I had a question about dispensations. I’ve always been under the assumption that once someone is dispensed, he is dispensed. But now I’m wondering about something, and I wanted others’ thoughts on the matter:

(1) Sally makes a private vow to say Vespers every evening.
(2) After some time, she decides that instead of dedicating that time solely to Vespers. It’d be better for her spiritually to free it up for other devotions.
(3) In view of statement 2, she goes through the proper channels and obtains a dispensation from her pastor. Her intention is to free up that time for other devotions.
(4) She did not receive the dispensation on the condition that she use that time for other devotions. Sure, she mentioned her intentions to the Pastor, but they did not become some sort of contractual requirement for the dispensation.
(5) In the end, Sally never ended up using that time for other devotions, though. As it turns out, she went off to college and just ends up watching Netflix at that time now. She didn’t follow through on her intentions.
My question is: Does this invalidate her dispensation? Does her private vow to say Vespers re-instate itself because she didn’t follow through on her intentions?**

To me, it seems that it doesn’t. Even though she didn’t follow through on her intentions, her intentions in the first place were still good. It wasn’t as if I she was deceiving her pastor at the time she asked. Also, once again, it wasn’t as if she made a contractual agreement that she was dispensed on the condition that she use that time for other devotions. I suppose you could liken it to confession. We go and we receive absolution with honest intentions not to sin again, but we do stray away. That doesn’t mean our absolution was invalid.

At any rate, can I get any thoughts on this?

Sally got a dispensation from a vow which perhaps was foolishly made. Getting this dispensation does not necessarily imply she took upon herself another vow in its place. She merely made a resolution which she hasn’t followed through on.

Indeed, I thought the same thing. My hangup was that she got the dispensation for her resolution. I didn’t know whether not following through on the resolution created a domino effect. I tend to get carried away and overthink things. Sometimes I need to do a sanity check. Thank you for your response.

Sally has degrees of “intention”, all good.

She may or may not have received solid guidance from a suitable authoritative source to make a vow.

Arguably a priest may persuade her that he doesn’t even need to give her any “dispensation”.

We should see our own degrees of intention for what they are and try and train ourselves up in something suitable.

If Sally has got the Vespers book, why doesn’t she say it every two or three days at the wrong time of day, which would be better than not using the book!

Dispensations? Hmm. Why can’t you dispense any vows itself in the confessional. Correct my analysis if I am wrong.

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