November 22, 1992
Brother John Raymond

	Indulgences are little known in our present age. Yet, they are a
 great treasure given to us by God through His Church. Also, they are
 a wonderful way of gaining more graces from the prayers we already
 pray every day.
	What is an indulgence? It is the remission before God of the
 temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven (as far as their
 guilt is concerned). This remission of punishment is given to us by
 the Mercy of God through the treasury of His Church, the graces won
 for us by Christ and the Saints.
	It is a teaching of the Church that sins bring upon us a
 punishment. It must be expiated in this life through the sufferings
 we endure or else after death in Purgatory.
	The Church grants indulgences not only to expiate our temperal
 punishment due to sin but also to encourage us to grow in our faith.
	There are two types of indulgences. A partial indulgence removes
 part of the temporal punishment due to sin. With this type of
 indulgence the act performed has a certain expiatory value which the
 Church doubles from its treasury of graces. We can gain a partial
 indulgence, by having the intention to gain one, anytime we:

1. Raise our mind to God and, even if only mentally, offer some pious
2. Practice charity or mercy by giving of ourselves or our
 possessions to help our neighbor in need.
3. Voluntarily perform an act of penance by denying ourselves
 something which we can lawfully enjoy.

	There is no limit to the number of partial indulgences one can
 gain in a day.

	A plenary indulgence, on the other hand, removes all of our
 temporal punishment. It can be gained only once a day (except at the
 moment of death). To gain one it is necessary to perform the work to
 which the indulgence is attached, receive Holy Communion, pray at
 least one Our Father and Hail Mary for the Holy Father's intentions
 and go to Confession within eight days. Also, one must have no
 attachment to venial sin. If any of the conditions are not fulfilled
 the act becomes a partial indulgence. A single Confession suffices
 for several plenary indulgences, while Holy Communion and prayers
 for the Holy Father must be fulfilled for each one. An indulgence
 cannot be gained for an act we are obliged to do.

	The following works have a plenary indulgence attached to them:

1. Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament for at least half-an-hour.
2. Devout reading of the Sacred Scriptures for at least half-an-hour.
3. Making the Way of the Cross
4. The recitation of the Holy Rosary in a church, public oratory,
 family group, religious Community or pious Association.
5. The faithful in danger of death, who cannot be assisted by a
 priest to give them the Apostolic Blessing with its plenary
 indulgence, who have been in the habit of reciting some prayers
 during their lifetime and have no attachment to venial sin. (No
 other conditions are required)

	Any of the good works we perform along with the attached
 indulgences can be offered for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

	Let us apply ourselves to gaining indulgences. Jesus offers us a
 free gift through His Church. Let's build up our heavenly bank
 account for ourselves and for others too.

	More information on indulgences can be found in the "Enchiridion
 of Indulgences" published by Catholic Book Publishing Co. This book
 contains seventy popular Catholic prayers and practices with their
 associated indulgences besides explaining the Church's doctrine on
 indulgences. It can be ordered from: The Monks of Adoration, P.O.
 2241 Englewood Road, Englewood, FL 34223 - $5.00 + $1.25 S&H.