Pope Benedict XVI has announced a plenary indulgence "under the usual conditions" for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception next Thursday. This item may not get much news coverage, since we live in debauched times that regard such things as indulgences as relics from the middle ages better to be forgotten than practiced. That's too bad, because folks who look at the world in that way are needlessly separating themselves from a worldview that is literally more salutary than the one they cherish so much. It is very difficult to live life as a true disciple of Christ who obeys Saint Paul's command to "pray without ceasing", but why pass up opportunities to approach more closely to such a life by incorporating a whole new attitude towards our relationship to the world into our day to day experience? Go to Confession; receive Holy Communion; pray with Christ's Vicar: these are the "usual conditions". Then go out and live your life as though you were going to meet these conditions every day.