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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.

"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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