(Sir 11, 14) Life and death are from the LORD
 Good and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from the LORD.
 Good and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from the LORD.
 With your whole heart honor your father; your mother's birthpangs forget not.  Remember, of these parents you were born; what can you give them for all they gave you?
 Rely not on your strength in following the desires of your heart.
 For the LORD sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons.  He who honors his father atones for sins;  he stores up riches who reveres his mother.  He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard.  He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother.  My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives.  Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength.  A blasphemer is he who despises his father; accursed of his Creator, he who angers his mother.
 Among wisdom's treasures is the paragon of prudence; but fear of the LORD is an abomination to the sinner.
(CCC 2339) Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy (Cf. Sir 1:22). "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end" (GS 17).
 For though they disbelieved at every turn on account of sorceries, at the destruction of the first-born they acknowledged that the people was God's son.
 For the bites of locusts and of flies slew them, and no remedy was found to save their lives because they deserved to be punished by such means;  But not even the fangs of poisonous reptiles overcame your sons, for your mercy brought the antidote to heal them.  For as a reminder of your injunctions, they were stung, and swiftly they were saved, Lest they should fall into deep forgetfulness and become unresponsive to your beneficence.  For indeed, neither herb nor application cured them, but your all-healing word, O LORD!  For you have dominion over life and death; you lead down to the gates of the nether world, and lead back.  Man, however, slays in his malice, but when the spirit has come away, it does not return, nor can he bring back the soul once it is confined.
 For when the dire venom of beasts came upon them and they were dying from the bite of crooked serpents, your anger endured not to the end.  But as a warning, for a short time they were terrorized, though they had a sign of salvation, to remind them of the precept of your law.  For he who turned toward it was saved, not by what he saw, but by you, the savior of all.  And by this also you convinced our foes that you are he who delivers from all evil.
(CCC 2130) Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim (Cf. Num 21:4-9; Wis 16:5-14; Jn 3:14-15; Ex 25:10-22; 1 Kings 6:23-28; 7:23-26).
 For the source of wantoness is the devising of idols; and their invention was a corruption of life.
(CCC 2354) Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.
 But yet, for these the blame is less; For they indeed have gone astray perhaps, though they seek God and wish to find him.  For they search busily among his works, but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.  But again, not even these are pardonable.  For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its LORD?  But doomed are they, and in dead things are their hopes, who termed gods things made by human hands: Gold and silver, the product of art, and likenesses of beasts, or useless stone, the work of an ancient hand.
 But either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water, or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.  Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods, let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these; for the original source of beauty fashioned them.  Or if they were struck by their might and energy, let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.  For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen.
 For all men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
 For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.  And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?  But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls,
(CCC 301) With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence: For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living (Wis 11:24-26). (CCC 373) In God's plan man and woman have the vocation of "subduing" the earth (Gen 1:28) as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator "who loves everything that exists" (Wis 11:24), to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.
 But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent.
 For with you great strength abides always; who can resist the might of your arm?
 Even without these, they could have been killed at a single blast, pursued by retribution and winnowed out by your mighty spirit; But you have disposed all things by measure and number and weight.
 She, when the nations were sunk in universal wickedness, knew the just man, kept him blameless before God, and preserved him resolute against pity for his child.
(CCC 57) This state of division into many nations is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity (Cf. Acts 17:26-27), united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel (Cf. Wis 10:5; Gen 11:4-6). But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism (Cf. Rom 1:18-25).
 Now with you is Wisdom, who knows your works and was present when you made the world; Who understands what is pleasing in your eyes and what is conformable with your commands.
(CCC 295) We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom (Cf. Wis 9:9). It is not the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God's free will; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom and goodness: "For you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created" (Rev 4:11). Therefore the Psalmist exclaims: "O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all"; and "The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made" (Pss 104:24; 145:9).
 Or if one loves justice, the fruits of her works are virtues; For she teaches moderation and prudence, justice and fortitude, and nothing in life is more useful for men than these.
 Her I loved and sought after from my youth; I sought to take her for my bride and was enamored of her beauty.
 Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily and governs all things well.
 For she is an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.  For she is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness. –  For she is fairer than the sun and surpasses every constellation of the stars. Compared to light, she takes precedence;  for that, indeed, night supplants, but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.
 Such things as are hidden I learned and such as are plain;
 For he gave me sound knowledge of existing things, that I might know the organization of the universe and the force of its elements,  The beginning and the end and the midpoint of times, the changes in the sun's course and the variations of the seasons.  Cycles of years, positions of the stars,  natures of animals, tempers of beasts, Powers of the winds and thoughts of men, uses of plants and virtues of roots.
 For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years.
(CCC 1308) Although Confirmation is sometimes called the "sacrament of Christian maturity," we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need "ratification" to become effective. St. Thomas reminds us of this: Age of body does not determine age of soul. Even in childhood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of Wisdom says: “For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years.” Many children, through the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 72, 8, ad 2; cf. Wis 4:8).
 For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him.  But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it.
 Because God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
(CCC 413) "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living…. It was through the devil's envy that death entered the world" (Wis 1:13; 2:24). (CCC 1008) Death is a consequence of sin. The Church's Magisterium, as authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and Tradition, teaches that death entered the world on account of man's sin (Cf. Gen 2:17; 3:3; 3:19; Wis 1:13; Rom 5:12; 6:23; DS 1511). Even though man's nature is mortal God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin (Cf. Wis 2:23-24). "Bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned" is thus "the last enemy" of man left to be conquered (GS 18 § 2; cf. 1 Cor 15:26).
 Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; For stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire.  Deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away. Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, he would be roundly mocked.
(CCC 1295) By this anointing the confirmand receives the "mark," the seal of the Holy Spirit. A seal is a symbol of a person, a sign of personal authority, or ownership of an oblect (Cf. Gen 38:18; 41:42; Deut 32:34; CT 8:6). Hence soldiers were marked with their leader's seal and slaves with their master's. A seal authenticates a juridical act or document and occasionally makes it secret (Cf. 1 Kings 21:8; Jer 32:10; Isa 29:11). (CCC 1611) Seeing God's covenant with Israel in the image of exclusive and faithful married love, the prophets prepared the Chosen People's conscience for a deepened understanding of the unity and indissolubility of marriage (Cf. Hos 1-3; Isa 54; 62; Jer 2-3; 31; Ezek 16; 23; Mal 2:13-17). The books of Ruth and Tobit bear moving witness to an elevated sense of marriage and to the fidelity and tenderness of spouses. Tradition has always seen in the Song of Solomon a unique expression of human love, a pure reflection of God's love - a love "strong as death" that "many waters cannot quench" (Song 8:6-7).
 On my bed at night I sought him whom my heart loves - I sought him but I did not find him.  I will rise then and go about the city; in the streets and crossings I will seek Him whom my heart loves. I sought him but I did not find him.  The watchmen came upon me as they made their rounds of the city: Have you seen him whom my heart loves?  I had hardly left them when I found him whom my heart loves. I took hold of him and would not let him go till I should bring him to the home of my mother, to the room of my parent.
 Tell me, you whom my heart loves, where you pasture your flock, where you give them rest at midday, Lest I be found wandering after the flocks of your companions.
This commentary to The Youth Catechism (YouCat) through the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) offers to the reader of YouCat, written in a language suitable for young people, the more extensive and indepth treatments of the CCC. The CCC comments follow any answer to give to the reader additional help in understanding the questions that are discussed, and their significance in his life. It would show what the Catholic Church believes today, and how one can with good reason believe. YouCat and this commentary through the Catechism of the Catholic Church are both exciting, because they speak of our own destiny and so deeply engage every one of us. The structure we find in the Youth Catechism is taken from centuries of catechetical experience: What we believe—How we should celebrate the Christian mysteries—How we have life in Christ—How we should pray. We need to be more deeply rooted in our faith than the generation of our parents, so that we can engage the big challenges and temptations of this time, with strength and determination. Let’s all study this Gospel message, our “pearl of great value” (Mt 13:46).May God bless you.
Fr. Gualberto Gismondi ofm