Sunday, November 6, 2022

"Plenary Indulgences" a homily for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2022


“Plenary Indulgences” - Homily for the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

In this month of November, Catholics are especially mindful of our deceased who have gone before us.  Much like the brother in our first reading today from the book of Maccabees who, while being tortured, says "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by him.”

Did you know that you can assist the dead in a very concrete way through plenary indulgences?  Clearly plenary indulgences got a bad name during Martin Luther’s revolution, but the Catholic Church has ALWAYS strictly forbidden the selling of any indulgences.

So what is a plenary indulgence?  It is the complete removal of all punishment due to sin.  Sometimes, even though we confess a sin, we still have earthly consequences for that sin, and likewise the souls in purgatory are being purified in the fire of love so that they can one day enter Heaven.

So how do you go about earning a plenary indulgence?  The first thing to consider is that a plenary indulgence can only be applied to yourself or someone who has died.  You can also only gain one plenary indulgence per day.

The first thing you need to do for a plenary indulgence is go to confession once a month.

The next step to earning a plenary indulgence on a day is that you have to go to Mass on that day.

The next step to earning a plenary indulgence on a day is you have to pray 1 Our Father and 1 Hail Mary for the Pope’s intentions.  You also have to pray for a complete detachment from mortal and venial sin.

And then you have to do, each day, something that merits a plenary indulgence, and there are pamphlets in the narthex about the easiest ways to earn a daily plenary indulgence, those 4 things being either praying in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament for 30 minutes, reading the Bible for 30 minutes, praying a rosary silently in Church or out loud in a family setting, and the fourth is walking the stations of the Cross in our Church and praying them.

We all know people who have died that we are worried about.  We have the opportunity, every day, to earn a plenary indulgence either for ourselves or someone who has died.  This November, and all throughout the year, let us pray for the dead, and assist them with our prayers. 

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