Now if Christ is preached as risen from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, both has Christ risen; and if Christ has not risen, vain then is our preaching, vain too is your faith. Yes, and we are found false witnesses as to God, in that we have borne witness against God that he raised Christ whom he did not raise, if the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, neither has Christ risen; and if Christ has not risen, vain is your faith, for you are still in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:12-17).


 * Q. 100. Will all men rise from the dead?
A. All men will rise from the dead, but only those who have been faithful to Christ will share in His glory.


 * > "Do not wonder at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the Son of God. And they who have done good shall come forth unto resurrection of life; but they who have done evil unto resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29).

 * > "Now this is the will of him who sent me, the Father, that I should lose nothing of what He has given me, but that I should raise it up on the last day" (John 6:39)

 * > "Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall all indeed rise, but we shall not all be changed-in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible body must put on incorruption, and this mortal body must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).


 * Our Lord's Descent into Limbo


 * This picture shows the soul of Jesus Christ appearing to the captive souls in limbo. In the foreground are Adam and Eve on their knees. Immediately to the left, Abraham is raising a knife above Isaac, Jacob with a staff in his hand, David with his lyre, etc. On the right is Moses with rays of light coming from his head, Aaron with his rod, St. Joseph holding a lily, etc.

 * Our Lord stayed with them until His Resurrection.

 * At the bottom of the plate is the hell of the damned, where the demons and the condemned are punished. Jesus Christ did not descend to this place of eternal suffering nor to purgatory, but He did have an effect on the damned by making them recognize His divinity and on the souls of purgatory by giving them the hope of glory.


 * The Resurrection of Our Lord


 * This picture shows the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 * > The holy women who are at left came, according to the Gospel, to embalm the body of Jesus, when suddenly there was a great earthquake. The angel of the Lord came from heaven, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. The frightened soldiers fell to the ground as if dead. When the holy women entered the sepulcher, they were frightened by the sight of the angel. But he said to them, "Do not be terrified. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him." (St. Mark 16:6)


 * The Ascension of Our Lord


 * This picture shows the Ascension of Jesus Christ from the Mount of Olives. This mountain has three peaks, and it is from the middle one that Our Lord ascended to Heaven in the presence of His disciples and the holy women. While He was going up, as it is said, He left the imprint of His feet on the rock.

 * > At the moment when Jesus Christ disappeared from the sight of His disciples in a luminous cloud, two angels appeared to them and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, shall come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to heaven."


 * Q. 101. When did Christ ascend into heaven?
A. Christ ascended, body and soul, into heaven on Ascension Day, forty days after His Resurrection.


 * > "Now he led them out towards Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And it came to pass as he blessed them, that he parted from them and was carried up into heaven" (Luke 24:50-51).


 * Q. 102. Why did Christ remain on earth forty days after His Resurrection?
A. Christ remained on earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove that He had truly risen from the dead and to complete the instruction of the apostles.


 * Saint Paul tells us that Christ, after His Resurrection, appeared frequently to the apostles and to many others. Christ ascended into heaven from Mount Olivet, a hill outside Jerusalem.

 * > "To them also he showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, during forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3).

 * > "Christ ... rose again the third day, he appeared to Cephas, and after that to the Eleven. Then he was seen by more than five hundred brethren at one time ... After that he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. And last of all, he was seen also by me" (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).


 * Q. 103. What do we mean when we say that Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty?
A. When we say that Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, we mean that Our Lord as God is equal to the Father, and that as man He shares above all the saints in the glory of His Father and exercises for all eternity the supreme authority of a king over all creatures.


 * Even as man, Christ of Himself has dominion over all creation. His Kingship rests on the fact that His human nature is immediately united to the divine Person of the Son of God, and on the fact that He redeemed all men with His precious blood. On earth Christ exercises His kingly authority in spiritual matters through His Church. His Kingship extends also over temporal and civil matters.

 * > "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Matthew 28:18).

 * > "For as the Father has life in himself, even so he has given to the Son also to have life in himself; and he has granted him power to render judgment, because he is Son of Man" (John 5:26-27).

 * > "Pilate therefore said to him, 'Thou art then a king?' Jesus answered, 'Thou sayest it; I am a king. This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth' " (John 18:37).

 * > "Therefore, if you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).

 * > "Jesus, who for the joy set before him, endured a cross, despising shame, and sits at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).

 * > "And from his mouth goes forth a sharp sword with which to smite the nations. And he will rule them with a rod of iron, and he treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God almighty. And he has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, 'King of kings and Lord of lords' " (Apocalypse 19:15-16).


 * Q. 104. What do we mean when we say that Christ will come from thence to judge the living and the dead?
A. When we say that Christ will come from thence to judge the living and the dead, we mean that on the last day Our Lord will come to pronounce a sentence of eternal reward or of eternal punishment on everyone who has ever lived in tills world.


 * Jesus Christ, both as God and as man, will judge all men because He is "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Apocalypse 17:14; 19:16), and it is His prerogative to pass judgment, to reward or punish according to merits.

 * > "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will render to everyone according to his conduct" (Matthew 16:27).

 * > "For neither does the Father Judge any man, but all judgment he has given to the Son" (John 5:22).

 * > "And he charged us to preach to the people and to testify that he it is who has been appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead" (Acts 10:42).




 * Jesus Christ saved the world from the evil effects of both original sin and the actual sins of men by a life and death of suffering. His death on the cross was a sacrifice to His Father-a sacrifice in which He was both priest and victim. He was not obliged to suffer as much as He did in order to redeem us, for even the least suffering on His part would have sufficed to redeem all mankind because of the infinite dignity of His divine personality, which gave infinite satisfactory value to even the least of His sufferings. But He suffered so intensely and died the painful death of the cross in order to prove His great love for us.

 * Because His death means so much for the human race, the Catholic Church cherishes a great devotion to the representation of His death, the crucifix. The crucifix is the chief reminder of Jesus Christ. In every church and school, the crucifix occupies a prominent place; and it should be found also in every Catholic home. Nothing is better calculated to teach us the greatness of God's love for men, and the malice of sin. It is because of the many lessons contained in Christ's Passion that the Church celebrates so solemnly Holy Week and recommends the devotion of the Way of the Cross.

 * Our Lord died on Good Friday. On the following Sunday He rose gloriously from the tomb in which His body had been placed. Thus, He proved to the world the truth of His teachings, especially the doctrine that He is true God. There have always been men who denied the fact of Christ's Resurrection; but the proofs for it are so convincing that no reasonable person can doubt it. After His death on the cross He appeared on many occasions, eleven of which are mentioned in the Bible. Once He was seen by more than five hundred persons. He spoke with the disciples, ate with them, and allowed them to touch the wounds in His hands and side. The very fact that the disciples willingly endured sufferings and death, in testimony of the Resurrection, is a convincing proof that it took place, for men will not die for a cause unless they are sure of it.

 * To commemorate Christ's Resurrection, the Church celebrates Easter Sunday as one of the greatest and most joyous feasts of the year, and continues the Easter season for forty days in memory of the forty days Our Lord remained on earth. During this time the large paschal candle is kept in the sanctuary, as a symbol of the risen Christ; and to remind us of His Ascension into heaven, it is extinguished after the Gospel of the Mass on Ascension Thursday. His Ascension into heaven occurred on the fortieth day after His Resurrection.

 * In heaven Our Lord, even as man, is King of the entire universe. At the end of the world, He will come to judge all mankind, as He Himself describes it in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew. There He says that at this last judgment He will place the just on His right and the wicked on His left. To the latter He will say: "Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels," while to the former He will give the consoling invitation: "Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew, 25:34-41).

 * The thought of Christ's sufferings and of His glorification should remind us that if we patiently accept the sufferings God allows to befall us, we shall merit one day to share in the glory and happiness of our divine Redeemer.




 * Resolve occasionally to perform the devotion of the Way of the Cross, particularly in Lent, and also to carry a crucifix on your person.

 * Complete Exercises For Lesson 8





 * (Check each of the following statements as either true or false. The correct answer can be found in the previous portions of this lesson.)


 * The souls of those who had died in mortal sin before the time of Christ were in limbo.

 * Even the least suffering of Christ would have sufficed to make satisfaction for all the sins of men.

 * Our Lord proposed His Resurrection as the most conclusive proof of His divine mission.

 * The divine Person was not united by hypostatic union to the dead body of Christ in the tomb.

 * Sinners as well as saints will rise from the dead.

 * The risen body of Christ needs food and sleep.

 * Christ ascended into heaven from Mount Calvary.

 * Christ died even for those who are now in hell.

 * It is correct to say that God died on the cross.

 * Christ suffered and died in His divine nature.



 * (Answer the questions orally or write them as your teacher may direct):


 * From what evil did Our Lord rescue us?

 * How did Our Lord prove after His Resurrection that His body could pass through other bodies?

 * Give three names for the place where Christ was crucified?

 * Griselda, reading an extract from St. Alphonsus' "The Passion and Death of Our Lord" is surprised to learn that a single tear shed by the Infant Jesus, or a baby cry from His lips, would have been sufficient to ransom a thousand worlds as sinful as ours. Can you tell her why? Then add to your explanation a reason why Our Lord suffered so much.

 * On Good Friday afternoon, what remark did Our Saviour make to the Good Thief, Dismas? When did the Good Thief enter heaven? On his way thither did he pass through either purgatory or limbo, or did he go directly to heaven? State the reason for your answer.

 * What is meant by limbo? Are any souls that were once in limbo now in the hell of the damned? Explain your answer.

 * Is Christ a King only as God or only as man, or as both?

 * In heaven, how is Our Lord exalted over the entire universe? What October feast commemorates this exaltation? What phrase of the Apostles' Creed expresses this exaltation?

 * Pascal is curious to know if the "Easter season" mentioned in the third paragraph of this lesson's commentary is the same as the "Easter Duty season?" Explain matters to him.

 * Hazel, an unbelieving college professor, flippantly denies an afterlife, remarking: "No one ever came back to tell us about it!" Euphemia, the only Catholic girl in her class, remembers this lesson in Catechism, and makes an appropriate answer. What is her answer?

 * Albert asks what Our Lord chiefly proved by His return from the dead? Give him your answer.

 * About how many people, at the very least, saw Our Lord after He had returned from the dead? During the almost six weeks Our Lord remained on earth after Easter, on at least how many different occasions did He appear to His followers, and deal with them?

 * Thelma is always deeply impressed by the services of Holy Week. Why does the Church celebrate them so solemnly?

 * Marius always carries with him a small pocket crucifix. Do you approve this practice? Why?

 * Our Lord's dead body was in the tomb from Good Friday until Easter Sunday. During that time was His body worthy of the highest form of adoration, the same type of adoration that is due to His living human nature today? Give the reason for your answer, remembering that the reason why Christ's human nature is given divine adoration is the fact that it is united to the Divine Person of the Word.

 * Ethelreda has contracted marriage with a very wealthy non-Catholic, and has two children. Before her marriage she was a devout Catholic, but now she has given up many of her previous religious practices, though she still claims to be a good Catholic. She will not have a crucifix on the wall of any of the rooms in her house, because she asserts that the representation of the cruel sufferings inflicted on Our Lord will have a terrifying and depressing effect on the minds of her children. What do you think of her argument against the presence of a crucifix in her home?


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