More on indulgences

I have some new ideas and questions about indulgences.

*The tract at CA explains that the punishment can be temporal and eternal. However the biblical examples of temporal punishments are physical: death, labor etc. This shows that God can sometimes punish a person (or humanity, for that matter) physically for the sins committed, but it hardly shows that every sin has some mysteriously invisible temporal punishment waiting to be suffered for in purgatory. So when have temporal punishments started to be invisible (they are sometimes still visible of course, like if you drink or have sex without moderation it can be bad, but not always, and anyway these are not what purgatory is for…)?

*If indulgences at first could replace hard penances given at confession, can they still do so? I’ve never heard anyone teach this any more.

*I came up with a nice argument for the penance part - the eternal/temporal and guilt/punishment stuff. Peter sinned against Jesus, and Jesus forgave him, but even after he had surely forgiven him(no more guilt&eternal punishment), he still made him say 3 times that he loves Jesus(do penance, temporal punishment). This is something a Catholic could also even today get for penance in confession; to say to Jesus 3 times “I love you”. What do you think?


I think you’re approaching this a bit too legalistically.

When we’re on earth, we sin, we have a fallen nature. When we’re in heaven, we’re perfect, not tempted in the slightest to sin, are perfect.

Purgatory is that process in the middle where we change from state A to state B.

Baptism and earthly Death are of themselves together capable to bring this conversion about without time in Purgatory. However, as we commit personal sin in this life, we become more attached to our sinfulness. These attachments, distortions in our soul, are the temporal consequences. With these additional attachments, time in purgatory is necessary to purge them, if one is not able to overcome them in life.

You are correct that our life’s sufferings can serve as the temporal consequences of our sins, making purgatory once more again uncessary. However, that is only true if we fully accept the grace available in our trials and sufferings. Most of us, in times of trial… fall into deeper sin, or indulgance. This renders these sufferings less affective, making purgatory once more necessary.

I’m aware that the grace available in an indulgence was equivalent to that gained through hard penance, I wasn’t aware it was actually used to replace hard penance. Unless the exact penance was “Do 3 months of hard penance.” As opposed to “Do such and such action for 3 months.”… But that’s a different story.


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