Sunday, November 11, 2007


I read this short primer on indulgences and was immediately struck by the selflessness and Christ likeness.

"How did the practice of Indulgences develop?
In the penitential services through which public sinners were reconciled with the Christian Community (Church) it was customary to impose penances like long prayers, fasting and pilgrimages to be performed as a condition for receiving sacramental absolution. Recognizing that the individual penitent often found these penances extremely difficult, the spirit of charity moved many to a desire to share the burden with their less fortunate brothers and sisters. Martyrs offered their sufferings on behalf of those doing penance, prayers of the community began to be counted as partial fulfillment of the penances imposed on individuals, and so, gradually there developed the notion of indulgences as grants of satisfaction drawn on the spiritual reserves of the Christian Community. "

In that same spirit rather than gossiping about the latest scandals on religious prime time try this; sometime this week make a good confession, go to mass, pray the rosary with your family, perform an indulgence for yourself, offer it up for someone else, or better yet do both. Share the burden.