Jubilee Year of Mercy
For the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father has announced a plenary indulgence for all who make a visit to the Holy Doors established in every cathedral in the world, as well as in other churches designated by the local bishop. In the Diocese of Charlotte, there are Holy Doors at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Charlotte, St. Pius X Catholic Church in Greensboro, and the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville.
The Holy Father wrote that the requirements for receiving the Holy Door indulgence are as follows: “To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion…. It is important that this moment be linked, first and foremost, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy. It will be necessary to accompany these celebrations with the profession of faith and with prayer for [the Pope] and for the intentions that [he] bear[s] in [his] heart for the good of the Church and of the entire world.”
So to receive the indulgence, one must:
1) visit the Holy Doors in one of the designated churches with a desire for true conversion.
2) be free from any attachment to sin (even venial sin)
3) go to Confession within 20 days of visiting the Holy Doors
4) receive Holy Communion
5) pray for the intentions of the Holy Father (an Our Father and Hail Mary will suffice)
6) make an Profession of Faith (i.e., pray the Creed)
7) make a reflection on mercy (e.g., praying a Chaplet of Divine Mercy)
Holy Father’s Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee Year
Year of Mercy Month-by-Month Plan
In this new year set aside by the Church to celebrate our Lord’s mercy, our parish family is going to focus on practicing the spiritual and corporeal works of mercy, while also striving to grow in the virtues. In his letter announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father wrote: “The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us. Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence.” Thus, each month of this Jubilee Year, we will focus on one or two of the spiritual and corporeal works of mercy, as well as a particular virtue that we will strive to develop.
This is the necessary seed that enables all other virtues because it is the recognition of our total dependence on God, and thereby opposes the vice of pride.
Work(s) of Mercy: Forgiving all injuries
This is the chief of all virtues because it is the virtue by which we we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. Thus in exercising charity, we seek not reward but rather act purely out of love of Christ and neighbor.
Work(s) of Mercy: Feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty.
Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable.
Work(s) of Mercy: Bearing wrongs Patiently
Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith “man freely commits his entire self to God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1814)
Work(s) of Mercy: Instructing the Ignorant
Zeal is a virtue that, along with the virtue of diligence, opposes the vice of sloth. Recognizing that God deserves to be loved above all things, zeal consists in the fervor for salvation (whether our own or that of others) out a love for God, and it expresses itself by the spreading of the Faith, the sanctification of souls, and by making God better known.
With zeal I have been zealous for the Lord, God of Hosts! (1 Kings 19:10)
Work(s) of Mercy: Visiting the Sick
Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1808).
Work(s) of Mercy: Visiting the Imprisoned
Chastity moderates our sexual desires and opposes the sadly common vice of lust that is often inflamed this time of year. Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within a person, and it subdues all impure inclinations and desires by which modesty is violated.
Work of mercy: Counseling the Doubtful.
Prudence is one of the four Cardinal Virtues, and it disposes one’s practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, prudence is “right reason in action,”and it is known as the “charioteer” of the virtues because it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1806).
Work of Mercy: Admonishing the Sinner