The Christian Instructed in the nature and Use of Indulgences
- ISBN-13: 9781493721320
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: Nov 10, 2013
- Pages: 374 pages
- Dimensions: 0.85 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches
This work expounds the Doctrine of Indulgences in a concise and comprehensive style, yet with unusual clearness and precision. It contains no unnecessary repetitions that might weary, no digressions that might burden, no redundancy and ambiguity of language or expression that might tend to confuse and embarrass the reader. Nothing is to be found there but what is solidly practical, truthful, and simple, and adapted to the capacities of all. "My desire has been," says the learned author, to render myself useful to the people; and this desire he seems to have attained in a pre-eminent degree. It differs, in many respects, from other work of the same kind. Some authors treat merely of the nature or doctrinal portion of Indulgences, without caring to exhaust the subject; others merely of the use or practical portion of them, and this on a limited scale, with the omission of several charming devotions of great utility and esteem to Christians; while others again combine both the doctrinal and practical portions, but in a manner unsuited to ordinary readers. We know that much of what concerns Indulgences is contained in Rescripts emanating from, and positive decisions issued by the Sacred Congregations, under the direction of the Holy See, and these authors may have written at a time when the subject had not been so fully discussed and developed as at present; thus they might have securely advanced opinions then that are now exploded and obsolete-they might have introduced into their works a considerable amount of irrelevant matter, or clothed their ideas in obscure phraseology, or stated things inaccurately. Let us take e. g. the prayer called the "Angelus." Most of the treatises that I have seen, lay down that, to gain the 100 days' Indulgence attached to its recitation, it should be said "morning, noon, and evening," whereas our author properly states that it suffices to say it "morning, noon, or evening." In like manner a certain treatise, justly, perhaps, styled "a standard work on Indulgences" about the year 1850,t mentions, that, to acquire the Indulgences of the Via Crucis or Wayof the Cross, it is necessary "to meditate on each mystery of the Passion," while going t.hrough the Stations; but Father Maurel, p. 145, note, proves conclusively from the words of the Sacred Congregation, from the prevailing impression in Rome, and from reason, that it is enough to meditate on the Passion in general. St. Alphonsus Liguori, that great Doctor of the Church, states, also, relying on the authority of Ferraris. I presume, in his excellent little book on the Commandments (p. 230, n. 68, of the edition in my hands), that "he who hears Mass gains an Indulgence of 3800 years." Now it is almost an undoubted fact that no Pope ever gran ted a partial Indulgence of so great a number of years as this,t and that, in general, there is no Indulgence at all, as such, obtained by hearing Mass. And so in numerous instances to be met with in Indulgence-books generally.
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