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Daily Catholic Question

What's the point of indulgences?

Going to confession recently is a condition for gaining any indulgence for oneself. You can gain an indulgence for someone deceased only if that person was truly sorry for his or her sins.

Doesn’t going to confession wipe out the sins confessed? A sin can be forgiven and yet still continue to have a harmful effect. That’s what the “temporal punishment due to sin” idea addresses.

Once we commit a sin, that sin has a life of its own—no longer totally under our control. If I knew you and told a lie about you, I might later repent of that lie and be forgiven in confession.

Unfortunately, that lie would have a life of its own. Even if I went back and told the truth to each person to whom I told that lie, I could never guarantee that my efforts would undo all the damage caused by this lie. The truth may never reach everyone who heard the lie!

Or, if I put a baseball through your window, I may be very sorry and you may forgive me—but you still have a broken window!

There is always damage between the time I sin and the time I repent and begin repairing the damage. My sin may have encouraged others—and may still do so even after I repent.

All this is not to make people feel crushed by guilt but to be realistic: My sins, your sins, anybody’s sins have a life of their own, a life which does not instantly cease when a sinner repents and is forgiven by God.

The teaching about purgatory recognizes that a person may not be ready to meet God and enjoy the beatific vision at the moment of death. Some purification may yet be needed. This is why for centuries the Christian community has prayed and continues to pray for its deceased members.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 5/13/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 5/15/2013

Anselm: Indifferent toward religion as a young man, Anselm became one of the Church's greatest theologians and leaders. He received the title "Father of Scholasticism" for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason. 
<p>At 15, Anselm wanted to enter a monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father's opposition. Twelve years later, after careless disinterest in religion and years of worldly living, he finally fulfilled his desire to be a monk. He entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy, three years later was elected prior and 15 years later was unanimously chosen abbot. </p><p>Considered an original and independent thinker, Anselm was admired for his patience, gentleness and teaching skill. Under his leadership, the abbey of Bec became a monastic school, influential in philosophical and theological studies. </p><p>During these years, at the community's request, Anselm began publishing his theological works, comparable to those of St. Augustine (August 28). His best-known work is the book <i>Cur Deus Homo</i> ("Why God Became Man"). </p><p>At 60, against his will, Anselm was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1093. His appointment was opposed at first by England's King William Rufus and later accepted. Rufus persistently refused to cooperate with efforts to reform the Church. </p><p>Anselm finally went into voluntary exile until Rufus died in 1100. He was then recalled to England by Rufus's brother and successor, Henry I. Disagreeing fearlessly with Henry over the king's insistence on investing England's bishops, Anselm spent another three years in exile in Rome. </p><p>His care and concern extended to the very poorest people; he opposed the slave trade. Anselm obtained from the national council at Westminster the passage of a resolution prohibiting the sale of human beings.</p> American Catholic Blog When we have joy in the hour of humiliation, then we are truly humble after the heart of Jesus.

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