I grew up Catholic. Really Catholic.
I attended Catholic schools for all but 3rd grade and Junior and Senior years of high school.
For a while I considered becoming a nun.
I started reading the Catholic Bible almost daily from about 11 or 12 yoa.
Each time I read it I made sure I read the prayers on the inside covers of the Bible
According to Catholicism, ‘The Prayer Before Reading the Holy Scriptures gives an indulgence of
5 YEARS! (meaning a shorter stay in purgatory after you die)
(To those not familiar with the Catholic Church: to Rome, the atonement of Jesus Christ is not enough! You have to work your way into heaven. Jesus only accomplished opening up the gates by His death. They say you have to do your 1% at least to get into purgatory, then heaven will follow. Eventually. )
(I am leaving out the actual prayer)
Now, reading further inside the cover of my Catholic Bible:
‘and a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, if the prayer has been recited daily for a month’ (wonder what the ‘usual conditions’ means?!)
‘Preces et Pia Opera, 265 ‘ (whatever THAT means!) 😉
THEN in the BACK of that Bible it says THIS-(again, minus the actual prayer)
‘Prayer after Reading the Holy Scriptures-Prayer of St. Bede the Venerable,
and it gives the prayer…
and the INDULGENCE for reading the Scriptures -according to
Pope Leo XII is this
‘Pope Leo XII granted to the faithful who spend at least a quarter of an hour in reading the Holy Scriptures with the veneration due to the divine word and as spiritual reading, an indulgence of 300 days.
Preces et Pia Opera, 654 ‘ unquote ~(whatever!)~
Wow, 5 years and 300 days! for saying the prayers and reading the Bible for 15 min.
good deal!! 😉
SAY THOSE PRAYERS, and you are really off to a great start on your day!
As well as your eternity!! 😉
One wouldn’t want just the Word of God floating in the mind after reading it,
don’t ya know?! 😉 You need to be crunching numbers and figuring out your indulgences.
ONE DECEMBER night in 1975, at 21 yoa, I was unexpectedly and suddenly apprehended by God! He took me by surprise.
He rescued me from His coming wrath, which I totally deserved because of my sins.
He brought me to Himself by regenerating me and causing me to believe solely on Jesus for my salvation.
I believed on Him as the Word commands we are to do in order to be saved. It’s that simple!
My former FILTHY rags of WORKS and EFFORTS at appeasing God concerning my sin were totally WORTHLESS.
By His sovereign choosing and power, He regenerated me.
And He did this when He wanted to do so.
I had been spiritually dead up to that point in time. And I didn’t know it!
I was filled with an amazing joy and peace!
Before that moment in time,
I had NO DESIRE for a God who didn’t NEED ME to HELP Him save me.
Now by His sovereignty and absolute goodness and compassion and mercy,
I was washed in His blood ( the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin) and redeemed and given a new nature.
I was no longer His enemy! I had became His child!
In doing His work in my heart He set me free from slavery to sin and false religion.
I no longer need to calculate how soon I could get out of a mythological purgatory!
And since the Holy Spirit took residence within me at that moment, to seal me, I started to understand what I was reading in the Bible.
Isn’t He good!?
It is pretty wonderful now to have a relationship with God that includes being faithfully led by Him in truth.
And truth always points to Jesus and His work of redemption on the cross. Truth never negates the work of Christ with a works based gospel.
I now have access to the throne of mercy!
No rituals involved!
Needless to say, I was thrilled to throw away all of my worthless rosaries and scapulars and prayer cards, and medals.
How exhausting it is to try to appease God through endless man made, demon inspired deceptive rituals!
I exchanged the LIES of Satan for the TRUTH of God’s Word!!
He took the filthy robes of my own pitiful righteousness and in His sovereignty.
He clothed me in His righteousness.
My salvation is all because of Him.
God is an awesome and sovereign God!