I cannot sufficiently be astonished that such is the insanity of some men, such the impiety of their blinded understanding, such, finally, their lust after error, that they will not be content with the rule of faith delivered once and for all from antiquity, but must daily seek after something new, and even newer still, and are always longing to add something to religion, or to change it, or to subtract from it!
St. Vincent of Lerins
The nature of the Catholic faith is such that nothing can be added to it, nothing taken away. Either it is held in its entirety or it is rejected totally. This is the Catholic faith which, unless a man believes faithfully ann firmly, he cannot be saved.
Let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further!
St. John Chrysostom
Change nothing; be content with tradition.
Therefore, no one is allowed to profess or to write up or compose or devise or teach a different faith.
Council of Chalcedon
Nothing new is to be accepted except what has been handed down by tradition.
Vincent of Lerins
I accept with sincere belief the doctrine of faith as handed down to us from the Apostles by the orthodox Fathers, always in the same sense and with the same interpretation.
St. Pius X
Let nothing of the truths that have been defined be lessened, nothing altered, nothing added, but let them be preserved intact in word and in meaning.
It is an error to believe that Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and to all men, but rather that He inaugurated a religious movement adapted, or to be adapted, to different times and different places.
St. Pius X
grace granted to man in this life has three successive
steps: from God it comes to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin,
and from the Virgin it descends to us.
St. Bernardine of Siena
All graces that have ever been bestowed on men, all of them came through Mary.
those who, to the end of time, shall receive the
our heavenly Father . . . shall receive their graces only as a
result of their perfect obedience to Mary.
who is faithful in the service of Mary will certainly be saved .
. .There is no one, however wicked, whom
Mary does not save by her intercession when she wishes
. . . He who has recourse to Mary shall be saved.
St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori
No one, not even a sinner, who devoutly recommends himself to her shall ever become the prey of Hell.
St. Catherine of Siena
I. That you have relations with, and personal ways of approach to the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. You have been brought into this world to praise, reverence and serve God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, and so to find happiness in Heaven forever.
II. That JESUS CHRIST---the second Person of the Trinity---is your Savior from sin and that His words can inspire your own life.
III. That He---in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit---works in you and throughout the Church through seven Sacraments---which veil but are the vehicle of His continual actions.
IV. That each of these Sacraments meets a need or a crisis in your life, in relation to God and in relation to the society of men.
V. That His Mother protects, guides and develops your spiritual life; she is willing to accept you as her special child.
VI. That Sunday Mass---and the whole meaning of Sunday---is of vital importance.
is possible to know Catholic doctrine well, but to practice it badly;
to have a theory of Catholicism, but fail to apply it. Faith without
"good works" does not avail to salvation.
must therefore apply your Catholic dogma and Catholic principles to
daily life. Here are a few "Tips and Tests": little duties, ways of
doing things, "sign-posts" ... big issues sometimes depend on small
fidelities; grace builds on, and in turn produces self-discipline. Make
sure of why you are doing this or that ... if you are able to answer,
"I am trying to please God," you cannot go far wrong.
if you desire to be a real Catholic, you:
[Web Master's note: Some of the list below will depend on your circumstance; for instance, you may be schooled at home and have no parish to join because of non-traditional practices there. The priest who wrote the book did so a long time ago when life for a traditional Catholic life possible in the parish setting because every Catholic upheld Tradition by definition.]
OFFER YOUR WORK, SUFFERINGS AND JOYS TO GOD EVERY MORNING.
2. EXAMINE YOUR CONSCIENCE EVERY NIGHT.
3. MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS WITH REVERENCE.
4. CARRY YOUR ROSARY.
5. ARE LOYAL TO YOUR COUNTRY, YOUR SCHOOL, YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR PARISH.
6. ARE USEFUL AND HELPFUL TO YOUR PARENTS.
7. ARE COURTEOUS TO OTHERS.
8. ARE HONEST AND THRIFTY IN MONEY MATTERS.
9. ARE CLEAN IN THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED.
I. This offering is the most important part of your morning prayers. You may have to go to school [AND LATER WORK] at a very early hour in the morning. MAKE CERTAIN that you offer Our Lord the coming day of labor and toil.
you offer all your actions, including those not directly religious
(like eating, playing, working), to God? And are they acceptable to
Him? Yes, you can offer them because they are yours by God's gift to
you of free-will, And if they are innocent actions, they are acceptable
to Him, The reason is this: They are offered in and with and through
Jesus Christ, with Whom you are united (if free from grievous sin).
"For all the Intentions of Thy Divine Heart" means "for the obtaining
of those things which Our Lord desires". Is it really possible that
your prayers, your actions and your sufferings can do anything to
obtain the fulfillment of the desires of Christ? So often you say, "Thy
Kingdom Come." Can what you offer to do in the Morning Offering hasten
the coming of that Kingdom, secure grace for the salvation of souls,
extend the knowledge and sway of Christ in the world, forward His
"Cause" and bring nearer the hour of final triumph? The answer to all
this is YES, and the one reason is that Christ wills it, and by joining
your actions to His Own, gives them an infallible power of
intercession. Jesus could, but will not, fight alone the good fight for
the glory of His Father. He wills to join you with Him in that
struggle, so that He may join you with Him in the victory.
Cultivate the habit of short prayers to Him during the day; for instance, "Jesus, my day is for You."
II. Just as the principal part of morning prayers is the "offering" of
the day, so the principal part of night prayers is the looking back
upon the day and passing judgment upon it. Obedience to conscience
is not merely obedience to a "boss", to a political party or to the
police. It is obedience to some law-giver, whose watchful presence is
felt almost as you would feel the presence of a friend in a dark room.
Conscience does not merely give advice, but declares a law, and a law
implies the existence of a law-giver. This law-giver can only be the
Creator and the Redeemer of the World---Your Leader in life, Jesus
As you grow older, the "examination of conscience" which you used as
a child may grow unreal. Riper years bring with them new moral
problems. When you are in doubt or perplexity about this or that
consult an older friend or a priest.
TRAIN your conscience to reflect His Laws accurately, and never fear
that He will ask you to do the impossible.
III. All the Saints tell us that if we try to do small duties as well
as we can, we prepare ourselves for greater tasks and
responsibilities. The making the Sign of the Cross is in itself a
simple and a short action. But it contains many truths. The words are a
prayer to the Blessed Trinity. You say "In the Name", not names, to
show that there is but one God, and the mention of the three names in
particular reminds us of the three Persons. The sign is a reminder of
the Death of Our Lord. It is made with the right hand, the sign of
friendship and loyalty. We give each other the right hand when we
pledge our love. Indirectly it is an act of Faith in the meaning of the
Cross, an act of Hope in the power of the Cross, and an act of Love of
Our Lord Who died upon the Cross. It is the Christian's salute to his
So make it with reverence and mean it. Martyrs, in all ages, have made
the Sign of the Cross before meeting a terrible death. Our Lady taught
Bernadette at Lourdes how to make it. Our sign can defeat the
tyrannical and crooked "crosses" of the modern era!
IV. "After the Mass the most Catholic devotion is the Rosary,"
someone remarked. The reason is this: The Rosary
links the life of Our
Lady to the life of Our Lord. "To Jesus through Mary" was the way of
the Saints. It must also be your way. How can you follow Jesus if
you never think about His life?
i) If you love Our Lady you will often think of her.
(ii) You will want to know more about her Feasts and pictures and shrines.
(iii) You will strive to say a part of the Rosary every day.
(iv) You will carry your Rosary in your pocket.
(v) And buy another when you lose it!
V. LOYALTY is a fine word! The traitor has always been an object of
scorn throughout the history of the world.
To your Country. Suspect the men or the parties who pour scorn on the virtue of patriotism. Perhaps you belong to a Youth Movement in which you mix with others who are indifferent or hostile to the Church. Prove to them that a Catholic is a true patriot.
To your School. Do not blame your school for your own failures; do not run it down to those who went to other schools.
To your Friends. "Have a few good friends and stick to them" is the advice of wise schoolmasters. Keep company with those of your own Faith, sex and age---as far as you can.
To your Parish. If you join a parochial organization, be an active member. You join to give your service, not merely to get your pleasure.
Or you may belong to a Club or " Youth Group".
1. Remember that the Chaplain is your friend.
2. Obey the "officers" cheerfully and promptly.
3. Be a good comrade to all.
4. Honour the uniform.
(This applies to the A. T .C., the Army and Sea Cadets.)
5. Keep the required silence on drills, etc.
1. Can you accept just punishment cheerfully?
2. Do you pay your subscriptions?
3. Do you turn up in time?
4. Can you control your tongue?
5. Are you training your body for hardships and endurance?
VI. Soon after leaving school you may be earning good wages, you may be
serving as an apprentice to a trade, or you may lose job after job!!
But whatever money you bring into the home, you can always make
yourself useful and helpful to your parents in many ways.
1. By running errands.
2. By helping in the housework.
3. By coming home at a reasonable hour in the evenings.
4. By prompt obedience.
5. By being cheerful.
Remember the motive; obedience to Authority is obedience to Christ your
VII. "Courteous" is a word derived from the practices of a Royal Court.
There is dignity and decency in all "courtly" manners. Think of Our
Lady, and you will quickly learn what to do and what not to do in all
that concerns your relations with the other sex.
VIII. "Tiny dishonesties are the seeds of a mighty tree of crime"
someone once said. It is very true. Little thefts---if anything is
"little" which is also sinful---lead to big robberies. Watch small
beginnings. Apart from the moral guilt, a boy who is suspected of being
dishonest will never be trusted by his employer or firm with an
important job. People who work with you may be stealing property in
more ways than one. Stick to your own principles.
"Thriftiness" is nothing else than good management of your own affairs.
Manage your money well when you are young: the shillings will mount up
IX. Do you want to become "Captain" and "Master" over all wrong,
weakening and degrading inclinations? To overcome temptations?
Say to yourself:
(i) "I TRUST OUR LORD because He is my brother, my Leader in life, sharing every minute of it with me, loving me as though He had no one else to love and in spite of the number of times I have let Him down.
(ii) "I NEVER GIVE UP, even though I don't win right away. If I have often given in I can't expect to suddenly become marvelously victorious. I have formed a habit of sin, I have to break it. This may take longer than I think, but no matter how long it takes I keep up the fight. So long as I try, He helps.
(iii) "I DON'T PLAY WITH FIRE because I know my own weakness. I can't afford to run risks, and so I don't dally with temptation. At the first sign of danger I get out of it.
(iv) "I PRAY daily for help for the moment of temptation. When I do this I am not taken off my guard, because I have called up the reserves in advance.
(v) "I USE THE SACRAMENTS because they are the most valuable means of making my partnership with Christ Our Lord real."
But to repeat. You must be a trier! You must exercise your mind; put
virtues into action. Do things, not dream about them. To try, to fail,
try, try once more---that is the fight. In boxing, you are not beaten
when you get knocked down, but when you stop down! When you fall---get
promptly and KEEP ON KEEPING ON to the end. You will die---still
Trying---to do what?
TO FOLLOW THE LEADER, JESUS CHRIST!
NOTE: I have met many men who have said: "It's those tiny bits of prayers taught me by my Mother, when I was a kid, that have helped me most ... and the hymns ... and what the nuns taught us." Hence this section.