To Reach Heaven Should Be Our Life’s Main Work

If you think it is too hard to get to Heaven, then think again!  As children, we were taught that we have to earn Heaven.  We earn Heaven by loving and serving God as well as by avoiding sin.  If we slip up and commit sin, God in His goodness and mercy has established the Sacrament of Penance.  The sin is forgiven, but in God’s justice, there is temporal punishment still due for the sin.  This debt of punishment must be paid before a person can enter Heaven, and this can be accomplished, in part, through prayers that grant indulgences.

What is an indulgence? 

An indulgence is an extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God’s justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the supplication of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive.[1]

A partial indulgence commutes only a certain portion of the penalty; and this portion is determined in accordance with the penitential discipline of the early Church.

To say that an indulgence of so many days or years is granted means that it cancels an amount of purgatorial punishment equivalent to that which would have been remitted, in the sight of God, by the performance of so many days or years of the ancient canonical penance.  Here, evidently, the reckoning makes no claim to absolute exactness; it has only a relative value.  God alone knows what penalty remains to be paid and what its precise amount is in severity and duration. 

Finally, some indulgences are granted on behalf of the living only, while others may be applied on behalf of the souls departed.  It should be noted, however, that the application has not the same significance in both cases.  The Church, in granting an indulgence to the living, exercises her jurisdiction; over the dead she has no jurisdiction and therefore makes the indulgence available for them by way of suffrage (per modum suffragii), i.e., she petitions God to accept these works of satisfaction, and in consideration thereof to mitigate or shorten the sufferings of the souls in Purgatory.[2] 

Following is the remarkable prayer that Pope Eugenius III, at the earnest request of St. Bernard, has granted three thousand years (!) indulgence to all who with a contrite heart, recite the Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary 3 times, in honor of the Wound of the Shoulder of Our Blessed Redeemer.

The Prayer

O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder, on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy Flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other Wound of Thy Most Blessed Body.  I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound,  beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross.  Amen.[3]

If this prayer was said each day for years, your time in Purgatory would be considerably shortened, due to the mercy and goodness of our Creator. 

There are many other prayers that have indulgences attached that would help even further – especially those with a Plenary Indulgence.  A Plenary Indulgence is one that obtains a complete remission of all temporal punishment due for sins.  Since we need all the help we can get to save our souls, this is an extraordinary mercy that God offers us.  However, to obtain a plenary indulgence, we usually must pray for the intentions of the pope.  One might ask how we can do that, without compromise, when the pope has many bad intentions?  For example, Pope Francis uses his monthly prayer intentions to promote his politically-correct climate alarmism, which is a basis for his promotion of a one-world government to regulate the ecology of the world and of the oceans in particular.

However, despite Pope Francis’s own bad intentions, there are always some good intentions which are automatically included in the intentions of the pope.  God wants us to pray for these Traditional Catholic intentions of the pope, but of course, not pray for any evil intentions.  Thus, it would be a good thing for you to make your intent explicit – for yourself and for others – by stating that you are praying for the Traditional intentions of the pope, thereby reminding yourself and others that you reject his evil and radical intentions.  The Traditional intentions of the pope are these six: 

  1. The Exaltation of the Church;
  2. The Propagation of the Faith;
  3. The Extirpation of Heresy;
  4. The Conversion of Sinners;
  5. The Concord between Christian Princes; and
  6. The Further Welfare of the Christian People.

Another condition of gaining the plenary indulgence is going to Confession and receiving Holy Communion.  That, of course, is a proviso that all of us have fulfilled for years (never dreaming that there might come a time when this was not possible).  How then can we gain a plenary indulgence without access to uncompromising priests and Sacraments?  Should uncompromising Traditional Catholics even “bother” praying for the Traditional intentions of the pope to obtain a plenary indulgence, when, in our times of Great Apostasy, there is little or no opportunity to fulfill the other usual conditions, viz., going to confession and receiving Holy Communion?

The answer is "yes"!

God understands that we cannot do the impossible, nor does He expect us to.  He does not expect, nor want us to, receive the sacraments or go to Mass when it is not available without compromise.  Compromise Masses and Sacraments don’t help us and they offend God.

One way that God is able to provide for us is to give us a plenary indulgence when we piously and diligently fulfill the conditions as closely as we can.  God can treat this as if it were literal compliance with the usual conditions obtaining a plenary indulgence.  Thus:

  When confession is not available without compromise, then God expects us to make an Act of Contrition as perfectly as we can.

  When we cannot receive Holy Communion without compromise, He expects us to make as fervent a Spiritual Communion as we can.

Let us have a strong heart and complete confidence in God!  Let us always be sure that God is providing perfectly for us.

Let us continue to fulfill the conditions for obtaining plenary indulgences to the extent that we are able, knowing that God provides for us.

[1]           Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, article title: Indulgences, The Gilmary Society, New York, 1910, p. 783.        

[2]           Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, article title: What an Indulgence is, The Gilmary Society, New York, 1910, p. 783-4.

[3]           Published by Our Lady of the Rosary Library, 4016 Preston Hwy, Louisville, KY, 40213, Imprimatur: Thomas D. Beven, Bishop of Springfield, Ma.