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    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Offer up their suffering

    A partial indulgence is available to anyone who, between February 9 and 11, prays fervently for the sick, “especially those suffering incurable and terminal disease.”

    The decree announcing the indulgence observes that “human remedies have a limit,” and Christians must help those who are terminally ill with their prayers, “so that their transit from this world to the Father is comforted by divine consolation and so that, as the Church's prayer for the dying implores, they may see the gentle face of Jesus Christ and clearly hear the voice calling them to eternal glory and joy."


    The Vatican has announced a plenary indulgence for Catholics who, under the usual conditions, participate in prayer services for the World Day of the Sick: February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

    The same plenary indulgence is available to those who cannot participate in the special prayer services, “if on that day they generously provide, at least for a few hours, their charitable assistance to the sick as if they were tending to Christ the Lord Himself.”

    The decree issued late on February 5 by the Apostolic Penitentiary calls for participation in the official World Day of the Sick ceremonies that will be held in Seoul, Korea, or “at any other place decided by the ecclesiastical authorities” where similar prayer services will be held. Those who are themselves sick or otherwise infirm can obtain the indulgence if they unite themselves to the Pope’s intentions, offer up their suffering, and “pray devotedly for the sick.”

    We have commentators and Priests who are a little too sophisticated and try to explain away the practice of "offering up sufferings". Too old school for them.

    Not so.

    Except for the grace of God go I.

    That also means the grace petitioned by all the souls in monasteries, convents, children's bedtime prayers, purgatory, heaven, and the sick themselves.


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