This is for the Catholics out there, but non-Catholics are welcome to read too.
I have been praying the Rosary* this week, for reasons that will be discussed later, and because it's been some years since I went to church and even more since I was religiously educated, I needed to consult a pamphlet for the Apostle's Creed. The pamphlet is really old--like pre-Vatican II old--so it has a whole page on how many indulgences you get from praying the rosary a) alone; b) with family (private or public); or c) with a large group (again, private or public). Indulgences, for those who don't feel like checking out the links, were basically time served for good behavior and shortened the time you would have to be tortured in purgatory before going to heaven. You got them from "good works" and from apparently praying the rosary with your family and in a group setting. Indulgences were either partial or plenary, although the unit of measure that constituted what was partial and what was plenary was up for interpretation. Hours?Days? Weeks? Who knows? Reading or listening to the scripture (piously, mind you) for 30 minutes got you one plenary indulgence. The Second Vatican Council kind of shied away from indulgences, after that whole Martin Luther thing.
So I got to thinking, with all these people doing all this work for all those indulgences, partial and full, Jesus would need a really good accountant to keep track. A whole department, I would think. Maybe even a Controller to keep the department in checks and balances--probably St. Matthew.
Somewhere, a heavenly accounting clerk is digging in the holy filing cabinet for my records and adding a couple of plenary indulgences in my credit column. Thanks, buddy. Add a couple for Brian, too.
*It's not jewelry!