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Daily Catholic Question

What are indulgences?

Pope Paul VI, in 1968 in the wake of Vatican II, did authorize new norms and a handbook, the Enchiridion of Indulgences. All general grants and ordinances concerning indulgences that were not included in the new Enchiridion were revoked by Pope Paul VI’s action.

A Catholic Catechism defines an indulgence as a remission of temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven. The faithful Christian, who is duly disposed, may gain an indulgence under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.

The power of the pope to grant indulgences rests on the power of the keys—the power given him by Jesus to bind and loose. In granting indulgences the pope draws on the treasury of the Church—the superabundant merits of Jesus and the merits of the communion of saints.

The Enchiridion established three general grants followed by other grants attached to particular pious works or prayers. General grants of partial indulgences are made: 1) for those who raise their minds to God with humble confidence in the performance of their duties and in bearing the trials of life and add some pious invocation; 2) to the faithful who give of themselves or their goods in the spirit of faith and mercy to serve their brothers and sisters in need; and 3) to the faithful who, in the spirit of penance, voluntarily deprive themselves of what is licit and pleasing to them.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 10/5/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 10/7/2012


Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Pope Francis said, “The Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God, the moment she gives us the life of God, she engenders us as a mother would.”

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