Updated: Sep 5, 2019
To be honest, I never thought much of indulgences, besides gaining the occasional plenary one, until I started praying out of my Mother Love prayer book (you can learn more about this book or purchase it yourself). In it, the Morning Prayer contains a promise to gain all of the indulgences you can that day for the dear souls in purgatory. When I started reading the list of indulgenced prayers it provides, I realized how easy and attainable the Church has made these goals. I mean, some of these prayers are really short! At the time, I was also searching for a way to incorporate prayer more often into my day. I had a problem making my Morning Offering (sometimes several hours after I woke up!) and then not thinking much of prayer until my rosary that night. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and the answer: indulgences!
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This is a case where my phone helped my spiritual life, not impeded it. I set a reminder for each hour with an indulgenced prayer (partial). I use either a prayer short enough to fit into the reminder text or one that I had memorized. My Google calendar looks a little something like this:
8 a.m.: Divine Praises in Reparation for Blasphemy
9 a.m.: O my Queen! O my Mother! Remember that I am thine own. Keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession!
10 a.m.: May the most just, most high, and most amiable will of God be done in all things, be praised and magnified forever!
11 a.m.: Bid me bear, O Mother Blessed, on my heart, Thy wounds impressed, suffered by Thy Crucified.
1 p.m.: May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved everywhere! O sweetest Heart of Jesus, I implore that I may ever love Thee more and more! Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine!
2 p.m.: Eternal Father I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus in satisfaction for my sins and for the wants of the Holy Church.
3 p.m.: Memorare
4 p.m.: We adore Thee, most Holy Lord Jesus Christ, and we bless Thee, because by the Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world!
5 p.m.: Eternal rest...
6 p.m.: Jesus my God I love Thee above all things. My Jesus, mercy! My sweetest Jesus, be not my judge, but my Savior!
8 p.m.: Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
9 p.m.: O Sacrament...
Notice the 7 a.m., 12 p.m., and 7 p.m. slots are empty. I have the Angelus (also indulgenced) for these slots, and I use my alarm for that. However, I am thinking of switching at least the 7 a.m. alarm to a reminder (even though hearing the bells seems to make it more "authentic"!), since I currently have a newborn in my room, and if she wants to sleep past 7, I will not be the one to stop her!
These prayers are partial indulgences when they are united to performing the duties or bearing the trials of your daily life. This forced me to say a little prayer after reciting them, stating such. (Either state the intention to gain an indulgence when you pray them or make the intention each morning to gain all the indulgences you can that day).
These prayers, along with the classification as and criteria for an indulgence are derived from the Raccolta. If you are worried some of them might not count as indulgences any more, you could always consult the most current Manual of Indulgences.
When I started this, it was easy to think this would be a great way to serve the dear souls in purgatory in a small way, and nothing much beyond that. After all, these are small prayers! However, as it is with most things Holy Mother Church has chosen to indulgence, the affects go far beyond that. Since Pope Paul VI made the effects of partial indulgences equal to the devotion with which they are made, I have had to be sure I am focusing on them and saying them with piety, not just going through the motions. This, combined with the act of uniting them to the works and trials of my day, has had a profound effect. It makes me focus on the word, raises my mind to Heaven in the middle of earthly chaos, and helps me to reorient my day towards Heaven. I have found myself adding prayers for my family, for our salvation and our specific needs as well. It has been a great way for me to incorporate the eternal into a busy, mundane day, and has been relatively easy to do so.
Finally, have you checked out our shop? We have fun coloring packets to help your children (or you!) learn indulgenced prayers. They are centered around Church daily and monthly devotionals. Check it out here!
What do you think? How do you incorporate indulgences and other prayers into your day?