תמונות בעמוד


“ THERE can be no doubt but that all the faithful, as is usual in the Catholic Church, have ever manifested a most holy worship of the most blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, --for we believe, that the very same God is there present, whom the eternal Father sent into the world, and said, “Let all the Angels of God worship him.” And this holy Synod also declares, “ that the appointment of a peculiar feast, on which annually to commemorate this Sacrament, with peculiar veneration and solemnity, and reverently and honorably to carry it round in procession, through the streets and others public places, is a most pious and religious institution of the Church.” (Conc. Trid. Sess. XIII. c. 5. Decret. de Cul. Ven. Sanct. Sacr.)

“If any one shall say that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored, in the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, with the highest visible worship; and that he is not to be worshipped with a holy and peculiar Service, and to be carried about in holy processions, according to the laudable and universal custom of the Holy Church ; or, that he is not to be publicly exhibited for the purpose of being adored : or,

if any one should say, that those who do so adore Christ, are idolaters; let them be accursed.” (Conc. Trid. Sess. XIII. Can. 6.)

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The priest, after consecration, adores the Host on his knees, and then holds it up to the people, who worship it with the greatest veneration. The Priest, before he partakes, worships it again, and bowing towards it, he says, “Lamb of God, who takest away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, and give us peace." (Miss. Rom. in Can. Missæ.) And before he gives the Sacrament to the people, he turns towards them, and elevates the Host, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (Rit. Rom. de Sac. Euch.)

OBSERVATION. Durandus Mimatensis, who lived in the thirteenth century, is the first who mentions the elevation of the Host, with a view to its adoration. A train of Ceremonies and Institutions were devised in honor of that deified bread, as it was blasphemously called ; which are still in use in the Church of Rome. Rich and splendid receptacles were contrived for its residence. Lamps and costly ornaments were provided to beautify its habitation. With solemn pomp, it was carried through the public streets, to be administered to dying persons. “After Easter,” says Townsend, (Trav. B. 1, p. 114,) “there is a procession upon a smaller scale, about seventy Priests, each with a lighted flambeau in his hand, preceded by a Herald with his banner, carrying the Host, under a canopy of crimson velvet, to those, who had not been well enough to receive it in the Churches.”—“One evening,” he elsewhere says, (pp. 335, 336.) “when the public walk at Aranjuez, was thronged with ladies, many of whom were richly dressed, on the tinkling of a little bell at a distance, scarcely to be heard, in one moment, all were upon their knees. Upon asking a lady, what was the matter, she told me, that his Majesty' was passing. Had I inquired of a Frenchman, he would have said, “C'est le bon Dieu qui passe.' Her look pointed me to the spot, where two ladies of fashion had quitted their carriage to adore the Host, which the Priests were carrying to some dying Christians. Had it been the rainy season they must have done the same; and had the public walk been even wet and dirty, none would have been excused from kneeling."


PENANCE consists of two parts: First, The Matter of the Sacrament, which are the acts of the penitent himself, namely, Contrition, Confession, and Satisfaction ; Secondly, The Form, in which the efficacy of the Sacrament principally consists, the words of the Priest, “I absolve you, &c. &c.” (Con. Trid. Decret. Sess. XIV. c. 3.)

I. Of the Matter of this Sacrament.

1. Contrition is “the inward grief and detestation on account of sin committed, with a determination of not sinning in future,” (Id. c. 4,) accompanied by “a full and free remission and forgiveness of all injuries received ;” (Cat. Trident. Pars. II. c. 41 ;) and this disposition “made perfect with love, sometimes reconciles the sinner to God, before recourse be actually had to the sacrament of Penance; but then this reconciliation cannot be ascribed to that contrition, which wants the wish and purpose of the Sacrament, which wish and purpose are always included in perfect contrition." (Con. Trid. Sess. XIV. c. 4.) Destitute of the wish and the purpose of the Sacrament, Contrition is imperfect, and is called, by way of distinction, attrition; “and though by itself, without the sacrament of Penance, it cannot lead to justification,” yet it is beneficial, as “ disposing him to obtain the grace of God in the sacrament of Penance.” (Id.)

2. Of Confession. (1.) Sins are either mortal, or venial.

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The mortal sins are seven in number; pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, sloth; and these are the absolutely necessary matter of confession; “however secret, and though committed only against the two last precepts of the decalogue.” -- Venial sins, which do not deprive us of the grace of God, and into which we frequently fall, are expiable by other means, and are not, therefore, of necessity, matter of confession."* (Id.) This confession must be full and complete ; for if any sin be wilfully, or “intentionally concealed,” the omission cuts off the penitent “from all hope of mercy from the divine goodness." (Id.)

“ From the institution of the sacrament of Penance, the whole church has always understood, that the entire confession of sins was also instituted by our Lord; and that this confession, by divine right, is necessary for all who fall after baptism; because our Lord Jesus Christ, about to ascend into heaven, left the Priests, his Vicars, with the authority of Judges, to whom all grievous crimes, into which men may fall, must be referred, in order that they pronounce sentence on them, by the of the keys, that is, the power of binding and loosing. For it is plain, that if the cause be unknown, such sentence cannot be pronounced; nor equity in the enjoining of punishment, be preserved, if sins generally, and not each one particularly, be declared.” (Conc. Trid. XIV. c. 5.) “If any one shall deny, that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary, by divine right, to salvation; or shall say, that the practice of private confession to a Priest is foreign from the institution and command of Christ, and is only a human invention ; let him be anathema.” (Ibid. Can. VI.)



* By the 8th Canon, Sess. XIV., of the Council of Trent, it would appear as if venial sins were better to be confessed.

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3. “Satisfaction generally, is the full discharge of a debt, so complete, that nothing remains due to the creditor.” (Cat. Trid. Pars. II. c. 85.) “But here it is used to express the compensation made, when a man pays to God something in full, on account of sins committed.” (Id.) “Sacramental or Canonical satisfaction, is the performing of such Penances as shall be enjoined by the Priest at the time of absolution.” (Id. c. 87, 88.) These Penances, which they declare to be divine worship, are extraordinary fasting, frequent repetitions of prayers, making suffering pilgrimages, unusual severities, (2.) contributions for pious and charitable uses, all of which may be commuted for a pecuniary payment.

The fourth Council of Lateran, Can. 21, ordains “that every one of the faithful of both sexes, after they come to the years of discretion, shall, in private, faithfully confess all their sins, at least once a year, to their own pastor; and take care to fulfil, to the best of their power, the Penance enjoined them.” 66 Penance being at all times necessary for all men, who had defiled themselves with any grievous sin, in order to their obtaining grace and justification.” (Conc. Trid. Sess. XIV. c.1.) “For they who by sin have fallen from the grace of justification, are enabled again to be justified, when, God exciting them through the sacrament of Penance, they recover that lost grace by the merit of Christ.” (Id.)

In regard to Satisfaction, the holy Synod declares, that it is false and wholly foreign from the word of God, that when the guilt of sin is remitted by God, the whole punishment due to it is also remitted. It is an error manifestly refuted (to say nothing of tradition) by sundry illustrious examples in the Holy Scriptures; and, truly, the nature of the divine justice seems to demand, that they who through ignorance have sinned before baptism, should be taken into favour in a man

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