Do you believe in Indulgences ?
#21
Eastern Catholicism doesn't seem too excited about Indulgences. I just can't seem to connect too well with the concept.

What is the history of the Treasury of Merit?

I guess the whole thing seems very transactional and juridical. The mention that we cannot merit grace makes sense, and was solidly confirmed in a conversation with my priest. Yet the idea of a Treasure of Merit seems to somewhat contradict that.
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#22
(05-27-2019, 06:26 PM)Alphonse il Segundo Wrote:
(05-27-2019, 03:57 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(05-27-2019, 02:51 PM)mpk1987 Wrote: I think they're great! I try to remember to try get a plenary when I meet the requirements for communion and confession.   My parish is helpful in reminding us when key ones in the calendar come along.

Or you could just do the Stations of the Cross, or say a Rosary with someone else. Both are plenary indulgences you can get everyday.

Magister, if you could help explain how much value there is in a partial indulgence? I know that the older system was imperfect but to its credit, at least one had an idea of what one was getting by performing a certain devotion. I have always found the partial indulgence idea to be horribly vague. 

Is there any way of gauging whether certain devotions have a "greater" partial indulgence. For instance, I say Rosary alone, and get a partial indulgence. I say the Magnificat and get a partial indulgence. I make the sign of the cross, I get a partial indulgence. Surely one is "worth" more than the other.

You are totally right that it is horribly vague. That is not the good aspect of this, and quite honestly, it leave things so undetermined, that I think a good argument could be made that the Pope could not do this legitimately (validly, yes, bit not licitly), just as a good bank manager would be derelict in his duty by saying, "Forgive that guy some of his debt." The question is always then, how much? And if the bank manager is not going to say, is it for the teller or debtor to determine?

It seems left to God to determine, but precisely He gave his human agents in the Church the power to determine, so it's a dereliction of duty to not set out some way of presenting some amount, even if removing the terms "days" and "years" does correct the "time off Purgatory" mistake.


The better way would have been to educate people on what these numbers mean, or better yet, limit the numbers to clear well-understood things which are not easily confused. I'd have said, number it in quarantines. Odd enough a term that people would ask, what does this mean, and you can explain, it is the equivalent of a Good Lent's worth (40 days) of Penance. Alternatively, the Church could have offer in partial indulgences to supply twice or three times the merit you gain from the action. Like an employer matching your contributing to your Merit IRA.

The reformers had a point (as they often did), and then chose exactly the wrong solution for dealing with it, even if it has a few accidentally good effects.

Clearly, yes, a Rosary said well is better than a Magnificat, but then again, a Hail Mary said with perfect Charity is greater than the average man's Rosary. Not knowing one's subjective disposition, it is impossible to say which is more valuable, unless we stipulate that they are each done with the same degree of Charity. Sadly, however, nothing is ever done with the same degree of Charity, let alone, with perfect Charity.
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#23
(05-27-2019, 08:08 PM)Markie Boy Wrote: Eastern Catholicism doesn't seem too excited about Indulgences.  I just can't seem to connect too well with the concept.

What is the history of the Treasury of Merit?

I guess the whole thing seems very transactional and juridical.  The mention that we cannot merit grace makes sense, and was solidly confirmed in a conversation with my priest.  Yet the idea of a Treasure of Merit seems to somewhat contradict that.

Easterns tend not to be because of overflow form the heretical notions of some Eastern Orthodox that Purgatory does not exist. If such a purifying place does not exist, then there is little reason to worry about paying back some temporal punishment due to sin. So indulgences do not make any sense.

Some Easterners conceive Heaven and Hell as the same place, but with different effects in the souls of the reprobate and the just. The reprobate in seeing God suffer terribly, while in the just this produces Beatitude.

That opinion is not explicitly condemned as such, because it relies on Origen and St Gregory of Nyssa's concept of the fires of hell being metaphorical, but it is rejected almost every other Father, and the near universal opinion of theologians would reject this as well. 

That ties into a different Eastern concept of Purgatory, and thus less-emphasis on indulgences.

It ought to be noted at the Second Council of Lyons, the Eastern Orthodox representatives agree that the filioque was acceptable and sung it with the Latins three times at Mass, even if they did not retain it themselves, and also agreed that a Purgatory of some kind existed. That council was accepted by two Patriarchs of Constantinople, before Orthodox clergy eventually forced them to reject their earlier agreement.

Purgatory's existence, since it was promulgated by Lyons II is De Fide, and so denying it is heretical.

The doctrine on indulgences just flows from the existence of Purgatory.

As regards how merit and grace work, one cannot merit the principal of merit (Sanctifying Grace), since that presupposes you have some foundation for it, but meriting actual graces certainly can happen. It is not because the work is our, but because the work is done with some grace already give by God, and so is part mine, but also part Gods. In as much as that good work is done by me, I am worthy of a reward for it. In as much as it is God's grace helping me to act it is supernatural meaning that the reward ought to be supernatural. But a supernatural reward is a grace.
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#24
(05-27-2019, 03:14 PM)MaryTN Wrote: I have never been comfortable with the indulgences.
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Seems like you are bargaining with God - if I do this, you will give me that.  If I say these words every day, you will be nice to me when I die.

There's no bargaining, because it's not up to you how much you get. The Church determines that, and God agrees to do what the Church establishes - 'whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven'.

And it's not 'you'll be nice to me when I die', as some think, as if at our judgment, God looks at the good we did and the bad we did and, if we did enough good, lets us in. That's how you end up with people thinking everyone (except Hitler) goes to heaven, because they were 'good people'. We either die in a state of grace, in which case we're saved, or we don't, in which case we're damned. One unrepented mortal sin merits hell, no matter how many good works we did.

But if we are saved, we still owe penance for our sins. We can do it here on earth, or we'll have to do it in purgatory, and God, in His mercy, allows it to be done here through indulgences instead of suffering longer in purgatory. I think you have it backwards - it's God, through His Church, saying if you do this, I will reward you.
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#25
(05-27-2019, 05:58 PM)FultonFan Wrote: I’m a little confused.
How can a Catholic “not believe in” Indulgences?
I think it’s the subject line that’s confusing me.
I’m actually unaware of the Manual that’s been put forth.

All this said, I think people perhaps put far too much faith in THEIR RECEIVING a plenary Indulgence.
It sort of strikes me as the Protestant “faith alone” thing whereby your simply having faith in Christ is sufficient to “impute” Christ’s righteousness.  
I believe that was Martin Luther’s big word: “impute”.  Rather than the soul being filled with Sanctifying Grace through the Sacraments, your sins were basically given a coat of paint and all is well.

But maybe what I’m saying is wrong, I really don’t know.  I’m more or less talking out loud.

Here’s a question: under what conditions — if ever —can we be assured that someone’s receiving Last Rites or Extreme Unction got them into Heaven?   My understanding is that there’s a plenary Indulgence attached to Extreme Unction.

My simple mind is wide open to the facts that Indulgences are a part of being Catholic. Disbelief is not a choice really, ignoring their power to help others actually makes me feel like I could do more to help the souls in purgatory and that it pleases Our Father. As for whether or not Last Rites when administered correctly allow for our entrance into Heaven, my Faith just squashes those doubts tootsweet!
The Manual of Indulgences is the put out by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington D.C. and is sold in Hardback on their website. The same book is available thru Amazon either kindle or Hardback and titled Manual of Indulgences.
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#26
Quote:It ought to be noted at the Second Council of Lyons, the Eastern Orthodox representatives agree that the filioque was acceptable and sung it with the Latins three times at Mass, even if they did not retain it themselves, and also agreed that a Purgatory of some kind existed. That council was accepted by two Patriarchs of Constantinople, before Orthodox clergy eventually forced them to reject their earlier agreement.

Oh no... that is gonna tick some people off. I know that this will likely derail the thread, but isn't it also true that the Eastern schismatics the reunited with Church after the Second Council of Lyons?
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#27
I bit more to the original topic. Would a plenary indulgence be the equivalent of the total remission of the price of all our sins? In which case, 30 minutes of Scripture, the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross have become my new favourite devotions.
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#28
I am not sure if mentioning Fr Chad Ripperger will get me stoned to death with popcorn around here, but upon hearing many of his lectures it occurs to me that many think they are detached from Sin and in fact they are not. I myself know I am not and working on indulgences especially when I am in a state of grace for a sparse amount of time as much as I can make it into Confession which is weekly I have a window that I am pretty confident I might meet the requirements for being in the State of Grace for a plenary Indulgence. The catch to this is I give indulgences away to the souls in purgatory most of the time, so when I go back to being a sinner I am back to adding sin to my long list of new sin and despite being forgiven I will in the end hopefully be granted entry into Purgatory and do my time. Now as far as Partial indulgences. It seems to me, that Purgatory could last a long time like to the end of time and who knows how long that will be. So regardless if a partial equals a minute an hour or a day of early release, I will gladly tally those up with a joyful yet humble heart if Gods mercy is to be then so beit. If He wishes them for others so take them. Do what he wishes, Father knows best!
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#29
(05-27-2019, 03:57 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(05-27-2019, 02:51 PM)mpk1987 Wrote: I think they're great! I try to remember to try get a plenary when I meet the requirements for communion and confession.   My parish is helpful in reminding us when key ones in the calendar come along.

Or you could just do the Stations of the Cross, or say a Rosary with someone else. Both are plenary indulgences you can get everyday.

Yes, thanks, Magister and MPK. Also (3) 30 minute devout reading of Sacred Scripture, as Alphonse mentioned; and (4) 30 minutes of Eucharistic Adoration are other Plenary Indulgences that all of us Catholics can obtain easily if we put in the effort. Imagine if millions of Catholics took the duty of gaining indulgences seriously, then we would all grow in holiness, and greatly assist the suffering souls. Our Lord Jesus, speaking to St. Faustina, Himself approved and commended the practice of gaining indulgences and asked us to continue it.

Our Lord: "All these souls [in purgatory] are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the Indulgences from the Treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."   

Ndulgence Wrote:Now as far as Partial indulgences. It seems to me, that Purgatory could last a long time like to the end of time and who knows how long that will be. So regardless if a partial equals a minute an hour or a day of early release, I will gladly tally those up with a joyful yet humble heart if Gods mercy is to be then so be it. If He wishes them for others so take them. Do what he wishes, Father knows best!

Amen, Ndulgence. Each prayer counts and every indulgence matters. I personally prefer the traditional way of enlisting indulgences in terms of days of penance. In that way, we understand we would otherwise have to do, in justice, for e.g. 300 days of penance in order to make satisfaction for the temporal effects of sin, if we neglect to gain the indulgence that God's Mercy offers us through the Church. And since it is likely that Divine Justice will be stricter than any human justice, it will probably be even more than 300 days in Purgatory.

Suppose a person's past sins deserve, say, temporal purification of at least 10 years on earth or 100 years in purgatory. He or she can start to minimize them right away if he were to seriously make the effort to love God and do the indulgenced works daily from now on. 

This is Fr. Paul O Sullivan on Indulgences in Read Me or Rue It: https://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/READRUE.TXT

Fr. Paul O Sullivan Wrote:"IV. The recital of the Rosary (with its great indulgences) and making the Way of the Cross (which is also richly indulgenced) are excellent means of helping the Holy Souls.

St. John Massias, as we saw, released from Purgatory more than a million souls, chiefly by reciting the Rosary and offering its great indulgences for them.

V. Another easy and efficacious way is by the constant repetition of short indulgenced prayers [applying the indulgence to the Souls in Purgatory]. Many people have the custom of saying 500 or 1,000 times each day the little ejaculation, "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee!" or the one word, "Jesus. " These are most consoling devotions; they bring oceans of grace to those who practice them and give immense relief to the Holy Souls.

Those who say the ejaculations 1,000 times a day gain 300,000 days Indulgence! What a multitude of souls they can thus relieve! What will it not be at the end of a month, a year, 50 years? And if they do not say the ejaculations, what an immense number of graces and favors they shall have lost! It is quite possible -- and even easy -- to say these ejaculations 1,000 times a day. But if one does not say them 1,000 times, let him say them 500 or 200 times."
 
Christ through His Church also grants us many Plenary Indulgences at the Hour of Death, if we have been in the habit of saying these prayers and being ready to accept any kind of death with whatever pain it may bring for love of Him. Indulgences are Mercy from God.

From the Treasury of Indulgenced Prayers:
PART XII.
FOR A HAPPY DEATH
"Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.
(7 years every time each one is said)*
From sudden and unprovided death, O Lord, deliver us.
(300 days every time said) 
O Lord, my God, I now, at this moment, readily and willingly accept at Thy hand whatever kind of death it may please Thee to send me, with all its pains, penalties, and sorrows. (7 years every time said. Plenary indulgence at the point of death to all those who at any time of their lives, with sincere love toward God and with the usual conditions, make this kind of act) ..."

Explanation from Preface: "An asterisk (*) adjoining the indulgence, as in this case, indicates that, if the prayer is said every day for a month, a plenary indulgence may be gained under the usual conditions of Confession, Communion, visit to a church, and prayer for the intention of the Pope."

Good Catholics who make the best use of Indulgences may well hope to avoid purgatory or at least minimize it a lot, for others and ourselves also! Fr. Sullivan exhorts us all to do this!
Rosary Crusade to end Abortion: https://rosarycrusadingarmytoendabortion.home.blog/

"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your Most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/
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#30
Thank you XavierSem for your lovely postings! I thought this might interest you: Father Gary mentions this cuts through any superstitious thinking around the doctrine of indulgences. EDWARD PETERS: THE NATURE OF INDULGENCES



My resolution: the fifth (subjective) requirement is the key. The full detachment from sin, even venial sin, is a gauge of the amount of charity in the person’s soul. Said positively, the fifth requirement is to love God with all of heart, soul, mind and strength.



“This, however, does not imply that the Church pretends to set aside the claim of God’s justice or that she allows the sinner to repudiate his debt. As St. Thomas says (Supplement.25.1 ad 2um), ‘He who gains indulgences is not thereby released outright from what he owes as penalty, but is provided with the means of paying it.’ The Church therefore neither leaves the penitent helplessly in debt nor acquits him of all further accounting; she enables him to meet his obligations.” Contrary to popular understanding, an indulgence does NOT cancel the debt of temporal punishment. Rather, it provides a means for paying that debt.



A subtle but important distinction. There is no free lunch. A Catholic cannot just go to confession, communion, say a public rosary for the intentions of the Pope and think that they’d get right to heaven if they died right then and there. Even if they were totally detached from sin for the moment, per the requirements of a plenary indulgence, it would be delusional to claim that they were suddenly spiritually perfect, holy, were totally full of virtue and charity, had achieved Transforming Union, etc. Our personal sins after baptism still wound us, and confession and penance (and the indulgences that can substitute for it) are not a legalistic toggle-switch sort of thing that provide an automatic blank slate. You have to really become not lazy. Not gluttonous. Not lusting. Not prideful, etc. Catholic sanctification is not just “covering the dung heap with snow”. It is about, by God’s grace, actual transformation, actually becoming holy. I doubt many people come out of a partial indulgence suddenly humble, zealous, self-controlled, totally docile, etc. And if they aren’t like a little baptized baby in that regard, like an innocent little child, they cannot expect to avoid purgatory.



An indulgence, like any penitential satisfaction…has to actually be APPLIED to transforming your soul. A plenary indulgence gives the full boon of satisfaction needed to do so (as, honestly, a partial indulgence of 30000 years would also have probably pretty much achieved). But who was or is actually applying them fully like that? Almost no one. Very few people I know come out of an indulgence at the full flowering of sanctifying grace, which if you don’t achieve on earth, is what you get grown through in purgatory.



Like the distinction between efficacious and sufficient grace, a plenary indulgence or large partial indulgence is SUFFICIENT to achieve that, to pay all that debt, but not necessarily EFFICACIOUS if you don’t fully apply it to your spiritual perfection. And who, if we’re being honest, does? There was too much an attitude in the past of a legalistic get-out-of-jail free card, or of hoarding up partial indulgences without ever using them to pay the debt through spiritual transformation. But that’s like receiving a charitable grant to help pay of your debt…and then forgetting that you still have to use it to actually pay off the debt…and so going out and spending most of it on a car for yourself, or just leaving it under your mattress. Saying “But I have the money” is no good to the lender. You have to give it to him for the debt to be ended. The Church gives us the indulgence. It is up to us to give it back to God. Many forget that little caveat.



What we call temporal punishment due to God’s justice, in the language of the Latin “legal/justice analogy”…in the Eastern “love/medicinal analogy” is really just a way of saying that the soul must be perfect and fully healed and fully grown before entering heaven, and that if we don’t achieve that perfection, that death to self, on earth through ascetic self-denial…our encounter with Christ as judge will achieve it in the next life, except on the downside it won’t be also meritorious (on the upside, however, there is no chance of failure).



Like exercise, like fasting, self-denial, breaking out of the incurvatus in se…necessarily is painful and humiliating. And indulgences are a spiritual assistance in this regard from the Communion of Saints mediated by the Church, as Pope Benedict says in his encyclical Spe Salve, adopting more of this tone, “Now a further question arises: if ‘Purgatory’ is simply purification through fire in the encounter with the Lord, Judge and Saviour, how can a third person intervene, even if he or she is particularly close to the other? When we ask such a question, we should recall that no man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine: in what I think, say, do and achieve. And conversely, my life spills over into that of others: for better and for worse. So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death. In the interconnectedness of Being, my gratitude to the other—my prayer for him—can play a small part in his purification. And for that there is no need to convert earthly time into God’s time: in the communion of souls simple terrestrial time is superseded. It is never too late to touch the heart of another, nor is it ever in vain.”
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