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passed into a law by the civil power. We are therefore never called upon, by oath, to do more than unite with the church in condemning, rejecting, and anathematizing what is contrary to the FAITH and Morals which she teaches.
XLIII. Of Heresy and Schism.
Heresy, denounced by St. Paul, a crime which excludes from the kingdom of God (Tit. iii. 10.) is any obstinate resistance to the solemn decrees of the church, on matters of faith, or revealed doctrine.
Schism equally condemned by the Apostle, (Gal. 5. 20.) is a separation from the Catholic church.
THE CHRISTIAN'S RULE OF LIFE.
IT Of tine Necessity of a Rule of Life.
It is not sufficient to'do good, but you should do it in a proper manner—that is, aceording to rnle; since thereby you will be enabled to acquit yourself of your several obligations with greater facility, greater perfection, merit, and constancy. You should, therefore, pray to the Almighty, and consult an enlightened director, in regulaN ing your actions, as to the hour of performing them, the time you should devote to them, the method to be observed, and the interior spirit which should direct you.
Of Rising, and Morning Prayer.
Have your time for rising so fixed, that, as far as it may depend upon yourself, nothing shall interfere with it. In the first place, turn your thoughts to God, and pray to him whilst you are
employed in dressing. Then say your ordinary morning prayers, and never omit them; consider the occasions of sinning to which you may be. exposed during the day, and resolve to adopt the. proper precautions.
51 Of Hearing Mass.
Be present every day at the holy sacrifice of the mass, if you hare the opportunity, and assist at it in that manner, which is most suited to your own circumstances, and the sanctity of the action—that is, bring with you those dispositions of the soul, which are best calculated to honour these mysteries, and derive from them the graces they offer. You may chuse your own prayers; the best are those which unite you in intention with the clergyman, or rather with Jesus Christ, our invisible Priest.
% Of Meditation.
'Set apart, if you can, a half or a quarter of an hour for meditation, or reflection on some christian truth; and learn the method of performing this duty. Were you acquainted with its advantages, you would never fail to find time for, this exercise; a very little practice will render it easy to you.
5f Of Employment.
Whatever be your rank and condition, be fond of employment; give yourself to it in the spirit of mortification, and in submission to that sentence of the divine justice, which condemned man to labour, as soon as he fell into sin. Unite yourself by intention to Jesus Christ, by employing yourself in working for the poor, or in the service of religion. You may thus redeem those years which you may have uuhappily spent in luxurious vanity. . .' IT Of Eating and Drinking.
Sanctify this action, by referring it to God, according to the direction of St. Paul. Eat and' drink, that you may recruit your strength, and more ably discharge your duties. Say the usual grace before and after your principal meal: avoid intemperance and every excess, both in quantity and quality: abstain, in the spirit of mortification, from what is merely calculated to gratify the taste: think often of the rigorous fasts of the saints, and of the gall and vinegar which was presented to Jesus Christ upon the cross.
Of Spiritual Reading.
Eveby day employ some time in reading a religious book. Place yourself in the presence of God, and think that be is speaking to youu Let the instruction sink deep into your mind; meditate upon it, and apply it to yourself; ask of God grace to act up to the good thoughts he may inspire you with. A lecture performed in this manner, is a species of easy meditation, and will supply for a sermon when you cannot hear one.
Of Praying before the blessed Sacrament of the
Un Less you are prevented by occupations and the orders of superiors, you should not fail in the course of the day to render this homage to our Saviour; and that you may do it with more benefit to yourself, you should employ such considerations as are most likely to inspire you with an increase of devotion,
I[ Of interior Recollection in the presence of God.
Often direct your attention to God during your occupations, that you may refer them entirely to him j address him in a short prayer; act only according to his lights, and rely upon the assistance of his grace. Keep a continual watch upon self-love, which imperceptibly steals into our best actions. Raise your mind to God at the beginning of every work; offer him your heart, and renew your intention every hour in the day. Accustom yourself to a familiar use of those prayers styled ejaculations—such as, Lord, my trust is in thee—Lord, take pity on me thy creature —My God, I love thee with my whole heurt —Pardon me, my God, the fault I have committed.
^ Of a Spirit of Mortification.
The life of a christian should be a continual exercise of penance. Practice mortification, then, in your common and ordinary actions; for nothing is more likely to establish the empire of grace in your soul, and destroy that of sin. For example, resist your inclinations to do a useless work: keep a watch upon, and restrain your rambling senses: repress curiosity, in inquiring after news; suffer not yourself to indulge in raillery, and wit that is contrary to charity, or pleasing to self-love: be fond of nothing that flatters sensuality: regulate your amusements, and frequently abstain in the spirit of penance from innocent pleasures; moderate that excessive tenderness which human nature has for itself: ' call your thoughts off from pleasure; mortify your love of speaking, and always converse with mildness; behave kindly towards those who have offended you: be silent in disappointments, and bear them with resignation.
5f Of Evening Prayers.
Say them with the rest of the family; they .will be more acceptable to God, and performed with more devotion; you will also have an opportunity of seeing that your servants and children discharge this religious duty. If it js yojir real wish to root out bad habits, and secure your salvation, never oinit the general and the particular examination of conscience—make yourself acquainted with the nature of both. Lay yourself down to rest with some pious reflection on your mind, and offer yourself to God.
IT Of sacramental Confession.
Those whowish to attain to perfection in thislife, should confess their sins at least every week; those who seriously desire to work out their salvation, should do it every month; and if they do . not mean to expose themselves to the danger of dyin» in sin, they ought to do it as soon as ihey perceive their consciences charged with any mortal offence. Instruct yourself in the manner of worthily approaching to this holy sacrament; and over and above the penance which the priest enjoins, accustom yourself to practice some of the following good works.
Seek retirement from the world: visit the poor, the imprisoned, and the sick—and pay yOur devotion to the holy sacrament of the altar. Spend a certain time in private prayer :—oblige yourself to conform to a regulated plan of life: —occupy yourself in works of charity:—distribute some alms :—abstain from the theatres :— deny yourself such amusements, as even are innocent :—fast, or rather mortify your appetite in quality or quantity :—retrench in your comforts and dress, whatever -flatters luxury, vanity, or effeminacy :—cheerfully embrace every painful and disagreeable duty :—employ yourself in labour, through a spirit of penance :—bear your own crosses with patience, and support with' humility and resignation the troubles and afflictions which happen. . t