Can someone explain the treasury of merit?


can someone explain for me the treasury of merit? I know that the catholic church is attacked over this teaching by non-catholics.

What biblical or historical support can we bring forward in defence of this teaching?


The treasury of merit is related to temporal punishment of sin. In simpler terms, the treasury of merit is referred to as indulgences. Sin has temporal effects on a person which are not remitted in confession, due to the two-fold nature of sin. Indulgences can be used when used in good faith to deter the temporal effects of sin (not the eternal). Indulgences can be used by the faithful after penance has been completed from the sacrament of reconciliation.

Edit: I just found this for you –


A final application of the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ may be found in Indulgences. The matter is explained by St. Thomas Aquinas as follows:

“The reason why indulgences have value is the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, in which many of the faithful have made satisfaction beyond what was due from them. They have borne with patience many unjust persecutions, whereby they might have expiated many temporal punishments if they have deserved them. The abundance of those merits is so great as to surpass all the temporal punishment due from the faithful on earth, and that particularly owing to the merit of Christ. That merit, although it operates in the sacraments, is not limited to the sacraments in its effectiveness: but its infinite value extends beyond the efficacy of the sacraments. Now, one man can make satisfaction for another. On the other hand, the Saints, whose satisfactory works are superabundant, did not perform them for some one particular person (otherwise without an indulgence he would obtain remission) but in general for the whole Church, according to the words of St. Paul, ’ I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and make up in my flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, on behalf of his body, which is the Church.’ (Collosians 1:24) And so these merits become the common property of the whole Church. Now the common property of a society is distributed to the different members of the society according to the decision of him who is at the head of the society. Consequently, as we should obtain the remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, if another had undertaken to make satisfaction on our behalf, so too do we obtain it when the satisfaction of another is applied on our behalf by him who has authority to do so.” (Summa Theol., III, Suppl., Q. xxv, art. 1.)

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