"My Imitation of Christ" Indulgences from Praying?


Excuse me if I am posting in the wrong place. I’ve been looking for a place to post this for the last half hour and decided on this one.

I have a “My Imitation of Christ” book. I absolutely love it and will be reading and praying prayers in it more often. When I was young, my mom gave me this book and said that you could get indulgences from praying the prayers. But she taught me to read it more as a way of, “How do I feel today?” and then find a prayer for it. Which is how I intend to use it. So my intent nor my motives are not solely for indulgences.

However, I am asking out of curiosity. Do we get indulgences from reading prayers from this book? If so, BONUS! :thumbsup: But again, that’s not my main intent for reading these prayers.

And, now that brings me to another question: Is it ok to pray, purely, for indulgences for ourself? I figured that’d be a very selfish act and kind of defeat the purpose. Sort of like the moment you say you’re humble, you’re not. :wink:



God created us to be with Him in heaven. Our first duty, therefore, is to attain our own salvation. In that light, I would say that gaining indulgences for their own sake is perfectly fine.

A number of years ago, the Church clarified the teaching on indulgences. No longer are partial indulgences calculated in terms of days or years. Too many people thought that those things meant days or years taken off their time in Purgatory, when in fact, it meant the equivalent of so many days or years of public penance. Now, there are plenary indulgences, which take away all the temporal punishment due to sin, and partial ones. Partial indulgences are attached to practically every good thing you do, so it’s good to form the intention at the beginning of the day, perhaps as you say your morning offering, to gain all the indulgences you can. I’m sure that the prayers in your book would qualify.

I’ll bet some kindhearted soul will post the references to Church teaching so you may read for yourself…hint, hint!



Hi, Betsy. Thank you for your note. At least now I won’t feel so Selfish (yeah, capital “S” for “Self”) if I decide to pray for myself. And thank you for the clarification as well regarding indulgences. I was one “those” who thought it took time off of Purgatory too. Well, that is what I was taught. Now I know better. :wink:

I guess all prayer, regardless of source, is good for the soul.


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