"I like to explain it to people with the following story:
"As a child, once I came home very late for dinner. My mother was very upset, and seeing how upset she was, I felt very repentant and I told her that it would never happen again. She told me she forgave me, but as my punishment I would have to do the dishes.
"So there was repentance and forgiveness, but there was still punishment.
"But, as I started doing the dishes, my nana came in and said, “I will help you.”
"That is an indulgence.
"God loves us and he forgives us, but in His justice there is still some punishment for sin. The indulgence is when the merits and the sufferings of Jesus and the saints are applied to that punishment."
~ Cardinal Sean O'Malley ~
"Though it may seem “quaint” or even archaic to some, the notion of the indulgence is a meaningful expression of the doctrine of Grace and merit, and bears testimony to the power of our prayers for one another, even beyond this life. It also expresses the pastoral solicitude of the Vicar of Christ to “bind and loose” (cf. Matthew 16:19) as an expression of God’s mercy. "
"The greatest and most powerful prayer we can offer for the eternal salvation of those who have died is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Here the saving gift of Jesus Christ, dying and rising, is made present and its fruits or benefits are applied on behalf of the faithful."
~ Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, MO ~
~ Information for this post found here.