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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.

"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"God speaks to us without ceasing by his good inspirations."
The Cure D'Ars

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