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25. Indulgences

1. An indulgence is the remission, in whole or in part, ofthe temporal punishment due to sin. The Church draws from herspiritual treasury (which consists of the inexhaustible meriting ofChrist and the superabundant merits which the saints gained throughChrist) to pay the temporal debt of sin, which, otherwise, thesinner would have to pay by trials and sufferings in this life orin purgatory. For the performing of certain designated good works,or the reciting of assigned prayers, the Church, in her power ofloosing and binding, releases the well-disposed person from thetemporal punishment due to his sins-and this, completely orpartially. This is called "granting an indulgence."

2. The Church has at her disposal the limitless spiritualtreasure of Christ's merits, to which are added thesuperabundant merits of Mary and the saints, and therefore she hasunlimited means for cancelling the debt of temporal punishment dueto human sins. If the indulgence be authoritatively proclaimed, andif the person seeking to obtain it is in the state of grace and hastrue piety as his motive, the indulgence can be perfectlygained.

3. Indulgences are sometimes attached by the Church to thereciting of certain prayers, sometimes to the performing of gooddeeds, such as almsgiving, or the making of pious pilgrimages.

"It is well to choose some one good devotion, and to stick to it, and never to abandon it."
St Philip Neri

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"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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