Obtaining indulgences: First for myself, then faithfully departed or vice versa?


#1

I’m curious what you all think about obtaining indulgences for oneself.

I can see obtaining an indulgence for the faithfully departed out of love for them and God.

Shouldn’t we always put the poor souls in Purgatory ahead of our own removal of temporal punishment?

If we should obtain indulgences for ourselves first, my initial inclination is that it might be a selfish motive since there are other souls that are in need of the release of the temporal punishments (particularly since they can’t remove the temporal punishments for themselves since they would now be in Purgatory).

If we should obtain indulgences for the faithfully departed first, it seems we would never get around to our own indulgences since we are putting ourselves last in that regard (which seems to be the more Christian thing to do…putting ourselves after the needs of others).

Comments?


#2

I generally offer an Indulgence as such

“For myself or for a soul in Purgatory, whichever is in greater need”

and leave the rest to God’s Omnipotence.


#3

i have sometimes felt selfish when trying to obtain indulgences for myself too. I actually had the same basic thoughts as you have expressed here. but remember that even if we are requesting a plenary indulgence, we can always request another one the very next day as long as we meet the requirements. indulgences in general are not very difficult to obtain so there is no reason we shouldnt request for ourselves and then for others, its not like its a one time thing and we have to decide whether its going to be us or them. its possible to obtain a plenary indulgence every single day!! God is so good to us!!


#4

Indulgences remit all of the existing temporal punishment due for the individual’s sins?

Does that mean from the time of your last confession til the day you were born, any temporal punishment for those sins committed during that time is gone?


#5

[quote=slewi]Indulgences remit all of the existing temporal punishment due for the individual’s sins?

Does that mean from the time of your last confession til the day you were born, any temporal punishment for those sins committed during that time is gone?
[/quote]

From my understanding a plenary indulgence will do this.


#6

[quote=slewi]Indulgences remit all of the existing temporal punishment due for the individual’s sins?

Does that mean from the time of your last confession til the day you were born, any temporal punishment for those sins committed during that time is gone?
[/quote]

Well keep in mind that part of the process of obtaining a plenary indulgence is making a full confession within 8 days of the devotion you are choosing for the indulgence.

So, yeah, you go to confession get absolved of all those sins (can’t hold anything back!), then when you do the devotion for the plenary indulgence all the temporal effects of those sins you were recently absolved of are removed. Your soul is a pure as it was at your first baptism. Because of this the opportunity to gain plenary indulgence is not numerous. There are specific days of the year when this is possible. You can order The Beauty of Grace 2006 Calendar of Indulgences from EWTN.

Fr. Altier yesterday mentioned on the Drew Mariani show (Relevant Radio) that the hardest part of an indulgence is the last:

From Indulgentiarum Doctrina by Pope Paul VI (under NORMS):

"n.7*—*To acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached and to fulfill three conditions:
sacramental confession,
Eucharistic Communion and
prayer for theintentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

It is further required that allattachment to sin, even to venial sin, be absent."

I’m emailing Drew today to see if he can get Fr. Altier to expand upon that statement since he says it’s the most difficult part to do…I sure could use his advice!


#7

Interestingly enough, learning about indulgences is what finally got me to focus on changing some bad habits of mine so I could finally make a full confession…

When I realized I could help some deceased family members of mine by offering an indulgence for them I finally got motivated to ‘clean house’ in my own mind/heart/soul so that I could offer an indulgence for those I love.

So with regard to your question about seeking an indulgence for yourself, I would think it is not selfish at all, since you have to be in near pure shape in order to obtain a plenary for someone already deceased.

It took me a year and a half of a lot of praying, reading, reflecting to change my sinful habits (yes, there were one or two stubborn Catholic teaching points I was holding back on)…but I finally got tired of holding onto them since they were holding me back from helping my deceased family members…so I finally made my full confession (bawled as well), did my penance and went to adoration that same day so I could obtain the plenary indulgence for my soul.

Since then I’ve been working on indulgences for those family members and the souls in purgatory, partial, whenver I can. Plenaries have been trickier because of that confession within 8 day rule…I get stuck on this…but I’ll be asking about that in another thread.

Anyway, I still suggest starting with oneself so that you will be of most benefit to those you are trying to release from purgatory.


#8

[quote=martino]i have sometimes felt selfish when trying to obtain indulgences for myself too. I actually had the same basic thoughts as you have expressed here. but remember that even if we are requesting a plenary indulgence, we can always request another one the very next day as long as we meet the requirements. indulgences in general are not very difficult to obtain so there is no reason we shouldnt request for ourselves and then for others, its not like its a one time thing and we have to decide whether its going to be us or them. its possible to obtain a plenary indulgence every single day!! God is so good to us!!
[/quote]

Partial, yes, plenary, not from what I’ve read.
I’d double check that.


#9

[quote=YinYangMom]Partial, yes, plenary, not from what I’ve read.
I’d double check that.
[/quote]

yea let me know if you find out something different. i was always told from a reliable source that you can only receive one plenary indulgence each day, unless the second one is some life or death emergency. actually that part i know for sure, i read it in the “Book of Indulgences”.
my friend also told me that if you go to confession at least once every two weeks and meet the other requirements for a plenary indulgence you could technically obtain one everyday. you can have your confession either days before or days after the actual day you request it and he figured out that 8 days was the magic number, so if you go every two weeks you would never be more than 8 days from your last or next confession.


#10

[quote=martino]yea let me know if you find out something different.
[/quote]

SirGalahad started an indulgence thread…let’s both go check it out

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=83191 :thumbsup:


#11

[quote=martino]yea let me know if you find out something different. i was always told from a reliable source that you can only receive one plenary indulgence each day, unless the second one is some life or death emergency. actually that part i know for sure, i read it in the “Book of Indulgences”.
my friend also told me that if you go to confession at least once every two weeks and meet the other requirements for a plenary indulgence you could technically obtain one everyday. you can have your confession either days before or days after the actual day you request it and he figured out that 8 days was the magic number, so if you go every two weeks you would never be more than 8 days from your last or next confession.
[/quote]

Well I stand corrected then…here it is:
[list=1]
*]A plenary indulgence can be acquired once only in the course of a day.
[/list]But I wonder if “can be acquired once only in the course of a day” is the same as “can be acquired once every day” ???

:confused:


#12

YYM,

Sure, if you meet the requirements for plenary indulgences in general and that day’s particular indulgence in particular.

VC


#13

I think this is where I get a bit confused about plenary being accessible every day:

Between Pope Paul VI’s document stating (emphasis, mine):

“It has also been considered fitting to reduce appropriately the number ofplenary indulgences in order that the faithful may hold them in greateresteem and may in fact acquire them with the proper dispositions. Forindeed the greater the proliferation (of indulgences) the less is theattention given them; what is offered in abundance is not greatlyappreciated. Besides, many of the faithful need considerable time toprepare themselves properly for acquisition of a plenary indulgence.”

and this from publicity write up of the 2006 Calendar of Indulgences: Beauty of Grace:

“This attractive 12"x 12” wall calendar: lists all the indulgenced works of the Church on a month-at- a-glance basis; highlights the twenty-two special days when a partial indulgence becomes plenary to honor a day; color-codes the indulgences for easy identification; has scholarly notes on the history of indulgences; contains the conditions for earning both partial and plenary indulgences; gives the complete text of over a dozen different indulgenced prayers; and much much more! "


#14

[quote=Pope Paul VI]"…many of the faithful need considerable time toprepare themselves properly for acquisition of a plenary indulgence."
[/quote]

That statement makes a lot of sense to me. Faith is a journey, not merely an instantaneous happening.

The lightbulb just doesn’t automatically appear and “boom” we have a plenary indulgence. The electricity needs to flow to the light socket first.

(I hope I didn’t confuse everyone with my strange analogy just now. :o :stuck_out_tongue: )

Also, thank you everyone for your comments. I think it just clicked for me (a lightbulb went on :wink: ). It seems that we should be trying to get our own house in order first before considering starting to offer to help clean others houses. (Although we can certainly help others clean their “house” (soul) while we are cleaning our own).


#15

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