Listers, the following lesson is taken from the Baltimore Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism was the standard catechism for teaching the faith and catechizing children from 1885 to Vatican II. Its basic question-and-answer approach is the most natural learning style for the human mind and it simplifies even the most complex theological questions. All the lists taken from the Baltimore Catechism may be found here.
The Passion of Our Lord
- The Agony of the Cross: 2 Thoughts on How Christ Can Suffer Grief and Have Beatific Knowledge
- Blood of Christ, Inebriate Me: 4 Prayers in Honor of Our Crucified Lord
BALTIMORE CATECHISM #3
ON OUR LORD’S PASSION, DEATH, RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION Part A: 369-404
Q. 369. What do we mean by Our Lord’s Passion?
A. By Our Lord’s Passion we mean His dreadful sufferings from His agony in the garden till the moment of His death.
Q. 370. What did Jesus Christ suffer?
A. Jesus Christ suffered a bloody sweat, a cruel scourging, was crowned with thorns, and was crucified.
Q. 371. When did Our Lord suffer the “bloody sweat”?
A. Our Lord suffered the “bloody sweat” while drops of blood came forth from every pore of His body, during His agony in the Garden of Olives, near Jerusalem, where He went to pray on the night His Passion began.
Q. 372. Who accompanied Our Lord to the Garden of Olives on the night of His Agony?
A. The Apostles Peter, James and John, the same who had witnessed His transfiguration on the mount, accompanied Our Lord to the Garden of Olives, to watch and pray with Him on the night of His agony.
Q. 373. What do we mean by the transfiguration of Our Lord?
A. By the transfiguration of Our Lord we mean the supernatural change in His appearance when He showed Himself to His Apostles in great glory and brilliancy in which “His face did shine as the sun and His garments became white as snow.”
Q. 374. Who were present at the transfiguration?
A. There were present at the transfiguration — besides the Apostles Peter, James and John, who witnessed it — the two great and holy men of the Old Law, Moses and Elias, talking with Our Lord.
Q. 375. What caused Our Lord’s agony in the garden?
A. It is believed Our Lord’s agony in the garden was caused: By his clear knowledge of all He was soon to endure; By the sight of the many offenses committed against His Father by the sins of the whole world; By His knowledge of men’s ingratitude for the blessings of redemption.
Q. 376. Why was Christ cruelly scourged?
A. Christ was cruelly scourged by Pilate’s orders, that the sight of His bleeding body might move His enemies to spare His life.
Q. 377. Why was Christ crowned with thorns?
A. Christ was crowned with thorns in mockery because He had said He was a King.
Q. 378. Could Christ, if He pleased, have escaped the tortures of His Passion?
A. Christ could, if He pleased, have escaped the tortures of His Passion, because He foresaw them and had it in His power to overcome His enemies.
Q. 379. Was it necessary for Christ to suffer so much in order to redeem us?
A. It was not necessary for Christ to suffer so much in order to redeem us, for the least of His sufferings was more than sufficient to atone for all the sins of mankind. By suffering so much He showed His great love for us.
Q. 380. Who betrayed Our Lord?
A. Judas, one of His Apostles, betrayed Our Lord, and from His sin we may learn that even the good may become very wicked by the abuse of their free will.
Q. 381. How was Christ condemned to death?
A. Through the influence of those who hated Him, Christ was condemned to death, after an unjust trial, at which false witnesses were induced to testify against Him.
Q. 382. On what day did Christ die?
A. Christ died on Good Friday.
Q. 383. Why do you call that day “good” on which Christ died so sorrowful a death?
A. We call that day good on which Christ died because by His death He showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing.
Q. 384. How long was Our Lord hanging on the cross before He died?
A. Our Lord was hanging on the Cross about three hours before He died. While thus suffering, His enemies stood around blaspheming and mocking Him. By His death He proved Himself a real mortal man, for He could not die in His divine nature.
Q. 385. What do we call the words Christ spoke while hanging on the Cross?
A. We call the words Christ spoke while hanging on the Cross “the seven last words of Jesus on the Cross.” They teach us the dispositions we should have at the hour of death.
Q. 386. Repeat the seven last words or sayings of Jesus on the Cross.
A. The seven last words or sayings of Jesus on the Cross are:
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” in which He forgives and prays for His enemies. 2. “Amen, I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise,” in which He pardons the penitent sinner. 3. “Woman, behold thy Son” — “Behold thy Mother,” in which He gave up what was dearest to Him on earth, and gave us Mary for our Mother. 4. “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” from which we learn the suffering of His mind. 5. “I thirst,” from which we learn the suffering of His body. 6. “All is consummated,” by which He showed the fulfillment of all the prophecies concerning Him and the completion of the work of our redemption. 7. “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” by which He showed His perfect resignation to the Will of His Eternal Father.
Q. 387. What happened at the death of Our Lord?
A. At the death of Our Lord there were darkness and earthquake; many holy dead came forth from their graves, and the veil concealing the Holy of Holies, in the Temple of Jerusalem, was torn asunder.
Q. 388. What was the Holy of Holies in the temple?
A. The Holy of Holies was the sacred part of the Temple, in which the Ark of the Covenant was kept, and where the high priest consulted the Will of God.
Q. 389. What was the “Ark of the Covenant”?
A. The Ark of the Covenant was a precious box in which were kept the tablets of stone bearing the written Commandments of God, the rod which Aaron changed into a serpent before King Pharaoh, and a portion of the manna with which the Israelites were miraculously fed in the desert. The Ark of the Covenant was a figure of the Tabernacle in which we keep the Holy Eucharist.
Q. 390. Why was the veil of the Temple torn asunder at the death of Christ?
A. The veil of the Temple was torn asunder at the death of Christ because at His death the Jewish religion ceased to be the true religion, and God no longer manifested His presence in the Temple.
Q. 391. Why did the Jewish religion, which up to the death of Christ had been the true religion, cease at that time to be the true religion?
A. The Jewish religion, which, up to the death of Christ, had been the true religion, ceased at that time to be the true religion, because it was only a promise of the redemption and figure of the Christian religion, and when the redemption was accomplished and the Christian religion established by the death of Christ, the promise and the figure were no longer necessary.
Q. 392. Were all the laws of the Jewish religion abolished by the establishment of Christianity?
A. The moral laws of the Jewish religion were not abolished by the establishment of Christianity, for Christ came not to destroy these laws, but to make them more perfect. Its ceremonial laws were abolished when the Temple of Jerusalem ceased to be the House of God.
Q. 393. What do we mean by moral and ceremonial laws?
A. By “moral” laws we mean laws regarding good and evil. By “ceremonial” laws we mean laws regulating the manner of worshipping God in Temple or Church.
Q. 394. Where did Christ die?
A. Christ died on Mount Calvary.
Q. 395. Where was Mount Calvary, and what does the name signify?
A. Mount Calvary was the place of execution, not far from Jerusalem; and the name signifies the “place of skulls.”
Q. 396. How did Christ die?
A. Christ was nailed to the Cross, and died on it between two thieves.
Q. 397. Why was Our Lord crucified between thieves?
A. Our Lord was crucified between thieves that His enemies might thus add to His disgrace by making Him equal to the worst criminals.
Q. 398. Why did Christ suffer and die?
A. Christ suffered and died for our sins.
Q. 399. How was Our Lord’s body buried?
A. Our Lord’s body was wrapped in a clean linen cloth and laid in a new sepulchre or tomb cut in a rock, by Joseph of Arimathea and other pious persons who believed in Our Divine Lord.
Q. 400. What lessons do we learn from the sufferings and death of Christ?
A. From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn the great evil of sin, the hatred God bears to it, and the necessity of satisfying for it.
Q. 401. Whither did Christ’s soul go after His death?
A. After Christ’s death His soul descended into hell.
Q. 402. Did Christ’s soul descend into the hell of the damned?
A. The hell into which Christ’s soul descended was not the hell of the dammed, but a place or state of rest called Limbo, where the souls of the just were waiting for Him.
Q. 403. Why did Christ descend into Limbo?
A. Christ descended into Limbo to preach to the souls who were in prison — that is, to announce to them the joyful tidings of their redemption.
Q. 404. Where was Christ’s body while His soul was in Limbo?
A. While Christ’s soul was in Limbo His body was in the holy sepulchre.