Saturday, February 11, 2006

World Day of the Sick

Today is World Day of the Sick. A month ago, my family and I had made plans to visit a priest friend living in a senior care home. Not realizing it then that the day of our visit would be on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Not realizing it then that the day would also be the World Day of the Sick and a plenary indulgence would be granted to those who in some way assisted the sick or infirmed. Thanks be to God that He gave us an opportunity to make this visit on this very blessed day.

The Nazareth House is a senior home run by the Sisters of Nazareth. They are praying for an increase in vocations to their community. For those who may have a calling to the religious life, check them out.

On another note, I encourage a visit to the elderly, especially our retired priests and religious who have served in our parishes. Often, they are lonely and infirmed, feeling the burden of old age. If a visit is not possible, please keep them in your prayers.

7 Comments:

Blogger Moneybags said...

I hope everything went well for you. How wonderful it is to gain an indulgence :)

1:37 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

I hope it was a lovely time for all. Thanks for the suggestion :)

2:50 PM  
Blogger Endtimer Soul said...

Hello - I also have a great love for the Catholic saints and a lot of the history of the Catholic Church, especially pre-Vatican II. I was just wondering if you believe in the indulgences that prayers offer in the Catholic tradition since it was a ploy of the Medici family to get money from parishoners so they could get money for their dynasty. Also, the Sabbath was on Saturday and the Pope somewhere along the line changed it to Sunday. I forget all the history about it - probably relatred to changing the pagan holidays to Christian holidays, but those are the kind of things that happened in Catholic History. I would be interested in your response or any of your other blog members on these questions. Otherwise I have found your blog very informative and full of good links such as the one on the Sisters of Nazareth.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Hello endtimer soul. Thank you for dropping by. You have brought up very good questions and I shall attempt to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

Yes, I believe in the efficacy of an indulgence. By a plenary indulgence is meant the remission of the entire temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation is required in Purgatory. There is also what is called partial indulgence. It is a matter of faith that leads me to believe in this very important tenet of the Church. St. Thomas says, "He who gains indulgences is not thereby released outright from what he owes as penalty, but is provided with the means of paying it." What a wonderful thing to be able to gain on earth, a means of expediting our journey to Heaven. This means; however, that the one who wishes to gain the indulgence merit it through faith and good works. That is why certain conditions are prescribed before gaining the indulgence such as receiving the Sacraments; making special devotions and doing good works.

As for Pope Leo and the Merici family, it was an unfortunate time in the Church that her Head would become involved in political affairs and even extravagant things. But we have to remember that Pope Leo X lived during the Rennaisance, a time when the arts and reformation were taking shape. It was because of his circumstance of belonging to a wealthy family and inheriting properties that he became a cleric at thirteen years of age and became Pope in his thirties. It was also during this time that monarchies were allowed to elect bishops and cardinals. So there was not yet a total separation of Church and State. As this was the case, the Pope fell into serious financial difficulties and he unfortunately resorted to misusing indulgences into financial transactions. However, Leo X was known to have a good heart and according to one source, “He never was ostentatious and attached no importance to ceremonial. He was lavish in works of charity; convents, hospitals, discharged soldiers, poor students, pilgrims, exiles, cripples, the blind, the sick, the unfortunate of every description were generously remembered, and more than 6000 ducats were annually distributed in alms”. He, however, had mismanaged the Church treasury and with poor judgement may have caused some injury to the Church. This is why St. Peter’s Helpers encourages everyone to pray for the Pope.

Your second question as to the original day of Sabbath. According to Jewish tradition, the seventh day of the week, the day being counted from sunset to sunset, that is, from Friday evening to Saturday evening is considered the Sabbath. For Christians, the Sabbath began to take the place of the Jewish Sabbath in Apostolic times as the day set apart for the public and solemn worship of God. In the Acts of the Apostles, one can learn that the apostles met together for Eucharistic Sacrifice on the first day of the week and they called this “The Lord’s Day”. St. Ignatius says of the Sabbath as “living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also Our Life rose again". St. Barnabas says also that the Sabbath is the observance of when Jesus rose from the dead; therefore, the Lord’s day is on Sunday.

I hope this helps you. If you'd like read more about the Catholic Church, I highly recommend a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You can get one in any bookstore. God bless you.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Moneybags and Carmel, thank you!

11:43 PM  
Blogger Endtimer Soul said...

Thank you for your lengthy response St. PH. I will follow up on some of your facts and suggestions. Endtimer

3:19 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

You're welcome endtimer. Hope you come visit again.

3:36 PM  

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