And as a fund raising activity, I thought about selling indulgences -- what do you think?
May our Lord Jesus Christ
have pity on thee, ___________________________ and absolve thee by the merits of his most holy passion! And I, in virtue of the apostolical power that has been confided to me, absolve thee from all ecclesiastical censures, judgments, and penalties which thou mayst have incurred; moreover, from all excesses, sins, and crimes that thou mayst have committed, however great and enormous they may be, and from whatsoever cause, were they even reserved for our most holy father the pope and for the apostolic see. I blot out all the stains of inability and all marks of infamy that thou mayst have drawn upon thyself on this occasion. I remit the penalties that thou shouldst have endured in purgatory. I restore thee anew to participation in the sacraments of the Church. I incorporate thee afresh in the communion of saints, and re-establish thee in the purity and innocence which thou hadst at thy baptism. So that in the hour of death, the gate by which sinners enter the place of torments and punishment shall be closed against thee, and, on the contrary, the gate leading to the paradise of joy shall be open. And if thou shouldst not die for long years, this grace will remain unalterable until thy last hour shall arrive.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen
Personally, I had never really read one before. I have some major theological issues with this. I am goint to print this out, along with the 95 theses and see if I can spark a discussion. It's interesting to read this, as I exegete Joel 2.
I also had a personal encounter with repentance. Of course, it was not in casual conversation, but with my spiritual director. I have been seeing a spiritual director once a week for 8 years now. It is a priestly function that is not being done in the modern church, esp. in the protestant ones. It is priestly, prophetic and thereputic. I am wondering if true repentance is more akin to a psychotic break than a casual "I'm sorry." If you leave preconceived notions home when you read Paul's conversion, it really does sound more like a psycotic break. A total turn-around (shoob in the Hebrew).
an aside -- I had to go pick up Chaos this morning. She really did have a fever this time. Sigh.
How are these threads connected? I need to absolve myself from the guilt of being a bad mother. I need to absolve my parents from being bad parents. I need to forgive my father. Not that I haven't done it in the past -- all of us leave things behind and then pick them up again. Every time I let go, though, it becomes a more deliberate and intentional thing. I have my repentance scene, my conversion experience -- my life is turned around, life goes better and life is in balance. Then the world, my ego, the unexpected occurs and whamo! I'm out of balance and the old crap comes up again. I pick up the old burdens again, until I remember.
I remember the indulgances -- the absolution -- is available. My life can and will be turned around. I can forgive. I forgive myself. I forgive my parents. He forgives me. Absolution, forgiveness can't be purchased. It is a free gift -- one I need to take with my open, empty hands. It is one that I need to acknowledge everyday. Daily I crucify Christ and daily He rises from Death.