Purgatory: 8 Maps of Dante’s Purgatorio

"The Portals of Purgatory" by Gustave Dore.
“The Portals of Purgatory” by Gustave Dore.

Listers, “The “Divina Commedia” is an allegory of human life, in the form of a vision of the world beyond the grave, written avowedly with the object of converting a corrupt society to righteousness: “to remove those living in this life from the state of misery, and lead them to the state of felicity”. It is composed of a hundred cantos, written in the measure known as terza rima, with its normally hendecasyllabic lines and closely linked rhymes, which Dante so modified from the popular poetry of his day that it may be regarded as his own invention. He is relating, nearly twenty years after the event, a vision which was granted to him (for his own salvation when leading a sinful life) during the year of jubilee, 1300, in which for seven days (beginning on the morning of Good Friday) he passed through hell, purgatory, and paradise, spoke with the souls in each realm, and heard what the Providence of God had in store for himself and to world. The framework of the poem presents the dual scheme of the “De Monarchiâ” transfigured. Virgil, representing human philosophy acting in accordance with the moral and intellectual virtues, guides Dante by the light of natural reason from the dark wood of alienation from God (where the beasts of lust pride, and avarice drive man back from ascending the Mountain of the Lord), through hell and purgatory to the earthly paradise, the state of temporal felicity, when spiritual liberty has been regained by the purgatorial pains. Beatrice, representing Divine philosophy illuminated by revelation, leads him thence, up through the nine moving heavens of intellectual preparation, into the true paradise, the spaceless and timeless empyrean, in which the blessedness of eternal life is found in the fruition of the sight of God. There her place is taken by St. Bernard, type of the loving contemplation in which the eternal life of the soul consists, who commends him to the Blessed Virgin, at whose intercession he obtains a foretaste of the Beatific Vision, the poem closing with all powers of knowing and loving fulfilled and consumed in the union of the understanding with the Divine Essence, the will made one with the Divine Will, “the Love that moves the sun and the other stars”.1

Purgatorio
“The “Purgatorio”, perhaps the most artistically perfect of the three canticles, owes less to the beauty of the separate episodes. Dante’s conception of purgatory as a lofty mountain, rising out of the ocean in the southern hemisphere, and leading up to the Garden of Eden, the necessary preparation for winning back the earthly paradise, and with it all the prerogatives lost by man at the fall of Adam, seems peculiar to him; nor do we find elsewhere the purifying process carried on beneath the sun and stars, with the beauty of transfigured nature only eclipsed by the splendour of the angelic custodians of the seven terraces. The meeting with Beatrice on the banks of Lethe, with Dante’s personal confession of an unworthy past, completes the story of the “Vita Nuova” after the bitter experiences and disillusions of a lifetime. The essence of Dante’s philosophy is that all virtues and all vices proceed from love. The “Purgatorio” shows how love is to be set in order, the “Paradiso” shows how it is rendered perfect in successive stages of illumination, until it attains to union with the Divine Love.”2

 

Maps of Mount Purgatorio

Mount Purgatory 1

Mount Purgatory 2

Mount Purgatory 4

Mount Purgatory 5

Mount Purgatory 6

Mount Purgatory 8

Mount Purgatory 3

Mount Purgatory 7

 

Bonus: Maps of Dante’s Universe

Dante Universe 3

Dante Universe 1

Dante Universe 4

Dante Universe 2

  1. Catholic Encyclopedia: Dante Alighieri. []
  2. Id. []

Sanctifying & Actual Grace: 34 Questions on the Effects of Redemption

God gives to everyone He creates sufficient grace to save his soul; and if persons do not save their souls, it is because they have not used the grace given.

Listers, the following lesson is taken from the Baltimore Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism was the standard catechism for teaching the faith and catechizing children from 1885 to Vatican II. Its basic question-and-answer approach is the most natural learning style for the human mind and it simplifies even the most complex theological questions. All the lists taken from the Baltimore Catechism may be found here.

 

LESSON TENTH
On the Effects of the Redemption

 

Q. 450. What is an effect?

A. An effect is that which is caused by something else, as smoke, for example, is an effect of fire.

 

Q. 451. What does redemption mean?

A. Redemption means the buying back of a thing that was given away or sold.

 

Q. 452. What did Adam give away by his sin, and what did Our Lord buy back for him and us?

A. By his sin Adam gave away all right to God’s promised gifts of grace in this world and of glory in the next, and Our Lord bought back the right that Adam threw away.

 

Q. 453. Which are the chief effects of the Redemption?

A. The chief effects of the Redemption are two: The satisfaction of God’s justice by Christ’s sufferings and death, and the gaining of grace for men.

 

Q. 454. Why do we say “chief effects”?

A. We say “chief effects” to show that these are the most important but not the only effects of the Redemption — for all the benefits of our holy religion and of its influence upon the world are the effects of the redemption.

 

Q. 455. Why did God’s justice require satisfaction?

A. God’s justice required satisfaction because it is infinite and demands reparation for every fault. Man in his state of sin could not make the necessary reparation, so Christ became man and made it for him.

 

Q. 456. What do you mean by grace?

A. By grace I mean a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us, through the merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation.

 

Q. 457. What does “supernatural” mean?

A. Supernatural means above or greater than nature. All gifts such as health, learning or the comforts of life, that affect our happiness chiefly in this world, are called natural gifts, and all gifts such as blessings that affect our happiness chiefly in the next world are called supernatural or spiritual gifts.

 

Q. 458. What do you mean by “merit”?

A. Merit means the quality of deserving well or ill for our actions. In the question above it means a right to reward for good deeds done.

 

Q. 459. How many kinds of grace are there?

A. There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying grace and actual grace.

 

Q. 460. What is the difference between sanctifying grace and actual grace?

A. Sanctifying grace remains with us as long as we are not guilty of mortal sin; and hence, it is often called habitual grace; but actual grace comes to us only when we need its help in doing or avoiding an action, and it remains with us only while we are doing or avoiding the action.

 

Q. 461. What is sanctifying grace?

A. Sanctifying grace is that grace which makes the soul holy and pleasing to God.

 

Q. 462. What do you call those graces or gifts of God by which we believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him?

A. Those graces or gifts of God by which we believe in Him, and hope in Him, and love Him, are called the Divine virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

 

Q. 463. What do you mean by virtue and vice?

A. Virtue is the habit of doing good, and vice is the habit of doing evil. An act, good or bad, does not form a habit; and hence, a virtue or a vice is the result of repeated acts of the same kind.

 

Q. 464. Does habit excuse us from the sins committed through it?

A. Habit does not excuse us from the sins committed through it, but rather makes us more guilty by showing how often we must have committed the sin to acquire the habit. If, however, we are seriously trying to overcome a bad habit, and through forgetfulness yield to it, the habit may sometimes excuse us from the sin.

 

Q. 465. What is Faith?

A. Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed.

 

Q. 466. What is Hope?

A. Hope is a Divine virtue by which we firmly trust that God will give us eternal life and the means to obtain it.

 

Q. 467. What is Charity?

A. Charity is a Divine virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

 

Q. 468. Why are Faith, Hope and Charity called virtues?

A. Faith, Hope and Charity are called virtues because they are not mere acts, but habits by which we always and in all things believe God, hope in Him, and love Him.

 

Q. 469. What kind of virtues are Faith, Hope and Charity?

A. Faith, Hope and Charity are called infused theological virtues to distinguish them from the four moral virtues — Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance.

 

Q. 470. Why do we say the three theological virtues are infused and the four moral virtues acquired?

A. We say the three theological virtues are infused; that is, poured into our souls, because they are strictly gifts of God and do not depend upon our efforts to obtain them, while the four moral virtues — Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance — though also gifts of God, may, as natural virtues, be acquired by our own efforts.

 

Q. 471. Why do we believe God, hope in Him, and love Him?

A. We believe God and hope in Him because He is infinitely true and cannot deceive us. We love Him because He is infinitely good and beautiful and worthy of all love.

 

Q. 472. What mortal sins are opposed to Faith?

A. Atheism, which is a denial of all revealed truths, and heresy, which is a denial of some revealed truths, and superstition, which is a misuse of religion, are opposed to Faith.

 

Q. 473. Who is our neighbor?

A. Every human being capable of salvation of every age, country, race or condition, especially if he needs our help, is our neighbor in the sense of the Catechism.

 

Q. 474. Why should we love our neighbor?

A. We should love our neighbor because he is a child of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ, and because he is our brother created to dwell in heaven with us.

 

Q. 475. What is actual grace?

A. Actual grace is that help of God which enlightens our mind and moves our will to shun evil and do good.

 

Q. 476. Is grace necessary to salvation?

A. Grace is necessary to salvation, because without grace we can do nothing to merit heaven.

 

Q. 477. Can we resist the grace of God?

A. We can, and unfortunately often do, resist the grace of God.

 

Q. 478. Is it a sin knowingly to resist the grace of God?

A. It is a sin, knowingly, to resist the grace of God, because we thereby insult Him and reject His gifts without which we cannot be saved.

 

Q. 479. Does God give His grace to every one?

A. God gives to everyone He creates sufficient grace to save his soul; and if persons do not save their souls, it is because they have not used the grace given.

 

Q. 480. What is the grace of perseverance?

A. The grace of perseverance is a particular gift of God which enables us to continue in the state of grace till death.

 

Q. 481. Can we merit the grace of final perseverance or know when we possess it?

A. We cannot merit the grace of final perseverance, or know when we possess it, because it depends entirely upon God’s mercy and not upon our actions. To imagine we possess it would lead us into the sin of presumption.

 

Q. 482. Can a person merit any supernatural reward for good deeds performed while he is in mortal sin?

A. A person cannot merit any supernatural reward for good deeds performed while he is in mortal sin; nevertheless, God rewards such good deeds by giving the grace of repentance; and, therefore, all persons, even those in mortal sin, should ever strive to do good.

 

Q. 483. Does God reward anything but our good works?

A. God rewards our good intention and desire to serve Him, even when our works are not successful. We should make this good intention often during the day, and especially in the morning.

Indulgences: 29 Questions On This Grace of Holy Mother Church

“An Indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to sin.”

Listers, the following lesson is taken from the Baltimore Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism was the standard catechism of teaching the faith and catechizing children from 1885 to Vatican II. Its basic question-and-answer approach is the most natural learning style for the human mind and simplifies even the most complex theological questions.

FIRST PART
Do Good Works Merit the Soul in Mortal Sin?
And 10 Others Questions on Indulgences

Q. 839. What is an Indulgence?

A. An Indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to sin.

 

Q. 840. What does the word “indulgence” mean?

A. The word indulgence means a favor or concession. An indulgence obtains by a very slight penance the remission of penalties that would otherwise be severe.

 

Q. 841. Is an Indulgence a pardon of sin, or a license to commit sin?

A. An Indulgence is not a pardon of sin, nor a license to commit sin, and one who is in a state of mortal sin cannot gain an Indulgence.

Continue Reading…

 

Our Lord and King, Christ Jesus.

SECOND PART
To Deny Indulgences Is to Deny the Merit of Jesus Christ:
11 Questions on Merit and Grace

Q. 850. How do we know that these Indulgences have their effect?

A. We know that these Indulgences have their effect, because the Church, through her councils, declares Indulgences useful, and if they have no effect they would be useless, and the Church would teach error in spite of Christ’s promise to guide it.

 

Q. 851. Have there ever existed abuses among the faithful in the manner of using Indulgences?

A. There have existed, in past ages, some abuses among the faithful in the manner of using Indulgences, and the Church has always labored to correct such abuses as soon as possible. In the use of pious practices we must be always guided by our lawful superiors.

 

Q. 852. How have the enemies of the Church made use of the abuse of Indulgences?

A. The enemies of the Church have made use of the abuse of Indulgences to deny the doctrine of Indulgences, and to break down the teaching and limit the power of the Church. Not to be deceived in matters of faith, we must always distinguish very carefully between the abuses to which a devotion may lead and the truths upon which the devotion rests.

Continue Reading…

 

Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia di Dante (Dante and the Divine Comedy). Fresco in the nave of the Duomo of Florence, Italy. H. 232 m (7 ft. 7 ¼ in.), W. 2.90 m (9 ft. 6 in.). via Wikipedia

THIRD PART
Move Past the Protestant Propaganda
8 More Questions on Indulgences

Q. 861. What works are generally enjoined for the gaining of Indulgences?

A. The works generally enjoined for the gaining of Indulgences are: The saying of certain prayers, fasting, and the use of certain articles of devotion; visits to Churches or altars, and the giving of alms. For the gaining of Plenary Indulgences it is generally required to go to confession and Holy Communion and pray for the intention of the Pope.

 

Q. 862. What does praying for a person’s intention mean?

A. Praying for a person’s intention means praying for whatever he prays for or desires to obtain through prayer — some spiritual or temporal favors.

 

Q. 863. What does an Indulgence of forty days mean?

A. An Indulgence of forty days means that for the prayer or work to which an Indulgence of forty days is attached, God remits as much of our temporal punishment as He remitted for forty days’ canonical penance. We do not know just how much temporal punishment God remitted for forty days’ public penance, but whatever it was, He remits the same now when we gain an Indulgence of forty days. The same rule applies to Indulgences of a year or any length of time.

Continue Reading…

5 Quotes from St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s “The Story of a Soul”

“Somehow a celibate little nun who died at the age of 24 was teaching me to be a kinder wife, a more patient mother, and, most of all, a more faithful Christian.”

Listers, many people often say that writings by many saints who were monks and nuns are hard to apply outside of the consecrated life. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, monks and nuns perhaps have more time to sit in active prayer than those who are called to the married life, but that does not mean that the spiritual advice they give is inapplicable to the outside world. For a while, I brushed those works off. I thought that those works had little to no bearing on my life. I thought that even if I were to read those works there was no possible way I could pass muster. However, an opportunity arose to read St. Thérèse of Lisieux when some of my friends decided to form a reading group. These gatherings forced me to sit down and actually listen to this holy woman. By the time I finished reading The Story of a Soul, my whole perception on my vocation completed changed. Somehow her sweet spirit and honest words rocked my world. Somehow a celibate little nun who died at the age of 24 was teaching me to be a kinder wife, a more patient mother, and, most of all, a more faithful Christian. St. Thérèse showed me that I could pass muster even though I was not a nun or missionary. She taught me with her simple words that I should be content in the vocation God gave me and not to be jealous of those who perhaps seem more blessed than myself. In other words, she showed me how to live holier by applying her “Little Way” to my life as a mother and wife. Therefore, I would like to share some excerpts from her book The Story of a Soul that made a particular impact on me.

#1 God Giving Everyone the Right Measure of Happiness

You knew all my intimate thoughts and cleared up all my doubts. I once told you how astonished I was that God does not give equal glory in heaven to all His chosen. I was afraid they were not at all equally happy. You made me bring Daddy’s tumbler and put it by the side of my thimble. You filled them both with water and asked me which was fuller. I told you they were both full to the brim and that it was impossible to put more water in them than they could hold. And so, Mother darling, you made me understand that in heaven God will give His chosen their fitting glory and that the last will have no reason to envy the first. By such means, you made me understand the most sublime mysteries and gave my soul its essential food. —St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001) 20.

#2 A Flowery Example of the Measures of Grace

I had wondered for a long time why God had preferences and why all souls did not receive an equal amount of grace […] Jesus saw fit to enlighten me about this mystery. He set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers He has created are lovely. The splendour of the rose and whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realised that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gay.

It is just the same in the world of souls — which is the garden of Jesus. He has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but He has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice His eyes whenever He glances down. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He wants us to be.

I also understood that God’s love shows itself just as well in the simplest soul which puts up no resistance to His grace as it does in the loftiest soul. Indeed, as it is love’s nature to humble itself, if all souls were like those of the holy doctors who have illumined the Church with the light of their doctrine, it seems that God would not have stooped low enough by entering their hearts. But God has created the baby who knows nothing and can utter only feeble cries. He has created the poor savage with no guide but natural law, and it is to their hearts that He deigns to stoop. They are His wild flowers whose homeliness delights Him. By stooping down to them, He manifests His infinite grandeur. The sun shines equally both on cedars and on every tiny flower. In just the same way God looks after every soul as if it had no equal. All is planned for the good of every soul, exactly as the seasons are so arranged that the humblest daisy blossoms at the appointed time. — St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001) 2-3.

#3 The Sacrifice of Sanctity

Much later, when I understood what perfection was, I realised that to become a saint one must suffer a great deal, always seek what is best, and forget oneself. I understood that there were many kinds of of sanctity and that each soul was free to respond to the approaches of Our Lord and to do little or much for Him — in other words,to make a choice among the sacrifices He demands. Then, just as when I was a child, I cried: “My God, I choose all. I do not want to be a saint by halves. I am not afraid to suffer for You. I fear only one thing — that I should keep my own will. So take it, for I choose all that You will.” — St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001) 9.

#4 The Little Way

You know, Mother, that I have always wanted to be become a saint. Unfortunately when I have compared myself with the saints, I have always found that there is the same difference between the saints and me as there is between a mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds and a humble grain of sand trodden underfoot by passersby. Instead of being discouraged, I told myself: God would not make me wish for something impossible and so, in spite of my littleness, I can aim at being a saint. It is impossible for me to grow bigger, so I put up with myself as I am, with all my countless faults. But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new[…] It is your arms, Jesus, which are the lift to carry me to heaven, And so there is no need for me to grow up. In fact, just the opposite: I must stay little and become less and less. —St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001), 113.

#5 Prayer as an Upward Leap

For me, prayer is an upward leap of the heart, an untroubled glance towards heaven, a cry of gratitude and love which I utter from the depths of sorrow as well as from the heights of joy. It has a supernatural grandeur which expands the soul and unites it with God. I say an Our Father or a Hail Mary when I feel so spiritually barren that I cannot summon up a single worth while thought. These two prayers fill me with rapture and feed and satisfy my soul. — St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001) 140.

Move Past the Protestant Propaganda: 8 More Questions on Indulgences

“The works generally enjoined for the gaining of Indulgences are: The saying of certain prayers, fasting, and the use of certain articles of devotion; visits to Churches or altars, and the giving of alms. For the gaining of Plenary Indulgences it is generally required to go to confession and Holy Communion and pray for the intention of the Pope.”

Listers, the following lesson is taken from the Baltimore Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism was the standard catechism of teaching the faith and catechizing children from 1885 to Vatican II. Its basic question-and-answer approach is the most natural learning style for the human mind and simplifies even the most complex theological questions.

 

The Entire Baltimore Catechesis on Indulgences
Do Good Works Merit the Soul in Mortal Sin? And 10 Others Questions on Indulgences
To Deny Indulgences Is to Deny the Merit of Jesus Christ: 11 Questions on Merit and Grace

 

LESSON TWENTY-FIRST
On Indulgences
Questions 861-868

 

Q. 861. What works are generally enjoined for the gaining of Indulgences?

A. The works generally enjoined for the gaining of Indulgences are: The saying of certain prayers, fasting, and the use of certain articles of devotion; visits to Churches or altars, and the giving of alms. For the gaining of Plenary Indulgences it is generally required to go to confession and Holy Communion and pray for the intention of the Pope.

 

Q. 862. What does praying for a person’s intention mean?

A. Praying for a person’s intention means praying for whatever he prays for or desires to obtain through prayer — some spiritual or temporal favors.

 

Q. 863. What does an Indulgence of forty days mean?

A. An Indulgence of forty days means that for the prayer or work to which an Indulgence of forty days is attached, God remits as much of our temporal punishment as He remitted for forty days’ canonical penance. We do not know just how much temporal punishment God remitted for forty days’ public penance, but whatever it was, He remits the same now when we gain an Indulgence of forty days. The same rule applies to Indulgences of a year or any length of time.

 

Q. 864. Why did the Church moderate its severe penances?

A. The Church moderated its severe penances, because when Christians — terrified by persecution — grew weaker in their faith, there was danger of some abandoning their religion rather than submit to the penances imposed. The Church, therefore, wishing to save as many as possible, made the sinner’s penance as light as possible.

 

Q. 865. To what things may Indulgences be attached?

A. Plenary or Partial Indulgences may be attached to prayers and solid articles of devotion; to places such as churches, altars, shrines, etc., to be visited; and by a special privilege they are sometimes attached to the good works of certain persons.

 

Q. 866. When do things lose the Indulgences attached to them?

A. Things lose the Indulgences attached to them:

When they are so changed at once as to be no longer what they were; When they are sold. Rosaries and other indulgenced articles do not lose their indulgences, when they are loaned or given away, for the indulgence is not personal but attached to the article itself.

 

Q. 867. Will a weekly Confession suffice to gain during the week all Indulgences to which Confession is enjoined as one of the works?

A Weekly confession will suffice to gain during the week all Indulgences to which confession is enjoined as one of the works, provided we continue in a state of grace, perform the other works enjoined and have the intention of gaining these Indulgences.

 

Q. 868. How and when may we apply Indulgences for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory?

A. We may apply Indulgences for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory by way of intercession; whenever this application is mentioned and permitted by the Church in granting the Indulgence; that is, when the Church declares that the Indulgence granted is applicable to the souls of the living or the souls in Purgatory; so that we may gain it for the benefit of either.

 

The above list concludes the Baltimore Catechism’s treatment of Indulgences – please reference the lists in the introduction for the entirety of the lesson.

Do Good Works Merit the Soul in Mortal Sin? And 10 Others Questions on Indulgences

“An Indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to sin.”

Listers, the following lesson is taken from the Baltimore Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism was the standard catechism of teaching the faith and catechizing children from 1885 to Vatican II. Its basic question-and-answer approach is the most natural learning style for the human mind and simplifies even the most complex theological questions.

 

LESSON TWENTY-FIRST
On Indulgences
Questions 839-849

 

Q. 839. What is an Indulgence?

A. An Indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to sin.

 

Q. 840. What does the word “indulgence” mean?

A. The word indulgence means a favor or concession. An indulgence obtains by a very slight penance the remission of penalties that would otherwise be severe.

 

Q. 841. Is an Indulgence a pardon of sin, or a license to commit sin?

A. An Indulgence is not a pardon of sin, nor a license to commit sin, and one who is in a state of mortal sin cannot gain an Indulgence.

 

Q. 842. How do good works done in mortal sin profit us?

A. Good works done in mortal sin profit us by obtaining for us the grace to repent and sometimes temporal blessings. Mortal sin deprives us of all our merit, nevertheless God will bestow gifts for every good deed as He will punish every evil deed.

 

Q. 843. How many kinds of Indulgences are there?

A. There are two kinds of Indulgences — Plenary and Partial.

 

Q. 844. What is Plenary Indulgence?

A. A Plenary Indulgence is the full remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.

 

Q. 845. Is it easy to gain a Plenary Indulgence?

A. It is not easy to gain a Plenary Indulgence, as we may understand from its great privilege. To gain a Plenary Indulgence, we must hate sin, be heartily sorry for even our venial sins, and have no desire for even the slightest sin. Though we may not gain entirely each Plenary Indulgence we seek, we always gain a part of each; that is, a partial indulgence, greater or less in proportion to our good dispositions.

 

Q. 846. Which are the most important Plenary Indulgences granted by the Church?

A. The most important Plenary Indulgences granted by the Church are:

The Indulgences of a jubilee which the Pope grants every twenty-five years or on great occasions by which he gives special faculties to confessors for the absolution of reserved sins; The Indulgence granted to the dying in their last agony.

 

Q. 847. What is a Partial Indulgence?

A. A Partial Indulgence is the remission of part of the temporal punishment due to sin.

 

Q. 848. How long has the practice of granting Indulgences been in use in the Church, and what was its origin?

A. The practice of granting Indulgences has been in use in the Church since the time of the apostles. It had its origin in the earnest prayers of holy persons, and especially of the martyrs begging the Church for their sake to shorten the severe penances of sinners, or to change them into lighter penances. The request was frequently granted and the penance remitted, shortened or changed, and with the penance remitted the temporal punishment corresponding to it was blotted out.

 

Q. 849. How do we show that the Church has the power to grant Indulgences?

A. We show that the Church has the power to grant Indulgences, because Christ has given it power to remit all guilt without restriction, and if the Church has power, in the Sacrament of penance, to remit the eternal punishment — which is the greatest — it must have power to remit the temporal or lesser punishment, even outside the Sacrament of Penance.

Grace and Glory: 11 Quotes on the Beatific Vision of Mother Mary

“She is all beautiful, all near to God. For she, surpassing the cherubim. Exalted beyond the seraphim, is placed near to God.”
John of Damascene, Homily on the Nativity, 9

1. Infinite Treasury & Inexhaustible Abyss

“Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.”

“To them Mary is an almost infinite treasury, an inexhaustible abyss of these gifts, to such an extent that she was never subject to the curse and was, together with her Son, the only partaker of perpetual benediction.”
Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX

2. The New Ark of the Covenant

“O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides.”
Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216

Mother Mary, pray for us.

3. Immaculate Clay

“She is born like the cherubim, she who is of a pure, immaculate clay.”
Theotokos of Livias, Panegyric for the feast of the Assumption, 5:6

4. Above the Cherubim and Seraphim

“She is all beautiful, all near to God. For she, surpassing the cherubim. Exalted beyond the seraphim, is placed near to God.”
John of Damascene, Homily on the Nativity, 9

 

5. God Has Taken Mary in a Way Only Known to Him

“As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him.”
Modestus of Jerusalem, Encomium in dormitionnem Sanctissimae Dominae nostrae Deiparae semperque Virginis Mariae (PG 86-II,3306)

6. Illuminated by Divine Grace and Full Glory

“It was fitting …that the most holy-body of Mary, God-bearing body, receptacle of God, divinised, incorruptible, illuminated by divine grace and full glory …should be entrusted to the earth for a little while and raised up to heaven in glory, with her soul pleasing to God.” Theoteknos of Livias, Homily on the Assumption

7. Looks Upon Christ As He Sits With the Father

“It was fitting that the she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped when giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father, It was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God.” John of Damascene, Dormition of Mary (PG 96,741)

Mater Dei, ora pro nobis.

 

8. Overshadowed

“And as the grace of the Triad is one, so also the Triad is indivisible. We can see this in regard to Saint Mary herself. The archangel Gabriel when sent to announce the coming of the Word upon her said, ‘The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee’, knowing that the Spirit was in the Word. Wherefore he added: ‘and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.'”
Athanasius, To Serapion of Thmuis, III:6

 

9. Salvation to the Centuries

“The Virgin received Salvation so that she may give it back to the centuries.”
Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140

10. The Mediatrix

“Mary the Ever-Virgin — radiant with divine light and full of grace, mediatrix first through her supernatural birth and now because of the intercession of her maternal assistance — be crowned with never ending blessings …seeking balance and fittingness in all things, we should make our way honestly, as sons of light.”
Germanus of Constantinople, Homily on the Liberation of Constantinople, 23

11. Mary Saw the Blessed Trinity in Unveiled Beatific Vision

“And hence they affirmed that the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light; and that, therefore, she was entirely a fit habitation for Christ, not because of the state of her body, but because of her original grace.”

“The most holy Mary, being conceived without sin as described above, was entirely absorbed in spirit and entranced by her first vision of the Divinity. At the first instant, and in the narrow dwelling of the maternal womb, began the love of God in her most blessed soul, never to be interrupted, but to continue through all the eternities of that high glory, which She now enjoys at the right hand of her divine Son.”

Mary Queen of Heaven, pray fo us.

“She was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby demonstrating, that She was free from the law and the tribute of sin. Although She was born substantially like other daughters of Adam, yet her birth was accompanied by such circumstances and conditions of grace, that it was the most wonderful and miraculous birth in all creation and will eternally redound to the praise of her Maker.

At twelve o’clock in the night this divine Luminary issued forth, dividing the night of the ancient Law and its pristine darknesses from the new day of grace, which now was about to break into dawn. She was clothed, handled and dressed like other infants, though her soul dwelt in the Divinity; and She was treated as an infant, though She excelled all mortals and even all the angels in wisdom.”

“Similarly, but in a more glorious and admirable manner, the person of the divine Word now received the child Mary, whom He had chosen as Mother, as Queen of the universe. Although her real dignity and the purpose of these ineffable mysteries were unknown to Mary, yet her infant faculties were strengthened by divine power for the reception of these favors. New graces and gifts were bestowed upon Her, by which her faculties were correspondingly elevated. Her powers of mind, besides being illumined and prepared by new grace and light, were raised and proportioned to the divine manifestation, and the Divinity displayed Itself in the new light vouchsafed, revealing Itself to Her intuitively and clearly in a most exalted manner. This was the first time in which the most holy soul of Mary saw the blessed Trinity in unveiled beatific vision.”
The Mystical City of God, Ven. Mary of Agreda, Vol 1, Chap. 7