In some of the ancient religions this enormous mass of sacred lore was transmitted orally from generation to generation till finally it was put in writing. Not even today is it a closed question. This element is common to all religions. Nowhere have the works of charity flourished in such variety and vigour as in Christian lands. There is every reason to think that this idea is prior to the soul concept. Laity - The members of the Catholic church who are not in the clergy. Christianity does not disdain the purely secular grounds of morality, such as the love of virtue and hatred of vice, self-respect, regard for public opinion, fear of legal sanctions; but it reinforces and completes these by the powerful motives that are the fruit of the teaching of Christ, the greatest ethical teacher the world has ever seen — love of God, personal devotion to Jesus, the sense of God's presence, and the thought of Divine retribution. Many elements, accumulated through a long series of generations, go to compose the sacred books of the great religions of antiquity — the traditional myths and legends; the stories of the providential dealing of the Deity with His people; the sacred chants, hymns and prayers; the great epic poems; the laws governing social and domestic activity; the texts of the sacred rites and the prescriptions regulating their exact performance; speculations on the nature of the Deity, the soul, retribution, and the future life. Hope is the expectation of securing and maintaining bliss-bringing communion with the Deity. The dogmatic teachings of Christianity, supplementing and perfecting the intellectual basis of natural religion, are not to be looked on as a mere series of intellectual puzzles. Exhorting Christians to remain closely united with their bishop, he wrote: "Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."[15][16]. It was recognized by these and other profound thinkers that the deeply seated craving in the human heart for bliss-giving communion with God can never be stilled by science or by any other proposed substitute for religion. Yet cures like these and others equally defying natural explanation have taken place at Lourdes and elsewhere, and are authenticated by the highest medical testimony. So too the letter of the Church of Smyrna is addressed to all the congregations of the Holy Catholic Church in every place. This puts the origin of religion in Totemism, a semi-religious, semi-social institution prevailing chiefly among savage tribes. June 1, 1911. In the Christian religion sacred poetry, melody, and polyphonic music have been carried to the height of perfection. Meaning of Catholicism. Unfortunately the moral standard of peoples in lower grades of culture has been as a rule grossly defective. Fear, like hope, may be one of the motives prompting man to the worship of the Deity, but such worship presupposes the recognition of Deity, and fear cannot account for this recognition. But its principles of comparison have to be used with great care, for they can easily be made to do service for contradictory and visionary theories. The beginnings of religion go back to remote prehistoric time. The Modern Scientific Study of Religion. Under the influence of religion, the rhythmic chants grew into inspiring hymns and psalms, giving rise to the sacred poetic literature of many nations. The most likely view is that sacrifice is primarily a token of respect in the form of a gift. First there is faith. (See FETISHISM.). The value of such a force in human affairs is incalculable, even though it may occasionally retard for a while the general recognition of some principle of permanent value in science economics, or politics. adj. The bad go to a place of suffering, or they perish utterly, or they are reborn in vile animal forms. The Catholic Church, led by the Pope in Rome, usually distinguishes itself from other churches by calling itself the "Catholic", however has also used the description "Roman Catholic". Right belief is thus essential to religion, if man is to do justice to his moral and religious duties and thereby secure his perfection. The Christian religion has ever been the great conservative force, favouring established order and law, and opposed to hasty innovations calculated to cause a profound disturbance in existing religious or political institutions. It is also sustained by the recognized instances of Divine providence. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The end of religion is filial communion with God, in which we honour and revere Him as our supreme Lord, love Him as our Father, and find in that reverent service of filial love our true perfection and happiness. For they will not be understood unless they distinguish her by this name which the whole world employs in her regard” (The True Religion 7:12 [A.D. 390]). A sympathetic interest attaches to this study, for there are few religions, however crude, that do not represent the sincere effort of man to bring himself into communion with God. It is still more strikingly shown by the conversion from scepticism to Christian faith of distinguished scholars such as Littré, Romanes, Brunetière, Bourget, Coppée, and von Ruville. Religious data have been accumulated from hundreds of different sources, and the sacred books of the great Oriental religions have been carefully translated, so that today there is within easy reach of the scholar a very reliable survey of the chief religions of the world. It is Catholic teaching that primitive religion was a Divinely revealed Monotheism. Religion alone can keep alive in a people devotion to high ideals, respect for established authority, preference for peaceful measures to secure political and industrial reforms, and a cheerful spirit of perseverance despite powerful opposition. To this must also be added the love of God for His own sake, inasmuch as He is the infinitely perfect Being, in whom truth, beauty, and goodness are realized in their highest possible degree. Hope is the expectation of securing and maintaining bliss-bringing communion with the Deity. Among the pygmies of the Northern Congo, accounted one of the lowest of races, there is a reverent recognition of a supreme Deity, but no trace of ancestor-worship. Fear, like hope, may be one of the motives prompting man to the worship of the Deity, but such worship presupposes the recognition of Deity, and fear cannot account for this recognition. Religion, in its last analysis, rests on a theistic interpretation of nature. In some of the ancient religions this enormous mass of sacred lore was transmitted orally from generation to generation till finally it was put in writing. It is called the ancestor of the clan. Religion, like morality, has apart from revelation a natural basis or origin. This emotional element enters into the external worship of every religion, but its extent and character vary considerably, being determined by the particular standard of propriety prevailing in a given grade of culture. But its likelihood is not great when we consider how hard it would have been for primitive man in his inexperience to coordinate the varied effects of nature and derive them from one and the same source of power. In subjective religion several virtues must be included, most of them being of an emotional character. According to the intuition theory, man has instinctively an intuition of God and of his dependence on Him. Directly from the Greek, or via Late Latin catholicus, the term catholic entered many other languages, becoming the base for the creation of various theological terms such as catholicism and catholicity (Late Latin catholicismus, catholicitas). (See FETISHISM.) Modern scholarship has given much attention to the study of religion. The consciousness of having offended and estranged Him, and of thus deserving punishment, leads to fear and sorrow and the desire of reconciliation. This theory, whose prominent English champion was Herbert Spencer, identifies the primitive notion of religion with the service and propitiation of departed relatives, and attributes the worship of the great deities of nature to the mistaken applications of ancestor-worship. Only in the society of one's fellow-men does one develop one's mental and moral faculties, and acquire religion. The Deity is honoured chiefly for the sake of personal advantage. They are a popular feature of Islamism today. The damned recognize their dependence on God, but, being without hope of Divine help, are turned from, rather than towards, Him. Religious priests are professed members of a religious order or institute. EVANGELIZATION. It implies first of all the recognition of a Divine personality in and behind the forces of nature, the Lord and Ruler of the world, God. 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