Wednesday, February 23, 2005

We are watching the movie "Luther" tonight

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.


Delia Christina said...

wow, thanks for the link!

your post brings a couple of things to mind. i am working with a life coach. i've had one or two thoughts about how biblical this is, to work with a coach.

for the most part our work together has been innocuous (last year she helped me break my writer's block). right now we're talking about intimacy issues and it's made me seriously rethink how i relate to my faith walk. not in a bad way, either. it's made me realize that i haven't been very serious about my faith or spiritual life. that i've been rather superficial about how i practice forgiveness, compassion, humility and love.

strange how a secular process bridges a spiritual gap.

~pen~ said...

revmom, as a devout Catholic, i have to admit that i, too, have a huge issue with indulgences. huge.

did you know they still exist today? it's almost as if i am scared to find out exactly their length, breadth and depth because i would struggle afterward; however, maybe i am supposed to be led to the truth.

my dear friend and i were talking on the way home from the memorial service last night and were discussing the sermon...i love the pastor tremendously but he had to get in something about *rituals and tradition,* which i understand why he did in emphasizing Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him above all else, so i guess i do agree with him...but to the listening audience, the first thought was "...rituals and traditions (of those CATHOLICS)..." with nods of assent. i am sensitive to it, but also know that every church - I SAY IT AGAIN, EVERY CHURCH - has ritual and tradition! for instance, they processed down the aisles, praying aloud back and forth which i totally dug - but know they have done it before, as is their ritual, right?

or having communion once a month - that's that particular church's tradition, no?

i don't think that if i pray the rosary the act in and of itself will get me to heaven. i don't think if i pray the liturgy of the hours that because i am praying *the hours* that will get me into heaven. i pray them because they bring me closer to God and a deeper relationship and understanding of Jesus Christ and all that He truly embodied. that is what will get me into heaven...

was that tangential or what? could you imagine for a minute going to church because you are being told, by way of indulgences, you will gain crowns or further merits? i just want to sit by the creme brulee!! (that was a joke) - i would never want an alterior motive for what i do other than for love of Jesus and duty to Him and Him alone.

(should i go back and read your entire thread now and come back and post an apology because i just saw the word indulgence and got my back up??)

seeker of truth said...

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)....
That's profound very Larry Crabb...have you read any of his books? Inside Out especially. Thanks for the post.

Theresa Coleman said...

I am a devout, um, *something*. I really believe in a sacramental lifestyle. I pray the offices (probably not as regularly as I should) and I use a Anglican rosary as a prayer aid. We Methodist are becoming more liturgical as we go along. I belong to the Order of Saint Luke, which promotes a more intentional sacramental lifestyle. The Methodist Quadrilateral is the best example of the convergance of thought in Christian communities. Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience. All 4 are a part of our spirituality and personal piety. Ritual and Tradition are a big part of it.

In other words, I think we are definitely on the same wavelength.

Friday Mom said...

Have you seen the movie yet? I haven't...had heard it wasn't especially good so I skipped it. I'm intrigued with Luther's life and certainly believe you can find evidence of the connection between repentance and psychotic break with him, and it certainly wasn't a one time thing for him. In reading his biography (Here I Stand), I was struck by the critical role his spiritual director played in helping him keep his sanity.