Thursday, October 29, 2009


We visited Holy Hill the other day to see the beautiful art work, to see the beautiful countryside, to climb the tower, and to be outside in the sun. While there, we ran across the "apostolic penitentiary decree." It tells us that the pope has established this year as a special Year for Priests.

As I read over the decree, I see that I have earned a plenary indulgence. In other words, according to the pope, I don't have to go to purgatory. Gee, without even trying to check off the items on the list, I just happened to have done the things for the Go-Straight-To-Heaven indulgence. How 'bout that?

Actually, if you believe that you can do things to merit heaven, if you accept the idea of indulgences, this seems a lot better than what Tetzel was doing when he crassly sold indulgences for cash. After all, the pope is asking that Christians be repentant, that they go to the Lord's Supper, that they go to confession, and that they pray for the priests' faithful ministry and faithful lives. Those are good things. We certainly join them in their prayers:

(TLH page 112)
To preserve Your pastors and ministers in the true knowledge and understanding of Your word, and in holiness of life, we beseech You to hear us, good Lord.

(TLH 485)
The servants Thou hast called
and to Thy Church art giving
preserve in doctrine pure
and holiness of living.
Thy Spirit fill their hearts,
endue their tongues with power:
what they should boldly speak,
oh, give them in that hour!

(TLH 493)
Oh, may Thy pastors faithful be,
not laboring for themselves, but Thee!
Give grace to feed with wholesome food
the sheep and lambs bought by Thy blood,
to tend Thy flock, and thus to prove
how dearly they the Shepherd love.

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