March 2, 2013

Plenary Indulgence Can Be Obtained During Lent

The Catholic Church offers an easy plenary indulgence (with the usual conditions) to the faithful who recite the following prayer before a crucifix after having received Communion on any Friday in Lent. A plenary indulgence, you'll remember, remits all the temporal punishment due to personal sins - eternal punishment is remitted in baptism and sacramental confession.

You may pray the prayer in either Latin or your vernacular:

En ego, o bone et dulcissime Jesu, ante conspectum tuum genibus me provolvo, ac maximo animi ardore te oro atque obtestor, ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei et caritatis sensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum paenitentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis imprimere; dum magno animi affectu et dolore tua quinque vulnera mecum ipse considero, ac mente contemplor, illud prae oculis habens, quod iam in ore ponebat tuo David Propheta de te, o bone Iesu: "Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos; dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea." (Grant 8 § 1, 2º in the Manual of Indulgences.)

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul, pray and beseech thee that thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, with true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment; while with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate thy five wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the prophet put on thy lips concerning thee: “My hands and my feet they have pierced, they have numbered all my bones."

The conditions for gaining the Plenary Indulgence are as follows:

1. The act accomplished

2. Sacramental Communion

3. Sacramental Confession within 20 days

4. Prayer for the intention of the Holy Father

5. Freedom from attachment to sin (Be not afraid! This last condition doesn’t mean that you will no longer be tempted towards sin but that, with this action, you are willing to root out anything in your life which is displeasing to God and to love Him above all things).

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