Today I received a note about something that happened in a seminary class room about a really important matter that someday could (please God!) affect us all!
I am a transitional deacon and would especially like to thank you for your post of 8th June 2011 on the Apostolic Pardon. I remember reading it at the time. This morning at seminary we were discussing the sacrament of anointing of the sick and the question of the Apostolic Pardon came up. The priest leading the discussion was not especially clued up as to it’s significance, so afterwards I e-mailed your post to our class and a number of them said how helpful it was. I just thought you would like to know that. Thanks for your continued good work.
We should all pray often that God will preserve us from a sudden and unprovided death, that is, death without the opportunity of the Last Sacraments, Penance, Anointing, Eucharist as viaticum, and, with them, the Apostolic Pardon.
I can’t tell you what what a grace and consolation it is for a priest to be able to administer these rites along with the Apostolic Pardon. Surely it is also a great consolation to family members and to the dying person when they know what is taking place.
As I having written before, the Apostolic Pardon, or Benediction, forgives temporal punishment due to our sins, not the sins themselves.
If anything remains from our lives, provided we die in the state of grace, for which we have not done adequate penance, the temporal punishment due to those sins, if we have not done adequate penance in life, is forgiven us through the Apostolic Pardon. This is why the Apostolic Pardon is often given after the Last Rites of sacraments of penance, anointing, and Viaticum.
This is a marvelous faculty, given by Holy Church to the priest so that he can grant this remission of temporal punishment and forgive sins. Used in conjunction with the Last Rites a soul is well prepared to go on to judgment. Well prepared. We cannot force God and force souls, but we have confidence that God’s promises to the Church and the Church’s teaching to us are all true.
I am glad that this blog played a part in a classroom full of men to be ordained. These are your future priests!