Friday, December 07, 2007

I can't believe we're still doing this...

CNS coverage of the plenary indulgence for Lourdes, in case you want the plenary for the 150th anniversary of Mary's appearance at Lourdes. It’s ever so Catholic:

1. Option 1: Visit Lourdes any time between Dec 8 2007 and Dec 8 2008 (Immaculate Conception); visit the following four places, preferable “in order”: The parish where St. Bernadette was baptized; the Soubirous family home; the Massabielle grotto; the chapel where St. Bernadette received her first Communion. (Be sure and get the order down; the indulgence may not stick if you do it backward.) At each location the faithful should end their meditation by praying the Lord's Prayer, the creed and the special jubilee prayer or a prayer to Mary.

2. Option 2: Visit any public sanctuary, shrine or other worthy place dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes to receive the indulgence Feb. 2 (Feast of the Presentation) to Feb 11 (first apparition). Include prayers. There should be some communal service involved.

3. Option 3: Do it at home between Feb 2 and Feb 11. (!!) Presumably this is only for the sick and elderly who can’t make the trip. But it’s a nice touch.

At least Martin Luther can rest easy that the indulgence is not being sold. If they’d done it this way then, St. Peter’s never would have been built!

But I still can’t believe that we’re still talking about “temporal punishment due to sin.” (Incidentally, you can apply the plenary to the poor souls in purgatory.) Purgatory’s a nice idea and all—we’re always trying to make sure everyone gets a zillion chances at heaven—but sometimes I think we get too specific. I’m into Catholic exotica, but this stuff (private revelation) is all totally OPTIONAL after all (Lourdes at least, if not purgatory too).

But I guess it can’t hurt to run up to Leland and Ashland here in Chicago and grab the plenary--that's where the local Our Lady of Lourdes Parish can be found. Bases covered and all.

Of course, if the BVM appears to me, I’m going to have a lot of explaining to do…

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4 Comments:

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous thebenevolentdictator said...

I'm sorry. All those years of Catholic school aren't kicking in. What do you do with a plenary indulgence when you get one? Can you pick the sin that you apply it to? Sometimes I can't believe that the "poke" as my child calls him and the Church at large spends its enormous resources mired down in this, lets just say, level of detail.

 
At 10:17 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Maybe it would be easier to ask you what Church teachings you do believe in...you can only water down something so much before you are left with nothing but, well, water.

You're understanding of indulgences are grossly misunderstood (abeit the concept is rather confusing)...I'm too tired to explain it tongiht, but it's not about simply about ritual,one must be properly disposed and void of all attachments to sin..they are not "get out of jail free cards." You can disent with Church teaching all you wish, but please don't represent what the Church actually teaches.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger CtotheL said...

The Trinity, the full humanity and divinity of Christ, the real presence in the eucharist, the sacraments, the divine institution of the church. I know the church's teaching well, and I assent to all those that the church requires assent to. Indulgences are not among them. They were, after all, invented in the Middle Ages, and I still think they're more trouble than they're worth. God's mercy isn't gained by jumping through devotional hoops. It's a gift.

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Lehigh Catholic said...

Actually, indulgences are among the Church's infallible teaching, thereby requiring assent. http://www.catholic.com/library/Primer_on_Indulgences.asp

"Indulgences are part of the Church’s infallible teaching. This means that no Catholic is at liberty to disbelieve in them. The Council of Trent stated that it 'condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them'(Trent, session 25, Decree on Indulgences). Trent’s anathema places indulgences in the realm of infallibly defined teaching."

 

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