From the Rector: General Remarks on Indulgences
Apr05

From the Rector: General Remarks on Indulgences

General remarks on Indulgences The following “General remarks on Indulgences” from Gift of the Indulgence summarizes the usual conditions given in the Church’s law (cf. Apostolic Penitentiary, Prot. N. 39/05/I): This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law(can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church(n. 1471): “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions(below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works ….. [in this case, those granted for the Feast of Mercy] To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of graceat least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.  [i.e. one must be a Catholic, not excommunicated or in schism.] A plenary indulgencecan be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace: a) have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin; b) have sacramentally confessedtheir sins; c) receive the Holy Eucharist(it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required); d) pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessorscan commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin). Indulgences canalways be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth. And so the Supreme Pontiff, motivated by an ardent desire to foster in Christians this devotion to Divine Mercy as much as possible in the hope of offering great spiritual fruit to the...

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Sunday School: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
Mar28

Sunday School: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-Easter Sunday Cycle B

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From the Rector: How do we know that Jesus Rose form the Dead?
Mar28

From the Rector: How do we know that Jesus Rose form the Dead?

How do we know that Jesus Rose from the Dead? The short answer to the question is that we have the historical testimony of many reliable witnesses to the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. The fact that Christ rose from the dead was not the product of the faith of Christ’s followers, rather, it was the cause of their faith.  The Apostles knew by actual experience that Christ had risen, as we know from history, of which the Apostolic Tradition and Scriptures are a part (the inspired nature of the Scriptures is a separate issue). The New Testament cannot be dismissed as myth misinterpreted and confused with fact because it specifically distinguishes the two and repudiates the mythic interpretation (2Pet 1:16, 1Cor 15:17-19). The faith of the first community of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians and for the most part still living among them.  Peter and the rest of the Twelve are the primary witnesses to his Resurrection (Acts: 10:41).  The fact that the disciples were able to proclaim the Resurrection in Jerusalem in the face of their enemies a few weeks after the crucifixion shows that what they proclaimed was true, for they could never have proclaimed the Resurrection (and been believed) under such circumstances had it not occurred. But they were not the only witnesses.  In one of his letters written about A.D. 56, St. Paul speaks clearly of more than five hundred persons to whom Jesus appeared on a single occasion (1Cor 15:4-8) inviting any reader to check the truth of the story by questioning the eyewitnesses. He could never have done this and gotten away with it, given the power, resources and numbers of his enemies, if it were not true, and no one disputes that Paul’s letters were written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses to Christ.  St. Paul could hope to gain nothing in this world or the next by lying.  His doctrine led to his martyrdom in this life, and nothing proves sincerity like martyrdom, and he himself taught that God’s wrath awaits liars (Rom2:8). The often repeated hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles’ faith (or credulity) will not hold up.  On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.  This faith has been handed on to us by the Apostles and their successors and will continue to be preached by the all the successors of Peter.  Resurrexit sicut dixit!  He is Risen as he said, Alleluia!...

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Sunday School: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Mar23

Sunday School: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord Cycle...

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From the Rector: Palm Sunday Procession
Mar23

From the Rector: Palm Sunday Procession

In order to help understand our Palm Sunday procession, I want to re-print a summary of an article I wrote a few years ago for the voice of the Southwest. Although there are several other examples, the processions in the New Testament of primary importance are Our Lord’s procession into the city of Jerusalem on palm Sunday, and his procession along the via dolorosa, carrying his cross up Mt. Calvary, which is commemorated as part of the Good Friday Liturgy. Theological Understanding:  The people of God on the Journey to the Kingdom, the heavenly Jerusalem. It is a teaching Scripture and so also the Church that everything that was said and done in the Old Testament Scriptures was a preparation for Christ and consequently has meaning for us now.  The history of Salvation can be summed up in this, we have been freed from slavery to sin by passing through the waters of Baptism and our journey will conclude when we reach the promised Land of Heaven and enter into the presence of God.  The journey of the Israelites is a type or a preview of the greater reality of Salvation in Christ and our eternal destiny. We are freed not just from slavery to Egypt, but to sin, entering not just the earthly Promised Land, but the Heavenly one, worshiping not only in the temple of the earthly Jerusalem, but in God’s temple (in Christ) in the Heavenly Jerusalem. Weekly Liturgical Processions: Every time we celebrate Holy Mass we take part in several processions.  Mass begins with the Entrance Procession by which the ministers enter the Sanctuary.  This procession may be led by incense, candles, a processional crucifix and the book of the Gospels.  It is to be accompanied by the proper introit chant, processional psalm and antiphon or at least a suitable hymn.  For solemn Masses there is a procession before the proclamation of the Gospel, the Offertory procession of gifts, the procession of the faithful to receive Holy Communion, and finally the Recessional as the ministers depart the Sanctuary after the dismissal. Other Liturgical processions are included in Funerals, and in the conferral of the Sacraments at Baptisms and Weddings. Annual Liturgical Processions: These include the Eucharistic Processions for Corpus Christi and the Palm Sunday procession with palm branches commemorating our Lords entry into Jerusalem.  Corpus Christi processions are the most solemn of all since they involve an actual procession of Jesus Christ! This is not a re-enactment, Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist here and now, bodily moving through the streets of our towns. Devotional Processions take place in May for the crowning of images of Mary.  These correspond to the ancient processions in an interesting way. ...

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