Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

Moderators: Dom Perignon, Casimir

NorthernTenor
Posts: 794
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:26 pm
Parish / Diocese: Southwark

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by NorthernTenor » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:53 am

... please forgive my ignorance, too, but it sounds like a get-out-of-gaol-free card. I think I'll have one of those.
Ian Williams
Alium Music

User avatar
presbyter
Posts: 1651
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:21 pm
Parish / Diocese: youknowalready
Location: elsewhere

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by presbyter » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:07 pm

Hare wrote:Apalling Ignorance Alert

Forgive my ignorance, Fathers, but is the "Apostolic Pardon" used generally, or at priests' discretion - and if the latter, may one ask how the decision is reached?


NorthernTenor wrote:... please forgive my ignorance, too, but it sounds like a get-out-of-gaol-free card. I think I'll have one of those.


Think, perhaps, of the paralytic let down through the roof.... (Mk 2)

The centurion's servant (Mtt 8 )

Jairus' daughter (Luke 8 )

Lazarus (John 11)

Someone's got faith and someone's asking that Jesus do something (and pretty desperately too). Relatives/friends calling in a priest to an emergency in a hospital are making an act of faith. The priest - in persona Christi - responds to that faith. Whatever elements of the so-called "Last Rites" that can be celebrated are celebrated.... but manifestly not Viaticum, if the patient is unconscious.

I'm not quite sure what Hare means in his question. I cannot think of any circumstances that would make me think it inappropriate to forgive the sins of the dying ....... but I don't think Hare is asking that. The decision as to which elements of the rites to use is done very quickly ..... and the rites allow for all contingencies. If the request is to see a non-Christian, for example, the appropriate "Last Rite" is Baptism. For further reading see Pastoral Care of the Sick - Rites for Emergencies.

Hare
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:12 pm
Parish / Diocese: Home Counties

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by Hare » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:27 pm

presbyter wrote:I'm not quite sure what Hare means in his question. I cannot think of any circumstances that would make me think it inappropriate to forgive the sins of the dying ....... but I don't think Hare is asking that. The decision as to which elements of the rites to use is done very quickly ..... and the rites allow for all contingencies. If the request is to see a non-Christian, for example, the appropriate "Last Rite" is Baptism. For further reading see Pastoral Care of the Sick - Rites for Emergencies.


Sorry if my question was unclear. Certainly it never occured to me that it would ever be inappropriate to forgive the sins of the dying. I merely wondered how a decision was made as to which rite to use, as I was unaware of the Apostolic Blessing.

ChrisC
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:33 pm

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by ChrisC » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:13 pm

Might be of interest to some...

"n.18 -- To the faithful in danger of death who cannot be assisted by a priest to bring them the sacraments and impart the apostolic blessing with its attendant plenary indulgence (according to canon 468, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law) Holy Mother Church nevertheless grants a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death, provided they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime. To use a crucifix or cross in connection with the acquisition of this plenary indulgence is a laudable practice."

Ap Con. Indulgentiarum Doctrina, Paul VI, 1967. The latest edition of the Handbook of Indulgences doesn't contain it, but as this is an Apostolic Constitution, the Handbook's omission presumably doesn't supersede it.

User avatar
FrGareth
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:01 am
Parish / Diocese: Archdiocese of Cardiff

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by FrGareth » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:37 pm

presbyter asks: OK Gareth ... Let's say you or I are called in to an A & E department, where we are presented with an unconscious person who is on a ventilator - and fading rapidly. We anoint him/her AND give the Apostolic Pardon. What have we done?

It seems to me that it's like this:

Once it has left the body, every soul has to reckon with its own sinfulness when entering into God's presence at the end of earthly life. God has made the "default" position that this is a painful process, but has entrusted the Church on Earth with the rather awesome power and responsibility of lessening this through prayer. (God could have made the default position less painful, but didn't - this is the extent to which he allows us, members of his body, to co-operate with the work of redemption - and therefore gives us the capacity to disadvantage others by our failure to act.)

Under the current canons, the Church has decided to exercise this power in the following way: when it is possible for a priest to attend a dying person's bedside, it is given through the explicit imparting of the Apostolic Pardon; when that is not possible, the church grants it automatically to anyone who has habitually prayed. (There are many other devotions with a plenary indulgence attached, of course, which are also exercises of the church's power.)

What I am doing in the situation outlined above is:
- imparting the healing grace of the sacrament of anointing (which God might use to bring healing - I have once anointed an elderly person who bounced back impressively when I was fully expecting a call from the undertaker) and, by virtue of the sacrament, restoring the person to a state of grace if they were in mortal sin, despite their physical incapacity to make a confession;
- by imparting the apostolic pardon, I am making manifest the Church's power to remit temporal punishment in order to console the dying person and/or any relatives present. Whether my actually imparting the Pardon makes any difference to their subjective experience of purgation depends on whether or not they were someone who habitually prayed. If they did, they would have benefited from Paul VI's backup clause without my intervention. If they didn't, then my action will have invoked the Church's treasury of grace to diminish their pain in entering into God's presence.

And in response to the earlier question, I impart the Apostolic Pardon when, and only when, the sick person's condition is such that I expect that a priest will not be able to visit them again before they die - which usually means when medical evidence suggests that they have days rather than weeks to live.

Does that help?

FrGareth
><>
Revd Gareth Leyshon - Priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff (views are my own)
Personal website: http://www.garethleyshon.info
Parish website: http://www.sphilipevans.co.uk/

User avatar
presbyter
Posts: 1651
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:21 pm
Parish / Diocese: youknowalready
Location: elsewhere

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by presbyter » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:11 pm

Thanks Gareth

FrGareth wrote: I am making manifest the Church's power to remit temporal punishment


Anyone confused now about what temporal punishment might mean?

Try http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P4G.HTM

You might also like to meditate on the three parables in Luke 15 ..... especially the remission of what the lost son sees as his just punishment.

It's all helping the souls that the Lord has made :D

User avatar
FrGareth
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:01 am
Parish / Diocese: Archdiocese of Cardiff

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by FrGareth » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:37 am

If you'll pardon the analogy, a soul can be purged of its sins by being slow-roasted or flash-fried, and slow roasting is more painful (this is the temporal punishment). Our prayers can embarrass an unworthy soul with so much love and attention that the experience becomes flash frying. (Whether souls in purgatory actually experience the passage of time, or whether this is only analogy, is another long and vexed question.)

If the very possibility of a soul's experience depending on our prayers seems unfair - well, it is, but only in the same way that whether needy people receive charity on earth similarly depends on our generosity. Purgatory, of course, is only for souls on their way to heaven, so even the absence of a "get-out-of-jail-free" card is not terminal; after enough rolls of the dice parole comes anyway.

FrG
><>
Revd Gareth Leyshon - Priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff (views are my own)
Personal website: http://www.garethleyshon.info
Parish website: http://www.sphilipevans.co.uk/

User avatar
Gwyn
Posts: 1142
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 3:42 pm
Parish / Diocese: Archdiocese of Cardiff
Location: Abertillery, South Wales UK

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by Gwyn » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:22 am

Whether souls in purgatory actually experience the passage of time

I'd wondered about that.

User avatar
presbyter
Posts: 1651
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:21 pm
Parish / Diocese: youknowalready
Location: elsewhere

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by presbyter » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:14 pm

FrGareth wrote:y. Purgatory, of course, is only for souls on their way to heaven........


Little boy (Year 4) at today's school Mass for the Holy Souls, in answer to my question about how the children perceive Purgatory (not that I used that word).

Me - So what's happened to these people who have died?

Little boy - They're in a queue.

I think I'll institute a homiletics prize and give it to him.

quaeritor
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: oxfordshire

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by quaeritor » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:40 pm

After a fruitless search of the forum I wonder if anyone remembers the hymn which began "Merciful Saviour, hear our humble prayer, For all thy servants passed beyond life's care . . . " (sung to the Old124th) and has any idea why it has dropped out of the repertoire? - is it perhaps "unsound" in current thinking? (I am frequently hauled over the coals for perpetuating heresy in my choice of hymns!)

(This might also be an appropriate moment to remember that not all the contributors to the discussion above can add further at this point.)

Q

User avatar
Gwyn
Posts: 1142
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 3:42 pm
Parish / Diocese: Archdiocese of Cardiff
Location: Abertillery, South Wales UK

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by Gwyn » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:49 pm

Merciful Saviour, hear our humble prayer, For all thy servants passed beyond life's care . . .
That's a new one - or rather an old one - on me Quaeritor.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2144
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Help, Lord, the souls that thou hast made

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:02 pm

It's by a chap named JH Newman.
See Westminster Hymnal (1939 edition) and Parish Hymn Book.
Takes me back to primary school. :)

Post Reply