Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Spirituality
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Jun 17, '10, 10:06 am
Angel_Hazard's Avatar
Angel_Hazard Angel_Hazard is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Posts: 62
Religion: Catholic
Question What is an indulgence?

My question is in reference to something I read about the Blessed Sacrament Chaplet.

"The Holy Father (Pope Pius X) has granted the entire world an indulgence of 300 days, each time the ejaculation is recited upon each of the 33 beads. Those who recite the Blessed Sacrament Chaplet daily share in the mass said every Thursday and Friday."
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Jun 17, '10, 10:32 am
Erich Erich is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2004
Posts: 3,353
Default Re: What is an indulgence?

From the Catholic Encyclopedia (emphasis mine):

Quote:
The word indulgence (Latin indulgentia, from indulgeo, to be kind or tender) originally meant kindness or favor; in post-classic Latin it came to mean the remission of a tax or debt. In Roman law and in the Vulgate of the Old Testament (Isaiah 61:1) it was used to express release from captivity or punishment. In theological language also the word is sometimes employed in its primary sense to signify the kindness and mercy of God. But in the special sense in which it is here considered, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven. Among the equivalent terms used in antiquity were pax, remissio, donatio, condonatio.
Here's a Primer on Indulgences.

And here's a "real-world" example: imagine your teenager just did something that got him/her grounded for a month. Now imagine that about halfway through the "grounding" you decide, based on his/her actions, that the penalty should be reduced to "time served". You've effectively just granted an indulgence, since the temporal punishment was for a full month.
__________________
Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Jun 17, '10, 11:05 am
baltobetsy's Avatar
baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 6,196
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is an indulgence?

In addition to the excellent Primer on Indulgences, there needs to be a clarification of the concept of "300 days" and such.

In the past, people did public penance for their sins. It could last many years. Indulgences were once measured in terms of the equivalent amount of public penance. So an indulgence of 300 days would be equal to 300 days of public penance. As time went on and public penance became uncommon, the idea of number of days or years became confused. People mistakenly thought it referred to time taken off their time in Purgatory. Since Purgatory is outside of time, that cannot be so.

In recent years, the Church has changed the way it expresses the value of indulgences. Now, a pious work or prayer can be endowed with either a plenary indulgence or a partial indulgence. There are no more numbers of days or years associated with indulgences.

A plenary indulgence remits all the temporal punishment due to sin. If a person gained a plenary indulgence and died immediately, he would go directly to heaven. In order to gain a plenary indulgence, one must do the indulgenced work and also meet what are called, "the usual conditions." The usual conditions are going to Confession within two weeks before or after doing the indulgenced work, going to Mass and receiving Communion on the day of the work, praying for the Pope's intentions (an Our Father and Hail Mary are the usual prayers), and being completely detached from sin, even venial sin. The last condition is one that causes misunderstanding and confusion. Some believe it is nearly impossible to achieve that detachment and therefore few people actually gain plenary indulgences. Others believe that God (through the Church) would not offer plenary indulgences if they were nearly impossible to attain. But it's always worth trying, whichever view is correct.

A partial indulgence remits part of the temporal punishment due to sin. Without a reference (sorry), I think I recall reading that it doubles the value of whatever prayer or work is done. If one attempts and does not receive a plenary indulgence, a partial indulgence is granted. Just about any prayer or good work can gain a partial indulgence, if one only asks. It is good to form the intention every day to gain all the indulgences possible.

The example in the OP would be of a partial indulgence. Hope this helps.

Betsy
__________________
Time is short; eternity is long. Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

Baltimore Catholics join me here!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Jun 17, '10, 11:42 am
Student09 Student09 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 1,522
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is an indulgence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by baltobetsy View Post
Just about any prayer or good work can gain a partial indulgence, if one only asks. It is good to form the intention every day to gain all the indulgences possible.
So can one simply form this intention in the morning in a general way, without knowing everything that is or is not indulgenced? Does one have to ask for every indulgence separately, or does a general intention suffice? I was under the impression that one needed to ask for each separately, which made me really just not want to think about them at all ...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Jun 17, '10, 12:05 pm
baltobetsy's Avatar
baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 6,196
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is an indulgence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Student09 View Post
So can one simply form this intention in the morning in a general way, without knowing everything that is or is not indulgenced? Does one have to ask for every indulgence separately, or does a general intention suffice? I was under the impression that one needed to ask for each separately, which made me really just not want to think about them at all ...
Once again, without any references, I have been taught by priests that one only needs to ask at the beginning of the day to gain all the indulgences possible. It makes sense when one remembers that God loves us and is always looking for excuses to shower us with grace. Can't hurt to ask, right?

Betsy
__________________
Time is short; eternity is long. Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

Baltimore Catholics join me here!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Jun 17, '10, 4:17 pm
Claire from DE's Avatar
Claire from DE Claire from DE is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Posts: 2,361
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is an indulgence?

And it's worth remembering that we can offer these indulgences for the souls in purgatory who can no longer gain them for themselves. And that our attitude is important. An indulgenced action or prayer performed with great love for God or our neighbor is of more value than one done in a perfunctory manner. In the same way, the penance the indulgenced prayer replaces would have been of more benefit to the soul if it was done with true love or repentance than if the person was just going through the motions.

We don't really earn indulgences. We gain them, but they are a gift of God through the church and they're available to us from the storehouse of the infinite merits of Jesus' sacrifice and the merits of the saints who were joined to Him.

Please excuse if there's any theological error in what I've written. This is how I understand indulgences. The catechism is the authority when it comes to a real explanation of them.

I've been told that one can make the intention to gain all the indulgences available for any works or prayers and that the intention doesn't have to be made daily, just one time and perhaps renewed when we think of it. I've been told some people who consecrate themselves to the Blessed Mother ask that any indulgences they gain should be dispensed as she wishes (which means, of course according to God's will).
__________________

Does a dyslexic atheist refuse to believe in dog??

Last edited by Claire from DE; Jun 17, '10 at 4:30 pm.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Spirituality

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8448Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: jerrythetrucker
5139CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: hopeful01
4423Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3863SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2
3731Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3314Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3279Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3222Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3107For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: flower lady



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:25 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.