DAILY CATHOLIC    NEW YEAR'S ISSUE    December 29 - January 3, 1999   vol. 9, no. 250


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE and SECTION FOUR
          The Feature Article, begun in the inaugural issue two years ago, deals with the state of the Church. We continue probing the question that has perplexed the Magisterium and the laity for the past 30 years as the liberal element has left its mark, effecting changes that have seemingly watered down the "Roman Catholic" traditions. Yet, God in His Infinite Wisdom, has allowed this to happen for a specific purpose. He has been preparing us in a special way by sending His very Own Blessed Mother to guide us and remind us of our roots. Through perseverance, prayer and loyalty to Holy Mother Church headed by the Holy Father John Paul II and adhered to by the faithful who will not compromise, the pendulum is beginning to swing back toward the conservative side. In the eighty-ninth installment of this on-going feature series, we continue a segment on indulgences following up on the Holy Father's most recent Papal Bull Incarnationis Mysterium leading up to Christmas. It is vital to distinguish what the Pope means when he talks about indulgences and what they mean, and the fact they are not for sale but can only be gained if one fulfills all the requirements asked including, most of all, being free from mortal sin. The Church has always execised its right to grant indulgences to the faithful and it's important the faithful know what they are as we continue to alert the reader to what is happening and sound the call to arms, to enlist in Mary's army and take up the battle cry. God said it, we believe it, that settles it! Too many Catholics are going their own way with little regard to what their spiritual shepherd - the Vicar of Christ says. Sin is whitewashed. If we're not careful there will be a tremendous backwash and who among us wants to get caught in the vortex of that swirling whirlpool of Justice? This series is a set blueprint for Catholics everywhere to take up the banner of truth in defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we prepare for this glorious event - the second coming of Christ and the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Second Pentecost, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the Advent of Peace.
Installment Eighty-nine

The Thirty-Ninth Clarion:

part three

"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."

2 Machabees 12: 41
          In the last two installments we have been discussing Plenary Indulgences and Partial Indulgences. We are focusing on these in light of the Holy Father's most recent Papal Bull Incarnationis Mysterium in which the Pope outlines Jubilee indulgences for Jubilee 2000 and encourages the faithful to gain indulgences. In this third installment, we want to talk about examples of Plenary Indulgences that can be gained by all the faithful and the origins of these prayers and pious practices. These are listed in the RACCOLTA or Manual of Indulgences which is the authentic collection of prayers and devotions which have been indulgenced by the Popes. Some of these are The Holy Rosary. By reciting the Rosary, at least a third or five of the fifteen decades, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament either in the Tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance, as often as one does this, according to Raccolta 395-c, one can gain a Plenary Indulgence on the condition one has gone to confession and received Holy Communion. The Raccolta, as we mentioned above, contains the prayers, devotions and acts which the Church determines are worthy of meriting indulgences. With each prayer, pious devotion, or novena the particular indulgence gained is listed there. This was first published by the Vatican during the papacy of Pope Pius VII in 1807. It is the Sacred Congregation of the Penitentiary which sets the conditions necessary to gain an indulgence and lists the amount of days the indulgence grants after each authorized prayer or practice. It is indicated by the abbreviation Rac. and the number of the prayer. If the Rosary one is using is blessed, then additional indulgences can be gained.

          Besides the Rosary, another example which falls under the "toties quoties" stipulations - or "as often as one can" is the Way of the Cross. If one has a contrite heart and has received Holy Communion on the same day or within a month after having performed the pious Stations of the Cross in a church, then one can gain a Plenary Indulgence according to Raccolta 194. Of course, All Souls Day is a special day and when one visits a church or chapel or cemetery on November 2 or on the Sunday immediately following this feast and specifically prays for the Church Suffering - the poor souls in Purgatory - with the recitation of six Our Fathers, six Hail Mary's and six Glory Be's for the intentions of the Holy Father, and has met the same obligations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and received the Holy Eucharist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then one will receive a Plenary Indulgence per Raccolta 590. Partaking in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass can garner one a Plenary Indulgence according to Raccolta 173 in which "The faithful who make an offering and have the sacrifice of the Mass said in reparation for the insults offered by mankind to the most Holy Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist may gain a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions." Additional prayers we can say each day that will help us gain a Plenary Indulgence are the Prayer before a Crucifix which brings a Plenary Indulgence of ten years if recited after Communion according to Raccolta 201. The Prayer to Christ the King brings a Plenary Indulgence as well on the usual conditions once daily per Raccolta 232. Raccolta article 638 states that the Act of Resignation to the Divine Will prayer brings an indulgence of seven years and a Plenary Indulgence at the hour of death for those who say this prayer on any day chosen after Holy Communion and Confession. There are numerous prayers in which, by reciting and fulfilling the requirements asked, we can gain indulgences, mostly Partial Indulgences on a daily basis. These prayers range from the Sign of the Cross to the Angeles. We will publish all of these important prayers this coming year periodically in our PRAYERS & DEVOTION section each day with the appropriate indulgence that can be gained. Most of these prayers can be found in approved prayer books and old missals. Also, most Partial Indulgences for prayers said can be translated into Plenary Indulgences if meeting the requisites of reciting them continuously for a month on the usual conditions.

          In addition to prayers, holy objects or sacramentals that have been blessed and used for prayerful purposes can serve as vehicles for indulgences such as Rosaries as mentioned above as well as Crucifixes, medals, statues, images, etc. provided they are made of strong material and not flimsy or breakable. All the family may use the same Rosary or crucifix or wear the same medal periodically and gain the indulgences attached. In addition, more than one indulgence may be attached to the same Rosary or crucifix. But care must be taken to realize that one and the same prayer will not necessarily avail one to be able to gain all the indulgences attached, unless it is expressly declared. That is why the stipulations in the Raccolta are so important. One of the biggest problems is finding a copy of this book. There are no copies of this material, to our knowledge, on the net and that is sad. Two reasons could be that the last published edition was in 1898 during the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII and the fact that one must receive permission to publish or post the entire Raccolta from the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences and Holy Relics and that is very difficult to do, even though the Roman Congregation has published an English version adapted for the faithful. Quite possibly because these have not been in circulation for many to read or even be exposed to, the concept of indulgences had all but disappeared among the faithful. Hopefully, now, a century after the production of the last edition of the Raccolta the Congregation will loosen its restrictions and allow a copy to be perused on the web, possibly at the Vatican's own official site. It would be helpful to all Catholics.

         Before wrapping up this installment it is vital to reiterate that one cannot gain indulgences for another living person. Only the souls in Purgatory can gain from the indulgences applicable to them. Even though an indulgence is granted for the living or the dead, the only living person who can gain it is the person who is performing the pious practice faithfully with the intentions outlined in the Raccolta. The Pope alone can grant indulgences directly applicable to the poor souls in Purgatory. The Church grants indulgences for the dead through intercessory prayer for the departed souls. We do not know how much temporal punishment is remitted by any indulgence. That is for God to determine and the only time we'll know is when we meet Him face to face in the Final Judgment and discover how many souls we were able to help through our dedication to indulgences for the souls in Purgatory. We must take care not to fall into the fault of pride in thinking we have freed a particular soul from Purgatory through our performance of requirements for Plenary Indulgences. That is presumption. At the same time we cannot be discouraged but rather must have the confidence that our prayers are meriting great graces for those souls most in need as God deigns. We are merely His instruments. In the next installment we will talk about the Indulgences the Holy Father is providing for Jubilee 2000 in his Papal Bull Incarnationis Mysterium.

December 29, 1998 - January 3, 1999       volume 9, no. 250


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