Cash In During the Year of Faith

I used to think that indulgences were just a taste of Catholic superstition from the middle ages, hocus pocus, and a black eye on the Church with the past corrupt practice of selling indulgences.   But don’t get lulled into that fallacy.  Prudent Catholics receptive to pain avoidance for themselves and others tune into opportunities to earn indulgences.

A plenary indulgence through the mercy of God removes all of the temporal punishment due to our sins.  Here’s the translation, “If you complete all of the requirements for a plenary indulgence all of the punishment for all the sins up to that point is eliminated.  If you die tomorrow no more purgatory for you, baby.  You skate right into heaven to meet the big guy”.  Now who in their right mind would not want take advantage of that?  I don’t know about you, but I am always open to legitimate ways to reduce my pain both now and after death.

And with the Year of Faith kicking off this week, Pope Benedict the XVI has announced a special Year of Faith plenary indulgence.  Details of this proclamation and ways to fulfill all of the requirements can be found here.  Examples of activities include, “Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith…in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist of the Liturgy of the Hours, adding there to the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form”.  Now how hard is that in exchange for, say, a trillion years in purgatory?  I’m in.

To put this into context, it is relatively unusual for a Pope to actually designate a year like what Pope Benedict XVI is doing.  Although, it may seem out there to us, as Catholics we need to trust that our leaders have access to more information than we do.  They know what will be good for us.  And this really is.

Remember, you can earn the indulgence not just for you, but for a loved in purgatory.  Give the best gift to someone special to you this year—a “get out of purgatory free” card.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Check out the document on the Year of Faith and put in your calendar when and how you will fulfill the requirements for this indulgence.