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  #1  
Old Jul 3, '12, 8:28 pm
Chiltepin Chiltepin is offline
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Default Weaker Pennances

Sometimes I come across historical accounts of pennances people were given that seemed quite strict. On the one hand they may exist in the historical record because they were fantastically strict. On the other hand, maybe pennances used to be much stricter than they are now.

I do not mean this AT ALL as a questioning of the judgement of our faithful priests. I love them and am so thankful they administer the sacrements. Do you ever feel like the age we live in we don't get pennances with much rigor? Are we getting off easy? Are we at a spiritual disadvantage?
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Old Jul 3, '12, 9:33 pm
sdegutis sdegutis is offline
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Default Re: Weaker Pennances

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiltepin View Post
Sometimes I come across historical accounts of pennances people were given that seemed quite strict. On the one hand they may exist in the historical record because they were fantastically strict. On the other hand, maybe pennances used to be much stricter than they are now.

I do not mean this AT ALL as a questioning of the judgement of our faithful priests. I love them and am so thankful they administer the sacrements. Do you ever feel like the age we live in we don't get pennances with much rigor? Are we getting off easy? Are we at a spiritual disadvantage?
I'm reminded of this quote from the Baltimore Catechism:

Quote:
Q. 864. Why did the Church moderate its severe penances? A. The Church moderated its severe penances, because when Christians—terrified by persecution—grew weaker in their faith, there was danger of some abandoning their religion rather than submit to the penances imposed. The Church, therefore, wishing to save as many as possible, made the sinner's penance as light as possible.
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  #3  
Old Jul 3, '12, 9:35 pm
faerie114 faerie114 is offline
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Default Re: Weaker Pennances


I never knew there were stricter or weaker penances. What are some examples of 'stricter' penances.
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Old Jul 3, '12, 9:36 pm
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: Weaker Pennances

Personally I like it when I am given a strict penance. I am not sure why but I just do.
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  #5  
Old Jul 3, '12, 10:30 pm
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Gordon Sims Gordon Sims is offline
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Default Re: Weaker Pennances

I've noticed that penances are much easier now than when I was a kid. I never confessed anything noteworthy as a kid--mostly I'd say that I lied to my mom twice, cussed once and then tell the priest that I'd just lied about lying and cussing so I'd have something to confess--and I'd get hit with 20 Our Fathers and 10 Hail Marys, or something along those lines. I've talked to people who got things like ten complete Rosaries (all three sets of mysteries) on top of having to pay back/return something they'd stolen, and other penances that were similarly monumental to a kid. I remember wondering back then what sort of penances the adults who committed actual sins were receiving.

Nowadays it's nowhere near the same. A few years ago, at the first real valid, thorough Confession of my adult life, I confessed years and years of very serious, persistent sins. I got one Our Father, one Hail Mary and was told to spend one minute counting my blessings. Honestly, the first thing that went through my head wasn't relief over my absolution but a thought that I'd been ripped off. I was all set for some major penance and what I got was barely a fraction of my nightly prayers. Another time I nearly asked the priest if he couldn't throw in a Rosary or two since I'd confessed something really major that I'd overlooked in an earlier Confession. The biggest penance I've received in the last few years was when the priest told me to say a prayer for each family member who had mistreated or spoken negatively about my wife & I: it took me nearly an hour to get through.

Seriously, though, I'd prefer somewhat stricter penances. I understand the reasoning to the contrary, but if I'm confessing a mortal sin which I committed with the full, adult awareness that it was a mortal sin, then I truly believe that I should be getting a stiff enough penance that it takes more than 1-2 minutes to complete. I'm not saying the priest should be telling people to stand on a busy street corner wearing a burlap shirt and a sandwich board listing their sins, but being given the occasional Rosary or two couldn't hurt.
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Old Jul 3, '12, 10:53 pm
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Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
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Default Re: Weaker Penances

Yeah, I usually get the 1 Our Father and 1 Hail Mary as well. Sometimes I just get the nebulous "pray for [this person]."

One priest I loved used to give me one of the Psalms to pray and meditate on. Another used to give me at least a decade of the Rosary.

But just a few years ago, a young new priest gave me the penance of my lifetime: He told me that I needed to pray an extra 15 minutes a day (unspecified number of days), give a gift of alms from my need (not just my surplus), and fast one day a week (unspecified number of weeks). When I told my friend what my penance was, she laughed and said, "What did you confess????"

That penance took me a long time to complete -- so it was on my mind for days and days. I would think that was a good thing.

He must have gotten some advice from the pastor about his penances, because every time after that day his penances were always one or two prayers. Bummer.

God bless you.

Gertie
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Old Jul 5, '12, 6:41 pm
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: Weaker Pennances

The most harsh penance I have ever been given was one decade of the Rosary.
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"The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you'll be amazed at the results."
--St. Josemaria Escriva

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”
--Saint Dominic

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world."
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