071: Understanding Indulgences…Finally

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We’re not supposed to talk about them.

They’re supposed to be like that embarrassing uncle no one mentions by name at family functions. But that’s crazy.

In this episode of the Art of Catholic podcast we’re going to unveil the beautiful theology and practice of indulgences. Far from being an indefensible leftover we’d rather sweep under the medieval rug, indulgences are a powerful witness to God’s mercy. They are an incredible help in our journey to heaven.

But we need to understand them.

So as to help us make use of the Church’s treasury of merit (and really understand what in the world the “treasury of merit” even is), I brought in Mary Moorman. She’s a brilliant lady who recently wrote a pretty thick book on the topic titled, Indulgences: Luther, Catholicism, and the Imputation of Merit.

Among other issues, we’ll discuss:

  • What an indulgence is and how to obtain one
  • Pope St. John Paul II’s insightful take on indulgences
  • The very important difference between sacraments and indulgences
  • Why indulgences can be a (very) surprising bridge between Catholics and Protestants
  • Why Martin Luther should have loved indulgences…but didn’t
  • The deep connection between almsgiving and indulgences
  • Why you can’t understand indulgences without understanding the nature of sin

As with so many topics we cover on the Art of Catholic podcast, this one is both theologically rich and eminently practical.

And just to round things out, I’m once again bringing in the brilliant Bible scholar, Curtis Mitch, to add a little “somethin’-somethin.'” It’s another incredible installment of Next Level Scripture. He provides some unbelievably cool Old Testament background on the whole subject that brings the whole topic into focus.

Any way you slice it, this is a great episode. Hope you enjoy.

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. If you liked this episode, you’ll probably like these, too:

047: The Secret Back Door out of Purgatory Nobody Talks About

048: How Almsgiving Can Save Your Life…Now & Later


 

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048: How Almsgiving Can Save Your Life…Now and Later

catholic_FINAL_150Fasting? Powerful.

Prayer? Absolutely necessary.

Almsgiving? Can save you from death!

In our last episode, we discovered the revolution that occurred in the Old Testament with regard to handling the consequences of sin. We saw how it evolved from something we had to wait and endure, to something akin to a debt we could “pay down” proactively.

In other words, we discovered you can actually shave time off of purgatory through almsgiving. It was pretty huge.

Now we’re going to take it one step further.

In today’s program we’re going to unpack the incredible meaning behind a simple little verse in Proverbs: “The treasuries of wickedness provide no benefit, but almsgiving delivers from death” (10:2). 

That’s a pretty amazing sentence. And it’s not hyperbole. It’s not exaggeration. It’s the truth…and we’ll see it in Scripture.

In this powerful episode we’ll:peter-raises-tabitha-from-the-dead

  • Discover the little discussed details in the story of the raising of Tabitha from the dead and how they’re all related to almsgiving
  • Understand why almsgiving before all else is a cry for mercy
  • Discuss the rationale for how almsgiving can help not just ourselves, but our beloved deceased
  • Compare the difference between almsgiving and indulgences
  • Get a new perspective on the Our Father and discover why St. Augustine declared that forgiving others is a powerful form of almsgiving

It’s a pretty powerful episode that will reorder the way you think about how to help your beloved deceased, as well as best prepare for your own departure from this world into the eternal bliss of heaven.

God bless!

Matthew

8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover ImageP.S. Don’t just listen to us talk about it. Do it! Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! It’s an easy step-by-step guide to help you rocket to God!

 

 

 

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Lourdes Basilica

Want to tour Catholic Europe’s most beautiful holy sites? Join Matthew on a  St. Paul Center pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes, and other amazing holy sites this October 23rd to November 1st. Click here for details.

047: The Secret Back Door Out of Purgatory Nobody Talks About

catholic_FINAL_150If I was to ask you the quickest way out of purgatory, or even perhaps the quickest way into heaven, what would you say? “Be a saint.” Good.

But what should we do when we fall short? What about when we sin?

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The book I mention in the podcast.

“Get to confession,” you reply. Excellent. But then what? Is there a way to make up for what we’ve done? A way to remedy the damage that we’ve caused the Body of Christ now, so that we don’t suffer later?

Absolutely. It’s almsgiving.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to start giving alms. I’m going to tell you why you’re nuts if you don’t. Trust me. You want to hear this. Because we’re going to:

  • Discuss why you want to spend as little time in purgatory as possible
  • (hint: it hurts…a lot!)
  • Show how Scripture describes sin in terms of a debt to be paid
  • Demonstrate the incredible revolution with regard to payment for sin that occurred in the Old Testament between the time of King David and Daniel
  • Examine Scripture passages that demonstrate the concept of purgatory and its miraculous relationship to almsgiving433px-Carracci-Purgatory
  • Explain how almsgiving can shortcut the consequences of your sinful actions…now and later!

Don’t listen if you enjoy suffering. For the rest of you, push “play” now!

Matthew

8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover ImageP.S. Don’t just listen to us talk about it. Do it! Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! It’s an easy step-by-step guide to help you rocket to God!

Don’t miss a show! Subscribe to The Art of Catholic by clicking this link and then clicking “View in iTunes” under the picture and then “Subscribe”! 

Love the show and want more people to hear the Catholic faith? Leave a review by clicking here and then the “View in iTunes” button under my picture. This pushes the show up the rankings and puts it in front of more people.

Android user? You can listen to The Art of Catholic on the Beyond Pod app from the Google Play Store.

Lourdes BasilicaWant to tour Catholic Europe’s most beautiful holy sites? Join Matthew on a  St. Paul Center pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes, and other amazing holy sites this October 23rd to November 1st. Click here for details.