Introduction. Once the eternal consequences of our sins have been forgiven through the sacrament of Penance, the temporal damages that were caused by our sins often still remain as collateral damage.  Through Indulgences we resolve these after-effects of our sins, and "fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his Church," as St. Paul teaches us in Colossians 1:24.


Here is how to obtain the blessing of an Indulgence: 

§   Examine your conscience well, and make a good Confession.

§   Resolve to be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin.

§   Complete one of the required prayerful actions listed below.

§   Pray the Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of the Pope.

§   Worthily receive Holy Communion with great interior devotion.


Here are examples of prayerful actions required for Indulgences:

§   Prayerfully recite five decades of the Rosary as a group in a church.

§   Prayerfully adore the Blessed Sacrament for at least a half hour.

§   Prayerfully read the Sacred Scriptures for at least a half hour.

§   Prayerfully meditate on the Stations of the Cross in a church.


For more information, please read the book, Enchiridion of Indulgences.  When we are in a state of sanctifying grace, our prayers of intercession derive their power from the saving merits of Jesus Christ.  Through him, we perform meritorious works of mercy for ourselves and for others.


Conclusion. The obtaining of indulgences mercifully completes the inner healing that is begun in the sacrament of Penance.  After the eternal consequences of our sins are forgiven in Confession, we either make up for the temporal effects of our sins in this life, or others will do it for us when our souls are in purgatory.  Let us remember our departed loved ones in prayer by obtaining Indulgences for them.  And let us find spiritual closure by obtaining Indulgences for ourselves in this life.




About Indulgences

In addition to joining our parish Prayer List for our Mass Intentions, we can obtain Indulgences for ourselves, and also for the poor souls in purgatory.

Because of God's mercy,  we have many holy ways of engaging in intercessory prayer for both the living and for the dead.

Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration, either before a Tabernacle, where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, or before a Monstrance, where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, is another special opporunity for intercessory prayer outside of Mass.