INSTRUCTION ON THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER,
DOMINICA IN ALBIS
Why is this
Sunday called Dominica in Albis or White Sunday?
Because on this day the
neophytes laid aside the white dress which, as emblem of their
innocence, they received on Holy Saturday, and put on their necks an
Agnus Dei, made of white wax, and blessed by the pope, to remind
them always of the innocence for which they were given, and of the
meekness of the Lamb Jesus. For which reason the Church sings at the
INTROIT As newborn babes, alleluia:
desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia,
alleluia. (I Pet II. 2.) Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to
the God of Jacob. (Ps. LXXX.) Glory, &c.
COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee,
Almighty God, that we, who have completed the paschal solemnities
may, through Thy merciful bounty, ever retain them in our life and
John V. 4-100.) Dearly Beloved, Whatsoever is born of God overcometh
the world; and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our
faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth
that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and
blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And
it is the spirit which testifieth that Christ is the truth. And
there are three who give testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word,
and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three
that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and
the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of
men, the testimony of God is greater: for this is the testimony of
God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that
believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in
As in his gospel, so in his epistles, and especially in this,
St. John proves the divinity of Christ which had been denied by some
heretics. He says that Christ had come to purify all men from sin by
water and blood, that is, by. His blood shed on the cross for our
reconciliation, and by the water of baptism to which He has
given the power, the divine effect of His blood, and has thus proved
Himself the divine Redeemer. This His divine dignity is attested by
the Holy Ghost who lived in Christ and worked through Him with His
fulness, and when sent by Him after our Lord's Ascension, produced
most wonderful effect in the apostles and the faithful. As now
on earth three, the Spirit, water, and blood, give testimony of
Christ's divinity and agree in it, so also in heaven three, the
Father, who calls Him His beloved Son, (Matt, III. 17.) the Word, or
the Son Himself, who wrought so many miracles, the Holy Ghost, when He descended upon
Him at the baptism in the Jordan, (Luke III. 22.) give testimony of
His divinity, and these also agree with one another in their
testimony. If Christ is truly God, then we must believe in Him, and
this faith must be a living one, that is, it must prove fertile in
good works, and this faith conquers the world by teaching us to love
God above all, to despise the world with its pleasures, and to
overcome it by indifference. Let us strive to have such faith,
and we shal overcome all temptations and gain the eternal
Lord Jesus! strengthen me by a lively faith in Thy divinity, so that
I may not succumb in the spiritual combat against the world,
the flesh, and the devil, and be eternally lost.
XX. 1931.) At that time, When it was late that same day, the first
of the week and the doors were shut,where the disciples were
gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in
the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said
this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore
were glad, when, they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again:
Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When
he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive
ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven
them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now
Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them
when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have
seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands
the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the
nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after
eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them.
Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and
said: Peace be to you. Then he said to Thomas: Put in thy finger
hither, and see my hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into
my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered and
said to him: My Lord and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou
hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have
not seen, and have believed.* Many other
signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not
written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, you
may have life in his name.
* What follows is omitted on the Feast
of St. Thomas, 21st of December.
Christ so often wish peace to the apostles?
To show that He only, by His
deaNHŁnd resurrection, has made peace between God and man, and that
His followers should be known by their harmony. (John XIII.
35.) There is a threefold peace: peace with God, by avoiding
sin; peace with ourselves, that is, a good conscience; peace with
our neighbor, by the exercise of charity. This threefold peace is
necessary for our salvation.
Jesus breathe upon the apostles when giving them the power to
To show that as bodily life
was once given to Adam by the breath of God, so should the spiritual
life be given henceforth by the apostles and their successors,
through the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Penance, to the children
of Adam who were spiritually dead.
Why did God
permit Thomas to doubt the Resurrection of Christ?
That Thomas, as well as we,
says St. Gregory, should be strengthened in humble belief in the
Resurrection of Christ, and that all doubts should be
true faith when with his own eyes he saw Christ?
Yes, for he saw Christ only
in His humanity, and yet testified to His divinity by exclaiming: My
Lord and my God!
Is it true,
meritorious faith not to be ready to believe before seeing that
which is to be believed?
By no means; for faith
consists precisely in firmly holding as true that which is not
seen. Therefore Christ calls him blessed who has not seen and yet
faith true and meritorious?
That is true faith which
firmly believD§=ll that God has revealed, whether written or
unwritten, and when one lives in accordance with that faith; for
faith in Jesus simply does not save us, when that which He has
commanded is not performed. (Matt VII, 21.; James II. 20.) That
faith is meritorious which without doubting and without hesitation
willingly submits the understanding to revealed truths which it
cannot comprehend, and this for the love of Gods who is eternal
truth and cannot deceive.
Whence do we
know for certain that God has revealed certain
From the Church of Christ
which alone preserves the revealed word of God faithfully and
uncorrupted, as it is contained in the Bible and in tradition; by
the Holy Ghost all truth is given to the Church, and Christ remains
with her until the end of the world. (Matt. XXVIII. 20.)
Church of Christ any marks by which it may be known?
Christ's Church has these
four marks: it is One, it is Holy, it is Catholic, and it is
How is the,
The Church is one, because
all its members agreein one faith, are all in one communion, and are
all under one head. (Matt. XVI, 18.; Eph. IV. 37.)
How is the
The Church is Holy, in her
Founder, Jesus Christ, and by teaching a holy doctrine, by inviting
all to a holy life, and by the eminent holiness of so many thousands
of her children.
How is the
The Church is Catholic or
Universal, because she subsists in all ages, teaches all nations,
(Matt. XXVII. 19, 20.) and maintains all truth.
How is the
The Church is Apostolic,
because she comes down by a perpetual succession from the apostles
of Christ, and has her doctrines her orders, and her mission from
this true Church?
The Roman Catholic Church,
for she alone has these marks. She is One in her head, the Pope of
Rome, in her doctrine, and in her Sacraments, which is evident since
she excludes all those who do not accept all her dogmas. She is.
Holy, for Christ her Founder is holy; and her doctrine and
Sacraments lead to holiness, as shown by the multitude of her saints
whose sanctity God arms by great miracles. No sect has saints. She
is Catholic or Universal, for she has been in existence always from
the times of the apostles, as is clearly shown by the fact that from
the times of the apostles there have always been some who separated
from her and founded sects. The Catholic Church has always existed,
and cannot perish or become corrupt, since Christ has promised
to remain with her to the end of the world; she is also spread over
the whole world, is always being announced to all nations, and is
fitted for all generations and for all people. She is Apostolic, for
she accepts no doctrine which does not come from the apostles, and
she can prove that the ministers of the Church, the bishops, have
come down in unbroken succession from the apostles.
who remain outside the Catholic Church be, saved?
The Council of Trent (Sess.
V. in the Introduction) assigns the Catholic faith as the one
without which it is impossible to please God, and the Roman
Catechism teaches: (I part. art. 9.) "The Church is also called
Catholic or Universal, because all who desire eternal salvation must
cling to, and embrace her, like those who entered the ark to escape
perishing in the flood." According to this doctrine of the Church,
which the holy Fathers affirm, only those idolaters and obstinate
heretics are excluded from salvation who knowingly deny the truth,
and will not enter the Church. The Catholic Church does not condemn
the unbelievers, she prays for them, leaves judgment to the Lord,
who alone knows the heart, and knows whether the error is culpable
or not, and she calls on all her, members to pray for their
Are we then
already saved, if we belong to the true Church?
No, we must also live up to
the faith which she teaches make good use of all means of salvation,
regard and honor all her regulations and commands, for otherwise the
words of Christ will be verified in us: And I say to you that many
shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the
children of the kingdom (the true Church) shall be cast out into
exterior darkness. (Matt. VIII.