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You are here: Documents > The Other Sacraments and Sacramentals > Norms for Indulgences (3rd Edition)  Back one page.

Table of Contents
Table of ContentsIII. Three General Types of Indulgence GrantsV. The Other Types of Indulgenced GrantsEndnotes

IV. The Grants

I

A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, while performing their duties and enduring the difficulties of life, raise their minds in humble trust to God and make, at least mentally, some pious invocation.

This type of grant intends to assist the Christian faithful in fulfilling the command of Christ: "You need to pray always and not stop." [4] It also admonishes them to carry out their duties in such a way that they maintain and increase their union with Christ.

Mt 7:7-8: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Mt 26:41: Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.

Lk 21:34-36: Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.

Acts 2:42: They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.

Rom 12:12: Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.

1 Cor 10:31: So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

Eph 6:18: With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones.

Col 3:17: And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Col 4:2: Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

I Thes 5:17-18: Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Vatican Council 11, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, no. 41: Accordingly all Christians, in the conditions, duties and circumstances of their life and through all these, will sanctify themselves more and more if they receive all things with faith from the hand of the heavenly Father and cooperate with the divine will, thus showing forth in that temporal service the love with which God has loved the world.

Vatican Council 11, Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People Apostolicam Actuositatem, no. 4: This life of intimate union with Christ in the Church is maintained by the spiritual helps common to all the faithful.... Lay people should make such a use of these helps that, while meeting their human obligations in the ordinary conditions of life, they do not separate their union with Christ from their ordinary life; but through the very performance of their tasks, which are God's will for them, actually promote the growth of their union with him.... Family cares should not be foreign to their spirituality, nor any other temporal interest; in the words of the apostle: "Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." [5]

Vatican Council 11, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, no. 43: one of the gravest errors of our time is the dichotomy between the faith which many profess and the practice of their daily lives.... Let there, then, be no such pernicious opposition between professional and social activity on the one hand and religious life on the other.... Let Christians follow the example of Christ who worked as a craftsman; let them be proud of the opportunity to carry out their earthly activity in such a way as to integrate human, domestic, professional, scientific and technical enterprises with religious values, under whose supreme direction all things are ordered to the glory of God.

II

A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, prompted by a spirit of faith, devote themselves or their goods in compassionate service to their brothers and sisters in need.

This second type of grant intends to induce the Christian faithful to follow the example and the command of Christ Jesus [26] by frequently performing works of charity and mercy.

But this indulgence is not attached to all works of charity. It is attached only to those works done "in compassionate service to their brothers and sisters in need," e.g., persons who are in need of food or clothing for the body or in need of instruction or comfort for their spirits.

Mt 25:35-36, 40: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.... Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did it for me. [7]

Jn 13:34-35: 1 give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Rom 12:8, 10-11, 13: If one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.... Love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.... Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality.

I Cor 13:3: If I give away everything I own.... but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Gal 6:10: While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.

Eph 5:2: Live in love, as Christ loved us.

I Thes 4:9: You yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.

Heb 13:1: Let mutual love continue.

Jas 1:27: Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world. [8]

I Pt 1:22: Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart.

I Pt 3:8-9: Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing.

2 Pt 1:5, 7: Make every effort to supplement your ... devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.

I Jn 3:17-18: If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

Vatican Council 11, Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People Apostolicam Actuositatem, no. 8: Wherever people are to be found who are in want of food and drink, of clothing, housing, medicine, work, education, the means necessary for leading a truly human life, wherever there are people racked by misfortune or illness, people suffering exile or imprisonment, Christian charity should go in search of them and find them out, comfort them with devoted care and give them the helps that will relieve their needs.... If this exercise of charity is to be above all criticism, and seen to be so, one should see in one's neighbors the image of God to which they have been created, and Christ the Lord to whom is really offered all that is given to the needy.

Ibid., no. 31 c: Works of charity and mercy bear a most striking testimony to Christian life; therefore, an apostolic training which has as its object the performance of these works should enable the faithful to learn from very childhood how to sympathize with their brothers and sisters, and help them generously when in need.

Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modem World Gaudium et spes, conclusion, no. 93: Mindful of the words of the Lord: "This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another," [9] Christians can yearn for nothing more ardently than to serve the people of this age with an ever growing generosity and success.... It is the Father's will that we should recognize Christ our brother in the persons of all people and love them with an effective love, in word and in deed.

III

A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a spirit of penitence, voluntarily abstain from something which is licit for and pleasing to them.

This third type of grant intends to urge the Christian faithful to hold their appetites in check and thus learn to obtain mastery over their bodies and conform themselves to the poor and suffering Christ. [10]

The excellence of self-control indeed stands out more when it is combined with charity, as St. Leo the Great writes: "We should spend on virtue what we take away from our pleasures. Thus through the abstinence of the fasting person relief may come to the poor." [11]

Lk 9:23: If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. [12]

Lk 13:5: If you do not repent, you will all perish as they did (cf. ibid. v. 3).

Rom 8:13: If by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Rom 8:17: If only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

I Cor 9:25-27: Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No. I drive my body and train it.

2 Cor 4:10: Always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.

2 Tm 2:11-12: This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him.

Ti 2:12: [Rejecting] worldly desires [we should] live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age.

I Pt 4:13: But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly.

Vatican Council II, Decree on the Training of Priests Optatam totius, no. 9: With special care they should be so trained in priestly obedience, poverty and a spirit of self-denial, that they may accustom themselves to living in conformity with the crucified Christ and to giving up willingly even those things which are lawful.

Vatican Council 11, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, no. 10: The faithful indeed, by virtue of their royal priesthood, participate in the offering of the Eucharist. They exercise that priesthood, too, by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, abnegation and active charity.

Vatican Council 11, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, no. 41: The forms and tasks of life are many but holiness is one - that sanctity which is cultivated by all who act under God's Spirit and, obeying the Father's voice and adoring God the Father in spirit and truth, follow Christ, poor, humble and cross-bearing, that they may deserve to be partakers of his glory.

Apostolic Constitution on Christian Penance Paenitemini, III, c: The Church nevertheless appeals to all the faithful together that they obey the Lord's command to repent not only through the hardships and setbacks bound up with the nature of daily life, but also by acts of bodily mortification....

The Church is intent especially upon expressing the three principal ways, longstanding in its practice, which make it possible to fulfill the divine command to repent. These are prayer, fasting, and works of charity - even though fast and abstinence have had a privileged place. These ways of penance have been shared by all the centuries; yet in our own time there are particular reasons advanced in favor of one way of penance above the others, depending on circumstances. For example, in the richer nations stress is placed on the witness of self?denial so that Christians will not become worldly; another emphasis is the witness of charity toward others, even those in foreign lands, who are suffering poverty and hunger. [13]

Table of ContentsIII. Three General Types of Indulgence GrantsV. The Other Types of Indulgenced GrantsEndnotes

You are here: Documents > The Other Sacraments and Sacramentals > Norms for Indulgences (3rd Edition)  Back one page.

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You are here: Documents > The Other Sacraments and Sacramentals > Norms for Indulgences (3rd Edition)  Back one page.

Home | New | FAQ | Search | Forum | Links


All contents © copyright, 1998-2014
The Catholic Liturgical Library
http://www.catholicliturgy.com