Friday, March 6, 2009
There is a story about Tetzel, the Dominican monk who went around sixteenth-century Germany selling indulgences and scandalizing Martin Luther. He used to sing a little ditty: "As soon as your money falls into my casket, your soul leaps free from the fires of Purgatory!"
A thief came up to him and asked how much it would cost for an indulgence to forgive all his past sins. "A thousand gold pieces." "And how much for one to forgive all my future sins as well?" "Two thousand more." "All right, here's three thousand. Give me the indulgence." "Here it is. Thank you." "And now here's one of those future sins. See this sword? Hand back the three thousand."
Peter Kreeft, Heaven, pages 186-187.