Meditations on the Poor Souls in Purgatory – November 28th

Indulgences in Purgatory

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

We can gain for ourselves, and for the Holy Souls, Indulgences, varying from thirty days to thousands of years. Does this mean that our time in Purgatory will be shortened by this period? No; but that we shall be spared that amount of suffering which would have been involved in a corresponding period of the old canonical penances of the Church. What that amount of suffering is, we do not know. All we know is that each Indulgence brings with it some sort of relief. It may be that an Indulgence of a thousand years may only shorten our Purgatory by a few moments. We may gain Indulgences amounting to millions of years, yet still may have a period of Purgatory remaining.
What is meant by a Plenary Indulgence? It is one which brings with it a complete remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, if the person gaining it has perfect dispositions, and a hatred of sin corresponding to its hatefulness. But if the dispositions are imperfect, then it has only a partial effect. Hence we may gain many Plenary Indulgences, and yet have a large debt still to pay.
Are Indulgences always assigned to those for whom they are offered? Yes, they always bring them some benefit. Yet we are said to offer them by way of suffrage. Many theologians explain this as meaning that we ask God, if it be his good pleasure, to bestow them on this or that person, if not, on those more worthy. Our friends may gain many Plenary Indulgences for us after our death, without our being released. We must deserve them now, if we are to enjoy their full effect in Purgatory.
Make a resolution to do more to aid the Holy Souls.

Sorrowful floral strip

The Devout Year by the Rev. R.F. Clarke, S.J.

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