They could be added to the satisfactions actually done by penitents.
And 1 In a letter dated the 4th of April 1882, referring to the publication of his drama Mary Stuart, Swinburne wrote, to Edmund Clarence Stedman: "Mary Stuart has procured me two satisfactions which I prefer infinitely to six columns of adulation in The Times and any profit thence resulting.
When the sins confessed were very heinous the satisfactions were correspondingly severe and sometimes lasted over many years.
They were always mitigations of satisfactions or penances which had been imposed by the church as outward signs of inward sorrow, tests of fitness for pardon, and the needful precedents of absolution.
Satisfactions took the new meaning of the temporal punishments due in this life and the substitute for the pains of purgatory.
Thus Satisfactions became not merely signs of sorrow but actual merits, which freed men from the need to undergo the temporal pains here and in purgatory which their sins had rendered them liable to.
The conclusion was naturally drawn that a process of penitence which began with sorrow of the more unworthy kind needed a larger amount of Satisfactions or penance than what began with Contrition.