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evil at all. To lose your hearing, your sight, your life even, is nothing beside the loss of God; and mortal sin loses the friendship of Gov, shuts the gate of Heaven, and opens hell to you.

If you have never committed a mortal sin, happy are you. Go on from good to better. Keep your first innocence. Once lost, neither gold, nor tears, nor your blood can buy it back again. By God's grace you have kept it, and through His grace alone can you keep it for the time to come. Do not think it will ever be safe for one moment without the grace of God, nor without great care on your own part.

If at any time you should have the unhappiness to fall into grievous sin, do not delay; go the very

first chance you

have to Confession. Make a good Act of Contrition, and the Blood of Jesus will cleanse you from your sin, and give you fresh strength and courage.

are very

VENIAL SIN. It often happens that children who would be deeply grieved and much horrified at great sins, and try to keep themselves from the occasions of mortal sin,

heedless about venial sins, and are blind to ordinary failings, which they fancy are of small account.

Venial sins are on the way to mortal sins, and if deliberately indulged in and not repented of, quickly prepare the soul for mortal sins, and make it apt to commit them.


Little acts of disobedience, unreadiness to obey, stopping to reason or argue or to propose something else, are all against the spirit of the fourth commandment; and although you may not think much of these things at first, they all go to form a habit of disobedience--and what habit can be worse?

The duty of honouring parents Almighty God has put before all other duties, next to those which refer directly to Himself. Even before the commandment not to kill comes that to honour father and mother.

And it is accompanied by a promise of good; whereas disobedience to parents is so hateful to God, that under the Old Law, which was the shadow of the Catholic Faith, disobedient children were put to death. So also was he that cursed or struck father or mother; and the wise King Solomon, inspired by the Holy Ghost, has said : “The eye that mocketh at his father and that despiseth the labour of his mother in bearing him, let the ravens of the brook peck it out and the young eagles devour it' (Prov. xxx. 17).

Be obedient also to your other lawful superiors. Obey them in all that is not sin.

Be respectful to them at all times; be respectful also to the aged ; do your best to aid and comfort the infirm and helpless. It is a hateful thing to be disrespectful to the old and gray-headed. "Rise up,' it is written in the Law, before the hoary head, and honour the person of the aged man, and fear the Lord thy God.'


Beware of idleness in school. I cannot say how much idleness it would take to render you guilty of the deadly sin of sloth, but you may be sure that all wilful waste of time is on the way to it.

It is but little thought of by most children, but when it is given way to and made a habit of

is a manifold wrong. It is a wrong to those who teach you, for you sorely try their patience ; you remain a dunce and fail to do them justice. It is a wrong to your parents, who when they send you to school can but expect a due return. It is a still greater wrong to yourself. You neglect the improvement of your mind, which is a garden given you to cultivate, and which is capable of bringing forth beautiful flowers and fruits, virtues and accomplishments, for the glory of God and the benefit of your neighbour.

The more knowledge you acquire, if it is for those ends, the more good you can do and the more good you can gain. It is true that the ignorant and unlettered have often pleased God and become great Saints, but then it was not through their own act that they were ignorant of such knowledge as you have the chance of gaining.

Listless idleness becomes a wretched habit in those who give way to it. It grows upon them, makes them a burden to others and a burden to themselves, and takes away that noble spirit of independence which in its proper bounds is one of the greatest charms of character. It hardens the heart or fills it with too-late regrets for opportunities wasted and for ever lost.

Whatever you do, put your heart into it.

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