Brothers and sisters:
The falling leaves remind us how quickly our lives pass and not to forget those who have gone before us. It is such a precious gift of our faith that we are still in communion with those saints and holy souls who have gone before us. They can even help us and we can help them. Through our prayers and sacrifices we can assist, in Christ, those souls who are being purified so as to enter heaven. Meanwhile, although they cannot help themselves, they can pray for us and we are wise to avail ourselves of their help.
Indulgences (“remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven”), although they can be misused famously, have always been a legitimate means of obtaining grace through the merits of Jesus, Mary, and the saints, whose good works are a treasury to be dispensed by the legitimate authority of the Church, the Body of Christ. It should always be remembered that we must have the proper disposition of rejection of sin to obtain an indulgence, whether it be partial or plenary (full remission) according to the work undertaken in faith. “But all such works endowed with indulgences should never in any way be set aside or apart from the Mass and the Sacraments. The Mass and the Sacraments remain the outstanding sources of sanctification and purification – no matter how good any such indulgenced works and patiently endured sufferings may be. Such good works and sufferings become the faithful’s offering which is joined to Christ’s offering in the Eucharistic sacrifice. In this matter it is the Mass and the Sacraments themselves which lead the faithful to carry out the responsibilities placed on them so that ‘they put into action in their lives what they have received in faith’ (Roman Missal). And conversely, it is by carefully carrying out their responsibilities that they become better disposed day by day to participate fruitfully in the Mass and the Sacraments” (Apostolic Penitentiary, Introduction).
Jesus encourages us to strive to enter through the narrow door, empowered by the Sacraments and faith working through love.
“Holy Saints of God, be our example and help in our pilgrimage of faith.”
In Christ, son of Mary,