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The Tenth Commandment.
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods."
Have you desired your neighbour's goods, not caring whether you had them right or wrong? Or been in a disposition of stealing, or otherwise wronging him, if it lay in your power? How often?
Have you desired your neighbour's loss or misfortune, or any public calamity, that you might be the gainer by it? How often?
The Commandments of the Church.
I. Have you neglected to keep holy the days of obligation? Have you worked on those days without necessity, and without leave from your pastor?
II. Have you neglected to hear mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation? or have you heard it with wilful distractions? or not taken care that your children and servants should hear it? How often?
III. Have you broken the days of abstinence commanded by the Church? or eaten more than one meal on fasting-days? or been accessary to others so doing? How often?
IV., V. Have you neglected to confess your sins once a year? or to receive the blessed sacrament at Easter? VI. Have you solemnised marriage at the forbidden times? Have you married within the forbidden degrees of kindred? or with any other known impediment?
The Capital or Deadly Sins.
Pride. Have you been guilty of pride, or complacency in yourself, or contempt of others? How often?
Have you been guilty of vainglory, by doing your actions to procure esteem? How often?
Have you taken delight in the esteem and applause of others? or have you been uneasy and discontented when you did not receive such esteem or applause? How often?
Covetousness.-Have you been guilty of covetousness,
in desiring or loving too much the things of this world? Have you sought after them too eagerly? or been too much distressed at the loss of them? How often? For the sins of Lust, see the Sixth Commandment. For the sins of Anger, see the Fifth Commandment. Gluttony. Have you been guilty of gluttony, by eating or drinking to excess, so as to endanger or injure your health or reason? How often? and with what scandal? Have you indulged an inordinate gratification of your appetite? How often?
Have you made others drunk? or sought to make them so? or boasted of having made them so? How often? Envy. Have you envied or repined at your neighbour's good, either spiritual or temporal? or rejoiced at his harm? How often?
Have you been guilty of jealousy, in consequence of any attention or preference shewn to others? Have you rejoiced to see them disappointed or mortified?
Sloth. Have you been guilty of sloth, or laziness of mind or body, which has prevented you from discharging your duty? How often?
Have you neglected your spiritual duties? or discharged them with tepidity or indolence? Have you studied too much your own ease, leading an unmortified and unchristian life?
Have you squandered away much of your time in idleness or useless occupation?
Have you entertained with pleasure the thoughts of saying or doing any thing which it would be a sin to say or do? How often?
Have you had the desire or design of committing any What sin? How often?
Have you gloried in any sin whatsoever? How often? and before what company? and what sin?
N.B. Here, also, masters and servants, husbands and wives, lawyers and physicians, ecclesiastics and magistrates, &c. ought to examine into the sins which are peculiar to their states, and how far they may have neglected the duties of their respective allings.
A Prayer for obtaining Contrition.
I have now here before me, O Lord, a sad prospect of the manifold offences, by which I have displeased thy divine Majesty, and which I am assured will appear in judgment against me, if I repent not, and my soul be not disposed, by a hearty sorrow, to receive thy pardon. But this sorrow, O Lord, this repentance must be thy free gift, and if it comes not from the hand of thy mercy, all my endeavours will be in vain, and I shall be for ever miserable. Have mercy, therefore, on me, O Father of mercies, and pour forth into my heart thy grace, whereby I may sincerely repent of all my sins; give me a true contrition, that I may bewail my past misery and ingratitude, and grieve from my heart for having offended thee, so good a God. Permit me not to be deluded with a false sorrow, as, I fear, I have been too often, through my own weakness and neglect; but let it be now thy gift, descending from thee, the Father of lights, that so my repentance may be accompanied with amendment and change of life, and I may be fully acquitted from the guilt of all my sins, and once more received into the number of thy servants. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMMUNION.
THE holy Eucharist is the true Body and Blood o Jesus Christ, true God and true man, under the appear. ances of bread and wine. "The bread," says Jesus Christ, "that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world" (St. John vi. 52). And at his last supper, "he took bread, and blessed, and broke, and gave to his disciples, and said, Take ye, and eat, this is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many unto the remission of sins. (St. Matt. xxvi. 26, &c.)
Our blessed Redeemer, having thus instituted this adorable sacrament, ordained his apostles priests of the new law, and gave to them and their lawful successors power and authority to do what he had done, that is, to change bread and wine into his sacred Body and Blood. This change, which is called Transubstantiation, is ef fected by these divine words of our Redeemer, "This is my Body, this is my Blood," which the priest in the Mass, at the consecration, pronounces in the name and person of Jesus Christ. It is God himself who works this wonderful change by the ministry of his priest. When, therefore, the words of consecration are pronounced, we believe that the whole substance of the bread is changed into the Body, and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, of Jesus Christ. And as Jesus Christ is now immortal, and cannot be divided, he is truly present, whole and entire, both God and man, under the appearance of bread, or under the appearance of wine.
"Let a man prove (or try) himself," says St. Paul (1 Cor. xi. 28), " and so eat of that bread, and drink of that chalice." This proving or trying one's self is the
first and most necessary preparation for the holy Communion; and consists in looking diligently into the state of one's soul, in order to discover what indispositions or sins may lie there concealed, and to apply a proper remedy to them, by sincere repentance and confession; lest otherwise, approaching the Holy of Holies with a soul defiled with the guilt of mortal sin, we become 'guilty of the body and blood of Christ, and receive judgment to ourselves, not discerning the Lord's body" (1 Cor. xi.). For this reason we go to confession before Communion, in order to clear our souls from the filth of sin.
The person that is to receive the blessed sacrament must be also fasting, at least from midnight, by the command of the Church, and by a most ancient and apostolical tradition, ordaining, that in reference to so great a sacrament, nothing should enter into the body of a Christian before the body of Christ. The case of danger of approaching death is excepted, when the blessed sacrament is received by way of viaticum.
Besides this preparation of confession and fasting, the person that proposes to go to Communion must endeavour to attain the best devotion he is able, in order to dispose his soul for worthily receiving so great a guest. To this end he is recommended:
1. To think well on the great work he has in hand; to consider attentively who it is he is going to receive, and how far he is from deserving such a favour; and to implore, with fervour and humility, God's grace and mercy. And this should be the subject of his meditations and prayers for some days beforehand, and more particularly the night before his Communion, and the morning he receives.
2. To propose to himself a pure intention, viz. the honour of God, and the health of his own soul; and in particular, that by worthily receiving Christ in this heavenly sacrament he may come to a happy union with