Indulgence question

I accept the Church’s teaching on Indulgences. But I have a question that, the more I read about indulgences, the more it remains unanswered!
Exactly what IS temporal punishment? Like for example, if a person commits the sin of backbiting or slander, what is the temporal punishment for that?
What I mean by this is, how exactly are sins punished? By a deep sorrow? And if so, do indulgences take that away?
I really hope you guys understand my question!
Perhaps I should re-word it:
A person who commits the sin of adultery may, as a temporal punishment contract a disease.
But not all sins have such consequences. How are we to know the consequences/punishment and how does this affect our spiritual life?
Ok, sorry if I’m being confusing lol But this has bugged me for a long time, and I’m just curious as to how this works :slight_smile:

God Bless!

There is no way to say that any given suffering you may undergo in your life is the result of temporal punishment as opposed to a natural suffering. This is all the more reason to bear all of our sufferings well and to carry our cross each day.

Purgatory.

[quote=Mordocai]I accept the Church’s teaching on Indulgences. But I have a question that, the more I read about indulgences, the more it remains unanswered!
Exactly what IS temporal punishment? Like for example, if a person commits the sin of backbiting or slander, what is the temporal punishment for that?
What I mean by this is, how exactly are sins punished? By a deep sorrow? And if so, do indulgences take that away?
I really hope you guys understand my question!
Perhaps I should re-word it:
A person who commits the sin of adultery may, as a temporal punishment contract a disease.
But not all sins have such consequences. How are we to know the consequences/punishment and how does this affect our spiritual life?
Ok, sorry if I’m being confusing lol But this has bugged me for a long time, and I’m just curious as to how this works :slight_smile:

God Bless!
[/quote]

An example of temporal punishment for backbiting/slander could be you get fired from your job, or you are sued in a court of law, etc. A glutton may have to deal with heart disease, intemperence with cigarettes could lead to cancer, etc. I think it affects our spiritual life by putting little scars on the soul or little cuts on the spiritual body. A few such cuts can be sustained, but put enough of them on yourself and you will likely bleed to death…

[quote=Mordocai]A person who commits the sin of adultery may, as a temporal punishment contract a disease.
[/quote]

Yes, but that’s not the worst effect. The true damage of sin is to the soul. Someone who engages in impurity will find themselves incapable of a true relationship. Remember, sin is not arbitrary. God forbids sin because it is harmful to us physically, but most of all spiritually.

To understand the Church’s teaching on indulgences one must understand the difference between the eternal punishment due sin and the temporal punishment due sin.
**Catechism of the Catholic Church

The punishments of sin

1472** To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.

**1473 ** The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.”

… if a person commits the sin of backbiting or slander, what is the temporal punishment for that

The temporal punishment of sin “must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God”. A person that commits the sin of backbiting or slander shows that his love is still imperfect. That person must perfect his love before he can enter Heaven. He will either perfect his love on earth, or he will do it in Purgatory. To perfect his love on earth, he should “strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.”

In my understanding, the temporal punishment of our sin, whether venial or mortal, is there to help us to get rid of vices which tempt us to sin more.

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