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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.

"What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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