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In case you haven’t heard, special indulgences are available during the Year for Priests, which continues through 19 June 2010.  There are indulgences for priests and for the laity.  Here are the grants of indulgence from the Apostolic Penitentiary (with a few emphases and comments from me):

For priests:

Truly repentant priests who, on any day, devoutly recite at least morning Lauds or Vespers before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed for public adoration or replaced in the tabernacle, and who, after the example of St John Mary Vianney, offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of the sacraments, especially Confession, are mercifully granted in God the Plenary Indulgence which they may also apply to their deceased brethren in suffrage, if, in conformity with the current norms, they receive sacramental confession and the Eucharistic banquet and pray for the Supreme Pontiff’s intentions.

Furthermore the Partial Indulgence is granted to priests who may apply it to their deceased confreres every time that they devoutly recite the prayers duly approved to lead a holy life and to carry out in a holy manner the offices entrusted to them.

For laypeople:

The Plenary Indulgence is granted to all the faithful who are truly repentant who, in church or in chapel, devoutly attend the divine Sacrifice of Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, for the priests of the Church, and any other good work which they have done on that day, so that he may sanctify them and form them in accordance with His Heart, as long as they have made expiation for their sins through sacramental confession and prayed in accordance with the Supreme Pontiff’s intentions: on the days in which the Year for Priests begins and ends, on the day of the 150th anniversary of the pious passing of St John Mary Vianney [this Tuesday, 4 August], on the first Thursday of the month or on any other day established by the local Ordinaries for the benefit of the faithful.

It will be most appropriate, in cathedral and parish churches, for the same priests who are in charge of pastoral care to publicly direct these exercises of devotion, to celebrate Holy Mass and to hear the confession of the faithful.

The Plenary Indulgence will likewise be granted to the elderly, the sick and all those who for any legitimate reason are confined to their homes who, with a mind detached from any sin and with the intention of fulfilling as soon as possible the three usual conditions, at home or wherever their impediment detains them, provided that on the above-mentioned days they recite prayers for the sanctification of priests and confidently offer the illnesses and hardships of their lives to God through Mary Queen of Apostles.

Lastly, the Partial Indulgence is granted to all the faithful every time they devoutly recite five Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glorias, or another expressly approved prayer, in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to obtain that priests be preserved in purity and holiness of life.

This is a wonderfully generous grant, especially to our priests!  They deserve it.

For us layfolk, we should circle 4 August, 19 June 2010, and every first Thursday on our calendars to seek our plenary indulgences.  And obtain lots of the partial indulgences too!

[UPDATE]: Here is one prayer for priests, addressed to our Eternal Priest, that I found here:

O Jesus, Eternal Priest,
keep Your Priests under the shelter of Your Sacred Heart.
Keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips purpled with Your Precious Blood.
Keep pure and holy their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of Your Glorious Priesthood.
Let Your Holy Love surround them and shield them
from the world’s corruption.
Bless their labours with abundant fruit, and may all to whom they minister here below be their joy and consolation, and in Heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown.
Amen.

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A wonderful new apostolate, Oramus: We Pray, aims to help us express love for those around us in our everday lives whom we do not know.  Would that not include a vast majority of people around us?  And might it be that we are placed among them for a reason?

oramus

The vision statement:

The essence of the Christian life is passing along God’s love and blessings to those we find in our path. We love those with whom we live and work and play by sharing their daily lives, their joys and their trials. We love the needy in far off places through general prayer, and through contributions to those charities that aid them.

But how do we love and bless those in our own community that we do not know personally: those we see on the street, in the market, at the mall? Those who are well-dressed and well-fed, and in no obvious need? They, too, need the love and blessing of God. Some already have it; but what of those who do not know God? How, as Christians, can we love and bless them?

We Pray.

If asked, they would not accept our help; but through us they may receive the Lord’s blessing. And some few might choose to ask what we are doing, and why; and perhaps they will learn to know God themselves.

Even people who seem happy, well-off, and successful may be carrying around sorrows and pains we cannot see.  They may be going through ordeals we cannot imagine.  And that says nothing of all those who may be walking in darkness, in the shadow of death, or on the path to Hell.  Even when somebody is rude or mean to us, is it because they are bad people or because they are in distress about something we can’t guess at?

Whatever the case may be, here is a very simple little prayer:

Lord, bless him (or her) and keep him and make your face to shine upon him, that he may know how much you love him. And have mercy on me. Amen.

Who knows how we could impact the world if all of us prayed this little prayer for all the strangers we come across?  Or pray for them in other ways?

Personally, I like pray in public places so that, hopefully, I can call down God’s blessings and graces upon the place and everybody in it.  I pray at work sometimes.  I also pray while working out at the gym.  I pray in the church and priory, of course.  I pray outside.  I often pray if I am out shopping or eating or having coffee alone–which is usually the case.  It brings me peace and a sense of companionship, as well as blessing those around me.

But I will remember the above prayer and use it in an even more focused and personal way for individuals I encounter.

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