Indulgenced prayers and devotions are a git from the Church to aid us in our spiritual journey. A plenary indulgence is a full pardon for punishments owing for sin, sacramentally confessed, and makes possible immediate entrance into heaven after death. The requirements for gaining a plenary indulgence are sacramental confession, Communion and prayers for the Pope's intentions such as an Our Father and a Hail Mary. We must also have an attitude of love and penance, with no attachment to any sin. If this disposition is in any way less than complete, or if the three prescribed conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence is only partial. This form of indulgence may only be gained once a day, and may be offered only for the deceased or for yourself. Prayers with this privilege are indicated thus ** in this book.
A partial indulgence is a partial pardon for penance owing. The faithful should at least have a contrite heart to gain the partial indulgence. Prayers with this privilege are indicated thus *. The Enchiridion of indulgences has been followed for these marked prayers. Older prayers are labeled thus, "indulgenced by Pope (Name)."
Scripture says, "Pray without ceasing." Saint Lawrence Justinian puts prayer in the proper light. He writes, "In prayer the soul cleanses itself from sin, charity is nourished, faith is strengthened, hope is made secure, the spirit rejoices, the soul grows tender, the heart is purified, truth discovers itself, temptation is overcome, sadness takes to flight, the senses are renewed, failing virtue is made good, tepidity disappears, the rust of sin is rubbed away. In it are brought forth flashes of heavenly desire, and in these fires the flame of divine love burns up." May the Pieta Prayer Book serve all souls who desire to advance their spiritual life and live in union with God.
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